County Comment: Washington County Gaming Commission Announces Record Distribution

County Comment
Washington County Gaming Commission Announces Record Distribution
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

On Wednesday, August 10, the Washington County Gaming Commission announced a record distribution to the County's volunteer fire and rescue companies as well as 95 local charitable organizations.
The Gaming Fund total of $3,001,848.25 for fiscal year 2005, which ended June 30, represents a 6 % increase over fiscal year 2004, and the largest amount distributed since the fund's inception ten years ago.
State law provides for funds to be split equally between The Washington County Fire and Rescue Association (WCVFRA) and local charities. In January the WCVFRA received $660,843.16. With this announcement, an additional $840,080.96 will be distributed bringing the yearly total for Fire and Rescue to $1,500,924.12.
In May the Washington County Gaming Commission received 120 separate applications requesting a total of $3,041,068.83. After two days of workshops in June, two days of public hearings in July, and a lot of homework, the Commission was able to fully or partially fund 106 of the 120 requests for a total of $1,500,924.13.
Twenty-six of the 120 applications received full funding and 14 received grants of $30,000.00 or more.
The Regional Community Health Center received the largest award, of $165,000.00. Reach Caregivers received $90,000.00 for shelter operations, Well's House received $50,000.00, as did the Washington County Free Library and The Parent Child Center. Receiving $40,000.00 were the Mental Health Center, Senior Living Alternatives and Girls Inc.
The Washington County Gaming Commission is a volunteer 7-member board appointed by the County Delegation and County Commissioners. Established by the State Legislature in 1995, the Commission is responsible to ensure the revenue produced by Tip Jars played in the counties clubs, taverns, liquor stores, and restaurants is equitably distributed. Since it's beginning, the Commission has provided more than $28 million dollars to charities and emergency service companies in Washington County.
Additional information on charities awarded funds and funding amounts can be found at www.washco-md.net.