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Aberdeen council to consider refinancing stadium

Aberdeen's city council introduced a bill to refinance loans for Ripken Stadium on Monday and approved a preliminary site plan to expand Grace United Methodist Church.

"The debt on Ripken Stadium is now 10 years old," city manager Doug Miller said.

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He explained the bill allows the city to refinance at a better rate.

The city has $9.3 million in outstanding debt on the stadium, and by refinancing hopes the city can save between $400,000 to $900,000 on the remaining debt.

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Jennifer Leonard, of Frederick Ward Associates, also discussed Grace Methodist's request to make many interior improvements, add an 800-square-foot extension to the rear of the church building on WestBel Air Avenue and build 41 parking spaces on an adjoining parcel.

"This is part of an overall revitalization plan for Grace United Methodist Church," she said.

The council approved the plan unanimously.

Council members also awarded a contract for about $132,000 to Frank J. Goettner Associates to pave Beards Hill Road between Hospitality Way and the city pumping station and a contract for about $34,000 to Bobcat of Baltimore for a compact excavator to use onAberdeen Proving Ground.

The council adopted a resolution recognizing the Learn Project by Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County, which is applying for a state tax credit to provide an academic enhancement program for children ages 6 to 18.

Isaiah White, a student at Harford Technical High School who hopes to pursue electrical engineering in college, served as Mayor of the Day as part of an agreement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County.

Mayor Mike Bennett said Isaiah accompanied him to a Rotary Club dinner, and he also opened the council meeting.

Tory Pierce, board president for the Boys & Girls Club, thanked the mayor and council for welcoming Isaiah.

"What a great opportunity for kids to do that, and a great opportunity for Isaiah," he said.

Councilwoman Ruth Elliott thanked Aberdeen High School's Class of 1966 for supporting the Aberdeen Museum by raising $3,460 for a quilt that was raffled off.

She said a presentation was made to Charlotte Cronin, of the museum, on Sunday.

"Everyone who volunteers at the museum were amazed at the amount collected. They were just overjoyed," Elliott said, adding all the money goes toward the museum's operating costs.

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