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Council will pay consultant to boost city revitalization

June 18, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday approved paying a consultant up to $30,000 for a planned public-private nonprofit organization, called the Master Community Development Corporation, to work on housing, commercial and industrial development.

In a staff report, Community Development Department Manager George Andreve said the work of the consultant, Washington, D.C.-based Tonya Inc., will not be just "a consultant's report for deposit on a shelf in City Hall."

The corporation will provide an independent way to bring the public and private sectors together, using public and private funds to do redevelopment work, city officials said.

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Mayor William M. Breichner said the corporation will fill a void the city cannot fill with its current staffing.

City officials said they hope some of the $30,000 will come from donations from the private sector.

Tonya Inc. already was doing about $8,000 in federally funded work for the city.

The consultant plans to develop a proposed Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, which then can be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Establishing the area increases the chance of federal funding for projects in a specific area in the city, city officials said.

Rocky Wade, office associate of Tonya, suggested the city spend up to an additional $30,000, or $10,000 a month for three months, for the consultant to set up the corporation and provide an interim director.

Council members agreed to the request.

After giving a presentation, Wade asked if the council had questions.

"My only question is. 'When do we start?'" Councilman N. Linn Hendershot said.

"I may be gullible but I trust you," Councilwoman Penny May Nigh said to Wade.

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