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National Guard cleans up old armory lawn

August 03, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

National Guard cleans up old armory lawn



For a third summer the unkempt and overgrown lawn at the old Hagerstown armory has prompted complaints from City Hall. But National Guard officials hope they've heard the last of those criticisms.

After being contacted Monday by city Code Enforcement Officer Marc David, guard officials had the grass around the state-owned building mowed and raked Thursday.

Also Thursday, a colonel was ordered "to put together a plan to keep the grounds maintained on a permanent basis," Maj. Drew Sullins said.

When asked why for three years the city had to complain before anything was done, Sullins said the guard has been "operating on a bare-bones budget" with fewer people doing more work.

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"Things are slipping through the cracks ... and it was out of sight out of mind," said Sullins of the vacant armory building at 328-330 N. Potomac St.

The local guard is now based at the Brig. Gen. Randolph Millholland Armory on Roxbury Road south of Hagerstown.

City Building Inspector Mike Heyser said the grass and weeds at the old armory had grown to a height of about 1 foot in the front and reached 3 feet at the rear of the building. In the city, grass and weeds are supposed to be no more than 10 inches high, Heyser said.

At a recent City Council meeting, Councilman J. Wallace McClure criticized the state for letting the yard become overgrown and called the state an "irresponsible landlord."

Sullins said guard officials would like to sell the building, but state guidelines require that asbestos and two underground fuel tanks be removed from the property before it can be sold. Sullins said there isn't any money at this point to pay for that work.

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