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Hagerstown Briefs 2/19

February 27, 2002

Committee considering new tax setoff policy


The City of Hagerstown's tax setoff from the Washington County government will be $820,663 next fiscal year, County Board of Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Tuesday.

The amount is 0.86 percent higher than this year's tax rebate of $813,646.

The next fiscal year begins July 1.

The tax setoff represents the amount of money the county does not have to spend on police and parks as a result of the city having its own departments.

City Finance Director Al Martin said a joint city-county committee is looking into a new tax setoff policy. Under the policy being reviewed, instead of annual payments from the county to the city, there would be different county tax rates for people living within and outside municipalities, Martin said.

Hendershot criticizes condition of sidewalks


Hagerstown City Councilman N. Linn Hendershot on Tuesday showed the council and Washington County Board of Commissioners pictures of what he said he considers the bad condition of sidewalks on Northern Avenue along the city-county line.

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The problems include utility poles, fire hydrants and mailboxes on the sidewalks, he said. In some places, the sidewalks are nothing more than dirt paths.

Hendershot said he's not just concerned because he uses a wheelchair, but because children use those sidewalks to get to the schools on Northern Avenue.

Council tables plans for pool waterslide


The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday decided to hold off on plans for a large waterslide for the city's Claude M. Potterfield Pool, because it could cost about $92,000.

"When it was down in the $30,000, $40,000 and $50,000 range I was better with it," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said, adding that he can think of other projects he would rather fund with $90,000.

For example, Metzner said for $90,000 the city could put a cement floor under the ice at the city ice rink, which would make it easier to find uses for the rink during the summer.

Majority approves of PUDs in ag zones


A majority of Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday agreed to add the city's agricultural zoning classification to the list of zones that allow Planned Unit Developments, also called PUDs.

A PUD is a special zoning designation that typically allows more building on a property than would be allowed under its existing zoning. PUDs are allowed in most residential and commercial zoning classifications. PUD plans must be approved by the City Council.

Council members Lewis C. Metzner, Carol N. Moller and N. Linn Hendershot said they support the change.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire opposes the change. He has said he's concerned that allowing PUDs in agriculture zones would circumvent the rezoning process.

Councilwoman Penny May Nigh said she hasn't decided whether she will support the change.

The council is expected to vote on the matter next week.

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