Commissioners hear more about revolving loan fund idea
Nearly a year after the idea first came up, the county is still considering creating a revolving loan fund to help new and expanding businesses.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners Tuesday heard more about the idea from Jefry Bohn, the chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission’s Resource Development Committee.
Bohn talked about possibly working with the Tri-County Council, a regional economic development organization, which could use its existing structure to administer a program for Washington County.
A memorandum from Bohn suggested that the county establish the fund with $1 million.
The memo said the Tri-County Council might charge around 1.5 percent of a loan amount for administrative costs.
Traditionally, the Tri-County Council has seen a loss rate of 8 or 9 percent on loan money, the memo said.
County officials had several questions about the proposal, which is still in development.
Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham said she’s frustrated the process has been “painfully long” and urged that it be speeded up.
The Herald-Mailreported in July 2011 that the commissioners had begun talking about a possible revolving fund after County Administrator Gregory B. Murray suggested it.
Apple Valley Waste manager complains about program
J.P. Phillips, the general manager of Apple Valley Waste in Kearneysville, W.Va., asked the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to hold Allied Waste, a competitor, to its promises for its new recycling program.
He mentioned a misleading letter Allied Waste distributed to some county neighborhoods, along with recycling bins, as part of an opt-out system.
Residents in those pilot neighborhoods had to call to cancel or they’d be billed $5 a month for service.
Allied’s letter began: “This letter is a follow up to the post card you received from Washington County regarding Allied Waste’s take over of your curbside recycling service.”
Phillips pointed out that this was wrong — Allied, not the county, sent the postcards to residents. Also, Allied didn’t explain in the letter that residents had to opt out to refuse the service.
The letter and Allied’s new program, with support from the county, has been difficult to cope with, Phillips said, noting that people with questions flooded Apple Valley with phone calls.
“I lost two nights of sleep over this,” he said.
Murray reiterated what he told The Herald-Mail last week: Allied’s message to residents was wrong, and the company will have to distribute a retraction letter.
Last week, Don Groseclose, Allied Waste’s Chesapeake area municipal manager, said of the letter: “If it’s not precise wording, I apologize for that.”