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County forms panel on the disabled 15-member commission to investigate problems


The County Council has created a 15-member commission to study problems of disabled Harford residents and to suggest solutions.

"It goes without saying that everyone is well pleased that it's in place, " said Mary Chance, director of the Department of Community Services. "And it provides a real, formal vehicle for them to work with."

Harford officials proposed the legislation after months of meetings and discussions with disabled citizens and organizations that help them.

No one has been appointed yet to the commission, said George Harrison, spokesman for the county.

However, according to the legislation, the commission will have:

* Five county citizens with disabilities.

* Four people from agencies serving thesav disabled.

* Two people who have family members with disabilities.

* Two residents interested in helping the disabled.

* One county business owner.

* A member of the County Council.

The commission is charged with studying problems of the dissolved, with evaluating their needs and what services are available, and to suggest improvements, according to the legislation.

The commission, whose members win be unpaid, also win hold public meetings, produce an annual report, and advise the county executive on how to best implement the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

In other matters at Tuesday's meeting, the council:

* Gave its approval to the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company to. refinance the mortgage on its station in the amount of $1.3 million over 23 years. The vote does not obligate the county to pay if the fire company defaults.

* Deadlocked on a zoning appeal case from High's stores of Baltimore, which wants to build a store on a triangular-shaped lot on Route 165 near Pylesville.

A zoning heard examiner earlier decided the company could build on the lot, but the people's counsel, Robert F. Kahoe Jr., appealed.

Council members voted 3-3 on a measure to allow High's to build, with Councilman Robert S. Wagner abstaining.

Council Attorney Victor Butanis told the council that if it takes no further action within 90 days, the zoning request would be denied automatically.

* Passed a law making the Harford County Sheriffs Office responsible for registering convicted child sexual offenders, under a state-registration law that took effect Oct. 1.

Under the state law passed by the General Assembly this year, the sheriffs department win be notified each time a convicted child sex offender moves into the county. The sheriffs office must then ensure the person registers with it.

* Council President Joanne S. Parrott told her colleagues Maryland win lose $2.4 billion in federal funds over the next two years.

She said Gov. Parris N. Glendening told members of the Maryland Association of Counties of the loss of 20,000 federal jobs in Maryland. And, "he anticipates that 20,000 to 30,000 additional jobs will be lost associated with those federal jobs," Mrs. Parrott said.

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