Md. Cutting County Disparity Grants; Garrett To Fare Better Than Others

Md. Cutting County Disparity Grants; Garrett To Fare Better Than Others

Jan. 21, 2010

With the fiscal year 2011 budget draft process under way, Garrett County Financial Services director Wendy Yoder is keeping an even closer eye on state reductions. She reviewed the most recent cut for the county commissioners during a departmental update report on Tuesday.
Just last week, Yoder received notification that state disparity grants will be reduced “across the board” in FY 2011. Grants are given to counties that do not meet at least 75 percent of the statewide average of local income tax revenues. Grant funding, however, is partly based on the state’s capital gains and investments income.

In FY 2010, revenue is down almost $200 million from the previous year. As a result, the eight counties that traditionally receive disparity grants will have their allocations reduced. Garrett County is among them.

But Yoder said Garrett is lucky compared to most counties, especially Prince George’s, which is facing an 84 percent decrease.

(more from Republican article)

Support the Republican Newspaper! Buy an online membership! It’s only $9.95 a year!
If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

County Landfill, Airport Usage Down For 2009

Support the Republican Newspaper! Buy an online membership! It’s only $9.95 a year!

County Landfill, Airport Usage Down For 2009

Jan. 21, 2010

Garrett County landfill usage was down last year, General Services director Gary Mullich told the county commissioners during a departmental update report on Tuesday afternoon. The director also reported on airport usage and a possible location for the roads department office.
Mullich said the amount of construction waste being brought to the landfill was down 21 percent in 2009, compared to the previous year.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

BPW Approves Preservation Of Forests Along Youghiogheny River Corridor

Support the Republican Newspaper! Buy an online membership! It’s only $9.95 a year!
1/21/10

Gov. Martin O’Malley recently announced the Board of Public Works (BPW) approval of the acquisition of a 41-acre parcel in Youghiogheny Corridor in Garrett County. This property will provide a connecting point between the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River Corridor and the state-owned property of Deep Creek Lake at the dam.
“We are pleased to provide visitors much needed additional public access to the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River Corridor, a very popular location for fishing, whitewater kayaking, and hiking for Maryland families and visitors,” said Governor O’Malley. “The shortage of access points along the river corridor presents challenges for public entry and recreation, complicates important maintenance tasks, and impedes progress of rescue teams and emergency vehicles.”

more from the Republican News
If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

770 acres of land protected in Garrett County by MET

Support the Republican Newspaper! Buy an online membership! It’s only $9.95 a year!

The Republican points out that 770 acres of land are currently protected in Garrett County through the Maryland Environmental Trust. There lots of good reasons, including tax incentives, to place land in the program. More details on ‘how it works’ can be found here.

From the DNR Press Release:

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland’s forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland’s effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state’s number one environmental priority. Learn more at http://www.DNR.Maryland.gov.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Southern High School retires Tobi Stoner baseball jersey

No. 13 proved to be not unlucky for Rams baseball star

Mike Mathews
Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — Chalk up another first for New York Mets pitcher Tobi Stoner.

Friday night Stoner, the first Southern Garrett High baseball player to reach the Major Leagues, became the first Rams baseball player to have his uniform number retired. The ceremony was held prior to the Northern-Southern boys basketball game.

Jim Bosley, Stoner’s head coach at Southern, presented the right-hander with the No. 13 jersey he wore during his high school career. Stoner’s No. 13 Southern jersey and his No. 29 New York Mets jersey will be displayed in the gymnasium lobby.

Stoner, 25, graduated from Southern in 2002 and was an All-Area pitcher and infielder. He led the Rams to an Area championship and a 43-3 overall record in his two seasons, and was one of the state’s top junior college players at Garrett before transferring to Davis & Elkins College. He was 15-9 with a 2.68 earned run average in two seasons for the Senators, and batted .465 as a senior.

Stoner, the first Davis & Elkins player and the second Garrett College player to reach the Majors, was selected by the Mets in the 16th round of the 2006 draft.

His quick rise through the minor leagues led to a call-up to the Mets last fall. He made four appearances, all in relief, including a scoreless inning in his debut against the Florida Marlins on Sept. 10. He also had 3-inning stints against Philadelphia and Atlanta, and pitched two hitless innings in his final appearance against the Braves.

Stoner finished 0-0 with nine innings pitched, five strikeouts and a 4.00 ERA during his time with the Mets.

The Major League promotion capped an impressive year for Stoner. Used exclusively as a starting pitcher, he began at Double-A Binghamton and was 2-2 with a 2.68 ERA before moving to Triple-A Buffalo, where he was 7-7 with a 3.96 ERA in just under 100 innings pitched.

In the two minor league stops, Stoner pitched 144 2-3 innings, allowed only 120 hits, walked 47 and struck out 92. Hitters managed just a .224 average against him.

After the Major League season Stoner played for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League and was 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts.

Also taking part in the ceremony last night were Matt Wondolowsky, the Mets scout who signed Stoner; high school coaches Bosley, Danny Holler and Steve Weaver; Ed Wildesen, Stoner’s coach at Garrett College; and Phil Carr, who coached Stoner on the Garrett County American Legion team.

Stoner will be a guest speaker at the 62nd Dapper Dan Awards Banquet on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club. The dinner starts at 4 p.m. For ticket information, call The Original Sports Shoppe at (301) 722-5490.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Tight state budget hitting Allegany, Garrett County

Kevin Spradlin
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed fiscal 2011 budget does not spare local governments, including Garrett and Allegany counties, from cuts in aid.

Details of the proposed budget, which takes effect July 1, were released Wednesday. As anticipated, both counties’ disparity grants and highway user revenue funds took hits, although most county aid programs will be flat-funded.

The disparity grant originally was worth nearly $7.3 million but O’Malley and the state Board of Public Works cut that by $1.267 million. The disparity grants are distributed to subdivisions whose per-capita income revenues are less than 75 percent of the statewide average.

“Well, the wealth of the state has declined,” said Jerry Frantz, director of finance for Allegany County government. “So, 75 percent of a lesser number is less disparity.”

One change this year is that regardless of what the disparity might be, the grant money cannot exceed 2010 levels. Allegany County’s disparity grant could be $6.03 million while Garrett County could receive $2.05 million.

“We’re not the only ones,” Frantz said. “All in all, it’s down $24.3 million. That’s 20 percent. We’re going down 17 percent.”

Under O’Malley’s proposed budget, Allegany County would receive $138,000 in Program Open Space funds and Garrett County would get $70,000. Funding for local health programs would include $909,000 for Allegany County and $437,000 for Garrett County.

Frantz said the highway user revenue was so important in previous years that his office created a special revenue fund for accounting purposes. That’s to be eliminated this year because the appropriation, formerly between $5 million and $6 million, is now “down to next to nothing.”

Any highway user revenue now will be deposited into the county’s general fund because, after state cuts, all the road work is “practically paid for by the general fund,” Frantz said.

One item not in O’Malley’s proposal is money for new voting machines. The omission could save the state and counties each about $9 million this year.

A full analysis of O’Malley’s proposed budget wasn’t available. Frantz said he typically waits for the Maryland Association of Counties, an Annapolis-based nonprofit corporation that advocates local governments’ interests, to release its analysis.

“It’s going to be another extremely difficult budget,” Frantz said. “And I think that 2012 may even be worse. I don’t see much light right now… I think there may be worse things coming.”

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Commissioners retract proposed hotel/motel tax increase bill

Jay’s note: Even though the legislation would not have REQUIRED a rate increase, it still gave the commissioners authority to raise it at any time. I agree with Nancy Railey’s take on this, as every dollar spent would be one less dollar that is spent on local goods, dining, souvenirs, and typical ‘fun’ things you do while on vacation. Just like everyone else, the commissioners will have to learn to not spend so much money and budget during these lean times. $1.5 million (what they currently receive) is a pretty good chunk of change for merely an accomodations tax.

Megan Miller
Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Garrett County Commission retracted one of its legislative requests for the 2010 session Thursday, citing concerns by local businesses that the measure would negatively impact the county’s tourism industry.

The commission had requested legislation that would have enabled it to increase the hotel rental tax from 5 percent to a maximum of 8 percent. That increase would not have been implemented all at once, but in increments and as needed, said County Administrator Monty Pagenhardt.

“Back in November when we presented our legislative list to Delegate (Wendell) Beitzel and Sen. (George) Edwards, the plan was to increase the tax to 6 percent for fiscal 2011, which would have generated more than $300,000 for the county,” Pagenhardt said. The money would have been used to fund economic development and tourism, as required by state statutes, he explained.

But Pagenhardt said the commission unanimously agreed to retract the legislative request after hearing concerns from businesses that the measure would hurt the county’s tourism industry, driving down income from vacation rentals.

“The commissioners reviewed data presented by rental companies, and just decided it wasn’t the right time to do it,” Pagenhardt said.

At the Nov. 17 meeting where the commissioners presented their legislative wish list, Nancy Railey of Railey Mountain Lake Vacations gave a presentation opposing the tax increase. Railey told the commissioners at that time that visitors would probably still travel to Garrett County if the tax was increased, but each dollar they had to spend on taxes would be a dollar they wouldn’t spend on local goods and services.

It’s the second year in a row the enabling legislation has been requested but not passed. It was introduced in the 2009 General Assembly but died in committee because of what Beitzel said was an administrative mistake in Annapolis.

For now, the hotel rental tax rate will remain at 5 percent, the highest it can go under the existing legislation. The tax currently brings in about $1.5 million per year to the county.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Backbone Mountain Food Farm

In my travels, I discovered this organic food farm in Garrett County, Maryland, near Deep Creek Lake. It’s winter now, though I will be stopping by to see what they have later this year! Home-grown food is much more nutritious and yummy! I found it from a link to the Backbone Ski Farm.

Backbone Mountain Food Farm

Located at the foot of Backbone Mountain in Pleasant Valley , MD, Backbone Food Farm is a small family farm holding on to the idea that small scale, independent agriculture, stewardship and diversity are not only ideas from the past. Entering our tenth season as organic growers , we market our products through our CSA (in its 7th year), local farmers markets and local restaurants.

Our Motto
Working with Nature to Raise Healthy Food

We believe that people should have access to safe, clean, locally grown food that is chemical free!

——————————————————————————–


Max and Katharine Dubansky
530 Lynndale Rd.
Oakland MD 21550
301-334-5633

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350

Backbone Mountain Ski Farm near Deep Creek Lake

My daughter came home from school (Dennett Road elementary) yesterday with a permission slip to go cross country skiing. She was excited to go and my first question was: ‘Where?’. I had no idea that there was a cross country ski farm nearby, let alone in Garrett County! I knwo the Wisp had offered it before, but this was new to me, so I googled it:

From the Backbone Mountain Ski Farm website:

For some fine cross country skiing in Garrett County, Maryland, join us at the Ski Farm, where snow fall is abundant! The winter season typically brings us over 150” of genuine snow- direct from Mother Nature. Located on 520 acres of field and forest at the base of Backbone Mountain you will find 15 K plus of maintained nordic ski trails, including 8 K of groomed ski trails. Cross Country ski your way up Backbone to one of the finest views in the county, then swoosh back and warm yourself by the fire.

Enjoy hot organic coffee and teas and baked goods and more in a laid back atmosphere you can relax in. Everyone from first timers to old timers can find the right terrain on our groomed and backcountry ski trail system. We have everything you’ll need to have a great day of cross country skiing.

Exercise your right to enjoy winter…
…………Free your heels!


Backbone Ski Farm Phone 301-334-5633
530 Lynndale Road,
Oakland, MD 21550

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, call Jay Ferguson of Long & Foster Real Estate for all of your real estate needs! 877-563-5350