County gets largest cut of Md. open space money

March 23, 2007|by TARA REILLY

Washington County on Wednesday received the largest chunk of $1.49 million in Maryland Program Open Space money awarded to several counties by the state Board of Public Works.

The Board of Public Works approved $838,500 for the county for three projects:

· Engineering, excavation and construction of a new running track and runway approach at Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School.

· Construction of a basketball court, security lighting and handicapped-accessible walkways at Funkstown Community Park.

· Installation of a new bridge at Hancock's Kirkwood Park.

County Buildings, Grounds and Parks Director Jim Sterling said Thursday some of the money will be used for the county's Program Open Space (POS) allocation for the track. The county has committed $750,000 in POS money for the track over a three-year period.

Sterling said the county anticipated receiving the POS money from the state.

"It wasn't a surprise," he said. "It was just basically a response to the applications that we sent in."


Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Board of Public Works member, said Program Open Space helps protect the environment and makes the state a nicer place to live.

"These projects throughout our state will help improve the quality of life for all Marylanders," Gov. Martin O'Malley said in a written statement.

Program Open Space has provided funding for the acquisition of nearly 292,000 acres for open space and recreation areas, according to the statement.

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