City Council briefs for 8/28

August 28, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

Girl recognized for police dog project

At Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council meeting, Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner gave a City of Hagerstown resolution of appreciation to Emily Bolton, 10, in recognition of her successful campaign to buy bulletproof vests for police dogs.

Emily, of Hagerstown, raised $13,300 to buy bulletproof vests for 25 police dogs in the Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County Sheriff's Department and Maryland State Police.

In about three months, Emily reached and surpassed her goal of raising $12,500, the cost of 25 vests.

She had enough money left over to buy protective boots for the five police dogs working with city police. She presented those vests to the city at Tuesday's meeting.

The boots would protect the dogs' paws when, for example, they have to walk over broken glass, she said.

Last week, Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell made Emily an honorary state police trooper to thank her for her efforts.


Zoning change hearing draws one supporter

A Hagerstown City Council public hearing Tuesday on proposed changes to Hagerstown's zoning ordinance intended to better control the number of apartment units in the city drew only one speaker, who talked in support of the proposal.

Under the proposed changes, owners of some residential buildings would be prohibited from altering or subdividing them for the purpose of creating additional residential units.

If the city wants to maintain historic streets such as South Prospect Street, it should adopt the changes, Mason Hendrickson of 137 S. Prospect St. told the council.

The proposed changes require the approval of the Hagerstown City Council.

All five council members on June 4 gave general support of the changes.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission on Aug. 14 voted to recommend adoption of the changes.

A July 24 Hagerstown Planning Commission public hearing on the issue drew one speaker, Chris Yambor of 131 S. Prospect Ave., who spoke in support of the changes.

Letters of support for the proposed changes were submitted into the record from J. Gregory Hannigan, chairman of the Neighborhoods First Broadway-North Group, and Deb Kepler of 125 S. Prospect St.

Planning officials have said some property owners are converting houses and apartments into more apartments, which is turning neighborhoods into eyesores. Planning officials said the property owners create several apartments in a dwelling so they can collect more rent.

Burglar alarm permit fees to increase

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday unanimously approved revisions to the city burglar alarm law, effective Sept. 27.

The cost of the annual residential permits for alarms will increase from $15 to $20. Renewal would be free if it is done by the Nov. 1 renewal deadline.

The cost of annual commercial permits for alarms will increase from $30 to $40.

Homeowners older than 65 are exempt from the fee.

Currently, after the first false alarm, the city charges a $50 fine.

Under the adopted change, the maximum fine for the first false alarm is $10, the maximum fine for the second false alarm is $50 and the maximum fine for the third false alarm during the same year is $100.

For subsequent false alarms during the same year, the maximum fine would be $150.

Strategic Plan wins approval

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday adopted the city's Strategic Plan, including a mission statement, vision statement, core values, goal statements and objectives.

The council discussed the plan at its July 30 meeting.

The mission statement is: "The City of Hagerstown, in partnership with the community, will provide superior services to make the city the location of choice for residents, businesses and visitors."

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