Hough/Young combo mug (copy)

ANNAPOLIS — Frederick County’s state senators have a new plan for the $5 million originally intended for a downtown hotel project and conference center in Frederick.

Sens. Michael Hough (R-Frederick and Carroll) and Ron Young (D-Frederick) both said Monday they met earlier this month with the state’s secretary of budget and management, David Brinkley, to discuss how those funds could be allocated.

County Executive Jan Gardner (D) had originally requested $6 million from Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) office for the Lake Linganore dredging project, which aims to remove 100,000 cubic yards of sediment from the lake — enough to fill more than 13 Goodyear blimps.

In Hogan’s capital budget, he included $5 million for the project, which in prior budgets was intended for the hotel and conference center in Frederick, but never released.

Both Hough and Young have a list of projects in their districts. Young said he is interested in spending just under $1.4 million on the dredging project.

Hough said his projects include:

  • $500,000 for water infrastructure improvements in Brunswick.
  • $500,000 for road improvements in Mount Airy.
  • $476,000 for a public safety/public works facility in Brunswick.
  • $203,000 for revitalization work in Middletown.
  • $100,000 to Burkittsville for improvements to the Shafer House, a headquarters for the Union army during the Civil War.
  • $50,000 for improvements to the Catoctin Museum of the Ironworker in Thurmont.

Young said his proposals, outside of the dredging project, include:

  • $500,000 for the proposed veterans center on Monocacy Boulevard.
  • $500,000 for a homeless shelter to be built on Hayward Road in Frederick.
  • $200,000 for the Sophie & Madigan’s Playground project in Frederick.
  • $200,000 for improvements to the Weinberg Center.
  • $75,000 for improvements to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre.
  • $75,000-$80,000 for Carroll Manor Fire Co.
  • $13,000 for a tennis court at the Ruritan Club in Jefferson.

Officials emphasized this week these are proposals and still need to be approved by both the House of Delegates and Senate. Gardner said she was “surprised” Hough and Young were looking at other projects around the county, but added it’s within their purview to try to spend the money on various priorities and she respects the state’s budget process.

However, she said she would like to see more money spent on the Lake Linganore dredging project, as it would improve its water quality, and the lake serves as the primary source of drinking water for the city of Frederick and a backup source for the county.

“I’m pleased it is being spent in the county and I do want it to stay that way, but there hasn’t been coordination on this reallocation,” Gardner said of the $5 million, adding that she still needed to review Hough’s and Young’s proposals.

Hough and Young both said the $5 million is a one-time occurrence, given that each typically has less than $200,000 in the capital budget per legislative session to allocate to projects.

“It’s a huge opportunity, and I’m glad we’re able to address a number of issues across the district,” Hough said.

“I think we covered a lot of needed things, and as far as the requests I had, I feel pretty good about taking care of them as I can,” Young said.

Both the House and Senate, however, need to approve those proposals as part of the capital budget, and it’s possible they could change by the time a final version is adopted.

Del. Dan Cox (R-Frederick and Carroll) said that he’s hopeful the money will be spent on the aforementioned projects, and that the county will lose important infrastructure money countywide if the delegation can’t agree on where to spend it.

“I think the prospects are good because both senators are on board,” he said.

Del. Carol Krimm (D-Frederick), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said she heard about the veterans center, dredging project and others, but still needs to review the rest of Hough’s and Young’s proposals.

“This is a two-chamber budget,” Krimm said. “Whatever they have lined up will have to come over here and will have to be reviewed, and made a part of the budget, or not.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(49) comments

francesca_easa

I agree that tennis courts, theater improvements and some other projects here deserve no funding. Why is no money being proposed to clean the drinking water in Emmitsburg? And how about money to keep farmlands protected forever from developers? How about an agricultural museum?

steveandpat

How about, don't spend the money?

elymus43

At least, the money is not being WASTED on more bike trails........

mr_twist27

$13,000 for a tennis court? Ron please just go away and take the rest of your family with you.

threecents

Why not? We are talking about millions of dollars, and you pick on the cheapest line item?

Dwasserba

$500,000 for a homeless shelter on Hayward? Another building in addition to the rehab of the farmhouse for homeless families, or part of that project?

StrengthofLiberty

I agree with those who rightfully pose the question, "Why spend it?" - Given what we know about water quality, and abundance fluctuations, ecosystem destruction, health impacted by pollution, cyberattacks, infectious diseases, extreme weather, to name a few of the long-term risk outlooks for impact on our economies and our societies: We may consider this public treasury sum as our first establishment of our counties Environment & Infrastructure Resilience Budget. Those who are more powerful than I would probably want this to go routed through the existing Livable Frederick Manifesto, or as characterised, "suggestions". Doesn't matter. The realities exist, and persist: We still have a waste/garbage system that is need of next generation investment, like sewage; we do not skimp on the core systems of basic human biological impact on every living thing. We still have forests being slain by invasive vines that impede forest bed health - that impacts everything. Our public treasuries are needed for more than beautifications, and - my favorite of all political vagueries: improvements. Five million dollars can help offset environmental impact of the real estate and population growth areas both functionaries lists represent. While establishing a the confidence that Frederick transcends dated party dogma or creepy party loyalty, and is in fact - What we make it. PS: Veterns care. Off the top. Plain and simple. To my way of thinking, from that point of view - the sum is four, not five million smackers, saying to our service veterns: Yes. You chose wisely. And thank you.

gorillagusto

So I guess Frederick will soon be getting its water from a swamp, the natural environment of Hough and Young.

Comment deleted.
girlpolitic

jagman: You are exactly right! The funds should be returned to the general fund as a forwarding fund balance and could possibly be used toward reducing property and/or income taxes. There is not one item on either senator's list that is worthy of forcing taxpayers from other areas of the state to pay for. The local tax payers should have to foot the bill; this is a sneaky way of shielding your local politician pals from having to solicit their constituents and possibly loosing the next election. Just like I resented when we as state taxpayers had to fund Cas Taylor's white elephant Rocky Gap. The resort failed to sustain its early success, began posting losses, and became dependent on Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) subsidies to stay in operation. The casino and hotel was added in 2012 allowing the state to unload it by selling to a private corporation. I had a business trip last year and booked a room. It is pretty much a dump and still loosing money and has been resold several times. Really senator's $13,000 for a tennis court at the Ruritan Club in Jefferson, $200,000 for improvements to the Weinberg Center $75,000 for improvements to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre. $100,000 to Burkittsville for improvements to the Shafer House, a headquarters for the Union army during the Civil War. I suspect when you both were children your parents were forced to utilize the grocery store isle without candy to checkout.

threecents

It does not seem kosher that we should get this one-time windfall just because the governor at one time supported the downtown hotel/conference center. But, yah, we should probably take it if it is being offered. On the other hand, I am disappointed that our state legislators have not yet consulted with our CE. Wasn't that role a major reason why we switched to having a CE?

Frayou

Concerned. Is this “slight of hand” move by politicians only to replace or hide legislation down the road for government finance of the Elites downtown Social Club?

FCPS-Principal

Why is there not a do-nothing option and leave it in the treasury? I say let the veterans pay for the veterans center, screw the playground, let ticket holders pay for the weinberg center and ensemble theater improvements, let the stinking tennis players (all 4 of them?) pay for their own court and we sure as heck don't need more fire houses. Close the carroll manor house down.

jagman

Well now FCPS, we have a genuine "blind squirrel" moment here. For once, and perhaps the only time, you and I are in complete agreement.

Especially about the tennis players.

niceund

Tennis courts and theaters, museums, playgrounds.....SMH

KellyAlzan

Meanwhile northbound 75 trucks are getting stuck under the bridge in Monrovia multiple times a week because of deficient signage and no place to safely turn around

gary4books

Just fix the bridge. Make it "fail safe." Spend the money.

KellyAlzan

what's everyone's thoughts on the county paying to dredge lake linganore?

that place is a HOA, and the necessitated dredging is self inflicted from all the development, all the land disturbance. The developers cause all the erosion and run off for their best interests and the county / state is eating the cost.

And yes, I am aware drinking water comes from here, so no need to lecture me on that.

shiftless88

If it is wholly owned by the HOA then they should pay for dredging

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

FrederickFan

Look it up. The cost is being shared by the Lake Linganore Association.

shiftless88

"Shared"? Why shouldn't they pay the whole thing? I have no dog in this fight, but I would love the county to pay for our development's infrastructure.

rbtdt5

Does the lake have public access?

shiftless88

I think the lake has public access, but I think the only reason it needs dredged is because it provides drinking water.

awteam2000

Would the general public’s drinking water define public access?

rbtdt5

I can't find a public access point for paddle boarding. If anyone has a link or information it would be greatly appreciated.

KellyAlzan

As far as I know, There is NO public access to the lake. If so, it’s news to me.

Yes, drinking water comes from the lake. But. The sediment came from all the development. Let’s just say that Sediment, is part of my background.

Why is tax / state money from people from up in Wolfesville or people from

Hollywood MD subsidizing an HOA? It’s almost like the county needs to collect $1500 for each new building permit for every new home / condo build in Lake Linganore to towards dredging.

Just last week I met with a property owner with a small farm pond. In another county. He wants it drained and cleaned out. He said that after the highway near him was widened, they started having rivers flowing through their property during rain storms, and that they never had the rivers until the highway was widened.

So, why are tax payers paying for a developer’s greed? It’s like LLA has us over a barrel. If we don’t clean their lake - we don’t get water.

If my / our money is involved - then there needs to be free public access.

County council members - are you listening?

threecents

It looks like there a lot of variables involved in that question, including how much the city of Frederick should also be involved.

MJP123

Self inflicted? The HOA is not building new homes, the developer is. The HOA would love for the development to stop, but the County keeps issuing building permits and allowing the developer to amend the plans and add more land to the development. The lake water is owned by the state and used by Frederick city and the HOA residents. Everyone from the HOA, County, City, and State has a hand in this, and they're all paying a share.

Fleawest

Kelly, your thinking is fundamentally flawed. The sediment didn't come from the lake linganore development. It came from all the farms in the watershed. Soil testing prior to dredging confirmed this.

KMRD1

A tennis court? How about upgraded the flood control plan in downtown Fredneck that Ron started. Downtown is still flooding

KellyAlzan

no one plays tennis anymore. The 70's called and want their tennis courts back LOL

threecents

I see people playing on the 2nd St courts all the time.

gabrielshorn2013

Same at Middletown HS in off school hours and summers.

Dwasserba

Tennis courts at the front of Amber Meadows are rarely used and are painted for pickleball as well. Street parking, well lit, a bench. But yike someone might see you here.

sofanna

Totally agree KMRD1. Upgrading the water treatment plants to a sustainable level for all the developing being done NEEDS TO BE DONE!!!

FrederickFan

So Gardner successfully obtains money in the Governor's budget and the two Senators decide it's theirs to spend. Why didn't they ask for all these projects to be funded in the first place?

public-redux

Did either senator consider not spending the $5 million?

DickD

[lol] Gladys, I am surprised you asked that of a politician.

gabrielshorn2013

Well, then there's always that [beam]

richardlyons

Pretty sure the response would be; "if not Frederick, some other county will scoop it up!"

DickD

Now there are some worthwhile projects.

KellyAlzan

Some of the money could also go towards (2) truck turn-arounds for Route 75 in Monrovia.

Also, would be nice for some of that to go towards re-opening the compost site at Heritage Park in Walkersville

stevemckay

Kelly - the County already built both of the turn arounds

shiftless88

Steve; she mentioned about how as one ages they don't keep track of things well!!!

KellyAlzan

Stevie, when did this happen? Because up to Dec 23 2019 there were no turn around. (We traversed through 75 from I-70 to Rt 80 every morning for 3 weeks up to Dec 23.)

matts853

Stevie? Really Kelly. Steve deserves respect, especially since he took time to reply to you. Show a little class every now and then. Your flippant schtik is a turnoff.

hayduke2

Kelly - you need to open your eyes.. Northbound, right before the bridge is a paved area sufficient to allow trucks to turn around ( been there a year or more ) and for Southbound, the area is on the right about 30 yards before the bridge. Neither are simple round abouts but they will allow trucks to turn around.

gabrielshorn2013

You are correct on all counts matt and hay. I've seen them myself. Lead tarnishes very easily.

shiftless88

Not to mention that southbound there are a multitude of signs telling overheight vehicles not to even turn there.

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