Hagerstown Mayor and City Council will look at the transient housing ordinance and wastewater sampling 

November 15 – The Hagerstown Mayor and City Council will have a work session this afternoon at 4 p.m. in Council Chambers at 1 E. Franklin Street where participants may attend in person or watch on the city’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. 

Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, joined First News this morning to preview the meeting. 

Before the work session there will be a special session to approve an amendment to the agreement with Easter Sports Management for the Hagerstown Fieldhouse. 

The work session includes nine items on the agenda. 

The transient housing ordinance will be revisited with the Planning and Code Administration Department presenting items the mayor and council had asked to include.

The ordinance relates to hotels that bring in first responders more often than usual. 

Decker said, “I think some of that is the issues with so many calls to a number of these hotels. I think some policies being put in place as it relates to some of the training for employees at those hotels. Some of the things they should do and perhaps coming up with a tiered way of sort of ranking these hotels. What the best of the best are doing well and what the worst of the worst are not doing well and then possibly coming up with some consequences for those who are not doing those things well. And just spelling out exactly what they are because I think that’s one of the things right now it’s a little bit murky in terms of what are the rules exactly? This will be attempting to establish some of those parameters.” 

Land acquisition for the Hub City garage parking deck will be on the agenda. It’s the city’s obligation to the Multi-Use Sports and Entertainment facility downtown. 

Public art on city owned land just north of Park Circle will also be discussed. 

Mayor and Council will also look at the possible closure of Summit Avenue at the railroad crossing. 

The National Wastewater Sampling Initiative that’s been taking place at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Hagerstown will be reviewed. The initiative relates to COVID and even look at monkeypox. 

Decker said, “It does have to do with human excrement at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, analyzing what comes through the treatment plant itself. We do have a laboratory manager there who had been contracted by the CDC for the Hagerstown treatment plant to be part of this process. It is something that’s national, but what’s been going on in analyzing what’s come through the treatment plant since the beginning of the year. What is fascinating about it to me is it’s been predictive. It’s shown a rise in COVID cases and even now, monkeypox has become part of it. You’re able to see that trend develop in terms of human waste coming through the treatment plant. It’s pretty amazing to see the ability to predict where some of these outbreaks might be coming just based on that.” 
For this afternoon’s agenda, click here: https://hagerstown.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=1137&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda