Cumberland Times-News


January 11, 2014

There’s hope

Let elected officials take responsibility for Canal Place

If state officials, the Allegany County Commissioners and Cumberland Mayor and Council can hammer out an agreement acceptable to all, Canal Place has a good chance of seeing a brighter future.

For the last few years, it has become evident that the tourism and retail complex has been at a crossroad. The Canal Place Authority has struggled to keep retail spaces filled and has seen funding from the county and city, via motel/hotel revenue sharing, dwindle away. Plans for a rewatered C&O Canal were scuttled long ago. Repeated efforts to find a developer for the former Footer Dye Works building have met with failure. A restaurant proposed near the Fairfield Inn also never materialized.

With that backdrop, Del. Kevin Kelly is urging his fellow District 1 delegation members and the county commissioners to support a plan to allow the city of Cumberland and the county to jointly manage operation of Canal Place.

“I believe we should abolish the authority and let Canal Place be managed by elected officials who are directly accountable to the taxpayers,” said Kelly.

While all parties have yet to have a face-to-face meeting to discuss the proposal, there have been preliminary comments indicating that the proposal has legs. Commissioners Michael McKay and William Valentine want to pursue the idea of a city-county partnership. Mayor Brian Grim said he is open to the idea of working with the county and will seek support from the city council. Sen. George Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel said they want to be sure a plan is fully developed and supported by the state before considering the disbanding of the Canal Place Authority.

The state has a big investment in Canal Place, having put more than $22 million into the tourism center since its inception. Any plan to disband the Canal Place Authority will need the state’s blessing  — and clarity about how the locals will manage the 11-acre tract and real property that make up Canal Place.

Change is in the wind. Unless something unforseen occurs, Canal Place will likely be turned over to local elected officials in the near future. We believe that would be a positive change.

Text Only
  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • One cannot compromise on God’s word

    A recent letter asked, “What is it about compromises that seem so undesirable?” Most of us are familiar with John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse goes on to say, “For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him”

    April 13, 2014

  • Ballpark project a partnership, not a government handout

    To the Editor:
    Regarding Mark Nelson’s recent objection to county government assistance to exploring the placement of a minor league baseball team in the Cumberland region, I would answer that the project should be considered a partnership between private enterprise and government. The private support would come by way of donations collected from local citizens, currently banked through the Dapper Dan Club.

    April 13, 2014

  • Editorial Cartoon Editorial Cartoon

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Decriminalizing marijuana lines pockets of drug cartel

    Has the Maryland government decided they like contributing to the drug cartel? Their new decriminalization of marijuana does nothing but line the pockets of the cartel.

    April 11, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo