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Brubaker says city should delay work on Eastern Boulevard

May 03, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown City Council member said the city should delay building a road from Eastern Boulevard at the YMCA to Marsh Pike until thoroughfare improvements are made farther south.

Councilman Martin Brubaker said it doesn't make sense to build the $5.87 million road until the city widens Eastern Boulevard to four lanes from the YMCA south to Md. 64, a proposal that has not been discussed at length.

If the city widens that section of the road first, he said it would connect Eastern Boulevard to a four-lane widening project that the city is planning from Md. 64 to Conrad Court.

The city is going about things the wrong way, in part, by discussing improvements to Eastern Boulevard in sections that don't connect, he said.

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"It's the cart before the horse ... The worst need is in that middle stretch," Brubaker said.

He suggested delaying funds to build the road from Eastern Boulevard to Marsh Pike until the matter is discussed further.

Brubaker also said during a City Council work session Tuesday that he wants developers to share more of the cost associated with making road improvements in Washington County to relieve the financial burden on local governments.

Such a practice could help reduce projected deficits in future city budgets, he said.

In fiscal year 2008-09, the city is projected to face a $1.23 million deficit. That deficit is projected to be $1.8 million a year later.

Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr said he would like to see developers pay more money toward road improvements.

"As development occurs ... They're going to have to pay their fair share," he said.

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