Ice rink bond moves forward

November 20, 1996


Staff Writer

City Council members voted 4-0 Tuesday night to authorize a $3.9 million general obligation bond, of which $1.2 million could be used for construction of an ice rink at Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

Council members also voted 4-0 to buy the 68-acre fairgrounds from the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation for about $1.3 million, with a stipulation that the city receive enough Program Open Space money from the State of Maryland and Washington County for the purchase.

During a public hearing before the votes, several Hagerstown residents spoke in favor of construction of an ice rink at Hagerstown Fairgrounds.


"I think the ice rink is an excellent opportunity for both the youth and the adults in Hagerstown," said Chris Daniels, of Candlewood Lane.

Hagerstown has grown enough to support an ice rink as well as bowling alleys and roller skating rinks, she told the mayor and City Council.

Council members Susan Saum-Wicklein, Mark Jameson, Fred Kramer and Lewis Metzner approved the resolution authorizing the bond issue. Councilman William Breichner was absent.

The private, nonprofit Washington County Sports Foundation would operate the rink and reimburse the city for the $1.2 million through rent payments over 20 years. The foundation must raise $500,000 toward construction of the rink.

Council members have not approved a formal agreement with the sports foundation for construction of the ice rink, planned for the northern section of the stables area of the fairgrounds near Security Road.

Twenty of those present for the hearing spoke in support of either the ice rink or bond issue, while two people expressed opposition.

Local businessman Frank Turner and Glenwood Avenue resident Roy Funk said they opposed the ice rink. Both said the private sector, rather than local government, should build and operate the ice rink.

Some local teenagers supported the rink, saying they were eager to join a local ice hockey league.

"It will keep the kids off the streets," said Justin Renner, 15, of Magnolia Court.

Chris Chaney, 16, of Washington Avenue, said an ice rink would be great for the fairgrounds and youths in the area.

Any city residents who oppose the bond issue have until Dec. 5 to petition city officials for a referendum vote.

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