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No Footer Funding in Governor’s Budget

January 24th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Fresh off a wave of enthusiasm of what was presented by the new governor as  a strong commitment for western Maryland at the Friday PACE Breakfast, a  major setback for the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority as the Governor’s Capital Budget released Friday, did not include any funding for the Footer Dye Works Building. Authority members had viewed securing $1.5 million from the state for critical infrastructure improvements as a key to keeping the proposed commercial development project alive. Just this past Tuesday, Executive Director Dee Dee Ritchie had said that project would be “dead In the water” if state funds were not secured. Ironically the news of no funding for the Footer project came just a few hours after Governor Hogan addressed the PACE Legislative Breakfast audience pledging to work with western Maryland and to be a more supportive administration to rural Maryland.  Hogan was asked about funding for the project when he was a guest Friday morning on WCBC’s “Dave Norman Show” and at that time- just hours before his capital budget was released- seemed to be non committal, suggesting that not all of those decisions had been made yet…


Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine suggested that this could be a watershed year for Canal Place with a number of wide ranging possibilities at least being considered- one of which would abolish the existing authority- while another would see state funding dry up completely.                

Neither canal place board members or developer Michael Joy are saying that project is dead, but none the less there appears to be a need to develop a new strategy at this time in securing necessary funding for infrastructure upgrades to the aging building. 

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