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County briefs

September 26, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

County jail receives accreditation award



The Washington County Detention Center received a state accreditation award Monday on its first try, County Commissioner Bert Iseminger said Tuesday.

Usually, there's at least one policy or regulation that state officials might say the detention center needs to work on, but this time the center was found to be in 100 percent compliance on the first try, Sheriff Charles Mades said Wednesday.

Because the detention center houses adult offenders it must comply with the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards every two years, Mades said.

The detention center must comply with more than 100 policies and regulations.

While it's been put on the back burner for now, the detention center is still working on getting accreditation from the American Correctional Association, Mades said. That is voluntary.

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Certificate given to girl who got vests for dogs



SMITHSBURG - The Washington County Commissioners presented a Certificate of Merit on Tuesday to sixth-grader Emily Bolton at Smithsburg Middle School for raising $13,300 to buy bulletproof vests for police dogs.

Bolton raised enough money to buy vests for 25 police dogs with the Hagerstown Police Department, Washington County Sheriff's Department and Maryland State Police.




Smithsburg transfer of land is approved



SMITHSBURG - The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved transferring two acres at the Smithsburg Elementary School campus near Veterans Park for Program Open Space.

The Washington County Board of Education transferred the land to the county, which transferred it to the town of Smithsburg to make up for two acres that are being used for the new town library, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

The library will be built on two acres in Veterans Park that were bought with Program Open Space money. When land is bought through that program and later used for a different purpose, the program must be reimbursed financially or with comparable land, Shoop said.




Stephanie Stone to head partnership



Stephanie Stone was named executive director of the Washington County Community Partnership for Children & Families on Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

Stone has been interim director since June when John Budesky left to become director of administrative services for the City of Hagerstown.

The group partners with local agencies to improve the lives of children and families.




Hearing being planned on building moratorium



A proposed amendment to Washington County's zoning law will be presented to the Washington County Commissioners at next Tuesday's meeting so the commissioners can formally issue notice for a public hearing on a building moratorium, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

At Tuesday night's commissioners meeting, at least three County Commissioners indicated support for a one-year moratorium on major residential subdivisions outside the urban growth area.

Also under consideration is a moratorium on building proposals that are within the urban growth area but not served by public water, Shoop said Wednesday.

A moratorium is being discussed because of drought concerns and an apparent surge in interest in developing major residential subdivisions before the county's comprehensive plan kicks in.

County Planner Robert Arch said the county's adequate public facilities ordinance and most of the zoning laws are expected to be updated within a year.

The public hearing is tentatively set for Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Courtroom One at Washington County Circuit Court, Shoop said. A 10-day comment period would follow the hearing so the earliest the commissioners could vote on the issue would be Oct. 29, Shoop said.

If the commissioners vote for a moratorium, it would become effective immediately, Shoop said.




County highway funds exceed expectations



Washington County received more highway revenue than expected for last fiscal year so the County Commissioners voted Tuesday to spend about $193,000 of that surplus on four new vehicles, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

Two dump trucks, a tractor with a mower and a van will be bought for the Highway Department, Shoop said. The vehicles cost $213,000, he said. The difference will be made up by selling used equipment.

The remainder of the surplus - the amount was unavailable - was transferred to the capital improvement plan budget to reduce borrowing this fiscal year, Shoop said.

The county also expects more highway revenue user money this fiscal year, Shoop said.

County officials now expect to receive $7.2 million, whereas they had expected $6.8 million, Shoop said.

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