Lansdowne Improvement Association receives grant from CSX

Plans by the Lansdowne Improvement Association to beautify the area along Hammonds Ferry Road got a boost Monday when the group received a grant from CSX, whose tracks run parallel to the road.

Del. James Malone, who represents District 12A which includes Lansdowne, presented the association with a $10,000 grant from CSX.

"We were certainly pleased to work with them and do that," said Robert Sullivan, a spokesman for CSX.

The group will use the money to replace the rusted chain link fencing that runs along Hammonds Ferry Road from just south of Second Avenue to First Avenue, according to Chris Koloski, the first vice president of the association.

In its place will be about 90 yards of wrought-iron fencing and black vinyl-coated chain link fencing, Koloski said.

"It's a lot of fence," Koloski said with a laugh.

"We hope to eventually get funding to bring the fencing down to Clyde Avenue," she said, referring to the area one block north of First Avenue.

The Lansdowne Improvement Association would have preferred to use only the more aesthetically-pleasing wrought-iron fencing, but that would have cost $4,000 more.

The contractor will install the decorative fencing near the benches so parents can bring their children down to watch the trains, Koloski said.

East Coast Fencing will install the fence and should have the project completed by the end of June, she said.

"If you look at the fence, it's beat up. It's been there for a long time," Malone said. "I think once that is torn down and a brand new fence is put up, that'll just enhance the streetscape along Hammonds Ferry Road."

Koloski and her husband, Gary, the president of the association, said the group has projects scheduled through June to beautify the community.

"Our priority is clean up, revitalization in the district and encouraging businesses to become more attractive to attract new home owners," Koloski said.

"Main street is your focal point in a neighborhood," she said. "And if main street looks like it's neglected and debilitated, people are reluctant to buy homes in the area."

On June 2, the group will hold a community cleanup and supply large outdoor metal trash containers at Hillcrest Park from 7 a.m. to noon, so neighborhood residents can get rid of large unwanted items.

Following the cleanup, Koloski said members from Baltimore County Code Enforcement will sweep the neighborhood to look for violations and hand out fines, if necessary.

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