Hagerstown City Council briefs 11/21

November 23, 2001

Hagerstown City Council briefs 11/21

Revenue bonds given to pair of nonprofits

The Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to issue $4.2 million in revenue bonds for two nonprofit groups planning to use the money to build new facilities in Hagerstown.

A public hearing on the issuance of the bonds held before the council vote drew no public comments.

Mayor William M. Breichner has said the city is not at risk for repaying the bonds because they are revenue bonds to be repaid solely by the groups receiving the money. He said the bonds will not affect the city's bond rating.

The city issued limited obligation bonds for the Washington County Mental Health Center and the American Jail Association.

The Mental Health Center wanted about $3 million in bonds to pay for the construction and equipping of a building at 1180 Professional Court in Hagerstown.

The jail association wanted $1.2 million in bonds to pay for the construction and equipping of a building at 1135 Professional Court in Hagerstown.

Designation OK'd for special district

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously supported a city application for a special state designation for the downtown Arts and Entertainment District, which would make tax incentives and loans available in the district.

The city is applying to have the four-block area around Public Square designated a Smart Growth Arts and Entertainment District, said City Senior Planner Kathy Maher.

Such a designation would make tax incentives and loans available to artists and some businesses within the district, she said.

During a public hearing on the application before the council action, Washington County Free Library Director Mary Baykan said she favored the application. Baykan said she was speaking on behalf of a Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce downtown redevelopment committee.

Free parking offered in parking deck

The City of Hagerstown is offering two hours of free parking in the city's downtown parking deck during weekday business hours through Christmas.

Also, parking in the deck on North Potomac Street will be free on Saturdays and Sundays and after 7 p.m. on weekdays through Christmas.

The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to offer the free parking times.

In past years, the city has offered free on-street parking downtown during the holiday season. But Police Chief Arthur Smith said many people who work downtown were using the free spaces, leaving few spaces for shoppers.

- Dan Kulin

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