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Hagerstown briefs

July 12, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Developer seeks exemption for project



The Hagerstown City Council informally agreed Tuesday to allow a development plan to be considered for a revitalization exemption.

The project, known as Deerfield Knolls, calls for 83 town house units on the west side of North Burhans Boulevard, according to a city planning memo.

The developer, Revere Development Co. of Gaithersburg, Md., is asking for an exemption from the city's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance.

The exemption, according to the memo, "allows a development to proceed in a school attendance area otherwise designated as inadequate for development. ..."

The exemption is decided by the Washington County Commissioners.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire and Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer said they didn't support forwarding the request to the county commissioners. However, they were outnumbered by the other three council members, who indicated that they do support the idea.

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Aleshire, though, noted that the elementary school that would serve the development only is over capacity by two students.

If the project were built in phases, it might add another three students per year to the school, Aleshire said.

Large-trash dumping program to be reduced



The City of Hagerstown is planning to scale back its large-trash dumping program.

Twice a year, the city sets out a large trash bin and accepts discarded items such as furniture and building material, according to a memo by Public Works Manager Eric B. Deike.

The memo says the program is getting more expensive because of rising landfill and labor costs and because it's getting more popular.

A chart shows the cost has risen from a little more than $20,000 in Fiscal Year 2001-02 to almost $100,000 in Fiscal Year 2005-06.

City council members agreed Tuesday that cutting the program to once a year - the spring - is better than leaving it as it is, collecting fees or eliminating it.

Council members also agreed with Deike's proposal to increase the cost of bulk trash collection, in which the city picks up items at residents' curbs.

Deike's memo says that illegal dumping from outside the city and an overload of trash have become problems.

"For the weeks of the program, the City of Hagerstown looked like a garbage heap," according to the memo.

The city will increase its fee from $20 to $25 per "scoop" of bulk trash.

The same increase will apply to each refrigerator, freezer or air conditioner the city picks up.

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