County briefs 3/6/15

(March 6, 2015) The Worcester County Commissioners discussed the following issues during their meeting last week.

Eco development MOU

The Worcester County Commissioners approved a plan for a continued partnership between their own Economic Development Department and the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation to front the county money to cover administrative costs.

Video lottery VOLT funds are used to bring $1 million in low interest loans to Worcester businesses. Attached to that funding is about $17,000 to cover administrative costs, in this case a part-time employee.

The state has been slow to disperse promised monies, and the agreement between Worcester and AAEDC would allow the County to bridge the gap to continue funding for the position.

Partnership renewed

The commissioners voted to continue a plan to provide half the cost of swim lessons through the Department of Recreation and Parks to participants who qualify for financial assistance.

The Worcester SWIM fund would contribute $9 of the $18 required to enroll to those who qualify.

Schools pursue 200K

The commissioners approved a request by the Worcester County school system as a pass-through before it applies to the State Board of Education for technology infrastructure.

This money would be nonrecurring, and so not included in maintenance of effort calculations.

Medical director

Each Emergency Management Services jurisdiction is required by the entity that oversees it, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services System, to have a signed agreement between the County and a local doctor to serve as medical director in the event of a disaster.

This agreement is to be renewed every five years. Dr. Todd has been serving the county in this capacity for the past five years, and the commissioners reappointed him for another five years.

Pave or save surplus?

The commissioners voted 5-2 to spend approximately $97,000 in surplus funds to pave Cherrix Road and Purnell Crossing Road, rather than saving it for later.

The roads are classified as those in most need of repaving, and would have been next in line if put off another year. Blacktop bids came in under budget, explaining the excess funds.

Commissioners Chip Bertino and Jim Bunting voted against spending the surplus.

Snow Hill High tour

With the completion of Phase I at the renovated Snow Hill High School, the county commissioners took a tour of the facilities following their regular Tuesday meeting.

County considers TV

The county is proceeding with plans to record and broadcast county commissioner meetings, but no system has been identified or put out to bid.

County employees are also looking to replicate a version of the notification system in use in Ocean City, where a lighted panel will alert the board president when someone wants to speak.

This would be as opposed to the “raised hands” system, which members admit is an imperfect solution.

Kelly Shannahan, assistant county administrator, said county employees could have a working system installed for a few hundred dollars.

Maintenance of effort

Worcester Schools determined, through a formula determined by the state, it would need an additional $145,613 to maintain the same level of service per pupil.

Enrollment figures, not including Pre-K, part-time and non-resident students, will grow by 12 in fiscal 2016.

The schools noted in their report “funding at this level would not allow the school system to maintain current programs, provide employee salary increases or increase resources for technology.”

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