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News from around the Baltimore region

July 13, 2005

WESTMINSTER

Gesell Farm Board unveils plans for 102-acre property

Long-range plans for the Carroll County-owned Gesell property in Westminster include equestrian rings, pavilions and access roads to ease traffic flow at the county's major attractions - the Farm Museum and the Ag Center, the setting for the annual 4-H Fair and home to the $5 million Shipley Arena.

The Gesell Farm Board unveiled plans yesterday for construction of two equestrian rings, estimated to cost about $50,000, on the 102-acre former farm, which adjoins the facilities that celebrate Carroll's farm heritage.

"We have horse clubs willing to fund expenses for fencing and grading the new rings," said Charles J. "Buck" Miller Jr., a member of the Gesell Farm Board. "Once we get those uses, other stuff will come quickly."

County commissioners preserved one of the last agricultural parcels in Westminster when they bought the property six years ago for $600,000 and appointed the volunteer board to help plan agricultural uses for the investment.

The board called for a private connector road to the museum that would be open only for special occasions, and several pavilions that would serve as additional offices for 4-H, the county extension service and other farm organizations.

Board members asked officials to consider an entrance road from Route 27 to reduce congestion through city neighborhoods during the county fair and other large gatherings.- Mary Gail Hare

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