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Md. approves $112,500 for local recreation upgrades

January 05, 2012|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY — State funds were approved this week for a makeover of a Williamsport-area park, a more efficient golf-course irrigation system and a new handicapped-accessibility lift at the Martin Luther King Memorial Recreation Center gymnasium.

The grants, totaling $112,500, come from Program Open Space, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources program that provides local governments with funding for public recreation and open-space areas.

The award includes $36,000 to upgrade the four-acre Mount Tammany Park on Tammany Manor Road, between Williamsport and Halfway.

The park project includes adding a small pavilion, handicapped-accessible playground equipment and two multipurpose areas, as well as planting trees and resurfacing the existing basketball court.

Currently, the park is mostly open green space, with a few picnic tables, Washington County spokeswoman Sarah Lankford Sprecher said. Years ago, there was a basketball and tennis court, and it was considered a neighborhood park, she said.

“Now with the approved funds, we plan to start bringing the park-like setting back by purchasing playground equipment,” Sprecher said.

The state funds also include $58,500 to design and install control components, software and pumps to upgrade the existing 23-year-old irrigation system at Black Rock Golf Course.

“The new system will be much more efficient and cost effective, reducing water and energy consumption,” the county Recreation and Parks Advisory Board wrote in its recommendation for the project.

The third project included in the award was $18,000 to replace a vertical lift used for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility to the Martin Luther King Memorial Recreation Center gym on West North Avenue in Hagerstown. The lift will be near the front of the building, Sprecher said.

The grants were approved Wednesday by the Maryland Board of Public Works, a three-member body composed of the governor, comptroller and state treasurer that is authorized by the General Assembly to approve contracts, purchases and other procurement actions.

Sprecher said the county was pleased with the amount of the award in light of the tough economic climate.

“These are lean times, and we appreciate the funding because it will help benefit the community and contribute to the positive quality of life Washington County residents enjoy,” Sprecher said.

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