Too often, public officials get bogged down with short-term concerns and the day-to-day operations of the communities they serve.
But on Tuesday, the Hagerstown mayor and city council gathered to talk about their long-term goals. They discussed bringing a detox center into town to deal with the area’s opioid epidemic, building a new parking deck on West Antietam Street and opening an indoor sports facility. Some council members floated the idea of building it either on the Municipal Stadium grounds, if the Hagerstown Suns ever leave town, or even on the city’s golf course.
The biggest issue, though, was finding a solution to the city’s revenue problem – possibly through changing the tax structure of rental properties.
“There has to be a time when we aren’t chasing away potential investors and our citizens, because we have to continue to raise taxes to pay for costs,” said Mayor Bob Bruchey. “There has to be a time when we can level out and recover, and bring in new investment and bring in new citizens.”
Mayor Bruchey and council members also questioned the amount of duplicated services between the city and the county, and said they would like that addressed. They also said the city has received a very small portion of the funds raised through the hotel-motel tax, and would like that increased, as well.