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County News Briefs

(1/2018) Frederick County’s Saves $2.6 Million in Bond Refinancing

County Executive Jan Gardner announced that Frederick County Government received $2.6 million in savings on Wednesday in a refinancing of bond debt. The refinancing is over a million dollars more in savings than originally anticipated.

"As I said in my annual report, Frederick County’s strong financial outlook means real savings for our residents. We saw phenomenal savings from his negotiated sale of refinanced bonds, resulting in millions of dollars of savings for taxpayers," commented Executive Gardner. "Our long-term conservative approach to budgeting and strong management of county government has saved taxpayers substantial money. I am proud to be protecting the taxpayers and delivering savings."

The county used a negotiated sale with J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC, to issue $36,580,000 of tax-exempt Refunding Bonds, Series 2017B. The True Interest Cost on the issuance was 2.029 percent, for a percentage savings of 7.211 percent.

The debt service savings over the term of the bonds will be $2,637,940. The county’s initial projection for debt service savings was $1,615,246. The actual savings were $1,022,694 higher than originally projected.

The AAA ratings reflect financial analysts’ confidence in the county government’s management and financial health. Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s each reaffirmed their ratings in December 2017. In June 2016, for the first time, Frederick County joined the ranks of the elite few counties across the nation earning AAA stable ratings from every agency. County Executive Gardner thanks county finance and budget staff for their outstanding work.

For additional information, contact Finance Division Director Lori Depies at 301-600-1117 or via e-mail at

Deputy Fire Chief Jewell Announces Retirement

After nearly 20 years of public service, Deputy Chief Clarence "Chip" Jewell has announced his retirement as the director of the Frederick County Division of Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services, effective Dec. 31. Over the decades, Mr. Jewell has seen dramatic changes in the fire and rescue service.

He began his county career in 1972 as a dispatcher with Frederick County Central Alarm. He also worked in communications for Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Services and had over 20 years in the insurance industry as an insurance agent and insurance education instructor.

Mr. Jewell returned to county government in 2003 as the first director of Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service. In 2006, he was promoted to director of the Department of Emergency Communications. In 2014, he returned to the volunteer services as the chief/director of the newly created Division of Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service.

"Chip has been an incredible asset through the years, with an extensive knowledge of Frederick County’s volunteer system that is unmatched," County Executive Jan Gardner said. "He will be greatly missed."

"I have truly been honored to serve the citizens of Frederick County as both volunteer director and the director of emergency communications," Mr. Jewell said upon announcing his retirement Tuesday. "Our county is so fortunate to have an excellent cadre of volunteers in our more than two dozen volunteer fire and rescue companies. Our dedicated members continue to meet the demands of training while responding to an increasing volume of emergency incidents. I am grateful for the many years of support from the leadership in each company and the officers of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association."

Mr. Jewell has been an active volunteer in Frederick County since 1969. He will continue to maintain his activity in the volunteer service as assistant chief of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department and life membership at both Libertytown and the Junior Fire Co. No. 2. He will also continue to serve as a field instructor for the University of Maryland/Maryland Fire-Rescue Institute.

Battalion Chief Kevin Fox will serve as the interim director of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services, until a selection is made to succeed retiring Deputy Chief Clarence "Chip" Jewell.

The director of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services supports the work of, and coordinates with, Frederick County’s volunteer fire and rescue companies. The position is appointed by the County Executive. She will conduct an open recruitment process to solicit applicants. Candidates will be screened by a panel that will consist of both county staff and representatives of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association Executive Committee. The County Executive will make the appointment, which will be subject to confirmation by the County Council.

Acting Director Fox has extensive knowledge of both the career and volunteer sides of emergency services. He has volunteered as an EMT and firefighter for more than 30 years, serving in numerous leadership positions, including as post president of the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service and vice president of Guardian Hose. Fox has worked for Frederick County Government since 1990, first as an emergency communications dispatcher, and then, in 1999, as a firefighter with the Division of Fire and Rescue Services. For the past four years, Fox has been the division’s spokesperson. In 2015, he was promoted to battalion chief. Fox also teaches part time for the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute.

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