Washington County briefs

April 28, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS

History week proclaimed

The week of April 26 through May 2, 2010, was proclaimed Washington County History Week Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners.

The week, which celebrates the county's heritage and historical attractions, will culminate Saturday and Sunday with the seventh annual Washington County Museum Ramble, a self-guided tour of 20 local museums and historic sites.

The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and most museums are opening their doors free of charge. Participants may complete an event passport for a chance to win a prize basket. More information is available at

The event is co-sponsored by the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites.


Spring paving projects begin

Washington County's pavement resurfacing and rehabilitation work resumed for the season Tuesday, county public works officials said.

The paving work is being performed by contractor C. William Hetzer Inc. and funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and consist of patching, milling and asphalt overlay.

The locations scheduled for pavement work are:

o Cearfoss Pike from the bridge over Conococheague Creek to the Pennsylvania State Line

o Leiters Mill Road from Md. 60 to Leiter Street

o Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road from Leiter Street to the pavement transition south of Leiter Street

o Longmeadow Road from the railroad crossing west of Marsh Pike to the pavement transition east of Pennsylvania Avenue

o Marsh Pike from Md. 60 to a pavement transition south of Heritage Lane

o Robinwood Drive from Kings Crest Boulevard to Jefferson Boulevard

o Sterling Road from Downsville Pike to Bower Avenue

o Edward Doub Road from Governor Lane Boulevard to Sterling Road

o Bower Avenue from Virginia Avenue to Sterling Road

o Massey Boulevard from Virginia Avenue to a pavement transition south of Halfway Boulevard

o Hopewell Road from the railroad crossing near Hunters Green Parkway to a pavement transition north of Halfway Boulevard intersection

o Halfway Boulevard from the Bridge over I-81 to Blake Road

State to share demolition costs

The state of Maryland has agreed to share in the costs of demolishing an unsafe structure on Trego Road, County Administrator Gregory B. Murray said Tuesday.

The structure, an old railroad station, is privately owned, but about 75 percent of the building sits on land owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The former owner is recently deceased and the building's current ownership is uncertain, so county officials decided to have the building demolished themselves and seek reimbursement later. A preliminary quote for the demolition was in the $26,000 range, but officials said they expected competitive bids to be much lower.

The state will pay 50 percent, Murray said.

Leave policy revised

The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve revisions to the county's Family and Medical Leave Policy recommended by the Human Resources Department.

The policy was last revised in 1997.

Under the revised policy, county employees may take up to 26 weeks of job-protected leave to care for a servicemember with a serious injury or illness, if the employee is the servicemember's spouse, child, parent or next-of-kin. Other types of family and medical leave last only 12 weeks.

The employee may choose whether to use any accrued vacation or sick time or to take unpaid leave.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said he would like to see the county provide paid leave, separate from sick or vacation time, to employees caring for an injured servicemember spouse. That idea failed to gain support from the rest of the commissioners.

County transit gets good review

The Washington County Commuter received a positive report card from a "mystery rider" who evaluated the transit system April 16 as part of a Maryland Transit Administration program, county public works director Joseph Kroboth III said.

The rider reported exemplary customer service from drivers, clean busses, safe and comfortable driving, and prompt, helpful disability services, Kroboth said. The only negative comment was that one route was operating a few minutes ahead of schedule at a couple stops, he said.

Service contracts renewed

The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to renew contracts for plumbing and heating maintenance, elevator maintenance, and electrician services at county facilities.

The plumbing and heating contract was renewed to Beaver Mechanical Contractors of Hagerstown for the original total base bid of $38,682.50 plus a 2.5 percent increase in hourly rates for plumbers and helpers and a 7.7 percent increase in hourly rates for consulting and design services.

The elevator maintenance contract was renewed to Landmark Elevator of Hagerstown for an annual total price of $18,205.08, a 3 percent increase.

The electrician contract was renewed to Kube Electric of Williamsport, Md., with labor rates increasing about 2.5 percent. The new hourly rates are: electrician, $24.90 regular, $37.95 after-hours; helper, $15.35 regular, $24.60 after-hours; consulting and design, $46.

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