HAGERSTOWN - Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said he was thankful Tuesday after a majority of the City Council all but guaranteed they would vote next week to spend roughly $535,000 to hire nine firefighters.
During a council work session Tuesday, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner and Councilwomen Penny M. Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean said they would support the chief's request to hire the firefighters this fiscal year.
Councilman Martin Brubaker and Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer said after the work session that they would have to think about the issue further. Brubaker proposed hiring four firefighters and one police officer this fiscal year and five firefighters and one police officer in Fiscal Year 2008-09.
"For me, it's been a long time coming," Hawbaker said after the work session. "I just want to thank the mayor and council. I know this was a difficult issue."