Roads and walking paths around the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster will soon be improved, in time for spring, when more activities are scheduled there.
At the Board of County Commissioners meeting Feb. 3, officials awarded a $66,628 contract with Jems Contracting, Inc., for paving and repair at the farm museum, at the recommendation the county’s Bureau of Facilities.
The bureau received three bids for the project, and Jems presented the lowest-cost proposal. The work is already accounted for within the adopted county budget and no additional funds will be needed.
Project manager Thad Highlander told commissioners that the Farm Museum’s interior roads and walking paths that lead to exhibits and other attractions have started to degrade and need repairs.
“About 75% of the paths will be overlaid with 2 inches of new asphalt,” Highlander said. “The edges will be backfilled with topsoil, seeded, and strawed … There’s a culvert area off the main parking lot that’s also made of asphalt” which will be replaced along with 45 feet of corrugated pipe that runs under the foot bridge.
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In addition, the rear of the administration building and gift ship has a degraded ground level wood deck and walkways that will be removed and replaced with asphalt. A deteriorating concrete walking path that leads away from the gift shop will be replaced with asphalt as well.
“This work is expected to be completed by the end of April,” Highlander said.
Commissioner Dennis Frazier, a Republican who represents District 2, asked why the concrete walkway will be replaced with asphalt, since “concrete holds up much better.”
“The concrete walk that comes out of that gift shop is an old walk and it butts right up to that deteriorated wooden deck,” Highlander responded. “I think it’ll be a cleaner presentation, but it will also avoid any trip hazards ... when they exit the gift shop.”
On Jan. 28 the commissioners approved a $45,900 contract with Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects for structural design of a pole barn building at the farm museum. The structure will replace a maintenance building that was destroyed by fire last year.
The Farm Museum sits on 140 acres in Westminster and portrays life on a farm in the late 1800s. It exists to promote appreciation of the county’s rural culture. The museum provides demonstrations of 19th century skills, a gift shop, an 18th century barn, garden and fish pond. It also hosts events such as Civil War reenactments, Fourth of July celebrations and the Maryland Wine Festival.
Only outdoor activities are now offered at the museum grounds, due to the pandemic. Admission is free through March 31. Self-guided tours of the property and a scavenger hunt are currently available.