County Commission briefs

July 30, 2003|by TARA REILLY

Cell phone policy updates approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved updates to the county's cellular telephone policy.

Under the changes, a department or division head will be responsible for the oversight of employee cell phone use and employees will have to justify their use of county cell phones.

Management will determine unauthorized usage and enforce reimbursement to the county at a rate of 30 cents per minute, according to a county statement.

Employees and management could face disciplinary actions if they violate the policy, the policy states.

County Commissioner John C. Munson was the only commissioner to oppose the policy, saying he thought the regulations should mandate that employees pull off the road while talking on county cell phones.


Munson said he thought such a rule soon would become a state law.

Commissioner Doris J. Nipps said policing such a rule would be similar to banning employees from eating while driving.

"Let's not do something you can't police," she said.

"I'm very surprised that the rest of you aren't interested in the safety thing," Munson said. "It's a major thing, and it could be costly."

Md. firm awarded generator contract

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a $48,666 contract to Fidelity Engineering Corp. of Sparks, Md., for two emergency generators for the Department of Water Quality.

The generators have 20-year life spans.

Navigational aids agreement OK'd

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a memorandum of agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for the design and construction of navigational aids at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The $1.1 million project is part of the runway extension project's capital budget.

Six appointed to advisory committee

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday appointed six people to Washington County's Mental Health Advisory Committee.

Those appointed were Wiley Rutledge, Ethel Nemcek, Fay Kilmer-Smith, Daniel Dwyer, Jennie Jones-Geis and Jerry Thomas.

Gaming Commission bylaws approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved bylaws for the Gaming Commission.

The approval was granted pending review and adoption by the Gaming Commission, according to a county statement. The regulations set up internal guidelines for the commission.

Although the Gaming Commission was established in 1995, there never were any bylaws in place.

Cease Fire Council grant is renewed

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday renewed a Maryland Cease Fire Council grant at the request of Sheriff Charles F. Mades.

The grant pays for an investigator/property clerk whose duty is to dispose of all seized long arms and handguns.

While the grant was approved for $34,600, the state cut the award to $25,950. As a result, Mades said the employee's hours will be cut back.

Mades said shotguns usually are sold at auctions, while handguns are melted down or destroyed so they don't end up back on the streets.

"Sometimes we just take a torch and make them inoperable," Mades said.

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