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News Opinion

Dundalk needs North Point center

It's time for the people of Southeastern Baltimore County to wake from their doldrums and begin protecting the interests of themselves, their children and future generations. I have lived in the Dundalk area my whole life. I've seen many changes occur, many of which have done harm to the integrity of the area.

Some of the worst occurrences have been thrust on us over the past decade with administrations that don't seem to care about our people or our quality of life. A once proud and well-recognized recreation and parks program has gone from the best to a total abomination. This has happened not because of the volunteers who are attempting to do their best to provide opportunities for our citizens, despite their frustration with the administration. It has happened because of a complete lack of concern and support on the part of county government at both the executive and departmental levels. Now, the county is attempting to sell one of the only large buildings and large parcels of property in the area. North Point Government Center is a keystone of recreational opportunities in the entire area and Baltimore County's intention is to place one more nail in the coffin to destroying this area's quality of life.

I see no plausible reason for the sale of North Point Government Center for commercial or industrial use. It serves as the center of a highly concentrated population area with thousands of individuals utilizing it for recreational purposes, particularly children of the surrounding areas. Why in the world would we want more stores in Dundalk? We have well over a hundred stores currently vacant with Eastpoint nearly closed and the old Ames Center on Eastern Boulevard still nearly vacant after many years. What happens to the many small businesses along Merritt Boulevard if larger stores are placed at North Point? What about the traffic along Merritt Boulevard? It is already nearly unbearable. On a Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. (an unlikely time), the cars were bumper to bumper. What will it be like with additional stores at North Point?

It has been stated that the green space would be replaced. Where? There is no open property of 27-plus acres within walking distance. What about the tennis courts and multipurpose courts? It has also been stated very benevolently that the physical center will be replaced with a 21,000 square foot building somewhere in the area. It wouldn't do much good if it isn't nearby. Just what could be fit in such a space? Do you really think that could replace a gymnasium, several activity rooms, locker room, offices, auditorium, rehearsal hall and storage? What about the space for the Alliance and Skies The Limit? Would it then be necessary to rent space somewhere else for a county councilman and member of the House of Delegates?

For all the people in the Southeastern area, it is time to be heard. The battle this time is in the surrounding communities of North Point Government Center. Eastwood Elementary has already had their grief. At the rate things are going, the next time it may be at Holabird, General John Stricker, Sparrows Point or Dundalk middle schools or Patapsco High School or any other facility that the county feels they can make a few bucks and come to the aid of the developers.

Sorry, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, in no way can I see how the sale of the North Point Government Center can be beneficial to the Dundalk area, In fact, I don't know what your motivation is or what direction your head follows, it certainly doesn't sound like the majority of people living in the Southeast.

Bob Staab, Dundalk

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