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Can Historic Camden expect $400,000?

Posted: May 11, 2012 3:05 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2012 5:00 a.m.

On behalf of the Board and Staff of Historic Camden, we are thrilled -- no giddy -- to read in the mayor’s candidacy article last Wednesday of the “recent funding of over $400,000.00 in infrastructure improvements supporting Historic Camden as a huge step forward in the dream of achieving National Park Status.”

This took us completely by surprise.

We were aware that the city most graciously included in the proposed 2012-2013 budget the burying of power lines that transected Historic Camden’s lower grounds (one of the concerns of the National Park Service) as part of a $300,000 grant the city received to continue burying power lines in south Camden. But this cited $400,000 funding to support Historic Camden infrastructure is clearly different than burying a single utility line.

Last fall, we presented city council a “wish list” totaling $750,000 of funding opportunities to help enhance our bid for National Park Status. When we applied for grants this year, however, we were advised only $95,000 of the approximate $600,000 Hospitality tax appropriation would be available to satisfy tourism-related requests totaling $250,000. We had no idea what the remainder of the approximately $500,000 would fund. From the article announcing Mayor Graham’s bid for a second term, can it be Historic Camden might expect to see $400,000?

This money will fund multiple infrastructure improvements, most particularly the adaptive reuse renovation of the historic McCaa tavern. As a future working tavern, it would generate future hospitality tax revenue immediately as it would be available for rental purposes as well as an operating tavern with food supplied by local restaurants, creating a win/win opportunity for Historic Camden, local restaurant owners, and the town of Camden.  Not to mention creating a beautiful historic setting with period dressed staff serving delicious 18th Century dining selections to both traveling tourists and local citizens alike.

Thank you, Mayor Graham.

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