The following article by Lee Zion was published in the Daily News-Record on April 1, 2024.

Elkton Provides Update For Marketplace Project

The town provided an update on its Downtown Marketplace, currently under construction.

Mayor Josh Gooden said he expects the project will be completed sometime in July.

The project has been kicked around for about 30 years. Town officials had long been looking at one particular, which had been nicknamed “Lawn Party Hill.” It wasn’t until 2021 that the property owners decided to sell the land to the town, Gooden said.

Gooden noted that the town had long used the property for special events, and town leaders didn’t want to lose that space.

The project officially got underway in December, and the town held a groundbreaking in January. The 2-acre park will have a farmer’s market, a performance stage and greenspace. The project will be handicap accessible, Gooden said.

Lantz Construction is building the project, and several organizations have donated money.

Gooden said Lantz has a long history of working with the town, citing the “meticulous” job the construction company did on restoring the Elkton Town Hall (Jennings House) in 2020 and the complete restoration of the Elkton Area Community Center in 2006.

Other prominent sponsors include Elkton Brewing Co., which released a batch of “Lawn Party Hill.” A full 100 percent of the sales were donated for the Marketplace. Gooden called it the best-selling brew they’d ever produced, and it sold out in five days, resulting in a contribution of $3,300 to the Marketplace.

Also, Billie Jo Dofflemyer, president for the Elkton Progressive Improvement Committee, announced it was increasing its financial support. Dofflemyer sais its initial pledge of $75,000, but with the success of its fundraisers, it was increasing that amount to $100,000.

Gooden said this would create a more vibrant and thriving Elkton, where community spaces like the Downtown Marketplace pavilion play a crucial role in bringing people together, fostering economic activity, and creating lasting memories.

The total amount raised so far from private donations is about $200,000. It is a true testament to the civic, business, and resident support for this project, Gooden said.