Hagerstown briefs

September 15, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Council considering Trail easement offer

The city should accept the federal government's offer of $800,000 for an Appalachian Trail easement, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday at a city council work session.

The land is close to the Edgemont Reservoir, a city water source near Smithsburg.

City Attorney John Urner said the city and the federal government have talked for years about the easement. The city has asked for more than $1 million, but the federal government has said no, Urner said.

Metzner said it's great that the United States wants to pay Hagerstown to preserve land that the city already is intent on preserving.

"We ought to take the $800,000 and run as soon as we can," he said.

Metzner suggested that the council use the money to buy other properties to preserve the watershed.

Council members agreed that the city should accept the federal government's offer.

Council discusses fireworks contract

The Hagerstown City Council agreed Tuesday that the city should sign a three-year fireworks contract with a Maryland company.


A memo prepared by Karen Giffin, the city's public information manager, said the fireworks show at Fairgrounds Park would cost $14,000 each year of the contract, up from $13,000 this year.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said resident Ted Bodnar deserves credit for locking in the same price for three years, which he called "phenomenal."

Giffin said after the meeting that the city has used Fireworks Productions Inc., a company in northern Baltimore County, for several years.

Bodnar told the council that the company originally agreed to a five-year contract, but scaled it back to three years.

City will help with parade fundraising

The city will help the Alsatia Club raise $8,500 for this year's Mummers Parade, the City Council decided Tuesday.

James G. McCleaf II, the parade's chairman, said the money is for prizes. He said the city used its contacts last year to bring in more donations than the club would have gotten on its own.

The $8,500 includes a $1,000 contribution from the city.

A separate proposal to increase the cost of vendor permits drew less support from the council.

McCleaf had proposed having vendors buy a $35 license from the Alsatia Club on top of the $15 permit they need from the city.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner doubted that the city could force vendors to get permits from a nongovernment entity.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said the city wouldn't be able to enforce the Alsatia Club's requirement.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman suggested having City Attorney Mark Boyer look at the legality of the extra permit fee.

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