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City can recoup cash for building demolition

February 08, 2002

City can recoup cash for building demolition



The City of Hagerstown eventually will be repaid the $15,420 it paid to have the former West End Market demolished, City Building Inspector Mike Heyser said Thursday.

The building at 806 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown was heavily damaged in a March 1998 fire.

The fire-gutted two-story building was empty for months, drawing complaints from neighbors and city officials who said it was an eyesore.

The city had the building demolished in December 1999 and January 2000, Heyser said.

When the city ordered the demolition there was no guarantee it would be reimbursed for the cost of the demolition.

"The (City) Council knew that at the time," Heyser said. "But it had become a safety issue. It was a hazard to the neighborhood."

Last week, Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell ruled the city can attach the demolition bill to the taxes owed on the property, Heyser said.

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Heyser said the bill will be collected "just like property taxes."

The money will either be repaid with the regular tax bill, or when the property is sold. All taxes are required to be paid when a property is sold, he said.

According to state property records, the property is owned by Marwan F. Mustafa Inc. of Frederick, Md.

Attempts to reach the property owner Thursday were unsuccessful.

- Dan Kulin

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