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Bond bills seek funds for former Municipal Electric Light Plant, Antietam Fire Company's fire house

February 26, 2013|BY KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com

ANNAPOLIS — Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, has introduced two bond bills in the House seeking $300,000 to demolish the former Municipal Electric Light Plant in the city’s east end and another $85,000 to renovate and repair the Antietam Fire Company’s fire house on Hagerstown’s Potomac Avenue.

“For years, it’s been an eyesore and an environmental hazard and it’s one of the pieces of trying to transform Hagerstown ... so we can start by knocking that down ... and start transforming that area near the stadium,” Donoghue said about the MELP plant.

David Harshman, who owns the nearly 3-acre property near the intersection of Eastern Boulevard south and Mt. Aetna Road, has asked for $1 million for the demolition and intends to hand the land back to the city once the clean-up is complete, according to a previous Herald-Mail article.

The city had previously offered to contribute $750,000 toward the demolition, including money from the unappropriated Capital Improvement Plan funds.

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Donoghue said he has been talking to David S. Gysberts, the Hagerstown mayor, about the bond bill.

Donoghue’s second bond bill seeks to raise money for renovations of the Antietam Fire Company’s new fire hall on Potomac Avenue.

According an email sent to Donoghue in January by Robert Daveler, the treasurer of the Antietam Fire Company, the fire house needs close to $250,000 for the renovation.

The rest of the money for the renovation, according to the email, will likely be requested through the Maryland State Fireman’s Association. Renovations are needed to the front and the building’s interior while the station’s parking lot also needs to be upgraded, according to the email.

The Antietam Fire Company moved to the Potomac Avenue location in 2012.

“The fire-station is a big help to the north end of Hagerstown. We have all that development from the Long Meadow Shopping center. ... You have a higher volume of accidents,” Donoghue said.

A House of Delegates’ budget committee turned down a previous funding request for $200,000 in 2011 for the Antietam Fire Company.

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