Panel to list options for horse park

Task force recommends six sites for complex

October 14, 2007|By Josh Dombroskie | Josh Dombroskie,sun reporter

A panel assigned to study possible locations for an equestrian complex in Harford County will present a list of six potential sites that will be included in a report scheduled to be completed tomorrow.

The task force, created by the County Council in August, was given 90 days to study possible locations for the complex, along with uses and managerial structure. The council will rely on the report to decide how to proceed.

"We're covering anything we can think about and anything anyone brought up," said task force Chairman Robert L. Johnson.

The complex is envisioned as a place to stage outdoor and indoor events including competitions, farm fairs, livestock shows and sales, antique car shows, festivals and concerts.

Possible components of the complex include a three-quarter-mile track, show rings, stables, a museum and an amphitheater.

The locations recommended in the report are the Fairview Farms property and the Schenning property in Craswell; the Cass property in Churchville; the Rutledge/Martin property and the Rutledge property in Hickory; and Noplock Farms/Paradise Meadows in Webster.

Two of the task force meetings focused on uses for the complex, two others on locations and two on determining how it would be managed. At tomorrow's final meeting, the report will be completed.

"My job was to get the thing done," said Johnson, a retired financial manager who is chairman of the county's budget advisory board. "We're almost a month ahead of time because I forced the issue into time frames."

The task force's recommendations are only a start, Johnson said, adding that members focused mainly on brainstorming ideas rather than developing a concrete vision of the facility.

"It's been pretty much a forward straight thing," he said. "We're doing what I anticipated we could get done."

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