County offices to reopen today after mail scare

Crystals cause closure of mailroom, tax room

October 24, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The mailroom at the Carroll County Office Building will reopen today and the tax office will be open for business, although its location might be moved temporarily within the building, county officials said yesterday.

The two rooms were closed Monday afternoon and all day yesterday after an envelope in the tax office spilled "a white crystal-type substance," according to Westminster police, who handled the matter with the county's hazardous-materials unit. The person who mailed the envelope was contacted and the matter appeared to be resolved, but the Maryland Department of the Environment and the FBI were consulted and the substance will be tested.

The mailroom will be open as will the tax office, but its functions might be moved, said county spokeswoman Jennifer Ruppert. That wasn't to be decided until this morning.

Yesterday, the county commissioners held a hastily scheduled closed meeting to discuss safeguards for employees and the mail.

"We are working for coordination of effort and cooperation," said Commissioner Donald I. Dell.

The county plans to send staff members to a National Association of Counties Homeland Security Task Force meeting Friday in Washington. The group was created Sept. 27 by NACo to provide a link between counties and federal agencies.

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