Hagerstown briefs

March 30, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

Comment period now comes before votes

HAGERSTOWN - Citizens who wish to speak at Hagerstown City Council meetings no longer will have to wait so long to make their voices heard.

The council agreed Tuesday night at its regular meeting to rearrange the agenda to allow citizens' comments before the voting session. The period for public comment used to be after the voting session, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said.

Nigh votes against contract mowing

HAGERSTOWN - Opposition to the City of Hagerstown's practice of employing contract workers for tasks such as mowing and trimming led Council member Penny M. Nigh to cast the sole dissenting vote to a slate of items on Tuesday night's agenda.

Nigh said she was not in favor of a $17,999 contract for mowing and trimming.

Other items on the consent agenda, which passed by a 4-1 vote, included an exemption to the open container law for the Western Maryland Blues Fest June 2 to 4 and the $244,500 purchase of a closed-circuit television vehicle. The vehicle allows workers to use remote-controlled cameras to assess the condition of pipes and find broken pipes.


George Fischer, superintendent of collections systems, said the city's only other closed-circuit vehicle is due to be replaced in July. Fischer said the city is planning to rehab that vehicle at a cost of about $225,000. The work would include software and camera upgrades that would enable workers to test sewer line pressure.

Council OKs funds for park restrooms

HAGERSTOWN - The Hagerstown City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday night to spend $277,759 on new restrooms at City Park.

The money includes $200,000 from a Community Development Block Grant and $77,759 from Program Open Space. Most of the money set aside for the project will go toward Parks Department labor and building materials.

The remainder of the money will pay for special trade contracts for some work, including electrical, plumbing and flooring.

Council approves manhole insert funds

HAGERSTOWN - After a brief discussion, the Hagerstown City Council voted Tuesday to give emergency approval to spend $16,400 on 1,000 manhole inserts.

"Why wasn't this brought up at the work session and now suddenly it's a big emergency that they need 1,000?" Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer asked.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman told Cromer the need for the manholes came up after the work session. According to Zimmerman, the inserts help seal manhole covers to prevent inflow from groundwater and rain.

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