WASHINGTON — Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, has introduced legislation to permit federal employees diagnosed with terminal illness to be given the option of collecting their lump sum annuity.
As part of the budget package passed last October, Congress elected to suspend the lump sum annuity option for five years, beginning December 1990. A provision to the act allowed terminally ill employees to collect the lump sum, provided the employee met the age and service requirements forfull-service retirement.
Byron's bill will allow terminally ill federal employees who havehad to retire from service without meeting the age and service requirements for the lump sum annuity to be given the option to collect their full annuity in two equal payments.
"For a terminally ill employee who is not retirement age, the exception to the lump sum suspension Congress passed last year is of no value," Byron said. "The employee has accrued benefits during his employment, but because of the full-service requirement, he cannot collect them at a time he needs them most."
The Office of Personnel Management estimates that from 1988 to 1989, about 400 federal employees filing for retirement disability died within the two-year period.
A terminal illness is definedas a medically confirmed prognosis in which life expectancy is 18 months or less.
LIBRARY TO RECEIVE MONEY
Carroll County's public library expects to receive money to build up its collection of health reference books.
The money -- to be provided through the federal Library Services and Construction Act -- will allow board members to purchase the state's recommended core collection of health-related materials as part of the Health Information Project.
"This will allow us to buy materials we might not have been able to afford," said Gail Griffith, the library's assistant director.
Martha M. Makosky, library director, said the money should allow them to complete the collection for each of the county's five library branches.
In other library news:
* Board members approved the purchase of an automated check-signer.
Previously, members had to sign each check individually, including those for payroll.
* Board member Mary Lou Dewey reported on the Maryland Library Trustees meeting, which addressed "Ethnic Sensitivity, Intellectual Freedom and the Public Libraries."
CITY SPLITS IN TWO
WESTMINSTER -- On July 1, the Westminster postal area will add a 21158 ZIP code, splitting 21157 in two.
This new ZIP code will replace 21157 northwest of Bachman Valley Road and Route 31to accommodate the growth in that area.
About 5,000 residences will be affected.
This addition marks the first split for the area.
Change of address cards are available at the Westminster Post Office, 83 E. Main St. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
Business customers who regularlysend mail to that area are being notified.
Mail will be forwardedto the new ZIP code until July 1, 1992. The Postal Service urges customers to begin using the new ZIP code now.
The change will not affect mail delivery. While carriers are adjusting to new routes, however, customers may receive daily mail earlier or later than usual times.
Information: 876-2944 or 848-4780.
school and park system and the cost of building new facilities.
FEE REVIEW DEBATED
The County Commissioners will consider hiring a consulting firm to evaluat the development impact fees passed in 1989.
The study would cost $31,850, or $35,650 if citizens committee convenes as part of the reviewprocess, said Eugene C. Curfman, director of the Department of Finance.
The money would come from the impact fee fund, Curfman said.
The current impact fee, charged to developers upon receiving a building permit, is $2,700 per single-family home, except in South Carroll, where it is $3,500. The fees are to help finance construction of new schools and parks needed to accommodate growth. The fee is higher in South Carroll to pay for water supply development.
The consultant, Tischler & Associates Inc. of Montgomery County, which did the original study, would evaluate how effective the fees have been and whether they should be changed to accomplish intended goals.
The consultant originally determined that the county could charge a fee as high as $9,800 for single-family homes, based on a formula used to calculate the impact of one new home on the school and park system and the cost of building new facilities.
Developers generally pass on the costs to homebuyers.
Yielding to pressure from developers and citizens who feared the fees would cause home prices to skyrocket, the commissioners passed a considerably lower fee.
Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy Jr. said he is concerned about financing another review.
"We spend the money, get the advice, then we don't take it," he said."Then we spend more precious time arguing over which study is better."