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Washington County briefs

June 03, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Regional planning funds approved

Federal grant funding for a tri-state transportation planning agency was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners.

The county commissioners voted to fund its portion of the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization's fiscal 2009 budget.

The total budget, which funds planning for transportation projects in Maryland and West Virginia, is $385,099 for fiscal year 2009. Washington County's match will be $20,854.

The organization was created in 1996 to conduct regional transportation planning for a federally designated area.

It covers Washington County in Maryland; Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia; and Franklin County in Pennsylvania. It also includes the cities of Hagerstown, Martinsburg, Charles Town and other small towns.

Commissioners agree to help fund Antietam's Independence Day event

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved $20,000 in hotel-motel tax revenue to help fund the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's 23rd Annual Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield.

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The cost to produce the event has increased 20 percent in the last five years, said Brendan Fitzsimmons of the MSO Development Committee.

He also said the event has not been funded by the Washington County Gaming Commission for the last two years.

The commissioners said they were happy to help fund the event, which Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Thomas B. Riford said has drawn more than 35,000 visitors.

"This is the kind of event the hotel-motel tax was created for," Commissioner James F. Kercheval said.

Fire and rescue companies receive state funds

Twenty Washington County Fire and Rescue corporations will each receive $8,922.92 as part of a yearly state subsidy for emergency service companies.

The Senator William H. Amoss Fire, Rescue and Ambulance fund distribution to Washington County for fiscal 2008 was $231,996.

Of that, $53,537.60 will be divided among Hagerstown's six fire stations. The rest will be divided equally among the county's fire and rescue corporations.

The Washington County Commissioners unanimously approved the distribution Tuesday.

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