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City to court soda companies for official fairgrounds beverage

August 17, 1999

The Hagerstown Fairgrounds will have an official soft drink under a fund-raising plan being developed for the multi-million dollar recreation center.

The Mayor and City Council informally agreed Tuesday that the city should try to sell the right to be the exclusive provider of nonalcoholic beverages at the fairgrounds.

City Public Information Manager Karen Giffin, who is overseeing fund-raising efforts for the fairgrounds, told the mayor and council Tuesday that the city has received several inquiries from beverage companies that want to become a sponsor.

There were no objections to the recommendation that the city solicit competitive bids for the right to be the exclusive beverage provider at the fairgrounds.

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The Mayor and City Council also gave Giffin the go-ahead to solicit in-kind and cash contributions from private companies.

In March the mayor and council informally approved a fund-raising plan that would allow companies and individuals to contribute to the fairgrounds project in return for recognition, such as having names put on benches, bricks or playgrounds.

Work has begun on the $1.2 million first phase of the fairgrounds project, which includes plans for three soccer fields, three softball fields, and an in-line skating rink.

A 10- to 20-year long-range plan for the 68-acre site, which includes major renovations to the buildings there, is expected to cost up to $10 million.

- By Dan Kulin

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