Hagerstown City Council seeks county's help with Municipal Stadium repairs

October 10, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council will ask the Washington County Commissioners to commit $15,500 to pay for upgrades at Municipal Stadium.

If the commissioners agree, $10,500 would be used to help repair the infield at the stadium, and $5,000 would be used to install a phone system in the bullpen, said Karen Giffin, the city's director of community affairs.

During its Tuesday work session, the council originally discussed asking the commissioners to contribute only $5,500 to help repair the infield, which is expected to cost about $35,500.

After a brief discussion, however, the council agreed that the county government should pay more and, as a result, reduce the city's share from $15,000 to $10,000.


Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said the city allocates tens of thousands of dollars every year to maintain the stadium, while the commissioners refuse to do the same.

John F. Barr, president of the Washington County Commissioners, said in a telephone interview after the council's work session that he disagreed the commissioners aren't paying their fair share.

Barr said an argument could be made by the commissioners that the city doesn't pay enough to support Washington County Public Schools.

The commissioners would discuss the city's request to upgrade the stadium when it is made, Barr said.

Giffin's preliminary concept to repair the infield included several funding sources.

If the commissioners agreed to pay $5,500, the remainder of the project's cost, pending the council's approval, would be split among the city ($15,000), Hagerstown Suns ($5,000), Washington Nationals ($5,000) and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau ($5,000), Giffin said.

The council also agreed to consider entering into an agreement that would lease the city-owned Municipal Stadium to the Hagerstown Suns from Jan. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2009.

Before reaching an agreement, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the council should discuss language in the lease that would allow fireworks displays at the stadium to last until 11:45 p.m.

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