Washington County briefs

January 17, 2007|by TARA REILLY

Kercheval clarifies hospital remark

A Washington County Commissioner said Tuesday he was not representing the entire board of commissioners when he spoke at a press conference last week regarding a new hospital.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said he voiced his personal thoughts Thursday at the press conference and wasn't speaking on behalf of the commissioners.

During the press conference, Washington County Hospital officials asked residents to drop an appeal that's tying up construction of the new $255 million hospital off Robinwood Drive.

Commissioner William J. Wivell said Tuesday he thought the commissioners should remain neutral in such matters, prompting a response from Kercheval.


Wivell said the residents have the right to file the appeal.

Kercheval said delays could add approximately $150 million to construction costs, which would be paid for by people who use the hospital.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said, "whether I agree with it or not," he wanted the project to have as little impact as possible on the patient.

Sheriff's Department employees promoted

The promotions of several Washington County Sheriff's Department employees were announced Tuesday at a County Commissioners meeting.

· Col. Randy E. Wilkinson was named chief deputy. He had been a major and the patrol commander. Sheriff Douglas Mullendore held the chief deputy position until he was elected sheriff last year.

· Robert G. Leatherman Jr. was promoted from captain to major and is serving the patrol commander.

· Major Sam Billotti filled a new professional services position. He had worked for Frederick County, Md.

Four employees of the Detention Center Division were also promoted.

Daniel F. Harrison was promoted from deputy 1st class to corporal. Robert J. Long II, William T. Mills and Robert E. Reid were promoted from deputies to deputies 1st class.

Museum director announces events

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Director Joseph Ruzicka updated the County Commissioners Tuesday on events held and planned for the museum, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Planned events include a new exhibit called "Loving Art" that will open Jan. 26 and will be a collaboration with its sister museum in the Netherlands. In September 2007, the museum will team with other facilities in the county to offer an Alzheimer's therapy program.

Ruzicka made a similar presentation Tuesday at the Hagerstown City Council meeting.

Commissioners vote to purchase property

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to buy a property at 14320 Pennsylvania Ave. to accommodate future development at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

The commissioners agreed to purchase the property for $300,000 plus closing costs. Airport Fire Chief Phil Ridenour said the airport has requested reimbursement from the Federal Aviation Administration in fiscal year 2009 for the purchase.

The reimbursement could happen sooner than that, he said.

Ridenour said the airport will try to find a commercial tenant for the property. The airport plans to ask Sierra Nevada, a business already at the airport, if it needs the space, he said.

If not, the airport temporarily will rent the property for residential use for $1,500 a month, he said.

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