HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — When the Maryland General Assembly concluded its 2020 session last week, it earmarked two projects for Hagerstown in its capital budget.
One was a $500,000 allocation for a new minor league baseball stadium. The Suns are a major tourist attraction in the city, though with the coronavirus and uncertainty about major league support, that “field of dreams” may end up being nothing more than just a dream.
Lawmakers gave the okay to cut a $250,000 check to revitalize the Jonathan Street neighborhood which extends north from the city’s downtown — an area with reported crime and drug trafficking. The funds can go to better housing, entrepreneurial ventures, parks and recreation facilities.
Quenton Hawkins, a maintenance employee at the Bethel Gardens housing complex in the neighborhood. He feels that while a stronger police presence is needed, parks would improve the attitude of the community, “giving kids an alternative to drugs, basketball and baseball, a place where they can put their energy.”
Hagerstown City council, once it can resume deliberations from the coronavirus public health emergency, is to decide how the state funding ay be allocated.