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June 2022:At its June 8 meeting, the Council discussed the latest developments in funding the two new parks behind and adjacent to the Farm Women’s Market. The County has asked the Town to consider increasing our commitment from $4 million to $4.5 million. This increase, along with an additional $1 million from the developers, $3.5 million from State, and a contribution of at least $7.75 million from the County, would satisfy the County’s requirements for a financial plan. The County also has prepared a draft Letter of Intent (LOI), to be signed by the County, the Parks Department, the developers, and the Town, to memorialize our commitments.
The funding request and the LOI have been considered by the joint Long Range Planning Committee and Land Use Committee, and the Council held a work session on June 28 to discuss a proposed response. Further discussion of the Town’s response will be on the agenda for the July 21 Council meeting. A public hearing also may be scheduled for that meeting to receive resident feedback on any decision taken at the June 28 meeting.
April 2022:The Maryland General Assembly passed the capital budget for Fiscal Year 2023. The budget includes a total of $3.5 million earmarked to support the creation of new parks associated with the redevelopment of the Farm Women’s Market. $3 million is included in this upcoming fiscal year, and another $500,000 is pre-authorized to be included in the budget for FY24. In an April 7 letter, the Town Council extended its appreciation for State support for this vital project.
February 2022:On February 9, Mayor Rush provided testimony to the County Council regarding lack of funding for this project in the County Executive’s proposed Capital Improvement Program budget and Town efforts to encourage the County Executive to amend the proposed budget to include this project. He also reported on meetings Vice Mayor Lane and he have held with six County Councilmembers, all of whom have expressed strong support for the creation of these parks.
November 2021: The Town Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing the appropriation of up to $4 million, subject to certain conditions, for a parks creation project as part of the redevelopment of the Farm Women’s Market site. Town officials have been participating in discussions with the developers and the County’s Transportation and Parks departments, regarding a financing plan for the building of the underground garage and constructing parks on the land currently used for the two surface parking lots.
September 2021:On September 20, Town residents received an update on the project from EYA, Bernstein Management Corporation, and the County's Department of Transportation. Links to materials from the September meeting are below.