Leonardtown Paves Way for Library, Senior Center - Southern Maryland Headline News

Leonardtown Paves Way for Library, Senior Center

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—With some dissension during their Monday meeting the Leonardtown Town Council approved an amendment to their plan for the annexation of what was once known as the Hayden Property on Hollywood Road which will allow for the eventual construction of the new Leonardtown Library and senior center complex.

The amendment allowed the originally planned school and sports fields to be removed from the plan to make way for the library and senior center; Leonardtown's part in the over all scheme of things is to annex the property into the town to extend water and sewer capacity to the new projects.

The vote marked another step in making the complex a reality; the project was one of the most contentious in the county, with some in the county government and the town council wanting the project built on the Hayden Property while still others wanted it built in the downtown area.

Mayor Dan Burris was one of the supporters of a downtown location but he said the vote to amend the annexation agreement was one that was needed since the town would likely be on the losing end of an appeal should the amendment not pass.

Council Member Leslie Roberts, a key supporter of a putting the library on the Hayden Property, supported the change because she believed it was not a major one.

Roberts has gone on record stating that she supported the library going on the Hayden property for fear that the deal to build one would evaporate as it did several years before.

Council Member Tom Combs continued to favor the idea of putting the library in the downtown but realized that idea was long past consideration.

"I'm opposed to the library being out there [at the Hayden Property]… but there isn't much we can do about that," Combs said, adding his concerns that the town would likely lose if there were any appeal of a vote not to approve the amendment.

Council Member Jay Mattingly recused himself from the vote because he was a county employee and Council Member Roger Mattingly voted for the amendment.

Council Member Hayden Hammett was the sole member to cast an opposing vote.

He said the entire rationale behind the annexation agreement on the Hayden Property was to avoid construction of a major project there that would draw development and public interest away from downtown.

That was exactly what the new library and senior center there would do, he said. "That's exactly why that clause was put in there," Hammett said.

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