Washington County Commissioners briefs

September 17, 2008

Commissioners decide against Gapland Road improvements

The Washington County Commissioners decided not to approve a budget transfer Tuesday that would have funded chip sealing this fiscal year on a portion of Gapland Road.

Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth said residents have complained about the road's rough condition.

Kroboth told the County Commissioners on Tuesday that it would cost $65,000 to chip seal a 1- to 2-mile section of the road near the Frederick County line.

Because that work is not budgeted for fiscal 2009, it would have taken a transfer to cover the cost.

The commissioners said Tuesday they were not comfortable making such a transfer.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said he thinks "legislating" road repairs that don't align with the county's pavement maintenance schedule is not always a good idea.

"I don't want to get into this manner that if you go out and get 50 signatures ... you get money for your road," Aleshire said.


The county analyzes all of its roads every year to determine which ones are most in need of repair.

Commissioner William J. Wivell asked whether Gapland Road is the next road on the county's list to repair, noting that he has heard complaints about Stevenson Road and others.

"I agree with Kristin on this one. (Roads in need of repair) are all over the county," Wivell said.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said transferring additional money for road repairs right now is a bad idea because state funding cuts are expected.

After the commissioners' decision, Gapland Road is scheduled for "deep patching" and chip seal in fiscal 2010, Kroboth wrote in an e-mail.

Emergency plan changes under review

Revisions to a plan showing how government agencies should respond to and recover from public emergencies were presented Tuesday to the Washington County Commissioners.

Fire and Emergency Services Director Kevin L. Lewis said the Basic Emergency Operations Plan outlines an organizational approach for emergencies.

The revisions, which come four years after the plan was adopted in 2004, will reflect changes to county government structure and bring the county's plan more in line with a national emergency response framework, Lewis said.

The county commissioners are reviewing the plan and will vote on the changes at a later date.

Funkstown bridge project ahead of schedule

Washington County Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth II gave a status update on the East Oak Ridge Drive bridge repairs during the County Commissioners' evening meeting Tuesday in Funkstown.

He said the $1.24 million project is running about one week ahead of schedule.

The repairs are estimated to take six months, and the bridge will remain closed until they are completed.

The scheduled completion date for the project is Jan. 15, 2009.

Kroboth noted that the county has placed more than a dozen orange signs around the area telling drivers that local businesses are open despite the bridge closure.

The county also distributed a flier in The Herald-Mail mapping the detour route and listing local businesses.

Paul Crampton, who owns South Pointe Shopping Center on East Oak Ridge Drive, said Tuesday that several business owners there appreciated the signs and the flier.

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