Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

September 18, 2013

Canal Place

Combined effort needed to solve its fiscal woes

Calling a summit of local, state and federal officials may be the best way to figure how to help Canal Place out of its financial stranglehold.

Canal Place is an important part of local tourism offerings. It is in the interest of the city, county and state to find a way around a projected deficit of $100,000 for fiscal year 2015.

Money from city, county and state coffers has been tight for several years as government has been forced to pare back services and funding. Part of Canal Place’s problem is the phasing out of hotel/motel revenue from the county and city. In FY 2015, no tax revenue will go to the tourism center.

Over the years, the state has spent about $22 million on Canal Place. City and county funding has brought in hundreds of thousands more dollars. Because Canal Place is at the terminus of the C&O Canal National Historical Park, the facility also has benefitted from federal funding. In our view, there is too much already invested to simply let Canal Place languish.

Should the Canal Place Authority ever succeed in marketing the Footer Dye Works building the entire area around the Western Maryland Station Center would be reinvigorated.

Another possibility is applying for national certification that would make Canal Place eligible for federal funding packages. But, as was pointed out by the Canal Place Authority on Tuesday, the process would take three to four years and would offer no immediate help.

Nevertheless, if a short-term strategy can be found to keep Canal Place going, the national certification could be a key to the facility’s future.

Some authority members believe closing public restrooms, doing away with free parking and raising fees for use of the grounds will help. We believe those moves would only compound the problem. Canal Place needs to continue attracting visitors — not push them away by making it more expensive for tourists and local residents.

Bringing leaders from all levels of government together might result in a new approach to the troubles Canal Place is having. For sure, such a meeting can’t make matters worse.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • 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