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County asks for Kammerer rescue plan

February 10, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County officials have asked preservationists to submit a plan by Friday showing how they would pay to save a historical farmhouse.

County Commissioner Bert L. Iseminger and County Administrator Rodney Shoop met with Lee Stine and other preservationists Wednesday as part of a last-ditch effort to save the Kammerer house.

The farmhouse is on a half-acre lot in the Airport Business Park. It is surrounded by parking lots and buildings.

Citicorp Credit Services wants to buy the property but members of the Washington County Historical Society and the Middleburg/Mason-Dixon Line Area Historical Society do not want the house to be destroyed.

Commissioners John L. Schnebly and Iseminger met with Citicorp officials Friday. Citicorp agreed to look at any proposals drawn up by the preservationists, Iseminger said.

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The property's owner, the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation Inc., known as CHIEF, applied for a demolition permit in December.

The two-story house, which was built by Johan Ludwig Kammerer in 1774, is one of the oldest buildings in the county.

Shoop said that when Stine delivers the plan to the county on Friday, the county will forward it to Citicorp.

The preservationists were asked to spell out in their plan how they would restore the building, how it would be accessed since it is on Citicorp land and what the building would be used for, Shoop said. The two preservationist groups must also make a financial commitment and show how they will pay those costs, he said.

Within two weeks the County Commissioners will develop a proposal for Citicorp, Shoop said. If Citicorp finds the preservationists' plan acceptable, the County Commissioners will consider holding the title on the property, Shoop said.

If Citicorp and the commissioners agreed, the county would lease the property to the preservationists for a small fee, he said. That is one of the reasons the county is asking for financial guarantees from the preservationists, he said.

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