Anne Arundel County Councilman Chris Trumbauer announced Monday that the city would be taking over the maintenance of Whitmore Park in downtown Annapolis.
The news came at the end of the Monday night county council session, during which the board was set to vote on a resolution that would declare the half-acre property at the intersection of Calvert and Clay streets as surplus, in preparation for a potential sale.
During previous meetings, county officials had said the park has been a drain on county finances for years. But with Annapolis officials now taking over the maintenance, the county is off the hook, Trumbauer said.
"A draft lease has been prepared, which would over a two- or three-year horizon, allow the city of Annapolis to take over maintenance and responsibility of this park," Trumbauer said. "It would not transfer ownership, but the county would essentially be off the hook for providing maintenance. This is, I believe, in the best interest of the city and the community, and I'm pleased to support that outcome."
Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen told The Baltimore Sun the city will take over the $20,000 annual cost to maintain the park and that he would like volunteer groups to step forward to spruce it up.
He also said he could see new retail development there in the future.
Director of Government Relations Alan Friedman then withdrew the resolution, saying the county government agreed with Trumbauer's assessment.
"We're very hopeful that the group the city is working with will be able to make Whitmore Park a nice and important place in the inner West Street community," Friedman said.