Now that the city budget is approved, officials are jumping right back into business with a workshop on an updated memorandum of agreement with the developers of the proposed downtown hotel and conference center.
The workshop is marked as “special” in the city-issued notice and set for a 7 p.m. time slot Wednesday in the Frederick City Hall boardroom, instead of the board’s standing 3 p.m. workshop spot. Members of the public are invited to speak, with individuals limited to five minutes for their comments and speakers who represent organizations given 10 minutes to make their points.
The document in question is a revised version of the one in place, which maps out the conditions and details, including a Master Development and Funding Agreement with cost breakdowns, by which the city and developers Plamondon Hospitality Partners will bring the project to fruition. The signatories inked the original agreement in November 2015 and a revised agreement in October 2016. The draft in the works now will be the third.
The planned multimillion-dollar, 180-room hotel and 20,000-square-foot conference center is slated at 200-212 E. Patrick St. It it set to come together through a public-private partnership, with Plamondon paying the lion’s share and the city, Frederick County and state dividing up the remainder.
The project hit a slight snag at the close of the 2018 General Assembly, when legislators failed to include an $11 million allocation for an extra level of parking in the state’s contribution.
Mayor Michael O’Connor said he has been having meetings with project representatives since learning the news to determine how to move forward sans the extra state money, but has not publicly reported any decisions.
The board and developers must sign off on the tweaked memorandum set for discussion Wednesday before the existing one expires in the coming months.
Channel 99 upgrades to move televised meetings over
to city annex
All meetings set to take place in the City Hall boardroom from May 31 through June will now commence in the municipal annex on West Patrick Street due to upgrades planned for the city’s Channel 99 control room.
The work is set to begin June 4, according to a city-issued news release, and finish by June 25. It will put the boardroom out of commission for broadcast, though, thus moving all televised meetings to the annex. Channel 99 will also not broadcast the meetings live during that time, only taped versions later on. Any viewers dying to watch live city government meetings can still do so, though, on the city’s website at cityoffrederick.com under the Meeting Center dropdown.
The upgrades will improve Channel 99 operations by providing viewers with clearer pictures as they watch government activities unfold on their television screens and significantly reduce the risk of service interruptions.
City audiovisual employees film and edit all Channel 99 programs in the city’s control room behind the City Hall boardroom. The programs include everything from live streaming of public meetings to airing special marketing segments about city projects and operations.