Gov. Larry Hogan has approved $1 million in state funding for Salisbury’s Main Street Master Plan, a move that a pleased Mayor Jake Day called “an unprecedented investment in the Eastern Shore on this side of bridge.”
Day received a telephone call from a staff member in Hogan’s office around 10 Wednesday morning, telling him the city would also receive $180,000 for Phase II of the skate park.
Day, with the support of legislators including Delegate Carl Anderton, asked for a total of $6 million for the Master Plan. The $1 million will be funded in the current fiscal year.
“I can’t speak for future years, but in three and one-half weeks, on Feb. 13, the governor will be in town to make other announcements,” Day said.
“The governor has been incredibly interested in Salisbury. This is the first time, as far as we can tell, that a municipality has been a line item. This is a vote of confidence from him,” Day said.
Calling Hogan and state officials “our biggest investors,” Day said Salisbury is in good company, as one of three cities that received money. The others are Cumberland and Hagerstown, known for its revitalization efforts.
In September, four months before the 2017 Maryland Legislative Session began, Salisbury officials hosted a luncheon for the Eastern Shore Delegation to talk about the city’s requests.
“We asked them to support anything the governor puts in for Downtown Salisbury. We are waiting on the governor to see if he’s going to participate in our Downtown projects,” Day told the Salisbury Independent at the time.
Anderton said his priorities this legislative session include seeing the Master Plan funded.
“We want that funding to help make up for the lack of highway user revenues cut in 2009. I sat down with the mayor and we figured the city (missed out on) over $6 million to $7 million during that time period,” Anderton said.
Local government “is the biggest piece” of the Master Plan, he said, describing it as a “$200 million public-private joint venture to add more commercial, retail and residential space Downtown.”
Reach Susan Canfora at firstname.lastname@example.org.