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Proposed downtown stadium site being surveyed to determine boundary lines

Councilman says Hagerstown is thoroughly inspecting the site, so if officials decide to move forward, they will be prepared

September 16, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com

Those driving or walking by the proposed downtown multiuse sports and events center site last week might have noticed some surveyors working at the site.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Friday that surveying work is taking place to get a handle on boundary lines of properties that would need to be purchased if the stadium project continues to move forward.

“It’s hardly a done deal,” he said.

City Councilman Martin E. Brubaker said he came to the site Thursday to see some of the work taking place near the corner of West Baltimore Street and Summit Avenue.

Brubaker said the city was simply doing its due diligence in thoroughly inspecting the site, so if officials decide to move forward, they will be prepared.

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“These are old properties, with old lot lines and old plats,” he said. “People are checking on the boundaries and all that. There’s a couple places where the boundaries are old and you can interpret it in two different ways.”

The city has contacted property owners about the land that would need to be purchased for the proposed facility, Brubaker said, but no deals will be made unless the plans progress.

“We’re not going to sign and commit to a land transaction until we know we have the ... other ducks in a row to move the stadium forward,” he said. “But we are in discussions, and we have talked about it in executive session. Sure, but that’s a far cry from committing.”

Soil testing also was conducted at the site last week to identify any glaring environmental issues, but no results will be available for a couple of weeks, Tissue said, adding that the process is still “very preliminary.”

Expected to cost about $30 million to build, the city is looking into constructing a new ballpark for the low-level Class A Hagerstown Suns at the location.

A new long-term lease between the city and the club would need to happen before the project can move forward, city officials have said.

It’s still unclear when a deal could be formally announced, but city and Suns officials spoke positively at the city council’s Sept. 11 meeting, hoping that negotiations will wrap up shortly.

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