Friday, March 20, 2009

St. Clements Manor Economic Stimulus Program

Dear Honorable Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader

This is an appeal to you, most powerful Congressman, from your very own Congressional District voters, to help us, the forgotten side of St. Mary's County, the lower 7th District, get federal stimulus funds for our own St. Clements Manor Economic Development, Environmental, Ecological and Historical Stimulus Preservation and Rehabilitation Program (SLMEDEEHSPRD for short). You could take credit for the most innovative jobs creation program in history as we could guarantee you a 300% increase in Coltons Point jobs the first month we get the big bucks and the jobs should double every two years thereafter.

This birthplace of civilization in the Mary Land territory included the Washington, DC, and Philadelphia areas, which were part of the 1633 Mary Land grant to Lord Baltimore from King Charles II of England. We believe George, Cecil and Leonard Calvert and Father Andrew White, the visionaries, organizers and settlers in this incredible dream are due more proper recognition in American history. We also believe Father White should be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church and as a result he would become the first saint in the new world. In addition our St. Clements Manor, the oldest in America, desires to regain our rightful heritage and recognition for our forefathers with this wonderful program.

As you know, Coltons Point, the site of St. Clements Manor House, has somewhere between 250-500 people. Not bad for a non-existent village founded 375 years ago. We currently have about 6 employees working in the village confines, 3 in non-profit service, 1 1/2 in federal service and 1 in the private sector. I'm not sure what happened to the last one half a person but strange things are normal in the 7th District. Our employment base has grown about 2 people per century for the last four centuries. We can demonstrate a massive instant increase in that jobs base and assure the money gets spent real fast with this program.

There are five initial demonstration projects. First is the restoration of St. Clements Island which consists of two parts. There is the restoration of the island lands and the restoration of the island culture which made it one of the top resorts on the east coast in the 19th century in addition to being the site of the first landing of Catholics and Jesuits in the 17th century in the original colonies. This also includes a bridge from shore to the island along with electric service to the island. Figure about $12 million including the cost of the 19th century island hotel.

We would acquire a dredge, build a sea wall at the new island perimeter and start dredging all the immediate bays, creeks, and other tributaries of the Potomac River and then pumping the river bottom inside the island sea wall to fill in the eroded land. About 300 acres will be added to the existing 60 acres making it about the size when the first colonists landed in 1634. By making the river and creeks deeper we will be aiding the Global Warming Crisis (also an Obama Administration favorite) by making more room for the melting icebergs and glaciers. Boaters and fishermen will benefit from the dredging while the oyster, crab and clam communities will be very pleased with the new river bottom.

To some extent this is a payback to the island by the federal government who spent years bombing it when the Navy owned it and used it for target practice. Some treatment of a priceless national treasure. Still we have the technology to undo all the things that happened to this birthplace so we will turn back the clock to the glorious years.

The second project is the rebuilding of the historic St. Clements Manor House on the water front at Coltons Point overlooking St. Clements Island. We need to move about six cramped houses to restore the Manor House and Gerard graveyard at the Point and the Chapel at St. Patrick's Creek. Thirteen acres need to be acquired for the complex which will provide a second small hotel to complement the island hotel. It will be the 3rd restoration of the Manor House in 375 years at the exact location. Sea walls will be extended and reinforced with a new pier to accommodate the restoration of the entertainment pavilion. This should cost about $15 million.

The third project is the St. Clements Riverfront Park in which the road between the museum and river will be removed and replaced by a boardwalk overlooking the restored beaches facing St. Clements Island once again making the Point a favorite place for history, romance, water sports and religion. River access for day visitors boats will be added. Throw in $2 million for this.

Our fourth project takes place on undeveloped land along St. Patrick's Creek where an 18th century riverfront fishing village will be recreated to house an artist's colony along with an organic market and restaurants. Real commercial establishments found in such villages will be incorporated along with the artist studios and living quarters. Upwards of $3.5 million could be invested in this commercial and educational effort.

The fifth and final project is funding the St. Clements Manor Property Foundation that will use assets to acquire, renovate, own, rent, manage or resell property in the St. Clements Manor District. It will secure property in order to thoroughly inspect, repair, and incorporate environmental and energy efficient improvements through the innovative Green Machine Pilot Program.

Most older property being offered for sale has historic value but needs new environmentally friendly and energy efficient improvements. This foundation will make certain properties for sale in the area will exceed building codes and meet the St. Clements Green code. It will be a service to current residents, many of whom are elderly, by allowing them to sell their home without the expense of making improvements in order to sell the house. The foundation will insure houses are in great condition for new owners, help the people selling the property, and be able to assure exterior construction reflects the nature of the area.

Designed to become self-sufficient after the initial grants and private donations, this foundation will be crucial in guiding the character of the improvements in Coltons Point, will assure the Green Code is used for all existing homes that are for sale, will encourage home sellers and buyers to feel confidence in the quality of the real estate and will help increase the value of real estate in this exclusive market. A grant of $2.5 million from the stimulus will be combined with matching private sector donations.

The total stimulus grant needed for all five innovative programs is $35 million. A significant number of construction jobs will result and completion of the projects will result in a significant number of permanent service and trade jobs. Beyond the monetary cost the benefits will be substantial and offer exceptional future evolvement.

The most environmentally friendly and energy efficient standards achieved through the Green Code and the foundation mechanism used to protect housing and commercial stock are obvious benefits. The reduction in pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay helps meet new environmental goals. Homes recycled through the real estate foundation will exceed all state and national building standards. Compatibility with the historic nature and character of the area will be guaranteed.

Thank you for your consideration Majority Leader Hoyer from the constituents that keep sending you back to represent us, the citizens of the 375 year old St. Clements Manor area and the 7th District..

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