Charlestown dis­cusses Avalon Park stage, kayak launch

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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

CHARLESTOWN

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.”

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