Hagerstown City Council briefs

January 14, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Fourth of July event will be longer in '04

The Hagerstown City Council at its Tuesday work session agreed to increase the length of the city's 2004 Fourth of July celebration by two hours.

Under the plans discussed Tuesday, the events would begin at 4 p.m. instead of 6 p.m., the time the Independence Day celebration began last year. The event would end at 10 p.m. after musical performances and a fireworks display at Fairgrounds Park.

Last year's celebration brought about 12,000 people to Fairgrounds Park, and officials said Tuesday they expect more this year.

The exact costs of the event were not determined by Tuesday, but officials already have approved $13,000 for the fireworks display.

The council also gave its support to hire three musical acts. The cost estimate for that portion of the event was $7,900.


City spokeswoman Karen Giffin said there also will be costs associated with other entertainment-related items and city services, such as police, equipment and rentals. Those costs have not been finalized, but last year the cost was $18,894.

Parking spaces may be removed on street

Hagerstown Acting Fire Chief Rick Kipe told Hagerstown's mayor and City Council on Tuesday that firetrucks are having difficulty maneuvering through Carrollton Avenue in the West End, which may lead to the removal of 16 parking spaces on the street.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said his office is recommending removing parking spaces on one side of the street. According to a report filed by Tissue, national standards recommend 16 feet of width for firetrucks, but there are only 8 to 10 feet when cars are parked on both sides of Carrollton.

Tissue also recommended the city not remove the spaces until more spaces could be provided nearby for the residents.

City agrees to give up loan program

Hagerstown City Council members agreed Tuesday to give up an Environmental Protection Agency loan program designed to help clean up polluted areas.

The Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund pilot project would have provided $500,000 in low-interest loans to successful applicants. Planning Director Kathleen Maher said in a report that the city could not support the project, and therefore could not use the money.

The city is in the midst of using another EPA grant, the Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Project, which is a $200,000 grant that will be used to find a way to reuse the old Bock Oil site in City Park and a vacant lot near Wendy's on Dual Highway, according to city records.

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