Commissioners

Photo courtesy Worcester County Commissioners

(Jan. 31, 2020) The Worcester County Commissioners made the following decisions during their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21. 

Housing rehab 

Commissioners approved putting out a bid for rehabilitation work to be performed on a single-family home in Snow Hill. The project is funded by a grant from the Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program. 

Commissioners requested the release of funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in September 2019. Most of the scope of the work replacing bathroom and plumbing equipment. Bids will be accepted until Monday, Feb. 10. 

Agricultural land 

Commissioners agreed to commit $66,000 in local matching funds for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation FY20 easement acquisition program. $15,000 of that will come from an estimate of the retained agricultural land transfer tax for FY20. The remaining $50,000 will come from the county general fund cash match for FY21. 

Worcester, as a certified county by the foundation, was required to commit at least $16,0000 matching funds for the easement acquisition program. According to Director of Environmental Programs Bob Mitchell, the certification allows the county to retain 75 percent of the agricultural transfer tax that the county collects. Eligibility for additional matching funds from the state requires a contribution of qualifying expenditures from a county source other than agricultural land transfer taxes. 

Commissioner Ted Elder opposed the motion. 

Diakonia 

Commissioners agreed to write a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in support of a grant for Diakonia. The Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program Grant began in October 2013 to help alleviate veteran homelessness. 

The grant helps Diakonia staff and volunteers to “build a foundation for veterans in crisis to maintain a lifestyle without homelessness by providing security and stability and enhancing their quality of life.” Diakonia has been a recipient of the grant for the past eight years.  

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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