Horse stables stripping down to stay open Fort Meade facility losing money

March 30, 1993|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

To stay open, the cash-strapped horse stables at Fort Meade will eliminate a full-time manager position and sponsor more shows, a spokesman for the Army base said.

The manager, Cavalle Keenan, was planning to leave this spring, said base spokesman Don McClow. Her position will not be filled.

The Fort Meade garrison commander, Col. Kent D. Menser, had threatened to close the $1 million stables several months ago because the facility, which does not use tax dollars to operate, was running a $7,000 deficit.

But about 40 horse riders, from the children of military personnel to officers, packed a meeting in February and complained that the stables were underpublicized, underused and poorly managed.

Colonel Menser then reviewed six options presented to him by a committee of horse owners and accepted one of their plans.

Mr. McClow said the plan includes giving the committee more say in how the stables are managed. One of the riders' biggest complaints was that ideas for money-making ventures, such as horse shows, got lost in the Army bureaucracy.

The stables also will be advertised more in the military community. Military personnel, their dependants, reservists and civilians working in certain Department of Defense offices are eligible to the use the facility, which is cheaper than private horse farms.

Mr. McClow said the stables will be advertised at such places as the Washington Navy Yard and Andrews Air Force Base.

Still under review by Colonel Menser are an auto craft shop and a wood shop. Mr. McClow said no decision has been reached on these facilities, which also lost money last year.

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