Charlestown dis­cusses con­cep­tual plan for Avalon Park

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Town of­fi­cials got their first look at a con­cep­tual plan for the development of Avalon Park on Tues­day night.

Com­mis­sioner Pres­i­dent Re­nee Ca­pano pre­sented the plan cre­ated by URS Corp., an en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, which en­com­passes both Avalon Park Lot B and the ad­ja­cent Avalon Ma­rina prop­erty.

She said there is a po­ten­tial for 70 park­ing spa­ces with six hand­i­capped-ac­ces­si­ble spots and eight boat trailer park­ing spots. Ca­pano said there is also po­ten­tial for ad­di­tional com­mu­nity-ori­ented fea­tures such as a dog park, pic­nic area, gazebo and walk­ing trails, among other ideas. She noted that the ideas are not fi­nal­ized, but are only con­cep­tual.

In Septem­ber, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources gave the town a $90,000 grant to fund the ren­o­va­tions for Avalon Park Lot B in March, and the town added an­other $10,000. Ca­pano said the grant also stip­u­lates a sign must be put up ac­knowl­edg­ing the DNR gave the town a grant for the project.

Orig­i­nally, the Avalon Park Com­mit­tee, made up of town res­i­dents, was only look­ing at the Avalon

CHARLESTOWN

Park Lot B por­tion of the park but go­ing for­ward will have to look at the park as a whole when ap­ply­ing for grants, a task that is be­ing worked on at the mo­ment, Ca­pano said.

A 1,075-square-foot walk­ing trail is pro­posed to be lo­cated in Lot B and also be hand­i­capped-ac­ces­si­ble. Be­cause it will be wa­ter­front, the trail has to be made of an im­per­vi­ous sur­face. Ca­pano said an es­ti­ma­tion she re­ceived dur­ing the Mary­land Mu­nic­i­pal League Con­fer­ence came to $20 a square foot, but the price could end up lower than that. She also noted that the plans call for an “Avalon stage,” or per­gola, which could be placed in a field be­tween Ped­dler’s Creek and the North­east River.

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Mary Clark Con­falone noted that the con­cep­tual plan would al­low res­i­dents and vis­i­tors to en­joy the area.

“It’ll give them a place to park, to have a pic­nic. The kids can play, the dogs can play,” she said.

No de­ci­sions were made on the topic, and the item was tabled un­til the next meet­ing. The board needs to dis­cuss the plan and, at a fu­ture meet­ing, might be able to start bid­ding out cer­tain projects, Ca­pano said.

Ca­pano said top pri­or­i­ties for the next grant in­clude items such as a pavil­ion area and seat­ing area.

Patsy Cle­ments, a mem­ber of the Avalon Park Com­mit­tee, clar­i­fied that some of the ideas men­tioned in Ca­pano’s pre­sen­ta­tion were not dis­cussed by the com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee’s works con­sisted only of ideas for Lot B and those ideas were pre­sented by Con­falone dur­ing a pre­vi­ous com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Charlestown is de­vel­op­ing plan to build a com­mu­nity park where the cur­rent Avalon Park park­ing lot is off Wa­ter Street.

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