The old B&O Railroad Station will likely be turned into some type of museum, Aberdeen City Council members were told Monday night.
At their regular meeting Monday night, the council got an update on the plan to rebuild the station and learned a city farmers market will be launched this week in Festival Park.
Richard Herbig, of the Harford County Historical Society, told the council one of the possible uses for it early on was a fine-dining restaurant, but that has been largely ruled out because of concerns about the floodplain the station is on.
The most logical use seems to be for some kind of museum, he said.
"We haven't finalized our uses; we've identified multiple uses," he said.
Herbig said an agreement over a deed of easement is expected to be finalized soon with the Maryland Historical Trust, after which grant applications can begin.
Ruth Hendrickson, chairwoman of the Aberdeen Heritage Trust, agreed the site is "very valuable property" but warned the city and the Trust simply do not have money to give to this project now.
"The twelve of us [at the Trust] cannot raise millions of dollars, and at this point in time, I don't think the city of Aberdeen can do it," she told the council. "We'd like to restore it but I don't see any feasible way it can be done…Sometimes you just have to say, 'It would be nice, but.'"
Councilwoman Ruth Elliott also addressed concerns about renovating the train station.
"I don't believe there's any intent to have the taxpayers' money pay for the restoration of B&O Station," she said.
Public works praised
Also at the meeting, City Manager Doug Miller thanked and commended DPW Director Matt Lapinsky and his crew on a "highly, highly complicated and difficult" water main break at the city's Chapel Hill wastewater treatment plant Saturday.
The pipe was shooting a geyser 70 feet in the air, he said, and the crew worked in 100-degree heat to restore the major break in the 70-year-old main.
"It was a very difficult repair and I think our crew started 8 o'clock in the morning and went home 3:30 the following morning. They stuck with it a long time," he said. "It was very complicated and they did a tremendous job."
Farmers market coming
Elliott noted the city's first Amish farmer's market will start this Friday, July 29, and run every Friday through October between 3 and 7 p.m., in Festival Park.
Mayor Mike Bennett also said he was very happy to have an Aberdeen farmer's market, which was a collaborative effort.
"We've been looking to do this for two years now, and Ms. [Phyllis] Grover has been working on this and keeping her nose to the grindstone," he said.
Elliott also noted the death of Heidi Zuchelkowski, longtime owner of Odyssey Salon, on July 14.
Elliott said she had run the Aberdeen business for 32 years.
"She loved to see her clients come into her shop and go out smiling because they were so pleased with her creations," she said. "She was a very professional person, operating a full-service salon and she also was the first woman to become a member of the Aberdeen Rotary Club…She's definitely going to be missed by so many people."
Max Landbeck, grandson of Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck, was recognized for completing his Eagle Scout project of repainting the city's fire hydrants.
As of Monday, he and his group of volunteers had finished 63 hydrants and still have 300 left to go.
Lapinsky gave him a gift of an actual old fire hydrant, as well as various brushes and supplies.
"It's not an easy task," Bennett said, explaining the painting has to be carefully done. "Sixty-three hydrants, that's a lot of sweat."
Max Landbeck thanked Lapinsky for sticking with him, employee Roger Hall for providing supplies, fire chief Steve Finch, as well as his fellow Scouts and leaders, family and "dozens" of volunteers who donated hundreds of hours of work.
Bennett presented Grover, the director of planning and community development, with a crystal plaque for completing the comprehensive plan.
Police Chief Henry Trabert said the police department will hold another community outreach event, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. this Saturday, July 30, at Hillsdale Elementary School.
"It's a time to just come out and meet the police, talk to us about your neighborhood, and building a partnership and looking for ways to make your neighborhood safer," he said.
The department is also partnering with Golden Corral, at 706 South Philadelphia Boulevard, for an event at the restaurant from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Aug. 2 in honor of National Night Out.
"It should be a good time and it's a great place to go," he said.
Aug. 5 is the countywide National Night Out, during which the police will be at Target, on Route 22 and Middleton Lane, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Downtown spruced up
DPW director Lapinsky said the ENR (enhanced nutrient removal) project is about 35 percent complete. He is looking at having an open house at the wastewater treatment plant and will announce a time during the first meeting in August.
He also said the West Wing in City Hall was refitted with LED lighting. Aberdeen had a grant for about $8,000, so the project was "free of charge to the city," he said.
Lapinsky noted new bike racks and trash cans have been put in around downtown.
"I think our downtown is the best-looking downtown in Harford County now," he said.