Hagerstown City Council briefs

December 18, 2012

New police officer, three fire captain positions approved

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to hire an additional police officer and purchase an accompanying vehicle designated to the city’s Safe Speeds for Students program.

The new position is being made possible through revenues, nearly $540,000 from April through October, that the city has received from tickets issued via speed cameras placed in school zone’s around Hagerstown.

Additionally, the five-member city council voted 5-0 to reinstate funding for three captain positions in the fire department through the speed-camera revenues.

Councilwoman Penny Nigh said the reinstatement of funding for the three fire department positions is a “step in the right direction” for city fire protection.

“We’ve lost a lot of people over the last three years,” she said.

The approximate cost of the police hiring and vehicle is about $129,000 and the fire department promotions — and subsequent backfilling of firefighters — is expected to cost about $280,000, according to police and fire officials.

City-owned building to be razed

A request to raze a city-owned building at 28 W. Church St., was unanimously approved by the Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday.

The motion included awarding a demolition contract to TKO Construction in the amount of $14,499.

The property is owned by the city’s Light Department and was previously used for office space, according to a memo to the council from city Utilities Director Michael Spiker. It’s been vacant about the past year, he said.

Demolition was viewed as a better option than renovating the building, which would have cost well in excess of $40,000, Spiker wrote in his memo.

City accepts donation of roads

The Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to accept the dedication of five newly constructed roads in the city.

The resolution hands over Omega Drive, Cameo Drive and 490 feet of Imperial Drive, which are all in the Light Business Park near Eastern Boulevard and Professional Court.

The other two roads — Hoosier Court and Wolfpack Way — are in Collegiate Acres development, just off Maugansville Road.

The city will assume maintenance of these streets upon the developers submitting the proper one-year maintenance bond, according to city documents.

Community Coalition lobbyist funding OK’d

For another year, the Hagerstown City Council unanimously authorized the expenditure of $5,000 to contribute toward hiring a Community Coalition lobbyist on behalf of the city.

The money allows the city to hire Michael Johansen of the Rifken, Livingston, Levitan and Silver firm.

Numerous other organizations, such as Washington County government and the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, also have provided funding toward the effort in the past.

Councilwoman Penny Nigh said she would think twice about hiring the firm next year, saying she believes the city hasn’t gotten much out of it in the past.

“There was more things that went to the county and less to the city,” she said before the 5-0 vote.

Funding for employee wellness program approved

The City of Hagerstown will institute a new employee wellness program with the start of 2013.

The Hagerstown City Council unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to allocate $25,000 out of the Healthcare Fund to be used toward the program for the period of Jan. 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013.

A wellness program is viewed as a way to promote healthier lifestyles for employees and a way to keep insurance premiums manageable, city officials have said.

— C.J. Lovelace

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