Board of County Commissioners Actions': Commissioners visit Knoxville

CAPTION: Board of County Commissioners meets at Pleasant Valley Elementary



Board of County Commissioners Actions'
Commissioners visit Knoxville

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners held its regular meeting at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, at Knoxville on the evening of October 26th.
A number of citizens from the Southern part of Washington County commented to the Board on items ranging from traffic control on U.S. 340 to river rafter issues.
Eleven citizens spoke during the meeting, with the majority focusing on problems in the Sandy Hook area due to narrow roads and the rafting business, which utilizes large vehicles on those roads. Comments were received concerning trash dumping in the vicinity of Keep Tryst Road, road design issues, and traffic control at the intersection of Valley Road and U.S. Route 340. Commissioners also received appreciation from one citizen for the establishment of the Emergency Medical Service station at Rohrersville.
During Commissioners' reports and comments, Commissioner Bill Wivell recommended that the legal department investigate the bid process for educational institutions funded partially by the County. Wivell requested that the issue of accepting the lowest responsible, responsive bid be added to the list of legislative requests for the coming session, if feasible. Commissioners reached consensus on that action.
The Board approved internal advertisement for an Administrative Assistant in the Human Resources Department. HR Director Bill Sonnik told the Commissioners that if there was no viable candidate from within County Government, the pool of applicants for similar positions advertised recently is very large.
The Board authorized the Sheriff's Department to apply for a Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention - Byrne - Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program - "Investigative Technology Support License Plate Readers" grant.
Major Robert Leatherman reported to the Board that the Sheriff's Office plans to utilize $75,600 in funding that would be provided by this program to purchase law enforcement equipment technology known as the Automated License Plate Reader as well as purchase the related mounting equipment, as well as funding for installation in the patrol vehicles. The Automated License Plate Reader will be utilized to locate stolen vehicles and stolen license plates, by scanning a multitude of vehicles that park at shopping malls and local hotels and motels. This will aid in reducing crime by potentially locating and recovering stolen vehicles prior to criminals carrying out criminal acts. No County matching funds would be needed.
Commissioners approved the 2011 Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) Radio Grant Award. The motion also authorized entering into an agreement for the reimbursement of up to $20,800.00 for the purposes of purchasing 16 Mobile CDM 1550 mobile radios.
Kevin Lewis, Director of Emergency Services told the Board that MIEMSS is required by the FCC to develop future "narrow banding" of Emergency Medical Services communications in the UHF frequency range, and that the County will be purchasing a total of 16 mobile radios. The equipment is being purchased for the current number of emergency medical services transport units requiring upgrades. Following the purchase and installation of this equipment, the County will be seeking reimbursement for those expenses from MIEMSS.
County Administrator Greg Murray thanked the citizens of South County for allowing the meeting to be held there. Members of the Board will take part in the Alsatia Club Mummers' Parade on October 30th and commended the Highways Department for supporting that effort. The next regular day meeting for the Board will be November 9th, at 100 West Washington Street in Hagerstown. Murray reminded the audience that the toll-free contact number for the Commissioners and government departments is listed on the County web page. By calling 301-432- 4752, residents of the southernmost portion of the County can reach the County Administration Building Information Center and be connected to any department. Residents of that area would normally have to pay a toll when calling into Hagerstown.
Commissioners'' President John Barr commented that the Washington County Health System will move its entire operation into the new Meritus facility at Robinwood on December 11th. The move is expected to take place in one day, moving patients from the downtown hospital site to Robinwood. Citizens are advised to be aware of possible traffic problems on Dual Highway/U.S. 40 on that day because of the medical transports taking place.