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Projects approved for Open Space state funding

June 06, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

New batting cages at Kemps Mill Park, field upgrades at Veterans Park, and development of a new park in Boonsboro are among 12 local parks and recreation projects selected to receive funding next year from Maryland's Program Open Space.

State officials have said Washington County's fiscal year 2011 allocation from Program Open Space will be $262,000 -- more than triple the amount originally expected, Washington County Parks, Recreation and Facilities Director James L. Sterling said.

However, because of funding challenges at the state level, that money won't actually be distributed until the start of fiscal year 2012, in July 2011, Sterling said.

Sterling said the delay was related to debt affordability because the state will be using bonds to fund Program Open Space next fiscal year.

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Municipalities, the Board of Education and Hagerstown Community College were invited to submit projects to Washington County's Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, which creates a recommended program for distributing the county's Program Open Space allocation, Sterling said.

This year, all but two of the funding requests were included in the recommended program, according to a chart provided by Sterling. A walkway-widening project for Hellane Park in Hagerstown was not included and a track upgrade at Williams-port High School will instead be issued funds left over from a previous year, Sterling said.

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the recommended program.

Sterling said the projects probably would not be started until the funding becomes available.

"Unless (the project sponsor is) willing to carry the debt load or the project cost for a year, they're better off waiting until next year to do it," he said.




Open Space projects



The projects recommended to receive funding are:

Washington County:

o $35,000 -- Pump house at Black Rock Golf Course

o $18,000 -- Two batting cages for Kemps Mill Park

Hagerstown:

o $18,000 -- Barrier-free ramp at Potterfield Pool

o $13,500 -- Golf course netting

o $6,300 -- Recycling containers for parks

o $10,800 -- Portable shade canopy for University Plaza

o $9,000 -- Stationary stage for University Plaza

o $7,200 -- Portable metal bleachers

Boonsboro:

o $60,017 -- Development of King Farm Park

Funkstown:

o $49,500 -- Upgrade to the entrance to Community Park

Smithsburg:

o $27,283 -- Field upgrades in Veterans Park

Williamsport:

o $7,400 -- ADA parking at Beard Pool

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