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Rohrersville substation to get county funds

February 15, 2001

Rohrersville substation to get county funds



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County Commissioners have agreed to fund Boonsboro's Rohrersville substation at half the funding the county gives the Boonsboro station, less than one week after a proposed state bill requiring the county to do exactly that was introduced in the Maryland General Assembly.

The commissioners made the decision by consensus at Tuesday's commissioners meeting. As a result, the money will be in next year's county budget, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

The commissioners each year distribute the same amount - about $40,000 - to each fire and rescue company in the county. The new action means Boonsboro will get its standard allotment while Rohrersville will get half of that amount, or about $20,000, Shoop said. It has never received funding before.

For about two years, Boonsboro and Rohrersville officials have argued the First Hose Co. of Boonsboro's Rohrersville substation deserved funding.

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Although the substation opened in September 1998 six miles south of Boonsboro on the east side of Md. 67, First Hose Co. of Boonsboro has gotten no increase in its annual county government allotment.

The commissioners decided to provide the funding after Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook noted that Del. Christopher Shank, R-Washington, had introduced a bill ordering Washington County to pay the substation 50 percent of the funding of other stations.

The bill entitled "Washington County - Contributions to Volunteer Fire Company Substations," co-sponsored by Del. John Donoghue, was introduced Feb. 9.

The bill doesn't mention Rohrersville by name, but refers to "certain volunteer fire company substation under certain conditions."

Shank said he probably would withdraw the bill if the county sent a letter to the Boonsboro company promising the funding.

Before withdrawing the bill, he wants to be sure the county doesn't want the bill, he said Wednesday. County Attorney Richard Douglas Thursday said the county wants the bill withdrawn.

His legislative action was not intended as a mandate or a form of pressure, Shank said.

"This is not me trying to tell the commissioners how to do their jobs," he said.

Snook said Shank's bill didn't push the county to action. Snook and Shank said the county was moving in that direction anyway.

But Shank said the bill was a little insurance to help Rohrersville's concerns.

Curt Fales, assistant chief of the Rohrersville substation, said he and others who supported substation funding had talked regularly to the County Commissioners, asking for the funding assurance, up until the day the legislation was filed.

As a result of the substation, the community "gets faster service but we never got any respect." The funding commitment helps fix that, Fales said Thursday.

"I think it's great. It's a long time coming," Fales said.

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