He discusses infrastructure, economic development, other issues.
Frederick, Md (KM) Infrastructure such as roads is a top priority for the city of Frederick. That comment comes from Mayor Michael O’Connor, who spoke about that on Thursday during his State of the City Address, where he discussed progress made so far this year. “Major road projects were completed, included Butterfly Lane and Contender Way, along with waterline improvements along 7th Street for the new surface coming soon,” he said. “And we cut the ribbon on the extension of the main runway at Frederick Municipal Airport.”
O’Connor also spoke about progress made with the city’s 73 parks. “Westside Regional Park is experiencing continued progress with the opening Sophie and Madigan’s Playground, Phase One, the installation of bathrooms, the grading and seeding of sports fields, and the planned relocation of the National Historic Preservation Center from downtown to Butterfly Lane,” he said.
Mayor O’Connor also talked up the local economy, pointing to the opening of the Warehouse Cinemas at the former Frederick Town Mall, and some new retailers coming into the one-time K-Mart store on West Patrick Street. “Interest in the city of Frederick is strong, as noted by a 240% increase in filings to our Planning Department,” he said. “And with our partners at Frederick County Economic Development, the Maryland Department of Commerce, Downtown Frederick Partnership, the Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Mile Alliance, East Frederick Rising, and Fort Detrick Alliance, collaboration is not just talk.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor said the city assisted local businesses which were struggling financially. “Working with Economic Development, we recognize that near term business assistance while the federal and state government developed broader and deeper assistance programs,” he said. “Through two grant cycles, we redeployed budgeted funds and supported many businesses struggling with rent, utilities and payroll.”
Diversity and inclusion became an issue in the past year. Mayor O’Connor announced that the city is close to hiring an equity program administrator which is a recommendation for the city’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan. “This individual will assist the city in implementing aspects of our D&I Strategic Plan, and fulfilling the goals of the Disparity Study as we work to increase the number of women, minority-owned and small business participating in the city procurement process.”
There’s also the formation of the city’s Department of Housing and Human Services. “HHS is building sustainable and collaborative partnerships, evaluating and using grant dollars in new and creative ways, and finding opportunities to fill the gaps in service now that housing, health and human services are working with one vision,” says Mayor O’Connor.
He Mayor also pointed to other accomplishments like the purchase of the William Donald Schaefer Building on East All Saints Street for use a new police headquarters, and the USA Mountain Bike Championship coming to Frederick County in October.
By Kevin McManus