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Boonsboro, county officials discuss education, public transportation

Boonsboro, county officials discuss education, public transportation
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BOONSBORO — Boonsboro officials want Washington County’s help with aging schools not equipped for new technology and extending public transportation to serve a growing senior citizen population.

Town officials say they also want more county inmate labor and assistance on a long-standing problem of water runoff in the Lakin Avenue area.

Those needs were highlighted Tuesday night when the Washington County Board of Commissioners met with town officials at Boonsboro Town Hall.

The commissioners regularly hold night meetings in towns to discuss issues with municipal leaders.

Mayor Howard W. Long said that although the town’s schools receive many accolades for their success, the facilities are ill-equipped for the future. The town’s elementary, middle and high schools are on a campus off Maple Avenue.

Among his education priorities, Long said he would like to see a new elementary school built in south county.

Long said a development group called King Road Associates has land between Md. 67 and King Road that has been eyed for a school.

County Administrator Rob Slocum said recent discussions about school needs have centered around about $9 million in state school funding available to the county if the county can make a $4 million match for the funds.

Long said he would like to see County Commuter bus service extended to Boonsboro because senior citizens make up about 25 percent of the town’s population. He said many senior citizens depend on family members or friends for transportation due to a lack of public transportation.

Long suggested that the county extend public transportation to the town on a trial basis to determine if extending it longer is warranted. The commissioners said they would look into the issue.

Long said county inmates used to come to town twice a week to help with work. Now the service has been reduced to once a month, and the town has had to contract out services for help since the assistance was cut.

Slocum said discussions about next year’s fiscal year budget have included the possibility of adding another guard to oversee another inmate work crew.

Water runoff problems in the Lakin Avenue area have been debated for years. Long said one of the issues regarding the problem is that a property owner in the area is reluctant to grant a property easement as part of a plan to address the issue.

“As I recall, it causes havoc for quite a few other residents,” Commissioner John F. Barr said.

The county’s engineering department agreed to reexamine the problem.

The water runoff comes from a mountain behind St. Paul Street. Water has run into streets, including Orchard Drive, and caused deterioration problems.

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