Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

December 29, 2013

Mayor wants long-term solution for Canal Place

Board running tourism hub placed in ‘impossible situation,’ Grim says

CUMBERLAND — With Canal Place struggling financially and its future unclear, Cumberland Mayor Brian Grim says that the board running the tourism hub has been placed in an “impossible situation.”

“The state created Canal Place like a state agency and then chose not to fund them,” said Grim.

Managed by the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority, the tourism hub has been bleeding red ink in recent times. Canal Place officials project a fiscal shortfall of $27,000 in 2014 and a loss of around $125,000 in 2015.

Grim said that many of the options being circulated now are merely “Band-Aid solutions.”

A move to bring a motion before the Cumberland City Council is underway that would call for $80,000 to be funded to assist Canal Place.

“I’d rather see the funds go to pave our roads and pay our police and firefighters,” said Grim.

He said the $80,000 would come from the city’s general fund.

“Canal Place is a state agency. Why should local government be expected to pick up the tab?” Grim said.

Grim sees a day when Canal Place, the city and downtown are all under one umbrella. He said he is communicating through the District 1 legislative delegation on the future of the matter.

While the mayor looks at long-term solutions, Canal Place tenants, along with the authority officials are concerned about potential problems in the near future.

“Let’s not forget what the state has done for us,” said Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director of the authority.

Ritchie said that the 11-acre tract that now holds Canal Place and the Fairfield Inn would still be the site of a bunch of blighted properties if not for the state. Maryland has invested more than $22 million in Canal Place since it began acquiring the lots in the 1990s.

“The state continues to spend on it. We have just received a $68,000 grant to fix the roof,” said Ritchie.

Ritchie said the gutters, in particular, are in bad shape on the roof of the Western Maryland Railway Station.

Canal Place is the home to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Crabby Pig restaurant, European Desserts and More, Cumberland Trail Connection, Charis Winery, Kramer’s Deli, The Sweet Spot, multiple offices and more.

“We should be grateful that the state jumped in when they did. The Fairfield Inn would not exist if it wasn’t for the state,” said Ritchie.

Ritchie sees it as a joint venture that has gone off the rails.

“It began as a partnership with the National Park Service, the city and the state. It was all right when the state funded it. The state wants some help now,” said Ritchie.

Canal Place officials were disappointed when both the city and Allegany County discontinued giving any hotel/motel tax revenue dollars to the authority despite the Fairfield Inn sitting on Canal Place property.

Ritchie also said the state, through the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, gives Canal Place $100,000 annually for operations, with tourism getting $50,000.

“The city also receives funding through the state,” said Ritchie.

Canal Place received annual line item funding from the state before the economic downturn took hold.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • Fuel tanker overturned in Oakland; evacuation underway

    OAKLAND — A tanker carrying a load of propane reportedly overturned Wednesday morning in the town of Oakland, forcing an evacuation of the area, according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 16, 2014

  • West Virginia DMV expanding online services

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles is widening its online service offerings.
    West Virginians now have the option to renew their vehicle registration and request a duplicate registration card online.

    April 16, 2014

  • Cherry blossoms boost Metro ridership

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says good weather and the cherry blossoms’ peak bloom contributed to high ridership over the weekend.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.
     

    April 15, 2014

  • Student charged at Mineral County Vo-Tech

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser Police responded to the Mineral County Vocational Technical Center on Monday at 10:46 a.m. for an incident in which a 21-year-old student was allegedly thrown into a wall by a 17-year-old student.

    April 15, 2014

Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America