Dundalk residents, former officials criticize Kamenetz's handling of property sales

While the county has not revealed the bidders, some have spoken for themselves about their proposals. Vontran said the plan suggested by his group would involve building restaurants and big-box retail at the government center site, and moving ball fields and recreational facilities to the former Seagrams plant, which he owns.

He said critics "have an ax to grind with the administration" and don't represent the larger community.

"There's a ton of support down here," he said of his pitch. "We'd like to give Dundalk the retail that it deserves."

Only one other developer bid on the Dundalk site, and they have also come forward with details about their plan: Vanguard, which wants to build retail and restaurants at the site, and preserve the recreation fields there.

Either developer would be required to build a new recreation center for the community, under the county's bid terms.

Olszewski said the community needs to let the process play out. Since the process was announced, he has said he will not support any plan if the county doesn't replace the recreational facility and ball fields.

But Bartenfelder says the county should already have shared more information and held meetings with community members.

"It just seems like no one is listening and paying attention to what people who live there are saying," he said. "They're getting more and more upset because it seems like their concerns are falling on deaf ears."

The former councilman said he also questions the financial underpinnings of the plan and wonders how there will be enough money left over for school improvements once the facilities are relocated.

Another former county recreation and parks director, John Weber, questioned why the county would sell such a heavily used public facility. Weber, who left that post in 2002 and lives in Dundalk, said he fears the sale would set a "horrible precedent" that could make it easier for officials to sell public land used for recreation.

"Conceptually, I think the county's making a really bad move," he said. "I think it's a mistake of tremendous proportions."

Mohler said the evaluation committee is "getting closer to an announcement."

"The committee has taken this job very, very seriously and has a lot of information to evaluate," he said.

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