By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun
10:01 PM EST, March 4, 2013
Dundalk residents on Monday urged the Baltimore County Council to stop the sale of the North Point Government Center and the closure of Eastwood Elementary, saying the county's plan to do so would hurt the community.
At the council's session in Towson, 10 people spoke against the plan. They said if the center is sold, singing groups, sports teams and others that use the space will be left with nowhere to go for their programs, and the community will lose the recreational fields there.
"We do not have open green spaces left in Dundalk," said Linda Gossman, president of the Gray Manor & Northshire Community Association. "We in Dundalk are tired of our voices not being heard."
The proposal to sell the center is part of a plan by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to sell three pieces of government land — the North Point center, the Towson fire station on York Road and the Randallstown police substation — for private development. The county put the parcels up for sale early this year, and responses from potential developers are due in April. Kamenetz says the sales could raise funds to improve school buildings.
In Dundalk, the county wants to relocate a police precinct at the government center to nearby Eastwood Elementary, the county's smallest elementary school. Superintendent Dallas Dance has recommended closing the school after this academic year. The county school board is scheduled to vote on the school closure at a meeting Tuesday evening in Towson.
Resident Maggie Gregory told the council she worries the plan would hurt Eastwood students, saying they attend a high-quality school now.
"Why are they messing up something that is good and already working?" she asked.
Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Democrat who represents Dundalk, told the residents that he is waiting to see what proposals are presented to the county, but added that he would not support any plan if officials can't find new homes for the community programs at the government center and replace recreational fields there.
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