Young says if he doesn’t sign funding legislation, the project may not move forward.
Frederick, Md (KM) It could be do or die this year for the proposed downtown Frederick hotel and conference center. That’s according to Frederick County State Senator Ron Young (D), who spoke to the County Council about that on Tuesday.
He said legislation pre-authorizing $2.5-million toward infrastructure for the project passed the General Assembly this year. “We got the wording changed on the $5-million that was listed hotel and conference. it’s now to be used totally for infrastructure if the get the Governor to sign it,” he says.
The proposed hotel and conference center has been discussed for many years, including during the time when Ron Young was Mayor of Frederick in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Plamondon Hospitality Partners plans to construct the facility at the intersection of East Patrick Street and Carroll Street, and it will include the former News-Post Building. The cost is estimated at $79.5-million, with the city and county providing $16.5-million for infrastructure such as property, on-site public parking, roads, utility, streetscape and creek improvements.
“Right now, we have $5-million approved for infrastructure that would support the development, and $2.5-million pre-approved for fiscal 2021. Should the Governor sign the bill, we’ll hopefully move that $2.5-million to the $5-million which is the $10-million they’re now requesting,” says Senator Young.
He says the project could be doomed if the Governor does not sign it.; “And I’m afraid if it doesn’t’ get signed, it could be the end of that project. And we’ve waited a long, long time to get that first hotel there,” says Young.
He noted that this project did not have the support of all members of the Frederick County Delegation. “It was turned down 5-3 in the last administration. We did not take a vote on this year. There’s a 4-4 break politically So it’s not against, but it’s necessarily for either,” says Young.
Governor Larry Hogan has said he will not support the project unless all seven legislators from Frederick County support it.
Supporters of the project bypassed the delegation during the 2019 General Assembly, and worked directly with the chairs of the budget and appropriations committees in the legislature.
Senator Young hopes the Governor will sign the bill, and help make this project a reality. “I’d like to live to see a hotel down on the creek that can handle the kind of conferences that the biotechs and other big firms want to have here,” he says.
By Kevin McManus