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Neighborhood Revitalization Grant Projects Narrowed Down for NB

Only about 20 residents, including council members, attended the third community forum, held last Tuesday, April 10 at the Village Hall (EMS  station). The continuation of forming a list of potential projects to submit with a grant application for a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant , which North Baltimore qualifies for, is urgent, as the deadline is quickly approaching.

Paulette Mills and Lee Rausch, both with Poggemeyer Design Group, presented projects from a wide list of potential categories, including: street improvements, public parking facilities, neighborhood facilities, and park improvements. The ideas for these projects came from the list compiled from the survey that community members returned after the first meeting.

The citizens were asked to pick projects from the categories, totaling no more than $450,000.

The village had been told it could get up to  $500,000 from the revitalization grant, but $50,000 is put aside to pay Poggemeyer for the design fees.

Categories chosen were:

Public parking facilities. The “Whistle Stop” parking lot, on the west side of Main Street between “Subway” and the tracks, now owned by the village, will be paved and landscaped, with a splash pad area for the warm weather months that can also be used in the winter to place the village’s Christmas tree. It also will have a train viewing platform. Thirty-five regular parking spots and two handicapped spots will be included. The splash pad, a concrete base with a motion-detected water feature, would go near the north side of the lot, close to Subway, and not near the train tracks. The estimated cost for is this is $144,536.

There is a Downtown Beautification Grant that has already been awarded to North Baltimore, but the village has to wait until 2019 to receive the dollars. Once the funds are received, the entire block from the railroad tracks northward to Broadway will get a facelift–new sidewalks, curbs. street lighting, etc. In addition that block of Main Street, will then be re-built and paved. “The Whistle Stop lot is a logical choice”(for the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant dollars), said Rick Van Mooy, “otherwise it is an eyesore as you enter town. It would be money well spent,” he said.

Park improvements. There were several options in this category, and ADA parking at the park’s three shelter houses was the top choice, along with improving shelter house #1. Estimated cost is $84,589

A water/splash feature at the park for $214,788 was not considered, mainly because of cost.

With approximately $220,000  of potentially awarded dollars left to spend, the conversation switched to street paving.

Street Paving Two projects that were removed from the list of potential streets to be paved were Water Street from Zihlman to Poe Road because that is where the replacement water tower is going to go. Also nixed was East Broadway from Tarr Street to Rudolph Road because the water lines have not yet been replaced along that route.

The group decided paving Walnut Street from Main Street to Gillette for $137,267 would be a good choice.

Village Administrator Allyson Murray said someone stopped by the office and also suggested Rudolph Road from Broadway to Maple. Murray said “there are not water lines under the road that would be a problem there” That suggestion also received a positive response from the citizens in attendance.

“It’s a better bet than Walnut,” Van Mooy agreed. That project also will tie in with the “Safe Route to Schools” grant the village received that will put sidewalks along a portion of Maple Street from Rhodes Avenue to Rudolph Road. Those grants dollars also become available in 2019.

Poggemeyer will draw up an estimate for the Rudolph Road project.

“Nothing is written in stone until council approves it,” Mills cautioned.

The application needs to be turned in early in June; the village will learn in October if it received the money. It then can begin using the funds, ans will have two years to complete all the designated projects.

“If you have $450,000 to spend, why wait?” she asked.



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