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City council, Suns to discuss lease

October 08, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown Suns' future at Municipal Stadium is to be discussed Tuesday afternoon during a Hagerstown City Council work session.

The council will consider, among other things, entering into a new lease with the Suns to use the city-owned stadium and creating a plan to finance improvements to the infield.

Hagerstown officials currently lease the stadium to the Suns for $1 per year on the condition that the Suns perform maintenance and groundskeeping duties, said Karen Giffin, the city's director of community affairs.

If the council and Suns reach an agreement, the lease would run from Jan. 1, 2008, until Dec. 31, 2009, Giffin said. In addition, the Suns would have to maintain a $3 million insurance policy.

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The cost to fund the $35,500 infield repairs proposal would be shared among several parties, Giffin said.

The city's share ? if the council approves ? would be $15,000, Giffin said. The Suns and its Major League affiliate, the Washington Nationals, would pay $5,000 each, and the county would pay $5,500.

Giffin said the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau committed Monday to chipping in $5,000.

Will Smith, the Suns general manager, said in July that the infield has deteriorated to the point that ground balls take bad hops.

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

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