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County gets communications grants

January 20, 2009

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday accepted two emergency communications grants totaling $27,309.

The money comes from the Emergency Number System Board, a state program that collects a "911 fee" for each land-based and cellular connection in Maryland, said Kevin Lewis, the county's director of fire and emergency services. The current fee in Washington County is $1, of which the board returns 75 cents to the county for operational costs and keeps 25 cents in a statewide account for special projects, Lewis said.

The county will use the money for equipment to be used in its new emergency communications center, allocating $10,449 to headsets and $16,860 to chairs, Lewis said.

-- Heather Keels

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