Carroll takes steps to educate employees about anthrax, handling suspicious mail

October 19, 2001|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll's Office of Risk Management has circulated to all employees a list of precautions after anthrax incidents in Washington, New York and Florida.

"We are working closely with the Maryland State Police and have put out a general alert on what to look for," Steven D. Powell, Carroll's risk management director, said in a meeting with Carroll commissioners yesterday. "We don't want to overreact. This is just information."

The directive, which describes what to do with suspicious packages or mail, went to employees Wednesday and to Carroll County Farm Museum, a popular tourist destination. Those who work the front desks in county buildings also received a short briefing.

"We are not a likely target, but we need to keep everyone aware," Powell said. "There has been no confirmed anthrax in the state of Maryland."

Powell, who is also Carroll's director of management and budget, said his duties as risk manager, including supervising the county mailroom, recently have overtaken his workday.

"It is important that you stay on top of your fiscal responsibilities," Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier told him.

The commissioners also met with Gamber residents concerned about safety on county roads.

Klees Mill Road residents asked for stop signs, speed traps and limited access to trucks on the road, which runs from Route 32 near Gamber to Route 26 near Eldersburg. They also want a uniform speed limit - 25 mph - along the entire road.

"This is a dangerous road, and we are pleading with you to be more aggressive," said Cindy Nance, who delivered letters with similar requests from 25 of her neighbors. "The speed limit is our No. 1 priority. We also would like you to get the heavy trucks off our road."

Chris Watson said speeders make mowing the lawn or walking children to the bus stop dangerous.

"We have cars through our yards, sideswipes to our vehicles," Dan Summerhill said. "We can't walk or ride a bike. Deer are struck constantly, and so are our pets."

The commissioners promised the residents a timely response - probably within a month - to their complaints. Frazier said she would like to ride with the county traffic planner to get a better understanding of the problem.

Nancy Hastings of Louisville Road suggested lowering speed limits throughout the county and made a reference to the county's character program, which asks Carroll employees to focus on building admirable traits, such as honesty and integrity.

"I am not trying to be flippant," she said of her request. "Everyone needs to slow down a little. Not only does character count, but so does quality of life."

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