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Councilman seeks funds for street work

May 07, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown city councilman said he wants to find a way to keep $256,000 in next year's budget to help pay for street resurfacing projects.

The city had expected to receive that amount of money from the state, but won't because of budget cuts, City Finance Director Alfred Martin said Tuesday during a Hagerstown City Council work session.

Councilman Martin Brubaker said the city could delay a plan to renovate the Roslyn building and use some of that money to pay for street repairs. Renovations to the Roslyn building, which is next to City Hall on East Franklin Street, could be put on hold until at least 2011, he said.

Officials have proposed renovating the Roslyn building and City Hall to create additional office space for municipal employees. It is estimated the project would cost about $75,000 for design and $1.25 million for construction.

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Brubaker said the city needs to resume street resurfacing in neighborhoods because they were neglected last year when asphalt prices skyrocketed.

"It's more important to keep up with the road resurfacing program than do office improvements at this time," Brubaker said in an interview after Tuesday's meeting. "Anything we don't need to spend now should be put off until next year."

Brubaker said he is not opposed to renovating the Roslyn building.

"We should just defer it," he said.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean was the only member of the council to oppose Brubaker's proposal during Tuesday's work session.

She said after the work session it was just as important to upgrade the Roslyn building to maintain the city's Community Affairs, Community Development and Information Technology departments.

"Maintaining those departments that directly attract future investors to the city is equally as important as resurfacing the roads," she said. "The administration needs to look at the city as a fully functioning mechanism. Our investment in the city must reflect a diversification in addressing its overall needs."

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