Park Development Meeting Set

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County will host a public input session later this month to share plans for a county-owned property and to gather ideas before a master plan is developed.

On Nov. 20, the community will have an opportunity to share ideas for the development of a county-owned property known as Pirate’s Wharf.

Last month, Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced the county had received an $820,000 grant from the National Park Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the future development of Pirate’s Wharf.

The county purchased the 340-acre property – located along the Wicomico River – in 1997 and, to date, has not developed the property for public use. County officials said the goal in developing Pirate’s Wharf is to establish various outdoor amenities, such as a boat ramp, trail system and other low-impact activities.

Shortly after announcing the grant award, county staff came before the Wicomico County Council to request matching funds for the project. While they supported the development of Pirate’s Wharf, some council members said they were concerned that community members were largely unaware of the county’s plans for the property and encouraged county staff to involve the public throughout the planning process. Others said they were hesitant to commit to the matching grant without having a better understanding of how the park would be developed.

“We are committing to $800,000 without having a plan,” Councilman Ernie Davis said.

To that end, county officials will hold a public input session for Pirate’s Wharf on Tuesday, Nov. 20, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Flanders Room of the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

The input session is an opportunity for residents to share ideas for consideration as the Pirate’s Wharf Park master plan is developed.

Steve Miller, Director of Wicomico Recreation, Parks & Tourism, will discuss grant awards that have been secured for development of Pirate’s Wharf and recommendations from the Pirate’s Wharf work group.

Ken Eaton, senior project manager of Andrews, Miller & Associates, will also be in attendance.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.