Mount Airy pool plan still afloat Frederick County may save project SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield

January 15, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The Carroll County commissioners may have torpedoed plans for a public pool in Mount Airy, but Frederick County's plans for new parks may keep the town's efforts afloat.

The New Market Regional Plan Update calls for the county to develop two parks near Mount Airy, either of which could include a pool, according to Beth Pasierb, a Frederick County planner. Mount Airy straddles the Frederick-Carroll county line.

The update, which projects growth and identifies where public facilities should be placed over the next 20 years, calls for the creation of a 100-acre district park west of Mount Airy and a 20- to 50-acre community park north of the town, Ms. Pasierb said.

The district park would serve the Mount Airy region and could have recreational facilities such as a pool, she said. Once a park site is identified and land purchased, Ms. Pasierb said, a community group would plan recreational facilities.

The community park would serve a smaller population and would probably include facilities such as tennis courts, picnic shelter and playground, she said.

"We usually put those parks near school sites," Ms. Pasierb said.

She stressed that both proposals are in "very preliminary" stages. The county has not designated sites or purchased property for either park, she said.

"No money has been set aside for these parks," she added.

The only park Frederick County is pursuing in the region now is "the New Market district park," which also would be about 100 acres, she said. The county is looking for land between New Market and Linganore.

Town residents interested in seeing a pool built at either of the proposed parks for the Mount Airy area should attend a public hearing on the New Market Region Plan Update at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Winchester Hall in Frederick, she said. A hearing also was held last night.

Mount Airy officials have been looking for a pool site for years.

Although Mount Airy is Carroll's second-largest municipality, the town doesn't have a public pool. Westminster has a pool, and so do smaller towns such as Manchester, Hampstead and Taneytown.

The only pool serving town residents is the privately owned Ridge Swim Club, which has a long waiting list for membership, town officials said. Mount Airy residents must travel to Westminster or Frederick.

The town has received a $14,000 state grant to design a pool. But before proceeding, the town must have the endorsement of either Frederick or Carroll commissioners to build on a county-owned site.

Councilman David Pyatt asked the Carroll commissioners last month to endorse a plan to build a community pool at the county-owned Watkins Park off Route 27. The 44-acre park, however, has been designated as the future site of a school, and the commissioners said there wasn't enough space for both a pool and school.

The commissioners had planned to discuss the issue further with Mount Airy officials and the Frederick County commissioners at a regional meeting this month. That meeting was postponed.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said yesterday that it was unlikely the commissioners would endorse the town's request to build a pool at Watkins Park.

"That's primarily because of space considerations," Mr. Lippy said. "It just isn't a viable alternative."

Town officials have estimated the cost of building a pool at about $500,000.

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