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Park depending on public's polish

November 30, 2000

Park depending on public's polish



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


SMITHSBURG - Veterans Park in Smithsburg is a town jewel that needs polishing, said Park Commission members Charlie Slick and Mickey Myers.

In 1996, the town used more than $200,000 in Program Open Space acquisition funds to buy the 29-acre parcel of rolling land off Water Street west of Town Hall. Open Space development funds have since been used to construct a park entrance complete with sidewalks, curbing and railings for handicapped accessibility.

But two bare flag poles and a concrete foundation are the only evidence of the veterans memorial garden planned for the park.

"We have an entrance to nowhere," Myers said. "Things have just come to a standstill. This park is going to depend a lot on how the citizens of Smithsburg and surrounding areas respond. We can't depend on Open Space money for everything."

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About $10,000 to $12,000 in private contributions is needed to refurbish and relocate two memorials at the Smithsburg Library and to pay for a third, larger monument, granite benches and landscaping, Myers and Slick said.

The Park Commission is soliciting funds in hopes of completing the memorial garden in time for a dedication ceremony next Memorial Day, they said.

"We want to make sure that we are suitably honoring all of the people in Smithsburg who served," Myers said.

The planned memorial area will include a large monument to honor all veterans and the two bronze monuments - which pay tribute to Smithsburg veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars - currently displayed at the library.

The monuments will be centered on the semi-circular foundation and surrounded by five granite benches, two lights, flags, greenery and flowers.

Open Space funds have been secured for a 70-vehicle parking lot and the extension of water and sewer lines to one of three pavilions planned for the park. The town has applied for state funding for a pavilion with rest rooms, picnic tables and storage space, Myers and Slick said.

The town is working with the county planning department to develop a five-year concept plan for the centrally located park, Myers said.

The plan includes a multi-purpose field, playground equipment, two more pavilions with picnic tables and two more parking lots.

"We know it's going to take some time," Myers said. "But it will be here for future generations."

Donations can be made to the Town of Smithsburg-Friends of Veterans Park and mailed or hand-delivered to Town Hall at P.O. Box 237, 21 W. Water St., Smithsburg, MD 21783.

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