Lake, lawn bowling top city budget discussions

April 09, 1997


Staff Writer

Lawn bowling, City Park lake and Hagerstown City Police's flooded basement were among budget topics the mayor and City Council members discussed on Tuesday.

A hearing on the proposed $73 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will be held at 7 p.m. in City Hall on Tuesday, April 29.

The budget discussion touched on a variety of topics:

  • The council discussed providing $40,000 for renovations to city police headquarters on Burhans Boulevard, including $25,000 to keep stormwater out of the building's basement.
  • The council talked about how much of City Park lake's walls will be restored in 1998, saying the extent of the work will depend on whether state officials approve a request for $400,000 in Program Open Space funding.

If the request isn't approved, city officials said they would use $200,000 to restore the Virginia Avenue side of the lake wall, which has deteriorated severely.

  • With Councilman Mark Jameson absent, council members were split about whether City Light should fund $10,000 of lighting improvements at Pangborn Park for lawn bowling.

Council members William Breichner and Lewis Metzner said the lawn bowling league should pay for the lighting improvements. They said the city doesn't pay for lighting improvements at Little League parks and rate payers shouldn't finance more lighting for lawn bowling.

Unlike Little League, the lawn bowling league doesn't have concession sales to pay for lighting improvements, said Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein.

  • The council decided to eliminate from future budget plans $20,000 to design a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the railroad tracks between the Carroll Heights neighborhood and Western Heights Middle School.

City officials said they dropped plans for the bridge because there wasn't much public support for the project and construction of the bridge would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • While no funding has been proposed for a new minor league baseball stadium in the upcoming budget year, the proposed budget shows $500,000 expected to be budgeted in fiscal year 1999.

City Finance Director Al Martin said the support of the Washington County Commissioners and members of the local delegation to the General Assembly is still needed.

The $8 million stadium also would be financed by $5 million in state funding, $2 million in Washington County funding and $500,000 from the Hagerstown Suns.

  • Saum-Wicklein suggested organizing a group to see if the city is missing any revenue opportunities at the Municipal Golf Course.
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