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Town to use $200,000 to upgrade Springfield Farm Barn

July 14, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

WILLIAMSPORT -- At the suggestion of Mayor James G. McCleaf II, Williamsport Town Council members Monday night agreed to take $200,000 out of a so-called "farm account" to upgrade the Springfield Farm Barn so it can be rented out for special events.

McCleaf said $146,000 of the money will be used to install a sprinkler system in the barn to meet fire safety requirements and the remaining money will be used to install bathrooms in the barn's old hog pen.

Showers will also be installed so people can stay in the barn overnight if they wish, McCleaf said.

McCleaf said the improvements would allow the barn to be rented for events like wedding parties, concerts or haunted barn attractions.

"We could do all kinds of things like that," McCleaf said.

Assistant Mayor Anthony T. Drury said some history buffs would probably be willing to pay up to $200 per plate to attend dinner events at the barn and to be able to walk through it.

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"It's worth investing in," said council member Tearza D. Knode.

The farm account, which currently has $352,000, was made possible by the sale of property in Pinesburg, Md., McCleaf said.

McCleaf said the $200,000 would be paid back to the farm account through the town's general fund and through money earned by leasing the barn.

The barn, which is off Springfield Lane, is the oldest and largest barn in the state, and money has already been spent on making improvements to it, McCleaf said.

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