Government Digest

GOVERNMENT DIGEST

March 26, 2006

Tax bill doesn't clear House panel

A bill to lower Carroll County's Homestead Tax Credit by 2 percentage points to 5 percent has been voted down in the House Ways and Means Committee.

No action has been taken on a similar bill in the state Senate.

The county commissioners have criticized the proposed reduction because they had not included it in their five-year plan. They also said the lost revenue would have an adverse impact on long planned capital projects.

All proposals must cross over to the opposite legislative bodies by tomorrow or they will most likely die in committee. The General Assembly session ends April 10.

County extends library building lease

The county has extended by two years its lease for the library headquarters on Airport Drive in a business park just outside the Westminster city limits. Rent will remain at about $15,000 a month.

Within the next two years, the county expects to renovate the old New Windsor Middle School and move the library's administrative offices there. The interior of the 1935 building has been gutted and renovations will begin soon, officials said.

"We have a go-ahead with the budget to go with the school for library offices," said Ralph Green, director of the county Department of General Services.

The library headquarters originally had been planned adjacent to the new Finksburg Library, but the cost proved too high - $3 million, on top of the $4.9 million budget for the library project.

Job fair draws nearly 230 seekers

Nearly 230 job seekers and 20 employers participated in a recent job fair, sponsored by the county Department of Economic Development. About 70 percent of the participants were new to the county's training center, said Larry Twele, county economic development director.

Humane shelter cared for 5,275 animals in '05

The Carroll County Humane Society provided shelter last year to 5,275 animals, and 1,077 were adopted.

The organization returned 52 percent of the dogs in its temporary care to their owners but less than 2 percent of the cats. It is also posting pictures of sheltered animals on its Web site and sending daily e-mails with lists of potentially adoptable pets to more than 460 computers in county offices and libraries.

Volunteers sought to help clean pond

Bear Branch Nature Center volunteers will be cleaning the Westminster Community Pond, at Route 140 West and Route 97 North, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday .

The event is in support of Project Clean Stream, sponsored by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Volunteers are needed to help pick up litter, and prizes will be awarded throughout the day.

Contact Brian Campbell or Kim Dixon at Bear Branch Nature Center for more information. To register for the event, call 410-848-2517 or e-mail bbnc@ carr.org.

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