Readers Discuss Value of Senior Housing Project for Downtown Revitalization

One community that has won its fight to restore vitality downtown was recently examined by Cecil Whig Columnist Ed Okonowicz as he also reviewed some of the continuing challenges for Elkton.   Within a few days of publication a post appeared on the daily paper’s website noting the value of the Elkton Senior Housing project for the town center.   The project is an important development, which is also bringing federal stimulus money to a distressed town center, a reader aruged.  “It is a “great improvement over the vacant lots and eyesores it will replace,” this person continued.  To that the Whig columnist countered, never in his “wildest imagination” would he have considered the senior housing project “as a significant positive step to revitalize downtown.  I’ll have to ask some of the merchants on Main Street if they are counting the days until it opens, since the heavy foot traffic by those seniors might boost their cash register receipts.”

Someone Noticed is always pleased to see constructive exchanges on this important matter, and to see a range of viewpoints, as it is critical to have a well-thought out plan that has potential for success.  Given the recent changes that have taken place in the county-seat, such as the loss of nearly 200 county office workers from Main Street, is important that more discussion take place in order to develop a reasonable set of strategies.  For nearly 15 years, Elkton has struggled with revitalization and about 10 years ago an independent nonprofit headed by Commissioner Mary Jo Jablonski was created to sprearhead the process.  The Elkton Alliance, the private group, is largely funded by the municipality.

Here’s the link to the Whig column.  To access it you will need a paid subscription to the site.

Early this year, the Mayor and Commissioiners of Elkton got into a legal tangle over this project.  After the board rushed through approvals, two taxpayers  hauled the town into circuit court over its decision to waive $150,000 in fees for the building.  In that case the town agreed it had exceeded its authority in waiving the fees.


2 responses to “Readers Discuss Value of Senior Housing Project for Downtown Revitalization

  1. Red Righter got that one right. Elkton has never met a developer they would’t trip over themselves trying to look out for. While the town has got to change, you got to ask what kind of vision they have for downtown. It appears to be they just keep waiting for the next developer coming down I-95 to walk in the door with that big jackpot lottery ticket that they say is going to pay off really big in Elkton. How about if they have a plan and stick with it and if they want some kind of focused investment in Elkton start recuriting it, rather than waiting for the big one to find them. What is their vision and plan? How are they implementing it? Is it too much to ask for them to have a plan considering all in the public money that goes into it? Heck let’s just start buying lottery tickets. The odds are better for the big win.

  2. Where’s the Beef

    We’re not sure about your suggestion of buying a lottery ticket, but we do agree with your remarks about having a plan. It is essential for a successful intervention to have a comprehensive plan, one that consists of strategies, implementaiton steps, and milestones for measuring progress. If there is one in Elkton, we’re not aware of it and it is something you’d want to share with the community and work to develop systemic support for. Sitting around and waiting for the next developer to come along, isn’t the way to do it.

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