County To Rehab Basketball Courts In Pocomoke

SNOW HILL– Worcester County is expected to partner with the Worcester County Public Schools to rehabilitate the basketball courts at Pocomoke Middle School.

The Worcester County Commissioners last week approved plans from the county’s recreation and parks department to use Program Open Space funding to improve the basketball courts at Pocomoke Middle School.

“It’s been a real collaborative effort for this to be accomplished,” said Commissioner Caryn Abbott, who represents the Pocomoke area. “I am thrilled for Pocomoke, the kids and the community.  I think it’s a very special project.”

Kelly Rados, director of recreation and parks, told the commissioners last week she was requesting permission to move forward with planning and rehabilitating the basketball courts at Pocomoke Middle School. For several years, the county has looked unsuccessfully for a site for a walkable park for the youth of Pocomoke. Instead, she said she and her staff wanted to use the Program Open Space funding they’d set aside for that to improve the basketball courts at the middle school.

“Program Open Space development funds can be used on board of education property contingent on the approval of the board of education and signing of an MOU allowing joint use,” she said. “Going this route would eliminate the need for the county to acquire any land.”

She said the county had $300,000 in funding available and Pocomoke City had agreed to contribute $15,000.

“We are very very excited,” Pocomoke City Councilman Todd Nock said.

Commissioner Ted Elder asked if the school system would contribute to maintenance costs. Staff said that could be explored but Abbott said she’d specifically asked the recreation and parks department to handle maintenance.

“Everything they have is kept in impeccable shape,” she said. “This is an area that’s going to be very important to maintain. I really would rather that they maintain it.”

Commissioner Eric Fiori praised the project.

“It’s amazing for the community,” he said, adding that he’d toured the courts. “It is a facility that has been kind of neglected for years. To bring that back up, and bring some pride to the community of Pocomoke…I just think this is a wonderful project and I’d love to see it move forward.”

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project. Rados said the next steps would include meeting with the Worcester County board of Education and submitting an application to the state for approval.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.