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City council briefs

February 06, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

Mayor leads Council in moment of silence



Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner on Tuesday led the Hagerstown City Council in a moment of silence in memory of the seven astronauts killed in Saturday's space shuttle Columbia disaster.




Two firms team up to revitalize downtown



Two consulting firms will work together to help the City of Hagerstown in its attempts to revitalize downtown Hagerstown.

During Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council work session, representatives of Wilmington, Del.-based-Market Knowledge and Washington, D.C.-based Tonya Inc. made presentations to the council about work they will do for the city.

The council reached a consensus to use up to $10,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to pay Market Knowledge for its work. The city will not be charged for the work that Tonya Inc. does because the state will pay for its work.

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Hershel Lipow, managing director of Tonya, said he sensed that city officials feel tense and frustrated about ongoing attempts to the revitalize downtown.

Councilwoman Penny May Nigh said the work proposed by the two firms sounds great.

"The city needs progress," she said.

Chris Johnson, president of Market Knowledge, said he had good news and bad news about the city's economy.

The good news is that consumers have a great selection in terms of businesses in the area, including Prime Outlets at Hagerstown and the Centre at Hagerstown, which draw people from outside the area, Johnson said.

The bad news is there is that the supply of some services is greater than the demand, he said.

Johnson said he will help the city identify the type of business it should try to draw to the downtown as well as how it should be done.

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