Town expects delay in development of park Union Bridge must wait longer for 'Green Shores' NORTHWEST

October 01, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Union Bridge's search for "Green Shores" may be further off than they expected.

The town's county planner told the council on Monday that while he does not know exactly how much has been taken from the buffer incentive program, the recent round of state budget cuts has diced its funds and slashed a large part of the aid the town was counting on to turn a 35-acre lot into a park.

"Apparently there has been talk about leaving some money in the program fund, but I know it's been significantly reduced," said Steven C. Horn, who doubles as the county planner for New Windsor.

"It remains to be seen how viable the program will be."

During the last town meeting in August, plans were discussed to use money from the state program -- which encourages forest planning and maintenance along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries -- to design a park near the future site of a single-family home development.

A section of the recently annexed Phillips property was designated as the area for the new park, which will be located at the northern entrance to Union Bridge along Route 75.

But Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. said that plans for the development of this area, including the tree planting and other landscaping, will have to be re-evaluated to consider the new financial situation.

"We are still going to go ahead with our plan for the development of the land into a park," Mr. Jones said.

"Now, we may have to decrease the amount of planting we wanted to do, and maybe eliminate some of the nature trails we wanted to create in the process."

Mr. Horn told the council they should begin looking into other options for money sources, but he he believes the town will probably have deal with a larger portion of the development than they expected.

"Part of the benefit of the Green Shores program to the town was that the state provided the trees and the contractor to plant the trees," Mr. Horn said.

"What may happen as a result of exploring other programs is that the town may have to pay for the trees, plant the trees themselves or, or hire a contractor to plant them," he said.

But Mayor Jones said he is very optimistic: "I believe that we can still do what we wanted to do. Maybe we can get some of the funds from the developers, or maybe different local groups or clubs that could help us.

"We could also have a fund- raiser to get the money for the equipment."

Mr. Horn agrees.

"I think the mayor's comments reflect the town's commitment to seeing the park project through," he said.

"We all understand that we must do what we have to do to make this park a reality."

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