Elkton Town Meeting, March 9, 2011 – In a busy workshop that took nearly two hours, the board gave the nod to earmarking $1.5-million for a future community center. Commissioner Piner proposed the capital project, saying the town needed to have a recreation facility for youth. Other board members agreed but wondered if a full service community center wasn’t better as it could also serve seniors and be eligible for more grants.
While the elected officials thought over the needs and challenges of moving ahead with a multi-use facility, the administration wanted to know if money should be put aside to help fund the initiative. Everyone agreed that was a good idea, so the mayor instructed the finance department to reserve $1.5-million for the capital project.
The last time the town worked on a youth center, they attempted to partially fund it by selling off some historic land they municipality acquired through Maryland Public Open Space Funds. That proposal caused a great deal of controversy. Opposition arguments to that approach took up most of the year and the political leaders eventually abandoned the attempt to sell off some of its public open space property.
Having agreed to earmark money, officials gave some consideration to where it should be located. Lewis George talked about plans Elkton had previously drawn up to locate it at Elk Landing. After those were created, Commissioner Jablonski opposed placement of the center there. Her preference was to place it at the old RMR property, so officials decided they would turn part of the Historic Elk Landing Foundation property over to a developer and use the cash to offset the cost. Others said that Hatchery Park was once considered, but the neighbors strongly objected to the placement at that location. Others tracts mentioned were the Warburton property and the open land beyond the Board of Education.