County to hold town hall meeting on future of historic Ellicott City

The historic district in downtown Ellicott City is seeking to increase customer and tourist activity, ensuring the area survives as a destination point in Howard County.

Thus, the county is holding a town hall meeting Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City to discuss the vision and plans for the future of downtown Ellicott City.

Merchants, property owners and residents of the historic district have held many meetings with the county over the past few years to help shape this vision.

Last month, the County Council approved a resolution supporting the county's application to have Ellicott City designated as a "Sustainable Community" through the state, an effort that will help open doors for various community grants and funding opportunities.

Other ideas for the area have been talked about over the past two years and will be further discussed at the town hall meeting, including:

• creating a parking management authority;

• evaluating flood control solutions and improvement storm water management;

• enhancing housing opportunities;

• creating a police satellite office; and

• developing a cohesive vision for the future of downtown.

"Downtown Ellicott City is one of the most recognizable locations in the County, and with good reason," County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement. "It has thriving businesses, great restaurants and ample historic charm. Our vision will build on its numerous strengths, while addressing some of its unique and long-standing challenges."

Added council member Courtney Watson, the representative for Ellicott City, in a statement: "This is the kind of collaboration we need to help small businesses thrive and in turn create jobs and strengthen the local economy."

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