County Commission briefs

October 09, 2002|by TARA REILLY

Unanimous vote renews enterprise zone

The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to renew the Hagerstown-Washington County enterprise zone.

An enterprise zone is an area in which businesses can get property tax credits from the local government for up to 10 years.

The 2,000-acre zone includes downtown, Wesel Boulevard through North Burhans Boulevard, the Washington County Business Park and the Hagerstown Business Park off South Burhans Boulevard.

For the first five years after a company moves into an enterprise zone, the property owner gets a tax credit for 80 percent of the property tax, officials have said. After five years, that percentage decreases by 10 percent a year for the remaining five years of the 10-year credit.


After the 10 years are up, the companies pay full property taxes.

The city and county governments normally are reimbursed by the state for 50 percent of the credit.

Commissioners OK JOBS funding plan

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with several government agencies to fund the JOBS program for fiscal year 2003.

The program, which is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Social Services, provides subscription van service to low-income people in the city and the county who cannot use public transportation or cannot afford other transportation to get to work.

The county works with the Maryland State Department of Human Resources and the Washington County Department of Social Services to provide the service.

Pair of new employees introduced at meeting

Washington County Assistant Director of Human Resources Dee Hawbaker introduced two new employees during Tuesday's County Commissioners meeting.

Scott Shank was hired as an engineering technician and Paul Price was hired as an equipment operator.

Week to focus on fire, mental health

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday designated Oct. 6-12 as Fire Prevention Week and Mental Health Awareness Week.

Commissioners William Wivell and Bert Iseminger announced the proclamations.

Tax credits for land come with stipulations

Landowners participating in Washington County's Agricultural Land Preservation Program will, after five or 10 years of participation, be able to exclude portions of their land from the program and still receive tax credits, the Washington County Commissioners agreed Tuesday.

The stipulation comes with conditions, however.

In order to receive the tax credits after land has been excluded, the excluded land must be for a dwelling for the owner or the owner's children and the housing density must not exceed one house per 20 acres of land in the district.

Letter to show support for Rural Legacy

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to send a letter of support to the Maryland General Assembly, encouraging the continuation of funding for the Rural Legacy Program despite state budget problems.

Washington County received $1 million for the program in fiscal year 2003 and could receive an additional $800,000.

Plant workers honored with merit certificates

Three Washington County employees at the Smithsburg Wastewater Treatment Plant received Certificates of Merit from the County Commissioners on Tuesday.

The plant received the Outstanding Plant Award from Aqua-Aerobics Systems, a major supplier of treatment plant components.

The employees, Superintendent Rick Stevens, Operator Marc Albowiscz and Operator Fred Harley, received the certificates.

Six facilities out of 600 served by Aqua-Aerobics received the awards.

BFI rate increase rejected by commission

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday rejected a request from BFI of Hagerstown to increase its rates for trash removal services at county facilities by $196.40 a month.

BFI requested the rate increase as a result of the county's decision to increase discount rates at the Forty West Landfill.

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