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Mayor, council outline future goals, accomplishments

March 03, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II listed several accomplishments and future goals during Tuesday's State of the City address.

Accomplishments he mentioned include:




* Increased homeownership through the state's Smart Growth homeownership program in which $2 million was made available to Hagerstown for 33 low-interest mortgages.

Bruchey said the city asked the Washington County delegation to the General Assembly to pursue more funding for the program. Continuation of the program depends on whether funding is available once the budget is approved, said Andy Smarick, the delegation's legislative aide.

* Opened the Home Store in the Roslyn Building next to City Hall. The store offers free services such as credit analysis and homeowner seminars.

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* Bought seven houses, rehabilitated 11 houses and sold 13 homes through the city's home rehabilitation program in 1998.

* Continued the Neighborhoods First program, which works to better city neighborhoods by improving communications with residents.

* Helped build a Habitat for Humanity house on Garlinger Avenue through a volunteer effort by city employees.

* Dedicated the renovated Public Square, which cost approximately $507,811.

* Annexed 428 acres, including land on the west side where ground is to be broken this month for the Centre at Hagerstown shopping center.

* Revamped the city's Web site into a 250-page site describing city services.

* Renovated the City Hall clock tower.

* Built 800 feet of stone wall and sidewalk at City Park.

* Signed a five-year wholesale power agreement with Allegheny Power and passed on savings to customers through a rate reduction.

* Hired a coordinator for the HotSpots program, which targets high-crime neighborhoods with a comprehensive attack that combines police, community groups, parole and probation agents and after-school programs.

* Sold the Delta Hosiery building to developer Richard McCleary.

* Distributed the first citizen and corporate awards.

Bruchey mentioned projects the city will work on this year.

* Construction of a business park along Interstate 81 with eight business lots. This also could be home to a new ballpark and a visitors center.

* Hagerstown City Police will go after illegal drug buyers, not just suppliers.

* The council will decide what to do about the ice rink, which the city is subsidizing. The city might sell the rink, but no decisions will be rushed, Bruchey said.

* The mayor and City Council expect to hear a presentation by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce on March 16 about creating an arts and entertainment district downtown.

* Establishment of a revolving loan fund to help local businesses.

* Expansion of Augustoberfest to two days.

* Phase one of construction at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds begins in May. Work will include grading, creating fields, installing backstops for softball fields and curbs for two parking areas, putting in street lights, building an entry road off Security Road, constructing restrooms and razing the jockey quarters, said Assistant City Engineer Rodney Tissue. He said $1.2 million is budgeted for this phase.

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