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Board of County Commissioners' Actions: April 21, 2009

Board of County Commissioners' Actions
Commissioners Hear Budget Issues, Discuss Senior Center
April 21, 2009

In the regular meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners on April 21st, the Commissioners heard testimony from Commission on Aging members and elderly citizens on preference for location of a Senior Center on Dual Highway, in the former Richardson's Restaurant location. In budget discussions later in the meeting, the Commissioners discussed possible funding for that location to be included in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget. The building owner's representative was asked to furnish the Board with details of a proposed lease by the end of the week.
The Commissioners were also interested in looking at the old Army Reserve building on Willard Street as a possible location, due to that building's availability from the federal government.
The Board approved a request for $1,000 from the Commissioners' Contingency to assist the I-81 Corridor Coalition. An interstate group of officials from Counties from New York to Tennessee, the coalition seeks funding for improvements along its entire route.
A proposal was presented by Commissioner Kercheval that would set aside $2 million for economic and employment development in Washington County, through incentives to businesses. The "Employment Boost" package would be aimed at reducing the county's 10% unemployment rate. Further discussion was recommended.
Budget discussions included the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (WCVFRA). The Association requested $100,000 as 50% match to replace the 15 year-old Rehab Unit, which is used to provide firefighters with nourishment and hydration during extended fire events. WCFRA President Glenn Fishack also requested full funding for those fire companies that have ambulance companies housed in the same building, that the Length of Service Award Program retirement age be lowered to 60, and that Fire and Ambulance Companies be allowed to refuel at County pumps in order to take advantage of the bulk prices the County pays for gasoline and diesel fuel. All budgets will be reviewed by line item prior to the Public Hearing set for May 14th at Kepler Theater on the Hagerstown Community College campus.
The Solid Waste budget residential permit and commercial tipping fees would remain at FY 2009 levels, in the budget plan presented by Cliff Engel, new Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Management (DEM) for Solid Waste.
The Commissioners approved proposed water and sewer rates to be taken to Public Hearing following a presentation made by DEM Director Julie Pippel. Average Water customers would see a $5.20 increase per quarter for 12,000 gallons of water and a $5.80 increase in a like amount of sewer usage. The increases are based on a 4% increase in revenue needed to offset treatment upgrades mandated by state law. Lab fees would rise from $20 to $25 for bacterial testing under the plan.
The budget request for the Washington County Free Library was discussed at the annual meeting with the Library Board at the noon hour.
The Commissioners approved a request for approval to submit a Grant Application in the amount of $30,950.00 to Governors Office of Crime Control and Prevention for the salary of the State's Attorney's Office Alternative Sanctions Work Crew Supervisor. That position oversees persons who have received community service through the court system.
The Commissioners heard a request from the Community Free Clinic for assistance due to decreases in revenue and anticipated reductions in Gaming Commission contributions. Commissioners requested additional details on operating costs for the Clinic. *Report is not in full. It has been edited for print publication.

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