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Board OKs final reading of facility policy

August 20, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved by a 6-0 vote a final reading of a policy regarding the use of school facilities by nonschool groups.

The vote came after the board was approached earlier in the meeting by representatives of Federal Little League, who were upset with the proposed rate changes.

Dennis Corapi, a member of the Little League's board of directors, said the language in the policy was vague and Little League officials weren't sure whether they'd have to pay for all four fields they use on North Hagerstown High School's property or just for the school's girls softball field.

Dennis McGee, the school system's director of facilities management, later told Corapi that the Federal Little League would be responsible to pay only for the softball field, which the school system pays to maintain.

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Bill Proctor, president of the Federal Little League, told the School Board earlier in the meeting that the league has a small budget that is reserved for such things as equipment and the upkeep of its own fields.

He said that for the nearly 20 years he has been involved in the league, North High has not charged the group to use its field and the school has in turn used the group's facilities without being charged by the league.

McGee said the policy has not been revised in nearly 20 years and that school officials were directed by the board to seek revenue by raising school user fees.

He said the new policy, which will tax school field users $3 an hour, will bring in about $30,000, the amount needed for the school system to break even on maintenance costs.

The revised policy also addresses the costs to use other school facilities, such as classrooms and gyms.

School Board Member W. Princeton Young was absent.

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