Hagerstown City Council briefs

November 18, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Departments propose changes to policy

The city's planning, engineering, and water and sewer departments have proposed changes to a policy on sewer service allocation.

Under an order from the Maryland Department of the Environment, Hagerstown approved a Sewer Capacity Allocation Program this year to limit connections to its system.

The amendment proposed to the City Council on Tuesday recommends letting residential developers apply twice a year for allocation instead of once a year. Nonresidential sewer allocation would be given "first come, first served" throughout the year instead of once a year.

The proposal also suggests increasing the allocation available for nonresidential development.

Planning Director Kathleen Maher said the proposal will be sent to the Maryland Department of the Environment for review.

City mulls changes to trash collection

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday continued to talk about revamping its trash collection program.

The City Council is considering whether to stay with twice-a-week pickup of general trash or cut it to once a week. The city also might add once-a-week collection of recyclable trash, such as glass, plastic and aluminum.


Council members talked about making sure landlords get tenants to follow a new trash pickup program.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner suggested a widescale public education campaign and having a new system begin April 22, which is Earth Day.

The City Council heard earlier this month that the cost of having Allied Waste Service pick up trash is likely to increase next year, but not as much as anticipated.

Quarterly rates were expected to increase from $27 to $35, but the city negotiated $2 off, cutting it to $33. That includes pickup twice a week for general trash, once a week for mixed paper and once a week, seasonally, for yard waste.

The collection of recyclable items, a new service, would be $2.75 more per quarter. The cost of recycling bins would be extra.

Scholarship fund decision is delayed

Without a consensus, the Hagerstown City Council decided to wait until budget time to consider a request to start a scholarship fund for college students.

A nonprofit group called The Magnolia Foundation has asked the City Council to set up a $25,000 scholarship for University System of Maryland at Hagerstown students.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said on Tuesday that it might not be fair to give scholarships to students at the downtown campus, but not to students at Hagerstown Community College.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the scholarship request should be weighed against other community groups' requests for money in the next city budget.

Through an endowment, the $25,000 would amount to about $1,200 a year, which might help only one or two students, he said.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean said that's still worthwhile, especially for students or families struggling to pay for schooling. She challenged the council to "find ways to be more socially conscious."

"Education is probably the key to other social programs," Mayor Richard F. Trump added.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she wouldn't consider the scholarship request until the downtown campus offers both day and night programs.

College students always find ways to get by and the $25,000 would be better used for other things, she said.

Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

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