Recreation officials present plans to convert Smith farm

December 17, 1998|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

Howard County Recreation and Parks officials unveiled last night their annual fiscal wish list, which includes more than $8.2 million over the next three years to convert the 300-acre Smith farm in Columbia into a regional park.

Kenneth M. Alban Jr., a Recreation and Parks administrative services officer, told about two dozen residents at a public hearing that the department is requesting $597,000 for design and master plan work and $100,000 for restoration of a tenant house, which will be used as a caretaker's residence, for the Smith farm project.

The department will seek another $7.5 million in construction funds in fiscal years 2002 and 2003, Alban said.

Last month, the agency sponsored a tour of the Smith farm, known as Blandair, for state and local officials.

The county bought the farm for about $11 million this year.

According to preliminary plans, the section of the park north of Route 175 would include space for softball, soccer, basketball, tennis and other sports, and it would include several pavilions and playgrounds, restrooms and a concession stand. The section south of the roadway would consist mainly of nature trails, open meadows and picnic areas.

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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