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Suns want funds for new field

July 31, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The general manager of the Hagerstown Suns said he wants to discuss with city officials ways to fund replacing the field at Municipal Stadium.

Will Smith said the field has deteriorated to the point that ground balls are taking bad hops.

The problem doesn't pose a serious safety issue for the players, but the field, peppered with weeds and crab grass, needs to be replaced to bring it up to professional standards, he said.

Replacing the entire field would cost about $750,000, Smith said. A more feasible solution, for now, might be to replace only the infield for about $35,000, he said.

To his knowledge, Smith said, the field hasn't been resurfaced since the stadium was built 77 years ago.

Temporary repairs of the type done in the past aren't enough, Smith said.

"It's like putting Band-Aids over gushing wounds," he said. "It's our goal to get this infield resurfaced in the offseason."

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The city has $45,000 allocated in the current fiscal year budget for construction and maintenance at Municipal Stadium, according to city documents. It is projected that amount will increase to $70,000 in fiscal year 2009 and to $295,000 in fiscal year 2010.

Although the money is earmarked for other projects - replacing bleachers and upgrading the field's lighting - City Finance Director Alfred Martin said the city staff is open to discussing other ways to use the money.

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