Owner of novel books advocates for improved local infrastructure and planning
On November 1, Clarksburg, Maryland, inaugurated Phase 1 of a sewer extension project in its historic district. The project is the culmination of 15 years of advocacy efforts by Patrick Darby, owner of Clarksburg’s Novel Books.
For years, Darby’s goal had been to open a bookstore in the historic district, and he successfully opened Novel Books in 2011. However, inadequate infrastructure has been a barrier to successful management of the area. ‘a business in the region. âThe neighborhood has been collapsing for decades due to a lack of infrastructure to improve properties,â Darby explained. âFailed septic systems were a critical first step in the process. “
Darby pushed for action on the issue, and he successfully lobbied Montgomery County to declare the district a health hazard, which he did five years ago. According to Darby, âThis made the historic district a priority for improving infrastructure. Ultimately, the county had to step in to fund the sewage system.
The county has joined the sewer extension with plans to build a new fire station in the area, which will eliminate the current reliance of residents and businesses on individual septic systems. âOver the past 12 years, Clarksburg has grown tremendously,â County Director Ike Leggett said. “This project supports residents and businesses in the historic district of Clarksburg and provides the necessary public infrastructure for the future fire station # 35 in Clarksburg.”
The approximately $ 2.9 million project is expected to be completed in six months.
Darby is also participating in the design process of a cycle path project through the historic district. He advocated for the brick sidewalks, lampposts and maple trees, which historically lined the streets in the area. These features are now included in the county’s design plans.