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Grantsville Picks Up ARC Grant

July 9th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, together with U.S. Representative John K. Delaney (all D-Md.), today announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $25,000 to the Town of Grantsville, in Garrett County, for the Grantsville Revitalization Plan and Agricultural Village Study project. The funds will be used to coordinate several disparate existing plans into a cohesive and actionable economic development strategy for the future.

I was in Grantsville last summer and saw first-hand the beautiful landscapes and talented craftspeople that make it great. So I join businesses and tourists alike in being excited about the opportunities that exist in Grantsville and many other small towns throughout Western Maryland,” said Senator Cardin, who introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize funding for ARC. “This federal investment by ARC is about helping a community poised for growth determine the tools it needs to bring more jobs to the region. I will continue to ensure that the federal government remains focused on helping towns across Maryland that want to succeed.”

“This grant is about jobs in Western Maryland,” Senator Mikulski said. “This federal funding will help grow Garrett County’s economy, making smart investments in attracting new businesses and creating jobs. I will keep fighting to help our Maryland communities continue to grow.”

“Grantsville is home to hard-working people, top-notch outdoor recreation areas and some of the most scenic landscapes in Maryland. Federal investment in Grantsville will help create an opportunity to leverage these assets to create more jobs,” said Congressman John K. Delaney. “This year, I joined with state and local officials to craft a Western Maryland Agenda, highlighting the need for investment in infrastructure and support for tourism in places like Grantsville. Today, I’m encouraged to see the Appalachian Regional Commission taking another step towards meeting our goals for a healthy economy and a stronger middle class in Western Maryland.”

The project involves the development of a plan for the restoration and revitalization of the National Road Main Street section of the Town of Grantsville. The plan will cover the area along National Road for about 1.25 miles starting at River Road on the east side of town (including the current artisan village of Penn Alps) and continuing to the intersection of Route 669 on the west end of town (including the site of the proposed Agricultural Village).

The Plan will include such components as:  utility verification, stakeholders meetings, identification of linkages with the Heritage Area Management Plan and interpretative framework per the Heritage Area Management Plan, final design study and guidelines, and development of interpretation signage and map for linkage to historic and heritage sites. The project will also involve preparation of an Agricultural Village study that will include feasibility, facility location planning, streetscape and traffic/freight planning and enhanced recruiting strategies for complementary businesses.  The Revitalization Plan and Agriculture Village Study will serve as a blueprint for future projects and both actionable short-term and long-term strategies to develop the area into a significant historic attraction and commercially viable area. 

In addition to ARC funds, the Maryland Historical Areas Authority will provide $25,000, bringing the total project funding to $50,000.

Last September, Senator Cardin visited Grantsville as part of his Made in Maryland Tour. The Made in Maryland tour has given Senator Cardin a chance to highlight the wealth of manufactures in Maryland and speak directly with business owners and employees about what the federal government can do to help foster growth and create more jobs. 

While in Grantsville, Senator Cardin toured the Spruce Forest Artisan Village, where numerous artists produce and market their handcrafts in historic wide-planked log cabins clustered along the bank of the Casselman River. Spruce Forest provides visitors with the chance to interact directly with artists in their studios, and to learn lessons from the past via interpretative exhibits focused on history.

Senators Cardin and Mikulski have been leading supporters of the ARC Commission in the U.S. Senate. In recognition of his support of regional economic development and the ARC, Senator Cardin received the 2012 Congressional Award from the Development District Association of Appalachia. Rep. Delaney has been a leader in pushing the federal state governments to prioritize the expansion of broadband access in Western Maryland.   

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