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Hagerstown Fairgrounds Softball Association needs help with bill for more field lights

January 27, 2012

Representatives from the Hagerstown Fairgrounds Softball Association are looking to the county and city to help foot the bill for more field lights at Fairgrounds Park.

Mike Kelbaugh, president of the HFSA, presented the association’s lighting proposal to the Hagerstown City Council at a work session Tuesday night.

The project, which would light the second of three fields at the park, would cost an estimated $129,000 to $133,000, depending on interest rates and repayment term lengths, Kelbaugh said.

Estimates include $85,000 for poles, lights and bases, $15,000 for electrical work and $14,000 for conduits and trenching, he said.

Kelbaugh detailed two financing proposals, one with a seven-year payoff and another with a five-year payoff, that request nearly $50,000 from both the city and county in a down payment and additional yearly payments.

The five-member council asked questions and discussed the proposal. It cannot take formal action at a work session.

The first softball field was lighted in 2007, and additional lighting would allow for six or seven more games per week, Kelbaugh said.

The HFSA hosted 13 girls softball tournaments in 2011, as well as nine church league tournaments, Kelbaugh said.

Tournaments bring thousands of out-of-state players into the area each weekend, which benefit local hotels, restaurants and shopping areas around Hagerstown, he said.

HFSA officials are to make the same presentation before the Washington County Board of Commissioners next week.

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— C.J. Lovelace

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