Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 15, 2013

City: Hospital, blighted properties to come down

Police cite problems with Dodge Chargers, call purchase ‘an extreme disappointment’

CUMBERLAND — The regular meeting of City Council  members covered a variety of topics, from the $3.5 million demolition of the former Memorial Hospital and six other residential properties to a mention of the troubles police have had with their cruisers.

City Administrator Jeff Rhodes updated the council regarding the expected demolition of the former Memorial Hospital complex.

“We are expecting to have our financing in place and be able to start (demolition) in the late spring or summer,” said Rhodes.

The demolition will not include the medical buildings, which sit on the northern portion of the complex’s 8-acre tract, or the parking garages across the street from the hospital; however, the multi-level parking garage built alongside the hospital will come down with the main structure.

Rhodes said all tenants in the hospital had vacated.

There was concern regarding how to separate the utilities to keep the medical building intact.

“We were pleased that utilities were found to be largely separated,” said Rhodes.

Mayor Brian Grim hopes to see the site developed in the future.

“It’s in a great and stable neighborhood and we want to maintain the feeling of that neighborhood. We’ve had a couple of informal inquiries. I hope this time next year we are talking about developers rather than the cost of (further) demolition,” said Grim.

The city also announced that six blighted properties in the city will be torn down through a contract with Brabson and Sons Demolition.

The properties scheduled for demolition are: 446 Bond St., 321 Henderson Ave., 910 Maryland Ave., 106 W. First St., 627-629 Maryland Ave., 100 Independence St. and 451 Pine Ave.

The total cost for the six demolitions is $39,052.50.

City officials also reported that they are in the process of refinancing an older 6 percent loan of $1.7 million for use with the Memorial Hospital project, to a 4.7 percent rate that is currently offered.

They reported a potential savings of more than $400,000 with the refinancing.

During the meeting, Rhodes also mentioned the disasterous experiences the city police department has had with its Dodge Chargers.

“They have not been real road-reliable in our environment. Driving in our town with the stops and starts has presented problems. I don’t know if it’s the design or what but they haven’t performed well,” said Rhodes in an interview following the meeting.

Cumberland Chief of Police Charles Hinnant echoed Rhode’s views.

“They have a small interior and they don’t stand up well. When we put a computer and the other equipment in them, they fill up fast,” said Hinnant.

“They don’t seem to have good visibility,” added Rhodes.

Traditionally, police departments used the Ford Crown Victoria.

“The Crown Vic was a tank. The suspension was built sound. We had few problems with them,” said Hinnant.

“They were built for police work. The Crown Vics have been traditionally very reliable,” Rhodes said.

Both men indicated that the Dodge Chargers needed frequent repairs. The city has five Chargers that they obtained in 2007 and 2008.

“We started having problems with them after the first year. We have had a lot of repairs ... engines, transmissions, wiring, you name it,” Hinnant said.

“They’ve been an extreme disappointment. We’ve had to use a couple of Chargers for parts. I think a couple of the Chargers have been totally replaced,” said Hinnant.

“The suspension and everything just doesn’t seem to be as strong,” said Rhodes.

Hinnant said they began getting the Crown Victoria again recently but said he is not sure what direction law enforcement will go with vehicles in the future.

Police vehicles are bid in packages through the state.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

Text Only
Local News
  •  Easter grass Easter grass

    Kamryn Rice, 7, of Flintstone, finds and bags a plastic egg during Cumberland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday afternoon at Constitution Park. Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with students from Frostburg State University’s Recreation and Parks Management program and the 4-H Youth of Allegany County, the afternoon also included games, relay races, face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo sponsored by the 4-H Hare Raiser Club, as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. The eggs contained candy and other treats.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business community wary of minimum wage increases

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County businesses are certain to be impacted by the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage, set to reach $10.10 an hour by July 2018 under a law championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    April 20, 2014

  • Tipped workers left behind in pay hike action

    ANNAPOLIS — Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.

    April 20, 2014

  • Views vary among Americans when it comes to hourly rate

    CUMBERLAND — Even among those who have worked minimum wage jobs, views on the minimum wage can differ.
    “Minimum wage has to exist. There is no question there, so whatever it is, it will be called ‘minimum wage’. But it should not be below a living wage,” said Bonita Quick of Cumberland.

    April 20, 2014

  • Income guideline change will increase WIC recipients

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Raised income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will increase the number of those served in West Virginia by about 10 percent, according to the state health officer.

    April 20, 2014

  • Absentee ballots moving online causes security concerns

    ANNAPOLIS — Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

    April 20, 2014

  • Allegany County emergency medical services honorees and supporters Allegany, Garrett emergency responders honored

    MCHENRY — The 75 people from Allegany and Garrett counties who were involved with two exceptional emergency medical services calls in 2013 were presented with awards at the recent Night for Stars program held at the Wisp Resort.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lexis Trickett meets with Gov. Martin O’Malley Ninth-grader among 30 at inaugural event

    OAKLAND — Lexis Trickett, a ninth-grade student at Southern Garrett High School, was among 30 girls who attended Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Leadership Forum for Women and Girls recently in Annapolis in celebration of Women’s History Month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • School immunization requirements change

    CUMBERLAND — Changes to school immunization requirements by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene affect students entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the next school year.

    April 20, 2014

  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Raw: Obamas Attend Easter Service Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups