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Four Annapolis, Md., Projects in FY 2022 Budget Could Change City's Landscape

Wed June 02, 2021 - Northeast Edition
Baltimore Sun

Preliminary concept renderings for the Hillman Garage-City Dock redevelopment project. Annapolis Mobility and Resilience Partners, or AMRP, a consortium of 10 companies, will oversee the redevelopment.
Preliminary concept renderings for the Hillman Garage-City Dock redevelopment project. Annapolis Mobility and Resilience Partners, or AMRP, a consortium of 10 companies, will oversee the redevelopment.

In April, the city of Annapolis, Md., received word that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) would finally award a $3 million grant to help pay for a proposed stormwater pump on Compromise Street in the Maryland capital to address flooding and other climate-related impacts.

Dave Mandell, Annapolis' deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management, had sought FEMA's help for the project for six years. With the funds secured, the city will begin building a pump station and other infrastructure changes along Compromise Street in 2022.

"I always thought we would get it; I never lost hope," Mandell told the Baltimore Sun. "I didn't think it would take this long."

The construction project is one of the pillars of the city's fiscal 2022 capital projects budget, introduced by Mayor Gavin Buckley, along with a proposed $152 million operating budget and capital improvement budget. Those monies will be used on projects from fiscal 2023 to 2027.

This summer, Annapolis plans to begin spending about $17.9 million in fiscal year 2022 on water access projects, a new public works facility and a park honoring a local civil rights activist, among others.

The budget also lays out efforts to earmark another $90 million over the next four fiscal years on capital projects across the city.

According to the Sun, four of them could reshape Annapolis:

Compromise Street flood mitigation

While city officials have talked a lot about plans currently under way to redevelop Hillman Garage and the City Dock area, the flood mitigation project at Compromise Street was among its top priorities. In 2020, a city commission concluded the estimated $15 million project was feasible and could move forward. That led to $2.6 million in grants and bonds being budgeted for the project in fiscal 2022.

The proposal features a pump station to keep nuisance flooding off Compromise Street, along with grading modifications, realignment of the storm drain system and redevelopment of the surrounding plaza area to include the soon-to-open Freedom of the Press Memorial.

Another $4 million from the newly established Resilience Funding Authority will be used in fiscal 2023 to pay for a second construction phase to address flooding on Dock Street, the Sun noted.

Water access

The capital budget includes multiple projects, large and small, to increase and improve water access.

The most substantial of those is at Hawkins Cove, a secluded and mostly unused stretch of Spa Creek the city has called a "top priority" for increasing access to the water.

The city has budgeted $115,000 for planning, design and construction to replace the cove's existing pier, remove a failing bulkhead in place of a living shoreline where invasive vegetation is removed in favor of native plants.

Several waterway improvement projects also are under way in other parts of Annapolis.

The bulkhead at Cheston Avenue is due to be replaced, and a floating dock is planned to be added. On Sixth Street, the immediate area will be dredged to increase water depth and help with the installation of an ADA-compliant ramp to access a floating dock there as well. Thompson Street, Conduit Street, Third Street, and Amos Garrett Boulevard will all see similar dock construction in the next few years.

Public works facility

This summer, a long-planned proposal to replace the Annapolis Department of Public Works facility is set to get under way, the Baltimore newspaper reported.

The city has budgeted $3.7 million in fiscal 2022 for its construction and overhead. The costs are associated with an increase in the city's LEED documentation requirements, material costs and archaeological monitoring.

When finished in Fall 2022, the facility on Hudson Street in West Annapolis will house the department's maintenance and operations functions, including facilities, streets, vehicles, water distribution systems, sewer collection systems, and stormwater facilities. The new center also will feature a salt barn.

More than $12 million has previously been appropriated for the project — $2.2 million for acquiring the land and around $10 million for design, construction and overhead costs, according to the Sun.

Robert H. Eades Park

The Annapolis City Council moved quickly to honor Robert Eades, a lifelong Annapolis resident and Black community advocate, by renaming a park to honor him following his death last summer from COVID-19.

Over the last half-year, those plans have rapidly taken shape with the city committing $483,500 in fiscal 2022 to construct a new waterfront greenspace at the site formerly known as College Creek Park.

The proposal, which is still in the design phase, will include new grading for upgraded access to the water as well as plantings, lighting, signage and a memorial to Eades.

City officials and developers have been conducting listening sessions with residents at the nearby Morris H. Blum Apartments for feedback on the proposal.

Other Annapolis projects

A few other budget initiatives also have been proposed for fiscal 2022 and beyond, the Sun noted, including:

  • A 5-ft.-wide sidewalk along Cedar Park Road, from Windell Avenue to Halsey Road, including ADA ramps, is budgeted to cost $308,000 in FY 2023. Another $600,000 is budgeted annually over the next five years for general sidewalk replacement.
  • General roadwork in Annapolis totaling $3 million in FY 2022 and each year following is being proposed for resurfacing, curb and gutter replacement, patching, brick replacement and pavement marking.
  • At the city's historic Burtis House, $1.4 million in FY 2023's budget will pay for rehabbing the building in conjunction with the wider City Dock redevelopment.
  • Traffic sign rehabilitation will be done with monies from FY 2023 through FY 2027, and will include repairs to existing traffic lights, controllers, poles, cameras, and signals, along with coordinating signal times. The signals on Church Circle have been deemed the highest priority for replacement and are set to be completed this summer.
  • Main Street is due to be rebricked, but the city of Annapolis has delayed the project until after Hillman Garage is rebuilt in 2023. About $2.2 million is budgeted in fiscal 2025 for the street improvement.

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