Washington County Commission briefs

August 27, 2003|by TARA REILLY

Amendments to tip jar rules approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved amendments to the Gaming Office's tip jar regulations.

The amendments were passed on a 4-1 vote, with County Commissioner James F. Kercheval voting against the amendments.

Among the amendments is one that prohibits a group from holding a wholesaler's license to sell tip jar packets if most of the members of that group hold licenses to operate tip jars.

Kercheval said he voted against the amendments Tuesday because he thought the commissioners could get sued over them.

He asked for more clarification from the Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly before voting on the wholesaler's license amendment.

Gaming Director Daniel DiVito asked the commissioners to pass the amendments last week during a public hearing on the matter.

The Washington County Restaurant and Beverage Association last week sued the Gaming Office because the office has not issued the association a wholesaler's license.


Many members of the association also hold licenses to operate tip jars.

EDC announces vision for area

The Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission on Tuesday announced plans to attract new businesses to the county and keep existing ones here.

EDC Chair Peggy Bushey said the EDC's vision is to provide better-paying jobs for county citizens.

The EDC's priorities include supporting the City of Hagerstown's economic development goals, maintaining relationships with educational institutions and work-force providers that offer vocational and customized on-the-job training, and looking into the development of a new business park.

"After much discussion with area business owners, government officials and development partners, the EDC has a set of goals that truly reflect the current needs of Washington County," EDC Director Tim Troxell said in a written statement.

Commission on Aging request denied

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously rejected a request from the Washington County Commission on Aging for $20,000.

Commission on Aging Director Frederick Otto said the money would enable the agency to give its employees a 2 percent raise.

Otto said in a July 30 letter to the commissioners that the agency has made adjustments in staffing, eliminated lawn-mowing service from its budget and now charges for some transportation services - for medical visits and grocery shopping - in order to continue offering the appropriate level of service in difficult budgetary times.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell said he voted against giving the agency $20,000 because other nonprofit groups also would make financial requests.

Application for rezoning is returned

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday sent back to the Planning Commission an application to rezone 23.92 acres in the Sandy Hook area from business general to residential rural.

Sylvia J. and William D. Martin applied for the rezoning. The land is off U.S. 340 and Keep Tryst Road.

The rezoning would allow 34 single-family homes on the property.

The commissioners delayed making a decision on Aug. 6, but most agreed that they opposed the rezoning at that time.

The commissioners on Tuesday sent the issue back to the Planning Commission for an additional review of density issues, according to a written statement.

The Planning Commission has twice recommended that the rezoning application be denied.

Commission accepts rehabilitation grant

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday accepted a $12,500 Maryland Historical Trust grant to rehabilitate an 1800s stone farmhouse on French Lane.

The farmhouse, built in 1818 and located on 35 acres, is eligible to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house has the potential to be used as a museum, for cultural and historical interpretation, specialty office space and other uses.

An easement to the Maryland Historical Trust to ensure retention of the historic significance of the building was a condition of the grant.

The commissioners accepted the grant on the condition that the easement be lifted and the grant repaid to the state if another use were found for the property.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell and Commissioner John Munson voted against accepting the grant.

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