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NEWS
By TARA REILLY | March 11, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY - Two Washington County building-related taxes are estimated to generate $18.6 million in revenue for school, library, road and other construction projects. The county budgeted $18.59 million in excise and transfer tax revenue to pay for some of the $83.1 million in construction projects listed in the proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for fiscal year 2007. Fiscal year 2007 begins July 1. The revenue is about $3 million more than the county budgeted for the current fiscal year, which is fiscal year 2006.
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NEWS
by TARA REILLY | February 22, 2006
tarar@herald-mail.com The director of the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon has asked the state to close 2.8 miles of Spielman Road during the annual event, citing concerns about the safety of the participants. Race director Mike Spinnler told the Washington County Commissioners Tuesday that participants have had several "close calls" over the last two years on Spielman Road (Md. 63), such as people being hit by the mirrors of passing vehicles. He asked the state to close Md. 63 south between Md. 68 and Dam No. 4 Road from noon to 7 p.m. the day of the ultramarathon.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER and TARA REILLY | February 9, 2006
ANNAPOLIS tammyb@herald-mail.com tarar@herald-mail.com In response to an outpouring of complaints from residents about soaring property taxes, Washington County legislators voted unanimously Wednesday morning to draft legislation to lower the county's property assessment cap from 10 percent to 5 percent. Washington County's cap is one of the highest in the state. By comparison, Anne Arundel County's cap is 2 percent, Carroll County's is 7 percent, Prince George's County's is 3 percent and Garrett County's is 5 percent.
NEWS
by ANDREW SCHOTZ | February 8, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY andrews@herald-mail.com With a rising surplus and declining debt, a growing Washington County has kept its finances strong, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Tuesday morning in a State of the County address. Snook recalled his first address, in 1995, when the county had no cash reserve. More than a decade later, the county expects to fully fund its reserve goal of $28 million, he said. Last year, Washington County earned its first-ever AA bond rating, a measure of high credit quality.
NEWS
by KAREN HANNA | February 1, 2006
Representatives from Sharpsburg and Keedysville raised concerns Tuesday about roads and sewer capacity during the towns' annual tax setoff meeting with Washington County Commissioners. Keedysville received $2,970 in tax setoff money, while Sharpsburg received $4,258. The amounts, which are calculated based on population, assessable tax base and taxable income, partially reimburse municipalities for police, parks and roads services. Bob Markle, a Keedysville Ruritan member, told the commissioners he is concerned about the conditions of some area roads, and he asked what could be done about rubble from a demolished hotel near Taylor Park.
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | January 26, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY tarar@herald-mail.com Frustrated by what he says is a lack of support by the majority of the Washington County Commissioners to cut property taxes, Commissioner John C. Munson said Wednesday he wants taxpayers to start speaking their minds. Munson said in a phone interview that he thinks the commissioners should reduce property taxes, a move he believes would be supported by taxpayers. But he didn't think he had the three votes needed by the five-member board of commissioners to support a tax cut. "So what's the answer?"
NEWS
by TARA REILLY | January 4, 2006
WASHINGTON COUNTY tarar@herald-mail.com School construction projects and keeping roads in shape likely will top this year's list of priorities for Washington County. County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook and Commissioner John C. Munson said Monday the county plans to stay on track with its pavement management program, part of a plan to spend $5 million a year for the next five years on road improvements. Munson said the county has a computerized system in place which tracks the condition of roads and determines the order in which they need to be fixed.
NEWS
by ERIN CUNNINGHAM | December 5, 2005
WASHINGTON COUNTY erinc@herald-mail.com After reading a Nov. 27 story in The Herald-Mail about the county's interim emergency evacuation plan, Washington County Commissioner Doris J. Nipps said it was clear a review of the document was needed. "It does look like we have some serious work that needs to be done," she said. The commissioners have not reviewed the county's 49-page interim evacuation plan but plan to do so within the year after the plan is critiqued by other groups.
NEWS
By TARA REILLY | October 26, 2005
tarar@herald-mail.com Washington County's public works director on Tuesday asked that a management position in the Highway Department be restored, but the County Commissioners didn't show much interest. Public Works Director Gary Rohrer proposed that the Highway Department deputy director post, which has been vacant for the last five years, be filled at an annual salary of $60,000. He said the position has been vacant because of funding constraints. According to a written statement from Rohrer to the commissioners, the department is now in a "strong financial position" to support the position.
NEWS
by TAMELA BAKER | October 18, 2005
WASHINGTON COUNTY tammyb@herald-mail.com It's been a bumpy ride, but plans for a new Washington County Hospital off Robinwood Drive could clear another hurdle if Hagerstown officials approve a proposal to provide sewer capacity for the building. Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook wrote to the Hagerstown mayor and City Council last week asking them for a flow transfer agreement that would allow the city 150,000 gallons per day of sewer capacity at the county's Conococheague Wastewater Treatment Plant in return for granting a new hospital the same amount of capacity in the city's system.
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