2020 TALKING POINTS

In the early morning hours of April 30, 2019, the Verso Corporation announced it was closing a 131-year institution, the Luke Paper Mill. The Baltimore Sun’s Editorial Board described the closure as “a shock to the system, on par with Baltimore County losing the Social Security Administration or T. Rowe Price.” As Garrett and Allegany counties continue to rebuild after the loss, assistance from the Maryland General Assembly is even more vital. These are some of the initiatives and projects for which our communities need your support.

BROADBAND ACCESSIBILITY

Universal and affordable access to broadband is a key economic driver for Allegany and Garrett Counties. Working together we can close the connectivity gaps in the region by developing innovative policies and programs to subsidize the infrastructure cost to expand broadband coverage. This approach will better position Allegany and Garrett Counties to support existing businesses and attract and retain new business. Specific asks as follows: 

  • Continue to provide support for expansion of rural broadband efforts, to include state fiber
  • Create a mechanism where Maryland ISPs are REQUIRED to provide customer address and service level information to the Maryland Office of Rural Broadband.

INFRASTRUCTURE/DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

  • Route 219 North:  Continue to work with the State of Pennsylvania for the connection of Route 219 North to the Pennsylvania state line.
  • Autonomous Vehicle Test Track: Support the work of the Governor’s Task Force on an autonomous vehicle (self-driving vehicle) test track to be located in Frostburg, Maryland, in partnership with Frostburg State University.

OUTDOOR RECREATION PROJECTS

Geographically, aesthetically and recreationally, the outdoors is what differentiates Allegany and Garrett Counties from the rest of the state. With 150,000 acres of publicly accessible land comprised of parks, forest and lakes- our region offers exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities year-round. Funding is needed in both counties for the following projects: 

  • Garrett: Wolf Den State Park, Youghiogheny Trail, Jennings Brothers Rail Bed
  • Allegany: River Park at Canal Place
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