City purchases condemned home

January 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday authorized spending $55,000 to purchase a condemned single-family home at 140 S. Potomac St. near Washington County Free Library.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said the city's immediate goal is to stabilize the dilapidated structure by repairing the roof. The council approved a $15,665 contract with Alfred Hobbs on Tuesday to do the work.

Three other bids ranged from $18,050 to $24,950, according to city documents.

After the roof is repaired, the city will seek a contractor to renovate the brick, three-story building, Zimmerman said. The city intends to sell the house when the renovation is finished. He said the building is suitable for business or commercial use.

Zimmerman said the city bought the house, which had a history of code violations, from Douglas and Ellen Gaston of Vienna, Va. Money from the city's Economic Redevelopment Fund was used to make the purchase through Frederick County Bank, he said.


"The bank was in the process of foreclosing it," Zimmerman said.

The council voted 4-1 to purchase the house. Councilwoman Kelly S. Cromer, who cast the dissenting vote, could not be reached for comment.

The footprint of the building is 4,248 square feet, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation's Web site. The property land area is 9,840 square feet.

The base value of the property is $277,600, the Web site said.

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