Water will be flushed
WESTMINSTER -- The city's Department of Public Works will be flushing the water system from 8 p.m. to midnight on May 18, 19 and 20.
Residents living in Furnace Hills, Wakefield, Avondale and Carroll Lutheran Village may experience low pressure and dirty water during that time.
Two changes announced
The county commissioners announced Tuesday that they have made two changes to the county government reorganization plan they devised a year ago.
The Bureau of Internal Performance Audit will report directly to the commissioners, rather than to the Department of Management and Budget. Also, the solid waste management functions, including landfill monitoring and planning, will be switched from the Office of Environmental Services to the Department of Public Works.
Commissioners Elmer C. Lippy and Julia W. Gouge said previously they were considering restoring an environmental department, which was disbanded under the reorganization.
The reorganization consolidated the number of full-fledged departments reporting to the commissioners from 12 to eight and shifted functions among agencies. The restructuring was undertaken to make government more efficient, the commissioners said.
Officials to be sworn in
MOUNT AIRY -- Recently elected Town Council members will be sworn in at a ceremony at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Town Hall.
Incumbents Marcum N. Nance, David W. Pyatt and William E. Wagner were re-elected in the May 4 election.
At 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, the town Planning and Zoning Commission will meet for its monthly meeting.
The Frederick County planner will talk about a draft of a regional plan for New Market.
The commission also will discuss the town's master plan, which is being revised.
The county commissioners heard testimony Thursday on a request to rezone a half-acre from local business to general business near Woodbine.
David R. Fogle Jr. and Dale H. Fogle of Sykesville filed the rezoning request for the land on the southeast corner of the intersection of Fannie Dorsey Road and Woodbine Road, just north of Gillis Road. More intensive uses, such as by businesses that produce noise, are permitted in the general business district than in the local business district.
The Fogles rented a shop building for an automotive service garage, a use that is not permitted in the local business district. The county issued a violation notice, which is under appeal, pending the outcome of the rezoning petition.
The County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended against the rezoning, saying there is no evidence of mistake in the existing zoning or any substantial change in the character of the neighborhood.
The record remains open for 10 days for public comment.
Budget to be set
HAMPSTEAD -- The Town Council will meet to adopt a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, with a tax rate at 53 cents per $100 assessed valuation, at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Town Hall, 1034 S. Carroll St.
The tax rate will be lowered from the current year's 58 cents, however, the tax bill for most homeowners will be about the same because of increased value of the property.
Also at tomorrow's meeting, the council will discuss bids from haulers to remove trash and recycleables. So far, the lowest bids have come from Haden Trash Removal for $49 per household, said Town Manager John A. Riley.
If the town chooses to join with several other municipalities in a joint contract, the cost to Hampstead would be $44 a household, Riley said.
The town currently pays $36 per household to Eastern Waste Industries for trash pick-up only.
School ends June 15
Carroll County public schools will have their last day for students on June 15 this year, two days earlier than originally scheduled.
The school calendar usually factors in three days off for bad weather. But because schools were closed only one day this winter, they can get out June 15 and still have held the state-required 180 days of instruction.
Two parents at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday complained that students would have to attend the full day June 15, but board members said early dismissal was not necessary.
Lisa Summers of Westminster and Candy Cole of Manchester said the last day is not a productive one anyway, because children already have received their grades.
Board of Education President Cheryl A. McFalls said she at first thought it was odd to have students come back on a Monday for their last day.
But she said she agreed when Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said there was no good reason to close school a day early just because it was a Friday.
Member Ann Ballard also said the board needs to stick by the 180-day rule, as they have with next year's seniors.
Members of the Class of 1993 again have complained to the board that they will be the first senior class to lose the traditional privilege of getting out of school two weeks early in the spring.
Board of Education members want to trim the cost for the wall calendar they put out every year -- but not so much that it looks cheap.
The lowest bid so far for next year's calendar is $13,818, much the same as the cost for printing the current year calendar. But the bids are for a slightly lower quality paper and fewer photographs, said W. Carey Gaddis, public information officer.
Superintendent R. Edward Shilling had re-advertised for bids for an even lower-quality calendar, but board members said they'll spend the $13,818 again rather than put out a calendar that leaves out important information such as their photos and phone numbers.
"It's sort of a Catch 22," said member Carolyn Scott. "We want to make it attractive enough to catch people's attention."
But if it's too attractive, she said, they complain that the school board overspent.
Shilling said some community members complained last year when the schools put out an annual report that was cheaper than the calendar.
"It simply looked too good," he said.
In other bid news, the board accepted the second-lowest bid for $268,751 to put a new roof on Westminster High School. The bid was from Ordorff & Spaid.
The lowest bid was $2,300 less from Progressive Services, but the bid did not include a minority business form recommended by state law.
Byron honored for work
U.S. Rep. Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, is to receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Boston University today in recognition of her years in Congress.
Byron, of Frederick, is serving her seventh term. She was defeated in the March primary by state Del. Thomas H. Hattery, D-Frederick.
The university president said in a press release that Byron was being honored for her contributions as the first woman in a leadership position on the Armed Services Committee and her support for higher education.
In April, Byron was honored by the Women's Research and Education Institute for her role in ending a 45-year ban on female aviators in the armed forces.
Byron proposed that women be allowed in combat aircraft as part of the Defense Authorization Act of 1992, which passed Congress in December.
"Women have been proving themselves for year in virtually every assignment and role they have filled in our armed forces, but I don't the public had any true idea as to the extent of the vital role they play until the media coverage of Desert Storm," she said in a press release.