Council set to finalize park plans

The Strasburg Town Council is hosting its biannual retreat in town hall today in an effort to finalize its plans for downtown revitalization under the Community Development Block Grant.

This includes approving final drawings on the community park that’s still in development, as well as the deeming the fate of the Brown building at 218 E. King St.

Mayor Rich Orndorff Jr. said although the focus of the retreat, which will be held from 8 a.m. until noon, is on the block grant, discussion of the Brown building will inevitably come up.

“We just want to hunker down and really dig in and come to a final decision so the construction drawings on the park can begin,” he said. “And I’m sure the Brown building will be discussed with that.”

The town purchased the Brown building for $100,000 in August, and has until the end of November to decide whether to preserve the building, renovate it or demolish it. The building currently lies on land the town intends to use for the community park.

However, Orndorff said the town could choose to redraw the boundary line around the property as a means of buying time and finalize park plans and decide on the Brown building closer to its deadline at the end of November.

According to Orndorff, council is down to the wire on forming a plan to activate funds for the next phase of the Community Development Block Grant.

Town Manager Ryan Spitzer said Mark Lieberth, an employee of the firm hired by the town to design the park, will attend the meeting to hear final requests to draw into the town’s plan.

Councilman Don Le Vine said regardless of the back and forth that went on regarding the town’s acquisition of the Brown building, council’s job tomorrow is to make the right decision with what to do with it.

On the pragmatic side, Councilwoman Kim Bishop said she’s excited to get to the point of making a final call.

“I’ll just be happy when it’s put before us and we can make a decision on it,” she said.

The Community Development Block Grant is an economic development grant designed to stimulate economic development in downtown areas by drawing traffic to communal spaces. It includes façade and streetscape improvements as well.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com.