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YMCA, hospital may get state grants

March 30, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - The Hagerstown YMCA and the Washington County Hospital are on track to receive nearly $1.4 million in state grants.

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The YMCA is in line for $500,000 toward a new facility it's building on Eastern Boulevard.

The hospital is to get $870,000 for an expanded health clinic in downtown Hagerstown.

Both grants have been recommended in a $445 million bond package mapped out by the House Appropriations Committee on Monday.

Although the grants require Maryland General Assembly approval, the legislature generally follows the committee's recommendations, said Washington County Delegation Chairman Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.

YMCA officials were happy, even though the grant was less than the $1.5 million the nonprofit had requested over two years.

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"It puts us over $5 million on our campaign. We're very grateful for all (McKee's) efforts and the delegation's efforts," said YMCA Executive Director Michael Flicek.

The $7 million facility is being designed. Work may start this fall, he said.

The YMCA might make another bond request next year or ask Gov. Parris Glendening to put money in his budget.

While McKee had hoped for more YMCA grant money this year, he said he understands the state's financial constraints.

The YMCA project competed with 125 others across the state. The Appropriations Committee pared down $113.6 million in requests to $19.4 million.

The YMCA and the hospital did not compete for funding because the legislature considers education and hospital projects separately.

The hospital will use its $870,000 grant toward a $2.16 million renovation of a former warehouse between Prospect and Walnut streets, said Robert Milanchus, director of development, public relations and marketing for the hospital.

The health clinic is scheduled to replace a Potomac Street clinic in August, he said.

At the larger clinic, the hospital will be able to offer dental and expanded mental health services, he said.

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