Worcester County News In Brief

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners discussed a
variety of business at their Aug. 5 meeting.

 – Worcester County
accepted an allocation of $1,454,441 in grant money for first time homebuyers
from the “On Behalf Of” Program. The program offers low interest loans to first
time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home for three years.

The state puts a cap on the
amount of money that can be spent on a home and qualifying income levels. The
state designates an area in each county as a target area, with fewer
restrictions applying.

“It’s part of Berlin
and part of Ocean Pines,” said Jo Ellen Bynum of Worcester County’s
economic development department. “That’s something the state determines looking
at median household income.”

Worcester County has
participated in the program for many years.

Homeowners outside the targeted
area with a maximum household size of two people and an income under the median
state income of $81,700, are eligible. Households with three or more members
with a maximum income of $93,955 are also eligible.

In the target area, eligible
income levels rise to $98,040 for up to two people, and $114,380 for three or

 – Surplus county equipment sold through

Internet auction site GovDeals brought in $144,720.05, and made Worcester County a net profit of $133,814.73,

after commission.

The county sold 26 vehicles, 32
pieces of equipment and miscellaneous office furniture and tools.

This is the second year Worcester County has disposed of surplus property
through this online auction site. In 2007, the county sold 47 vehicles and 12
pieces of equipment for $91,911.88, making $84,580.39 after expenses and

“This operation’s been very
successful,” said Worcester County Public Works Director John Tustin. “It’s
been very smooth, very easy.”

 – The local campaign against underage drinking
will continue with the approval of a $38,356 grant from the Governor’s Office
of Crime Control and Prevention.

The county will use the
money to continue alcohol compliance checks, enforce sanctions on offending
retailers, recruit parents into the Safe Homes program, help coordinate the
Maryland Play It Safe project, and public education.

 – The County Commissioners
presented a commendation to a retiring employee, K9 Fire Fox, a 10-year-old
female black Labrador Retriever, on her retirement from the Worcester County
Fire Marshal’s Office after nine years of service at the side of Deputy Fire
Marshal Rodney Sharpley, Sr.

Fire Fox, a.k.a. Foxie, worked
on fire investigations in Worcester, Wicomico, Dorchester, Kent,
Baltimore and Somerset

“Have we ever given a
commendation for a dog?”
 wondered Commission president Virgil
Shockley. “We’re in uncharted territory here, I can tell you right now.”

Foxie has been missed in the
office since her retirement at the end of July, Worcester County Fire Marshal
Jeff McMahon said.  

“She’s going to remain with
Rodney and his family. She’s been part of the family for the entire nine
years,” said McMahon.     

 – The County Commissioners
scheduled public hearings on two proposed amendments to the Worcester County
Water and Sewer Plan this week. Both the Mystic Harbor
wastewater treatment plant replacement and the new wastewater treatment system
at Deer Run Campground will be considered, separately, at the Sept. 2 Worcester
County Commissioners meeting in Snow Hill.

 – The Pocomoke River
will benefit once again from a collaboration between local government, the
Worcester County Jail, and private citizens, which all come together to conduct
an annual clean-up effort on the river.

Barry Laws, owner of the
Pocomoke River Canoe Company, asked Worcester
County to lend equipment,
such as branch loppers and chainsaws, for the effort. Laws will provide canoes
or boats and life jackets. Worcester County Jail inmates will do the work.

“The gentlemen who have worked
on our crews have always been hard workers and their work has been excellent,”
Laws wrote in his letter to the County

 – The County
Commissioners made a rezoning
completely official this week with the approval and signing of written findings
of fact in the case of Oak-Kwang and Soon-Ae
Park’s property on Route

About two-thirds of the property
was zoned neighborhood commercial and a third agricultural. A public hearing
was held, and a favorable vote was taken, at the July 22nd
Commissioner meeting. The property is now entirely zoned commercial.