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Boonsboro asks for park help

May 03, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

BOONSBORO - The Boonsboro Town Council is asking for the public's help with the decision of how to use 46 acres the town recently acquired for recreation.

The Council voted in April to spend $600,000 to purchase 35 acres from retired cattle farmer S. Branden King.

That land is adjacent to Shafer Park on Park View Drive. A portion of it is in Washington County and will have to be annexed, said Councilman Richard Hawkins, a member of the town Parks Commission.

The town also acquired a 5-acre Maryland state right-of-way, which connects with the King property near Md. 34.

The town paid $4,900 for that land, Mayor Charles "Skip" Kauffman said.

The estate of Albert Sinnisen has deeded the town 6 acres between Shafer Park and the King property.

The properties were acquired to prevent the land from being developed for business or residential purposes and to provide additional recreational space, Hawkins said.

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"We decided we wanted to preserve that land for the residents of Boonsboro and South County," Hawkins said.

Finding the best possible use for the land is a top priority and the public should have a say in the matter, Kauffman said.

He said the town has been asked to use some of the space for softball fields. If that request were granted, that would leave room for a pond, playground or other projects, he said.

The town plans to move slowly with the recreational development of the land and is working with Washington County planners to create a feasibility study because the land contains flood plains and wetlands.

The Council has no immediate plans to annex the section of the King farm that is in Washington County, he said.

"We're just in the planning stages," said Hawkins.

He said he was not sure how much property would be annexed.

Hawkins said he has been approached by different organizations in town suggesting the land be used for soccer, baseball, football and softball fields. Others would like to see it made handicapped accessible.

The town is considering putting in a parking area for vendors for its annual carnival. Walking trails and pond are also a possibility, he said.

Residents with ideas about the park may contact the mayor or Town Council members.

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