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Canton park to be expanded

The Baltimore Sun

Canton's Waterfront Park - a favorite fishing spot and dog park along the harbor - will be expanded by 2 acres by 2009 under a plan unveiled by Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon yesterday.

Dixon said a maintenance yard and trash skimming facility adjacent to the park would be moved by 2009 - opening approximately 2 acres that will be used for parkland. City officials said specifics of the plan would come before the Board of Estimates later this year.

"Our waterfront is one of the most valuable resources we have," Dixon said in a statement. "Every citizen deserves access to the water and a green, peaceful area around it."

The announcement - which Dixon had intended to make at a candidates forum in Canton last night - comes weeks after the city said it would create a park along the harbor near Key Highway in South Baltimore.

As part of the Canton arrangement, Hale Properties LLC will assume "day-to-day landscaping and maintenance" of the park, though the land would continue to be owned by the city, officials said. Hale Properties is owned by Edwin F. Hale Sr., chairman and chief executive officer of 1st Mariner Bank.

The candidates forum was held at the United Evangelical Church, 3200 Dillon St., and, in addition to Dixon, drew City Councilman and mayoral candidate Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., as well as three candidates for City Council president.

About 100 people attended the forum and asked the candidates about crime, education and zoning. The forum's moderator was City Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents Canton.

Officials stressed the plan would not change the dog park or basketball court at the north end of the complex.

john.fritze@baltsun.com

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