Hagerstown City Council briefs

June 08, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

City Council discusses reimbursing county for land acquired for library project

The Hagerstown City Council discussed reimbursing Washington County for land acquired for the expansion of Washington County Free Library.

The city committed $1.5 million toward land acquisition and demolition, Finance Director Alfred Martin told the council at Tuesday's worksession.

Washington County requested reimbursement of $1.4 million used to acquire land for the project.

Because this was part of the city's original commitment to the project, Martin said he and City Engineer Rodney Tissue recommended the city approve the reimbursement.

The council will vote later this month on paying the reimbursement.

Martin said the city will not send a check to the county, however, until the project is under contract.

According to a memo by Martin, the county has acquired part of the former Greyhound Bus Station and all of the Hagerstown Development Partnership property.

HPD chief: 'We fare pretty well when it comes to crime'

Hagerstown Police Department presented the City Council with a review of its latest performance data Tuesday evening.


Police Chief Arthur Smith led the review, which lasted nearly two hours.

HPD compared Hagerstown's property crime, violent crime and total part 1 crime rates from 2008 to department statistics from Cambridge, Md., Annapolis, Salisbury, Md., Frederick, Md., and Cumberland, Md.

On the whole, Hagerstown has one of the lowest crime rates for violent, property and total part 1, or serious, crimes, based on a formula of crimes per 100,000 people, Lt. Tom Alexander said.

It also has one of the lowest per-citizen expenditure rates and one of the lowest ratios of total full-time police department personnel to population, he said.

"In summary, we fare pretty well when it comes to crime," Smith said. "If there is one thing we do differently than other departments, it is that we have focused our resources on the street."

Smith also said the number of partnerships the department has formed to enhance public safety sets it apart.

HPD's presentation included many other elements, notably discussion of the fiscal year 2011 budget, grants, and potential future partnership.

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