Washington County briefs

September 19, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Commissioners discuss requests

With the Maryland General Assembly's regular session approaching in January, the Washington County Commissioners are starting to discuss their 2008 legislative requests.

During their weekly meeting Tuesday, the commissioners reviewed a list of 13 requests from department heads that was compiled by the county attorney's office.

The list of requests ranged from wide-reaching revisions to county ordinances to minor language changes in county employee job descriptions.

Under the commissioner form of government, Washington County officials have little power to change or enact new county laws.

Instead, the commissioners must submit requests to the General Assembly for approval.

The largest request on the list was a revision of the county's excise tax, which is being reviewed by a county-appointed task force.

The commissioners had little to say about the requests Tuesday, saying they would need more background information in many cases before deciding whether to submit the requests to the General Assembly.


The requests will be discussed further at next week's meeting by the county commissioners, who likely will recommend their own requests as well.

Budget transfer approved for bridge

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a budget transfer of $548,927 to cover a shortfall in the project to repair Tollgate Ridge Road bridge.

The money will be transferred from the Robinwood Drive expansion project. It was required to fill a funding gap in the Tollgate Ridge project that was created when the county withdrew its application for a federal grant, according to Washington County Director of Public Works Joseph Kroboth.

The county will apply for the grant in the next funding cycle, Kroboth said. If the grant is received, the money will be returned to the Robinwood Drive project.

A storm in September 2004 damaged Tollgate Ridge bridge and delayed a project to extend Ford Drive to Tollgate Ridge Road.

Funding approved for easement

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved the use of transfer tax funds to pay administrative costs for a conservation easement in Boonsboro.

The easement, which eliminates development rights on the property, applies to a 10-acre section of a farm along Benevola Newcomer Road.

The county would pay approximately $6,000 for settlement and other costs for the easement, which was offered by the property's owners, Ruann and Jack George. The land is valued at $103,000, according to Eric Seifarth.

The county's agricultural transfer tax is a 2 percent tax charged on home sales in the county.

The transfer tax fund currently has a balance of $2.4 million, according to Eric Seifarth.

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