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Garrett officials detail legislative ‘wish list'; Commissioners' questions include wind turbine regulations, EMS proposal

There is still some doubt over who has the authority to establish certain regulations for industrial wind turbines. ...On the list was the allowance for the commissioners to create regulations to require a certain distance from surrounding properties.

There is still some doubt over who has the authority to establish certain regulations for industrial wind turbines. Before legislation is put into effect, Sen. George Edwards suggested the Garrett County commissioners make certain they do not have the authority.

"I'd like for you to check with the attorney general on this first," Edwards told the commissioners at the legislative meeting.

The commissioners presented their "wish list" of items they would like to see Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel introduce into the legislature.

On the list was the allowance for the commissioners to create regulations to require a certain distance from surrounding properties. However, there was some dispute if that was not already something within the commissioner's authority and Edwards and Beitzel both asked for the commissioners to ensure they could not create such requirements on their own.

Commission Chairman Denny Glotfelty said he understood the stance on this, but that they had been informed they would need legislation granting them the power to create regulations as there is no countywide zoning in Garrett County.

Edwards also questioned another of the county's requests to allow for the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

There is still some doubt over who has the authority to establish certain regulations for industrial wind turbines. Before legislation is put into effect, Sen. George Edwards suggested the Garrett County commissioners make certain they do not have the authority.

"I'd like for you to check with the attorney general on this first," Edwards told the commissioners at the legislative meeting.

The commissioners presented their "wish list" of items they would like to see Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel introduce into the legislature.

On the list was the allowance for the commissioners to create regulations to require a certain distance from surrounding properties. However, there was some dispute if that was not already something within the commissioner's authority and Edwards and Beitzel both asked for the commissioners to ensure they could not create such requirements on their own.

Commission Chairman Denny Glotfelty said he understood the stance on this, but that they had been informed they would need legislation granting them the power to create regulations as there is no countywide zoning in Garrett County.

Edwards also questioned another of the county's requests to allow for the taxing of natural gas lines, saying he wanted to be sure that these were not already taxed in some way.

Beitzel and Edwards also had some questions about the proposal that legislation be passed granting authority to the Emergency Services Board in the county.

Edwards said he wanted it publicly said what the alternative would be to giving the board a level of oversight over fire and EMS services in the county.

Glotfelty said the other option to some form of legislative action would be to eliminate the board and do away with the Length of Service Award Program. He said the board would oversee that program and without the board, there simply wouldn't be enough staff available to oversee the program as would be necessary.

"We do not want this to be perceived as a threat," said Fred Holliday, county commissioner. "Without legislation, the Emergency Services Board has no authority."

Ernie Gregg, county commissioner, said he did not want to see the board continue to "tread water" without any kind of power.

Brad Frantz, director of Emergency Management and Public Safety, said the county had gotten all but two companies involved in the planning process for the board, and one of those two signed off on plans to request the legislation.

Frantz also said the Emergency Services Board was part of the recommendations of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat study the county did with all but those same two companies participating.

Also on the commissioners' list of requested items was the allowance from the state to increase the hotel rental tax to a rate of eight percent.

Gregg said this does not mean that the commissioners plan to raise the tax three percent at once, but instead would rather have the knowledge they could go that far without having to go once again to the state to get approval for each percentage increase.

When Beitzel mentioned the importance of the hotel industry in the county for tourism and economic development, Gregg said the same money that is taken in taxes from hotel rentals is given to economic development and tourism efforts through the chamber of commerce.

The commissioners included requests to clarify the county's right to tax seven percent of the natural gas that is sold by those drilling/producing, rather than those whose property it is on; and the ability to adopt a local ordinance to control the height, size and location of advertising signs along state and county roads.

The commissioners requested some fees be amended in the state codes regarding Garrett county's alcohol sales, this included increasing the cost of license transfer and replacement licenses.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/a...

NOV 22 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18018-garrett-officials-detail-legislative-wish-list-commissioners-questions-include-wind-turbine-regulations-ems-proposal
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