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Hagerstown to apply for legacy grant for two downtown projects

City plans to use grant awards for renovations of 170 W. Washington Street and 43-53 W. Washington St.

July 29, 2013

The Hagerstown City Council has voted to approve the city’s application for state funding through Maryland’s Community Legacy program for the renovation of two downtown projects.

The city plans to use grant awards for the renovations of 170 W. Washington Street — the former Holiday Motel, also once known as the Midtown Motel — and 43-53 W. Washington St., which the city acquired this spring using the previous fiscal year’s $100,000 legacy grant to finance a portion of the acquisition.

The deadline for the city to submit grant applications is Aug. 15.

The council voted 4-1 on July 23 to approve the application.

Councilman Kristin B. Aleshire was the dissenting vote on the five-member council, saying he did not agree with using public funds to renovate the facade of the 43-53 W. Washington St. project as part of the application.

“The renovation plan includes front facade work and commercial improvements on 43 W. Washington, roof work, firewall separation, demolition of the rear wing on 53 W. Washington and rear facade work,” according to city documents.

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For that project, the city will request $52,900 in Community Legacy funds to match $52,900 in city funds.

The $435,000 renovation project will also be funded by $382,100 from the Community Development Block Grant program and the sale of Public Square property as the required match for last year’s $100,000 legacy award, the documents said.

For the 170 W. Washington St. renovation project, the city will request $50,000 in  legacy funds and provide a matching $50,000 in city funds.

Demolition began in late May on the section of the former motel on North Prospect Street. Renovations would be on the brick, white and blue building on West Washington Street.

Between 2002 and 2013, the city has received $2.5 million for capital projects in  legacy funding in addition to companion awards totaling $324,262, the documents said.

For the current fiscal year, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has $6 million in legacy funding earmarked for grants and loans across the state, City Planner Alex Rohrbaugh has said.

The average grant award amount is anticipated to be $100,000, Rohrbaugh said.

— Holly Shok

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