Washington County briefs

December 10, 2009

County receives sixth consecutive budget award

Washington County was awarded a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada in recognition of the county's effective budget presentation, according to a press release from the GFOA.

This is the sixth year in a row the county has achieved the honor, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.

To qualify for the award, an entity's budget documents must be rated as proficient on a long list of criteria related to their effectiveness as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device, GFOA spokesman Stephen J. Gauthier said in the press release.

On Tuesday, the Washington County Commissioners presented a certificate of recognition to county Budget and Finance Director Debra S. Murray, who in turn recognized the rest of the budget and finance staff for their contributions.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association for government finance professionals throughout North America.


Fire and rescue insurance renewed

The Washington County Commissioners voted Tuesday to renew the county's insurance package with Selective Insurance Co. for insurance for all fire and rescue companies in the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

The annual premium is $586,431, according to a report from Risk Management Administrator Becky Maginnis. That is a 5.6 percent increase over the previous year's total, but is well below budgeted amounts, Maginnis said.

A renewal market survey showed renewing the Selective policy was the most cost-efficient option, she said.

Pact gives Hagerstown access to bridge funds

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with the City of Hagerstown that will allow the city to access federal funding for the repair of three bridges in the city.

The county is responsible for distributing funding from the Federal Aid Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program to local jurisdictions.

The three city bridges to be repaired this year under the program are all bridges carrying Burhans Boulevard over Norfolk Southern.

The federal program pays 80 percent of the cost of the repairs and the City of Hagerstown is responsible for the other 20 percent.

-- Heather Keels

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