For years, local lawmakers and state lobbyists debated whether $5 million of state money should be used for a downtown Frederick hotel and conference center.
Sens. Ron Young (D-Frederick) and Michael Hough (R-Frederick and Carroll) were on opposite sides of that debate — Young arguing for the money because of the economic impact such a hotel projects to bring, and Hough arguing that no public money should be used for a project he says the private sector or developers should fund.
Earlier this year, Hough and Young said they were working together to allocate that $5 million for projects throughout Frederick County after the state Board of Public Works chose not to release the funds last year. This week, as state lawmakers rushed to complete a capital and operating budget, that became a reality, pending Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) signature.
“I told Senator Young, when you and I work together on these capital projects, we’re quite the team,” Hough said in his Annapolis office earlier this week.
Hough said in total, more than $8 million was secured for Frederick County projects in this year’s capital budget.
Hough’s projects in District 4, which include everywhere in the county except the city of Frederick and much of the area to the south, include:
- $500,000 for Brunswick reservoir site infrastructure.
- $476,000 for Brunswick emergency operations center.
- $150,000 for Brunswick Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Company.
- $100,000 for Burkittsville Shafer Farm House restoration.
- $203,000 for Middletown downtown core revitalization.
- $500,000 for Mount Airy Center Street project.
Hough said the money for Brunswick was especially important, and a goal he set when he was re-elected in 2018.
“They just have serious infrastructure challenges, and it’s a forgotten small town, typical of the Rust Belt [area]. ... They’re just facing a lot of challenges,” he said.
Young noted he was able to secure funding for the following areas, among others:
- $2.5 million for Frederick Health Hospital improvements.
- $2 million for Lake Linganore dredging.
- $1.5 million for improvements to the Frederick County Public Safety Training Center.
- $1.263 million for Frederick County Adult Detention Center improvements.
- $500,000 for Platoon 22’s Regional Veterans Service Center.
- $500,000 for a homeless shelter in Frederick, run by the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs.
- $425,000 for Maryland School for the Deaf renovations.
- $400,000 for Westside Regional Park in Frederick.
- $200,000 for Weinberg Center improvements.
- $200,000 for Sophie and Madigan Park in Frederick, on the city’s west side.
- $75,000 for Maryland Ensemble Theatre.
- $42,500 for the Phoenix Foundation.
- $42,000 for Carroll Manor Fire Company.
“We had a very successful year in bringing funds back to Frederick City and County,” Young said in a text earlier this week. “This is a demonstration of what we can do working together.”
Del. Carol Krimm (D-Frederick), who sits on the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee, said she was glad the county was well-represented in the state’s capital budget.
“That’s what I’m there for, to speak for my county,” she said of her seat on the committee.
She pointed to one project in particular: Westside Regional Park, on roughly a 135-acre site on the city’s west side. There’s a specific need that site can help with, Krimm said: recreational fields.
“I hear that all the time from people, that we need more fields and that’s what I would like to see from that property,” Krimm said. “And that would draw people to the west side.”