By JULIE E. GREENE
Hagerstown officials said Tuesday night that a tax increase or an anticipated surplus in this year's budget could be used to fund additional police protection.
Officials held public hearings Tuesday on the city's proposed 1997-98 budget and tax rate. No residents commented during the hearings.
The City Council will vote on the budget on Tuesday, May 13.
Officials also discussed Tuesday proposals to beef up the police and fire departments.
The mayor and City Council members are considering proposals to hire up to seven additional police officers, a dispatcher and two firefighters.
Mayor Steven T. Sager said a $237,000 surplus this fiscal year could help fund the added police officers so the council wouldn't have to raise the property tax rate, which is now $1.70 per $100 of assessed value.