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City discusses how to use $1.45 million saved on projects funded by bond issue

Council members eye Digby parking lot project and Fairgrounds Park improvements

February 01, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Council members and Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II Tuesday discussed how to use about $1.45 million that has been saved on projects funded by a bond issue.

The city issued $18 million in bonds for projects related to water, sewer and other work, City Finance Director Alfred Martin said during an afternoon council work session.

But, due to the downturn in the economy, construction prices have come in lower, meaning the city will enjoy about $1.45 million in savings, Martin said.

City officials said during the meeting that the money needs to be spent by 2012.

Council members considered using the money for the Digby parking lot project next to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and improvements to Fairgrounds Park.

  The parking lot is where the Digby Products building used to be.  The building was torn down, and plans were made for a parking lot at the site. The lot currently has a gravel surface, and there are plans to pave it, Councilman William A. Breichner said.

  The Fairgrounds Park improvement involves completing a new road in the park, Breichner said.

  Bruchey also asked if money from the savings could be used on the rehabilitation of the former CVS building.

  Council members recently approved spending $220,000 to purchase the former CVS building at 60 W. Washington St. for use as a business incubator space.

  Martin said the bond issue savings could be spent on that project, but only a limited amount.

  The Digby parking lot project and the fairgrounds park improvement would cost about $370,000, city officials said at the meeting.

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