Carroll Digest

Carroll Digest

January 25, 2004

Finksburg council gives commissioners passing grades

For their first marking period, the Carroll County commissioners, who took office 13 months ago, won high marks from the Finksburg Planning Area Council, particularly in the areas of community relations.

The council, an unofficial panel that serves as a liaison between the community and the county, released its score card last week, reviving a practice it used with the previous commissioners, who frequently received failing grades. Council members gave the present board of commissioners A's in watershed protection, responsiveness to the council and parks, and B's or C's in most other areas.

The idea is to gauge how the commissioners are affecting Finksburg, an unincorporated community of about 17,000 residents who live along the Route 140 corridor, said Donald Hoffman, a former council chairman.

"In the past, the score card has been the subject of scorn, but it has been effective," Hoffman said. "We mean this as an objective review that we will share with the commissioners."

The commissioners have yet to see their score card. The only D they received was for the gateway entrance to the county along Route 140, the newest category among the 15 used in the rating system.

"The gateway to Finksburg is ugly," Hoffman said. "There has been nothing done about a `welcome' sign, and there are 19 billboards in a one-mile stretch."

In the library category, where the previous board failed, the commissioners scored a B-. After years of petitioning for a Finksburg branch, construction is set for a parcel of land along Old Westminster Pike. The $3.5 million project that will include a branch library and headquarters for the library system is expected to open in 2006, officials said.

County's bookmobile gets back in service

The Carroll County Public Library's bookmobile is back on the road after being out of service since mid-December.

The bookmobile's generator, which was replaced in June and is under warranty, was taken to an outside dealership for repair in last month and came back Jan. 9, said Everett "Chip" Purkins, chief of the county's Bureau of Fleet Management.

The bookmobile, a 1989 GMC van with about 140,000 miles on it, has undergone several repairs in the past couple years, including a rebuilt engine and transmission. Last year, the bookmobile was off the road for 43 days because of mechanical problems. In the meantime, library director Linda Mielke said she is continuing her efforts to get a new bookmobile.

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