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Ice rink needs cold cash

June 09, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

The Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex is doing a little better financially this year than last, but unpaid utility bills still loom for the facility at the city Fairgrounds.

Hagerstown City Council members were told about the financial situation at the ice rink during a presentation Tuesday. Council members are looking for a way to help the ice rink operators pay those bills.

Gary Wright, chairman of the Washington County Sports Foundation that runs the ice rink, said the facility is expected to lose about $190,000 in the fiscal year ending Aug. 30, compared with the roughly $210,000 in losses the rink ran up in the previous fiscal year. Those figures include a $114,000 subsidy from the city, which owns the ice rink.

The rink currently owes about $29,000 in utility bills to the city electric, water and sewer departments, according to City Finance Director Al Martin.

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Martin said the council members are trying to find a way to pay the rink's utility bills. He said the list of solutions could include the city paying the bills or the city helping the Sports Foundation get a loan to pay the bills.

Council members did not make any decisions on Tuesday, opting to discuss the matter again during another work session.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein asked for a more complete financial report than what was provided Tuesday.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner asked for a list of options available to the city in this situation.

"From total subsidy to sale," Metzner said.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said the council probably would discuss the ice rink again during a July work session.

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