Logistics of Land Swap

Thank you for the objective coverage by Southern Maryland Extra on the proposed land swap that is infuriating a great number of Chesapeake Beach citizens. There is a mass conscientious opposition to Mayor [Gerald] Donovan's current effort to "honky tonk" the center of town by doubling the size of the current Water Park. As a town councilman who has witnessed the planning stages for the expanded Water Park for over two years, I can assure you that this is all about the Water Park. His plan (known around town as the Land Swap to Expand the Water Park) goes like this:

* The county swaps the ballfields at Kellam's Field that it currently owns for spoil site land in the back that the town owns.

* The ballfields for the Beach Bucs, Babe Ruth and other children are moved back on to the spoil site.

* Now that the town owns Kellam's ballfield, it builds an expanded, bigger Water Park (over twice the size) on that site.

* The community uses the $102,000 of the town's residential impact fees and future fees to finish off the Community Center. The future fees would require more houses to be built in Chesapeake Beach.

So let's see how it flushes out: The county receives spoil site property for water view property; The Beach Bucs and other children get to play ball on spoil site land; Mayor Donovan gets to more than double the size of the Water Park directly across the street from the Rod 'n Reel Complex and gets to build an extra 500 houses to boot; and the residents and taxpayers of Chesapeake Beach, what do we get? Five hundred more houses, a Water Park expanded to twice the size of the original, growth, traffic, congestion, reduced public safety, more overburden to our already inadequate public facilities, infrastructure and a continued loss to our quality of lives. We are fairly good at "doing the math" down here, so citizen opposition should come as a surprise to no one.

Conversely, the county has made sensible plans to take the aforementioned $102,000 and put lights on Kellam's ball field so the Beach Bucs, Babe Ruth Baseball and other children can play ball at night. What a great way to showcase our children. This way the residents won't have to deal with Water Park number two.

It's a good plan that benefits the taxpayers of Chesapeake Beach, our children and the beloved Beach Bucs and Babe Ruthers. Fellow citizens, the following is the schedule of public hearings on the "Land Swap to Expand the Water Park":

Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, the town will hold a public hearing.

At a date in the near future, the Board of County Commissioners will hold a public hearing at the North East Community Center. This one is very important because our future lies with the commissioners. They vote to approve or disapprove the Land Swap to Expand the Water Park. The majority of our commissioners are anxious to hear from their constituents on these types of growth issues. It was one of the platforms that swept four of the five into office.

Please attend the public hearing at Town Hall on Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. and let your elected town officials know that enough is enough, we do not want downtown Chesapeake Beach to look like downtown Ocean City!

PAT "IRISH" MAHONEY

Town Councilman

Chesapeake Beach

Walking for Health and Trash

A heart attack can reopen doors. The cardiologist said you must start walking again. So my wife, our famous dog (Doctor Dudley Do Right Bows. Esquire, BAW) and I are walking and picking up the litter along the roadside. We put the recyclables in one bag and the trash in another, just like we did when we first moved to La Plata. The aluminum cans go in the most convenient "No-Friller" recycling bin and the other recyclables and trash go out for curbside pickup, just like others do in their neighborhoods.

We hope sharing this will serve four purposes. First and most importantly, to help others avoid or recover from a heart attack by walking. Second, to help reduce roadside litter and improve the environment. Third, to help everyone understand that an aluminum can tossed in any orange and white "No-Friller" recycling bin returns three times its market value to the community due to volunteerism in both the collection process and the charities that benefit from the can sale proceeds. Fourth, to make more people aware that recycling of plastic and glass bottles costs the taxpayers thousands of dollars every year and takes a lot of space in the landfill. They do not offer charities an opportunity to "earn" funds for worthy causes.

CAL, ADELE AND

DUDDIE DITRICK

Born Again Walkers

La Plata

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