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Parks get $100,000

August 09, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

Boonsboro and Smithsburg have been awarded more than $100,000 in state grants to improve the communities' parks, town officials said Thursday.

Recipients of the 2002 Community Parks & Playgrounds Program grants were announced Wednesday.

Part of Gov. Parris Glendening's Smart Growth Initiative, the program provides funds to local governments to help rehabilitate, expand or improve existing parks or create new parks, or purchase and install playground equipment in older neighborhoods and intensely developed areas throughout the state, Program Manager Marketa L. Walker said.

The state Board of Public Works this year approved $5.2 million for 68 projects statewide, she said.

Boonsboro received $12,395. The town had requested $100,000 - $87,000 to revitalize the 173-year-old Shafer Park, $11,000 to renovate the exterior of the community center and $2,000 to install a multi-purpose field, Assistant Town Administrator Debbie Smith said.

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Town leaders must now decide to which project to dedicate the state funds since Boonsboro received only a fraction of the requested amount, Smith said.

Smithsburg received $104,000 of the $115,000 the town requested. It had sought $50,000 to grade and seed a multi-purpose field at the town's new Veterans' Park, $40,000 to purchase and install playground equipment and $25,000 to refurbish two of the park's 29 acres, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

"I'm just thrilled to death. Now we can get the park very usable by the end of next summer," Myers said.

The park's first pavilion and restrooms are under construction. The grant money will fund a multi-purpose field and double the amount of playground equipment the town can afford, Myers said.

"A project we expected to move very slowly is picking up speed," she said.

Veterans Park plans include a memorial area, multi-purpose field, playground equipment, three pavilions with picnic tables and three parking lots.

The town in 1996 used more than $200,000 in Program Open Space acquisition funds to buy the rolling park land off Water Street west of Town Hall. POS development funds have since been used to construct a park entrance, parking lot and the first pavilion.

Smithsburg this year received $15,000 in POS funds for new playground equipment, Myers said.

The town last November received a $67,500 Community Parks & Playgrounds Program grant for curbing, landscaping, storm-water management and other park improvements.

Myers, who applied for the grant as town parks commission chairwoman, said she was surprised the town was awarded another grant amidst stiff statewide competition.

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