Hagerstown Mayor and City Council have a hefty work session this afternoon

HAGERSTOWN – Mayor and City Council in Hagerstown will look at fire fighters, the Hamilton Building and deck compliance for town homes – to name just three items on the agenda – this afternoon during a work session.

The work session will begin at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers at One East Franklin Street in Hagerstown. It can also be viewed on the City’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, joined First News to give a preview of this afternoon’s meeting.

Mayor and Council will hear the fire fighter up-staffing request. The City is anticipating retirements and people leaving the Hagerstown Fire Department and they’re trying to get out in front of it to have people in place, ready to transition into openings when they happen.

City Administrators will then present some uses for the American Rescue Plan funds. Staff worked to come up with ideas on how to use that money, especially with the restrictions that were put on the funding.

Council and Mayor will look at the letter of intent and proposed lease terms for 6 North Potomac Street. It’s been vacant for a while and used to house the Visitor’s Center. The Foundry, a retail incubator that offers a place for small business or artisans to test the market by allowing floor space in their retail location, wants to lease the space.

Hamilton Building incentive will also be discussed.  

Decker explained, “That building sits in a very important place, a very prominent place, one where the street was shut down for a long period of time and really don’t want to go back to where we were a number of months ago, so just working to shore that up.”

The Financial Incentive Agreement for the building – to get it stabilized – will be discussed. Mayor and Council passed a motion to provide a grant and a loan-to-grant to the tune of $716,000 to keep the building standing.

The incentive agreement will be reviewed.

The Chief Financial Officer for the City will discuss year-end transfers of money with Mayor and Council. It will include projects that got behind because of COVID. Staff is looking to transfer money from a project that maybe is a little behind schedule to one that’s more on schedule and will be asking Mayor and Council to approve that.

Attention will also be on decks in Hagerstown’s town home community. On the 4th of July there was a collapse of a deck that was within Hagerstown City limits. There were two injuries – two parents. They had a young child who had just left the deck and could have been injured as well, but thankfully was not. The City’s Planning and Code Administration Department was incredibly concerned.

So they’re looking at how to prevent that in the future by inspecting all the decks that are part of town-homes in the City – that’s 589 decks all together.

They discovered that one out of every five is not in compliance. They will be presenting this information to Mayor and Council this afternoon and getting some feedback.

Decker said, “I think one at all in my mind is a serious issue, but one out of every five? That’s a big one.”

To see the agenda for this afternoon’s work session, click here: https://hagerstown.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=1000&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda