Mayor requests touch-up for city

Roads top agenda as Moyer seeks lawmakers' aid

February 10, 2002|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

In her appeal to state legislators to fund improvements in Annapolis, Mayor Ellen O. Moyer had an advantage over other politicians who request money for their cities.

Many of the improvements Moyer is pushing for in the city would affect the state's elected officials directly because Annapolis is their workplace, Moyer told the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County delegation Friday.

Moyer's biggest initiative - to improve roads leading to downtown Annapolis - deals with the commuter route for most politicians.

Calling them the gateways to Maryland's capital, Moyer is proposing $17 million in improvements to four roads leading to the city: Roscoe Rowe Boulevard, West Street, Aris T. Allen Boulevard (Route 665) and Route 450.

"These gateways should say, `You're coming into our capital city,'" Moyer said.

In addition to road improvements in those areas, she is asking for better landscaping and signs, especially on Route 665.

With 4 million visitors a year, Annapolis is often the first and only impression people have of the state, Moyer pointed out.

The mayor has asked the governor for $250,000 to renovate the 100-year-old Department of Natural Resources building at City Dock. Not only would it be a station for DNR police to protect the waterway, Moyer said, but plans are to use part of the building as a Maritime Hall of Fame.

Moyer asked the delegates to support a $400,000 bond bill for improvements to the Maritime Museum in Eastport and a $250,000 bond bill for Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

Although those projects have statewide appeal, the bulk of the projects on Moyer's agenda directly affect the city's function as the state capital.

For example, Moyer said she will request part of state funds for anti-terrorism security measures in the city. She said she wants to use that money to improve the communication and detection capabilities of the city in places such as the city's water treatment site.

Moyer pointed out that city water serves the State House complex and that a problem would affect state government operations.

The mayor also asked the delegation to support legislation requiring Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. to negotiate burying utility wires. She said it wasn't just an aesthetic issue, but also a safety one, because utility poles often block sidewalks in the city.

The delegates and senators said they could see her point because they walk those sidewalks every day during the General Assembly's 90-day session.

"We're all for beautifying Annapolis and making it a better place," said Del. David G. Boschert, who asked whether the mayor was working on redeveloping the vacant lot between Main Street and State Circle.

Moyer assured him that plans are under way to rebuild on the site, which is fenced off. She also said the city's parking problem is being studied as well.

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