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Four capital budget projects that could change the Annapolis landscape

Site of the proposed Annapolis Public Works Headquarters. The property is 39 Hudson Street, Annapolis.
Site of the proposed Annapolis Public Works Headquarters. The property is 39 Hudson Street, Annapolis. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Capital Gazette)

Last month, the City of Annapolis received some news it had been waiting on for years.

The U.S. government finally awarded the city a $3 million grant to help pay for a proposed stormwater pump on Compromise Street to address flooding and other climate-related impacts.

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Dave Mandell, deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management, has sought money for the project from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration since 2015.

Six years later, the money has been secured, and workers can move forward on construction plans — set to begin sometime next year — for a pump station and other infrastructure changes along Compromise Street.

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“I always thought we would get it; I never lost hope,” Mandell said. “I didn’t think it would take this long.”

The project is one of the keystones of the city’s fiscal 2022 capital projects budget, which Mayor Gavin Buckley introduced last month, along with a proposed $152 million operating budget and capital improvement budget, which spans projects from fiscal 2023 to 2027.

In all, the city is set to spend about $17.9 million in the fiscal year starting July 1 on water access projects, a new public works facility and a park honoring a local civil rights activist, among many others.

The budget also lays out plans to spend another $90 million over the following four fiscal years on capital projects across the city.

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Here are four capital projects that could reshape Annapolis in the coming years:

Compromise Street flood mitigation

While city officials have been most vocal about plans currently underway to redevelop Hillman Garage and the City Dock area, the flood mitigation project at Compromise Street is another major initiative undertaken over the last several years to address climate-related flooding.

Last June, the Historic Preservation Commission deemed the estimated $15 million project feasible and ready to move forward.

About $2.6 million in grants and bonds are budgeted for the project in fiscal 2022. The proposal features a pump station to keep nuisance flooding off of Compromise Street, grading modifications, realignment of the storm drain system and redevelopment of the surrounding plaza area to include the Freedom of the Press Memorial.

One lane of traffic is open for cars to drive through a flooded Compromise Street in Annapolis Monday April 16th, 2018.
One lane of traffic is open for cars to drive through a flooded Compromise Street in Annapolis Monday April 16th, 2018.

The FEMA grant is not included in the current budget as it was only approved four weeks ago after the budget was introduced.

Additional costs in the range of $2.4 million have arisen from archeological surveys that must be completed in the area.

Another $4 million from the newly established Resilience Funding Authority will be used in fiscal 2023 to pay for a second construction phase to address flooding on Dock Street.

Water access

The capital budget includes multiple projects, large and small, to increase and improve water access.

The most substantial of those is at Hawkins Cove, a secluded and mostly unused stretch of Spa Creek the city has called a “top priority” for increasing access to the water.

Between fiscal years 2022 and 2023, the city has budgeted $115,000 for planning, design and construction to replace the existing pier, remove a failing bulkhead and replace it with a living shoreline and replace invasive vegetation with native plants. Seating and improved trail systems could also be in future plans that would be paid for through grants.

Hawkins Cove, off Madison Street in Eastport, offers water access, but looks in need of repairs and maintenance.
Hawkins Cove, off Madison Street in Eastport, offers water access, but looks in need of repairs and maintenance. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

Mayor Gavin Buckley has proposed dredging the inlet for water taxis and other small crafts, but the budget does not currently propose any funding for that effort.

Elsewhere in the city, several waterway improvement projects are underway.

The bulkhead at Cheston Avenue will be replaced, and a floating dock added for $201,000. On Sixth Street, the immediate area will be dredged to increase water depth and help with the installation of an ADA-compliant ramp to access a new floating dock, at a cost of $104,000.

The city is also slated to spend a combined $262,500 this year to construct floating docks at Thompson Street, Conduit Street, Third Street, and Amos Garrett Boulevard.

Public works facility

A long-planned proposal to replace the Department of Public Works facility is set to get underway this summer.

The city has budgeted $3.7 million for construction and overhead on the project in fiscal 2022, all of which are costs associated with an increase in the city’s LEED documentation requirements, material costs and archaeological monitoring.

Mock-ups of the proposed Annapolis Public Works facility on Hudson Street that will house the maintenance and operations functions of the department.
Mock-ups of the proposed Annapolis Public Works facility on Hudson Street that will house the maintenance and operations functions of the department. (Hammond Wilson)

When it’s completed in the fall of 2022, the facility on Hudson Street in West Annapolis will house the department’s maintenance and operations functions, including facilities, streets, vehicles, water distribution system, sewer collection system, and stormwater facilities. The site will feature a salt barn and other amenities.

More than $12 million has previously been appropriated for the project — $2.2 million for acquiring the land and around $10 million for design, construction and overhead costs.

Robert H. Eades Park

When Robert Eades, a lifelong Annapolis resident and Black community advocate, died of COVID-19 in August, the City Council quickly introduced and passed a resolution to rename a park in his honor.

Plans for the park have rapidly materialized over the last half-year, with the city committing $483,500 in fiscal 2022 to construct a new waterfront park at the site formerly known as College Creek Park.

A ramp to the water's edge is blocked off and a section connecting it to the street is missing. College Creek Park, located next to the Morris Blum apartments on Glenwood Street, has fallen into disrepair.
A ramp to the water's edge is blocked off and a section connecting it to the street is missing. College Creek Park, located next to the Morris Blum apartments on Glenwood Street, has fallen into disrepair. (Paul W. Gillespie/Capital Gazette)

The proposal, which is still in the design phase including new grading for better access to the water, plantings, lighting, signage and a memorial to Eades.

City officials and developers have been conducting listening sessions with residents at nearby Morris H. Blum Apartments for feedback on the proposal.

Other projects

Here are a few other projects proposed for fiscal 2022 and beyond.

  • Cedar Park Road sidewalks - $308,000 is budgeted in fiscal 2023 to install a five-foot sidewalk from Windell Avenue to Halsey Road, including ADA ramps. Another $600,000 is budgeted annually over the next five years for general sidewalk replacement.
  • General roadways -$3 million in fiscal year 2022 and each year following for resurfacing, curb and gutter replacement, patching, brick replacement, pavement marking and more.
  • Burtis House - $1.4 million budgeted in fiscal 2023 to begin rehabbing the historic building in conjunction with the wider City Dock redevelopment.
  • Traffic sign rehabilitation - $685,000 in fiscal 2022 and between $508,500 and $525,000 in fiscal 2023 to 2027 for repairing existing traffic lights, controllers, poles, cameras, and signals and coordinating signal times. Church Circle signals have been deemed the highest priority for replacement and are set to be completed this summer.
  • Main Street rebricking - The city has delayed the project until after Hillman Garage is rebuilt in 2023. About $2.2 million is budgeted in fiscal 2025 for rebricking.

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