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'Other sources' would provide stadium funds if costs increase

November 09, 2000

'Other sources' would provide stadium funds if costs increase



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


If the cost of a proposed Hagerstown stadium project climbs above $15 million that won't change the amount requested of city, Washington County and state governments, stadium proponents said Thursday.

Any additional cost would be paid for with private contributions or "other funding sources," said Richard Phoebus, chairman of the private task force pushing the stadium proposal.

Phoebus said what those other funding sources might be is still unknown.

There's a chance the stadium project would exceed the $15 million projection because Washington County Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger has made his support contingent on the purchase of property adjacent to the stadium site.

That property, which is occupied by Hagerstown Spring Works and Fitness Priority, would be turned into a parking lot and would connect the stadium site to Hager Park under the plan Iseminger supports.

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The cost of that property is not included in the $15 million project price tag.

Phoebus refused to comment on the specific property and on how much any additional property might cost.

Task force member City Councilman Alfred W. Boyer said he didn't know how much the additional property might cost.

Boyer said revised cost estimates for the stadium project were coming within "a week or so."

He said the revised estimates could make the project more or less expensive, but either way the funding requests will remain: $3 million from the city, $3 million from the county and $6 million from the state.

Private contributions are expected to pay the remaining $3 million.

"If there's a need for more (money) we would make it up in the private sector," Boyer said.

The stadium task force, a subcommittee of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, has proposed tearing down most of the existing Municipal Stadium and building a new stadium in its place.

The plan has received the support of a majority of City Council members.

Stadium supporters are two votes shy of a majority on the Washington County Commissioners.

Iseminger and Commissioner John L. Schnebly are the two undecided votes on the stadium plan. If either one votes against the proposal, the $15 million project would lose county backing, which is considered vital to the project.

Schnebly said Thursday his support is contingent on the task force resolving "critical site issues." He refused to elaborate.

Boyer was optimistic the situation would be resolved before the end of the month.

If the County Commissioners vote to support the plan, Boyer said the task force, with the help of Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, will go to the governor and request that from $800,000 to $1 million be included in the state budget for the stadium project.

That money would pay for further design work and would be considered part of the state's total $6 million contribution, Boyer said.

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