Welcome to Your Jefferson Streetscape Block Meeting
This meeting is for the property owners and residents from a small section of the area affected by the Jefferson Streetscape project. The purpose of the meeting is for you and your close neighbors to review a set of plans that may directly affect your properties. Engineers from the Maryland State Highway Administration drafted the plans with advice solicited from you and your neighbors through the Jefferson Streetscape Task Force. By now, you no doubt already know a lot about the project. However, for the record, we'll first review a bit of history of how we got this far and then we'll discuss what we intend to accomplish this evening.
A Brief History of the Jefferson Streetscape Project
In the spring of 2000, Robert L. Fisher, District Engineer from the State Highway Administration, gave a lecture at a Jefferson Ruritan meeting about a state sponsored program, known as the "Streetscape Initiatives" to assist communities to improve the appearance, safety, drainage, and traffic flow along their main streets. He showed slides from many of the Streetscape Projects to illustrate the improvements. He explained how nearly 100 communities in Maryland had initiated the program and how the programs operate.
It was determined at that meeting that the Jefferson Ruritan Club would explore the possibility of starting a Streetscape project in Jefferson. The task was assigned to the Ruritan Environment Committee. It is noteworthy that Jefferson is the first unincorporated community in Maryland to initiate a Streetscape Project. Therefore, with the help of many other local organizations, a community meeting was held on May 22, 2000 that resulted in the creation of a task force committee. The committee consists entirely of local volunteers who elected officers from among their ranks, set their mission and operating procedures, and obtained a small amount of funds from the Jefferson Ruritan Club.
Since its first organizational meeting on June 5, 2000, the Jefferson Streetscape Task Force has met regularly each month, lead several walkthroughs of the targeted areas, conducted surveys of property owners and residents, assisted engineers from SHA in concept planning, and talked with county officials and utility company engineers.
Why This Project Is Important To You
This project is a way for you and your neighbors to make a coordinated set of improvements to the main street of Jefferson at no cost to you (although you may request certain extras). Streetscape projects are funded by a special allocation from the State budget to assist local communities to improve the appearance and safety of their streets and sidewalks. The program is designed to address the needs and desires of the local residents by working closely with residents, property owners, and their representatives. No other state program for road improvements is likely to become available in the foreseeable future, nor do any provide for this much input from the people affected.
What We Want to Accomplish This Evening
Through public meetings and individual surveys, the Jefferson Streetscape Task Force developed an initial wish list and then proceeded to narrow it down to a set acceptable to all. The SHA engineers have drafted a set of diagrams that embody these requirements as much as possible, in compliance with state code. Your task tonight is to review these plans for your section of the project and point out any possible problems or objections. It is required that the final plans meet the approval of all property owners. This is your chance to assure that the plans meet your approval before the next stage of the project.
Thank you, and have a productive and enjoyable meeting tonight.
The Jefferson Streetscape Task Force
PS: for more information, you are welcome to explore our web site at http://www.JeffersonMd.net/Streetscape/