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Legislation reintroduced to allow C&O communities input on park's operations

March 08, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara Mikulski have reintroduced legislation to allow for an advisory commission that helps communities along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park have input on the park’s operations.

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park Advisory Commission was established in 1971 as part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Development Act.

The commission must be reauthorized every 10 years but last year it was not reauthorized, said Williamsport Mayor James G. McCleaf II, who was on the commission until last year.

McCleaf said he remembered former U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., having concerns about the advisory commission last year.

But McCleaf said the advisory commission was a “very, very, very good group of people” and McCleaf said he hopes he will be reappointed to it if it is reauthorized.

McCleaf said the commission is made up of people who have a great love of the canal and the outdoors.

“People have the right to have a say in what happens in their own community. And it is the responsibility of the federal government to support a process that ensures the peoples’ voices are being heard,” Mikulski, D-Md., said in a news release

The C&O Canal stretches 184 miles from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Md., and in the Tri-State area it passes through communities such as Williamsport, Sharpsburg, Harpers Ferry, W.Va., and Hancock.

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