Funds ear­marked for Queen­stown board­walk

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEEN­STOWN — The Town of Queen­stown has been no­ti­fied that funds are in­cluded in the state’s cap­i­tal bud­get for Fis­cal Year 2017 to cre­ate a board­walk and kayak launch along a por­tion of the town’s water­front.

The Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources re­cently in­formed Town En­gi­neer Bob Rauch that $120,000, funded by Gen­eral Obli­ga­tion Funds to­ward the project, is part of the bud­get that still must go be­fore the state Board of Pub­lic Works. It’s un­clear when the board might con­sider the project.

“We do not know if the $120,000 will cover the cost of the en­tire project,” Rauch said in an email. “With the ap­proval of the BOPW, we will com­plete a fi­nal de­sign and iden­tify phas­ing to de­ter­mine how much of the project can be built with the avail­able funds.”

A pro­posal to build such a board­walk and kayak launch was first brought be­fore the Queen­stown Town Com­mis­sion­ers in March 2015. In ad­di­tion to the board­walk and kayak launch, the project is to in­clude ob­ser­va­tion ar­eas along the shore­line of Lit­tle Queen­stown Creek, Rauch said.

“Ac­cess to the board­walk will be from the ex­ist­ing town boat ramp (at the end of Skip­jack Cove Lane), run along the shore­line ad­ja­cent to the site of the new waste­water treat­ment plant, to­ward Sec­ond Av­enue, joined by a pedes­trian bridge to ac­cess the Town Dock on Sec­ond Street,” ac­cord­ing to Rauch.

The board­walk and kayak launch will be hand­i­capped ac­ces­si­ble and will have two ramps equipped for hand­i­capped launch­ing, as well as a con­ven­tional sand ramp, he said. Also pro­posed in the plan is a 160-foot liv­ing shore­line de­signed to pro­tect the shore­line from ero­sion and pro­vide habi­tat, ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal that the town sub­mit­ted to the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources’ Com­mu­nity Parks and Play­ground unit.

Ed­u­ca­tional learn­ing sta­tions will be lo­cated at the ob­ser­va­tion ar­eas, and two small marsh ar­eas will be re-es­tab­lished to “pro­vide habi­tat for many aquatic species which, in turn, at­tract larger an­i­mal species, in­clud­ing wad­ing birds,” the pro­posal states.

Rauch called it a “liv­ing class­room” con­cept that will “foster bet­ter stew­ard­ship prac­tices and cre­ate height­ened ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment.”

The pro­posal sent to the state for fund­ing also states that ac­cess to the shore­line of Lit­tle Queen­stown Creek has been an ob­jec­tive of Queen­stown’s Com­pre­hen­sive Plan.

The new waste­water treat­ment plant that is ad­ja­cent to the lo­ca­tion planned for the board­walk and kayak launch be­gan op­er­a­tions ear­lier this year.

RAUCH INC. ILLUSTRATION

This is a con­cept plan for the pro­posed Queen­stown board­walk and kayak launch. The board­walk would be­gin between the ex­ist­ing boat ramp and the waste­water treat­ment plant near the bot­tom of the illustration. It would then wrap around the shore­line and con­nect to Sec­ond Street with a bridge at left.

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