August 8 – Hagerstown Mayor and Council will hold a work session this afternoon at 4 p.m. at 1 E. Franklin Street. It can be attended in person or viewed on the city’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.
REACH of Washington County will talk about their Bridge to Change program.
Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, explained, “They have individuals who come to them who might need housing, help with financial literacy, things of that nature and the city partnered with REACH back in 2020, had some of those individuals should they want and under the guidance of REACH, come out and help clean up the streets of Hagerstown in particular downtown. They have made quite a difference. As a matter of fact, since fiscal year ‘20, they’ve cleaned up 315,780 gallons of trash from downtown alone, 153,000 just this past year. That’s just one of the statistics. I think the real important one as it relates to the program is that just here in fiscal year ’23, 13 of those individuals found housing and 11 of them have achieved financial literacy. So a win/win on both sides for sure.”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “There is something wonderfully gratifying of hard work and something that’s satisfying and to hear how much has been cleaned up and then how many people have been helped up. That’s a great story.”
Decker agreed, “I think it is, and I think it bears a little more publicity than it’s received. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get into some more of those numbers and, it’s more of the real good stories that have come out of that. I mean, the numbers are one thing, but certainly the individuals achieving the goals that they set out to achieve with the help of REACH and, of course, the city of Hagerstown, partnering.”
The Hagerstown fieldhouse continues to move along and the Mayor and Council will get an update this afternoon.
Decker said, “We’re talking about a construction RFP, which will go out for bid next week. Then some of the timelines associated with the fieldhouse. One of the issues right now and it still continues to be an issue, it certainly was during the during COVID-19 and the pandemic and that is the fact that the supply chain is still an issue, especially as it relates to steel and the materials like that that are needed for the fieldhouse. The prices certainly haven’t gone down. They continue to go up. So we’ll talk about where that stands as far as the latest budget estimate and again, the overall schedule where we’re really hoping that construction can get underway, start breaking ground here in November of this year.”
The baseball stadium is also underway.
Decker said, “I drove by on Sunday and wow, this really has transformed the landscape already. Obviously a lot more work to be done, but week by week, it is certainly coming along as you would expect but at the same time it really sinks in, the reality is there when you’re on site.”
Naming the stadium has not been announced yet.
Trash recycling collection will also be discussed today.
Decker said the city “put out a bid for contracts at the end of June. Only one bidder came back and said they would like to be the ones to provide those services to the city of Hagerstown, and that is Waste Management, which the city has had a contract with since 2017. Not saying that Waste Management hasn’t done a good job, but you look at the increases that they’re proposing from $6.55 a month for resident trash, now up to $8.95 a month. That’s an increase of almost 37 percent. And then recycling, which we’ve talked about before, has really gone up by $5.56 a month to $8 a month. That’s almost 44 percent and even residential yard waste collection is proposed to go up about 28 percent. And again, that’s just residential. We’re not even talking about commercials there. So I’m sure there will be some discussion among council members about what their opinions are in terms of what we should do in the city. Again, only one bidder came back and was interested. That’s kind of where we stand right now. We’ll hear what the feedback is on that this afternoon.”
For this afternoon’s agenda, click here: https://hagerstown.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=1206&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda