In a 5-1 vote, the Harford County Council approved a $1.6 million purchase over the next 5 years of a property in the “village” center of Jarrettsville. The administration is currently planning to use the land for a community center, which will include rec facilities such as a basketball court.
Councilwoman Mary Ann Lisanti said that she approved the purchase for Open Space use, but thought the intended use, and cost given the economy, outside of the development envelope was bad public policy. She asked that the County Executive rethink the location of a future rec center, saying that the southern portion of the county, including Aberdeen and Edgewood, were under served. Facilities, she said, should “be where the people are.”
Councilman Chad Shrodes argued that it was a needed amenity for the northern end of the county, saying that the county had tried to find the land actually in Jarrettsville in the past and hadn’t found a seller. The location is unique, and the opportunity won’t exist again.
Council Dick Slutzky agreed with Lisanti, and Council President Billy Boniface concurred that the expenditure was a concern. He argued that the building was for existing population, not for future use. He further stated that the cost of construction for a facility would not be incurred for several years, when times should be good again.
At roll call, only councilman Jim McMahan voted against the purchase.