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Railroad project would require annexing land into the city

April 11, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Norfolk Southern railroad wants to use 95.2 acres on the south side of Hagerstown as a storage area to keep new vehicles until they're shipped to other parts of the country, according to Stuart W. Bass, the city's comprehensive planner.

The land is near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and West Oak Ridge Drive, according to a map from the city's Planning Department.

Bass said Tuesday after a City Council work session that the railroad intends to bring the vehicles to the property by rail for storage and later ship them out using trucks.

"It would be a large parking lot with one small building," he said.

Access to the property would be from West Oak Ridge Drive, Bass said.

A city memo from Bass to City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman shows that the construction would involve grading the land and paving it. The plan also calls for laying new tracks to improve access to the property, and surrounding the area with a fence.

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The project's initial cost is estimated between $8 million and $10 million, Bass said.

The City Council is required to discuss annexing the land because it is contiguous with city property, he said. If that happens, the city would be able to draw taxes from the property, Bass said.

He did not know the amount of the taxes.

Bass asked the council to discuss the issue further during a regularly scheduled council meeting April 24.

The 2002 Washington County Comprehensive Plan designates the property as Urban/Industrial.

Bass said further information, including the possible construction date, is unknown.

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