Residents of the Aberdeen and Havre de Grace area are set to get new athletic fields after the county purchased a 21-acre site between the two cities this past fall.
The land, in the 2000 block of Rock Glenn Boulevard and just inside the Aberdeen city limits, cost about $2.4 million, Harford County Parks and Recreation Director Arden McClune said in a recent interview. The seller was DDB, LCC.
McClune said in September the additional parkland is needed for use as soccer fields. The site will also have parking and some other uses, including possible construction of a pavilion.
The county settled on the land in October. Harford paid $1 million from its cash reserves, while $200,000 came from the county's allocation of Program Open Space state funding.
Another $200,000 came from the City of Aberdeen and $1 million came from state funds, of which about $640,000 were land and water conservation funds, McClune said.
The balance is coming from the state's Community Parks and Playgrounds Program, she said. The City of Aberdeen applied for that program, for which only municipalities are eligible, she noted.
"It is our intent, as we have talked about, that it would be transferred to the City of Aberdeen," McClune said.
People should not expect to see sports fields right away.
"That development side of things is probably still a few years away," McClune said.
The county will work with the city on the project. Aberdeen will coordinate to decide when to move forward on the development, she said.
The park costs roughly $114,000 an acre. It had been planned to have at least two soccer fields.
The property is across from Medline Industries and had been owned by DBB LLC, which includes Bob Hockaday, Dr. Richard Streett and former Harford state delegate William Cox. Cox confirmed the identities of the LLC's principals earlier this year. The trio developed the Rock Glenn community after the area was annexed by the City of Aberdeen.
The property had been planned for 90 townhomes in 2006, a project that never materialized.
Acquisition of the new parkland will go a long way toward meeting the county's continued goal of having 30 acres of preserved land per 1,000 people, as established by the state's Department of Natural Resources. Harford, which a population of about 247,000, is at a ratio of 29.7 acres per 1,000 residents, McClune said.
The Aberdeen Recreation Council has use of fields at North Deen Park and Demarco Memorial Park, McClune said at that time. Although the county has a good relationship with schools, the public school system "obviously" has priority for using the fields at its facilities, she said.