Cost, timeline for project not yet determined
CUMBERLAND — Officials with Canal Place said Tuesday they are encouraged by the number of grant opportunities that may be available to create the proposed river park behind the Western Maryland Railway Station.
News of the potential grant opportunities was disclosed at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority located in the railway station.
Known as the River Park at Canal Place, the attraction is expected to feature walking trails, parking, kayak and canoe docks, a spectator viewing area and a whitewater course in the North Branch of the Potomac River.
Designing the project and helping to identify the grants is Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. of West Virginia.
“The project has tremendous potential for our area,” said Janice Keene, chair of the Canal Place authority board. “The good news is that Jim Christie with CEC … we’ve been working with him (and) we have identified several state- and federal-level grants. I’ll give you example of some of them: Program Open Space, Community Parks and Playgrounds, Community Development Block Grant, DNR Boat Ramp Fund, Transportation Enhancement Fund, Recreational Trails, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Maryland Heritage Area Authorities and others. We are very pleased about this.”
Dee Dee Ritchie, Canal Place executive director, said a total price tag for the river park has not been established, but she expects the figures when a final report is issued on the project by the CEC in the next couple weeks.
Canal Place board member Al Feldstein asked that grant opportunities be pursued with West Virginia as well since part of the project will be on the West Virginia side of the river.
Ritchie and Keene said they met with Sen. George Edwards and the other members of the Western Maryland legislative delegation during the PACE event held last week.
Keene said they had two requests for the delegation: They wanted their support for the project, including their support for lowering the industrial dam below the Blue Bridge between Cumberland and Ridgeley, West Virginia.
The projects calls for the 20-foot industrial dam to be lowered 10 feet to increase the water depth and flow below the dam.