They says it’s more ‘flexible’ than one proposed last year.
Frederick, Md. (KM). In an unanimous vote Thursday night, the Board of Aldermen adopted a westside regional park plan. The document outlines possibilities for the 136-acre parcel along Butterfly Lane which is known as the Hargett Farm property.
Public Works Director Zack Kershner says the plan differs from one presented by a consultant earlier this year. “Changes basically include breaking the property into various land bays, and then highlighting potential uses for each of those land bay,” he said.
The plan developed by G.E. Fielder and Associates of Laurel called for a sports complex, multi-use fields, a water park, an indoor swimming pool, festival grounds and other amenities. The price tag was about $98-million dollars, something the Aldermen balked at when it was presented.
They instructed their staff to revise the plan, which was presented on Thursday night.
“There’s a piece of me that’s truly happy to be at the meeting where this is happening,” said Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak. “I really wish it had been done before. I think there was flexibility in it before.”
She also said this park will help bring up property values in the area, which will bring in more revenue to the city so it can continue to develop this property.
Alderman Phil Dacey was not happy with the original plan. “But I do think this modified document gives us the flexibility and the feasibility of actually getting some use out of this park here in the near future,” he said.
Alderman Michael O’Connor says now it’s now time for work to begin in planning for the future of this park. “The next step would be to put that steering committee in place, like the old Carroll Creek Commission, to begin to have the conversations with the partners in the community with how we start to move the infrastructure forward,” he said.
Alderwoman Kelly Russell reminded the audience that the city won’t be the only one footing the entire bill for developing the park. “There are hopefully going to be partners out there who want to participate and build these things for us and with us,” she said. “My expectation is that this is not going to be city taxpayer funded gigantic regional park. It’s just not going to happen that way.”
The city purchased the property in 2008 for $18-million for use as a regional park. Part of the parcel has been turned over to the Frederick County School System for a future Butterfly Ridge Elementary School.
By Kevin McManus