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What's wrong with this picture?

September 14, 2009

Editor's note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.

We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The problem: More than 16 months after Hagerstown City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said city officials would meet with the owners of the former Municipal Electric Light Plant to discuss a timely, cost-effective way to raze the structure, the vacant, condemned building still stands.

Who could fix it: The building is owned by Partners Marketing LLP of Staunton, Va.

What they say: John Lestitian, chief code complaince officer for the City of Hagerstown, said last week that the city's attorney was still actively working with the owner's attorney to develop a long-term solution.

"It's not something that's on the back burner," Lestitian said, adding that he could not comment on the specific plans being discussed.

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The city installed a fence, window grates and security lights last year to secure the building from trespassers, Lestitian said.

H.D. Thompson of Partners Marketing LLP declined to comment on plans for the building.

Metzner said he was not aware of what had evolved between city staff and the owner, but would not be surprised if the cost of tearing down the building was holding things up.

"It's been a nasty picture for too long now, though," Metzner said.

-- Compiled by Heather Keels

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What's Wrong With This Picture

c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom

100 Summit Ave.

Hagerstown MD 21740

You can e-mail the information to lindad@herald-mail.com.

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