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Hagerstown City officials try to protect state funding for specific projects

December 07, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council are scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon with three members of the Washington County delegation at the beginning of its work session at City Hall.

Councilman William Breichner said he expected the council will be told not to expect much state money, and will be advised of the state's financial problems.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, and Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, will be at the meeting, according to the council's meeting agenda.

"Naturally, we want to keep the library in focus, and the police barracks is important," Breichner said.

The 9,200-square-foot state police barrack off Md. 65 is more than 35 years old. The plan is to replace it with an 11,750-square-foot barrack, according to published reports.

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Breichner also mentioned the addition of extra turn lanes and other improvements to the intersection of Dual Highway and Edgewood Drive. Those are important improvements and "we need to make sure funding stays there," he said.

"We still need to make sure that project is finished," he said.

Funding to municipalities will probably be at the top of the chopping block during the upcoming legislative session, Councilman Forrest Easton said Monday.

Easton said he would like to make protecting funding to the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown a priority.

"With the education level in the City of Hagerstown lower than most municipalities and one of the lowest in Maryland, I think it's very important for us to have education in and around Washington County," he said.

Councilman Martin Brubaker also mentioned wanting to preserve existing commitments to the city, including funding for the new library downtown and USMH.

"We're going to ask they do everything they can for the state not to take any more money from municipalities," Brubaker said.

Brubaker said he also would like a conversation about whether there are alternative sources of funding, such as stimulus funds.

He also expects to get feedback from the delegates and senator about how they see the state's financial situation and "what we can do to assist them."

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