On September 11, one of the several governmental and quasi-governmental entities apparently involved in the land deal issued a formal statement about the town’s land policy as it concerns its Maryland funded Public Open Spaces. Unfortunately the announcement didn’t come from the Mayor and Commissioners, the group that surely knows the most about the proposal.
This press release from the Historic Elk Landing Foundation, adds important new information to the attempt to figure this out, although we’ve asked the town to clarify this critical aspect for a long time.
Here’s part of what the Elk Landing Foundation said: “in no way did this motion [approval to look into the concept proposed by the mayor] agree to cede the 10 acres of land to the town of Elkton for whatever development deal was being negotiated. The Historic Elk Landing Foundation has a 99 year lease with the town of Elkton plus an option for another 99 years for all of its property and has no intention of breaking that lease.”
We thank the Elk Landing Foundation for letting us know how much of the land the town is proposing to develop. That ten acres is part of a 20-acre open space acquisition done somewhere around 2003. We assume this is accurate, but a confirmation from the town would be nice for if it’s on target the local jurisdiction plans to sell half of its 2003 acquisition. Click here to read the what the town said about the importance of this Maryland Public Open Space, which it acquired the property such a short time ago.
Why the Foundation’s press release adds new information and some weight to the issue, we don’t believe this issue is over. It came up at the last regular meeting of the Commissioners when there was talk about putting the broad topic on the agenda again.
We’ve never stated an opinion on the recreation center which the town had connected to the sell of this land. Apparently it wanted to use money generated from the sale of these lands to fund the recreation center project elsewhere. Someone Noticed has no opinion on the recreation center, which is one for town taxpayers to decide. Our purpose is to simply preserve some Maryland Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land. But, by-the-way, recall what the State Auditors said about using open space money for recreation centers. Program open space is not program enclosed space.
There are a total of 63 acres of open space property at the Landing, for some 43 acres were acquired earlier.