Board of County Commissioners Actions: Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Board of County Commissioners Meeting
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Wilkinson and Sanders also brought this grant before the Board for approval. The Sex Offender Compliance Enforcement in Maryland grant from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention is in the amount of $26,000.00. The program provides monitoring of sexual offenders who are required to register/re-register with the program. Grant funds will be used to hire a part-time office associate to act as the Sex Offender Registrar and another part-time individual to act as Sex Offender Compliance Monitor to conduct address and employment verification checks. This program will benefit the entire population of Washington County by ensuring that sex offenders are in compliance with Maryland's laws. The measure was approved by unanimous vote.
Glenn Fishack, Chair of the Department of Water Quality Advisory Commission (DWQAC) brought this discussion of Goals and Objectives of the Commission to the Board. Fishack and members of the DWQAC talked about that advisory group's role. At issue, Fishack said, is availability of water resources in Washington County if pumping from the Potomac River becomes unfeasible. Alternate sources of water supplies were discussed including the Fort Ritchie system, Smithsburg's spring, and water from quarries in the county. Discussion took place on the cost of services and residential water and sewer rates charged by the City of Hagerstown for those customers who live outside the City limits. The Water Quality Advisory Commission was charged with working with the City in researching the true cost of those services, and preparing a draft letter to the Mayor and Council about the Commission's charge.
Dan Divito, Director of the Department of Permits and Inspections brought this request, to take procedures for the issuance of civil citations for certain violations of the Washington County Building Codes to public hearing, before the Board. The Washington County Delegations to the Maryland General Assembly in the 2007 session introduced House Bill 754 enabling the Board of County Commissioners to approve procedures for the issuance of civil citations for certain building code violations. The bill, which takes effect October 1, 2007, was passed by the legislature on April 2, 2007 and signed by the Governor on April 24, 2007. Current building codes in the county make general references to enforcement mechanisms to correct violations and rely heavily on formal legal action. The procedures to add civil penalties to the department's ability to encourage compliance were modeled after the success of the zoning civil citation program. The goal of this ordinance is to facilitate compliance with building codes. The department met with representatives of the Washington County Home Builders Association and together crafted language that would achieve that goal.The instances when a citation would be issued are limited to only four of the most serious violations.The Board reached consensus to send the matter to Public Hearing.