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County borrowing bill is passed

April 08, 1999|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - The Washington County Commissioners will be able to borrow up to $50 million over the next four years under legislation given final approval Wednesday by the Maryland General Assembly.

The debt bill was one of four local bills, already approved by the House of Delegates, to pass the Senate on Wednesday.

Every four years, the county must get permission to borrow for major projects such as schools and landfills.

The last request was for $40 million, although the county actually borrowed $28 million.

Also approved Wednesday were bills to:

- Allow the county to get a line of credit of up to $5 million, if needed, to use in short cash-flow situations.

Having the line of credit would prevent the county from being caught strapped for cash.

- Allow the county zoning administrator to grant certain zoning adjustments without a decision by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

It would lighten the load of the Board of Zoning Appeals and speed up the process for those seeking minor variances.

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Citizens would have the right to appeal.

- Add a requirement for awarding county purchasing contracts.

It would require the low bidder to be responsive - that is, to properly respond to the bid request.

Now that the bills have passed, they must be signed by Gov. Parris Glendening.

Some key local legislation is pending in the final week of the 90-day session.

A Washington County right-to-farm bill would give the commissioners the authority to protect farmers from nuisance complaints.

The bill has passed the House and cleared the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wednesday.

A bill to allow the county to regulate home builders also has passed the House and awaits approval in the Senate Finance Committee.

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