Hagerstown briefs

August 03, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Safety issues at complex noted

Safety at the Noland Village housing complex might be put on the Hagerstown City Council's agenda after council members made note of problems at the housing development off Virginia Avenue.

Most recently, one person was injured in a shooting at Noland Village, but no suspects have been found. Earlier this year, a man was killed in a shooting at the complex.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean first mentioned safety problems at the development Tuesday during the council's work session. She also suggested looking at security measures in all apartment complexes in the city.

Councilwomen Kelly S. Cromer and Penny M. Nigh agreed they would like to discuss it further at a future meeting.

Noland Village is managed by the Hagerstown Housing Authority, a nonprofit organization.

Preliminary approval given to annexation

The Hagerstown City Council gave preliminary approval during Tuesday's work session to an annexation request for the land known as the Light property to the southeast of the intersection of Jefferson and Eastern boulevards.


The council last month tabled the request in the face of concerns from neighbors fearing commercial development of the property, heavier traffic and environmental damage to the area.

The 29.3 acres currently are zoned for residential use, but the request is to allow commercial use of the land.

City officials said annexation would allow better controls over traffic and other growth issues if the site develops inside city limits.

The council is expected to take a vote at the end of the month to adopt the annexation resolution, which would make the annexation effective in October.

Council discusses refugee assistance

A discussion on a recent effort to help refugees find homes in the Hagerstown area sparked some debate in City Hall Tuesday night.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said he attended a meeting Tuesday with several local offices on the effort, which is being led by the Virginia Council of Churches.

Zimmerman said that about 90 refugees, many of whom are Russian, have been placed in Washington County.

Responding to a question over why the refugees were coming to this area, City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said "I think it begins with, 'Give me your tired, your poor,'" referencing the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Later, Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said, "If you would like to place them, would you mind putting them out in the county where they have more resources ... ?"

Council discusses Tusing Warehouse

City Economic Development Director Debbie Everhart asked for and received permission from the City Council Tuesday to solicit bids from developers for plans to purchase and rehabilitate the Tusing Warehouse.

The city bought the building in the Central Parking Lot near City Hall for about $170,000.

The most recent plan for the building, forwarded by Hagerstown native and Frederick-based attorney Stephen Glessner, fell through after more than two years of discussions, Everhart said. She said after Glessner lost his original partner, he was unable to follow through with the plans.

Everhart said she hopes to invite bidders from beyond Washington County that have experience in rehabbing "funky" buildings, as noted in a city memo.

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