Rec center plans move forward
— The mayor announced that land for the town’s planned recreational center was declared surplus by the state’s Public Works Department on Wednesday, moving the project one step closer to its long- awaited realization.
Mayor Rob Alt said the state Board of Public Works approved the declaration of the unused field off Stockton Street, behind the Cecil County Public Schools administration offices, as surplus, turning the land’s ownership over from the school system to the county. Previously, both the Cecil County Board of Education and the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools approved the move. Now the county can negotiate the land transfer with the town in exchange for the waiving of permit fees associated with the building of the new Gilpin Manor Elementary School on Route 279.
Alt said county officials have supported the planned transfer of land.
“The county council and the county executive have given us their word that they’re going to move
forward and dedicate that land to the town of Elkton,” he said. “So we are ready to move forward on the community center.”
County Director of Administration Al Wein, county attorney Jason Allison and Elkton town administrator Lewis George will negotiate the deal, said Perry Willis, CCPS executive director of support services, on Friday.
“They are aware of it, they’ll probably be moving forward relatively soon,” Willis said.
Alt said the presence of a rec center will have positive impacts on the community.
“This community center is going make a difference in our community. It’s gonna make a difference for our children, our senior citizens and kids of all ages, to participate into this building,” he said.
Alt said there will also be partnerships and mentoring services offered at the center, and noted that it will impact the downtown economy as adults attend offered programs and visit local businesses afterward.
“I’m extremely excited about it,” Alt said Friday, adding that his goal is to open the modest center by this time next year.
Commissioner Mary Jo Jablonski said she is excited for the recreational center, as well.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said Friday. “I can’t wait to have something that serves the children and seniors in the community.”
Dwight Thomey, legal counsel to the Chesapeake Inn, presents their argument for a mistake in zoning at Wednesday’s town planning commission meeting.
This map shows the tentative proposal to exchange land near Booth Street from Cecil County Public Schools to the town of Elkton for the purpose of building a community center.