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Commissioners Hear Reports, Issue Proclamations

CUTLINE: Home 4 the Holidays Proclaimed. L-R Commissioner John Barr, Smokey, Midnight, Paul Miller.

Commissioners Hear Reports, Issue Proclamations

In its regular meeting on December 16th, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners heard a report on the Humane Society of Washington County's participation in the "Home 4 the Holidays" adoption event sponsored by Iams pet foods.
Society Director Paul Miller brought two kittens to the meeting to announce a two for one "deal" on cat adoption. For a fee of $75.00 two kittens or cats may be adopted. The fee covers spay or neuter services, initial vaccinations and two months health insurance. Those services are worth between $200 and $300 per animal.
The Iams campaign is seeking to place one million animals in good homes this holiday season. The Board proclaimed December, 2008 as "Home for the Holidays Month" in Washington County.
The Board heard a report from County Administrator Greg Murray and Director of the Division of Fire and Emergency Services Kevin Lewis on a meeting with Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association head Glenn Fishack and Fairplay Fire Company President Bill Pennington held recently.
The meeting was held in response to complaints from the community regarding staffing and response issues at that company. Murray called the meeting "positive" and said issues were worked out to mutual satisfaction.
Lewis requested that the Fire company and the Association provide the County with its roster of qualified firefighters, recommended that dual response by nearby companies be continued, that Failrplay utilize the County's paid part-time personnel and resources on some calls, and that a public forum be held by that company in the Fairplay community.
Company representatives stated that additional personnel have joined or re-joined as active members and that several new personnel will receive certifications in January.
In other actions by the Commissioners, Dylan Barger of Clear Spring Middle School and Karly Logsdon if Hancock Middle/Senior High School were honored with the Youth Meritorious Awards for November, 2008.
The Board approved $10,000 in support for the community effort for lobbying the state Legislature. Chamber of Commerce Director Brien Poffenberger told the Commissioners that having a lobbyist in Annapolis helped save Gaming funds and the University of Maryland-Hagerstown funding in last year's session. The City of Hagerstown, CHIEF, the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Chamber, the Free Library and the Board of Education are financial contributors to that effort, Poffenberger said.
An amended Memorandum of Understanding between the Eastern Panhandle Regional Planning and Development Council (Region 9) and the Hagerstown Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization (HEPMPO) was approved. The MOU would allow for payroll and benefits for HEMPMPO staff to be paid by Region 9.
The Commissioners made appointments to three Boards or Commissions. David McAllister and Brian Lautenslager were appointed to the Fire and Rescue Communications Advisory Committee. Ed Renn and Glenn Fishack were reappointed to the Water Quality Advisory Commission. Charlotte Levens and Allen Swope were appointed to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council.
Advertisement of a vacant position in the Department of Waster Quality was approved. Human Resources Director Bill Sonnik requested that a Senior Collection Operator position be advertised as the result of a recent resignation.
A Contract Award for provision of Engineering Services to the Division of Environmental Management was approved to URS Corporation of Baltimore in the amount of $360,375.00.
The Contract Award for Investment Services related to the employee retirement fund and the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) for volunteer fire and rescue personnel was approved to PNC Bank, N.A. of Baltimore for $131,250.00 per year for a period of five years.
The final Change Order for the Hagerstown Regional Airport runway rehabilitation project was approved, to New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company in the amount of $139,553.91. The change order is the final closeout on that project. Airport Fire Chief Phil Ridenour told the Board that the total project cost was within the approved budget.
Approval was given to accept a Homeland Security grant to the Division of Fire and Emergency Services in the amount of $405,990.00 and a Memorandum of Agreement was executed between the County and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

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