The Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website is NPS's primary tool dedicated to facilitating public input into decision making processes. The PEPC website was taken offline during the government shutdown, which prohibited the ability of affected parties and the public to provide comments on any projects or proposals whose comment periods were open between December 21, 2018, and Feb 12, 2019, when PEPC was put back in service. To ensure that the public has ample opportunity to review and comment, the comment period for this proposal will reopen on Feb 12, 2019 and be extended through Mar 12, 2019. Any written comments received or comments entered into PEPC prior to the shutdown will be considered and included in the overall project record.
The National Park Service (NPS) has begun a planning process to relocate the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) headquarters from Hagerstown to Williamsport, Md. To kick-off the planning, the public is invited to an informational meeting on February 12, 2019, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Williamsport Community Building located in Byron Memorial Park.
NPS staff want to hear community members' and other interested parties' ideas and thoughts on the relocation of the park's headquarters to the former Miller Lumber Company site, located in the Williamsport Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
We are also looking for historical information on the Miller Lumber site from the public including photographs, historical data or stories. This information will be used by the NPS and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) to contribute to the documentation of the site and to plan for the headquarters.
We will have a 30-day public review period, from February 12 to March 12. You can comment online through the park Planning, Environment & Public Comment webpage, in person at the public meeting on February 12th, or by mail to the below address:
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
attn: HQ Relocation Project
1850 Dual Highway Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Approximately 5 million people visit C&O Canal each year. In 2017, more than 420,000 of these visitors came to Williamsport, spending nearly $6 million in the local community and supporting more than 800 local jobs. The move, which was announced in September, is expected to bring an economic boost and over 75 jobs to Williamsport.
Currently, the C&O Canal headquarters is located in Hagerstown, Md., which is a 20-minute drive from the nearest park location in Williamsport. In 2002, the park offices moved to Hagerstown from the Ferry Hill Plantation visitor center near Sharpsburg, Md.