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FDR Boulevard Construction Commences

The construction of FDR Boulevard between Great Mills Road and South Shangri-La Drive is finally underway.

The trucks and tractors you see  between Executive Salon Suites and St. Mary’s Lighting are under contract to the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission (MetCom). MetCom is replacing the 50-plus-year-old sewer line with a larger pipe and also installing a water line to serve the future site of the Lexington Park Volunteer Rescue Squad near the library. This portion of the work is expected to be completed in early May.

St. Mary’s County awarded Great Mills Trading Post the contract to complete the road’s construction. If MetCom’s work is finished on time, then the FDR Boulevard road, sidewalk, bike path and landscaping and decorative lighting construction project will be underway by the end of May and completed sometime this fall.

And, not to be ignored, Great Mills Road is getting another face lift!  The State Highway Administration will resurface Route 246 from St. Mary’s Square all the way to Route 5. Work includes milling, resurfacing and re-striping all through travel lanes as well as the Route 237 (Chancellor’s Run Road) tie-in with Route 246.

This work will take place at night, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday.  During these hours, a lane closure and flagging operation may be used to guide motorists through the work zone.

Eighteen thousand vehicles travel on this important stretch of MD 246 each day. Let’s keep working together to improve Lexington Park!

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Pride in the Park Parade Coming May 4

The Lexington Park Business and Community Association will host a parade on Saturday, May 4 to celebrate the community’s historic partnership with the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

Pax River was commissioned in 1943. April 1 marks the 70th year since the opening of the installation. During the past seven decades, St. Mary’s County and Pax River have moved in lockstep toward an ever brightening future for our community.  This year, we take a moment to recognize the significance of this relationship.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating the 70-year partnership between the U. S. Navy and the Lexington Park community by entering a group to participate in the second annual Pride in the Park Parade.

The parade will start promptly at 10 a.m., leaving from the parking lot of the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department, located on South Shangri-La Drive in Lexington Park. The route will follow Shangri-La to South Essex to Great Mills Road and then back to the Fire Department via the alley near Raley’s Home Furnishings.

The Navy’s partnership with Lexington Park is the envy of the armed services. We now strive to ensure that the annual parade is equally successful. We hope that you will join us to make this event the pinnacle of Pax River’s 70th year celebration. Click here for an entry form. For more information about the parade, please feel free to contact Robin Finnacom at 301-863-7700 or robin.finnacom@stmarysmd.com.

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Medical Services Building Slated for Lexington Park

Lex Park Google MapWhile financial uncertainty threatens the economy at the Pax River end of Great Mills Road, economic reports from the southern end are good and getting better.

At the very least they’re getting healthier.

These were the messages that headlined this month’s Lexington Park Business and Community Association’s meeting, held last week at Bay District Social Hall. The first message reflects the community’s frustrated wait for federal budget decisions. The second suggests another frustrating wait may be nearing its end.

Cherry Cove development will begin a revitalization effort potentially impacting nearly 90 acres at the intersection of Great Mills Road and Chancellors Run Road. The first piece, the East Run Health Care Center Building, is slated for the corner where Cherry Cove is now located. This first building launches construction of a commercial medical complex of a scale able to both draw needed services to the area and provide employment opportunities in the area.

Drawing private investment for commercial redevelopment on any scale is an economic success story for any community. Cherry Cove’s plan for a commercial complex to serve medical and family core services is  a significant success for St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation which is charged with revitalizing Lexington Park.

Cherry Cove is one of the most visible renewal partners the unincorporated Lexington Park has had in its efforts to return a more vibrant economy to the Great Mills Road corridor. The initial portion of this project dovetails with a significant State of Maryland grant to Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital. The grant will bring a wide range of health and family services and programs into the Lexington Park area.

The health grant applies only to programming. The Cherry Cove project is privately financed.

Cherry Cove’s long-term vision for the full property extends out more than 20 years. Planning for the residential component is not set to begin before 2020. Ultimately the land across from Great Mills High School and the county’s public swimming pull will be encompassed in the full revitalization vision. Workforce housing, both single family and multi-family structures will transition the more than 700 homes now existing on the full acreage.

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Grapevine Antiques Wins Holiday Display Contest

holiday display contestGrapevine Antiques is the first place winner of the Lexington Park Business and Community Association’s fourth annual Holiday Display Contest.

“We are so thrilled,” exclaimed Helen Newell who, along with her husband Ken, owns and operates Grapevine Antiques located on Tulagi Place.

Mrs. Newell gave a large measure of credit for this year’s winning display to Troy Meister, a vendor at Grapevine Antiques. “We received a ton of compliments from customers on our holiday decorations both inside and outside of the shop. 2012 was an excellent year for our business and winning this contest is just a great way to kick off the New Year,” she said.

Grapevine Antiques’ design featured an oversized polar bear, donning Santa’s hat, relaxing in an antique rocker surrounded by coco-filled tea sets and other vintage memorabilia. Mr. Meister’s hand-crafted garlands and wreaths decorated the posts and cornice fronting the business dressing up the entire block.

Pet Salon was this year’s second place contest winner, improving their third place showing in last year’s contest. The owners of Pet Salon, located at 21640 Great Mills Road, added even more holiday pizazz to this year’s display. To market their pet grooming business, Mr. and Mrs. Oh created a display of cats and dogs outlined in twinkling holiday lights sitting next to a wheelbarrow overflowing with poinsettias. Garlands circled the poles, awnings and entrance to the Salon. Mr. and Mrs. Oh expressed their excitement and appreciation for the second place win over the steady buzz of clippers, while expertly grooming two pooches.

This year’s honorable mention goes to Kenny’s Flowers and Gifts. Kenny’s is a well established and highly successful business located on Great Mills Road. Julie Pitt, owner of Kenny’s Flowers and Gifts, maintains a tradition of decorating the company’s windows to accentuate holidays throughout the year. Kenny’s is a must see every Valentine’s Day! “We nearly double the number of participants in this year’s contest,” stated Sharon McLeod-Hare, chairman of the Business Association’s holiday display contest and manager of the newly opened Comfort Inn and Suites on Three Notch Road. “Everyone really appreciates the added attention for Lexington Park and this is simply a great way for local businesses to share the holiday spirit with the surrounding community. I hope we can sign up even more businesses for next year’s contest.”

“The Lexington Park Business and Community Association’s mission is to promote business growth in the community surrounding the base,” explained Mark Pinekenstein, chairman of the Association. “We’ve received tremendous support for each new activity, such as last year’s parade and the Twilight Taste held this past fall,” he said. “Lexington Park’s comeback is defying the naysayers, and anyone who wants to be a part of the community’s growing success is encouraged to participate.”

The winners of this year’s Holiday Display Contest will be honored at the January 9th meeting of the Lexington Park Business and Community Association. The Association meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the social hall of the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department. For more information about the Association, call the Community Development Corporation at 301-863-7700.

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CDC Proposes New Sheriff’s Station for Lexington Park

The St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation has entered an agreement with the Lexington Park Rescue Squad to work toward converting the current rescue squad building into a station for the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office when the squad moves to its new building next year.

The sheriff’s office currently uses a space in the building for making stops to write reports, but the CDC has bigger ideas.

“What we are envisioning is much more robust,” said Robin Finnacom, the CDC’s executive director, at a meeting of the Lexington Park Business and Community Association Wednesday night.

Under the signed agreement, Finnacom said, the CDC will be allowed to use 800 square feet of the rescue squad building on Great Mills Road, between Church of the Ascension and PNC Bank, until the rescue squad moves to their new building on the planned FDR Boulevard South sometime next summer.

The CDC has met with Del. John Bohanan about securing bond funding for the project, which would add bunks, desks, evidence lockers, and holding cells to the building, Finnacom said.

Finnacom said the CDC has begun the process with the understanding that “this may happen; it may not.”

Business Association to Begin Raising Funds Soon

In other news, Finnacom told the LPBCA that the group needs to begin fundraising soon for next year’s Lexington Park promotion activities.

The LPBCA raised $9,000 from the sale of sponsorship banners for the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation celebration and now has approximately $2,000 left in the bank. The majority of the money was spend to sponsor the Pride in the Park parade this summer.

Finnacom said the last of this year’s money will be used to sponsor the upcoming St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum.

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Guests Pack Freedom Park to Get a Taste

With good music, great weather and amazing food, PNC’s Twilight Taste in the Park was a rousing success Thursday evening at Freedom Park at Tulagi Place in Lexington Park, Maryland. PNC Bank, along with 11 local eateries and the Lexington Park Business and Community Association, put on a party with music, games, dancing and a whole lot of good, free food.

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Free Food in Freedom Park

Eleven restaurants join PNC Twilight Taste in the Park in Freedom Park,  just south of Gate 2 at  Tulagi Place Thursday, October 11th from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A wide variety of cuisines and courses will be available free to all.

The restaurants participating are featured in a series of videos running this week. Information about each of them is given below.

PNC Twilight Taste in the Park will run from 4:30 to 7:30 at Freedom Park on Thursday Oct. 11, 2012. The event will be open-air, under tent in case of inclement weather and free.