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Washington County briefs

June 02, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

County to give $42,500 from contingency fund to Free Clinic



The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to contribute $42,500 from the county's contingency fund to help the Community Free Clinic afford its operating costs through the end of June.

Michael E. Stanford, president of the clinic's board of directors, previously told the commissioners the clinic would be short by that amount due to decreased donations at a time of record need.

"We all know the economy's hurting, but we need some help," Stanford told the commissioners at their April 21 meeting.

Stanford said then that donations were down 30 percent to 50 percent. He said the clinic requested help from "just about everybody you can think of," but was still coming up so short that it might have to cut back operations.

The clinic is not state or federally funded, and has no guaranteed revenue source, Stanford said.

The clinic provides free medical care and prescription medication to residents without health insurance.

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Stanford said in April that the number of uninsured patients was growing, with the clinic getting seven to 10 new patients each week.

Archived video of meetings available on Web site



Archived video of the Washington County Commissioners' meetings is now available on the county Web site, www.washco-md.net, county Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.

The new feature allows visitors to the site to scroll through a list of agenda items from each meeting and jump straight to the part of the video that pertains to each item.

The video archive of the commissioners' May 19 meeting has been accessible since last week, and county spokesman Norman Bassett said he expected Tuesday's meeting video to be available Wednesday. All future meetings will be added to the video archive, Bassett said.

Murray said the system is part of the commissioners' goal of making meetings more easily accessible to the public.

The video archive page also includes a link to each meeting's agenda and its attached reports and documents so viewers can follow along, and links that allow viewers to easily e-mail the commissioners about what they have just viewed.

"Other than being here in the meeting, it just doesn't get much better than that," Murray said.

The service works best with the Internet Explorer web browser, Bassett said.

Commissioners to give $20,000 to MSO Salute to Independence



The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to contribute $20,000 from lodging tax to support the Maryland Symphony Orchestra's annual Salute to Independence on July 4.

This is the third or fourth year the county has supported the event with a cash grant in recognition of the rising cost of producing the event and its positive economic benefit to the county, said Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The commissioners also decided to preapprove another $20,000 grant for next year's concert so event organizers do not have to repeat their request presentation this time next year.

Food Resources to use stimulus funds to hire two part-time employees



Food Resources Inc., the organization that distributes donated and government-funded food among area food pantries, plans to use federal stimulus funds to hire two additional part-time employees, Executive Director Ruth Anne Callaham told the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday.

The two record-keeping and documentation positions will be temporary unless the organization receives additional grants in the future, Callaham said.

"We decided if we could create a job ... to help someone who might be laid off due to the economic situation, then we would do that," she said.

The commissioners voted to modify the county's contract with the organization to reflect the additional funds.

County awards pavement maintenance-related contracts



The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded two pavement maintenance-related contracts for next fiscal year to the respective lowest bidders.

A $1.68 million contract for "hot mix asphalt applications" to about seven miles of county roadway was awarded to L.W. Wolfe Enterprises Inc. of Myersville, Md.

Other bidders for that contract were:

o C. Wm. Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown: $1.7 million

o Craig Paving Inc. of Hagerstown: $1.8 million

o Valley Quarries Inc. of Chambersburg, Pa.: $1.9 million

o Francis O. Day Co. Inc. of Rockville, Md.: $2.2 million

In addition, a contract for about $600,000 for "chip seal applications" to about 32 miles of county roadway was awarded to American Paving Fabrics Inc. of Hanover, Md.

The base bids for that contract were:

o American Paving Fabrics Inc.: $611,173.02

o Hammaker East LTD: $770,952.84

Rob Slocum, the county's deputy director of public works, said the total for the two contracts was almost $200,000 less than budgeted, so the county might be able to use the extra funding for additional road-patching projects.

The department also plans to issue a third pavement contract for the $2.3 million in federal stimulus funds it plans to spend on paving projects, Slocum said.

-- Heather Keels

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