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Clear Spring OKs bricks to finish streetscape

August 01, 2000

Clear Spring OKs bricks to finish streetscape



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer


CLEAR SPRING - Bricks? Flowers? Weeds? ... what will it be?

When plans were being made last year for the streetscape renovations in downtown Clear Spring, residents were given choices of what would go in front of their homes.

Now that the work is "completed" and the workers have left, some homeowners seem to have been overlooked.

"The flowers were provided free by the state and our garden club planted them," said Cindy Downs, president of the Clear Spring Garden Club.

Concrete has been poured, ornamental grasses are in and trees, benches and trash receptacles will be installed in the near future.

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Downs headed up a delegation of residents who attended Tuesday morning's Town Council meeting to express their displeasure at either being forgotten or not getting what they wanted.

"We didn't want a bunch of plants but that's what we got," said Johnny Downs whose house is east of Clear Spring's Town Hall on Cumberland Street.

Those plants, which are in the strip between the sidewalk and the curb, require regular sweeping to keep them neat and free from weeds, he said.

The biggest problem seems to be the shortfall in bricks for the sections where homeowners didn't want trees, plants or concrete.

Cindy Downs said the project manager assured her several times during the streetscape work that enough bricks would be provided to take care of the whole job.

But when the workers left the job site, Downs said the brickwork came to a halt about halfway through.

"The garden club figures it will take 17 cubes of bricks to finish the work," Downs said. A cube is approximately 500 bricks.

Already the club has secured six cubes and a quantity of stone dust needed to keep the bricks from moving after they are installed.

Downs came to the meeting Tuesday to ask the town to absorb the cost for the remaining 11 cubes, estimated to cost just over $2,000.

"My budget is hurting but I'll vote to pay for 11 cubes of bricks," said Councilman Mason Mundey, who is also street commissioner.

The measure passed with one negative vote, from Councilman Gary Grove, who said he didn't remember that brick was part of the plan for some areas between the sidewalks and the curbs.

Councilman Bill Albowicz led a round of applause for the garden club members and particularly Cindy Downs who have worked tirelessly to fine-tune the downtown renovations.

"I've heard compliments at Maryland Municipal League meetings and it makes me proud to be from Clear Spring," said Vice Mayor Julie Albowicz who conducted Tuesday's meeting in the absence of Mayor Paul Hose Jr.

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