Hur­lock ap­proves veter­ans me­mo­rial park

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By CON­NIE CON­NOLLY cconnolly@ches­

— Since its in­cor­po­ra­tion in 1892, Hur­lock has never had a veter­ans me­mo­rial. But at the start of its 125th an­niver­sar y year, the town coun­cil thanked those who have been spear­head­ing the con­struc­tion of a down­town veter­ans me­mo­rial park.

“(The me­mo­rial) is some­thing we want and need,” Mayor Joyce Spratt said. “I’d like to ded­i­cate it at the fall fes­ti­val.”

At its reg­u­lar meet­ing on Mon­day, Jan. 23, the full coun­cil thanked Frank and

Faye Fra­ley, who have served on the veter­ans me­mo­rial com­mit­tee with Spratt and John Avery, the town ad­min­is­tra­tor.

The de­sign Frank Fra­ley is work­ing on will be pre­sented to the coun­cil and cit­i­zens at a fu­ture meet­ing. To make room for the me­mo­rial, a house at 208 Main St. is slated to be torn down by the end of April. The lo­ca­tion is “big­ger and bet­ter” than the orig­i­nal, smaller site near the train sta­tion, Fra­ley said af­ter the meet­ing.

Flags for each of the five mil­i­tary ser­vice branches will fly, and a wall of honor and benches will be in­stalled.

“We (also) have some sur­prises for the town that (cit­i­zens) won’t know about un­til they see it,” Fra­ley said.

Spratt said she didn’t re­al­ize 2017 is Hur­lock’s 125th an­niver­sary un­til Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot men­tioned it dur­ing his visit to the town ear­lier that day.

Dur­ing the pub­lic com­ments por­tion of the agenda, a dis­cus­sion about busi­ness de­vel­op­ment cre­ated in­ter­est but con­cluded with no ac­tion­able pro­pos­als. Lee Davis stood and said, “I gotta ques­tion for the coun­cil. When are we gonna get some­thing like a McDon­ald’s or a Food Lion?”

Davis ex­pressed frus­tra­tion that town res­i­dents were forced to take their busi­ness to more ex­pen­sive con­ve­nience stores in town and said the town needed a “com­mit­tee to go out and so­licit busi­nesses.”

“I took of­fense (at the sug­ges­tion) that we would talk neg­a­tively to busi­nesses,” Spratt said. “We work dili­gently all the time to bring in new busi­nesses.”

“I’m not here to start trou­ble,” Davis said. “But we need progress.”

A dis­cus­sion en­sued with Davis press­ing his point that gro­cer y store chains in the South should be ap­proached to es­tab­lish a store in Hur­lock, and that Coun­cilm­man Charles Cephas could ap­proach busi­ness con­tacts he knew.

With­out ad­dress­ing Davis’s spe­cific sug­ges­tion, Cephas said more busi­nesses would at­tract more peo­ple to live in the com­mu­nity. “We need strate­gic plan­ning,” he said.

One of the 15 meet­ing at­ten­dees said, “You’re putting the cart be­fore the horse. You’ve got to get the pop­u­la­tion up, and then the stores will come.”

Af­ter more dis­cus­sion, Spratt wound it up by say­ing, “We can’t de­pend on Dorch­ester County Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (Of­fice) to do it. We’ll have to do it our­selves.”

In his po­lice re­port, Chief Les Hut­ton stressed the im­por­tance of res­i­dents polic­ing them­selves by lock­ing up their ve­hi­cles. Thefts are on the rise, he said, be­cause res­i­dents are leav­ing valu­ables in their cars and keys in the ig­ni­tion, prac­tices that are prompt­ing peo­ple to com­mit “crimes of op­por­tu­nity.”

“This is 2017; it isn’t the 1940s and 1950s,” Hut­ton said. “We as a com­mu­nity need to band to­gether to try to pre­vent crime. It’s a team ef­fort.”

Re­port­ing for Hur­lock Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany, Coun­cil­man Jerry Rhue said there is in­ter­est in “get­ting to­gether a cadet pro­gram go­ing like East New Mar­ket.”

Spratt agreed. “It gives boys and girls some­thing to do, and gets them off the streets and around good peo­ple,” she said.

Rhue re­ported that in 2016 the fire com­pany had 272 fire calls, 798 hours in drills and 259 hours on standby. He said that more vol­un­teers are needed on the am­bu­lance.

A new down­town con­ve­nience store will hold its grand open­ing on Feb. 6. C& J’s Mar­ket has ren­o­vated the old gas sta­tion across from Mom and Pop’s Restau­rant on Main Street. In a phone in­ter­view on Jan. 25, Avery said the build­ing “has been com­pletely gut­ted inside. They’ve done a won­der­ful job.”

Spratt re­minded the coun­cil the next meet­ing on Feb. 13 will fea­ture an au­dit re­port by TGM with a “short bud­get meet­ing.” She asked coun­cil mem­bers to con­sider a new pay scale for the po­lice depart­ment be­cause “we need to be com­pet­i­tive with other towns,” she said. “I’m big on re­ten­tion.”

Spratt asked each coun­cil mem­ber “to sit down with Les (Hut­ton) and have him ex­plain” the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process for new po­lice of­fi­cers.


Hur­lock Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 243 mem­bers salute dur­ing the 2014 Veter­ans Recog­ni­tion Day in Cam­bridge.


Hur­lock Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 243 mem­bers Frank and Faye Fra­ley were thanked for spear­head­ing the de­sign and con­struc­tion of Hur­lock’s down­town veter­ans me­mo­rial park. In the back­ground are, from left, coun­cil mem­bers Rus­sell Mur­phy, Jerry Rhue and Bon­nie Franz and Mayor Joyce Spratt.

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