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Four Carroll County municipalities to receive grant funding for recreational projects

Jeff Degitz, director of Carroll County Recreation & Parks, speaks about a land acquisition request before the commissioners Sept. 19, 2019.
Jeff Degitz, director of Carroll County Recreation & Parks, speaks about a land acquisition request before the commissioners Sept. 19, 2019. (Mary Grace Keller)

Four Carroll County municipalities will receive state grant funds to enhance outdoor recreational facilities and activities.

At their meeting on Thursday, county commissioners approved a request from the department of recreation and parks to allocate 25% of its annual Program Open Space apportionment to the towns for park projects. The allocation for fiscal year 2022 is $360,496.

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Maryland’s Program Open Space is a nationally recognized program that provides financial and technical help for the planning, acquisition and development of recreation land or open space areas.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website, the program was established in 1969 and symbolizes the state’s commitment to conserving natural resources while providing outdoor recreation opportunities.

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Today more than 6,400 park and conservation area projects in Maryland have been supported through Program Open Space local grants.

Jeff Degitz, director of the department of recreation and parks, said the county’s eight municipalities take turns receiving the funds.

“Four will go one year and the other four go the following year,” he said. “For FY 2022, the towns scheduled to receive the funding are New Windsor, Taneytown, Union Bridge and Westminster.”

He said each municipality will receive $90,124 to go towards specific outdoor projects:

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  • New Windsor plans to use their portion for improvements at 201 Main Street Park.
  • Taneytown is looking to resurface the tennis and basketball courts at Taneytown Memorial Park
  • Union Bridge will repair the canopy roof at their community center walkway and purchase new playground equipment.
  • Westminster is using the funds for the Wakefield Valley Park master plan implementation.

The remainder of the Program Open Space money will go toward funding outdoor projects in other parts of the county.

Moving forward, Degitz said the department would submit their annual program to the state that would include the town projects along with county projects.

“I’m glad to see Wakefield is getting somewhere,” said Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1.

“It’s a beautiful property,” Degitz replied. “There’s a lot of things that go into design, planning and permitting so this is starting the process.”

Commissioner Eric Bouchat, R-District 4, asked if the towns in his district, New Windsor and Union Bridge, had “any layouts or designs of what they want to do” but the director said the projects are more visionary at this point.

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