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Hagerstown to seek $50 million from feds for projects

Water, sewer upgrades, black history museum on list

Water, sewer upgrades, black history museum on list

February 20, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Hagerstown officials will ask Congress for nearly $50 million this year to help pay the cost of city projects ranging from water and sewer upgrades to the procurement of a black history museum.

During its Tuesday work session, the Hagerstown City Council and lobbyists from The Ferguson Group of Washington, D.C., prioritized a list of items that the city will ask Congress to help fund using federal dollars.

Earlier this year, the council hired The Ferguson Group until March 15 at a cost of $15,000 to help secure federal funds on the city's behalf. After March 15, the rate would increase if city officials decide to retain The Ferguson Group's services.

The council agreed to put water and sewer projects at the top of the list. A $5.2 million plan to extend Haven Road was next, followed by a $900,000 request to acquire radio equipment for the city's public safety services.

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Among other things, the council also will ask for money to fund a black history museum and to create a business program to help minorities and women.

Kareem Murphy, a partner with The Ferguson Group, said the city's top eight requests would amount to about $50 million.

Murphy suggested that the council join him next week in Washington, D.C., for a preliminary meeting with some of the members of Congress to get a jump on other cities, which usually start asking for money in the first few weeks of March.

Murphy said after the meeting that the House of Representatives would start drafting funding bills in May, and the Senate would follow shortly thereafter.

The city could find out whether it received funding as early as September, Murphy said.

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