Returning your call

December 07, 2007

Editor's Note: Each Friday, Herald-Mail reporters and editors will answer some of the questions that are called in by readers to Mail Call. Consider this us returning your call.

Has county been repaid for movie?

Q. "To the county finance director and the Washington County Commissioners: Has the movie company totally repaid all the money they loaned to them? I think the County Commissioners should answer this in the paper. After all, it's taxpayers' dollars." - Hagerstown

A. The question refers to a $300,000 loan the county gave to director Ron Maxwell in 2002 to help him film a Civil War movie called "The Last Full Measure."

Maxwell filmed much of "Gods and Generals" in Washington County in 2001. "The Last Full Measure" was going to be the third in the trilogy, but the film never got off the ground.


Budget and Finance Director Debra S. Murray said last week that Maxwell has repaid $99,107.26 of the loan, $81,752.94 of which is principal. (With interest, Maxwell will end up paying the county about $340,000).

The loan agreeement requires Maxwell to pay $19,107.26 per quarter through Dec. 2010.

What's going on on Eastern Boulevard?

Q. "I'm calling regarding Eastern Boulevard. If anybody could please tell me, does anybody know anything about the construction they're doing right here in the Professional Court area? Is the construction they're starting, are they starting to widen the road, or are they just building something out there? Please tell me that they're starting to widen the road, because it would be so nice. Finally I call and say something nice, and I'm not yelling. If somebody could answer this, I'd greatly appreciate that." - Hagerstown

A. Assistant City Engineer Jim Bender said the city has awarded a contract to Craig Paving Inc. to install water lines under that portion of Eastern Boulevard to serve future commercial development. If everything goes well, the project should be completed no later than October 2008.

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