by Lisa Tome
When it comes to economic development and revitalization, things haven't gone as planned in Rising Sun.
Projects such completion of the new wastewater treatment plant, extensive work in the town parks, and the need for vast repairs and improvements on Ryan Drive have taking precedence.
Town administrator Calvin Bonenberger said that the town didn't receive desired grant money to fund an economic development study.
Commissioner Dave Warnick said the town worked with University of Maryland and submitted a Sustainable Communities request for designation over the summer.
The town hasn't heard whether they will receive that designation which paves the way for grants.
"Right now, we're in the priority funding area. But we still need the sustainable communities designation," said Warnick.
More than a year ago, the town established an Economic Development and Community Advisory Revitalization Committee. So far, three members - Desiree Davis, Amanda Cameron Vaughan, and Bud McFadden were appointed to that group. The remaining seven appointments to that committee have not been made and the group hasn't met.
The Economic Development and Community Advisory Revitalization Committee will serve as an advisory committee. The group will be responsible for analyzing the benefits of various economic development opportunities and present plans on how this can be accomplished. The group will also look at ways to make the town more business friendly, research economic development, and more. The group will report to the town board quarterly and more often if necessary.
Warnick said that one of the critical roles for the committee will be to create the "right environment" for businesses to come to town. He said the town needs to find ways to attract those using Calvert Regional Park to town.
He also said that there has been discussions regarding taking care of eco-tourism and bird watching opportunities in the area. "We need to look at a combination of things. We need more diversity in employment opportunities," said Warnick. Cecil County has stated that its growth area is the Route 40 corridor. "Maybe we need to partner with Pennsylvania. We're on the Route 1 corridor," said Warnick.
The goals for the committee in 2016 will include filling out the committee. Anyone interested may email Commissioner Warnick @rsmd.org. He also wants to get more business owners active and involved. He hopes to gather ideas, possibly create an historic overlay district which would provide tax credits, and more. He also said this will all have to be performed on a shoestring budget.