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Stafford makes plans to use part of the $29 million approved in the 2009 parks bond referendum
BY KATIE THISDELL
Stafford County residents could enjoy more sports fields, an indoor pool and a renovated outdoor pool in 2014 under an ambitious plan to use bond money.
County voters approved the $29 million parks bond issue in a 2009 referendum, with specific uses for the funds. Little work has been done to this point, but the Board of Supervisors approved three projects this week that could be funded with some of the bond money.
These include renovation of the 38-year-old Curtis Park Pool in the Hartwood area and acquisition of land east of the courthouse currently owned by the Stafford Area Soccer Association.
A new addition would be Embrey Mill Park in North Stafford, with 12 rectangular fields for youth soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football. A 65,000-square-foot indoor pool could be built through a private-sector partnership, but no plans are finalized.
"This makes a big dent" in the need for more fields and park space, County Administrator Anthony Romanello said.
Designs are already under way for Chichester Park, next to Stafford High School. It will be home to five baseball and softball fields with lights. Construction bids are being sought, with a goal of the park being ready for the spring 2014 season, county officials said.
Master plans for Musselman Park off Enon Road in southern Stafford have been put on hold based on priorities identified by the board.
PROFFERS TO SEE CHANGES
The planned Embrey Mill subdivision was stalled for years because of the economy, but a joint venture with one of the nation's largest private developers revived the project in January.
Newland Real Estate Group and North America Sekisui House purchased 831 acres off Courthouse Road west of Interstate 95, where they plan to build about 1,800 houses over 10 years.
Proffers on the 2001 rezoning of the property called for two parks, two schools and a fire station.
This fall, the board will ask the developer to sign off on amendments to the proffers to combine the two park areas, creating space for a 12-field sports complex and indoor pool in a central location in the county.
Newland will give the county $2.8 million toward the development of what would be a county-run park. Stafford would also manage the construction.