Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

January 12, 2013

City, DDC move closer on future of downtown

CUMBERLAND — Cumberland City Councilman David Kauffman addressed the Downtown Development Commission at its regular meeting Thursday to encourage goodwill between the DDC, the Economic Development Commission and the city on restoring the city’s vibrancy.

In prepared remarks, Kauffman said, “It is important to the mayor and city council that you know how valued the DDC’s involvement is to our city. We must work collectively to our common goal of to seek a return of prosperity to the city.”

Since the city’s Economic Development Commission released the Economic Development Strategic Plan in 2010, a growing concern had emerged that the suggestions of the DDC were not seriously considered by the city.

The DDC had felt, in addition to over-emphasizing office space rental, the plan did not seriously consider issues important to them such as retail recruitment, a lack of parking and Upper Story Residential Development.

Kauffman spoke to the DDC to reconcile those feelings by addressing the concerns.

“I think it is an issue of goal alignment and a lack of communication,” said DDC member Dave Romero. “There was no dialogue and we all need to be on the same page.”

“What happens is every day (downtown) empties out around 5 p.m. and the lights go out,” said Romero.

DDC members feel that getting people to live downtown to build up the area is an important part of the equation.

The city and it’s economic development branch felt the emphasis should be on increasing foot traffic through a focus on regional jobs, post- secondary education and population growth.

“Don’t think that the DDC’s issues were not considered at the meetings. They were absolutely factored in,” said Kauffman.

“We have to decide what we are going to have our two staff members in economic development work on, on a daily basis,” Kauffman added.

The DDC has felt strongly about drawing people to live downtown through a focus on USRD.

“Some people who don’t want the maintenence of home anymore may want to come downtown,” said DDC member Lee Schwartz.

Romero said, “There is a demographic that is moving in that direction that we need to capture for downtown. We need to have incentives for that, too.”

Kauffman reminded the group of the realities of the plans.

“Just because you have it in the plan doesn’t mean it will be a success. We have to increase foot traffic. To appeal to a business to look at Cumberland as an option, it must be profitable for them,” said Kauffman.

DDC members also want to open discussions on having special tax credits for new developers.

“City Administrator Jeff Rhodes was reviewing the idea,” said Kauffman.

Kauffman wanted to be sure the DDC is backed on any measures it feels important.

“I will support 100 percent any initiative the DDC decides to take on as priority,” he said.

Downtown manager and DDC member Ed Mullaney expressed delight on seeing some of the latest success stories in downtown.

“When I walk around, it’s great to see the lights of CBIZ burning at night and having 26 people now in Windsor Hall is fantastic,” said Mullaney.

He was speaking of the recent relocation of the Area Health Education Center and its staff to the former Windsor Hall building.

DDC Chairwoman Sandy Saville expressed concern over transparency with economic development and its meetings.

“As an attorney, I just feel there is too much secrecy. That causes one hand to not know what the other is doing,” Saville said.

Mullaney, Kauffman and others defended some level of privacy for potential clients due to an unfair advantage gained by competitors and others from the publicity.

The groups also felt it unfair that someone who wants to plan a project has to hear about it on the street or in the press before they have started.

The issue of privacy also came to light when Downtown Co-Manager Jennifer Light was not allowed to attend a recent economic development meeting.

Kauffman pointed out that discussions were going on how best to include downtown managers in the loop when possible.

“We have no mechanism in place for confidentiality. Controls have to be in place. I believe that including the mall managers into the plans in the future will be successful in the end,” said Kauffman.

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

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 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 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • 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

Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz 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
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz 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