Hagerstown briefs

June 21, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Council OKs splitting intersection costs

A plan to split the cost of improving the intersection of U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive was met with approval at Tuesday's Hagerstown City Council meeting.

Of the $12 million that the project is estimated to cost, the county would contribute up to $3.6 million.

The city's contribution of up to $2.4 million would include relocating water and sewer lines at an estimated cost of $750,000.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire said the city expects to use excise tax revenue from new development to help pay for the remaining $1.65 million of its $2.4 million share.

Aleshire said the city's share would be less because its residents pay city, county and state taxes.

The state would be asked to cover the remaining cost - up to $6 million - not funded by the city and county.


The Washington County Commissioners agreed in concept last week to the plan, but wanted to hear what city officials thought before sending the idea to the state.

The project would add a third through lane in each direction on U.S. 40, extend existing left- and right-turn lanes on U.S. 40, and widen Edgewood Drive to create two left-turn lanes, one through lane and one through/right-shared lane in each direction.

Construction is proposed to begin in July 2007 and finish in the winter of 2008 or summer of 2009, Commissioner James F. Kercheval has said.

Garbage fees rising

This summer, garbage collection fees will go up for the second time this year.

The Hagerstown City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to raise the quarterly rate 4.9 percent - from $35.75 to $37.50.

A summary included in the motion says the higher rate is needed because of a $5-per-ton increase in tipping fees at Washington County's landfill.

The increase will go into effect July 20 and apply to all bills issued after Aug. 1.

Council members Lewis C. Metzner, Kristin B. Aleshire and Alesia D. Parson-McBean voted in favor of the increase, while council members Kelly S. Cromer and Penny M. Nigh voted against the proposal.

The City Council voted 4-1 in December 2005 to raise the quarterly rates from $27 to $35.75, starting with bills issued after Jan. 20.

The increase at the time was tied to a broader decision to expand the city's voluntary recycling program. The higher rate reflected the larger recycling program and the increased cost of general-trash collection.

Nigh was the only council member to vote against the increase then.

Water, sewer rates going up

As predicted, the city's water and sewer rates are going up 3.5 percent this year.

The Hagerstown City Council formally approved the water and sewer rate increases 4-1 on Tuesday. Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer voted "no" both times.

The increase was projected when the Hagerstown City Council approved a $134.6 million budget in May.

The water and sewer rate increases will show up on bills issued starting Oct. 1.

The city's rates vary, depending on usage and whether customers live inside or outside city limits.

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