Bicyclists, low-level lawbreakers among beneficiaries of new Annapolis grants

Annapolis Receives $752,000 in State Grants and $23,400 in a Federal Grant Compiled from city press release: The city of Annapolis has been awarded three grants this fall. The first, awarded in late August, is $528,000 in a grant from the State of Maryland's Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP). The funding will help to create a LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program. In Baltimore a LEAD program is designed to help chronic low-level drug offenders and prostitutes break their cycle of low-level drug and prostitution criminal offenses. It has shown some success in lowering recidivism. The second grant is for $224,000 from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Bikeways Program to design Annapolis Low-Stress Bicycle Network Connectors. The third grant is a $23,437 federal grant, administered through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), for flood mitigation. “Pursuing this funding helps us to achieve our goals without stressing the City budget,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We have seen during the pandemic the number of overdoses rising steadily. I am grateful that the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention has entrusted us to use this funding to help bring those numbers back down. "The Bikeways grant will help us to enhance alternative transportation options. I thank City staff for pursuing these grant opportunities. Flood mitigation funding helps us with our resilience planning. ” LEAD PROGRAM: This funding will be used to help divert people out of the criminal justice system. The grant will be paid out over three years and will be administered out of the Mayor’s office with assistance from Annapolis Police Department. The first priority will be to hire a program manager. The Finance Committee recently recommended approval to the full City Council for a first-year payment out of the grant funding to fill the program manager position. No matching City funds are required. BIKEWAYS PROGRAM: In the 2011 Bicycle Master Plan, a number of pedestrian and bicycle paths, lanes, and greenways were outlined. Sometimes, the routes end abruptly or don’t connect to established routes. This grant will help make some of those small connections. The grant period is for one year and will be administered through the Department of Planning and Zoning.   This complements other projects like the opening of Victor Parkway for bikes and the planned extension of the Poplar Trail. Jon Korin, president of Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and chair of the County Bicycle Advisory Commission said, “we are pleased to partner with the City to create a safe, interconnected network of biking and walking routes to make it safer and more equitable.” FLOOD MITIGATION: The award for flood mitigation is a combination of funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and City funds. It is part of a long-term goal to reduce or eliminate claims under the National Flood Insurance Program.  The funds will be dedicated for the development of projects described in the 2018 Hazard Mitigation Plan. This recent grant initiative brings the total amount the Office of Emergency Management has received in 2020 to more than $1,000,000.