An alternative suggestion to the proposed waste transfer station for the former Plecker property on Route 7 was presented to the Joppa/Joppatowne Community Council at its monthly meeting last week.
Jared Noe, owner of production company Noe Way Out Studios in Baltimore, wants to build an indoor sports arena on the property the Harford County government acquired last year for a future waste transfer station that the community opposes.
"We were looking at sites all around the county," Noe said during the Dec. 4 community council meeting at the sheriff's Southern Precinct. "We spoke with [County Councilman Dion Guthrie] and this is exactly what we were looking for."
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The proposed arena, to be known as Asylum Sports Arena, would serve as a facility primarily for youth to play box lacrosse and in-line hockey, Noe, a Harford County native and North Harford High School graduate, said.
"No other [local] venue has specialized in these two areas," Noe said. He added, however, that the arena would "not just be a hockey venue and would not just be a lacrosse venue."
A brief video Noe presented at the meeting demonstrated the possible entertainment options for the proposed area, including roller derby, music concerts, mixed martial arts matches, arena football and numerous other activities. Even professional indoor hockey and lacrosse leagues had expressed interest, Noe said.
"The NLL (National Lacrosse League) said that they want to bring their preseason here," Noe said.
Noe stressed that the arena wasn't meant to impact other athletic activities in the county, such as soccer clubs or ice skating.
"It's not our intention to push out any businesses that we have," Noe said.
Joppa council member Vince Rabenau liked the idea.
"It's more practical than big Mack trucks going back and forth [on Route 7]," Rabenau said of the transfer station plan, although he added that traffic would still be bad in the immediate area.
Noe said that they would get help from local police to assist with traffic, as he estimated that a hockey or football game would bring in 2,000 to 3,000 fans. He stressed that he wasn't seeking any tax dollars to develop the facility.
"We're not trying to take taxpayer money for this thing," Noe said. "We're trying to buy it from the county."
The county acquired the 24-acre property, which was home to a defunct golf center, for $2.9 million.
"I really think this it's a great idea," Guthrie said. "Whether it's at [the Plecker property] or not, there are a lot of kids who are looking for something like this."
Noe urged anyone interested to e-mail email@example.com and to fill out a survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LZPL9XB .
Transfer station update
The status of the waste transfer station also was brought up at the meeting. Guthrie said that the station would likely be in the solid waste bill to be introduced by County Executive David Craig at a County Council meeting in the second or third week of January.
Regarding Craig, Guthrie said that regarding the waste transfer station, "he seems to be ..."
"Remorseful?" Joppa Council Member Gloria Moon interjected, drawing laughter from the audience.