Carroll Digest


December 17, 2004

Panel studying bypass to meet semi-monthly

Carroll County's blue ribbon panel charged with studying the need for a Westminster bypass has scheduled twice-monthly sessions through May.

Westminster Councilman Thomas K. Ferguson and C. Scott Stone, a member of the county Board of Education, will serve as co-chairmen of the 13-member panel.

"The commissioners appointed this panel to get to the tough, unresolved questions on whether we need a bypass, where it would be and what it might cost," said Steven C. Horn, county director of planning.

A bypass would give motorists an alternative to Route 140. At the next meeting Jan. 3, the panel will hear from the State Highway Administration about proposed improvements to Route 140 in Westminster and traffic volume today, as well as future projections.

County Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge stressed that the effort is a study with no preconceived notions.

"This is a study for discovery of facts and figures," she said.

County budget director to brief commissioners

Ted Zaleski, county director of management and budget, will brief the commissioners Tuesday on the budget process that begins early next year.

"There are a few good things and a long list of bad things," Zaleski said.

He has scheduled a Jan. 7 news conference to share the information with the public on possible shortfalls and potential cuts.

Some flu shots available, Carroll's health chief says

Larry L. Leitch, director of the Carroll County Health Department, said yesterday that a small number of flu shots are available for high-risk residents who could not make it to one of the recent clinics.

The shortage of vaccine will probably continue during the flu season next year, Leitch said. The national supply of vaccine was cut nearly in half after British officials suspended the license of Chiron Corp. in September. The California-based company, which manufactures the vaccine in Liverpool, England, had been expected to supply about 48 million doses to the U.S. market this year.

Carroll had purchased its supply from Aventis Pasteur, the French drug company that has become the only other supplier of flu vaccine to the United States.

"Local health officers have been able to smooth out the problems this year, but next year does not look to be any better," Leitch said.

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