Board of County Commissioners' Actions: Commissioners approve capital budget, present historic preservation awards

Board of County Commissioners' Actions
Commissioners approve capital budget, present historic preservation awards

As part of its regular meeting on May 24, 2011, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved the Fiscal 2012 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget as amended, with a reduction in bond borrowing from $14 million to just over $12 million.
The CIP funds roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure projects. As passed the plan preserves the levels of funding taken to public hearing on May 12th, with the exception of $1,931,200 that had been scheduled for Phase I of Southern Boulevard, a road designed to alleviate traffic congestion in Funkstown. The project would be delayed one year, and previously funded Engineering work for the road would be taken to completion. The road would connect East Oak Ridge Drive to Frederick Street as the first leg in the proposed "Funkstown Bypass".
Projects approved in the FY '12 plan include $3 million for Pavement Maintenance, completion of the Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School and other education projects, relocation of Shawley Drive, Phase I of Eastern Boulevard Widening from Jefferson Boulevard to Security Road, and the joint state project to install a roundabout and realign the Garis Shop Road/Poffenberger Road intersection with U.S. Alternate 40. Funding for Phase II of Yale Drive Extended was included in the budget as passed, with that project set for further discussion.
The FY '12 CIP funds the Senior Center and Main Library construction projects, bridge and drainage projects, Parks, Public Safety, Landfill and Water Quality projects.
The total CIP budget for the coming fiscal year, reflecting the reduction on borrowing, is set at $49,461,200.
The FY 2012 Operating Budget of $241 million was approved on May 17th.
The Commissioners presented the 2011 John Frye Historic Preservation Awards at a noon luncheon sponsored by the Washington County Historical Advisory Committee. Two awards were given this year, the John Frye Historic Preservation Award, presented to Donald L. Bragunier of Clear Spring, and a new award, the John Frye Historic Advocacy Award, presented to John Howard, retired Superintendent of Antietam National Battlefield.
Bragunier was lauded for work in preservation and restoration of historic homes and landmarks in the Clear Spring area, notably the reconstruction of the National Pike Hotel, which was destroyed by fire in 2010.
Howard, who recently retired as Superintendent of the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, was credited with acquisition of some 1,500 acres of land added to the park and for restoration and preservation projects during his tenure that included the Newcomer House and the Pry House museum of Civil War Medicine. He was recently named National Park Service Preservationist of the Year by the Civil War Trust.
The awards are named for local historian John Frye, and are presented by the Board of County Commissioners each year to honor those who make outstanding efforts to preserve the county's history and heritage.

In Other Actions, Samuel Ecker was appointed to a second, five-year term on the Washington County Planning Commission, extending through May 31, 2016.
Advisory School Design Review Board reappointments included Joe Kroboth, as the Director of Public Works representative; Stanley Valentine as the Electrical Contractor representative, James Nipps as the Facilities Manager representative, James Bryan as the Mechanical Contractor representative, Harry Reynolds as the General Contractor representative, and George Stone as a Citizen-at-Large representative, to serve three-year terms from September 1, 2011 until August 31, 2016
The Board accepted the Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Maryland Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program Grant from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) in the amount of $20,952.00.
Emergency Services Director Kevin Lewis told the Board that MIEMSS awards preparedness and response grants annually to regions demonstrating a need that is project specific. Washington County, as part of Region II, seeks to acquire and implement equipment to allow on-scene personnel to have the ability to electronically track patients from field incident to arrival at hospital facilities.
The Commissioners authorized an agreement with Hollyhock LLC developers to release that company from a Public Works Agreement and authorize transfer of funds collected in the amount of $366,934.67 to the City of Hagerstown to construct improvements once a construction contract for the Broadfording Road improvements has been awarded by the City.
Public Works Director Joe Kroboth reminded the Board that the County previously agreed to partner with the City of Hagerstown for improvements to Broadfording Road between Salem Avenue and Hager's Crossing Boulevard. Part of the project was bonded by the developer of the shopping center complex in that area. Under the terms of the Public Works Agreement, Hollyhock LLC proposed to widen a portion of Broadfording Road to accept a double left turn lane from Salem Avenue. The City of Hagerstown agreed to undertake those improvements and then to accept ownership of the road. With the action, the County will accept a cash contribution from the developer and provide those funds to the City of Hagerstown once it awards a construction contract for the improvement

NOTE: The above constitutes a summary press release and is not to be considered the Official Minutes of the meeting. Minutes of County Commissioners meetings are available at on the Commissioners' page.