Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews returned to their regular assignments last week after spending up to nine days assisting with repairs to electric systems in eastern Massachusetts heavily damaged by Hurricane Bob.
Bruce Hirsch and Jim Lindner, general supervisors who led the BG & E teams, said service was restored to thousands of homesand businesses in northern and east central areas of the state, as well as Cape Cod.
The BG & E contingent of 108 volunteers in 52 vehicles left the Baltimore area in two separate groups Aug. 20 and 22. Organized into 35 crews, they comprised a cross-section of job descriptions: line mechanics, construction specialists, designers, radio technicians, vehicle mechanics and support personnel.
Included in the group were 12 residents of Carroll County:
* New Windsor: Walter Hunt.
* Millers: Wayne Yelton.
* Sykesville: Gregory Dash.
* Woodbine: Edwin R. Gable and Todd Grimes.
* Westminster: Gordon Johnson, Marc Haines, Franklin Bosley, Henry Harbaugh, Thomas Konsen, Russell Foglesong and Rick Stietel.
The group's equipment consisted of 35 construction vehicles and a mobile command center. Replacement materials were supplied by the host utilities, Commonwealth Electric Co. and Massachusetts Electric Co.
The workers returned as a single convoy Aug.28 to BG & E service centers in Baltimore city and county, and Harford, Carroll, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. At work and in transit, they spent more than 15,000 hours completing their assigned tasks.
All costs will be reimbursed by the two Massachusetts utilities. In recognition of BG & E's efforts, the town of Falmouth, Mass., declared Aug. 27 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. Appreciation Day.
CAPTION: A crew of Baltimore Gas and Electric volunteers prepares to replace a utility pole in Lowell, Mass., as partof relief efforts following Hurricane Bob.
SHA PROJECTS TO START
Two State Highway Administration projects have been awarded to C. J. Miller Inc. of Hampstead and Flippo Construction Co. of Forestville, Prince George's County, for paving Route 194 and rehabilitating the Route 75 bridge across Little Pipe Creek.
SHA awarded the contracts for the two projects, both of which are expected to be started by the end of this month and completed next spring, said Larry Patterson, SHA area engineer in Frederick.
The Route 194 paving project is estimated to cost $1 million. C. J. Miller Inc. will pave a six-mile section of the road from the Frederick County line to Taneytown.
The $626,000 Route 75 bridge project, given to Flippo Construction, will include rebuilding 121 feet of substructure and a steel beam span across Little Pipe Creek near New Windsor.
Both projects received last-minute funding during an emergency General Assembly session in June. At that time, Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the legislators reached an agreement whereby state programs were trimmed, but Motor Vehicle Administration fees were raised to help pay for the needed highway projects across the state.
The agreement helped maintain almost $250 million in federal road money.
The state government could face a deficit this winter of as much as $365 million, early budget projections say. Despite any deficit, the two Carroll projects will go ahead, said Patterson.
HERTZ GETS A NEW JOB
WESTMINSTER -- Philip Hertz, who was city manager for three months until the council abolished the position, began a new job with Martinsburg, W. Va., Monday.
Hertz said he applied for the Martinsburg manager's position after seeing it advertised. He said 140 peopleapplied for the job.
Hired by Westminster last January as city manager, Hertz took over many duties performed by the mayor. But he resigned in May after the newly elected council did away with the position.
He was to have received an annual salary of $57,500 from Westminster. The Martinsburg managership pays $47,500.
"This will be the fourth state I've worked in, and the city manager's job is pretty much the same all over," he said.
Hertz, who is single, said Saturday he was checking into a house in the West Virginia town and may move there this week if things work out. He said he was looking forward to the new job, where there is less friction between the mayor and council.
Tony Senecal, Martinsburg's mayor who has been doing the city manager's duties, said he was impressed with Hertz's qualifications and felt he could handle the job.
SYKESVILLE -- Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr.'s introduction of anew historic district ordinance, with a map outlining the boundariesof the district, was passed unanimously at Monday night's Town Council meeting.
The new ordinance, which replaces an existing but non-functioning 1983 ordinance, reduces the commission from seven to fivemembers and includes guidelines for alterations and construction from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Councilman Jonathan Herman said he would like to see the district extended to include the old schoolhouse on Schoolhouse Road, and Helt agreed. The extension was notformally approved, however.
The ordinance will be advertised and a public hearing will take place at the Oct. 14 Town Council meeting.
In other business:
* The council approved introduction of a resolution to annex a portion of Oklahoma Road known as the Harman-Rheubottom property, adding 23.5 acres to the town. The resolution will be advertised and a public hearing will take place Nov. 11.
* Helt appointed the following members to the Parks and Recreation Committee: Carol Hall, Terry Reyes, Richard Dunn and Virginia Campbell. Councilman William R. Hall Jr. will be chairman.
Vincent E. DiGiovanni was appointed a full member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, andChristine Jenkins was named as an alternate.
* The council deferred action on a proposal from Prestige Cable TV to extend its franchise with the town another 10 years and increase the company's fee to the towns from subscribers from 3 percent to 5 percent.
Prestige Cable TV Chairman Jon Oscher gave the council details on the proposals, noting that an increase in franchise fees would mean more revenue forthe town. It probably would also mean an increase in subscriber feesnext spring, when rates are annually reviewed.
Oscher also said Prestige is asking to borrow back the channels it has been holding in reserve for the towns so that more services can be offered to subscribers. Helt said he had no problem with that since the town isn't planning to use its channel.
Council members said they want more information on what the proposals mean to those involved before making a decision.
MAYOR MANDATES CUTS
DATELINE: MOUNT AIRY
MOUNT AIRY -- Faced with a $30,686 budget shortage, Mayor Gerald R. Johnson told the Town Council Monday all departments must cut back by 3 percent.
A county assessment error on about 400 acres, recently annexed into town, caused the shortfall, said the mayor.
Carroll County assessed the land based on its residential and industrial zoning. That assessment figured into the town budget.
The owners, who farm the land, appealed the assessments. Last month, the state attorney general ruled in their favor, saying land should be assessed on its use, rather than its zoning.
The decision came too late to amend the budget, which was approved and passed in June, said Council President R. Delaine Hobbs.
"This will definitely make us scurry around to make up the shortage," said the mayor. "We are going to have to watch our penniesas closely as we can and just cut back."
TOWN AWARDS SURVEY BID
DATELINE: MOUNT AIRY
MOUNT AIRY -- The Town Council awarded the surveyand drafting work for the reconstruction of the Route 27 and Ridgeville Boulevard exchange to a Rockville engineering company at Monday'ssession.
A. Morton Thomas Associates submitted a bid of $5,078, the second lowest bid among the 17 companies vying for the work.
Loiederman Associates Inc. of Frederick bid $4,700 but did not include all of its costs, said Councilman Marcum N. Nance.
"We have had a tremendous level of citizen complaints about this intersection since the state worked on it three years ago," he said. "The setup allows cars to travel through the shopping center."
Mayor Gerald R. Johnson said the center will share 50 percent of the cost of the reconstruction.
CORBETT DANCE A SUCCESS
WESTMINSTER --Neighbors and friends of the Corbett family raised about $3,000 at abenefit dance here Sept. 6.
Russell and Betty Lou Corbett, who lost their three young children in a July 7 auto accident, recently were released from the hospital and attended the dance.
Organizers have collected more than $20,000 to help the couple pay funeral expenses and medical costs.
Contributions still can be sent to: The Corbett Family Fund, Westminster Bank & Trust, 3416 Littlestown Pike, Westminster, or to the Silver Run/Union Mills Lions Club, 3957 Littlestown Pike, Westminster.
REVISED LAW INTRODUCED
TANEYTOWN -- City Attorney Thomas F. Stansfield presented the City Council Monday night with a revised ordinance that would require sprinklers in some new commercial construction and renovations, duplexes and town houses.
Stansfield drafted a new version of the ordinance after council members in August sought further changes, including a provision to require sprinkler systems in all new homes constructed in the city after Jan. 1, 1996.
The council also revised the ordinance to allow either sprinkler or fire alarm systems in renovation projects in which more than 50 percent of a building is remodeled.
The council, which has been toying with revisions to the ordinance for months, is expected to take final action at its regular monthly meeting in October.
Councilman Thomas J. Denike said the city is seeking revisions in the the ordinance to further protect lives and property.
A few residents at Monday's meeting complained that the revised ordinance would hinder downtown revitalization.
"Aren't you afraid oftrying to drive people away from fixing up Taneytown?" asked city resident Georgia Krug. "You're making it harder for people to come to Taneytown and find a fallen-apart place and fix it up."
WESTMINSTER -- Carroll County General Hospital is first in the state for increased admissions and occupancyrate for the 12-month period ending last March 31.
The Maryland Hospital Association reported that CCGH increased its admissions by 7.7 percent and its occupancy rate by 4.3 percent, both being the highest rates of change for the 51 hospitals in the report.
"The 7.7 percent increase in admissions showed that there were 6,605 admissions for this period versus 6,132 for the prior year," said Linda Harder, CCGH vice president for marketing and planning. "We also showed an increase in our occupancy rate, which went from 79.2 percent in 1990 to82.6 percent in 1991."
Harder attributed these increases to new services that keep patients from going to other hospitals outside the county.
"We have always had vascular surgeons on staff, but they had not practiced the majority of their surgery here at the hospital,"she said. "This year, we have a vascular surgeon who does a great deal of his surgery here. This has helped us to show an increase in thesurgical admissions area."
The addition of an outpatient dialysiscenter also has been a plus, Harder added.
"The outpatient dialysis center has kept people from leaving the county to receive their dialysis treatment. We are now also able to care for these people, who may at some point require acute treatment for a short period of time."
While surgery techniques have improved, she said, there have been additional programs to supply women and their children with around-the-clock obstetric and pediatric care.
"We have seen a significant increase in births," Harder said. "That's due to an increase in thenumber of obstetricians we have and in new programs like the in-house pediatrician program (which has a pediatrician at CCGH) 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies and any newborn needs.
"We do expectto see the rate of births increase in the future. We have plans to enhance the maternity area, which will make it more attractive. With the in-house physician programs, we will have people on board at all times to make for a safe delivery."
OFFICE OF AGING EYES CUTS
Jan Flora, chief of the Carroll County Bureau on Aging, met with the Commission on Aging Tuesday to discuss recommended cutbacks, which became necessary after recent decreases in state money.
"We recommended that various programs be cut to meet the 2 percent of our budget whichwas cut by the state," said Flora. "Each reduction will affect senior citizens, with cuts being made in senior meals, guardianship advocacy, senior care, senior housing and the life enrichment program. These cuts will equal the $18,000 lost in state grants."
Flora said these programs will be the first of many that will be cut.
"Unfortunately, I think that we are going to see our programs and people pitted against one another," she said. "The pie is only going to get smaller, not larger."
JOB DESCRIPTIONS CHANGE
WESTMINSTER -- The descriptions of the jobs performed by the city's 120 employees changed overnight Monday.
The City Council, in a housekeeping move, changed job descriptions that were rewritten this winter in the wake of the council's hiring of a city manager.
Department heads who reported to the mayor before Philip M. Hertz was hired as manager will once again officially report to the mayor.
Hertz left the $57,500-a-year job in May after it became clear the new City Council was going to eliminate the position.
In other action Monday, the City Council:
* Announced it would have a closed meeting with officials from the Carroll County Public Library Sept. 23 to discuss land acquisition.
* Approved a change-order in the city's waste-water treatment plant expansion contract. The order, which specifies small construction details, cost the city $5,000.
* Approved the City/County Agreement for the current budget year. The agreement, in which the county government pays all municipalities in Carroll for services provided by the municipalities, was signed by Mayor W. Benjamin Brown.
HUMANE SOCIETY SAVES
The Humane Society of Carroll County hasrefunded $20,600 to the county, the amount it spared during the lastfiscal year's budget-cutting efforts, said Steven D. Powell, county budget director.
County government contracts with the Humane Society to provide animal control enforcement. The Humane Society also provides shelter for animals.
HOUSING INPUT SOUGHT
County Bureau of Housing Chief Marie Kienker and Department of Citizen Services director Jolene Sullivan plan to meet with the mayors of Carroll's eight municipalities today to discuss affordable housing issues.
The two county officials are expected to make brief presentations on affordablehousing at Saturday's Town-County Partnership Conference, a meeting to discuss future plans for the county.