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Hagerstown briefs

November 24, 2004

Spending approved for fire truck repairs


The Hagerstown City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve spending more than $55,000 for repairs to two city fire trucks.

Two fire trucks recently needed emergency repairs at a total cost of $37,582, and one of those trucks also needed a new generator, which cost $17,728. City Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said last week that because the items were emergency repairs, the money already had been spent.

The item was approved as part of a consent agenda, which is usually a list of spending items that have been discussed at previous work sessions.




Resolution passed for charter changes


The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution on a 4-0 vote to approve some changes to the City Charter regarding elections.

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The proposed changes reflect changes in voting laws and changes in voting technology since the sections of charter were last updated.

The changes are set to take place Jan. 13. Although there is a public comment period before the changes are made final, no further City Council votes are necessary because changes to the charter are done by resolution, not ordinances, which require a vote to introduce and a second vote to approve.




Rezoning ordinance gets early approval


The Hagerstown City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday to introduce an ordinance to rezone property along Eastern Boulevard to allow a new four-story office building.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire opposed the measure.

Dahbura Enterprises Inc. and Kensington LLC, the applicants for the property, applied to rezone the land two years ago, but withdrew the application until a plan to pay for the widening of Eastern Boulevard was adopted by the city.

The ordinance will not be final until it is officially adopted by the council. The ordinance is scheduled for a final vote Dec. 21, and would take effect Jan. 20.




Big-box ordinance gets early approval


The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday voted 3-1 to introduce an ordinance that would require minimum distances between land that holds homes and so-called big box stores.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire opposed the measure.

The zoning ordinance would change standards for the C4 zone, a commercial zone for regional shopping centers such as the Centre at Hagerstown. Wal-Mart, The Home Depot and similar stores exist in the city's C4 districts.

For new buildings in C4 districts, the ordinance would require that there to be no less than 100 feet between a building and a residential property line. Minimum distances between C4 buildings and nonresidential property lines would be shorter under the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance will not be final until it is officially adopted by the council. The ordinance is scheduled for a final vote Dec. 21, and would take effect Jan. 20.




Council authorizes borrowing of bonds


The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday night authorized by a 3-1 vote the borrowing of $4 million in bonds, which will be used to pay for several city construction projects.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire opposed the measure.

Tuesday's action was one of several steps before the city actually borrows the money, which will be used on several projects including the widening of Eastern Boulevard, alley improvements, construction of a park for the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown, and a new dump truck.

According to a schedule provided at a previous meeting, the city would have access to the money at the end of December.




Grant will pay salary of city police officer


A $75,000 grant officially accepted by the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday will pay the salary of a city police officer who will be stationed at the new Gateway Crossing neighborhood.

The grant comes from the Hagerstown Housing Authority and will pay one officer for two years.

Gateway Crossing in Hagerstown's West End is a public housing project that is partly finished. Some homes are subsidized while others are market rate.

- Gregory T. Simmons

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