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Board postpones stadium auction

November 20, 2012
Morning Journal News

NEW CUMBERLAND - The Hancock County school board has postponed the auction for Newell Memorial Field indefinitely.

"We just need more time to consider other proposals and other courses of action," board President Jerry Durante said. "The best thing to do is to hold it off."

The board met behind closed doors with county political and economic development officials Monday night to discuss the sale of Newell Memorial Field.

After meeting in executive session, board members voted 4-0 to postpone the auction, which had been scheduled for Nov. 30. Board member John Manypenny, who is opposed to the auction option, abstained.

For the first hour of the meeting, the board and Superintendent Suzan Smith met with Hancock County commissioners Mike Swartzmiller and Dan Greathouse, and Patrick Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corporation (BDC) of the Northern Panhandle.

The BDC is the chief economic development arm of Hancock and Brooke counties. Neither the commissioners nor Ford would comment on their discussions with the board as they left the meeting.

The board called the special meeting to discuss options for the sale of the Newell property and Jimmy Carey Stadium in Weirton. Both stadiums are no longer needed by the school district now that Oak Glen and Weirton high schools have new multi-sports complexes.

The Newell stadium was scheduled to be sold at public auction at 10 a.m. Nov. 30 in the school board room in New Cumberland.

The Chester Volunteer Fire Department bid on the 4.25-acre property at the first auction, on Oct. 25, but its bid of $50,000 was rejected. The minimum bid for the stadium has been set at $250,000.

Also interested in the property is Newell businessman Tommy Ogden, co-owner of Builders Wholesale in Chester.

Neither Ogden nor Chester fire Chief John Hissam was at the Monday board meeting.



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