Md. waterfront communities get a boost

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A financial commitment from the state will translate to 75 more slips for Cambridge’s city marina

 

A financial commitment from the state will translate to 75 more slips for Cambridge’s city marina

On Earth Day, April 22, Maryland’s Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said the state would give about $1.6 million for

waterfront improvements in two cities — Cambridge, the Eastern Shore blue-

collar community on the Choptank River that has seen recent rapid growth; and the state capital, Annapolis.

Cambridge will receive the largest slice of the Waterway Improvement Funds, which are administered by the Department of Natural Resources and come from a 5-percent excise tax paid by boaters to tie their boats in the state, and from a marine fuel tax. Ehrlich said Cambridge would get $950,000 for expanding the city’s marina.

“We currently have 175 slips and it’s probably going to be another 75 slips,” said Ed Kinnamon, city treasurer. He said there are now about 200 boaters on a waiting list for slips in the Cambridge Yacht Basin, which shares a riverfront location with the Cambridge Yacht Club.

The city and yacht club have combined their efforts and money in the $7 million project, which will involve removing an existing deteriorated “mole” or bulkhead that keeps the river waves from entering the marina, and building a new one farther offshore. “That’s very expensive in itself,” Kinnamon said. Added to that will be construction of the new slips, he said.

“We hope to be starting the project by July,” the treasurer said. He said the city has kept some slips open to be able to move boats out of slips along the old mole during its demolition. He said there would be no interruption of service to existing slipholders.

The Cambridge project will include construction of a fuel dock, Kinnamon said. The city lost its only source of marine fuel when a gas dock was eliminated in town to build condominiums, he said. Cambridge is on the south side of the Choptank River in Dorchester County, about 14 miles from Tilghman Island and the Chesapeake Bay.

Annapolis will use its state funds to help pay for replacements of aging bulkheads and boardwalks in the city dock area, according to Bob Agee, city administrator. The existing structures are not dangerous, “just coming to the end of [their] useful life with all the use it gets,” he said. “After a while, they just get tired.” Agee said the work would be scheduled after the fall boat shows, “in the down time.”

Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer said in a press release: “The Annapolis City Dock is the link to our past as a seafaring town and our future as an internationally known maritime destination. Thanks to this funding, it will be more accommodating to visitors arriving by land or sea.” Annapolis will get a total of about $600,000 from the state for the city dock work and other public boating facilities, the state said.