January 28, 2023

7 St. Mary’s Projects Receive State Rural Counties Funding

St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. (Photo courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development)

Seven St. Mary’s County projects have received grants from the Rural Maryland Economic Development Fund.

The Maryland Department of Commerce announced that 114 economic development projects in rural counties will be funded. The grant fund was announced late last year to boost economic development activity, stimulate private sector investment, and create jobs in the state’s rural regions.

The projects specific to St. Mary’s County include:

Lexington Park Development District Implementation Plan ($100,000)

The project will utilize consultant services to develop a plan for implementing the adopted Lexington Park Development District Master Plan. The Comprehensive Plan calls for locating 80% of the county future growth on the 20% of county land that is designated for growth areas. The master plan anticipates that 70% of that growth area development will be in the Lexington Park Development District.

St. Mary’s Regional Airport Public Space Enhancements ($380,000)

Create public gathering spaces for further activation of the regional airport and emerging AeroPark Innovation District as an attractive location for continued growth in general aviation, aviation-related enterprises, and charter service for Southern Maryland and as the physical headquarters for Southern Maryland Innovates. Create a flexible and programmable center providing a variety of active and passive experiences increasing activation and promoting growth and collaboration within the regional airport district.

St. Mary’s County Urban Legacy Plan Development ($60,000)

Create an Urban Legacy Plan through stakeholder engagement, with priority funding areas and mechanisms for compliance. An Urban Legacy Plan is designed to enhance resiliency of NAS Pax and increase confidence of businesses in the Calvert-St. Mary’s MPO.

UAS Strategy and Roadmap for the State of Maryland ($80,000)

St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development plans to support the Maryland Economic Development Corporation project to help define the investment, stakeholder engagement, and strategic vision and plan that positions Maryland to capture the tremendous economic and societal benefits potential autonomous technologies offer to the region.

The Barns at New Market Capacity Enhancement ($550,000)

Install BAT (best available technology) to accommodate production of high fat food processing and expansion of existing parking. Market is a destination and prime retail location for producers in St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert.

Chesapeake Bay UAS Route Network (CURN) Phase II ($800,000)

The goal is to create an FAA- approved UAS route network overlying the Chesapeake Bay that supports future research and development, government/civil/commercial operations, and public safety. Phase 2 will be an implementation phase that includes the execution of the various action plans developed in Phase 1. Examples of the various action plans to be executed include the detailed phased implementation of operational requirements, communication, marketing, staffing, business/financial, and service support supplier acquisition plans. Phase 2 will implement the infrastructural foundation to the route network to support Southern Maryland and the entire Bay watershed to begin routine operations.

Chesapeake Bay UAS Route Network Phase I ($500,000)

The goal is to create an FAA- approved UAS route network overlying the Chesapeake Bay that supports future research and development, government/civil/commercial operations, and public safety. An FAA approved UAS route network will allow for easy transport of goods across the Bay, will increase UAS research and development, and will bring recognition to Southern Maryland as a leader in the UAS field. Phase 1 will be a planning phase that includes developing all necessary action plans required to lay the infrastructure foundation to implement the route network to support the Southern Maryland and the entire Bay watershed.

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