Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

JT Services – Local contractor offering home check services

Jay’s note: Tood Toothman is good friend of mine. He has been excellent in providing services to my clients & friends, as well as to me personally. You will be hard pressed to find someone more responsive to your needs than JT Services.
JT Services is a Deep Creek Lake Company that provides peace of mind for second home owners at Deep Creek on a weekly basis and over has over 100 references. Please take a look and if you think you could benefit from any of these services. We are on call 24 hours a day 7 days per week and are only a call away when you need us.
What we provide:
Year Round:
Weekly house check which includes:
Interior heating and/or AC adjusted
light bulbs checked / replaced if necessary
door locks checked
window locks checked
appliances check
exterior lighting check
Hot Tub cleaning and weekly maintenance
check all plumbing for leaks inside and out
Lawn Mowed and trimmed
Spring/Summer/Fall Months:
Driveways and walkways blown free of debris weekly
Fall Furnace inspection and filter change
Spring & Fall lawn clean-up and leaf removal
We are on call 24/7 to provide the following:
Snow Plowing
FYI-  We have a fleet of plow trucks that plow/salt/cinder daily in the winter.
-Salt sidewalk and steps when icy! WeI use calcium NOT salt.
Calcium will NOT eat concrete
I-f you are coming up on a Friday in the winter, just call and the sidewalk will be shoveled and ice free when you arrive.
-All snow removal services are billed in addition to our monthly management fee. Rates vary depending on driveway size.
Our fee is $125 to $250 per month for all of the above (excluding winter snow removal services) depending on house size.  This includes the weekly hot tub maintenance if needed.   Please keep in mind that with the exception of our furnace inspector, we use NO SUBCONTRACTORS.  Everything is owned and operated by us.  ALL vehicles are clearly marked with “JT SERVICES” logos.  I personally do the weekly checks.  I have worked closely with Watchdog Security for over 10 years. If you have a security system, I never give anyone the code(s) to your home.  I show up to enter the code when needed (If a code box is installed).
Another service we offer is residential house cleaning and laundry service. Once a week or once a year, whatever you need.  My wife has 2 employees that help her clean homes 7 days per week all year long.  Normally we will meet at your house and you tell us what type of cleaning you want done and when, and we will give you a price accordingly.
Also, any future projects or routine maintenance (building, electrical, plumbing, painting, construction, etc) we do for the rate of $30 per hour.
I bill all monthly services at the 1st of each month and will give all new customers Net 30 terms.
Once you become a new customer, we start weekly home checks the following week.
Please call me personally at any time with any questions that you may have.
Best Regards,
           Todd J Toothman
            JT SERVICES
Property Management & Maintenance
          705 East Alder St
       Oakland, MD 21550

School closings, cuts may not be enough to close budget gap

Facilities study gives options to reduce Garrett County Public Schools deficit

Elaine BlaisdellCumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — Even if the board of education chooses the most extreme option of the elementary school facility needs assessment and master plan study for Garrett County Public Schools, the savings wouldn’t be enough to close the $2.2 million budget gap, according to Paul Swanson, principal and co-founder of Facility Engineering Associates, P.C. of Fairfax, Va.

The most extreme option of the company’s study proposes closing two schools in the north end of the county as well as one school in the south end and includes reconfiguration of all grades in northern schools and adjusting school boundary lines.

“If we were to take the most extreme option and still only realize an 83 percent gain towards the $2.2 million deficit that we anticipate, how would we come up with what’s left?” said Superintendent of Schools Janet Wilson during a presentation of the study Monday.

If the schools were reconfigured it would lead to reductions in teachers, according to Wilson.

“We have reduced our staff by 88 positions since 2009,” said Wilson. “We have lost 609 students; at a 1-to-20 ratio we probably should reduce the staff.”

Some extracurricular programs would also need to be eliminated to help close the deficit, according to Wilson.

The goals of the study are to close a predicted $2.2 million budget gap and remedy overcrowding issues at Broad Ford and Yough Glades elementary schools.

The board will accept the facilities study during a meeting Nov. 12, but won’t tell the Maryland State Department of Education what option it chooses until April 1. The study as well as other data points that may be gathered will be throughly reviewed, according to Wilson.

“With the $2.2 million deficit there is the possibility that our school system will look very different, and as a result of that, the planning that will have to go into preparation for the next changes are no small task,” said Wilson.

The advisory committees will be formed this year using an application process that will begin between Nov. 14 and 28 and committee members will be named Dec. 2.

“There may be other options as the advisory process unfolds,” said Wilson. “The advisory committees will meet with me and staff to really discuss the process. Not only will schools that are slated to close have an advisory committee but all schools will have an advisory committee because there is potential impact to all schools.”

Other options of the study include transferring fifth-graders at Broad Ford to Southern Middle School, moving eighth grade and re-routing buses. The cheapest option would be to adjust school boundaries to the tune of $50,000, according to Swanson.

“The good news is you have very good schools. Because you have good schools you have some options,” said Swanson. “I’ve been in school systems where a lot of the things we are talking about just wouldn’t be possible.”

No public comments or questions were taken during the meeting Monday, but Swanson and Tom Larson, principal and co-founder of FEA, will return in early January to answer written questions that the advisory committees will submit in advance. In mid to late January, the advisory committees will present reports of schools that will potentially close to the board.

In February, the board will hear committee reports from schools that are remaining open and reports from the middle and high schools that may be affected by a reconfiguration, according to Wilson. Also in February, the board will hold community hearings and in early March, Wilson will make her recommendation. In late March, the board will act on Wilson’s recommendation.

Local, state and federal funding make up 51 percent, 42.2 percent and 6.6 percent of the budget, respectively, according to Wilson.

The amount of money that will be provided federally and locally is not yet known, according to Wilson.

“We cannot wait to know those limits because of the massive shift of whatever we decide to do will require,” said Wilson.

The school system’s estimated loss of $1.5 million for fiscal 2015 is due to the state’s wealth formula, which in part is based on enrollment. The wealth formula will be studied for adequacy and fairness in the fall of 2014 but isn’t slated for completion until 2016. The decline in enrollment will continue for a while, according to Swanson.

The scope of the study includes the assessment of elements required by the Code of Maryland Regulations, which governs school closings should the board be forced to move in that direction.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

More here.

Tourism rises in Garrett County, Deep Creek Lake area

By Megan Brockett, The Baltimore Sun5:24 p.m. EDT, October 25, 2013

Tourism gains boosted Garrett County and the Deep Creek Lake area during the last fiscal year, the result of record accommodations sales for the county and a sharp increase in tourism sales tax revenue, according to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce.

Garrett County, roughly three hours from Baltimore by car, attracts visitors year-round with the state’s largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake, and its only ski resort.

Tourism sales tax revenues for the county climbed more than 6 percent during the fiscal year that spanned July 2012 to June 2013, while tourism sales tax revenues for the state as a whole grew by less than 1 percent.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/bal-garrett-county-tourism-20131025,0,3058527.story#ixzz2jJBvYbeR


Two scenarios released for Marcellus drilling

Both developments would account for less than 100 percent of gas available

Matthew BieniekCumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — The latest sketch of two possible Marcellus shale gas developments in Maryland offers two scenarios for drilling in Allegany and Garrett counties. Neither scenario issued by a governor’s commission would develop anywhere close to 100 percent of the shale gas believed to be available in the state.

Both scenarios are a far cry from the idea of 1,000 plus wells that at least one industry representative outlined early on in the discussion of shale gas drilling in Western Maryland.

At the time an executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley was issued in 2011, “an industry representative has estimated that as many as 1,600 wells could be drilled in 128,000 acres in Garrett County and another 637 wells in 51,000 drillable acres in Allegany County,” according to the state’s Marcellus Shale Safe Drilling Advisory Commission website.

That industry estimate was described by one member of the commission as a “guesstimate” drawn up “on the back of an envelope.” That initial estimate had serious shortcomings at the very least, Brigid E. Kenney, a senior policy adviser to the commission, has said.

Now, the number of wells is more likely going to top out at between 150 and 450, according to the scenarios issued last week.

Of the two scenarios recently released, one accounts for development of 25 percent of the gas available, the other contemplates drilling for 75 percent of the gas believed to be available. A third scenario contemplates no drilling.

Maryland has less than two percent of the available reserves of natural gas in Marcellus shale throughout the nation. One commissioner suggested at the Sept. 25 meeting that a 100 percent drilling scenario also be offered. The scenarios issued are not state policy.

Drilling would begin in 2017 in both scenarios, with eight wells being drilled under the 25 percent scenario and 36 wells drilled under the 75 percent scenario, officials said. The number of wells would grow incrementally each year, with the maximum number of wells drilled in the years 2019-21. Of course, both scenarios assume the state will allow drilling to occur, which is by no means certain, since permanent drilling moratorium bills were introduced in the 2013 General Assembly session. While the bills did not pass, both received significant support within the legislature.

By 2026, the total number of wells would reach a maximum of 450 if 75 percent of shale gas resources were developed, according to the scenarios.

The scenarios were released last week by the commission. The commission is expected to complete its work on the study of potential gas drilling benefits, risks and best practices in late summer of 2014. No drilling permits are currently being issued in Maryland, and a few that were issued were eventually withdrawn.

For more information, visit:http://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Land/mining/marcellus/Pages/index.aspx.

Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at mbieniek@times-news.com.

More here.

A year after Hurricane Sandy, recovery ongoing

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun1:08 p.m. EDT, October 28, 2013

A year ago, Hurricane Sandy was imminent, and now 12 months later, signs of recovery from the storm remain in Crisfield and Garrett County.

In Crisfield, charity workers will on Monday dedicate the first two houses to be rebuilt since Sandy’s winds and storm surge funneled floodwaters across the Eastern Shore town.

Garrett County meanwhile is putting the finishing touches on a new emergency operations center that could help coordinate rescue efforts in future storms like Sandy, which dumped up to 3 feet of heavy, wet snow, cutting off power and stranding residents.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/weather/weather-blog/bal-wx-a-year-after-hurricane-sandy-recovery-ongoing-20131028,0,1024474.story#ixzz2jJDv2yG3


Maryland closes bear hunting season with 94 killed over 6 days in Allegany, Garrett counties

By Associated Press, Published: October 27

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Maryland has closed its 2013 black bear hunting season with hunters reporting 94 bears killed in the western part of the state.

The season opened last Monday in Allegany and Garrett counties for six days and closed on Saturday. Most of the bears were killed in Garrett County, with a tally of 70. In Allegany County, 24 were killed.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports the average life weight of the bears this year was 142 pounds. The agency says Mark Martin of Oakland took the largest bear of the season. It was a 392-pound male.
In all, 748 hunters participated in this year’s hunt, and 3,504 hunters applied for a permit.

More here.

1 year after Superstorm Sandy, Garrett County, Md., prepping for next catastrophic snowfall

By Associated Press, Published: October 26

OAKLAND, Md. — The mountain dwellers of far western Maryland know a lot about snow, but a crippling blizzard spawned last year by Superstorm Sandy taught them a painful lesson in emergency preparedness.

Scattershot planning and outdated communications gear caused confusion and delays after a 29-inch snowfall Oct. 29-30 left some Garrett County residents snowbound and without power for more than a week. The problems prompted Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley to replace the county’s longtime emergency management chief to help the state improve the ability to respond to weather disasters.

A year later, as the season’s first snowflakes fall, first-responder communications have been upgraded, procedures have been revised, and work on a new emergency operations center at the county airport will be completed. That facility will replace the makeshift command center set up at the county courthouse after the snowstorm.

Paugh named to fill vacant Garrett school board seat

For the Cumberland Times-News

Cumberland Times-News

OAKLAND — The Garrett County commissioners appointed Matthew Paugh as an elected member of the Garrett County Board of Education.

Paugh will complete the unexpired term of office of Donald Forrester, who resigned from the school board on Sept. 30.

“The board of county commissioners is very confident that Mr. Paugh will provide the students, faculty and administration of the Garrett County Public School System with high quality leadership at board level. His professional experience, dedication and commitment to public education was very evident to the board of county commissioners,” said Monty Pagenhardt, county administrator.

Paugh is employed as assistant vice president and market manager with Susquehanna Bank and holds a bachelor of arts degree from Messiah College and a master of divinity from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

He serves as mayor of the town of Kitzmiller, is a member of the board of directors of Garrett County Community Action Committee and is on the board of governors of Garrett County Memorial Hospital. He also serves as chair of the Kitzmiller Elementary School Advisory Committee.

Paugh will attend the Board of Education’s public meeting on Nov. 12.

More here.

Growing Black Bear Population Leads To Increased Hunt

GARRETT COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A growing black bear population means more bears are being hunted this week in Maryland.

Alex DeMetrick reports like the bears, the hunt is spreading.

As Deep Creek Lake settles into autumn, trucks pull in and out of a Department of Natural Resources check-in station carrying dead black bears. There is no restriction on size or age during the annual hunt, but there is a promise.

“What we promised all along–we would never wipe out the bear population with this well-regulated hunt,” said Paul Peditto, DNR.

Nine years ago, when the hunt started, there were 500 bears in Maryland. Now it’s estimated at 1,000, so the harvest quota is up. Thirty bears were taken the first year of the hunt in 2004. This year, between 95 and 130 will be taken as their range has spread from Garrett and Allegany counties east into Washington and Frederick counties.

More here.

Garrett Public Safety Day provides close-up look at first responders

Weekend event held at county fairgrounds

For the Cumberland Times-NewsCumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — The first Garrett County Public Safety Day was held Saturday at the Garrett County Fairgrounds.

Numerous organizations were on hand at the event, which was designed for public education and exposure to what each of the public safety organizations do daily.

The event included various volunteer fire departments, rescue squads, Maryland State Police, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office with the Bomb Squad and the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office.

The evening started off with an event called a Water Reach, which provided a chance to handle a charged hose line and shoot tennis balls from cones.   Youngsters were able to dress up in firefighting gear and receive a firefighter helmet for their participation.

Maryland State Police brought its K-9 unit and the Crime Scene Unit. Participants also were able to meet the state police canines and their handlers.

On the opposite side of the building, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office brought its bomb squad robot, which rolled around the building opening tool boxes and picking up cups.

Outside, in one of the other fair buildings, a Hose Maze was set up to demonstrate obstacles that could be present in a house. The object was to follow the hose line to either find the nozzle and fight the fire or follow the hose line and get out of the house. The exercise simulated how a firefighter must go through a burning building and only rely on their sense of feeling to get them out of the building.

An Ultimate Firefighter Challenge occurred in the show ring. While it seemed easy, firefighters that went through the challenge were wearing their personal protective gear and breathing apparatus, which both weigh about 75 pounds. The challenge consisted of an obstacle course of what normal firefighters would do on at a typical fire scene, testing local firefighters for strength and en-durance.

More here.