Hagerstown Mayor and Council have a work session and a regular session tonight

April 23 – A work session will precede a regular meeting for the Hagerstown Mayor and Council today. 

The work session will begin at 4 p.m. with the regular session beginning at 7 p.m. 

Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, said, “The work session is pretty well packed. I think it’s going to take the full two and a half hours allotted for it as a matter of fact. We’ll start with a review of the budget, an overview of some of the FY ‘25 material as it relates to the general fund in particular, be talking about some of the projections for revenue expenditures, debt service, things of that nature. We’re kind of winding that down, but over the next four weeks there will be some more of that. I think the important thing for people to understand is that there will be the adoption of the ordinances set for May the 21st. So that’s an important date. Ahead of that, a public hearing for the FY ‘25 budget and property tax rate will be held, and the introduction of the ordinances will take place on May 7, which is just two weeks away now.”

The budget director for the city does a great job in presenting the budget. 

Decker said, “I think that’s why we bring it before council. Obviously they need to agree within the charter of the city. It needs to be a balanced budget. But that input is invaluable from the electeds. That’s why they’re elected to be there to represent the taxpayers and make sure that that money is being spent in the way that they feel is the most effective.”

The regular session will include an open mic. 

Decker said, “In addition to that, though, there will be a public hearing on the annexation on Heaven Heights Homes, which is a proposed development in between Southern Boulevard on the north side and East Oak Ridge Drive, so out near the Funkstown town area. That’s about 12 acres there. The proposal for that plot of land is one single family home and 32 family units. So that is a public hearing again, that will be part of the meeting. Then it’s on to the consent agenda, 10 items there, four items under unfinished business and then wrapping up with six under new business.” 

Trash and recycling rates could come up in discussion. 

Decker said, “We’ve talked about water and wastewater. We’re also going to be talking in the work session this afternoon about proposing parking rate changes. So the potential for a lot of things going up. Certainly there’s justification for those rates, but at the same time it’ll be interesting to hear whether citizens have decided that they’re engaged at this point to come in and talk about that and maybe have an opinion to the contrary perhaps. 

Water will go up 14% and wastewater will go up 13% every year for the next three years – which is a pretty big jump. 

Decker said, “It sounds like it and I’m not trying to, I’m not trying to poo poo that at all. I’m just saying that I think when you really get down to the dollars and sense of it, it’s not quite as bad. I mean that’s jolting, when you hear 14 and 13% without a doubt and I will say that being in the communications department, we will be putting together some social media videos talking about what that means to the bottom line, whether you’re an in city customer, whether you’re a residential, commercial, a wholesale customer, so kind of break all of that down. Doesn’t make it any better. You’re certainly going to be paying more, but there are reasons for that and we’ll try to provide a little education that goes along with why those rates are going to be what they’re potentially going to be.”

For the work session agenda, click here
For the regular session agenda, click here.