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State grant approved for expansion of Smithsburg Veterans Park

May 05, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

SMITHSBURG - A state grant was approved Wednesday for an expansion of Smithsburg's Veterans Park by more than 2 1/2 acres, an area that might later be used for sports fields, state and local officials said.

The $145,500 grant comes from Program Open Space, a state program that helps communities fund the planning, acquisition and development of recreation land or open space areas.

Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said the town will use the money to purchase a piece of land adjacent to the current park near Smithsburg Elementary School.

The land was formerly owned by a town resident and used for farming, Myers said. It also includes a shed that the park will use for storage, she said.

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The expansion was not part of the town's five-year plan for the park, but when the land became available, officials decided to try to buy it.

"We knew the people were going to sell it, and due to the fact that it is adjacent on two sides to the current park, the council agreed that this would be a good thing to have," Myers said.

She said it is probably the last open space within the town limits that is large enough to develop for recreation.

"We're trying to think of the future, that's the bottom line," Myers said.

The park was one of 12 parks and recreation facilities in the state approved to receive Project Open Space funds Wednesday, Gov. Martin O'Malley's office said in a news release.

Other projects in the planning phases for Veterans Park include extending the walking trail around the perimeter of the park and adding a second entrance from Cave Hill Road, Myers said.

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