Hagerstown briefs

December 02, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

Museum courtyard plans presented to council

Plans to enclose the interior courtyard at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts were presented Tuesday during the Hagerstown City Council meeting.

Designs for the project are near completion, and about $1.6 million of the necessary $2.5 million has been raised, said Thomas C. Newcomer, president of the museum's Board of Trustees.

The nine-month construction project could begin as early as March and would create jobs locally, museum officials said. The enclosed space will provide a place to display sculptures currently in storage, and a venue for performances and receptions.

The museum has also approached Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, about procuring a $150,000 bond bill for the project during the coming legislative session. The board asked the city for its support in that endeavor, which the council provided.


Newcomer also asked that the city provide a grant for whatever permit fees are associated with the project and for an unspecified amount of direct financial assistance.

Councilwoman Ashley Haywood said she would like to see a detailed financial breakdown of the project before the council considers a cash outlay.

The council asked the engineering department to estimate the amount of permit fees associated with the project before further consideration of the museum board's request to reimburse those fees.

Council indicates support for lobbying request

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday heard a request for $5,000 to help fund the Washington County Community Lobbying Coalition at the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis.

The coalition has been in place since 2006, said Brien Poffenberger, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

Washington County, the Chamber and the school system are also financial partners in the coalition.

The focus at the upcoming session will be to protect what Maryland already committed to Hagerstown and Washington County, Poffenberger said.

Among the items that will be monitored by the lobbyists are Washington County Free Library funding, University System of Maryland at Hagerstown funding and stimulus grants that could go toward local projects, he said.

The council unofficially gave its support to the funding and a formal vote will be taken during its Dec. 22 regular session.

Dec. 16 is last date for yard waste collection

The last opportunity for yard waste collection in the city is Dec. 16, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said Tuesday.

Residents should set out yard waste the evening of Dec. 15 for collection the next day, he said.

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