Hagerstown briefs

December 08, 2004

City near wireless Internet agreement

Hagerstown city officials are nearing a deal that would bring wireless Internet to the city through the city's electric system.

The City Light Department has been looking into wireless broadband capabilities since this spring. City Light Department Manager Mike Spiker said an agreement has been developed that would be offered to companies willing to provide the service.

The plans are to put the 10-year agreement up for bid in early January and close the bidding by late January.

Spiker said that depending on how the bidding goes, a company could be providing wireless Internet access through the city's power lines by late spring 2005.

Code allows city to demolish buildings

A rarely used code that allows the city to demolish private buildings without going to court will likely be used twice in the next few weeks, city code officials said.

The code provision allows demolition only in emergencies, said John Lestitian, city chief code enforcement officer.

One building at 572-574 Pen Mar Ave. is a single-family home that has begun falling down, officials said. The home is near an alley and could fall into the alley or nearby buildings. The City Council on Tuesday authorized spending $13,500 on the demolition.

Lestitian said the city also would likely use the code provision in connection with a building at 15-17 Elizabeth St., part of which collapsed recently.

City gives preliminary OK to hire employees

The City Council gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to add two employees to the city's inspection staff.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said the additional staff would include one more inspector and one more administrative assistant. Due to increased building activity in the city, staff have been overloaded.

City building inspector Michael Heyser said the cost for the new employees will be covered by revenue from the inspections fees, which the city recently raised.

- Gregory T. Simmons

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