Press Release

August 4, 2011

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that Cumberland, MD has received a $40,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant for the Canal Place Heritage Area Plan Update project. The goal is to improve the economic climate within the heritage area of Allegany County.

“The C&O Canal is a historic and economic treasure, drawing millions of visitors to Maryland each year,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  “This funding will further tourism along the Canal, creating new economic opportunities for the residents of Cumberland and Western Maryland.”

“I’m so proud that these funds will help the region attract new businesses, new jobs and new economic development,” Senator Mikulski said. “This federal funding is an important investment in sustained economic success in Western Maryland.  I will continue fighting to maintain this important federal investment in Maryland communities.”

The City of Cumberland, Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, and the National Park Service in partnership with other local stakeholders will use the funding to update the Canal Place Heritage Area Management Plan, a strategic development blueprint for the Canal Place Heritage Area.  Officials will consider expanding the Heritage Area to include additional historic sites, update development plans for Cumberland, and assess costs for streetscape, parking, pedestrian and infrastructure improvement projects. 

In addition to ARC funds, the National Park Service will provide $31,000, state sources will provide $136,144 and local sources will provide $12,898, bringing the total project funding to $220,042. 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.