Ice rink plans on ice until Friday

January 29, 1997


Staff Writer

Worrisome notions about a $2.1 million ice rink planned for Hagerstown prompted a delay Tuesday in an agreement that was to be struck between the mayor and City Council and the Washington County Sports Foundation.

Mayor Steven T. Sager and City Council postponed a decision for three days, until Friday.

Although they voiced support for the project, some council members expressed concern that the sports foundation failed to produce proper documentation to confirm it has raised $550,000 in private funds.

Council members also suggested that the foundation raise more money before the city releases any of the $1.2 million in general obligation bonds earmarked for the ice rink, which is to be built at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.


Council members also expressed concern that the foundation hasn't yet attained tax-exempt status from the IRS.

"I favor the project, but I don't want to move too fast," Councilman William Breichner said.

"I'm nervous about this," said Councilman Mark Jameson. "It's a lot of money, and it's moving fast."

Councilman Lewis Metzner said he'd be more comfortable if the sports foundation would return Friday with an additional $50,000 in verified contributions to the project.

The concerns, however, were tempered with praise for foundation Director Walter Dill and the project's general contractor, LeRoy Myers.

Dill said he has personally spent $50,000 for the project. "Every day it costs me more money," he said.

Myers said he has agreed to forego close to $200,000 in profit related to the project and will donate another $37,000 in costs for an on-site construction supervisor.

"You're owed a very big thank you from this community," Metzner said.

Dill said he has no doubt about the foundation's ability to raise additional funds for the ice rink.

Dill's said his major concern is that the city's hesitation will slow the ice rink's projected completion date of Aug. 15. The foundation wants to operate the ice rink when it opens.

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