Vets group seeks honor for Warthog

February 17, 2005|by TAMELA BAKER

ANNAPOLIS - When you stop to think about it, there's nothing especially original in giving a road a name like "U.S. 11."

The Joint Veterans Council of Washington County would like to call at least a portion of it something a little snappier.

Like "Fairchild A-10 (Warthog) Highway."

They've asked the Washington County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly to sponsor legislation to designate part of U.S. 11 North near the former Fairchild Industries factory for one of the manufacturer's best-known aircraft.


"The Wart-hog (sic) saw extensive service in the Gulf War and was very supportive of our combat troops," council officials Charlie Morris and Tony Pruchiewski wrote in a letter to the delegation.

The lawmakers agreed Wednesday to approach the Maryland Department of Transportation with the request.

The vote was nearly unanimous. Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, voted against the request because he preferred to find a broader designation, one that would recognize more of Fairchild's contributions to military aviation. He wanted the Transportation Department to study Fairchild's history and come up with a more inclusive option.

"That'll just give 'em more reasons to deny it," observed Sen. John Hafer, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington.

The delegation also approved a request from Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, to sponsor legislation to raise the bureau's share of the hotel tax from 45 percent to 50 percent.

Riford made the request last week, but Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, felt the delegation hadn't been given adequate time to consider it. He and Del. Richard B. Weldon, R-Washington/Frederick, voted against it last week. Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, revisited the issue Wednesday.

The delegation declined to consider a proposal from Washington County Commissioners Vice President William Wivell that would have allowed property owners in rural areas to increase the density of development allowed on their property in exchange for contributions to a fund that would be used to buy easements for agricultural preservation.

Delegation members said that the county commissioners had asked them to consider sponsoring legislation for the proposal, but the request had come late in the legislative session and was open to various legal interpretations.

"The county didn't have a final view of what they want," Shank said.

"Let's reflect on this and give it adequate public consideration," Munson said.

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