The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously OK’d $35,000 worth of upgrades for Municipal Stadium, with an emphasis on children’s activities and safety at the facility, for the upcoming season.
The lease signed by the city and the Hagerstown Suns in 2007 requires that the city commit up to $35,000 of Capital Improvement Funds per fiscal year for upgrades at the 82-year-old stadium, according to a memo from city Engineer Rodney Tissue.
Both parties are expected to negotiate in good faith, but ultimately the city has the final say in determining the upgrades it will fund, Tissue said in the memo.
Improvements, to be completed prior to the Suns home opener on April 11, include:
- A shade structure for the picnic area ($14,000)
- Canopy adjacent for a children’s “bounce house” ($7,000)
- Canopy over concession serving area ($5,000)
- Convert team store to arcade/Convert small concession area to team store ($3,500)
- Relocate a fence at the team store ($3,000)
- Repair dugout drains ($2,500)
Annually, the city completes projects to improve the ballpark. In the past few years, improvements have been made to the electrical system, clubhouse and backstop netting as well as the installation of a trail to the former hospital parking lot and a picnic area.
Funding for this year’s improvements will come from a designated CIP account specifically for the stadium.
Any additional funding needed will be covered by the Suns, according to Tissue’s memo.
Also required by the lease, city staff requested that the five-member council vote at the Jan. 22 regular session to approve the team’s fireworks schedule for the upcoming season.
— C.J. Lovelace