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City makes wish list for delegation

October 31, 2000

City makes wish list for delegation



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


City officials will seek state funding for a new baseball stadium, a skateboard area at Fairgrounds Park and improvements around the new District Court and the Maryland Theatre.

The Hagerstown Mayor and City Council plan to request the money when they meet Thursday with the Washington County delegation to the General Assembly.

The Mayor and council also will express to the delegation their support for a proposed Civil War museum and plans to add parking and open space around the planned state university center for downtown.

But city officials said those two projects are private efforts and the city will not seek state funding for them.

The Mayor, council and state delegation are scheduled to meet Thursday at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

The Mayor and council discussed including the planned $12.5 million University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center on a list of legislative priorities. But they decided the project was already a state priority and did not need to be on their list.

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"That $12.5 million. That's a done deal," said Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II.

A majority of City Council members support the latest stadium plan, a $15 million proposal to tear down Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium and replace it with a new stadium.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said he's concerned the project might not happen because a majority of the Washington County Commissioners have not said they support the plan. The commissioners' support is viewed as essential for the stadium project to progress.

Because they weren't sure when the commissioners might make a decision on the stadium project, the council agreed to ask the delegation to at least provide funding for the next phase of engineering design work.

The current $15 million stadium plan calls for $6 million in state funding. The next phase of engineering design work probably will cost about $500,000, Bruchey said.

Improvements around the new J. Louis Boublitz District Court Building would include widening alleys and bricking the alley next to the Maryland Theatre. The council also will ask for money to buy the McBare's Pub building. There are plans to demolish that building to make room for an expanded theater lobby.

Bruchey estimated the improvements around the courthouse and the theater would cost about $2 million.

Bruchey proposed asking for funds to build a skateboard park at the Fairgrounds. No cost estimate for that project was discussed Tuesday evening.

For the Civil War museum the council is supporting a request that the state contribute $8 million over three years to the project.

The council is also supporting a $4.4 million proposal to add parking and open space around the university center.

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