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County building improvements approved

February 20, 2002

County building improvements approved



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to spend $155,000 on interior improvements to the Washington County Administrative Building, primarily painting and new carpeting.

The commissioners voted 4-1, with Commissioner William J. Wivell opposed, to adopt Public Works Director Gary Rohrer's recommendation to make the improvements.

The money was previously set aside for use at the County Administrative Annex Building but was not needed, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said. The money has to be used on capital projects, he said.

Rohrer told the commissioners the administrative building at 100 W. Washington St. needs a major cleanup. In addition to repainting walls and replacing carpet, some electrical and demolition work would be done, he said.

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Except for minor painting of the commissioners' office, the building has not been painted or new carpet installed since an initial renovation in 1990, Rohrer said. That carpeting and paint work was expected to last 10 years, he said.

Rohrer proposed using county employees to keep costs down. The work will be done on much of the second and third floors and on a portion of the first floor housing the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

New carpeting would be good for about 10 years, Rohrer said.

The commissioners directed Rohrer to start on the third floor since it is almost vacant for the time being.

The commissioners left open the possibility of delaying work on the other two floors if the costs come in high.

Washington County's Engineering, Planning, and Permits and Inspection departments moved from the third floor of the administration building into the annex in late January.

Before the vote, Commissioner Paul L. Swartz said he had conflicting opinions on the issue.

A fresh coat of paint can boost employee morale, he said, but he questioned using the money for the project in a tight budget year.

Rohrer said it would be more difficult to do the work later when it contains office equipment and furniture that would have to be moved.

The county's Budget and Finance, Purchasing and Information Technology departments will move to the third floor of the administration building, Rohrer said.

The annex is at 80 W. Baltimore St. The building formerly was home to Community Supermarket, and more recently housed Farmers & Merchants Bank.

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