Washington County Commissioners briefs

May 14, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Commissioners hear tourism report

Thomas B. Riford, president and CEO of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented the group's annual tourism update to the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday.

More than 2 million visitors spent $250 million in Washington County in 2007, both of which are up from the previous year, Riford said.

Those numbers do not include visits to retail malls, Riford said.

While hotel occupancy was down slightly in 2007, revenue was up because rates increased and two hotels were built in the county, Riford said.


Washington County earned $1.6 million in lodging tax in 2007, Riford said.

Mulch fees to go up

The Washington County Commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to raise the county's mulch price from $15 per ton to $25 per ton.

The new cost will take effect May 19.

The mulch price last was raised in July 2006 from $12 per ton to $15 per ton.

Solid Waste Director Robert Davenport said mulch costs between $18 per cubic yard and $25 per cubic yard in the private sector.

One ton is equal to about two cubic yards.

Alarm monitor for 911 center approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a $31,200 contract for an alarm monitoring device at its new 911 communications center.

The contract was awarded to the low bidder, Great Valley Systems Corp. of Uwchland, Pa., which will do business as N.B. Barber Co. under the contract.

The alarm monitor is a receiver for fire, burglar and panic alarms received at the new 911 center on Elliott Parkway.

The county uses an identical monitor at its current 911 center at 33 W. Washington St., which will become the backup center when the Elliott Parkway center opens.

Commissioners approve Medicaid transport contract

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a $633,178 contract to transport Medicaid eligible clients for the Washington County Health Department.

The contract went to Am-Van Inc. of Lothian, Md.

The company either will provide or sub-contract ambulance, wheelchair or taxi service; equipment; supplies; liability insurance and "reasonable incidentals" needed to transport eligible clients.

The contract will last for one year starting July 1, with an option to renew for up to two consecutive one-year periods.

Funding for the program in fiscal 2008 was $537,707.

Fiscal 2008 bonds approved

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-2 to sell public improvement bonds authorized in this fiscal year's budget.

The $19.9 million in bonds will be used to fund a variety of capital projects, including an expansion of the Washington County Detention Center, the county's pavement maintenance program and landfill capping at the Resh Road Landfill.

Commissioners Kristin B. Aleshire and William J. Wivell voted against authorizing the bonds.

Both commissioners voted against this fiscal year's budget, citing, among other things, a high level of borrowing.

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