Editor's Note: The following is a letter from Del. Steve Lafferty, who represents Towson, regarding the proposed construction of a fire station at Towson Manor Park. Community members have expressed outrage over building the station on top of one of Towson's few open spaces. County officials have declined to comment on the project.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has proposed to sell the Towson Fire Station located at York Road and Bosley Avenue in order to raise money. He has stated that these funds would be used to build a new fire station and to help fund air conditioning at Dumbarton Middle School.
I applaud the County Executive for finding creative ways to fund projects. And, yes, Dumbarton badly needs air conditioning and the fire station is very old and needs replacing. However, the cost to the community is too great because part of his solution is to build a new fire station on park land!
Yes, that is right. The County Executive proposes to build a new fire station on the community park on Towsontown Boulevard that abuts and serves Towson Manor Village and is across the street from the historic East Towson neighborhood. This is one of the few parks in Towson. It is used by residents and for a range of community activities. It is an asset for these neighborhoods, for the new residents of Towson Greens and for the Towson community.
I asked the County Executive to reconsider his decision or, at least, delay his plans, for selling the station. He has indicated he plans to go ahead with the sale and relocating the station to the park while he looks at alternatives. I strongly recommend that, if he is intent on selling at this time, his best alternative is the underutilized gravel parking lot on Chesapeake and Bosley and not the park.
No proposal for sale should go forward until an alternative location is found. And, no park land should be taken to build a fire station in Towson.
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