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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

No News On Harry Grove Stadium Bids

George Wenschhof

It has been three weeks since I published a column on the receipt of two bids by the city for use of Harry Grove stadium. The Frederick Keys, who have leased the stadium since it opened in 1990, submitted their bid and face competition from Frederick Atlantic LLC.

This issue has sparked interest from baseball fans, some of who are loyal to the Frederick Keys, the current single-a farm team affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. Frederick Atlantic LLC, would be fielding an expansion team from the independent Atlantic League.

The current lease of thirty thousand dollars annually angered others who feel the city should be receiving much more for the use of the stadium.

Mayor Randy McClement who issued the Request for Proposals (RFP) after negotiations with The Keys broke down, had indicated at the time, it would take at least three to four weeks for the review committee to complete their review.

Who serves on the review committee remains a mystery. When I requested from the city who was on the committee, I was informed by newly hired Josh Russin "the city would not be releasing the names until the committee has finished their review and made their recommendation to the mayor and board of alderman."

A reasonable response, intended to ensure committee members were free of influence from interested parties.

I also inquired as to whether the review committee would be asking for oral presentations from the two bidders, which is an option they can exercise during their review of the proposals. In my April 20 column I opined this would be a prudent for the review committee to exercise this option.

The answer I received from Mr. Russin was "the review committee had met on Tuesday May 10 and are still reviewing the proposals", adding "that is all I can share at this time" and "we are not sure yet" when the committee will complete their review.

Again, a reasonable response given the sensitivity surrounding the award of the bid for the use of Harry Grove stadium.

The city budget process is currently underway with Mayor McClement's proposed budget under scrutiny by the board of aldermen and the public. It would be advantageous for the committee to conclude their review and make their recommendation prior to the board of aldermen approving the city budget as the income received from this bid will have some impact.

Stay Tuned...


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