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Town heritage agreement approved

Richard D. L. Fulton

(9/25) The Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners approved a town staff request to enter into an agreement with the state for a heritage grant at their September 17 meeting to help pay for Town Square improvements.

The grant will be in the amount of $28,000, which the town is required to match. The state approved the grant application in March.

Town Planner Susan H. Cipperly stated that the town will be providing administrative support and costs as a portion of their $28,000 share of the matching grant.

The total package, $59,000, will be put toward preliminary work needed to begin to improve the appearance and functionality of the Town Square.

The grant money comes through the state Heritage Areas Authority Financing Fund administered by the Maryland Historic Trust under the auspices of the state Department of Planning.

The heritage fund may be used to aid communities "to develop management plans for certified heritage areas, and for planning, design, acquisition, development, preservation, restoration, integration, or marketing" of certified areas.

The town was certified as part of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area in 2005.

The "Emmitsburg Square Design" project proposed includes preparing a request for proposals (RFP) for consultants, conduction studies on the "historical, cultural, and physical condition" of the square, holding public meetings on the proposed designs, and producing a cost analysis for the various elements of the proposed final design.

A preliminary presentation of the overall projects is expected to occur before the town Board of Commissioners at one of their January meetings.

Mayor Donald N. Briggs stated that he wanted to see the Town Square revamped as part of his original campaign platform when running for the office last year.

Subsequent to the September 17 meeting the agreement has been sent to state for execution.

Funding is expected to be received from the state in the form of installments.

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