Muldowney says spend gaming funds on debts

January 21, 1998

Muldowney says spend gaming funds on debts


Staff Writer

Fed up with having his general fund tax dollars used to help pay off Washington County's $55 million water and sewer debt, a former member of the Washington County Gaming Commission proposed Tuesday that gaming funds be used.

"I pay more to subsidize a system I don't use than I do for my system which I am happy and glad to use," Hagerstown resident Paul D. Muldowney told city and Washington County officials during a joint meeting at City Hall on Tuesday.

Muldowney said his concern arose from a proposal to write into law the county's current practice of using $3.5 million from the county's general fund to help pay off the debt.


General fund dollars are raised from all county taxpayers, even those who don't use the county's sewer system.

County Commissioner James Wade asked Muldowney, a former state delegate, if he thought the legislature would approve the use of gaming funds to help pay off the debt.

"In a heartbeat," Muldowney said.

Wade said he believed the possibility of state legislators approving that proposal would be 1 in 10 million.

"You never know until you file a bill," Muldowney responded.

"I think it's worth asking," City Councilman Alfred W. Boyer said.

Muldowney said county officials should have pursued other options before dipping into the general fund to subsidize the debt.

The commissioners did raise rates.

Muldowney questioned the legality of using general fund money to pay off the debt.

City officials considered taking the matter to court, but got a legal opinion that said a citizen would be in a better position than the city to sue, Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said.

Metzner said he suggested that to some local residents, but none took him up on it.

Muldowney asked Metzner if he was still looking for volunteers. "You have one now," he said.

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