WESTMINSTER — The city has placed a public recycling bin in the parking lot of theMaryland Jaycees/Little People's Place Child Development Center, 602Johahn Drive, adjacent to the Westminster Municipal Jaycee Park.
The white recycling bin is available to the public on a full-time basis. Acceptable items for recycling are cans (aluminum and bi-metal), brown, green and clear glass bottles, plastic bottles (milk, soda anddetergent).
The recycling bin will not accept newspapers. Residents who wish to recycle newspapers should take them to the Carroll County Recycling Center, Route 97 near the airport, or drop them off at the City Maintenance Shop, 105 Railroad Ave., between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month.
The city asks that residents place recycled materials in the proper compartment of the recycling bin and noton the ground in front of the bin. The recycling bin will be emptiedas needed. Residents are asked to help keep the area around the bin clean.
INMATES MIGHT WORK
WESTMINSTER -- The Carroll Commissionersare working with the Sheriff's Department and the Detention Center warden to develop a program that would allow inmates to do jobs for the county.
The inmates, who would be supervised by guards, could be assigned to tasks such as washing county vehicles, working at the recycling center, cleaning up stream beds at parks and painting interiors of county buildings.
However, commissioners said they are uncertain whether such a program would save money for the county and expressed concerns about safety issues.
TOWN SWEARS IN COUNCIL
SYKESVILLE -- The Town Council will have a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Town House, 7547 Main St., to swear in the three new council members and introduce the budget.
Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. willswear in Jonathan Herman, Walter R. White and William R. Hall Jr. The council then will elect a president and Helt will make department assignments.
The new council will vote on an introduction from Heltfor the budget. Other matters that have been deferred at recent meetings also will be discussed.
The meeting is open to the public.
PLEASE CUT THOSE WEEDS
WESTMINSTER -- During hot weather, accumulated trash, stagnant water, tall grass and overgrown weeds become a breeding ground for potentially harmful ticks and rodents.
County residents are required by law to keep their property free of such hazards.
Following a resident's complaint, the Carroll Health Department will visit the site to determine if it "constitutes a nuisance or menace to the public health or safety."
When such determination is made, the property owner is notified in writing and given 15 days to abate the hazard. If the offender does not comply, the county is authorized to remove the nuisance and "reasonable cost of the removal shallbe assessed against the property as a special tax." This assessment will be added to the owner's annual property tax bill.
A property owner having such an assessment may petition the County Commissionersfor relief. A hearing will be conducted within 30 days to determine reasonableness.
Grass and/or weeds not for human or animal consumption and exceeding 6 inches are considered to be a possible health hazard.
ARE YOU OWED REFUNDS?
ANNAPOLIS --The Maryland State Comptroller's Office is looking for 15,000 Marylanders it owes some $50 million, including several Carroll countians.
Heather C. Daniel, Catherine P. Morse and Dee C. Roush, all of Carroll County, are among those who have unclaimed funds on the comptroller's records.
"These unclaimed funds include bank accounts, abandoned wages, contents of safe deposit boxes and other items that we safeguard while trying to locate the rightful owners," said Louis L. Goldstein, comptroller.
He urges citizens to contact the comptroller's branch office in Westminster to find out if they are the rightful owners of any unclaimed funds, which can be checked out by computer.
The comptroller noted that if there is no activity on a bank account for a period of five years, the financial institution must report it to his office.
"That's why it's important to make a minimal deposit or withdrawal to each account you have at least once a year," Goldstein said.
If the funds remain unclaimed after efforts to locate the individual through mail and advertising, the money is transferred to the state.
"However, that doesn't mean the money is lost to its rightful owners," Goldstein said. "Under Maryland's custodial law, the rightful owner or legitimate heir can claim the funds at any time in the future."
The comptroller's branch office in Carroll County is at 12 Westminster Shopping Center, Route 140 and Englar Road.
Information: 848-4699 or 848-4779.
REACTION TO ABUSE LAW
WESTMINSTER -- Some county domestic-violence counselors are skeptical of a law signed by the governor last week that allows evidence of "batteredspouse syndrome" to be used in court.
The chief complaint about the law is that it adds nothing new to the defense of women accused ofkilling their abusive partners.
"The biggest problem with it is that it uses the word 'may' not the word 'will,' " said Angela Lee, founder of Carroll's Unity Group for battered women. "Before the new law was signed, judges were allowed to admit the evidence into the court record if they wanted to."
The new law also leaves the decision of whether to allow testimony about the syndrome up to the presiding judge.
"They still don't have to allow it," said Lee.
The bill allows women charged with killing or assaulting their husbands or mates to testify about the physical and psychological abuse they suffered. The testimony can be used to explain a defendant's motive or stateof mind.
Advocates of the bill argued it was needed because many judges would not allow testimony about past abuse.
Some opponentslabeled the new law a "license to kill."
In signing the law, Gov.William Donald Schaefer said it will "allow women to tell their sideof the story."
LHS WINS PROM CONTEST
ELDERSBURG -- With the participation of 91 percent of its prom-going students, Liberty High School led the state in Operation Prom.
Fox 45 Television in Baltimore sponsored the contest, encouraging high school students to pledge against drinking and driving.
South Carroll, with 80 percent participation, took second place in the county.
The TV station will award $1,000 to the first-place winner in each county and in Baltimore Cityat the Hyatt Regency Hotel Monday.
"We made the project a big deal and pushed it every day before the prom on May 4," said Helen Derwin, faculty coordinator at Liberty.
NEW COUNCIL CONVENES
WESTMINSTER -- The new City Council will adjourn tomorrow night during a special meeting at City Hall, and plenty of business will await.
In lastweek's election, Samuel V. Greenholtz and Mark S. Snyder were removed from the council after serving one four-year term each. Also, Council President Kenneth J. Hornberger leaves the council, stepping down after eight years.
The three are being replaced by Stephen R. Chapin Sr., Rebecca A. Orenstein and former councilman Kenneth A. Yowan.
The council will take up the property-tax rate the former council passed last week. The council approved renewal of the current rate of91 cents per $100 of assessable value.
Councilman William F. Haifley said Friday a revised tax-rate ordinance was in the works, but would not say what rate would be proposed.
Reviewing the tax rate may be the first step the new council takes toward reconsidering the $5.3 million budget for the coming fiscal year that also was passed last week.
All three new council members said they think a lower tax rate is in order. Mayor W. Benjamin Brown joined the new members in calling for lowering the tax rate, and proposed a 21-cent decrease.
During the campaign, Chapin, Orenstein and Yowan criticized the council because it included in the budget $1.3 million for new office space for city government before a consultant's $35,000 study of space needs was released.
A drop in the tax rate would likely come from budget allocation for the additional office space.
The council must settle on a tax rate by May 30, and pass a budget before the fiscalyear begins on July 1.
Also tomorrow, the council will select a new president. All indications last week pointed to Haifley succeedingHornberger.
Haifley worked last week to drum up support among council members, and all three new members said they would welcome Haifley as the new president.
The council also will tend to the task ofconsidering mayoral appointments of members to council standing committees -- such as finance, public works and public safety -- and a variety of other boards.
The infighting the marked the relationship between Brown and the former council during the past year began during deliberations over committee appointments.
The meeting begins at7:30 p.m.
BUDGET, ANNEXATION UP
HAMPSTEAD -- The Town Council will see a second draft of the 1991-1992 budget proposal and decide whether to support annexing 21.7 acres of agriculturally zoned land at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall.
Councilmen have seen the budget once before at a workshop last month.
The bottom line of the budget is now at $577,793 in projected revenue and expenses.
As it stands, the budget would require no change in the 58-cent tax rate, said John A. Riley, town manager.
However, water costs will go up, and residents could see their tax bills rise because of increased property values.
The annexation request comes from Thomas Matthews for land along Shiloh Road, next to the Widerman property which was annexed last year. The town is currently considering a requestby developers to put 290 homes on the Widerman property, which always had been zoned residential.
Both the Widerman annexation and a more recent annexation of industrially zoned land just south of the town went through with few problems.
However, Riley said the annexation of agricultural land may raise more questions, because the intention will be to develop it for residential use.
New Mayor C. Clinton Becker, elected Tuesday, has said that although he supports annexing residential and industrial land, he believes agricultural land should be preserved for that use.
After a few months of redefining their role to be a comprehensive citizen panel to reduce waste, members of the Recycling Committee are dividing up the community for an education campaign.
At the committee's meeting Wednesday, Chairman James L. Thomas of Taneytown divided up among the members areas such as residences, local government, institutions and colleges, business, industry and farming.
The members will survey people in each of those areas to find out what kind of support they need to recycle or reduce waste, as well as what they already may be doing.
The committee also was concerned about how a proposal to reorganize county departments might affect its work.
County Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy attended the meeting telling members he wanted their feedback. He explained the proposal to move recycling from the Department of Environmental Resource Protection to a new Department of General Services.
Lippy said the intention of the move was to get the county moving on the logistics of a recycling plan.
Members of the committee, however, questioned the rationale of separating recycling from solid waste, which would be in the Department of Public Works, and from environmental protection, which would be downgraded to an office instead of a department.
Lippy said he also had reservations, and that the changes aren't firm yet.
BROWN GUNK IS ALGAE
UNION MILLS -- The layer of brown gunk found on Big Pipe Creek here turned out to be a "bloom" -- or massive growth -- of algae, said Charles Zeleski, assistant director of the Bureau of Environmental Health in the Carroll County Health Department.
A resident called the departmentafter he found the brown film on the creek. Sanitarians went to the creek and got water samples and looked for possible sources, Zeleski said. The department also notified state agencies of the investigation.
The resident who complained had suspected the brown film was agricultural runoff, such as manure, Zeleski said. Sanitarians were skeptical, but could not rule out the possibility without testing, he said.
Testing showed the film was nothing more than algae, includingdiatoms -- microscopic organisms that serve as a source of food for marine life, he said. The growth is not toxic and presents no danger to the Monocacy watershed in which it lies, he said.
"Algae bloomsare not uncommon," Zeleski said. "It did not cause a fish kill. Water minnows and water snakes are still there. So it's just one of thosethings that occurs from time to time."
He said the algae will be allowed to wash downstream naturally.
ELDERSBURG-- Eldersburg Elementary Principal Richard Hanson, citing differences with educators at the regional and state level, has announced his retirement, effective June 30.
Hanson, 46, began his career in education 25 years ago, as an elementary teacher in the Baltimore County school system. After teaching fourth and fifth grade for four years, he joined the Carroll school system.
He has been working for Carroll schools for 21 years.
"As I've gotten older, I've developed some differences with the school system, locally and at the state level," he said. "I guess I'd rather become part of the solution than part of the problem."
He would not elaborate.
The Westminster resident said he will pursue his interests in building furniture and doing custom woodwork. He and his wife, Juanita, operate the Hanson House of Gifts and Reproduction Furniture at their home.
Hanson came to Carroll as vice president of Eldersburg Elementary. He was an elementary supervisor for five years and served as principal at Robert Moton Elementary for 10 years.
"It's been a wonderful career," Hanson said. "The Eldersburg staff is just wonderful. I've been fortunate. I've put in 25 good years, and I feel real good about all that I've done."
He has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Frostburg State University, Frostburg, and a master's degree in supervision and administration from Loyola University. He also has done postgraduate work at Loyola and Western Maryland College.
He and his wife have two children, Richard Jr., 21, a brick mason, and Tonia, 24, owner of an animal grooming service.
IMPASSE TO BE MEDIATED
State Superintendent Joseph L. Shilling has declared an impasse in contract talks between the Carroll school board and the association representing clerical and secretarial workers.
William H. Hyde, assistant superintendent of administration, said a date has not been set for a mediation hearing with the American Arbitration Association. He said both side have to agree on an arbitrator and a date.
The board and the Carroll Association of School Employees, which represents about 200clerical and secretarial workers, assistants and licensed practical nurses, declared an impasse earlier this month after failing to agreeon proposed changes to the district's sick-leave policy.
CASE wanted the district to change its policy to allow workers to use sick-leave days to care for family members outside of the home. Workers may now take four sick-leave days each year to care for family members athome.
The board declined to accept the association's proposal butoffered to add an additional sick-leave day, which was rejected by CASE.
The state superintendent also has declared an impasse betweenthe Carroll board and the Carroll County Education Association, which represents about 1,300 teachers. A hearing with an arbitrator has been set for May 30.
CCEA and the board failed to reach agreement on several non-wage issues.
SPRINKLER MEETING SET
TANEYTOWN -- The City Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow to discuss possible revisions to the city's sprinkler ordinance, which some believe has posedhardship for businesses and residents.
The council adopted the ordinance as a safety measure aimed at protecting lives and property. Under the ordinance, sprinkler systems must be installed in all new construction, including commercial buildings, town homes and duplexes. Single-family homes are exempt.
Councilman Thomas J. Denike, afterresearching similar ordinances in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, said the council, which has been reviewing the ordinance for weeks, must "really analyze what we're doing and where we want to go."
He said Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, looks at whether sprinkler systems should be installed in new construction on a case-by-case basis.
Taneytown's ordinance is "unrealistic, too prohibitive and too restrictive." It limits commercial growth, particularly renovations, he said, noting that the city's priority should be to protect lives without hindering growth.
In addition, Denike said, there are several myths concerning sprinkler systems, such as that they increasecommercial and residential insurance premiums.
The meeting will take place at the city office, East Baltimore Street.
AIRPORT GRANT ANNOUNCED
The Federal Aviation Administration gave a $1.1 million grant to the Carroll County Regional Airport, Representative Beverly B.Byron, D-6th, said Friday.
The money will be used to purchase 65 acres as a buffer to protect the landing approach and to mitigate noise, said Byron.
The congresswoman joined the County Commissioners and Maryland's two U.S. senators in securing $2.8 million in FAA grants last year toward the Westminster airport's development and expansion.
"In April, the agency said it would accelerate expansion of the Carroll airport, and I would have to say these dollars are proof that is what will happen," she said.
The county plans to expand the runway to 4,400 feet, and later to 5,100 feet, so that the airport will be able to accommodate corporate aircraft. Plans are also in the works to upgrade equipment and modernize the airport, which could become a feeder to Baltimore and Washington airports.
Airport expansion has been identified as a key component of the county's efforts to attract industry and enlarge its tax base.
YOUTH SERVICES CUT
State budget cuts have left the county's Youth Services Bureau with a $32,000 shortfall heading into fiscal 1992, which could mean the elimination of services to three schools and 40 families, said agency Director George Giese.
The cut could force the elimination of one counselor, who assists youths with substance abuse, school or family problems, or who are considered to be "at risk."
"You'll have to tell mewhich children won't receive services," Giese told the commissioners.
Department of Management and Budget Director Steven D. Powell said the bureau's request for additional county money will be discussedat final budget talks over the next 10 days.
BOARD FOR HOMELESS
The County Commissioners will consider appointing a board to coordinate programs for the homeless to ensure that Carroll continues to qualify for state grants for homeless shelter projects.
The county has received state grants for its homeless shelters for women and families. But future contributions could be withheld if the commissioners don't appoint a "homeless board," which must include members who have experienced homelessness, said Steven D. Powell, director of the Department of Management and Budget.
The state housing department has established specific requirements for such a board and has recommendedprospective appointees to the commissioners. They include representatives from the health department, police, civic groups and government.