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Park plan missing public input

May 22, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg's 29-acre Veteran's Park could be home to several pavilions, athletic fields or camping facilities if that's what residents want, Parks Commission member Al Deal said Monday.

"The potential for the park is amazing," Deal said.

The biggest obstacle will be to find public support because volunteers are needed for every phase of the project, he said.

Two members of the public attended a Monday night hearing to discuss the future of the park.

"The public had an opportunity to say what they want. I am disappointed by the turnout," Deal said.

The town purchased the park land about five years ago with $230,000 in Program Open Space funds, he said. They spent an additional $65,000 to build an entry way and sidewalks.

The Parks Commission estimates that about 13 acres of the park are usable for playgrounds, fields and pavilions.

An initial plan for the park included a soccer field, joint baseball and softball field, three pavilions, walking trails and picnic areas.

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Deal said that because of the hilly landscape of Veteran's Park, the Parks Commission would like to see it used as a traditional park instead of including athletic fields, which Smithsburg's Community Park already has.

The park would be suitable for family reunions, civic group meetings and other outdoor events, Deal said.

An area near the entrance would be designated for memorials moved from the town library, and flag poles, benches and landscaping could be installed.

Updated plans for the park include two parking areas, with the largest near the Water Street entrance leading to a main pavilion to provide easy access for senior citizens, he said.

Deal said he would like to see local businesses and residents sponsor the pavilions, the largest of which would be similar to the Pen Mar Park pavilion in Cascade.

He said a concession stand could be built and it might also be possible to use the park's natural incline for seating for an amphitheater.

No final decisions have been made. Residents can contact members of the Parks Commission or Town Council with any ideas, he said.

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