Washington County briefs

April 01, 2012

Three public hearings planned for April 10

Washington County will have three public hearings on April 10: A morning hearing on school bus cameras, an afternoon hearing on water and sewer rates, and an evening hearing on the Economic Development Commission.

 At 10 a.m., the Board of County Commissioners will hear feedback from citizens about a proposed ordinance authorizing the use of cameras mounted on school buses to catch drivers who pass the busses illegally.

 At 1:30 p.m., the commissioners will accept comments on proposed increases to water and sewer rates and changes to the fees for delinquent water and sewer accounts. The rate hikes would increase the average county residential water and sewer customer’s bill by about 3 percent, or an additional $8.05 per quarter. The county is also proposing changes that would give customers who do not pay their water and sewer bills three notices and at least 42 days before shut-off, as opposed to four notices and at least 72 days now.

At 5:30 p.m., the commissioners will hear comments about proposed changes to the county’s Economic Development Ordinance, which governs the Hagerstown-Washington County EDC. The proposed revisions include a rule that would limit the 12-voting-member board to no more than three members who do not live in Washington County.

All three hearings will be in the commissioners’ meeting room, room 227, at the County Administration Building at 100 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.

More information is available at

Rezoning of urban growth area slated for vote

A comprehensive rezoning of Washington County’s Urban Growth Area is set to go to the Board of County Commissioners for a final vote on April 17 and, if approved, the changes would take effect July 1, commissioners agreed Tuesday.

The rezoning would make broad changes to zoning in the roughly 35,000-acre growth area around Hagerstown, Williamsport and Funks-town. The changes are meant to encourage growth near existing infrastructure while protecting rural areas, county Planning and Zoning Director Stephen Goodrich has said.

The commissioners also agreed that if a preliminary subdivision plat or a site plan is submitted to the county before July 1, the submitter would have the option to have it considered under the current zoning rules.

Those who wish their plans to be considered under the new zoning rules could begin the plan approval process before July 1, but approvals using the new zoning would not be granted until the rezoning takes effect, Goodrich said.

Vote to increase builders’ eligible units

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to increase the number of eligible units per builder under the county’s Residential Construction Stimulus Program.

The program, which runs through June 30, provides reductions in excise taxes and permit fees for new homes and additions. The program was limited to 12 homes or additions per builder, but the commissioners agreed Tuesday to increase that limit to 18 units per builder.

At least two builders already reached the 12-unit limit, County  Administrator Gregory B. Murray said.

Commissioners award landfill contract

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a roughly $1.3 million contract to C. William Hetzer Inc. for construction of a scale house and wheel-wash facility at the Forty West Landfill.

“The existing scale house is run down and we’ve discovered some mold issues,” environmental engineer Dave Mason told the commissioners.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to award the project, with Commissioners President Terry Baker opposed.

“We’ve survived this long without it; why can’t we survive a little longer?” Baker said of the project.

Hetzer’s bid was the lowest of four submitted.

The bids were:

  •  C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown —$1,297,944.50
  •  Building Systems Inc. of Hagerstown —$1,462,393
  •  DL George & Sons Construction of Winchester, Va. —$1,798,207.62
  •  Minghini’s General Contractors Inc. of Martinsburg, W.Va. —$2,057,970

Contract awarded for intersection upgrades

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a $159,834 contract to Huntzberry Brothers Inc. of Smithsburg, Md. for intersection improvements at the intersection of Cole Road and Massey Boulevard.

The project includes construction of a new right-turn lane from southbound Massey Boulevard onto westbound Cole Road, the lowering and extending of storm drain pipe, installation of concrete curb and sidewalk, road paving, and pedestrian crossing signal upgrades, Deputy Director of Public Works Robert Slocum said.

The project is being paid for by the developer of Crosspoint Shopping Center as part of an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance agreement, Slocum said.

The developer also paid for northbound right-turn lane improvements on Massey Boulevard at Halfway Boulevard that were completed as part of a recent county project at that intersection, he said.

The five-member board voted unanimously to award the contract to Huntzberry Brothers, the lowest of five bidders for the work.

The bids were:

  •  Huntzberry Brothers Inc. of Smithsburg —$159,834
  •  David H. Martin Excavating of Chambersburg, Pa. —$160,652.75
  •  C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown —$185,844.25
  •  L.W. Wolfe Enterprises Inc. of Myersville, Md. — $214,775.60
  •  Kinsley Construction of Hagerstown —$217,128.20

 — Heather Keels

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