The Governor released his spending plan without money for hotel infrastructure.
Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County’s Legislative Delegation say it will work to get money in the state’s capital budget to pay for infrastructure needs for the proposed downtown Frederick hotel and conference center. Recently, the Governor released his proposed capital budget which does not contain infrastructure funding.
That topic came up on Thursday during WFMD”s “Morning News Express” where Mayor Michael O’Connor was the guest. He continued to say that the city is not funding this project. “The private sector is going to make a $60-million investment in downtown Frederick. They’re going to build a hotel and a conference center, and the public sector is not going to be involved in that,” he said.
But the city and the county will provide funding for infrastructure needs, such as parking. He says funding infrastructure needs for a project such as this is not uncommon because it will benefit all citizens. “Will it help that private sector development? I’m not going to try and tell you it’s not,” he said. “But one of the needs is infrastructure, parking and street side improvements, and that is an appropriate thing that city, county and state government has done all the time, everywhere. Every road project we build is intended to serve broader public purposes than simply building a road.”
Mayor O’Connor notes that trying to persuade the state come on board is a challenge. “We’ve gotten $5-million from the state already approved. We’ve had a challenge getting through the Board of Public Works because the budget language still says ‘downtown hotel and conference center.’ And we’re trying to make it clear that it’s not going to support the private sector development,” he says.
The proposal calls for the project to be located in the 200 block of East Patrick Street at the intersection with Carroll Street, the location of the former Frederick News-Post building. . It will consist of 180 rooms and 20,000 square feet of conference space. The private sector developer is Plamondon Hospitality Partners. Supporters of the project say Plamondon will build and operate the facility, and take all of the losses if the project fails.
By Kevin McManus