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2023 State of the County

"The Board of County Commissioners along with Washington County staff are excited to share with you some highlights Washington County Government experienced in 2022 as well as our plans for 2023. This presentation will reflect on the many successes our County has experienced within infrastructure, public safety, economic development, citizen and community engagement, and employee development. Before we begin, I want to personally express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our county staff for their hard work and dedication in 2022 and for the extraordinary services they have provided to the citizens of our County."
John M. Martirano, Esq. County Administrator
John M. Martirano, Esq.
County Administrator
Left to Right: Jeffrey Cline (Vice President), Wayne Keefer, John Barr (President), Derek Harvey, Randall Wagner

In 2022, Washington County Government welcomed the 2022 to 2026 Board of County Commissioners as well as new leadership for several county divisions and departments.

The swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Board was held on December 6, 2022. We welcomed back John Barr as Commissioner President, Jeffrey Cline as Commissioner Vice President and Commissioners Randall Wagner and Wayne Keefer.  We also welcomed first-term Commissioner Derek Harvey. 

Michelle Gordon was appointed as Chief Financial Officer, Neil Doran was hired as director of Hagerstown Regional Airport and Jonathan Horowitz was promoted as director of Business Development. In November, the County  promoted Charles Brown to director of the Office of Emergency Management.

Michelle Gordon, CFO
Michelle Gordon,
Neil Doran
Neil Doran,
Director of HGR
Jonathan Horowitz, Business Leader
Jonathan Horowitz,
Director of Business Development
Charles Brown,
Director of Emergency Management

With these new changes and additions, the County is looking forward to building momentum and continuing to make Washington County the ideal place to live, work and play. 

The County maintained fiscal responsibility with the Board of County Commissioners passing a general fund budget of $262,814,130 for FY2023 and a Capital Improvement Plan of $65,402,000. 

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FY2023 General Fund Budget
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Capital Improvement Plan

Washington County Public Schools maintains a large percentage of our budget as the school system holds a prime responsibility in educating our community’s future generation with over 22,000 students enrolled for the 2022-2023 school year. 

As part of the Capital Improvement Plan, the County funded 1.5 million dollars for Hagerstown Community College’s D.M. Bowman Family Workforce Training Center. 

Additionally, the County supplied local share funding for the Learning Resource Center’s metal panel system and roof replacement and HCC received the last portion of funding for the Center for Business and Entrepreneurial Studies. 

Hagerstown Community College’s D.M. Bowman Family Workforce Training Center
Hagerstown Community College's Hagerstown Community College’s D.M. Bowman Family Workforce Training Center

In January 2022, The Board of County Commissioners passed a program schedule for the funding received as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County received the first allocation of funds in June 2021, totaling 14.7 million dollars, and the second allocation of 14.7 million dollars was received in June 2022. 

As of November 2022, approximately 28.7 million of the funds have been allocated, 5.3 million have been spent and 648 thousand remains unallocated.  

The funds have been allocated to many projects including the Community Investment Program, the Antietam Cable Broadband Grant, and the Emergency Services self-contained breathing apparatus equipment. 

“2022 proved to be another successful year for infrastructure in Washington County. Staff across many county departments worked together to ensure our roadways, bridges, culverts, water systems, telecommunications and other infrastructures are safe and available. Staff also worked on other projects that are essential for the well-being of our County. Overall, these projects are necessary for our economy to thrive and function at its best. As a citizen of Washington County, I greatly appreciate our staff and have confidence they will continue to achieve future infrastructure goals.”


The Division of Engineering has been hard at work on a multi-phase project for Professional Boulevard. This project is to reduce congestion and emergency response times and enhance transportation networks within the County. 

  • Phase 1 of the Professional Boulevard Bridge project was completed in the summer. The phase involved building a three-span steel girder bridge over Antietam Creek to accommodate the future widening of Professional Court and the extension of Professional Boulevard to Yale Drive.   
  • Phase 2 is now underway and will be completed by the Spring of 2023. The remaining work is scheduled after the completion of phase 2 and the project is anticipated to be completed in the Spring of 2024. 

In the Spring, Frog Eye Road Culvert was completed. The project involved the replacement of a deteriorated one-lane steel beam bridge with a concrete box culvert that accommodates two-lanes of traffic.  

In the summer, the County completed the renovation of a two-thousand square foot vacant building to develop the new Senior Fitness Facility on the Washington County Senior Activities Center campus. 

Notably in 2022, the Poffenberger Road stone arch bridge won a Maryland Historic Trust award for Outstanding Stewardship by a Government Agency. 

Photo of updates made to Frog Eye Road
Frog Eye Road Culvert
Senior Fitness Facility
Senior Fitness Facility
Director of Engineering Scott Hobbs in front of the Poffenberger Road Stone Arch Bridge
Director of Engineering Scott Hobbs in front of the Poffenberger Road Stone Arch Bridge

The Division of Permits and Inspections, the Division of Engineering, and the Department of Planning and Zoning relocated in April of 2022 to 747 Northern Avenue. 

In October, Washington County launched Electronic Plan Review to enhance its permitting and land development software known as Accela Automation. The upgrade increased efficiency by allowing the Division of Permits & Inspections, the Division of Engineering and the Department of Planning and Zoning to handle permitting and land development plan review in a more efficient manner while maintaining a high level of customer service and an increased level of citizen access. 

Notable achievements from the Division of Permits & Inspections for 2022 include:

  • Maintaining 24 hours or less response time to all inspection requests
  • Completing 41,162 Divisional Inspections
  • Investigating 449 Service Requests
  • Performing 1,882 Residential and Commercial Plan Reviews
  • Processing 5,871 Building and Trade Permits
  • Issuing 5,375 Building and Trade Permits
  • and 1,095 Use and Occupancy Certificates

The Division of Environmental Management also had a productive year. The Department of Solid Waste and Recycling collected over 160,000 tons of materials and started several recycling initiatives including a bike recycling program, a mattress recycling program, and a book recycling service.

The Department also held a free scrap tire day at the Forty West Landfill and collected over one thousand seven hundred tires. 

In February, the Division of Stormwater & Watershed launched an online form for residents to report illegal litter dumping. 

Free Book Recycling Service at Two Locations in Washington County, MD
Learn more about the Discover Books Program
Clean County Crew on Earth Day 2022
Help us Clean-up Washington County. Report Illegal Dumping.
View the illegal dumping form

The team also launched their first Stormwater Week video series hosted multiple public cleanup events, cleaned over 480 litter sites, planted over 14,500 trees, and provided presentations in the public school system and other community organizations.

The Clean County team also removed 1,026,280 pounds of waste from our County. And, notably, the total amount of material collected by the street sweeper reached over 4 million pounds in 2022.

Stormwater Awareness Week 2022
1/4 videos
What is Stormwater?
What is Stormwater?
Litter and Illegal Dumping
Litter and Illegal Dumping
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Trees & Temperatures
Trees & Temperatures
New Transit buses 2022
New Transit Buses

Throughout the year, Washington County Transit provided over 380,000 individual trips contributing to the economic success of Washington County.  

 The transit system continues to flourish with improved routing and an updated fleet of six new Eldorado Passport buses. The replacement buses will enhance reliability, safety, and ride comfort for both passengers and our drivers.

Hagerstown Regional Airport continues to offer year-round and seasonal flights by Allegiant Airlines to Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and provided services to over 407,000 passengers in 2022. In May 2022, HGR and Allegiant celebrated 10 years of partnership.

The Airport launched a new website design to better serve customers online. The new design includes arrival and departure times, ticket counter hours, a calendar of events, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

Aerial photo of the runway at HGR
The runway at HGR is the 2nd largest in Maryland
HGR staff with Air Force One, October 2022

Another integral part of making this county a great place to live is providing safety for our citizens. Public safety accounts for 26% of the County’s general fund budget.  

“Public safety remains a priority for Washington County. Emergency communications specialists, firefighters, police, EMS personnel, fire police, and volunteers serve our citizens on what could be the worst day of your life. Our public safety professionals are constantly training to be ready to answer your call on a moments notice. In 2022, we saw the completion of phase one for the state-of-the-art public safety training center and we worked continuously to improve technology and other facilities. And we recognize the need for funding for higher call volumes and costs. I have seen first-hand the dedication our first responders to the safety of our citizens. Thank you to all who dedicate and sacrifice their lives to keep our county safe.”

Vice President

In 2022, the Division of Emergency Services Emergency Communications Center handled approximately 196,061 requests for service. These requests include police, fire and emergency-medical service.

Washington County’s Fire and Emergency Medical units responded to over 27,809 EMS calls and 6,148 fire calls. These numbers also include total calls within the City of Hagerstown, which were handled by the Hagerstown Fire Department.   

EMS (County)
EMS (City)
EMS (Out of County)
Fire (County)
Fire (City)
Fire (Out of County)
Fire (TOTAL)
Photo of the Public Safety Training Center ribbon cutting
Public Safety Training Center Ribbon Cutting

In Spring 2022, the first phase of the Public Safety Training Center was completed. The first phase included site development and construction of the state-of-the-art facility. 

The training center building is approximately thirty-five thousand square feet and includes classrooms, administration offices, a break room, a weight room, locker rooms, and a multi-purpose room.

In April 2022, the “We Will Never Forget” mural was installed at the Public Safety Training Center and signed by the designer, Public Relations and Marketing, Multimedia Specialist. 

Exterior photo of the Public Safety Training Center
Washington County's Public Safety Training Center
Public Safety Training Center Classroom
"We Will Never Forget" Mural

On September 20, 2022, hundreds of citizens, local and state-wide dignitaries, public safety personnel and county staff gathered to celebrate the opening of the Washington County’s Public Safety Training Center.   

While the facility is open for classroom training, future plans for the site include development of a tactical village that will involve construction of a Class B Multi-Story Burn Building and Training Tower, a Vehicle Maneuvering Range, a Vehicle Instructional Facility, an Indoor Firing Range, and a one-and-a-half mile outdoor fitness track. 

In October 2022, Firefighter recruit classes 2 and 3 and the Emergency Communications Academy held the first graduation ceremony at the Public Safety Training Center. With the graduation of recruit class 3, the Division of Emergency Services now has 49 of 55 Board of County Commissioner-authorized firefighters operating in the field. 

Firefighter Recruits during a training session

The Washington County Police Academy relocated to the Public Safety Training Center. After undergoing over 1,000 hours of law enforcement training, six sworn deputies will be graduating in February 2023.

Firefighter Academy Recruit Class 2 & 3
Firefighter Academy Recruit Class 2 & 3
Emergency Communications Academy Class 19 & 20
Emergency Communications Academy Class 19 & 20

In July, The Sheriff’s Office  started the Medication Assisted Treatment Program to support individuals with opioid addiction while incarcerated and after they are released. 

Throughout the year, the Sheriff’s Office hired 23 employees, both uniformed and civilian, for the Washington County Detention Center. 

In December, Brian Albert was sworn in as the new Sheriff for Washington County.

Former Sheriff Douglas Mullendore passing the torch to incoming Sheriff Brian Albert.
Sheriff Brian Albert

I am honored to be the newly elected Sheriff of Washington County. I look forward to working with the men and women of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to carry on the professional standards that my predecessor Sheriff Douglas Mullendore has delivered for the last 16 years.  I am committed to serving the citizens and visitors of Washington County.

In October, the Emergency Services IP Network Project was completed. The upgrade has provided the Emergency Communications Center with a reliable network to better support and transport 911 calls.  

A trial for 24-hour work shifts for employees at the Emergency Communications Center was approved by the Board of County Commissioners. At the completion of the trial, 41 of the 44 employees elected to continue working 24-hour shifts. 

In September, the Division of Emergency Services, in collaboration with Potomac Valley Volunteer Fire Company, was awarded a 1.9 million dollar Regional Assistance for Firefighters Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funds will be used by various volunteer fire and EMS departments, the Division of Emergency Services, and the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association to purchase portable radios. 

Additionally, 5.1 million dollars was approved in the capital budget to purchase County-wide reserve apparatus fleet. The reserve apparatus fleet consists of 4 new rescue boats, EMS power load stretchers for ambulances and fire/EMS portable radio replacements. 

Economic development serves as the driving force behind the success of our existing businesses and attracting new business to Washington County. For the local economy to thrive, we need both small and large businesses to succeed. In 2022, our County experienced tremendous success and significant capital gain. We also proudly stood alongside many new businesses for ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings.  Additionally, our Office of Grant Management has helped secure and manage funding that is a necessity to our economy’s health.


In 2022, The Department of Business Development continued its efforts to assist in the stabilization of the local economy. The department focused heavily on retaining and expanding local businesses and attracting new businesses to the area. 

Due to the progressive growth occurring throughout Washington County, economic development projects totaled over nine-hundred-and-four-million dollars in capital investment and will lead to the creation of over 5,400 new jobs.

Notable capital investment projects include:

  • A seventy-million-dollar investment from Hitachi for the three-hundred-thousand square feet metro rail car manufacturing facility.
  • The new C&O Canal headquarters, which is a 15-million-dollar investment for the entire one-hundred-eighty-four-and-a-half-mile national park.
  • A fifteen-million-dollar investment for New Heights Industrial Park, a multi-tenant nine-hundred-thousand square feet manufacturing facility.
  • And, an eight-hundred-twenty-thousand-million-dollar project of various warehouse e-commerce facilities, which are estimated to bring five-thousand new jobs to Washington County.
Ribbon Cutting at the new C&O Headquarters located in Williamsport, MD
The Greenhouse Cafe Grand Opening

Additionally, continued progress was reported for the Fort Ritchie Revival project, which included a new café, two new manufacturing businesses, and a new Meritus primary care practice.

Over the course of 2022, approximately 83 ground breakings & ribbon cuttings for new and upcoming businesses were celebrated.

As the largest industry in Washington County, agriculture is a significant part of economic development. 

Notably, two local Washington County farms were recognized at the World Dairy Expo.

The Department of Business Development also identified the 2022-2023 Farm of the Year, Baker Farms LLC.

In support of our local farms, the Department showcased various farms throughout the year as part of the Faces of Farming campaign and looks forward to continuing these efforts in 2023.   

The Office of Grant Management was busy this year securing funding and managing grants. They secured over 744,800 dollars for community-based programs that benefit youth and families; over 500,000 dollars for educational services through the Maryland State Department of Education; and over 11.5 million dollars through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The Office of Grant Management also provided staff support to the Washington County Gaming Commission. The gaming fund total was over 2.5 million dollars, which was an increase of over 129 thousand dollars when compared to fiscal year 2021 revenues. 

While infrastructure, public safety, and economic development encompass a large percentage of the county’s general fund, the County also finds it is important to offer ways in which the community and citizens can engage with county government. 

The Boys & Girls Club is one of many local organizations to receive funding through programs provided by Grant Management

“Providing a variety of programs for all ages, maintaining and enhancing spaces to hold activities and events, and offering ways for county citizens to engage with our County Government are all imperative to Washington’s County’s successes in being the place where people choose to live, work and play.

County Commissioners work for you…the citizens of Washington County.  We do our job best when we hear your concerns and needs directly.  Citizen advisory boards, public meetings, public hearings, and community events are each avenues where citizens can make direct contact with your elected officials to share your needs and expectations.  And commissioners and staff are readily accessible by an email or phone call.”


The Parks and Recreation Department oversees sixteen of our county parks. Five, of which, received playground equipment updates in the spring of 2022. These parks were Camp Harding, Chestnut Grove, Clear Spring, Marty Snook and Pen Mar. 

In addition to playground equipment updates, a new awning roof structure was installed at Marty Snook Park. 

Marty’s Mythical Woods, was awarded the County of Engineers Association of Maryland Small Project of the Year Award for 2022.  

Over 1,100 student athletes had the opportunity to participate in various sports leagues, including boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ volleyball. Summer camp programs averaged two-hundred campers per day at the four locations.

Andrew Eshleman, Director of Public Works, and Zane Rowe, Deputy Director of Public Works accepting the CEAM Small Project of the Year Award for Marty’s Mythical Woods at Marty Snook Park.
Andrew Eshleman, Director of Public Works, and Zane Rowe, Deputy Director of Public Works accepting the CEAM Small Project of the Year Award for Marty’s Mythical Woods at Marty Snook Park.
Photo of Camp Harding Park new playground equipment
New playground equipment at Camp Harding Park
Photo of zip line at Pen Mar park
A new zip line at Pen Mar Park is one of the few new installations during 2022.
Photo of playground equipment at Chestnut Grove park
New playground equipment at Chestnut Grove park

Youth swim safety lessons were also offered at Marty Snook Pool and 251 children participated. 

Throughout the year, approximately 900 adult participants participated in various adult fitness classes, including tennis, hybrid cardio, dance, and more. 

Additionally, as a result of welcoming additional staff to the team, the recreation department was able to offer both adult & youth drop-in programs at the Community Recreation Center and Parks for archery, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, and pickleball.

Citizens also stayed active at Black Rock Golf Course. In 2022, over 28,000 rounds of golf were played. The course also hosted 45 junior, nonprofit, high school, and college golf tournaments. 

The Recreation Department hosted many events, including the St. Patrick’s Day Run Fest, Everybody’s Day at Pen Mar Park, the Princess and Super Hero parties, and Park at Dark. They also assisted with the Turkey Trot in November 2022. 

Photo of Marty Snook pool
Marty Snook Pool
Black Rock Golf Simulator is Open 8am-4pm daily
Black Rock now offers an indoor golf simulator
St Patricks Run Fest 2022
St. Patrick's Day Fun Run 2022
A photo of the recreation department's annual Princess Party 2022
Princess Party 2022

The second annual Washington County Ice Cream Trail was coordinated by the Public Relations and Marketing Department and Department of Business Development. 

Citizens were invited to visit fourteen locally owned ice cream shops.  The second year proved to be quite a success with a total of 310 submissions Additionally, a Facebook Group was kicked off for participants to share their experiences. 

In three months, the group quickly grew to include 302 members. Lastly, participants who completed the trail were invited to vote for their favorite ice cream trail stop. 

With a big gap of over 30 votes, Misty Meadows Farm Creamery was voted as the 2022 Washington County Ice Cream Trail Favorite.

This year participants who completed the Ice Cream Trail in time received free t-shirts!

The Public Relations and Marketing Department continues to keep citizens informed of what is going on in Washington County. The team keeps our citizens in the know by providing the latest news on road closures, Board of County Commissioner Meeting agendas, grant opportunities, and so much more. To be informed of what is going on in Washington County Government subscribe to County news at 

“Our staff spends countless hours serving our citizens and ensuring we all have a place to live, work, and play. Without their dedication, the successes of our county could not be achieved.  To continue this momentum, we need to recruit, retain and professionally develop quality staff. We firmly believe in supporting the professional development of our staff members, making sure there is adequate compensation while also celebrating their accomplishments. To our staff, we thank you.”


The Department of Human Resources is responsible for the County’s most valuable resource: a staff of over 1,500 employees. In 2022, 72 full-time positions and 206 part-time positions were filled. 

Throughout the year, over 1,250 80% of employees participated in various trainings to enhance skills and better serve our County. These trainings included: (list)   

  • CPR / First Aid /AED training 
  • Safety-related training 
  • Customer Service-related training 
  • Civility & Harassment training 
  • Leadership & Management training 
  • CDL training 
Washington County Employees helping our community during Day of Caring 2022
County staff participating in United Way's Day of Caring 2022

Due to their hard work and dedication, many staff members were recognized as recipients for various awards, including the Sheriff’s Office Deputy of the Year, the Sheriff’s Office Supervisor of the Year, the 2022 County Engineers Association of Maryland Service Award, various Public Safety Awards, and the 21st Hagerstown Community College Hall of Fame. 

Staff also engaged in community-based initiatives including the Employee Giving Campaign, Walking to Wellness, the Earth Day cleanup and tree planting event, Day of Caring, and Washington Goes Purple. 

Washington County is working hard for you. We will continue to provide services which are designed to protect, enrich, and enhance the lives of our citizens. We are grateful for each citizen, municipality and business in Washington County. The value added from each of you is why Washington County is, and always will be, a great place to live, work and play.

John M. Martirano, Esq. County Administrator
John M. Martirano, Esq.
County Administrator

Board of County Commissioners

100 West Washington Street
Room 1101
Hagerstown, MD 21740

[email protected]

If you need to reach a Commissioner to discuss bond review or criminal charges, please contact the District Court Commissioner at 240-420-4600.

Telephone:  240-313-2200

FAX:  240-313-2201

The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

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