Rec panel considers budget requests

Theater lighting, basketball lighting compete for funds

March 03, 2002|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A new goal post at Deer Park. Lights for the tennis and basketball courts at Sandymount Park. Or stage lighting for a new theater company in Union Bridge.

Which of these worthwhile projects should the Carroll County commissioners fund?

This is the question facing the county's Recreation and Parks Advisory Board as the nine-member panel determines which projects to recommend for county funding for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

There are too many requests for too few dollars. Five of the county's 18 recreation councils are vying for $49,000 to pay for projects ranging from $1,200 to plant grass at Jaycees Park on Uniontown Road in Westminster to $12,117 toward a new stage lighting system at Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary School in Union Bridge.

"We are so excited about this project," said Audrey Cimino, executive director of the Carroll County Community Foundation, the not-for-profit organization seeking county funding for the Little Community Theatre at Elmer Wolfe. The theater project is the brainchild of Mary Strong, principal of the school, and Arnie Hayes, who is well-known for his local theater work.

"The mission of the Theatre is to enhance the cultural life of the community and introduce theater to people who may never have seen a live production," Cimino said.

"We'd like to produce plays with a purpose and teach stagecraft through theater classes, special interest workshops and theater summer camps. It's unlike anything that's ever been presented to [the parks advisory board] before," Cimino said.

Shows would be performed on the stage in Elmer Wolfe's cafeteria. The lighting system required for the production is expected to cost $16,156.

In addition to the theater project, the parks advisory board is considering a request for lights at Sandymount Park, which is adjacent to Sandymount Elementary School on Old Westminster Pike. The $27,600 project has been in the park's long-range plans for nearly a decade and would provide lighting for two tennis courts and one basketball court. The recreation council is asking the county for $15,000 to help pay for materials.

"Ever since we put a walking trail in our park, usage has increased at least tenfold," said Stephen Nevin, treasurer of the Sandymount Recreation Council. "The lights would make the park usable for more hours of the day."

More than 750 families are involved in the Sandymount Recreation Council, Nevin said. Last year, the organization started a tennis league that drew more than 60 people.

The parks advisory board is expected to make recommendations next month to the commissioners about which projects to fund. Each project would be completed with a combination of county and recreation council dollars.

The other funding requests are:

$1,756 for new football and soccer goals at Deer Park. The total project cost is $2,294.

$4,607 to cut overgrown fields and till and install dirt on the ball field at Hampstead Elementary School. Total cost: $5,420.

$8,643 to improve the concession stand and ball fields at Jaycee Park in Westminster. Total cost: $10,650.

$3,822 to regrade, seed and fertilize the practice field at Westminster High School. Total cost: $4,630.

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