Worcester County News Briefs

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners discussed several items briefly at their last November meeting, held Tuesday. The following is a synopsis of some of those issues.

●The Worcester County Health Department inspections fees have been increased to more closely reflect the department’s inspection costs.

“These fees have not been increased since 2005,” said Debbie Goeller, head of the Health Department. “The proposed fees would reflect actual costs with the exception of some of the food service facility fees which are capped under law.”

The costs of a twice a year inspection at a high to moderate traffic restaurant, $464, exceeds the state license fee cap of $300, for example, costing the health department $164 more than it gets back from the business owner.

Those caps could be lifted in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly legislative session.

“I think it’s a prudent thing to do,” said Worcester County Commissioner Judy Boggs.

Commissioner Louise Gulyas agreed, saying she is glad to see the department recouping the costs incurred by the state-required inspection process.

The commissioners unanimously approved the higher fees, which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

●Worcester County hopes to add a second scrap-tire recycling day each year to offer citizens an environmentally responsible way to dispose of old tires.

“I’ve had more people ask about this than the e-cycle day,” said Commission president Virgil Shockley.

The current scrap-tire recycling day, held once a year, is sponsored by the state of Maryland and is free. Otherwise, tire owners must pay a small fee at the Worcester County landfill to deposit their tires to cover the costs of disposing of those tires.

“If you want to encourage recycling, it should be free,” said Worcester County attorney Sonny Bloxom. He suggested storing scrap tires at the landfill and handing them over to the state after the recycling event.

The program is specifically tailored to homeowners with a small number of old tires, with the aim of deterring residents from stockpiling scrap tires.

Commercial haulers and scrap tire accumulators are not welcome at the event.

●Worcester County’s most recent electronic and household hazardous waste recycling event was a success, county staff reported, with over 600 electronic items dropped off, and 7,600 pounds of household hazardous waste brought in.

The event was attended by 519 vehicles, with 269 leaving electronics for recycling, and 250 bringing in household hazardous waste.

Electronics dropped off included 103 CPUs, 89 computer monitors, 89 televisions, and a variety of keyboards, printers, radios, and telephones. Electronics may also be dropped off for free at any time at the recycling center at Worcester County’s Newark Landfill.

No specific categories are recorded for household hazardous waste.

●The County Commissioners will hold a public hearing and consider a proposal on Dec. 16 to expand wastewater service at Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) property, with a switch to land application instead of water disposal of treated effluent. The plant would also be modified to remove more nutrients from treated effluent.

The proposal calls for an expansion from 40 EDU’s to 66 EDUs. The wastewater service covers the National Park Service buildings, the Visitor’s Center and the coastal ecology laboratory.