Board of County Commissioners: Commissioners approve tip jar fee hike

Board of County Commissioners
Commissioners approve tip jar fee hike, Approve landfill fee, Visit Smithsburg

As part of its regular meeting on June 14th, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved amending the regulations controlling sale of Tip Jar gaming stickers and raising cost of stickers from $1.25 to $2.00 per two-part sticker.
The Washington County Gaming Office requested that the fee collected for a Gaming Sticker be increased in its 2012 budget to allow the Gaming Office to balance its budget and remain self sufficient.
In recent years tip jar sales have been reduced by approximately 35%, resulting in decreased revenues collected by the Gaming Office to offset administrative fees.
In 1995, The General Assembly passed legislation enabling charitable gaming in the County. The program was set up and intended to be self sufficient without the need to subsidize the cost of administering the program with administrative costs paid for by revenues collected from the sale of gaming stickers and license fees. The fee charged for gaming stickers was set at $1.00 per sticker in 1995 and remained unchanged until 2009, when the fee was increased to $1.25 per sticker
The Board approved a $15 optional annual sticker fee for disposal of Yard Waste at the landfill locations, following a Public Hearing on that issue. The 2012 landfill budget as approved, required all yard waste to be taken across the scales at $10 per trip or $63 per ton. After receiving calls and emails, the Commissioners looked at alternatives, including a separate yard waste sticker, to cost $15 for a year, and requested public input on the issue.
Nine citizens spoke during the Public Hearing, with the majority opposed to any change in landfill fees. The sticker is an optional fee and customers would still have the ability to go across the scales with loads of yard waste at $10 per trip.
Municipal solid waste drop-off permit fees were previously approved at $130.00 and $95.00 residential. The proposed fee becomes effective on July 1st, 2011. Citizens who have already purchased landfill permits for the coming year will be able to continue free disposal of yard waste until the new stickers become available.*
The Commissioners met as the Board of Public Health for Washington County to consider award of the bid for Medicaid Ambulance/Wheelchair/Taxi Servicers for the Health Department.
That award, in the amount of $694,640.00, went to All American Ambulance and Transport of Maryland for the period July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012 with the option to renew for two (2) additional consecutive one (1) year periods, subject to written notice given by the Health Department at least ninety (90) calendar days in advance of its expiration date of the original contract.*
The grand total for renewals, $854,962.00 is below budgeted amounts for the coming fiscal year.
The Board also adopted a resolution allowing certain changes in the bylaws of Local Government Insurance Trust. As a member of that trust, the County must formally accept changes to those regulations.

Under Other Business, Mindy Propst was reappointed to a first full three-year term on the Washington County Disabilities Advisory Committee, and Renee Clark was appointed to a first three-year term on that Advisory Committee.
The Electrical Board of Examiners and Supervisors reappointed Raymond Higgins and Wayne Steenburg as Master Electrician representatives to the Electrical Board of Examiners and Supervisors, to second, two-year terms
The Washington County Board of Social Services reappointed Sheree Goree to a second, three-year term and appointed Evelyn Williams, Randy Schultz, and Bill Beard to serve first, three-year terms
County Administrator Greg Murray reminded the Board and those watching the streamed video on the internet that the Commissioners will meet next on July 12th, due to annual vacation schedules. Passenger service from Hagerstown Regional Airport to Myrtle Beach South Carolina and Lakeland, Florida begins June 23rd. Three Commissioners and an economic development delegation will be on that flight, and will meet with Lakeland City representatives in honor of the first commercial flight into Lakeland's airport. Murray stressed that Commissioners' expenses will not be funded by the taxpayers.*
The County Commissioners met with the Mayor and citizens of Smithsburg, Maryland in an evening meeting.
Commissioners commented on the recent dedication of the atrium at the Hagerstown-Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers told the Board that the Council of Governments, which brings together representatives of the Towns and the County is working well to help improve communications.
Appointments to Boards and Commissions included the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board reappointment of Forrest Easton for a second three-year term, and reappointment of Dr. Allen W. Ditto, Attorney Catherine A. Drummond, and Mary Jane Sharer to additional three-year terms, as well as appointment of Elizabeth Creech and Jill Parker to first, three-year terms
The Commission on Women appointed Anastasia Broadus, Renee Clark, Mary Ellen Waltemire, and Virgie Small to first, three-year terms.
Under Citizens' Participation, Smithsburg Emergency Medical Services Company Deputy Chief James Uhlrich thanked the Board for prioritizing EMS funding and stated that the response times for EMS services have improved County-wide.

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.
*Cut to fit