The plan for the H/CC that’s been proposed includes a large parking garage, and as previously stated, I do not feel the location proposed is beneficial because it is not the most optimal use of land. Some options are as follows:
➢ Install parking meters on all adequate streets.
➢ Research the possibility of paid parking in the northeast section of Somers Cove Marina.
➢ Implement trolley services and have offsite parking. Ocean City has this practice with a large portion of municipal parking being in West O.C.
Two areas suitable for municipal parking are, one; the former Elementary School property on the corner of Somerset and Asbury. This is a significant area, and I believe city workers maintain the grass cutting, so it’s unused and currently a tax-burden. The second location; Carvel Hall, the reasoning for which I explain below.
When I worked for the city in 2011-2012, Carvel Hall was getting a new roof, overhead doors and we (Public Utilities), worked up there installing valves and performing other services. I was asked to look over the building and property and give my overall opinion, and I’m going to state here exactly what I told the city officials back then: “Cut your losses.”
The site is contaminated and is not safe for occupancy. The concrete pad would make a perfect parking surface, and the remaining area can be paved. Trolley services could transport tourists throughout the city, and the front of the property, where the soil is likely far less contaminated, may possibly serve as a location for a new municipal building and a visitor center as well.
Incidentally, I feel the same about the efforts being done to restore the Armory; ‘cut your losses.’ I inspected the Armory also, made roof repairs and performed other repairs. The roof has been leaking for decades which has resulted in a level of damage that will require much of the building to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Lead paint is prevalent throughout the building, the basement is a fungus/mold breeding-ground, the angle of the ramps are nowhere near code, elevators will have to be built for handicap-access, and I could go on and on. This would be a several-million dollar project, and then once it’s completed there will be the cost of heating and cooling this mammoth structure.
Yes, armories have been restored in other cities and have had a positive impact, however, Crisfield’s situation is drastically different than these places. Again, cut your losses.