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County Comment: Commissioners Meet in Boonsboro

CUTLINE: Commissioners meet in Boonsboro on August 25th

County Comment
Commissioners Meet in Boonsboro
by Norman Bassett, Public Information Officer
Washington County, Maryland

As part of its scheduled meeting on August 25th, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners traveled to Boonsboro, Maryland to gather input from town citizens on matters of concern.
Under discussion were requests from the mayor and council for support on public transportation, schools, recycling, gaming fund distributions, program open space funds and signage for the Boonsboro Branch of the Washington County Free Library.
County Administrator Greg Murray stated that the transportation plan is under development, and a new version of the plan will be available September 4th. A four-trip per day bus schedule to Boonsboro would cost $56,987.00 per year to operate, and services to all of the municipalities would have operating costs of $273,000 per year.
In response to a request by Mayor Skip Kauffman that south county be represented on the Gaming Commission, Gaming Office Director Jim Hovis explained that the 7-member Commission has three Commissioner-appointees, and 4 appointees by the State Legislature. A seat on the Gaming Commission will be vacant October 1st. All citizens may apply to serve on Boards and Commissions by visiting and linking to the "government information" page.
Bids have been let for the branch library sign and are due back by September 10th, Deputy Director of Public Works Rob Slocum reported.
Countywide recycling is still under discussion, and the costs are currently being evaluated for initial service start up and annual operations, Commissioner Kristin Aleshire reported. Citizen concerns that the recycling bin in the town is not adequate to handle the amount of recycling items each week will be evaluated, and a second bin could be located at the recycling site, at the intersection of Maryland Route 67 and U.S. Alternate Route 40
A request for additional Program Open Space funds for Shafer Park was heard, and support will be provided when possible. The state funds for parkland acquisition and park development have been cut drastically for Fiscal Year 2010.
In other actions at Boonsboro, the Board approved a $58,000 Budget Transfer for a previously approved land purchase at Hagerstown Regional Airport. Commissioners approved advertising one Motor Equipment Operator III position at Solid Waste, a Survey Party Technician in Engineering, and a Parks Maintenance Worker position. Hiring of Dawn Gish as a Legal Secretary in the County Attorney's Office was approved. The Board approved support to Conococheague Little League for reimbursement of expenses incurred by the 9-10 year old and 10-11 year old teams for trips to Bristol Connecticut to represent the State of Maryland in the Regional Championships of the Little League World Series. $5,000 would come from the Hotel-Motel tax. Division of Fire and Emergency Services Director Kevin Lewis reported on improvements made by the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Company in staffing, training and equipment. Lewis stated that a citizen meeting with fire company representatives is still under discussion. Lewis also reported on a Potomac River rescue operation involving teenagers, on Tuesday afternoon. Stimulus funds for stream bank stabilization on Burnside Bridge Road and Lehman's Mill road have been received. Deputy Director of Public Works Rob Slocum told the meeting that the funding received through the Maryland Department of the Environment totaled $400,000 for the Burnside repair and $425,000 for Lehman's Mill Road.
A number of citizens were appointed to serve on County Boards and Commissions during the Boonsboro meeting. Jeff Cline was reappointed to a second term on the Water Quality Advisory Committee. Brian Kane, John Louderback, Emmet Burke and Allen Swope were appointed to the Ethics Commission, and Monda Sagalkin was reappointed to that commission. Ronald Bresler was appointed to serve on the Tri-County Council Revolving Loan Committee.
The Commissioners schedule 10 evening meetings each year in the County municipalities in order to hear from citizens of towns on matters of local concern.

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