The taxman cometh, and, last week, the taxman soldeth away.
In its annual auction of properties with unpaid county taxes, Carroll sold46 parcels with back taxes totaling $70,204 Friday morning, said Karen Fisher, the tax collections office supervisor. Ten people purchased the properties; Fisher declined to identify the buyers.
The number of properties sold always is much lower than the amount of properties whose taxes are delinquent; a month ago, 492 of the county's 47,138 properties had unpaid 1991 taxes. More than 100 properties were in tax arrears before 10 a.m. Friday, the time of the sale.
The number of properties sold last year also was 46; in 1989 26 properties were sold.
Carroll had faced its highest delinquency rate in years this year, officials said.
But its delinquency rate -- less than 1 percent of all property owned in the county had late taxes -- remains the lowest of the surrounding counties.
If a propertyis sold at tax auction, the owners who are late on their taxes have six months to pay the taxes plus 14 percent in penalties and late fees. If the taxes remain unpaid after six months, the new owner has a right to begin foreclosure proceedings.
Last year, two out of the 46 sold properties were foreclosed.
WATER RESTRICTIONS ON
The recent hot weather has caused a surge in water use here, and the Town Council wants to curb non-essential use over the next few weeks.
The council, during its regular meeting last week, called on residents to voluntarily stop watering their lawns.
Councilman John A. Riley reported that water use was up 30 percent this month. The town used 330,000 gallons of water over the last two weeks.
The council has not yet called on a ban on car washing.
Council members said they would monitor water usage for the next week. If consumption does not decrease, they said they would consider imposing mandatory water restrictions.
In other business, the council:
* Received a 50-page report from Police Chief Donald M. Myers outlining proposals for providing legal protection for the town and its police officers. The council might adopt the report at its meeting July 9.
* Directed the town's trash hauler not to take away dirt and stonesleft in curbside containers. The move, done in response to a letter asking about the matter, clarified the town's position to spend as little as possible in landfill tipping fees.
A meeting between the County Commissioners and a top official in the governor's cabinet was closed to the press and public lastweek.
When commissioners Donald I. Dell, Elmer C. Lippy Jr. and Julia W. Gouge traveled here to discuss jump-starting the county's $2 million, 1,200-acre Gillis Falls Reservoir project, they had expectedthe meeting to be open to the press.
However, less than an hour before the meeting with Gov. William Donald Schaefer's executive chiefof administration, the meeting was closed.
Through his secretary,Mark L. Wasserman told a Carroll County Sun reporter that the meeting was limited only to those who were invited earlier.
The commissioners said they were surprised by the closing. They also said the meeting made little progress toward getting the reservoir project any closer to state approval. The project has been on the county's books for more than 20 years.
Under state law, whenever a public body is meeting to discuss public business, it is supposed to be open to the public. However, a public body may close a meeting for 14 different reasons.
BOARD MEMBERS PICKED
Four countians have been appointed to the County Elections Board by Gov. William DonaldSchaefer.
Those appointed were Leo F. Kuhn, president; G. Melvin Mills Jr., vice president; Elmer L. Martin, member; and Florence H. Kersey, substitute.
The board meetings are open to the public the second Tuesday of the month in Suite 207 of the Winchester Building, 125 N. Court St., Westminster.
The Elections staff includes Rosemary L. McCloskey, chief clerk II; Pauline L. Kram, chief clerk I; DellaL. Dell and Gail A. Carter, registrars; Patricia C. Matsko, electionclerk; Elizabeth R. Griffin, clerk.
The elections office is open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays for residents to register to vote or make changes in their records.
Information: 857-2080 or 857-2081.
PLANNING MEETING SET
The Planning and Zoning Commission will hear from Landscape Planner Neil Ridgely on the county'slandscaping ordinance at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Town House, 7547 Main St.
The town is considering passing its own landscaping ordinance and wants to know more about the county's regulations.
Ridgely also will discuss the Forest Conservation Act with commission members.
The commission will hear a status report on theproposed county storm water management ordinance and fees from Kristin Barmoy, Bureau of Stormwater Management and Sediment Control.
County Planner Helen Spinelli will discuss the town's master plan and rural planning guidelines. The status of new appointments to the commission also will be discussed.
OFFICERS GIVE AWARD
The Maryland Law Enforcement Officers Inc., a professional non-profit organization, has awarded Carroll Community College $1,250 for scholarships during the 1991-1992 academic year.
The check was presented by John W. Spurrier, chairman of the MLEO scholarship committee, to Faye Pappalardo, director of Student Services, and Alan Schuman, interim executive director. Also at the presentation were F. Albert Petersam, past president and co-chairman of the scholarship committee and Joseph M. DeStefano, executive secretary and treasurer.
DeStefano said that MLEO, in fulfilling its goal of supporting law enforcement, presented its first scholarship in 1936, a year after the organization was established.
"Over the years, we have been fortunate to increase the amount and numbers of scholarships offered so that Carroll Community College is now one of 11 schools which we help," hesaid.
The scholarship is awarded to a county resident attending Carroll Community College. Applicants must be enrolled in a law enforcement curriculum or employed as law enforcement officers. They must be in good scholastic standing and in need of financial assistance.
Students attending CCC who may be interested in learning more about the MLEO scholarship or other educational opportunities available should contact Bob Koermer in the Student Services Office at 876-9600.
PARENT SUPPORT NEEDED
Parents Anonymous, an international self-helpgroup which supports parents to prevent them from abusing their children, is trying to reactivate a chapter in Carroll County.
The state chapter, based in Baltimore, has trained facilitators ready to start a group, said Dennis M. Cardiff, program coordinator for Parents Anonymous of Maryland.
Cardiff said the facilitators are local residents who would help parents who come to the meetings get started talking with each other.
"They are not therapists. We use a self-helpmodel," Cardiff said.
Also, Cardiff asked that the Community Services Council -- a coalition of human service professionals, educators, clergy and business -- act as an umbrella for a Carroll County Parents Anonymous group.
He said the council members can help by educating the public about the group, and letting human service workers know how to inform parents about the help.
The council agreed to getspace for parents to meet and alert professionals about how to referparents to the group.
In the meantime, Parents Anonymous of Maryland operates a statewide 24-hour hot line that accepts collect calls from parents who need immediate support. The number is (301) 243-7337.
AIR QUALITY ACCEPTABLE
Jenkins Professionals Inc. of Baltimore has found the air quality inside the county office building within acceptable standards, county Department of Public Works Director John T.Sterling told the County Commissioners on Tuesday.
The air was checked in response to employee complaints of odors in the basement andpoor air quality, Sterling said.
Jenkins recommended that the airintake grills be cleaned more often.
The air testing firm also said the air diffusers for the air conditioning system should be cleaned.
Sterling suggested lowering the building temperature from 78 to74 degrees in some areas of the building to control the humidity.
Employees with basement offices have complained about mold and papers sticking together, he said.
Sterling said he planned to follow the reports recommendations as soon as money becomes available. The county's new fiscal year begins tomorrow.
PLANNING LUNCHES KEPT
In light of mounting budget woes, the County Commissioners almost took away the planning commission's monthly luncheons.
Commissioners saidsince county-sponsored lunches are denied government employees, a volunteer commission should not be given that privilege.
However, county budget director Steven D. Powell explained that the five-member commission -- which meets in day-long sessions once a month to offer zoning and planning advice to the commissioners -- has been given free lunches since 1959.
Powell said he felt uncomfortable about stopping the tradition.
The commissioners agreed and restored the perkto the budget last week.
NEW MEMBER JOINS BOARD
V. Lanny Harchenhorn, a Westminster attorney, will join the Carroll County Public Library Board of Trustees at the monthly meeting in July.
Harchenhorn,who will replace former board president Frank Batavick, will represent New Windsor and Union Bridge.
Members are nominated by the current seven-member board and appointed by the County Commissioners. They are limited to two five-year terms.
In other library news, library Director Martha M. Makosky told board members that the Library Associates Training Program will be administered through Cooperating Libraries of Central Maryland next year.
The two-semester program -- paid for with federal Library Services and Construction Act money -- had been coordinated by various CLCM member libraries on a rotating basis.
Offered to public library employees who do not have a master's degree in library science, the classes discuss giving children's programs, suggesting books to patrons, using reference materials and other library skills.
"It gives (employees) exposure to what the profession is like," said Assistant Director Gail L. Griffith.
The program was developed to give public library employees who have only earned a bachelor's degree the 60 hours of extra training mandated by state law.
DATELINE: MOUNT AIRY
A pair of public hearings will be conducted tomorrow by the Town Council.
Before its regular monthly meeting, the five-member council will take publiccomment on a proposal to require builders to set aside recreation areas in new developments, and on proposed updates to the town's landscape manual.
The hearings begin at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, and the regular council meeting will follow.
During the regular meeting, the council will continue discussion on plans to assign a crossing guard to Mount Airy Elementary School, at the intersection of North MainStreet and Watersville Road.
The council also will consider street plans for the proposed Wildwood Park, a 31-home development on about 18 acres on Ridge Avenue.
The council will discuss proposed revisions in the town's home-occupation regulations, which govern the operation of businesses from homes in residential districts.
Two former City Council members were honored for their service Monday night, but one new member didn'tagree that the pair was all that deserving.
Former Council President Kenneth J. Hornberger, who stepped down in May after eight years on the council, and Samuel V. Greenholtz, who failed in his bid for asecond term in the May 13 elections, received certificates of appreciation.
First-term Councilman Mark S. Snyder, who also lost his seat in May, was to be cited, too, but was out of town on business.
However, Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein, who won her seat in May, took a chair in the audience -- a la Mayor W. Benjamin Brown -- untilthe presentations were completed.
Orenstein said she sat in the crowd to demonstrate her disapproval of several actions of the former council.
Also on Monday, the council tabled an ordinance to reviseits rules of operation and procedure.
Orenstein and Councilman Kenneth A. Yowan said they wanted more time to study the updated rules.They also wanted to delay action on the measure until Brown and Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr. returned from vacations.