Board of County Commissioners Actions: Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Board of County Commissioners Actions
Tuesday, July 29, 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.
Dean Joyce of Sharpsburg commented on conservation efforts versus the weed ordinance in Washington County. Joyce stated he had a federal grant to construct a small wildlife conservation area at his residence along Mondale Road that has been cited as in violation of the County policy on control of noxious weeds. Joyce requested amendment of the Ordinance to exempt such projects.
Johnathan Kays, Natural Resources Specialist with the Maryland Extension Service's Western Maryland Research and Education Center commented that a number of seminars have been presented promoting creation of small wildlife habitats and also requested modification of the Weed Control Ordinance.
John Himes of Sandy Hook commented on traffic safety and public safety communications needs in the southern portion of the county.
County Attorney Issues: County Attorney John Martirano commented on the Citizen Participation issues regarding the small wildlife habitats, and told the Board that the Department of Permits and Inspections advised Mr. Joyce that the issues will be looked at over the time left on his current federal grant, which will expire on August 31. The project would be exempt until that date. The Attorney's office will confer with Permits and Inspections on the issue, Martirano said.
The Board approved this request by unanimous vote. Kevin Lewis, Director of the Division of Fire and Emergency Services brought the Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant (PSICG) for fiscal year 2007 before the Board, with a request to accept the grant in the amount of $600,000 and to execute a Memorandum of Agreement with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 were authorized to expend $1 billion in grants to public safety agencies to improve interoperable communications. With execution of this agreement, the funds were acquired to establish fiber connectivity with the Sheriff's Office, the 911 center, and the statewide communications network (PSI-NET) as part of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP).