Community briefs

July 20, 2006

Council majority supports trail funding

A plan to build a walking and biking trail between Pangborn Park and Fairgrounds Park will cost more than was budgeted, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Tuesday.

In a memo, Tissue wrote that the lowest of four bids on the project, from Milton Stamper Builders, was $197,688. The city budgeted $125,035.

Asked about the cost difference, Tissue said asphalt prices are up.

His memo says the city could save money by installing trail lights on its own, but still would need $47,153 to do the project as it was designed.

Excise tax revenue on new construction might be a source, Finance Director Alfred Martin said.

Tissue's memo says the city has worked for more than three years on easements and has received a $57,000 state grant for the project.


Councilman Lew Metzner said he likes the project and favors finding more money to complete it.

Council members Penny Nigh and Alesia Parson-McBean agreed, giving Tissue and Martin three votes to try to fund the project as it stands. - Andrew Schotz

Advocate training to be conducted

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County will conduct a training program for people interested in becoming volunteer advocates who can assist the courts in monitoring cases of child abuse or neglect. Two 30-hour training programs are scheduled.

One training session will be Aug. 2 to 16, each Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. The second will be Aug. 5 to Sept. 19, each Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Both training sessions will be at the Washington County Health Department Addictions and Mental Health Services Unit, 13114 Pennsylvania Ave., Hagerstown.

Approximately 2,500 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in Washington County in 2005. More than 1,500 cases were investigated and in 400 cases sufficient evidence was found to warrant child welfare agency involvement.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteers. Volunteer advocates review case files, conduct interviews to assess the "best interests" needs of children in the court's jurisdiction. They provide recommendations to the courts regarding placement and services for the child and family.

For information or to register, call the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Washington County at 240-313-3383.

HCC to host free career night Aug. 8

Hagerstown Community College's Center for Continuing Education will host a free career night open house Aug. 8. The event focuses on careers that take less than one year of coursework to complete. The event will be in the HCC Valley Mall Center from 4 to 7 p.m.

Many of the courses are offered in the evenings and weekends so participants can keep their current jobs while retraining, according to an HCC press release.

Information will be available on such courses as real estate licensing in both Maryland and West Virginia, real estate appraisal training, mortgage loan officer training, veterinary assistant training, lead paint supervisor, insurance licensing, home inspector training, notary public training and sign language training.

Course information is also available on bookkeeper, bartending, child care, personal trainer certification, computer training and health-related training

For information and a full list of courses, contact Cynthia Hull, HCC coordinator for certification and licensing, at 301-790-2800, ext. 520.

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