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City Council OKs ice rink agreement

February 12, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday took their biggest step yet toward construction of a $2.3 million ice rink complex at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

City Council members voted 4-0 during a special meeting Tuesday to approve an agreement designating the nonprofit Washington County Sports Foundation as developer of the project. Councilman Lewis Metzner was absent.

The complex, to include a National Hockey League-size ice rink and a pro shop, is scheduled to open Aug. 15.

Council members also approved releasing $400,000 of the city's $1.2 million share of the project to the sports foundation so work can progress at the site off Security Road.

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Michael Day, chairman of the foundation's board of directors, said $150,000 will be sent to C.W. Davis Ice Pro in Syracuse, N.Y., as a down payment on a $500,000 contract to build the rink portion of the complex.

Foundation officials had been anxious to have city officials release funds so the down payment could be made in time for the rink to be in operation by late summer.

City officials wanted to verify that the foundation had raised at least $600,000 of its share of the funding before releasing any of the city's general obligation bond money.

The foundation has met that requirement with $622,283 in cash, in-kind contributions and pledges, and $50,000 from City Light, said City Finance Director Al Martin.

The City Light money covers the department's share of the cost of an access road and stormwater management for an electrical substation to be located near the rink complex.

The foundation's share of the project's cost is almost $1.1 million. The project's cost rose from $2.2 million because of some additional costs, including a $50,000 contingency fund and money for a construction supervisor, Martin said.

Council members William Breichner, Susan Saum-Wicklein, Mark Jameson and Fred Kramer also approved a site plan for the complex and some construction-related contracts.

According to the development agreement, the council must approve any contracts for the project worth $5,000 or more, officials said.

Approval of a lease between the city and foundation will be considered shortly before construction is complete, officials said.

The foundation will operate the rink and must repay the city's $1.2 million share plus 4.79 percent interest in monthly payments over a maximum of 15 years.

Council members also voted 4-0 to approve purchase of the fairgrounds for $1.35 million from Community Center Inc., a subsidiary of the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation.

The city may settle purchase of the 68-acre property by Friday, said Planning Director Ric Kautz.

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