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City closes watershed to hunting

Two city employees no longer allowed to hunt

Two city employees no longer allowed to hunt

November 30, 1999|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN ? Two City of Hagerstown employees who were permitted to hunt at the city-owned Edgemont Watershed no longer will be able to do so, at least for now.

Even though authorities banned hunting on the property last year, the two city employees were given special permission to hunt at the watershed in exchange for doing work there on their own time.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Friday the decision to review the matter was made Wednesday so the city's attorneys could examine who would be held liable if someone was hurt.

"I just want to make sure we covered all the bases," he said.

Zimmerman said he was not aware that the employees were hunting at the watershed, and when attorneys find an answer to the liability question, he intends to bring the matter before the Hagerstown City Council for discussion.

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The council would have the options of reintroducing hunting at the watershed on a permit-only basis or maintaining the ban, he said.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she would consider voting to let people hunt at the watershed by permit only to prevent wildlife overpopulation.

Councilmen Martin Brubaker and Lewis C. Metzner and Councilwoman Alesia Parson-McBean did not return several calls seeking comment.

Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer declined to comment on the matter until she learned more.

Earlier this week, a Pleasant Valley resident called The Herald-Mail and said the city was being unfair by allowing two employees to hunt at the watershed despite the ban on other hunters.

On Wednesday, City Utilities Director Mike Spiker said the hunting ban was imposed to keep people safe. The employees, whom he refused to identify, were permitted to hunt at the watershed because they performed tasks on the land for free, such as painting signs and marking the property's boundaries, he said.

According to Washington County documents, the city owns roughly 2,040 acres of land in the watershed.

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