County briefs

July 16, 2003

Property tax transfer tax ordinance enacted

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday enacted the real property transfer tax ordinance, which will go into effect Aug. 7.

The commissioners approved the tax June 17.

The 5 percent tax will be collected on total gross transfers of properties with the following exemptions: first-time Washington County home buyers; the first $50,000 of consideration; exemptions applicable to the state transfer tax and transfers subject to agricultural transfer tax.

Transfer tax revenues may be used only for school renovation and construction; public safety, including grants and loans to volunteer fire and rescue companies for capital expenditures; transportation projects and debt reduction.

At least $400,000 from annual transfer tax revenues will be used for agricultural land preservation and other agricultural measures.

Memorandum means county can get funds

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.


The memorandum was necessary for the county to receive a $117,927 emergency preparedness equipment grant.

The grant allows law enforcement and fire and rescue agencies to purchase protective clothing and detection and rescue equipment.

The commissioners approved another memorandum with MEMA to receive two grants totaling $41,265.

Of that amount, $21,265 is for an Emergency Management Performance Grant to be used to supplement the county's Emergency Management Department's operating budget, according to a county document.

The remaining $20,000 grant will be used to buy two electronic devices that will enable law enforcement and fire and rescue agencies to communicate with each other on the scene of a public emergency.

Safety administrator gives program update

Washington County Safety Administrator Brian K. Overcash gave the County Commissioners an update of the county's safety program at Tuesday's meeting.

The program is geared toward protecting the safety of county employees while on the job.

Commissioners OK memorandum

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the Washington County Public Network Memorandum of Understanding.

The Memorandum of Understanding formalizes a partnership formed in 1995 by the county, the City of Hagerstown and the Washington County Free Library, according to a county document.

The memorandum approved Tuesday adds the Washington County Board of Education to the network.

The partnership was formed to design, develop and manage a fiber optic communications network. It also allows for the sharing of ideas, information, resources and opportunities to work together on projects, according to a county document.

County may raise engineering fees

The Washington County Commissioners are considering whether to raise engineering review fees.

Washington County Director of Public Works Gary Rohrer and Chief Engineer Terry McGee told the County Commissioners Tuesday that the engineering department's workload is increasing as a result of increased residential growth and development.

The commissioners did not take action on the proposal Tuesday.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell asked county staff to complete an analysis of all fees related to building a house in Washington County before deciding whether to increase engineering review fees, according to a county statement.

Office associate's position will be filled

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to fill an office associate's position in the Highway Department's Fleet Maintenance office.

The person who had held the position resigned effective July 10.

The salary range for the position is $22,044 to $35,271. The budgeted salary for fiscal year 2004 is $25,351.

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