Charlestown discusses Avalon Park stage, kayak launch
— The town’s Avalon Park project is starting to take shape as commissioners discussed the location of a stage and a kayak launch Tuesday night.
Mary Clark Confalone, a member of the Avalon Park Development Committee, presented the commissioners with preliminary costs for the stage. A stage built at ground level with a roof would cost $19,000, while a raised stage with a roof would cost $25,000, she said. Confalone added that she didn’t have any estimations for how much the addition of handicappedaccessible walkways would cost nor has the project been bid yet.
The stage could be located on the lower
portion of Lot B, where it would look at the audience from the hill, or more in the middle of the lot, Confalone said.
Commissioner Andy Thompson and Vice President Mary Carol Durange both said they liked the idea of the raised stage.
“It really does have to be raised because of the flooding down there,” Durange said. “And if you have anything that’s ground level, the water’s going to come over the stage.”
Commissioner President Renee Capano also discussed the location of the kayak launch. The town had previously received a $90,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for Avalon Park Lot B, but Capano said the kayak launch could also be located on the Avalon Park Marina property. All she would have to do is notify DNR of the change in location and the town would still be able to use the $12,000 in the grant allocated for the kayak launch, Capano said.
Capano also pointed out that DNR had told her that the kayak launch and the stage should be located away from each other so the kayakers don’t disrupt whatever is going on at the stage.
“So they (DNR) do not have a problem with that, they just want notification so with the walking path or anything, as long as I put into the modification, that money can be used,” she said.
But Commissioner Joseph Letts noted that if the launch is placed near where the boat ramp is located, there is work to be done such as cleaning it up, which would cost extra money. Capano and Durange had previously applied for a $550,000 grant to develop both Avalon Park Lot B and the Marina property, but Letts pointed out that even if the town gets that money, it would have to match the grant with $58,000.
Capano said she is aware of this and is working on that.
Treasurer Andy Thompson also shared Letts’ concern over costs. He suggested that the $100,000 DNR grant should be used to construct a few things well rather than to construct several things of poor quality.
“I don’t know if we can do everything with the $100,000 grant money that we have and I think that’s OK,” he said. “I just think it’s important that we try to do a couple of things well instead of trying to get everything on our list done.”