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City eyes more land for Fairgrounds Park

March 21, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

The Hagerstown City Council will introduce an ordinance to acquire 2.79 acres of land that would increase the area of Fairgrounds Park.

City Finance Director Alfred Martin said the land will be donated. The city must first pass an ordinance to accept the property, he said.

The city will make improvements to a stream that runs through the land once the property's title is transferred, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Tuesday during a City Council work session.

Dan Ryan Builders is the current owner.

The stream's bed is eroding, Tissue said. The restoration would stabilize the stream bank and prevent further wear, he said.

Tissue showed the council pictures of a similar project in City Park where rocks were used to stabilize a stream bank there.

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He said the city will spend a minimum of $260,000 to make the improvements.

Those improvements would allow the city to complete a stream-restoration project that is mandated by the Maryland Department of the Environment, he said.

A city memorandum states that the project would be paid for through the sewer fund.

Tissue said part of the improvement plan includes a walking path with educational signs along the way.

"I feel very comfortable that what we're doing here will last," Tissue said.

He recommended to the council that Biohabitats, an ecological restoration company, be awarded the contract to improve the stream.

Tissue wrote in a memorandum that the stream restoration ideally would begin in the spring of 2008 and finish that fall.

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