It’s a busy work session for Hagerstown Mayor and Council this afternoon

September 19 – Hagerstown Mayor and Council will hold a work session at 4 p.m. today in Council Chambers at 1 E. Franklin St. The public is welcome to attend in person or can watch on the city’s Facebook page or YouTube channel.

There will be no public comment at the work session.

One topic up for discussion will be the stormwater management pond in the Brighton Manor development at the north end of town.

Wes Decker, Communications Officer with the City of Hagerstown, explained, “It was constructed back in the 90s and the pond itself is a little unusual in that it’s not on its own separate parcel. Instead, it resides on a residential building lot there. There have been some issues with sinkholes over the years. So the property owner has asked if the city could provide some assistance in addressing those issues with the storm water pond.”

The city engineer will be discussing the details with mayor and council.

Decker said, “This is a rather unusual situation. Normally a homeowner’s association would be responsible for a stormwater pond and for the most part, they would end up on a separate parcel, but that is not the case with this one. So it’s certainly a one-off and an interesting one. With the sinkholes that have developed out there over the years, it’s become a community issue.”

Project updates will be provided about 49 and 37 Jonathan Street.

Decker said, “A Spring Sprouts Grant had been awarded to the property owner back in May of ‘21. Of course, the pandemic got in the way there and then some other things since then, and the property owner is asking for what would be a third extension at this point. The holdup appears to be the cost of everything going up since the property owner endeavored to get these projects completed. The holdup now is the sprinkler system, the fire alarm system and an ADA lift in those buildings. So the task is to extend to November 30. So mayor and council will have an opportunity to weigh in on that. It’s a difficult decision to make because do you just pull the grant money away and say, hey, you know, you’ve had enough time on this or do you extended and say, yes, in good faith, we’ll give you one more opportunity to hit that deadline that is self-imposed on your part. It’s been kind of a rough ride here, but we’ll see what mayor and council has to say on that. We’re talking about a $230,000 grant there so we’ll find out more this afternoon.”

What could the outcome be?

Decker predicted, “I think they’ll allow it to go forward. If you look at the packet online associated with the agenda for this afternoon’s meeting, there are a lot of photos in there of the work that’s been done to this point. As far as I can tell, I mean, I’m pretty much a layperson when I’m looking at this stuff, but it all looks pretty good to me. They certainly make progress. It’s just taken a lot longer than they ever anticipated it would.”

Ideas and discussion concerning the opening legislative priorities for the Maryland General Assembly for next year will also be heard.

Decker said, “That’ll be led by our city administrator and it will be an opportunity for mayor and council to weigh in there. Are there some things on their mind that perhaps the city administrator doesn’t bring up? I did have a little bit of a candid conversation with the city administrator and he said that some of the ideas that he has might not be the most popular ones. I don’t know exactly what they are. It’s rather limited in terms of what’s been disclosed in the agenda itself in the packet, but we will certainly all find out together. This will just be a preliminary opportunity to talk about some of those things that they’d like to take to Annapolis for next year.”

For this afternoon’s agenda, click here: