by Lisa Tome
Port Deposit may be bouncing back from a number of business closures in recent years.
In 2011-12, five businesses - The Bee's Nest, Crabbe Depot, The Hidden Bean, Susky River Grille, and C.M. Tugs shut their doors
Now, the Town of Port Deposit has received the Sustainable Community designation for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Under this designation, the town will be eligible to apply for resources through DHCD to revitalize and attract growth and development.
Sustainable community efforts would be targeted for projects aimed at strengthening the community through business retention and attraction, home ownership, and commercial revitalization. Town officials are working with state officials to address the longstanding drainage issues that have plagued the town. The Comprehensive and Revitalization Plan will be updated. Local codes and ordinances will be reviewed to ensure that they are in line with sustainable community goals and objectives. Officials plan to continue building on the partnership established with Towson University for the restoration of the Tome Gas House. The gas house will serve as a town visitor center and research facility in an effort to make Port Deposit a destination.
Other projects include the restoration on the Tome Carriage House for events including antique sales, weddings, private parties and more. New owners are currently renovating the restaurant at Tome's Landing. A new restaurant will be opening in Center Square.
The final phase of the Newport Landing Townhomes is under construction and soon to be occupied.
"Port Deposit has tremendous potential and our community will use this opportunity to find resources to accent the revitalization of our business district and stabilize our housing market," said Mayor Wayne Tome, Sr.
"The vision is good. The things that are happening are taking us in a new direction. Port Deposit has had so many ups and downs with the Navy, Wiley's, and the abandoned slum and blight. Now, we have a chance to make Port Deposit a destination," he said.
He also said the waterfront is an attraction for the town and provides recreational opportunities, some of which have not been fully tapped.
"This designation opens up opportunities to get things done," added Tome.