City's budget falls short by $1 million

April 05, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

For the second consecutive year, Hagerstown's proposed budget doesn't include $300,000 requested to expand the Potomac Street Community Health Center.

The request from the Washington County Health System was one of several from community agencies not included in the city administrator's $73 million proposed budget.

The Community Development Block Grant program proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 is $2.6 million, about $1 million short of what city officials were expecting, said City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

Only $39,182 of unused funds budgeted for this fiscal year are expected to be carried over without being reserved for a specific project, said George Andreve, manager of the Department of Community Development.


Health system officials would be greatly disappointed if the budget the council is expected to adopt on May 26 doesn't include the $300,000, said Tom Jimerfield, director of the system's community health outreach programs.

Zimmerman said city officials want to work with health system officials, but need more information about the project.

Jimerfield said he plans to attend the April 28 public hearing on the proposed budget.

System officials are considering four sites to expand the center - the current 239 N. Potomac St. site, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center on West North Street, the Greenwald building at 29 N. Prospect St. and the YMCA building at 149 N. Potomac St. The YMCA expects to relocate to Eastern Boulevard North.

The total project cost could be $2.1 million to $3.4 million, depending on the site chosen, Jimerfield said.

Zimmerman has proposed giving the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League $40,551 to build an outdoor multipurpose sports pad with dasher boards for roller hockey, basketball, soccer, skateboarding, in-line skating and bicycles at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. The league requested $45,000.

Brett McKoy, league president, said city officials have gone out of their way to help the youth group, including providing space in the clubhouse on the fairgrounds.

The proposed budget doesn't include funds for the "W" House Foundation, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc. and Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless, Inc. because those requests were ineligible, Andreve said.

Even if the requests were eligible, they could have been denied because of the funding shortage, Andreve said.

Because of the funding shortage, Zimmerman proposed not granting requests from:

* Hagerstown Housing Authority for $14,000 to help provide summer program activities for about 60 low-income children, ages 8 to 12, at Frederick Manor.

* The Bethel Corp. for $135,000 to complete renovations that began in 1995. Work would include replacing windows and installing sliders in 94 units at Bethel Gardens Apartments.

The proposal includes carrying over $111,555 for Hagerstown Goodwill Industries Inc. that the group was granted for this year, but didn't use.

Goodwill asked for the money to finish renovations at 200 N. Prospect St., including expanding conference and training space.

That project was delayed because the planning process took longer than expected, said Goodwill spokeswoman Becky Wenger. Work could begin in late spring, she said.

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