From the past

50 YEARS AGO—JUNE 9, 1971

Two representatives of the Grasonville Volunteer Fire Department asked the county commissioners Tuesday about the possibility of instituting a fire tax in the county. The commissioners said the question of a fire tax would have to be put to referendum.

Commissioner Julius Grollman said he wouldn’t wholeheartedly support a fire tax. Both he and Commissioner John M. Ashley Jr. expressed the opinion that the voters would turn down a move to increase their taxes. The commissioners said if a fire tax is instituted, it would have to be county-wide and the revenue would be split between the seven and one-third companies in the county. The one-third is Queen Anne-Hillsboro, which is also funded by Caroline and Talbot counties.

The Grasonville company asked State Senator Elroy G. Boyer to introduce a bill in the General Assembly to create a fire tax in the Fifth District. He said he would help them but only if the county commissioners agreed to the plan, but they did not.

• • •

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners have announced a public hearing to be held concerning an amendment to the section of the zoning ordinance governing airports. The proposed amendment came about as a result of conflicts between developer Nathan Morris and the county planning and zoning board over the airport Morris operates at the Kent Island Industrial Park.

Morris contends that his airport is a commercial airport and was planned that way from its inception. The zoning board ruled last December that the airport is an accessory use to the industrial park and cannot be operated as a commercial field.

If the proposed amendment is adopted, Morris would be allowed to keep his airport in operation, but would have to go before the county Board of Appeals to make any changes or additions to the field.

• • •

Two state troopers interrupted a burglary in process early Tuesday at a Queenstown store, but were unable to capture the burglar. Tprs. David T. Richardson and J.P. White were on patrol when they spotted a breaking and entering in process at Tommy’s TV and Repair on Route 301 at Queenstown about 4:22 a.m. Tuesday.

The would-be burglar left the truck he had parked at the store and took off into some bushes in the back of the shop. The Easton barracks sent additional troopers to the store to assist in the hunt for the fleeing man, but they failed to find him. Richardson learned that the truck belonged to a Grasonville couple and had been stolen sometime that morning.

While the burglar was foiled in his attempt to break into the store, he did make off with a jack, a set of socket wrenches, a hammer, three cases of cleaning solvent, and some items of clothing.

• • •

General Wallace Scott (USMC retired) will be the guest speaker at an open house celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Grasonville Memorial VFW Post No. 7464 on Sunday. General Scott, resides at Melfield near Centreville on the Corsica River. The U.S. Army Drill Team from Washington will perform and there will be entertainment and rides for the children.

25 YEARS AGO—JUNE 7, 1996

Will homeowners have to pay more money for sewer services in southern Queen Anne’s County? The county commissioners said they don’t want to do it, but the county’s Sanitary District said wastewater rates in Grasonville and Kent Island may have to go up to cover the increasing cost of running the system.

The Sanitary District’s wastewater budget is $377,456 short and the water subdistrict is $10,000 in the hole, according to the budget presented to the commissioners. Part of that deficit in the wastewater subdistrict is due to the budgeted $1 million in salaries that includes a step and a 2.45 percent cost of living raises, said Chief Sanitary Engineer Alan Quimby. The Sanitary District also budgeted for an additional employee because overtime among the short-handed staff was “killing us,” according to Quimby.

“It kills me to consider a rate increase at the same time we are considering a substantial tax increase,” said Commissioner Mark Belton. The commissioners have proposed a 24-cent tax increase to help pay for capital projects.

• • •

Governor Parris Glendening was a hit at Church Hill Elementary School last Friday afternoon, as he toured the 80-year-old facility due to be renovated this summer. During his hour-long visit, Glendening chatted with students and checked out the computer lab, media center, and several classrooms. The school recently received $1.23 million from the Maryland Board of Public Works’ Interagency Committee for School Construction, of which Glendening is chair, for renovations and additions.

Church Hill Media Specialist Linda M. Jefferson said it was a nice touch for the governor to visit the school in person and see first-hand how the renovations will improve the learning environment. “We have very limited resources we’re working with here where it (the media center) is being housed,” she said. “We definitely need a new school.”

The students, many of whom will have moved to middle school before the renovations are complete, were more interested in getting to know the governor, who interacted with students in a number of grade levels.

• • •

As the Class of 1996 said goodbye to Queen Anne’s County High School.], so did Principal David Jones. After 30 years in education, Jones has decided to retire. In his four years at the high school, he introduced a number of changes including the semesterized schedule, an improved relationship with the business community through the Business Ambassador Program, and a revised curriculum.

“I think we got some good things started and I think it’s time for someone else to pick up the torch,” he said. Jones feel his development of the School Improvement Team has been one of his most important contributions. Many of the changes Jones has made are part of his effort to raise morale and standards.

Jones began his career as a teacher in 1965. Along the way he completed three years in the military, taught elementary and high school, and served as principal of Greensboro Elementary School, Colonel Richardson High School, and North Caroline High School.

Compiled by Jack Shaum from Record-Observer archives.

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