Board of County Commissioners' Actions

Board of County Commissioners' Actions

Capital Improvement Projects Budget Committee members Debra Murray, Joe Kroboth and Mike Thompson brought budgets from two departments and allied agencies before the Board for review, finalizing the first round of oversight for the CIP for fiscal year 2010.
Hagerstown Community College requested $23.6 million for 2010, with the largest project a separate science building to house labs and classrooms. Other proposed projects were moved into "out years" due to revenue constraints.
A Senior Center for the Commission on Aging, which is operating in a temporary location at the Girls', Inc. center, would move into a permanent location on the 5th floor of the Aspire to Serve building, with rent costs less than its current location. The Board also discussed operating costs for that facility, which would have to come from the County's General Fund. Commissioners wanted alternate locations included in those discussions.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Facilities capital budget would see very minimal increase, due to a lack of Program Open Space state funds. Only two projects would be undertaken, at a cost of $47,000.
The Transit Department budget would see replacement of buses in FY '10, with $293,400 used as matching funds for state and federal grants. Public Works Director Joe Kroboth told the Board that federal funds are still available for construction of the transit transfer station on West Franklin Street, and that queries have indicated no interest on the part of the City of Hagerstown for construction of another parking deck at that location.
The Board of Education's Capital budget would total $20.36 million for the coming fiscal year. Some systemic projects, capital maintenance and athletic projects were reduced due to a projected lack of funding from the state, and Eastern Primary School development was moved into the out years.
Additional discussions on the CIP will be held, as draft #2 of the budget document is developed.
The Board took its meeting to Sharpsburg in the evening, hearing from town officials and citizens on a variety of topics.
Mayor Hel Spielman asked about status of Stimulus Package funding for municipalities. Public Works Director Joe Kroboth stated that the list from the municipalities was presented along with the County's list of requests, but that the state has yet to announce what local projects will be funded by that process. All that has been announced to date are funds for resurfacing of state roads and funding for transit system buses. Washington County municipality requests totaled $9.4 million, Kroboth said.
Citizens of the Sharpsburg area commented on need for a high-technology Council, inclusion of town streets in the County paving projects, rural broadband access, septic tank upgrade through the Maryland Bay Restoration Fund, paving needs on Mondell Road, and weed control issues.
Other business saw appointments of a number of individuals to Boards and Commissions. Dr. Melanie Newman was appointed to the Advisory Commission to the Board of Health. Kathy Vesely and Richard Shulman were appointed to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. Tera Horst was appointed and LaDetra Robinson reappointed, to the Commission for Women.
Division of Public Works Director Joe Kroboth reported that bids for the Eastern Boulevard widening project came in $100,000 under engineer's estimates, at $292,000. That project would widen the stretch of road between Security Road and Jefferson Boulevard and would be the first phase of that road project. Design bid for the first phase of Southern Boulevard also came in $100,000 under estimates, at $188,000, Kroboth said. The joint project with the State Highway Administration for sidewalks and curb work in Sharpsburg also saw bids under expectations, at $23,730.00. The federal aid bridge project for Harper's Ferry Road stone arch bridge has been changed, with a culvert bridge on Mills road to be undertaken first, to facilitate the detour route necessary for the Harper's Ferry Road project. Kroboth also presented the Board with a summary of comments to the Federal Aviation Administration concerning the Brumbaugh-Kendle - Grove farm located on property owned by Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR). A number of changes to a plan offered by FAA had been considered on February 17th. The comments were due to FAA by Wednesday of this week, and final changes were made to that document with input from the Commissioners.
County Administrator Greg Murray reported that new Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Management for Solid Waste, Cliff Engle, began employment with the County on Monday. Departmental Operating Budgets for Fiscal Year 2010 have been distributed for Commissioner review. Work is underway by the Public Information Office and the Information Technology Department on improved information links for citizens, and enhancement to the video stream is being planned, Murray said.