Washington County supports fairgrounds plan

November 29, 1996


Staff Writer

MAUGANSVILLE - The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to commit about $70,000 a year of park acquisition money from the state for the next seven years to help the City of Hagerstown buy the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

That commitment of about $480,000, coupled with about $220,000 of Program Open Space money which the county already earmarked for the city in the last budget year, represents about half of the $1.3 million purchase price of the fairgrounds, Hagerstown Mayor Steven T. Sager said Wednesday.

The city has applied to the state for another $700,000 in Program Open Space money for the rest of the purchase price and the Public Works Board should make a decision on that request in January, Sager said.


The state distributes about $150,000 a year to the county for park acquisition, County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

The county's commitment of about half that money to the fairgrounds project over the next seven years was needed as a match for the city's request to the state for the other $700,000, Snook said.

Before acting on the city's request, the commissioners asked county staff to poll the other towns in the county about their park acquisition plans for the next several years.

County Administrator Rodney M. Shoop reported Tuesday night that the only town that responded with a possible future request was Boonsboro, which may want to buy 55 acres adjacent to Shafer Memorial Park within the next five years at an estimated cost of about $550,000.

Hagerstown could receive the county's commitment in less than seven years if the state gives the county more park acquisition money than expected and if other towns in the county don't need the money, Snook said.

The city hopes to buy the 68-acre fairgrounds property in January from Community Center Inc., a non-profit subsidiary corporation of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, Sager said.

Plans for the fairgrounds include the possibility of building an ice skating rink and athletic fields on part of the property.

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