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Will this parcel be lost as an addition to park?

October 01, 2004

Earlier this month, when the Shepherdstown Men's Club turned down the transfer of 22-acre Morgan's Grove Park to the Jefferson County, W.Va., government, the club's secretary said he felt the proposal "wouldn't go anywhere for now."

At the time we said that might be wishful thinking, since neighboring property owner Gene Henry had offered an adjacent 11 acres, complete with a house and a pool, to the county, for $1 million.

County Commission Jane Tabb called the price "outrageous," but with 50 townhomes now proposed for the property, Henry just might get his asking price and more.

Who wouldn't want to live next to a public park? Recreation would be right at your door, without the expense of maintaining the property.

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In a previous editorial, we said it would be up to a citizens group to take on the chore of acquiring this property and building an endowment fund to ease the concern on men's club members about ongoing maintenance.

We also noted that at some point in the future, as the area continues to grow, there will be a need for more recreation areas.

An additional 11 acres could provide space for more soccer and baseball fields. And, the house on Henry's property could serve as an office and/or residence for a caretaker for the park.

In recent months, we've seen what we consider amazing prices for property. That's happening because developers have run out of places to build closer to the big citizens. Once Henry's property is built on, it will be unavailable for recreation. We urge citizens to act before that happens.

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