Allegany County Commissioners minutes, 3-23-1936
March 23, 1936.
At a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County, in conjunction with a committee appointed by Honorable Harry W. Nice, Governor of Maryland, to study flood damage in Maryland and to recommend whatever legislation might be needed to alleviate suffering and to rehabilitate damage caused by flood waters, were present the following; Commissioners Nelson W. Russler and James Holmes, and Clerk Thos. P. Richards. In the absence of President A. Chas. Stewart and Attorney to the Board, David W. Sloan, who were in Annapolis pertaining to county legislation, Commissioner Russler acted as temporary Chairman and William A, Huster, States Attorney for Allegany County, acted as Attorney to the Board.
The Governor's committee was composed of the following; General Milton A. Reckord, Commander of the Maryland National Guard, Samuel E. Shanahan, Chairman of the State Board of Aid and Charities, Miss Margaret Lewis, State Director of the American Red Cross, Nathan L. Smith, Chief Engineer of the Maryland State Roads Commission, and Dr. Robert H. Riley, Director of the State Department of Health of Maryland.
The meeting was called to order by General Reckord, who stated briefly the reason of the visit of the committee to Cumberland and requested any suggestions from the County Commissioners which would help alleviate the unfortunate situation caused by the flood.
After considerable discussion, a five-point county program was presented to the committee by the County Commissioners, as follows;
First. A bill was approved by the Allegany County Commissioners to seek legislative authority in the form of an enabling act, to provide for a $500,000 bond issue for emergency purposes.
Second. A request for Federal or State funds to repair roads and bridges damaged or destroyed by flood waters. Tentative figure being suggested by Commissioner Nelson W. Russler at approximately Fifty or Sixty Thousand Dollars for the above purpose.
Third. It was deemed advisable that the American Red Cross be given complete supervision of emergency relief work and the care of the flood sufferers.
Fourth. A plan to have the Red Cross and the Works Progress Administration cooperate in sanitation projects In rural areas affected by the flood waters.
Fifth. Tentative plans to prevent future floods at Cumberland and adjacent territory, through dredging, the erection of retaining walls and the changing of the courses of streams flowing through Cumberland.
Commissioner Russler requested that the Governor's committee in its recommendations, stress the necessity of flood control measures in the head waters of the Potomac River basin, particularly the Savage River Dam impounding project, which has been agitated for the past several years.
Considerable discussion both pro and con as to the advisability of the above mentioned project with reference to flood control ensued. General Reckord stating in effect, that he was of the impression that the impounding of waters of the Savage River Valley would be of little or no use in the matter of flood control, but rather to his view point the materialization of such a project would be more beneficial from a sanitation standpoint and from benefits which would be derived from the furnishing of water to the various industries in the Potomac River basin during drought periods.
At this point General Reckord asked those attending the special session whether there were any further suggestions or questions or remarks with reference to the issues at hand, and apparently there being none, after thanking the various members of the Board of County Commissioners and its representatives for cooperating with his committee, the meeting was declared adjourned.
Signed A. Chas Stewart, President
Thos. P. Richards , Clerk.
Board of County Commissioners, Allegany County, Maryland
The minutes of the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County can be found at Historical Minute Collection and are used here with permission.
Floods, Maryland, Cumberland, History; Cumberland (Md.),History.
Western Maryland, 1936