County accepts Elkton land for future potential swap
Town wants to build community center on it
— The county council unanimously vote Tuesday night to accept two parcels of land that could eventually be transferred to the town of Elkton to build a community center.
The land parcels at 201 and 203 Booth St. were previously declared surplus by both Cecil County Public Schools and the state, but the council had to expedite its vote in order to meet a 30-day deadline imposed by the state.
The decision became effective Oct. 18.
The Cecil County Council is not allowed to enact legislation in the month of November in which council members are elected in accordance with the county charter. This charter provision necessitated the expedited action Tuesday night, since that was the county council’s last legislative session until Dec. 6, when a new council will be in place.
“The next steps will be to discuss disposal of this property, hopefully in December,” County Director of Administration Al Wein said, adding, “Our charter prevents a lame duck council from voting in November.”
Councilwoman Joyce Bowlsbey, who chaired the committee that wrote the charter prior to her election, said that provision was included to prevent an outgoing council from passing last minute legislation that hasn’t been fully vetted in the public.
“It’s a safeguard measure,” Bowlsbey said.
The resolution that the council approved Tuesday was simply to accept the property from the Cecil County Board of Education.
When a new council, which will include existing members Dan Schneckenburger, Bowlsbey and George Patchell as well as uncontested primary winners Bob Meffley and Jackie Gregory, convenes in December, they will determine whether the county has any existing plans for the use of the property.
Current council members have indicated they would like to move forward with the action to transfer the property to the town of Elkton for use as a future community center for youth recreation.
The council’s proposal for disposal of the surplus prop- erty will require a public hearing before a vote is taken, which has to be properly advertised in advance. None of this action can begin until Dec. 6 at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the town of Elkton is taking preliminary steps in anticipation they will be able to construct a community center on 2.38 acres of the property and consider transferring a smaller 0.72acre to nearby Wright’s African Methodist Episcopal Church.
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.