Dorchester Council approves grant request for Innovation Center

CAMBRIDGE — The Eastern Shore Innovation Center may be getting some upgrades paid for by U.S. Department of Agriculture Business Development Grants.

At the Dec. 20 meeting of the Dorchester County Council, Cindy Smith, county grant administrator, asked for approval for two grant applications for ESIC. Currently at the center, if Internet connectivity is lost, businesses lose both Internet and phone service. There is no redundancy in place. An application to the USDA grant program requests $17,000 for Bay Country Communications to install a landline cable to match infrastructure already in place as a safeguard.

Another grant application requests $50,000 to install a sensitive compartmented information facility. According to Ms. Smith, several businesses in the center deal with classified information for federal contracts. Currently, those representatives from those businesses must travel to the western shore to handle classified documents.

The facility is secured so there can be no electronic infiltration. Classified documentation can be discussed and held in that room. It would be a box that would fit right into the current facility. The council unanimously approved both grant requests.

Also Dec. 20, the council went briefly into legislation to approve a bill that changes language to another bill that was approved in July. The July bill, 2016-4, addressed a request from a law firm representing Greenlawn Cemetery in Cambridge. Cemetery representatives wanted to expand an existing small crematorium on the property. To be able to do that, the bill that was passed in July was required.

The cemetery is in a resource conservation area and the initiative was forwarded to the Critical Area Commission. The commission had no problem with allowing Greenlawn to grow as a cemetery, but the July legislation didn’t include specific growth allocation within the RCA. Bill 2016-7, passed unanimously Dec. 20, is almost identical to the summer bill but adds growth allocation and permitted uses to cemeteries in the RR-RCA or rural-residential — resource conservation area zoning district.

The Dorchester County Council meets again Tuesday.

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