Hagerstown pitches in another $50,000 for Municipal Stadium improvements

December 21, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • The grass playing surface at Hagerstown's Municipal Stadium was removed by a sod cutter in October 2010. The entire field was laser graded and reseeded with rye grass, and new irrigation and drainage systems were installed for the 2011 Hagerstown Suns' season.
Herald-Mail file photo

HAGERSTOWN — The city has more than doubled its annual funding for improvements at Municipal Stadium for the Hagerstown Suns' 2012 minor league baseball season.

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday night approved an additional $50,000 from its capital improvement program for stadium improvements during this fiscal year.

The city budgets $30,000 annually from its capital improvement fund for the stadium.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said that $30,000 was spent this summer when a storm knocked a light pole onto the stadium field.

Between repairing that pole, inspecting and re-welding the other light poles, the city spent about $30,600, he said previously.

Tissue asked the council earlier this month to support an additional $50,000 for improvements at the stadium.

Expanding the deck seating area was one of the projects he presented to the council that would require supplemental funding.

"That corner is not very attractive," he said Wednesday.

About $30,000 of the $50,000 would go toward enhancing the deck seating area. Planned enhancements include doubling the seating and adding a decorative canopy to shade the deck, Tissue said.

That would leave about $20,000 for inspecting the bleachers and other repairs, he said.

Inspecting the bleachers for cracks, weakness in joints or in the metal is something Tissue said he would like to do this year. He estimated that would use up about $5,000 of the additional funds.

As for the rest of the money, each year the Suns make requests for repairs or improvements at the stadium, he said.

Tissue said the "various other repairs" approved in the motion Tuesday would include fixes to the clubhouse, concession or restroom areas.

On Dec. 13, city officials pledged to support keeping professional baseball in Hagerstown with a $140,000 annual contribution.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said previously that by transferring some services that the city funds at the stadium to the Suns, reallocating some of the city's current hotel-motel funding and maintaining its annual capital improvement expenditure, Hagerstown could come up with $140,000 toward a bonded debt in a long-term commitment to the stadium.

Tissue said that $140,000 commitment would not take effect for the 2012 baseball season in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2012.

For the current fiscal year, the city’s total stadium improvement expenditure would be the $50,000 approved Tuesday plus the $30,000 already budgeted for a total of $80,000 on stadium improvements, he said.

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