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County gets anti-terrorism grant

February 26, 2002|By SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County will use $77,460 from a federal grant to buy equipment for responding to chemical or biological agents, Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth said Monday.

Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening on Monday said the state received a $2.74 million anti-terrorism federal grant to buy protective equipment for police and fire employees, communications equipment, detection equipment for chemical or biological agents and decontamination equipment.

The state request was made prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The local money comes in response to Washington County requests made to the state in 1999, 2000 and 2001, Kroboth said.

The county will use the money for detection equipment and for personal protective equipment, including air-purifying respirators, chemical suits and gloves to be worn by someone dealing with chemicals, he said. The county has some of the equipment but not as much as it would like, he said

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Kroboth said he is always pleased when the county receives state and federal grants because it lowers costs for the local government.

He said, however, he had hoped Washington County would receive closer to $150,000 to $200,000.

Of the $2.74 million state grant, $2.39 million will go to local jurisdictions and $356,720 to state departments and agencies.

The amount of money going to each county was based on a formula that took into account hazardous sites in the county, the possible threat to those sites and the total population of the counties.

The City of Baltimore received $200,724, the most money of any local jurisdiction.

The grant is separate from $31 million that U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., is trying to get for area governments and hospitals to beef up security, prepare for disasters including a possible attack on Camp David and make other improvements.

The White House did not fund Bartlett's request but he has said he hopes to have the money included in the annual budget.

The request includes $10 million for a radio-communications system to tie in Washington County police agencies and fire and emergency organizations and $9.8 million for the Washington County Health System, parent company of Washington County Hospital.

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