Hagerstown briefs

October 27, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Company tabbed for snow removal

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday officially approved hiring a company for this year's sidewalk snow-removal program, which allows the city to remove snow from public sidewalks on private property.

Servtec Custodial Inc. was approved for the contract as part of a consent agenda - usually a list of items such as purchases that is voted on as one item. The council approved the agenda 3-1, with Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire voting against the agenda. Councilman N. Linn Hendershot was not present.

The contract is the last expected change in the city's snow-removal program this year. Last year, the city met public criticism when it enforced snow-removal rules and its snow-removal contract.

As part of its contract, last year's company charged $45 per salt application. Servtec will charge $17 per 50-pound bag of salt it uses. Servtec's labor and equipment charges are about half of last year's charges.


Ice rink proposal to move ahead

The Hagerstown City Council gave official approval Tuesday to move ahead with a new agreement that would provide for more financial control of the group that is managing the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex.

The City Council voted 3-1 to proceed with the agreement. Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire voted against the agreement, and Councilman N. Linn Hendershot was not present.

City officials said earlier this month that the Washington County Sports Foundation, which is in an agreement with the city to manage the rink, has not been able to break even on its finances. Officials said the new agreement, which has yet to be written, would allow the sports foundation to improve its finances and expand programs at the rink.

Residents speak out on big-box stores

Three people who live near an area being considered for commercial development on Tuesday called on the City Council to be careful in its consideration of a new ordinance that would set limits on so-called big-box stores.

The ordinance being discussed during a public hearing before the City Council would set minimum limits on the amount of space that could be between a building in a C4 district, which includes big-box stores, and other properties.

For instance, a building in a C4 district would have to be 100 feet from a residential property line, although the proposal does not govern parking lots.

Jim Laird, one of the residents who voiced his opinion, said parking areas near his home's back yard could be "devastating. ... The last thing we want is a street or parking lot 10 feet from our back property line."

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