Local Elected Officials Hoped To Prevent DSS Relocation

The agency will move out of the downtown, but will remain in Frederick.

Frederick, Md (KM)  It was something local elected officials had hoped to avoid. Last week, the Frederick County Department of Social Services announced it was moving out of downtown Frederick to a new facility at 1888 North Market Street. “They’re moving to the old Experient building on North Market Street which is still within in the city. We’re happy they’re still remaining in the city. We appreciate that,” says Frederick Mayor Randy McClement.

Several elected officials tried to persuade the Maryland Department of Human Resources to keep the local DSS in downtown Frederick. “County Executive {Jan} Gardner and myself wrote a letter a while back when we first heard to the Secretary {of the Maryland Department of Human Resources} and asked that consideration be made that it stay there,” said Mayor McClement. The letter said 90% of DSS’ clients live in the city of Frederick.

“We were concerned about whether the clientèle that they serve we’re going to be able to make it to the new location because there’s not currently  a bus stop at that location,” says the Mayor. However, DSS officials said not too many clients come to the offices by bus.

But MClement says DSS and the owner of the William Donald Schaefer Building could not reach agreement on a new lease. “The owner of the building just wants to move on, and they need to move. They don’t own the building. It’s a lease. So I think that’s where it came to a head,” he says.

“Biggest hit to the city of Frederick would be, I think it’s like a $140,000 of parking that for the deck that goes away. We know that’s a hit to the parking garage but there’s always a need for parking so we hope that will fill up very quickly,” the Mayor says.

But he says the new facility will have plenty of parking for clients as well as employees, and they don’t have to pay to park in a parking garage or at a meter.

Mayor McClement says the city will assist DSS in its move. “We want to make  sure their transition is as smooth as possible how ever we can to help them out,” he says. “We’re glad they’re still staying in the city of Frederick.”

DSS hopes to be in its new quarters within nine months.