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Mud bog approved

August 13, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

BROWNSVILLE - Washington County Administrator Rodney Shoop has dropped a request to delay indefinitely a volunteer fire company's annual mud bog fund-raiser.

Canceling the event could interfere with the Brunswick, Md., company's ability to carry out its duties, he said.

"Public safety comes first. This could interfere with their ability to provide public safety," Shoop said.

He had planned to call the Brunwsick Volunteer Fire Company Friday to ask them to delay the 11th annual Pleasant Valley Frog Eye Mud Bog, which will use 20,000 gallons of quarry water.

Shoop proposed the delay at the request of County Commissioner Paul L. Swartz, who said it was inappropriate to use that much water during one of the century's worst droughts.

But after hearing Freda Leopold, the wife of the fire company president, explain how delaying or canceling the event could hurt the fire company he opted not to make the request, Shoop said.

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The event will be held Aug. 29 at a private farm near Brownsville, Shoop and Leopold said.

Canceling the event, which usually brings in about $18,000 in profits, would cost the company about $8,000 since it already has bought T-shirts and trophies, Leopold said.

Due to the drought the volunteer fire company is receiving more calls for assistance, which drives up operating costs, Shoop said.

The company serves part of Frederick County, Md., and as a back-up during emergencies in parts of eastern Washington County, he said.

"To postpone this event would be a tremendous financial hardship," Shoop said.

David Barnhart, drought coordinator for the Washington County Health Department, reached the same conclusion earlier in the week. On Wednesday he waived statewide mandatory water restrictions for the event. The Health Department is a state agency that receives some funding from the county.

Before approaching Barnhart, the fire company was told it could not get water from its usual supplier, the city of Brunswick. Leopold will not reveal which quarry is donating the water.

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