ANNAPOLIS — State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein says taxpayers are contributingto the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund at the same rate this year as at this point during last year's income tax filing season, despite the slow economy.
Carroll countians have contributed $9,414.71 to the fund through March 20. A total of 971 individuals have given an average of $9.70.
Statewide, 33,350 residents have donated $341,855.32 as of March 23, for an average of $10.20 per person. Last year, 32,809 state residents gave $333,619 in the same period.
EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES SET
MOUNT AIRY -- Town residents will celebrate Earth Day April 18 with a clean-up effort and fair.
From 9 a.m. to noon, residents will clean up parts of the town, plant seedlings and stencil environmental messages on drains, said Pam Brewer, chairperson of the Earth Day Committee.
Residents will clean the ditch in front of Watkins Park, parts of East West Park and near Little George's convenience store. Suggestions for other areas to spruce up are welcome, she said.
Mount Airy Cub Scout Troop 268 will help to plant 250 seedlings donated by the state in East West Park.
Volunteers from local service groups, including the Jaycees, will stencil "Don't Dump" and "Chesapeake Bay Drainage" on drains. Paint will be donated by the town and Council President R. Delaine Hobbs.
The Earth Day Fair will be from noon to 2 p.m. and will feature several speakers, Brewer said.
Speakers include Carroll Commissioner Julia W. Gouge and Frederick Commissioner David Gray. Town resident Tom Ogle, an environmental planner in Montgomery County, will speak on water conservation.
Two high school students active in environmental issues -- Heather Diez from South Carroll and Carie Neel of Liberty -- also will speak, Brewer said.
Several groups will have tables set up, including the Frederick County Civil Air Patrol, the Linganore Ecology Club, the Grass Roots Coalition for Environmental and Ecological Justice and Watkins Biodegradable Cleaning Supplies.
The town also will sign up residents who want to volunteer for various town activities throughout the year, she said.
TOWN PLANNERS TO MEET
MOUNT AIRY -- The town Planning and Zoning Commission has four items on the agenda for its meeting tomorrow.
* Review a site plan for the Mount Airy Community Center at Ridge Road and Park Avenue.
* Review a site plan for Mount Airy Auto Sales, a used car business off Route 144.
* Review a sketch plan for Accubid Excavation Inc., which wants to build office and maintenance buildings and an equipment storage lot in the Mount Airy Industrial Park.
The business would be the first to locate in the park. The site is adjacent to Twin RidgeElementary School, which is under construction in Frederick County.
* Review a site plan for Mount Airy Hamlet, an 18-lot residential development on 6.5 acres off North Main Street.
BOARD NIXES $4,000 FEE
The Carroll commissioners said Thursday they would not pay $4,000 to hire a consultant to assist the charter board in the drafting of a county charter.
The Carroll County Charter Board wants assistance in "technical expertise and support services" from the University of Maryland's Institute of Government Service. The cost is $4,000.
The nine-member board is working against aNovember deadline to draft a charter for countians to vote on. The charter would serve as a constitution for Carroll, replacing the existing commissioner form of government.
County Attorney Charles W. "Chuck" Thompson Jr. told the commissioners his staff could help in drafting a charter and with compiling an index. Thompson, however, said his office could not provide the research expertise of IGS.
The institute has assisted every Maryland county that has drafted a chartersince the mid-1960s, and provided free help to the Carroll group with its initial efforts to gather information.
"I can't justify turning down a tot lot and then spending money for a study just to speed up the process," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.
The commissioners have turned down requests for money for tot lots. The decision notto hire the consultant was reached by consensus, the commissioners said. They plan to take formal action during one of their regular meetings this week.
GOOD REVIEWS AT DSS
The state Department of Human Resources reported its quarterly performance review revealed that theCarroll County Department of Social Services exceeded the state average in most categories.
The review rates performance in management/administration, income maintenance, social service and child supportenforcement.
DSS Director Alexander Jones said the county office ranked first in the state in Aid to Families with Dependant Children compliance rate, the percentage of timely medical assistance closures, and timely budget and financial reports.