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City lists delegation requests

October 14, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council decided on Monday it wants the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to help the city get state funding for the downtown university and a central booking facility.

The council discussed its legislative requests at its goal-setting retreat at City Hall.

The University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center is on schedule and has funding for construction, Mayor William M. Breichner said.

The next most immediate concern is ensuring the project has a sufficient operating budget, he said.

The city wants the delegation to make sure $1 million is set aside for the university's operating budget, he said.

The city also wants the delegation to get the state to commit to giving $2 million to help pay for a central booking facility at the Washington County Detention Center, a project the city and county governments have endorsed.

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Another city request was that the delegation help transfer the vacant armory property on North Potomac Street to Associated Builders and Contractors Inc., Cumberland Valley Chapter, for use as a training center.

The city planned to give the property to ABC for $1 but in June 2002, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted to declare the property surplus and to sell the 22,224-square-foot building through a bidding process.

Those three goals are the main ones the City Council should present to the delegation at an annual joint meeting, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said.

There are other delegation requests from the city but they should be presented in writing by staff rather than by the council, Metzner said.

"Instead of our wish list, we need to give our needs list," Metzner said.

Those other requests are:

  • State funding for community revitalization projects.

  • Get state recognition that the fire marshalls are part of the city's police services and funded accordingly.

  • Stabilize state budget cuts affecting the city

  • Support the extension of state rehabilitation tax credits, which are due to terminate on June 1, 2004.
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