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Police chief gets OK to seek grant

March 07, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

Repair costs to fix the overhang that extends around Hagerstown's Police Station on Burhans Boulevard could run up to $200,000, said Arthur Smith, chief of police.

To help alleviate that cost, Smith asked the Hagerstown City Council during its Tuesday night work session whether he should pursue a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Historical Trust.

The Trust, among other things, provides financial assistance to repair historical sites.

The building once served as a train station.

"It looks like we have a good shot (to get the grant)," he said.

The overhang provides a roof for pedestrians walking around the building, Smith said. Since the police department moved to the building in the 1970s, the overhang has deteriorated, he said.

"It has reached the point where we feel it is advisable to correct the corrosion before it becomes irreversible," Smith wrote in a March 2 memorandum to City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

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Smith told the council that the grant carries conditions, such as a "perpetual easement" that could restrict certain repairs to the overhang and the building's exterior.

As a result, the grant could pose more trouble than it's worth, he said.

The city is not committed to the grant until city officials accept the money, he said. The repair estimates were given by two local contractors, he said.

Smith received the council's permission to investigate the grant, including conditions that apply with its acceptance.

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