Plans for new ball fields in Crofton edged closer to reality last week as a county budget committee recommended spending $452,000 to buy the land.
The Planning Advisory Board wants to use state money from Project Open Space instead of relying on county funds. But a county budget analyst said that money is in jeopardy.
Either way, Crofton's new park most likely will become a reality. The analyst, Gregory V. Nourse, said if Crofton officials can find a suitable site, the county will spend the money and hope for a reimbursement from the state.
If that reimbursement does not come, then the $452,000 will be put on the county's capital budget program in fiscal 1995, he added.
"I'm optimistic that it will go through," said Dorie Folstein, president of the Crofton Athletic Council.
Crofton residents have been lobbying for a new park for several years and have been using ball fields at various area schools to supplement their only other recreational facility at Hardy Field, owned by the Crofton Civic Association.
But at least one of the school sites may not be available much longer. Cardinal Field, behind Crofton Middle School, is to be the site of a new school building. That has pushed officials at the county Recreation and Parks Department into action. "That seems to be what is driving us right now," said Jay Cuccia, assistant director of the parks department, which put the Crofton proposal sixth on its 35-item priority list.
Mr. Cuccia and Ms. Folstein said the land under consideration is 100 acres south of the intersection of Defense Highway and Davidsonville Road.
Ms. Folstein said her recreation council keeps growing -- from 1,700 youths just three weeks ago to more than 2,000 -- even though the group has limited its membership to just the middle school district.
"It's restored my faith," Ms. Folstein said. "These are all county kids we are talking about. I'd much rather see them play than be in the streets stealing hubcaps."