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Memorial Park to get new access road

March 13, 2001

Memorial Park to get new access road



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY

andreabh@herald-mail.com

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Memorial ParkFUNKSTOWN - Planned additions to Funkstown Memorial Park mean added perks for park users, according to Funkstown Assistant Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr.

A new street leading from Beaver Creek Road on the hilly park's north side to the far rim of the baseball diamond at the park's heart will increase access for people with disabilities, park patrons from the eastern part of the county and Civil War re-enactors who use undeveloped land at the park each summer to relive the Battle of Funkstown, Crampton said.

The new road will make it feasible to add several athletic fields - including a second baseball field and a soccer field - to the more than 23 acres of vacant land on the park's eastern edge.

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The town purchased the land for $50,000 in 1989. The rocky, rolling countryside has been used for the annual re-enactments but not for athletics because it was hard to reach, Funkstown Mayor Robert Kline said.

The town plans to keep most of the land open, but wants to build a third pavilion near the northeast corner of the baseball field to help meet the demands of the many families, community organizations and church groups that flock to the park for gatherings during the warmer months, Crampton said.

"We get a pretty good demand for the pavilions in the summertime," he said.

A new 20- to 30-space parking lot will help accommodate additional park visitors, he added.

The town has already been approved for a portion of the state Program Open Space, or POS, money needed to fund the project, Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said.

The Washington County Commissioners approved the first Program Open Space grant of $9,450 with a town contribution of $1,050 for the construction of a 600-foot gravel access road. The Commissioners also okayed a second POS grant of $32,850 with a town contribution of $3,650 to build the third pavilion and parking lot, Haynes said.

The town has requested $24,750 in Program Open Space funds for an extra 600 feet of road because the planned location of the access road changed after the initial grant was approved, she said.

It will now cost more to build the street because rocks and trees must first be cleared from the site, Haynes said.

Crampton said it is his hope that the funding is approved soon so construction of the access road can begin within the next six months.

"That's the biggest ticket - getting the funds to do the job," he said.

Program Open Space funds will cover the majority of the road, pavilion and parking lot costs but donations likely will be solicited to pay for the athletic fields, Crampton said.

The town has spent the last five to seven years improving the core park area, he said.

Rest rooms, picnic tables, benches and new playground equipment was added. The park's two tennis courts were recently resurfaced. And Program Open Space money made possible a new parking lot, minor league ball field and the playground equipment, Crampton said.

"That's been the driving force that's helped us do what we've done with this park," he said.

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