At the meeting on Tuesday, May 8, the County Commissioners hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pope’s Creek Rail Trail and Waterfront Promenade. The property was acquired in 2015 and construction of the pedestrian trail is expected to begin next year. It will be approximately three miles in length and allow visitors to explore the natural preserve located there. The waterfront portion of the area will include visitor parking, a brick walkway, a raised boardwalk, benches, a riverfront pier, observation stations, and interpretive panels highlighting the historic, natural, and cultural resources. The county’s first power plant, built in 1938, still stands on the Pope’s Creek site. Local artist Vicki Marckel designed unique window panels that are installed in the building’s original window frames. She presented the panels at the groundbreaking ceremony to acknowledge the building’s historical significance. View photos of the groundbreaking ceremony on Flickr.
Open Session Briefings
- Staff provided an update on the status of the curbside yard waste collection program. All bids for service exceeded the program’s budget. Options for both continuing existing service and converting to a subscription service were considered. Staff recommended a subscription-based service for rural areas and maintain existing service in densely-populated areas. Approximately 16,000 residents would be moved to a subscription-based service and required to sign up for it. Current participation for the subscription-based service area is currently one to three percent. This service change will result in reduced program costs, program efficiencies, and decreased vehicle emissions. Commissioners voted to approve this service change.
- Tri-County Council staff presented an update on an initiative to improve outcomes for the 2,835 youth and young adults in Charles County, ages 16-24, who are out of work and school. These individuals are challenged with risk factors such as living below the poverty line, parental unemployment, physical or mental disability, homelessness, and racial segregation. They are unable to work because they lack skills and education needed for employment or face other systemic barriers to gainful employment. The Charles County Youth and Young Adult American Job Center addresses these challenges by providing flexible pathways to educational attainment, skills training for employment, peer support groups, and financial literacy training. Tri-County Council staff highlighted success stories from those who have participated in the program.
- A budget work session was held to review requests from Commissioners and present an update to the proposed General Fund. The Board of Education’s budget would increase by $1.7 million from the county’s proposed budget to pay for enhancements to staff compensation. The Sheriff’s Office would increase by $572,700 to pay for staff compensation adjustments related to the new collective bargaining agreement. Revenue transfers from the Cable Enterprise Fund and the Reserve Fund Balance are proposed to pay for these increases and maintain a balanced budget.
- Commissioners approved revisions to the Targeted Industry Incentive Loan Fund Operating Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures. The changes will improve lending policies, credit administration, and the quality of the loan portfolio and enable the Economic Development Department to provide effective supervision for it.
- Commissioners approved a lease agreement with the Maryland Park Service to develop a master plan for a 49-acre section of the park that would enhance public use and access. The leased area would include a boat launch, beach access, and an area for expanded parking and a kayak launch.
- Commissioners approved a budget amendment increase of $15,000 to use the Law Library’s fund balance to purchase new furniture in fiscal 2018 instead of paying for it as a capital expense in fiscal 2019.
- Wanda Pingitore, Linda Stansbury, and Roy Krishna Naraine were appointed as citizen members to the Area Council of Aging.
- David Hancock, Sr.; Ed May; and Lisa Jennifer Hoxie were appointed as citizen members to the Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board.
Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing May 6 – 12, 2018 as National Public Service Recognition Week. County employee representatives from each department received the proclamation, which honors their commitment as public servants and the collective commitment they have to connecting citizens to government. View photo in Flickr.
Next Commissioners Meeting: Tuesday, May 15
At this meeting, the Board of Commissioners is scheduled to adopt the Fiscal 2019 budget and property tax rate, 2019-23 Capital Improvement Program, and fees and charges. The vote is scheduled at 2:40 p.m.
For More Information:
Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov/media-services/ccgtv/ccgtv. Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at www.boarddocs.com/md/chrlsco/Board.nsf/Public upon approval.
About Charles County Government
The mission of Charles County Government is to provide our citizens the highest quality service possible in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. To achieve this goal, our government must be operated in an open and accessible atmosphere, be based on comprehensive long- and short-term planning and have an appropriate managerial organization tempered by fiscal responsibility. We support and encourage efforts to grow a diverse workplace. Charles County is a place where all people thrive, and businesses grow and prosper; where the preservation of our heritage and environment is paramount; where government services to its citizens are provided at the highest level of excellence; and where the quality of life is the best in the nation.
It is the policy of Charles County to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religious or political affiliation or opinion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other status protected by law.