- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Two county residents spoke in favor of the purchase and plans to turn 223.89 acres of land on Ward Road in Dunkirk into a recreational facility during the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners meeting Nov. 13.
According to a memo from Julie Paluda, the county’s capital projects analyst, the 2006 Calvert County Land Preservation and Recreation Plan denotes a deficit in the recreational facilities in the county. Currently, the county needs 440 additional acres to meet the 2020 LPRP goal of providing 2,880 acres of recreational land. If acquired, the new recreational land will reduce the 440-acre deficit to 217 acres.
After comments, the commissioners unanimously voted to leave public comment open for 10 days regarding the budget adjustment to increase the fiscal 2013 capital improvement plan budget to include the necessary fees and purchases for the proposed recreational facility.
Charles Russell, with the Patuxent Football Academy, said, “I’m here simply to make a testimony to support” the plan for the recreational facility.
He said the need for more playing fields and other recreational areas is growing faster than the population and, currently, use and demand are limited.
“The fields don’t get adequate time to rest” for grass to grow, or to prevent further damage from continuous use.
Joe Depaul, with the Calvert Soccer Association, said that he was in support of the new facility because there is a “big need in the northern part of the county” for fields.
“We’re excited that [parks and recreation] may be building the fields,” Depaul said.
On Oct. 16, the BOCC approved the purchase of two parcels of land on Ward Road totaling 223.89 acres for $2.7 million — provided through a Calvert County Youth Recreation Opportunities Fund state grant administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
The grant is funded from the admissions and amusement tax on electronic bingo and electronic tip jars within the county.
To receive the grant, though, the project must satisfy three conditions from DNR, according to the memo. The first is that the project be approved by the DNR secretary to advance youth recreational opportunities in the county. Second, a decision is made whether to require the county to contribute to the cost of the project. And third, the expenditure is reflected in the state’s budget.
Paluda explained that the conditions have not been met yet and that staff is working with DNR to ensure they are met.
According to the memo, the work is planned to begin in the spring of 2013 to make it ready for use in the spring of 2014.