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Washington County briefs

October 25, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Funding approved for new bus route



Funding for a proposed new bus route to Hunters Green Business Center has been straightened out, a social services official said Tuesday.

Department of Social Services Director David A. Engle told the Washington County Commissioners that a state agency that had balked at the funding plan now is OK with it.

The plan to send County Commuter buses to the business park along Hopewell Road is estimated to cost $246,000.

Engle said the Governor's Office for Children initially objected to letting Washington County use $166,000 the first year for the route, but since has changed its mind.

The Washington County Commissioners had sent the state an appeal letter.

The second year is expected to cost $80,000 - lower than the first year because startup expenses already will be taken care of.

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Engle said the state Department of Human Resources has agreed to cover $40,000 for the second year. The county will try to get a transportation grant to pay for the rest.

Engle said the new bus route will let people receiving financial assistance get jobs at the business park.

Timothy Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said Staples is trying to fill about 100 jobs. Other employers at the park have job openings, too, he said.




Sewage pumping station to be built



Washington County plans to spend about $1.9 million to build a sewage pumping station for Newgate Industrial Park near Hagerstown, then recover the cost from new businesses there.

The station would be for about 1,600 undeveloped acres that can't be served by gravity lines, John L. Schnebly, the chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, said at Tuesday's Washington County Commissioners meeting.

The commissioners voted unanimously to recover the cost by charging new businesses either $1,000 per acre or $1,000 per equivalent dwelling unit, whichever is higher.

An equivalent dwelling unit is a measure of typical sewer system usage.

Timothy Troxell, the Economic Development Commission's executive director, said there already is a property owner on that land.

He said prospective businesses usually "move on" when they hear that public sewer service isn't offered.

A memo on the project says the county is getting a $300,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The county has not determined specifically how it will pay the rest.

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