Fairgrounds, sewer plant among city budget issues

April 02, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

The Hagerstown city administrator's proposed $73 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes funds for the fairgrounds property, homeownership programs and neighborhood improvements.

Highlights of the proposed budget include:

- $6 million to improve the sewer plant off Frederick Street.

- $1.6 million to prepare the 68-acre Hagerstown Fairgrounds for development. Whether and what recreational facilities would be ready in spring 1999 still not been determined.

- $1.5 million to buy land for two new business parks. One possible site for a new commercial and office park could be near Interstate 81. City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman would not reveal sites being considered for a new industrial park.

- $1.5 million to improve the R.C. Willson Water Treatment Plant near Williamsport.

- $1.4 million to finish upgrades to the police communication and software systems.

- $934,000 to continue improving the sewage-collection system in the North End. Work is expected to begin this spring.


- $549,999 to maintain the level of funding for police overtime costs. Those costs are now projected to be $752,160.

"There's going to be a lot of pressure on us on the police overtime front to lower expenditures," Zimmerman said.

- $155,726 to help operate the Home Store. The store in the Roslyn building next to City Hall would promote homeownership programs.

- $60,000 to fix the roof of the Baldwin House complex in the first block of West Washington Street.

- $50,000 from the Community Betterment Fund to demolish dilapidated housing on High Street. City officials will meet with neighbors to determine what to do with the property.

- $25,000 from the betterment fund to plan an extension of Wesel Boulevard to intersect Burhans Boulevard north of Elgin Boulevard.

- $25,000 from the betterment fund to continue renovating the Roslyn building next to City Hall.

- Maintaining City Light rates although a decrease is expected starting July 1 after city officials negotiate a new wholesale power contract.

- Continuing to phase out the manufacturing and equipment tax on existing equipment, resulting in a $600,000 revenue loss, Zimmerman said.

- Adding a part-time events coordinator, who could be hired this spring.

- Eliminating a part-time parking enforcement position.

- Restructuring City Light vacancies to eliminate a lead line worker position and two apprentice line worker positions. An engineering technician position would be added and a part-time custodial position would become full time.

The proposal does not address raises for City Light union workers or members of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees Local 1540, including clerical, custodial, labor, technical and crafts people. City and union officials will negotiate wages for those employees this year, Zimmerman said.

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