Cumberland Times-News

Local News

February 19, 2014

Canal Place to get farmers market, improved access for handicapped visitors

Board of public works approves upgrade plan

CUMBERLAND — Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved a Canal Place plan Wednesday to upgrade the center by constructing accommodations for a farmers market and adding improved access for disabled visitors.

City Councilman Nick Scarpelli, Dee Dee Ritchie, executive director of the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority, and Rick Thayer, authority chair, appeared before the board.

“It’s going to be more than a farmers market. It will be a city marketplace,” said Scarpelli.

Ritchie outlined the upgrades to be added to Canal Place. Four permanent pavilions with electricity will be constructed along with new signs. In front of the rail station, the plan will add seven handicapped parking spots as well as Americans with Disabilities Act approved linking paths between the train concourse and the festival grounds.

“We are here for your blessing today,” said Ritchie.

The board of public works is made up of Gov. Martin O’Malley, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp.

“We have seen our fair share of economic challenges. I believe this will be something that will spur the economy a little bit,” added Scarpelli.

The funding of $100,000 for the upgrades was initially granted to Cumberland in 2012 to place a city market concept on the downtown mall. Since the requirements stated the funds could not be used on private property, the funds were transferred to Canal Place to create a marketplace. The Canal Place grounds are public property.

Scarpelli spoke of the various vendors that could be drawn to an outdoor market at Canal Place.

“There are a lot of talented people who are in need of a venue,” Kopp told the Cumberland group.

After getting unanimous approval from the board, O’Malley spoke.

“The motion is approved. We like Canal Place,” he said.

O’Malley also took a moment to pay homage to a local official who recently passed away.

“I was in Cumberland about two weeks ago to attend a tribute to Jim Bestpitch. He was a great leader for Allegany County and Cumberland and a descendant of the Maryland 400. He was a giant personality who will be missed,” said O’Malley.

Bestpitch was the president of the Western Maryland Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO.

Construction on the market at Canal Place will begin in the early spring, according to Ritchie. They want the facilities ready for the opening of the farmers market in May.

In other Canal Place news, the authority met on Tuesday and announced some new developments.

In an effort to fill the vacant fourth floor of the Western Maryland Railway Station, Canal Place officials have enlisted the assistance of Keller Williams Realty. Ritchie said local agent Debbie Kennedy Grim will help in filling the vacancies. Being on the top level, the fourth floor has sat vacant due to a roofing issue which has now been repaired.

Canal Place officials received some bad news during the meeting when Kevin Brandt of the National Park Service informed officials that no money was placed in the federal budget to fix the leak in the water basin.

“It’s going to remain an ongoing problem,” said Brandt.

The basin is leaking in the vicinity of the pipe transit on the Wills Creek side, causing the attraction to face a constant drain of water.

Canal Place officials also said that an open hearing on their new management plan for the heritage area will be held on March 3 at the Allegany Museum. The public is invited with the Canal Place Heritage Area Management Plan on display. The hearing will be from 3 to 7 p.m.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

Text Only
Local News
  • Work continues on the construction of a gas pipeline in Harmony, Pa. Fracking opponents cringe as unions back drilling boom

    PITTSBURGH — After early complaints that out-ofstate firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they’re now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Still Picking STILL PICKIN’

    Did you know that Cumberland had a musical talent who recorded for Columbia Records, played around the world, including the Grand Ole Opry and Austin City Limits, and performed with Ricky Nelson, Barbara Mandrell, Merle Travis, Jimmy Dean, Grandpa Jones, Hank Thompson, Tex Ritter and many more in radio, TV and movies?

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • State: County not handcuffed on Terrapin Run

    CUMBERLAND — An attorney with the state Department of Planning said that Allegany County is under no legal obligation to keep the Terrapin Run development in the county’s comprehensive plan. The plan is under consideration by the county planning commission.

    April 21, 2014

  • Survey yields county’s most famous

    CUMBERLAND — Many have heard of William H. Macy, Leo Mazzone, Aaron Laffey and other celebrities who got their start locally.

    April 21, 2014

  • W.Va. legislative candidates gearing up for election

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — Five area candidates will be vying for legislative seats in this year’s election.

    April 20, 2014

  •  Easter grass Easter grass

    Kamryn Rice, 7, of Flintstone, finds and bags a plastic egg during Cumberland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday afternoon at Constitution Park. Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with students from Frostburg State University’s Recreation and Parks Management program and the 4-H Youth of Allegany County, the afternoon also included games, relay races, face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo sponsored by the 4-H Hare Raiser Club, as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. The eggs contained candy and other treats.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business community wary of minimum wage increases

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County businesses are certain to be impacted by the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage, set to reach $10.10 an hour by July 2018 under a law championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    April 20, 2014

  • Tipped workers left behind in pay hike action

    ANNAPOLIS — Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.

    April 20, 2014

  • Views vary among Americans when it comes to hourly rate

    CUMBERLAND — Even among those who have worked minimum wage jobs, views on the minimum wage can differ.
    “Minimum wage has to exist. There is no question there, so whatever it is, it will be called ‘minimum wage’. But it should not be below a living wage,” said Bonita Quick of Cumberland.

    April 20, 2014

  • Income guideline change will increase WIC recipients

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Raised income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will increase the number of those served in West Virginia by about 10 percent, according to the state health officer.

    April 20, 2014

Must Read
News related video
Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Crowds Rally at '420' Celebration in Denver Marathoners Celebrate Easter With Tradition Raw: Obamas Attend Easter Service Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case