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City to offer classes on neighborhood improvement

February 07, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

The City of Hagerstown will offer classes in March that are geared toward helping residents improve their neighborhoods.

Cindy Blackstock, the city's community development director, said the city is taking applications for the Hagerstown Neighborhood College, whose classes will begin March 12. To qualify, students must be a Hagerstown resident and commit to attending eight of the 10 class sessions, she said.

The college is in its third year and focuses on teaching residents the workings of several city departments, such as fire and police, Blackstock said.

If everything goes well, graduates of the college will use their knowledge to form Neighborhood 1st programs, she said.

Neighborhood 1st is a program in which residents work with city officials to identify, plan for and implement improvements in neighborhoods, according to city documents. Once areas of interest are pinpointed, the city tries to find a way to fund fixing them.

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One neighborhood, for example, might need street lighting, she said. The college would teach residents how to work with city officials to find funding and achieve that goal.

"It will help (residents) interact with the city to get things done," Blackstock said.

Nine people have enrolled in the college, leaving nine spots available, she said. City officials want to keep the classes small to maintain a personal environment.

"We want this to be fun," Blackstock said.

The first class will start at 6:30 p.m. March 12 at City Hall, she said. Subsequent classes will move from City Hall to different city departments that are involved in the course.

She said each class will last about three hours.

The deadline to apply is March 2, Blackstock said. People who aren't selected for the class this spring will be admitted to a class in the fall, she said.




How to enroll:



Call Cindy Blackstock at 301-766-4055 or e-mail neighborhoods1st@hagerstownmd.org

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