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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


County to use grants to fund new appliances

SNOW HILL — With about $75,000 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funds remaining, Budget Accountant Kim Johnson asked the Worcester County Board of  Commissioners’ permission to use less than $10,000 of it to purchase energy-efficient refrigerators for County facilities. Her expectation is to use the money for the purchase and installation of 17 refrigerators before June.
Under questioning from the Commissioners Johnson said that the replaced refrigerators must be scrapped and any money made from the process used to reduce the replacement cost.
Commissioners Virgil Shockley and Judy Boggs had hoped to repurpose the refrigerators someplace else in the County but concented to the grant’s conditions.
“I hate to see good refrigerators scrapped,” Boggs said.
Wastewater issues
The Harborside Bar and Grille was granted permission to use EDUs currently allocated to their off-site parking lot as part of the operating allotment for the restaurant. 
Unlike a regular request for expansion, the transfer of EDUs to non-adjacent propertied required Commissioner approval, which they gave upon a favorable recommendation from the County staff and attorney.
Replacement parts for the Riddle Farm wastewater treatment plant will cost the County an unexpected $80,000 next year. 
John Ross, Deputy Director of Public Works for the County, told the Commissioners that a purchase in the 2013 fiscal year could very well mean that no purchase would have to be made in the 2014 fiscal year. He asked the Commissioners to add the $80,000 to the upcoming year’s budget and expect a credit for 2014, as long as the plant’s difficulties have been solved by then.
County personnel
Worcester County employees will have some minor changes made to their employee benefit explanations in order that the handbook coincides with prevailing law and practices. The first change approved by the Commissioners this week will bring the County into compliance with new State rules that allow children to use sick days to care for their parents.
Formerly leave pay could only be applied to time missed in care of an employee, their spouse or child. The new rules will be posted and then enacted 15 days afterwards.
Employees will also no be able to join the County Sick Leave Bank during November’s open enrollment to be eligible to begin using those benefits January1.
The Friday after Thanksgiving was added as an official County Holiday.
Other grants
The Worcester County Department of Social Services will receive $27,300 per year for the next three years under a grant the Commissioners allowed them to apply for. 
The amount will be used for Social Services, Diakonia and the Samaritan shelter to help clients facing eviction.