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First payment made on rink

September 03, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

The Washington County Sports Foundation made its first rental payment to the City of Hagerstown on Tuesday to help pay back $1.2 million the city contributed to the construction of the new ice rink at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds.

Foundation Executive Director Walter Dill presented City Finance Director Al Martin with a check for $9,550 during Tuesday's afternoon mayor and City Council work session.

"Even though we've been open only two weeks, we've managed to raise the rent," Dill said.

Dill refused to comment on the recent resignations of four board members after an attempt by three of them to oust him.

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The foundation still needs to secure a bank loan for at least $335,000, according to Martin.

The foundation must repay a $75,000 loan to the city, pay the balance of rink construction costs and have two to three months of operating funds by the end of September, Martin said before the meeting.

The operating funds are needed in case the foundation doesn't raise enough revenue to pay its bills, Martin said. The funding cushion is stipulated in the development and lease agreements between the foundation and the city, he said.

The foundation budgets monthly operating costs of the rink at between $40,000 and $50,000, he said.

Martin said he expects to know the total construction cost of the rink by early next week.

As of June 27, city officials had verified the foundation had raised $1,092,539 toward its expected $1.1 million share of a $2.3 million rink, Martin said. The foundation may still owe between $180,000 and $200,000, he said.

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