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Holding town hall meeting Monday

The possible acquisition of the Canterbury Equestrian Center will be discussed Monday at 6 p.m., where Newberry Parks and Recreation Director Richard Blalock hopes to lay rumors to rest.

Blalock said there are rumors about the city buying the center to make it into another sporting facility, and removing the equestrian component from the property.  That is not the case with Canterbury, he said, since the main purpose of the purchase is to maintain the aesthetics of the building and keep it as the place to have equestrian events.

If Newberry were able purchase the property, Blalock said the purpose of the center would be expanded to host festivals and trade shows. Before the city commission considers purchasing the center, Blalock said the city wants its residents to be involved with the project.

“We are making sure everyone is on the same page,” he said.

Officials say a price and restoration budget has not been set for the equestrian center, since the Sept. 19 meeting will be the first step in determining Canterbury’s future if the City does indeed purchase it. Blalock said the money would probably come from a mix of private funding and the hotel bed tax.  County officials have already designated a portion of bed tax funds to Newberry’s $7 million Nations Baseball Park.

After one citizen raised concerns Monday evening about the status of the City’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center and the Triangle Park, City officials vowed to take community input on those recreation facilities during the town hall meeting slated for Sept. 19.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the Oak View Middle School cafeteria, 1203 NW 250th Street in Newberry.