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May 17, 2022

Trone asks for federal money for four projects in Frederick County

Credit: Frederick News-Post, Ryan Marshall

Four Frederick County projects — including renovations to Frederick’s soup kitchen and equipment for a crisis stabilization center in the county — could receive federal funding in the next fiscal year.

The four projects were included in U.S. Rep. David Trone’s appropriations requests for the federal 2023 fiscal year, which begins in October.

Trone serves on the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, which appropriates funds for most of the activities and operations of the federal government. 

His requests include:

  • $4,812,524 for the East Street Trail Liberty Road Bridge Crossing for the city of Frederick
  • $4,000,000 for a STEM workforce development program at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg
  • $1,315,843 for refurbishments and upgrades to the Permanent Supportive Housing, Food Distribution Center, and Soup Kitchen for the city of Frederick
  • $698,000 to buy clinical equipment for a crisis stabilization center for the county.

The money for the soup kitchen would be used to upgrade appliances and the facility’s dining area, said Michelle Ott, assistant director of the Community Action Agency in the city’s Department of Housing and Human Services.

The agency is looking to make the dining area more comfortable, moving away from cafeteria-style seating and toward more of a cafe style with individual tables with four or five seats each, Ott said.

It would make the area look less “institutional” and more pleasant for people who come in, she said.

Some of the money would be used for a new dishwasher and other appliances.

The money would also be used to upgrade the shelving area of the food bank where customers shop for food, getting rid of the current wooden shelving and providing room for more items on the shelves, Ott said.

The agency is also upgrading its permanent supportive housing facility to provide 14 units, which give chronically homeless, disabled adults a place to live in the city.

The building began its shift from a 31-bed transitional shelter to more permanent housing for single adults in 2019.

The federal money would go toward making rooms larger, adding a toilet and sink in every room, and general upgrades, Ott said.

The appropriation for Mount St. Mary’s would help the school remodel its current science facility and add 21,000 square feet to help accommodate significant growth in demand for courses in its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math curriculum, said Christine McCauslin, dean of the School of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Technological innovation happens quickly, and the school wants to respond to needs quickly, McCauslin said Tuesday.

The new and renovated spaces will help provide space for fields such as computer science, data science, cybersecurity, biology, chemistry, and environmental sciences.

McCauslin said the funds would help the university provide facilities that \match students’ capabilities.

The nearly $700,000 appropriation for Frederick County would help cover a portion of the cost to buy medical equipment, technology, appliances, and furnishings for a crisis stabilization center, county spokeswoman Vivian Laxton wrote in an email Tuesday.

The center would provide care and a safe environment for people with mental health or substance abuse problems while they wait to connect with outpatient or long-term care facilities, according to a summary in County Executive Jan Gardner’s proposed budget.

Gardner has included more than $6.8 million for the facility in fiscal 2023 in her proposed capital improvement plan. Laxton said the project has also received state funds.

The bridge crossing would allow the city’s East Street Trail project to cross over Md. 26 on the north side of the city.

When finished, the trail project will connect Frederick’s Worman’s Mill neighborhood north of Md. 26 with the MARC train station on East Street near downtown.

The bridge will help create an important connection for bicyclists and pedestrians, and improve transportation options for everyone, Mayor Michael O’Connor said in a news release provided by Trone’s office.