WASHINGTON COUNTY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

PUBLIC WORKS

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


DIVISION OF ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

The Division of Engineering and Construction Management originated as the Capital Projects Department, which became the Engineering and Construction Department under the Division of Public Works. In May 2013, it was made a separate division, and in July 2015 was renamed the Division of Engineering and Construction Management.

The construction, maintenance, and control of County public works, buildings, publicly owned water and sewerage facilities, and capital projects are the responsibility of the Division.

Under the Division are three departments: Construction, Engineering, and Plan Review.

CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT

First as the Capital Projects Department, and then as the Engineering and Construction Department, the Construction Department originated under the Division of Public Works. In May 2013, the Department transferred to the Division of Engineering and Construction (now Division of Engineering and Construction Management). In July 2015, it reformed as the Construction Department.

The Construction Department conducts required building and trade inspections of construction projects, as well as of driveways and utilities located within County rights-of-way. The Department also inspects all storm water management ponds constructed (County Code, sec. 1-701).

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

The Engineering Department originated as first the Capital Projects Department, and then the Engineering and Construction Department under the Division of Public Works. In May 2013, the Department transferred to the Division of Engineering and Construction (now Division of Engineering and Construction Management). In July 2015, it reformed as the Engineering Department.

The Engineering Department oversees all aspects of capital projects.

PLAN REVIEW & PERMITTING DEPARTMENT

The Plan Review and Permitting Department formed in May 2017 from the merger of the Plan Review Department with the Permitting Department.

The Plan Review Department formerly was the Division of Plan Review and Permitting under the Planning and Zoning Department. In May 2013, as Plan Review and Permitting, it transferred to the Division of Engineering and Construction (now Division of Engineering and Construction Management). In July 2015, it reformed as the Plan Review Department, and in May 2017, merged with the Permitting Department to form the Plan Review and Permitting Department.

The Permitting Department formerly was the Division of Plan Review and Permitting under the Planning and Zoning Department. In May 2013, as Plan Review and Permitting, it transferred to the Division of Engineering and Construction (now Division of Engineering & Construction Management). In July 2015, it reformed as the Permitting Department. In May 2017, the Permitting Department merged with the Plan Review Department to become the Plan Review and Permitting Department.

To ensure compliance with all County design criteria and applicable ordinances, the Plan Review and Permitting Department oversees the review of plans for residential, commercial and industrial development. The Department reviews and comments in detail on traffic impact studies required for development. It also manages the County Floodplain Management Program, and reviews and comments on utility, grading, entrance and floodplain permit applications, as well as applications to be heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The enforcement of ordinances concerned with weed control and zoning is the responsibility of the Department.

Under the Division of Engineering and Construction Management, the Department processes applications for building permits, and issues building permits in accordance with County adopted building codes, and the County Zoning Ordinance. Upon a project's completion, the Department then issues a use and occupancy certificate. It also processes applications for electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractor licenses, and maintains those licenses. Moreover, this unit processes applications for trade permits of contractors working in the County, and issues those permits as well.

For construction permits on properties zoned as historic district, or rural village, applications are reviewed by the Historic District Commission prior to approval (County Code, secs. 1-501, 1-502).

The Department oversees Engineering and Land Use Plan Review, and Permits and Land Review. The Department also is aided by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

ENGINEERING & LAND USE PLAN REVIEW
Engineering and Land Use Plan Review oversees the County building inspectors and advises the Department on matters related to forest conservation, public land development, road design, and stormwater and floodplain management.

PERMITS & LAND REVIEW
Permits and Land Review receives and processes permit requests for Permits. It also issues trade permits for contractors operating in the County, including electricians, mechanics, and plumbers. Permits and Land Review enforces local and State building codes, and ordinances related to residential junk, weeds, and zoning.


DIVISION OF PUBLIC WORKS

The Division of Public Works oversees five departments: Communications Maintenance; Highway; Land Development Engineering; Parks, Recreation and Facilities; and Transit (County Code, sec. 1-601).

COMMUNICATIONS MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT
The Communications Maintenance Department designs, procures, installs, and maintains all County wireless communications systems (except cellular). This includes equipment owned by the County, the County's municipalities, the Board of Education, and some State-owned equipment.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
The Highway Department is responsible for County roads, highways, bridges and streets, lanes, alleys, footways, and culverts. Along County roads, the Department performs snow and ice removal operations; installs and repairs traffic control signs, street name signs and signals; picks up litter and debris; and cuts the grass. In addition, the Department provides lighting for roads, highways, alleys, and other public places; cleans and repairs County-owned ditches and storm drains; and trims all trees and removes dead trees on County-owned property.

LAND DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
The Land Development Engineering Department reviews and approves the designs and performs limited construction inspections of private developments. This is done by review of subdivision plats and site plans submitted to the County through the Department of Planning and Community Development. Within the County right-of-way typically associated with those developments, the Department inspects driveways and utilities. The Department also oversees storm drainage, erosion, and sediment control facilities and projects, and the County Stormwater Management Program. It reviews, approves, and inspects all stormwater management ponds constructed (County Code, sec. 1-701).

PARKS, RECREATION & FACILITIES DEPARTMENT
Within the Division of Public Works is the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department. The Department maintains buildings, grounds, and parks owned by the County; handles reservations for park pavilions; operates the Martin L. Snook swimming pool in Hagerstown; and provides maintenance for county agencies (Code Local Government Article, secs. 1-601 through 1-611).

TRANSIT DEPARTMENT
Under the Division of Public Works, the Transit Department operates all public transportation in Washington County (County Code, sec. 1-603). The County Commuter public transit system is a bus line. It runs eight, fixed urban bus routes that originate in Hagerstown and serve Funkstown, Halfway, Long Meadow, Maugansville, Robinwood, Smithsburg, and Williamsport.

For the elderly and persons with disabilities, County Commuter buses provide transportation through a contracted Ride-Assist Voucher Program, funded by the Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program. For individuals with disabilities who can not access fixed-route service, the Department provides ADA Complementary Paratransit Service, along with Job Access in cooperation with the County Department of Social Services.

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