BERLIN — Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin this week called for transparency and increased public input as the U.S. Postal Service again begins to study the possibility of closing the Easton Area Mail Processing Center, the hub for mail generated all over the Eastern Shore including Worcester and Wicomico Counties.
In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Mikulski and Cardin urged the U.S. Postal Service to keep the public fully involved in the decision. The Postal Service first considered consolidating the Easton facility with the mail-processing center in Baltimore last year, but the plan was shelved.
“The people of the Eastern Shore have the right to know, and they have the right to be heard,” Mikulski said. “Yesterday, we learned that the Postal Service will study whether to consolidate Easton’s mail processing operation with Baltimore’s. Before the Postal Service makes a decision, they have to hear from the people of the Eastern Shore.”
Cardin echoed Mikulski’s sentiments.
“As the USPS once again looks at the possibility of consolidating Easton’s mail processing operation with Baltimore, I want to make sure that the residents and business owners on the Eastern Shore have input and that their voices are heard as the process moves forward,” he said.
Fee-Free Day at Assateague
ASSATEAGUE — In celebration of National Public Lands Day, the entrance fees at Assateague Island National Seashore will be waived tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 24.
Assateague National Seashore Superintendent Trish Kicklighter this week announced the entrance fee to the national park will be waived for all visitors tomorrow, September 24. The free entrance applies at both the Maryland and Virginia districts of the national seashore.
“This is a terrific opportunity to get the whole family out and enjoy Assateague at a great time of the years,” she said. “The fall flowers are blooming, migratory birds are passing through on their way south, the weather is perfect and the island is less crowded.”
National Public Lands Day is an annual event celebrating service and recreation at more than 1,600 parks, refuges and other public lands throughout the nation. Visitors to Assateague and other public places are encouraged to help out during their stay by volunteering in public service projects. Those interested can stop by the Maryland District ranger station to find out how to participate.
City Donates Vehicle
OCEAN CITY — Clinton Timmons is a previous town employee who worked as a mechanic in the service center before deciding to become an instructor at the Worcester Technical High School.
Timmons has requested the town donates surplus items such as old batteries, tires and alternators to be used as instructional items to assist in educating students.
Public Works Director Hal Adkins pointed out that the town would have to pay a disposal fee to dispose of the items anyhow. Adkins also suggested donating an airport field truck which the department has been faced with repairing or disposing of. He said the expense to repair the truck is not worth having it fix.
The Mayor and City Council voted unanimously to approve the transfer of items, including the truck, to the Worcester Technical High School.
“I think investing is the key and let’s invest in our students in the local area,” Councilwoman Margaret Pillas said.
Ground Broken On Parking Lot Expansion
SALISBURY — Over 30 state and local elected officials, residents, business owners and stakeholders gathered last week at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center to break ground on a 1,500-space expansion of the facility’s parking lot on a five-acre tract purchased with state funding.
Wicomico County was able to purchase the five-acre site through a grant from the state’s Program Open Space. While the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center hosts over 400 events each year and attracts roughly 250,000 visitors, attendance is often limited by parking constraints. The new parking lot will increase parking at the facility by roughly 33 percent by adding 1,500 additional spaces.
Program Open Space, in existence for over 40 years, is funded through a transfer tax assessed on every property sale. Wicomico County has benefited enormously through the program and has received and spent over $11 million over the years to buy land and develop its parks and public spaces.
In other Program Open Space news, the Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a $500 allocation for the purchase of a new bike rack at Homer Gudelsky Park in West Ocean City to encourage alternative forms of transportation to the popular waterfront park.