Bishopville Pond Project Issues Resolved

SNOW HILL – The Bishopville Pond improvement project will proceed as planned with the continued support of the County Commissioners.

The county’s support for the long-awaited pond improvement project was recently in jeopardy after county staff received some citizen concerns over potential future flooding onto private property bordering the improved pond after the improvements are made.

Project coordinators at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) said that post-improvement flooding fears at Bishopville Pond are unfounded. MCBP provided data to the county recently to back up their conclusion.

Flooding in the Bishopville Pond area should actually be reduced by the pond improvements, according to MCBP Director Dave Wilson.

Commission President Bud Church said two weeks ago that he would weigh data from both sides of the debate and make a decision on whether the commissioners should reconsider their long-time support of the work.

It did not take long for Church to reach the decision that the commissioners did not need to rethink their support for the Bishopville Pond improvements and would continue backing the project.

“It has been resolved. Bishopville Pond is back on and they’re going to proceed with the project,” Church said. “Everything is back in order.”

The pond is owned by Worcester County, and local government support is crucial to the project, Wilson said.

The Bishopville Pond initiative will restore some of the functions of the waterway to pre-dam conditions, such as creating a stream around the pond to permit fish to return upstream to spawn, a route which has been blocked for some years by a dam. The pond will also be dredged.

MCBP, after several ups and downs in funding the project, plans to put up $100,000, along with funding from Chesapeake Bay Trust, for the project, but must seek more funding to meet the $1 million project costs.  The program will seek federal stimulus money to make up the gap, or a substantial part of it.

The prep work for the Bishopville Pond project is nearly complete with the design nearly finished. Permits must be granted before the project will be shovel ready.