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County eyes options for North stadium

July 30, 2005|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Commissioners back a home stadium at North Hagerstown High School, but whether they can meet a $500,000 request to help pay for it isn't as certain, County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Friday.

"I think the commissioners are supportive of the plan, but I don't know how we're going to look at the funding of it," Snook said.

Snook said options might include using a portion of the county's hotel/motel tax revenue, Maryland Program Open Space (POS) grants or cash reserves.

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He said the project at North High is needed, but that calling it a stadium might be off the mark.

Plans call for a track, field and bleachers, not an elaborate facility, he said.

"It's really not a stadium," Snook said. "I don't want to give the perception that this is a first-class facility. It's what should be at every high school."

Commissioner John C. Munson said he would agree to support the stadium financially if the county's contribution came only from state POS grants.

"No, we don't have that kind of money," Munson said when asked whether the county could afford the $500,000 request from a committee organizing the stadium project. "If it's all POS money, I can agree to it."

The committee asked the commissioners for the money and for financing costs on Tuesday. The cost of the project's first phase, which includes a grass field, track, bleachers and concession stand, is estimated at $3.5 million. The stadium is to be named after the late Mike Callas.

The commissioners are expected to discuss the stadium and ways to pay for it with the Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. at 100 W. Washington St., Hagerstown.

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