Carroll Digest

CARROLL COUNTY DIGEST

December 15, 2004

Public hearing on water bill adjustment rule change gets OK

Carroll County commissioners have authorized a public hearing on a change to the county's water and sewer ordinance that would make it easier for bills to be adjusted when a leak is being repaired.

Yesterday, the commissioners agreed with former comptroller Eugene Curfman's recommendation that his office be given more discretion in adjusting more than one bill at a time. The current legislation allows only one bill to be adjusted when problems arise, which can lead to billing issues because another cycle will have occurred by the time the problem is fixed.

A public hearing will likely occur early next year, county officials said.

Md., shelter grant give county $38,000 in funds

The Carroll County Commission accepted nearly $38,000 in grants yesterday from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The Emergency Shelter Grant money will go toward supporting the county's human services programs, such as the Intact Family Shelter and homeless prevention.

The county had asked for $50,000, the maximum allowed under the grant.

The county and Westminster are supplying nearly $77,000 in matching funds to the program for a total of about $115,000.

$30,000 grant awarded for Carroll hiking trail

The Maryland Department of Transportation has awarded $30,000 to Carroll County to help pay for the development of a hiking trail in Gillis Falls Park.

County commissioners signed the award yesterday to provide the Department of Recreation and Parks with a supplement to the project, to which about $680,000 in capital funding is already dedicated.

Commission redistricting panel rule clarified

An assistant state attorney general has ruled that Carroll commissioners must follow the recommendations of the Democratic and Republican central committees in nominating a panel to draw the five new commissioner districts.

Voters recently opted for a five-member commissioner board to be elected in 2006 by district. Commissioners have to appoint a seven-member panel to draw the new districts and had asked if it would be possible for the two parties' central committees to submit more than the three names each required by legislation.

Assistant Attorney General William R. Varga wrote that the commissioners need to adhere to the limitations of the legislation. The seventh member of the board will be from the county's Board of Elections.

Hampstead plan adopted; roofing contracts approved

The county commissioners adopted the Hampstead Community Comprehensive Plan yesterday, a document that county planners called a milestone for its community input and cooperation between the town and county.

"This is the first plan that went all the way through the standardized process and recognized the unique needs of the community," said Brenda Dinne, bureau chief for comprehensive planning for the county.

The commissioners also approved construction projects to contractors who will replace roofs on two county buildings.

The board awarded a $54,108 contract to Cole Roofing Co. of Baltimore for a new roof at the Fireman's Training Center on Route 32 in Westminster. The company offered the lowest of six bids.

Ron Roofing Co. of Baltimore will restore the roof of the Extension Service Building at the Agricultural Center in Westminster for $46,270, the lowest of five bids.

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