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County Commissioners

June 12, 1997

Health leave policy may be reviewed

Some Washington County employees who could be working aren't because of illnesses that restrict some but not all of their work abilities, Personnel Director Alan Davis told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

Davis gave the commissioners two examples. One equipment operator was on long-term leave because of a back problem that prevents him from lifting more than 50 pounds, which is part of his job description. But the employee could fulfill all other parts of his job.

Another employee suffers from ulcers and needs to have ready access to a restroom, which wasn't available in his current position.

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Neither are working but are receiving pay or workers' compensation.

Davis recommended that the commissioners implement a new policy allowing managers to have partially disabled employees come in for modified work duty for up to 90 days while they recover. That way, the employees could perform some or most of their duties.

Also, under the policy, employees could lose their jobs if they don't work for 180 consecutive calendar days.

Davis said 12 to 16 employees are on long-term leave, and predicted about half would return to work under the policy.

The commissioners made no decision on the policy Tuesday.

Bowers criticalof Artz rezoning

The proposed rezoning of the 611.5-acre Artz farm property on Rench Road between the Downsville Pike and Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown was criticized Tuesday by Washington County Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers.

Bowers called the rezoning "premature at best."

Bowers said the rezoning would be the largest in the history of the county and that some plans as to what would be developed on the property should be presented.

Commissioner John S. Shank said that no developer will make plans without knowing whether the land will be rezoned.

The rezoning request would turn the Agriculture-zoned land into a combination of Highway Interchange 1, Highway Interchange 2, Rural Residential and Industrial Restricted zoned land. The county Planning Commission has recommended that the commissioners approve the rezoning, with the exception of 100 acres proposed to be rezoned Industrial Restricted.

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