Rogers Drive as seen from Missouri Avenue. The extension will continue Rogers Drive to Willows Road where the new extension will meet Rennell Dr. at the entrance of Lancaster Park.
St. Mary’s County Commissioners are partnering St. Mary’s Community Development Corp. to design and construct an extension of Rogers Drive from Missouri Avenue in Colony Square to Willows Road in Lexington Park, MD. The county was awarded a $330,473 Maryland Community Development Block Grant for the project.
The road extension will open a second access into the Colony Square neighborhood in Lexington Park. The extension will join Rogers Drive to Willows Road at the entrance to Lancaster Park and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2019.
The extension of Rogers Drive is one of more than a dozen road extensions recommended in the Lexington Park Master Plan adopted by St. Mary’s County Commissioners in 2015. The connectors are designed to reduce traffic bottlenecks by providing alternative routes and to improve neighborhood safety. St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department COPS program and the Colony Square Neighborhood Improvement District endorse the opening of additional access points for the neighborhood.
St. Mary’s County is waiving nearly $10,000 in fees to support the project and the St. Mary’s CDC is providing more than $100,000 in administration and project management support.
“It’s our goal to enable St. Mary’s County government to qualify for more community development grants and address as many of the infrastructure needs of Lexington Park as we can,” said Viki Volk, president and CEO of the corporation.
Until 2014 the CDC operated as a branch of county government, but has since operated as a stand-alone nonprofit. “The Board of Directors continues to transition from an advisory board into a working board with the expertise of overseeing public development projects,” said Board Chair Mark Pinekenstein. “We are very proud that our team proved to be of the high caliber needed for the State of Maryland to approve this grant application and for St. Mary’s County to contract with us to run the project.”
Community development corporations are set up to be able to leverage local government funds to gain more state and federal funding and also to attract private investment to community projects, explained Ms. Volk. “Government can’t make a community’s economy rebound. It takes private investment to do that,” said Ms. Volk. “But government can build infrastructure to attract investment. The CDC can help with locating additional funding for infrastructure projects and can often deliver the finished product quicker and cheaper than government can do for itself. And that’s our plan for Rogers Drive.”