by Lisa Tome
Volunteers are about to make a clean sweep at the former Tome Gas House building in downtown Port Deposit.
On November 1, from 9 a.m. until noon, 10 volunteers from Towson University and locals will join together to clean up at the site.
That will make things ready for when the building becomes the Turtle Refuge at Port Deposit's historic Tome Gas House.
The turtle refuge in the gas house will feature exhibit space, a research area, and handicapped accessible bathrooms.
"We've finally seen that the sun is coming up on this project. We're getting ready to get shovels in the ground," said Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome, Sr.
"It's moving forward. We are really excited about something happening with that building," said Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome, Sr.
Mayor Tome said that the Maryland Department of the Environment will determine when work can start. They keep an eye on things like fish spawn which can impact when work can be done.
"It's going to change the landscape down there. It should be a decent hub and spin off into economic development," said Tome. "People will be coming to town for the right reasons."
Officials plan to continue building on the partnership established with Towson University for the restoration of the Tome Gas House.
Port Deposit town administrator Vicky Rinkerman said the public is welcome to help with the clean up. Wear old clothes and bring work gloves. The scope of work will include moving pavers and cleaning the shoreline.
The official groundbreaking for this project will be held next spring.
"We're getting it ready. We're preparing it to be the welcome house," added Mayor Tome.