A resolution that would sell a portion of Lot 16 (3 acres) to Free State Cooperage LLC has been put on hold for now, according to County Administrator Kevin Null.
• The commissioners issued a proclamation declaring August as Lakes Appreciation Month. The county has 13 water bodies.
“Garrett County recognizes the need to protect these lakes and reservoirs for future generations,” Commissioner Paul Edwards read from the proclamation.
Friends of Deep Creek Lake accepted the document. Member Ellen Williams noted that four of the state’s 16 lakes are located in Garrett County.
• The commissioners recognized the Garrett County Hazardous Materials Team. Members include team leader Brian O’Connor, Paul Harman, Justin Hinebaugh, Travis Spear, Cody Kroll, Robert Sines, Terry Spear, Joel Rush and Mark Clookie.
Director John Frank, Garrett County Emergency Management, explained that the team members are from various fire and rescue departments.
“The HazMat Team is part of special operations, as part of Company 8,” he said.
Thanks to the commissioners providing workers’ compensation to volunteers, Frank noted, the team is now able to respond to statewide events and support mutual-aid partners.
“Thank you commissioners for making that happen so we can protect our people who are in harm’s way,” Frank said.
• The commissioners approved the promotion of four Garrett County Emergency Services (Company 11, housed at Deep Creek Lake) shift coordinators to lieutenant: Curtis O’Neal, Vicki Walker, Joshua Hook and Phillip Rumer.
“The lieutenants will perform first-line supervision of EMS, patient care and quality insurance/improvement monitoring, just to name a few” duties, Frank said.
Last year, the company responded to 1,108 calls for service. For this year, 628 calls were answered by the end of July, according to Frank.
• The commissioners listened to the concerns of Deep Creek Lake businessman Jim Lascaris. He said he received a letter stating that businesses in the watershed basin are forbidden to fly banners or flags of any type.
“Why is there a rule just for Deep Creek Lake and not for the rest of the county?” he asked.
Edwards explained that the watershed is the only zoned area outside of a municipal government’s jurisdiction. Because McHenry is not incorporated, its codes fall under the jurisdiction of the Garrett County Planning Commission.
Deb Carpenter, director of the Department of Planning and Land Development, said the flag/banner/sign issue involves a “broadly written” code that pertains to “anything that attracts attention.” She also noted that violations are complaint-driven.
“This year, we got a specific complaint against 12 businesses,” she said.
After an investigation, letters were sent stating the owners had five days to remove their flags. Fines would have been imposed if they were not taken down.
Edwards suggested Lascaris take the issue up with the planning commission.
Hinebaugh asked whether an extension could be granted to the businesses until the commission has a chance to review the matter further.
“Yes, they (the business) have an opportunity to work with my department to see what they want to petition for,” Carpenter said.
The commissioners made a motion and unanimously approved a temporary stay in the penalty process.
Their next public meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. Aug. 21 at the courthouse.