Hurlock’s Downtown Committee meets, proposes solutions

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Feb. 16 meeting of the Hurlock Downtown Committee included, among others, from left, Cederick Turner, Jack Lewis, J.C. Collins, Russell Murphy, and Delphine Slaughter.

HURLOCK — Hurlock’s fledgling Downtown Committee met on Feb. 16 to study and edit the work done at the Jan. 19 meeting. The committee reviewed the group’s Mission Statement, brainstormed suggestions and identified the town’s strengths and weaknesses, and proposed solutions.

Committee officers are: President, Cederick Turner; Vice President, Patricia Finley; Secretary, Delphine Slaughter; Treasurer, Chris Adams; and Sergeant-at-Arms, J.C. Collins.
The group’s mission is to foster the planned growth of the entire community through the recruitment and retention of businesses, revitalization of the downtown business district, promotion of retail and tourist activities, and to preserve the town’s character and history directly or by creating incentives for upkeep and improvement of the area’s overall visual quality.

Suggestions to improve the downtown area include: Restoring the facings and damaged building fronts; involving property owners, seeking matching grants for building owners, and recycling the gabion pads.

Strengths and assets identified by meeting attendees include: A central location on the Eastern Shore; an available Enterprise Zone, small town flavor, affordable home prices, upcoming Veterans Memorial Park, and a supply of historical memorabilia for reference and display.

Hurlock’s weaknesses and problems were cited as: No natural gas which is deemed essential for businesses; youth and juvenile problems, no community center, town appearance includes dirty areas, junk, tires; weak codes and enforcement; lack of Neighborhood Watch Associations, and lack of affordable groceries.

Potential solutions include: Link town government with courts; talk with Judge Brett Wilson about requiring community service and parental involvement during sentencing; plan for crime prevention, communicate and advertise church and community activities, strengthen and enforce codes, encourage arts and music in town including quarterly festivals and Movie Night at the Pavilion; and, a community yard sale. The group would also like to improve in-town communication and partner with the high school to make greenery available during the Christmas season.

Hurlock residents are invited to attend meetings and are asked to bring an interested friend or two.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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