For the second time in two years, Pocomoke City has been denied demolition funding for the old firehouse and armory by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
As City Manager/City Attorney Ernie Crofoot informed the council during its regular meeting last week, the denials came as no surprise.
“We knew it was coming,” he said.
The rejection letter provided to the town and signed by Carol Gilbert, assistant secretary of the department, explains that 26 projects seeking a total of $9 million applied for the available funding.
Only $3.5 million of allocated funding was available for projects. Proposals were competitively ranked, according to the letter, on factors such as economic impact, readiness to proceed, local commitment and leveraging.
The town is divided on what to do with the facilities. Council members like Diane Downing are in favor of selling the firehouse for the $2,500 top bid the town received last year. Crofoot would rather shore up the legal title to the firehouse in an effort to attract a more lucrative offer, while certain church groups are interested in using the buildings as community centers.