MEDA tours Centreville

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — The Maryland Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion con­tin­ued the dis­cus­sion be­gun at Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege on ru­ral eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment with a lunch at Wye River Up­per School in Centreville, also on Dec. 1.

Mem­bers and guests of MEDA en­joyed lunch pro­vided by O’Shucks Ir­ish Pub — one of sev­eral lo­cal small busi­nesses in town that the group would later tour past as they ob­served Centreville’s down­town area.

Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­fes­sion­als

from Ce­cil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Caro­line, Tal­bot and Dorch­ester coun­ties met to share best prac­tices and fo­cus on dif­fer­ent strate­gies to capitalize on their area’s strengths.

Centreville Town Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Tim McCluskey gave a brief over view of projects and pro­grams the town had or were cur­rently par­tic­i­pat­ing in, in­clud­ing be­ing a cer­ti­fied wild life com­mu­nity and a mem­ber of Tree City U.S.A.

Com­mu­ni­ties achieve sta­tus as a “tree city” by by meet­ing four core stan­dards of sound ur­ban forestry man­age­ment: main­tain­ing a tree board or de­part­ment, hav­ing a com­mu­nity tree or­di­nance, spend­ing at least $2 per capita on ur­ban forestry and cel­e­brat­ing Ar­bor Day, which Centreville has done.

Centreville is also com­mit­ted to in­fra­struc­ture and de­vel­op­ment, said McCluskey, point­ing out the town’s cur­rent project across from WRUS, Kid­well Av­enue, which is un­der­go­ing a com­plete over­haul. In ad­di­tion, the town ac­quired $50,000 in grants to be used for fa- cade im­prove­ments and is ac­tively pur­su­ing ad­di­tional grants.

Chrissy Aull, found­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for WRUS, noted the con­vert­ing and restora­tion of the old ar­mory into the vi­able school build­ing it is presently used for, was in large part due to a grant from the state through the Sus­tain­able or His­toric Preser­va­tion Fund, a mil­lion dol­lar cap­i­tal grant was re­ceived from the O’Mal­ley ad­min­is­tra­tion, Aull said.

Af­ter lunch, the group took a walk­ing tour to visit parts of Centreville that had been re­newed through the fa­cade im­prove­ment grant. One such block of build­ings, said Carolyn Brink­ley, town clerk, houses A-Shore Out Bail Bonds, in ad­di­tion to the law of­fice of Hen­ley & Hen­ley and is ad­ja­cent to Ash­ley In­sur­ance, above the of­fices on the lower level, the sec­ond floor was con­verted to res­i­den­tial space, she said.

The group also walked past O’Shucks, which is get­ting a face-lift and is a pop­u­lar lunch spot for lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike, and vis­ited the court­house — the old­est in con­tin­u­ous use in the state of Maryland — and viewed the con­struc­tion in progress for the new court­house.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Tim McCluskey, vice pres­i­dent of the Centreville Town Coun­cil, ad­dresses Maryland Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers dur­ing lunch at the Wye River Up­per School on Dec. 1.

PHO­TOS BY HAN­NAH COMBS

Mem­bers and guests of the Maryland Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion de­part the Wye River Up­per School for a walk­ing tour of Centreville.

Vis­i­tors tour down­town Centreville in par­tic­i­pa­tion with the Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Ses­sion, a con­fer­ence em­pha­siz­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment on the mid and up­per shore.

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