County briefs

May 05, 2009

Inmate health-care contract awarded

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to award a contract for comprehensive health care for inmates at the Washington County Detention Center to Conmed Healthcare of Hanover, Md.

Based on a monthly average inmate population of 500, the services would cost $1,045,500, county Purchasing Agent Karen R. Luther said.

The company was one of two deemed qualified for the work that submitted proposals considered "responsive and responsible," according to a report by Luther.

The other company, PrimeCare Medical of Harrisburg, Pa., proposed a price of $1,218,030.96 for 500 inmates.

The contract is for one year, beginning July 1, and can be renewed for up to four additional years.

The health-care contract includes medical screenings and care, eye care, dental services and medications, said Maj. Martin Van Evans, the detention center's warden. Evans said that to the best of his knowledge, the contract was for the minimum level of health services required by law.


Contracting health-care services has several advantages, including cost savings and a transfer of liability, Luther wrote in her report.

Contracted services began at the detention center in 1996, she wrote.

Human-service agency merger proposed

Washington County Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire suggested Tuesday that city and county officials look into consolidating human-service agencies in downtown Hagerstown into a few buildings in one central area to make them more convenient and to free up their current locations.

Aleshire suggested the Aspiring to Serve building at 140 W. Franklin St. as one potential building, along with the former Goodwill building at 223 North Prospect St. and the Community Action Council building at 101 Summit Ave. The three buildings are all within about four blocks of each other.

Aleshire said he first proposed the idea when he was on the Hagerstown City Council and it came up again in a recent meeting with representatives of Aspiring to Serve.

Meeting videos to go online

Archived videos of Washington County Commissioners meetings will become available online within the next few weeks, Washington County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said Tuesday.

The videos will be indexed by agenda item so viewers can go directly to the part of the meeting video dealing with a particular topic, Murray said. They will be available on the county's Web site,, under the Commissioners section.

Currently, the county streams live video of meetings, but the videos are not available after the meeting is over. An audio recording of the meeting is currently available on the site for one week after the meeting.

Permission give for land-sale talks

The Washington County Commissioners granted approval Tuesday to negotiate the sale of a small county-owned lot near Halfway that has been unused for 25 years.

The county obtained the .14-acre lot on Bentwood Drive in a tax sale in 1984, according to a report by Joe Kuhna, the county's real property administrator. It is a landlocked parcel and has no benefit to the county, given its size and location, Kuhna said. An adjoining property owner has been mowing the grass for several years and has expressed an interest in buying it from the county, Kuhna said.

The commissioners' vote authorized Kuhna to open discussions with the neighbor about the sale.

-- Heather Keels

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