Rec cen­ter plans move for­ward

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

ELK­TON

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.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Dwight Thomey, le­gal coun­sel to the Ch­e­sa­peake Inn, presents their ar­gu­ment for a mis­take in zon­ing at Wed­nes­day’s town plan­ning com­mis­sion meet­ing.

MAP COUR­TESY OF CCPS

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.

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