- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2009

DISTRICT

City announces deal with Zipcar

Zipcar is hoping to broaden its customer base by offering its car-sharing technology to the public sector.

The company is announcing a venture Tuesday that will allow municipalities to equip their vehicles with Zipcar’s reservation and management systems.

Company officials said that having city employees share vehicles will allow governments to streamline their fleets, saving money and helping the environment.

A pilot program under way for six months in the District has allowed the city to reduce the total number of passenger cars in its fleet by 360, or 17 percent.

D.C. officials are projecting net savings of more than $1 million after the first year and $6.6 million after five years.

Boat runs to test Potomac ferry idea

Officials are researching the viability of a ferry across the Potomac River between Prince William County and the District.

Officials will conduct test boat runs for three days next week to evaluate prospective stops, timing and public interest.

The route being considered includes up to eight stops in Virginia, three stops in Maryland and two in the District’s Southwest.

The ferry can carry about 150 people.

The idea of a commuter ferry has been discussed for about five years.

MARYLAND

HAGERSTOWN

Stimulus funds to repair towpath

A National Park Service official says $12.1 million in federal funds have been designated to repair a dangerous gap in the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park towpath.

Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail that the economic-stimulus funds will restore a washed-out section of the nearly 185-mile hiking and biking trail along a stretch of the Potomac River called the Big Slackwater.

The park service closed the 2.7-mile section more than 12 years ago, forcing trail users on a nearly six-mile detour along narrow country roads.

The park service has about 18 months to secure commitments for spending the stimulus money.

Mr. Brandt said the agency expects to advertise for bids by next summer.

BALTIMORE

Treatment center pays settlement

The U.S. attorney’s office says a former youth residential treatment center in Cambridge has paid to settle charges that it submitted false claims for care.

Chesapeake Youth Center has paid the federal government $259,120.

Authorities say the youth center operated a residential treatment center that offered inpatient psychiatric services to people younger than 21.

According to the settlement agreement, residents at one unit at the youth center did not receive any psychiatric care or got substandard care from January 2005 through July 2005. Officials say the youth center submitted false Medicaid claims for those services.

The youth center denied the charges.

VIRGINIA

RICHMOND

Lynchburg gets funds for watertreatment

The city of Lynchburg will receive about a third of the $77 million in economic-stimulus money available to improve wastewater treatment in Virginia.

Gov. Tim Kaine announced Monday that the State Water Control Board has approved a $25 million grant for Lynchburg’s combined sewage overflow program. The project will eliminate raw sewage overflows into the James River.

The water board approved projects in 27 localities that are to be under way by September.

Among the endeavors are 13 green projects totaling $16 million that include water reuse and alternative-energy initiatives.

In addition to creating jobs, the Department of Environmental Quality said, the projects will help reduce excess nitrogen and phosphorous that plants discharge into Virginia’s waterways.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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