Board of County Commissioners Actions: Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Board of County Commissioners Actions
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Each week the Board of County Commissioners sets aside time to hear from citizens of Washington County on matters of importance to the community.
Lieutenant David Kloos and 1st Sergeant Kevin Lewis of the Maryland State Police Hagerstown Barracks introduced themselves to the Board. Kloos is the new Barracks Commander and Lewis was recently transferred in as 1st Sergeant of the Barracks. Kloos offered cooperation to the Commissioners in mutual projects.
County Attorney Issues: Assistant County Attorney Kirk Downey and Planning Director Mike Thompson sought Commissioners' guidance on the proposed Planning Commission Rezoning Hearing schedule, prior to publication on the County website. In a previous discussion, the Commissioners came to consensus to hold Rezoning Hearings twice per year instead of quarterly, as is now the case. A number of comments were received from the public in the interim. The Board reaffirmed its position on the matter.
County Administrator Comments: County Administrator Greg Murray brought a request before the Board from the Maryland Department of the Agriculture for a commitment of $100,000 in County funds for the Annual Gypsy Moth spraying program, up from $40,000 in previous years. Discussion centered on the state's offer to match the funds two-for one and how many additional acres the increase would allow to be sprayed. Additional information will be sought from MDA.
County Human Resources Director Bill Sonnik and Benefits Administrator Debbie Payton brought the Annual review of Employee benefits before the Board and gave the Board a second look at Personnel requests for the coming fiscal year. Employee Health Insurance, Drug, Vision and Dental costs are expected to rise by about 12% next year. As a result, the amount employees would pay into the benefits fund would increase about 12% for medical coverage, but vision and dental coverages would not see an increase. Employee contributions under the HMO plan would range from $15-49 single to $43.67 family per month, while the POS Medical contribution would range from $28.52 for single to $80.44 per month for Family coverage. County contributions for Medical would increase 7% across the board. All budget items will receive further review prior to the May budget hearing at Hagerstown Community College.