Bethel Gardens gets HUD grant

December 07, 2000

Bethel Gardens gets HUD grant


Bethel Gardens Manager Cathy Dotson said she is tired of people running through the housing development as they try to elude police.

"It's not so much my tenants as it is others in the community" who are committing crimes and making the area unsafe, she said.

Wanting to do something about the situation, Dotson submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was notified that Bethel Gardens will receive $153,185 in anti-drug grant money to make the area safer.

U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes announced the grant award Monday.

"Eliminating drugs in local neighborhoods is a top priority - that's why I've been working with local community leaders to identify neighborhoods in Western Maryland that would benefit most from these grants," Mikulski said in a press release.


"I think it's pretty awesome we got it," said Dotson.

The grant application was the first she had ever written, she said.

The money will be used to increase security, assist in the investigation and prosecution of drug-related crime and make physical improvements to enhance security.

One thing Dotson hopes will make a big impact will be the construction of a fence along the perimeter of the 94-unit housing complex.

The fence will block the path of people trying to use the development as a shortcut, she said.

Landscaping will be added to beautify the area and give residents a sense of pride in their community, said Dotson.

The money will also be used to establish a Hagerstown City Police substation at the corner of Jonathan Street and Murph Avenue.

From the substation police will have a good view of the area and their visibility may be a crime deterrent, she said.

"Any time there's a known police presence we hope it will persuade criminals to go elsewhere," said Hagerstown City Police Sgt. Curtis Wood, who heads the Street Crimes Unit.

He said Dotson and the police work well together and the money will be put to good use.

"Every little thing helps," said Wood.

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