More State Funds For Stadium Project

SALISBURY – A budget amendment to Wicomico County’s capital improvement plan would allot an additional $100,000 for improvements at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

In an open work session on Tuesday, Steve Miller, the county’s director of recreation, parks and tourism, came before the Wicomico County Council to request an amendment to the capital improvement plan (CIP) after receiving an additional $100,000 in contributions from the state for improvements at the ball park.

“We are in the final stage of the Perdue Stadium renovation project outlined in the 20-year lease agreement,” he said, adding that both the county and state would fund 50 percent of the renovations. “In the CIP we put $480,000, which is the final contribution from the state.”

As part of the agreement, the county has provided $2.14 million in funding through fiscal year 2018 and would seek more than $2 million in funding from the state through fiscal year 2019 and a $200,000 contribution from Seventh Inning Stretch LLC, the owner of the Delmarva Shorebirds franchise.

Miller told the council the county had recently received a $580,000 grant from the state for the renovation project, revealing an additional $100,000 in funding.

“As you know, state funding got delayed for several years so we got delayed,” he said. “The state actually gave us $580,000, so it’s an extra $100,000 from what we had originally anticipated.”

Miller requested the additional $100,000 be added under funding sources for the renovation project.

“Those funds come without a match,” he said, “so essentially it’s additional money from the state without any additional obligation from the county.”

Councilman Larry Dodd asked if the Maryland Stadium Authority had contributed to the renovation project.

“The convention center in Ocean City has received that funding numerous times,” he said. “It would be nice if we could get it sometime.”

Miller noted the county had yet to receive any funding from the agency.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he added.

Renovation projects at Perdue Stadium include new field lighting, seating and video board, updated club house and batting cage, exterior renovations, HVAC replacement and more.

A public hearing on the CIP amendment will be held on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.