Board of County Commissioners Actions: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Board of County Commissioners Actions
Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tom Riford and Robert Hartman, Deputy Superintendent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park brought this measure before the Board. In launching the National Park Service Centennial Initiative, President Bush directed Secretary of the Interior Kempthorne to "invite and receive suggestions from those who desire to preserve the scenic, cultural, historical, geological and recreational values of our national parks." Hartman discussed ways to provide an opportunity to engender public support and input to assist the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in formulating the long-term goals, park projects, and programs of the National Park Service Centennial Initiative with the Board. The Canal will partner with local organizations to prioritize improvements and ask for matching funds.
Each week the Board of County Commissioners sets aside time to hear from citizens of Washington County on matters of importance to the community.
Tom Janus of Hagerstown commented against the Board of Education plan to fund the School for the Arts with bond funds.
Jerry Ditto of Clear Spring requested appointment to the Urban Growth Area Rezoning Task Force, and commented on 10-year Agricultural Easements and donated easements.
Reports from County Staff: Gaming Office Director Jim Hovis reported on House Bill 125, forming a statewide Gaming Task Force. The bill, with amendments, has passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. This legislation could have adverse effects on the Charitable Gaming revenues in Washington County. Hovis requested the Commissioners take the same position it held when the bill was in the House, Neutral and willingness to provide information to the legislature. Senator Munson is opposed to the bill, Hovis said.
Buildings, Grounds and Parks Director Jim Sterling told the Board that a meeting with the Agricultural Education Center Board last week reviewed sources of funding for the second Agricultural Museum building. A bid for that structure was rejected at last week's Commissioners meeting. The Ag Center Board will raise additional funds, and asked that $65,000 be forward funded as a loan, to be repaid over the next 12 to 18 months. The funds would come from the CIP contingency fund. Total cost for the building is near $300,000, Sterling said.
County Attorney Issues: County Attorney John Martirano advised the Board that a closed session item requiring legal advice would be added to the end of the meeting agenda.
County Administrator's Comments: County Administrator Greg Murray reminded the Commissioners that the Board of Education budget Public Hearing is set for 7pm at North Hagerstown High School.