Hagerstown Mayor and Council work session today looks at panhandling, budget and urban improvement projects

HAGERSTOWN – Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, stopped by First News this morning, 20 April, to preview the Mayor and City Council work session this afternoon.

The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at 1 E. Franklin Street. There will be a special session at 4 p.m. with the work session beginning right after.

One topic on the agenda for discussion is panhandling. A number of citizens and residents have expressed concern about the panhandlers in Hagerstown, asking what is legal, what isn’t legal and the safety concerns.

Police Chief Paul Kifer and representatives from other agencies in Hagerstown will lay out the details concerning panhandling.

It’s an issue for citizens, both driving and on the streets, but particularly at intersections where someone is stopped for a red light and a panhandler is there asking for money.

Mayor and Council will also hear part three of the budget review. The city’s budget will need to be approved by the end of May.

An urban improvement project for Hagerstown is nearing the end for the big pieces, including the Maryland Theater and the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

Another component to that project includes the plaza behind the theater and school. It’s been on hold for a while because of land acquisition issues, but all the i’s have been dotted and t’s are crossed, so the city engineer will present the bids that have been put out for that project. 

The work session will also include staffing modifications and a presentation from the city events coordinator.

Music on the Square will begin this Friday in Hagerstown and Imagine Hagerstown will return on the fourth Friday in May.

Decker will present a review of the work session tomorrow morning on First News.