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County set for moving into annex

October 03, 2000

County set for moving into annex



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


Washington County took title to what will be a County Administration Building annex Monday and will begin moving in this winter, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

In March 2000 the commissioners voted to buy the 12,500-square-foot Farmers & Merchants Bank building near downtown Hagerstown for $1.125 million.

The 1.45-acre property that will serve as the annex includes the one-story former Community Supermarket building and 107 parking spaces.

County employees have begun parking at the 80 W. Baltimore St. property, which is at the intersection with Hood Street.

In addition to serving as a county annex, the building eventually will be used for meetings of the Washington County Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals, Rohrer said.

Meanwhile, construction of the Clear Spring Library will start Dec. 1 and work is to be finished by July 2001, he said.

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The 8,000-square-foot building will be next to the three-school campus west of town, bordered by U.S. 40 and Broadfording Road. Estimated cost of the project is $750,000, he said. The County Commissioners are paying about $200,000 of the project costs.

Library construction was scheduled to start earlier but was delayed due to staffing vacancies and other factors, Rohrer said.

The planning, public works, engineering and permits and inspections departments will move into the annex from the present site on the third floor of the County Administration Building, he said.

The Washington County Courthouse Annex will not be affected by the changes.

The county also plans to build a 3,000-square-foot addition to the former bank building, which would serve as a meeting room.

The total cost of the project, including $325,000 for the addition, is about $1.4 million, he said.

Rohrer gave the updates during a meeting with the County Commissioners Tuesday.

The county lost a project manager in December 1999 when employee Steven Spalding was put on leave, and later resigned, over allegations of charges he had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. He has not been sentenced but pleaded guilty in July to a third-degree sex offense, a crime that carries a possible 10-year prison sentence.

That vacancy and one left by the resignation of a county engineer in March caused the delay of some projects, including the Clear Spring Library, Rohrer said.

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