Leonardtown to Seek Bids for Wharf Restaurant

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Leonardtown to Seek Bids for Wharf Restaurant

Leonardtown, MD - 2/10/2013

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By Dick Myers

Councilman Hayden Hammett shows the vision plan for the town
Councilman Hayden Hammett shows the vision plan for the town

The Leonardtown Commissioners will be putting out a request for proposals (RFP) within the next month to see if there is any interest in establishing a restaurant and shops at Leonardtown Wharf. The idea has been floating around for w while and was discussed at a work session last week. It was announced Friday at the State of the Town 2013 event by Commissioner Hayden Hammett.

Hammett also showed the recently unveiled town vision plan to the attendees at the College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown Campus. The plan was unveiled at the December town meeting http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/30540

The plan includes developing of the property owned by the town adjacent to the park at the historic wharf area. It also includes a development plan for the town’s largest undeveloped property, Tudor Hall Farm, including a hotel and conference center and a mix of residential and commercial development. Hammett said the plan developed by a consultant and a town committee is intended to create a seamless flow between the historic downtown and the farm. “We didn’t want a gated community,” he said.

The State of the Town has been sponsored for the past several years by the Leonardtown Business Association (LBA). President Dan Norris welcomed the attendees. Vice President Joe Orlando said the secret to success of small town businesses is “Be uniquely local.” He quoted from a consultant for small towns: “Big businesses can learn a lot from how a small town works.”

Town Administrator Laschelle McKay explained the town’s quest for a state designation as an Arts and Entertainment District, which will include tax credits for owners of properties oriented to arts and entertainment, and amusement tax waivers. McKay said the town is optimistic that they will be approved. The town tried once before in 2001 but she said that was premature and now the town has built up the businesses to support the designation.

Carolyn Laray, the county’s tourism director, unveiled a new town spring campaign that incorporates several annual events with some new events to create a five weekend long string of things to do in town. The events are:

·Apr. 19-21: Earth Day Weekend

·Apr. 26-28: Fabulous 50’s with a  Classic Car Show

·May 3-5: Fiesta in honor of Cinco de Mayo

·May 10-12: Marvelous Moms for Mother’s Day

·May 17-19: Heroes’ Welcome for Armed Forces Day

An advertising campaign will promote the events and the county’s tourism website will be the go to place for information and coupons. Town businesses are being asked to participate. A planning meeting is scheduled for this week.

Regina Bowman Goldring, CSM’s senior executive director for Student Enrollment Services, welcomed the attendees to the campus. She said the campus, whose first building was the vacant former St. Mary’s Academy, has revitalized that corner of town, which pleases her because she is a native of town.

Goldring said the new Aquatics Center on campus has been a success. And the campus is expanding, she said. “Everything is growing by leaps and bounds on this campus,” she observed.

Theresa Johnson, LBA’s marketing chair, said they are working with the town to make sure that new businesses receive a packet of information about the town and LBA. She said a sign showing the location of all LBA members will soon be erected in the center of town.

Breakfast for the event was catered by Olde Towne Café.

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