Press Release

August 24, 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the City of Cumberland, MD has received a $30,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to revitalize the Virginia Avenue Corridor on Cumberland’s South Side.  The funding is expected to attract two new businesses to the Corridor and improve the City’s overall economic health.

“The Virginia Avenue Corridor has a rich history as a business district and economic cornerstone for Cumberland,” said Senator Cardin.  “This grant will make a real difference to the residents of Cumberland by restoring the Corridor as a center of commerce, creating new jobs and moving the local economy forward.”  

“I’m so proud that these funds will attract new businesses to the Virginia Avenue Corridor and help preserve its unique history,” said Senator Mikulski.  “This grant will allow the region to both thrive economically and honor its rich history.  I will continue to fighting to maintain this kind of important federal investment in Maryland communities.”

Cumberland will use the grant to help implement the Virginia Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Plan, a multi-year redevelopment initiative for the South Cumberland historic business district.  The plan’s goal is to rebuild the Corridor as a desirable place to shop, work and live.  Planners will redevelop the area based on its historical and unique assets, and prioritize rebuilding community empowerment and creating a safe, pedestrian friendly environment. 

Cumberland adopted the plan in 2006, and has since committed more than $600,000 in funding for revitalization and infrastructure projects.  In addition to ARC funds, local funds will provide $30,000, bringing the total project funding to $60,000. 

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.