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Washington Co. Commissioners approve wish list for upcoming General Assembly session

December 04, 2012|By KAUSTUV BASU | kaustuv.basu@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a list of items they want the county’s delegation to pursue in the Maryland General Assembly session early next year.

The commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the list that was previously discussed at an October meeting. Commissioner William B. McKinley was not present.

The legislative priorities include a request for permission to borrow $60 million in bond money to fund the county’s Capital Improvement Plan through 2018.

Other requests include appointing municipal law enforcement as special sheriff’s deputies so that they could better respond to emergencies and approval to grant special tax incentives to attract technology businesses.

The commissioners will meet with the Washington County delegation at a pre-legislative meeting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at the county administration building.

The commissioners also want to address the disparity grant, also referred to as the teachers retirement supplemental grant, that counties with per-capita income tax less than 75 percent of the state average can apply for. Washington County is not part of that grant program currently because the program was capped in 2010.

“The disparity grant, of course, is something that, last year, we also identified and tried to encourage the legislature to look at and did not succeed,” said Greg Murray, the county administrator.

Murray said that the money that the county could get from the grant would be “substantial” and could be used for specific items. According to a previous report, the county would have received $6.7 million in grant money if it had been eligible.

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