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Forum looks at other issues

October 05, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Besides prison inmates, four others issues were presented Wednesday at a Greater Hagerstown Committee forum:

· The expansion of Washington County Free Library's downtown Hagerstown branch from 45,000 square feet to 92,000 square feet. Director Mary Baykan said the project is expected to cost about $16 million, not including land acquisition. The library will ask the state for $9 million and the county for the rest. The city of Hagerstown will provide land, she said.

· Economic development. Tim Henry said education, zoning and competition among localities and states are factors.

· Water and sewer service and annexation. John Schnebly said sewer capacity is limited, so municipalities need to think regionally. He also said Hagerstown's policy of providing water and sewer service to outside users in exchange for future annexation "puts a cloud over" business negotiations.

· Charter home rule government, which Brien Poffenberger said would shift certain powers from the state to the county. Washington County has established a board to write a charter, but the public still has time to challenge the makeup of the board.

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