News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

On Tuesday, May 7,Commissioners received a briefing from County Government staff regarding federal requirements that govern the process for housing choice vouchers. Staff responded toquestionsfrom the Board of Commissioners about the differences between housing choice vouchers and project-based vouchers, and the potential implications of a policy proposal to convert a portion of housing choice vouchers to project-based vouchers for applicants who receive them. Commissioners directed staff to coordinate a community meeting and invite current housing voucher recipients to learn about and provide input on the policy proposal. Commissioners also requested that a public meeting be scheduled on June 18 to obtain feedback on it.

Following this discussion, Commissioners approved aletter of supportfor a developer application to secure a federal low-income housing tax credit that, if received, would be used to help finance an affordable apartment project within the Town of La Plata. The letter incorporated changes suggested by Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) that state the concept for the affordable apartment housing project is supported and aligned with affordable housing goals, but the Board of County Commissioners would first need to consider a policy change that would create a hybrid program by converting a portion of existing housing choice vouchers to project-based housing vouchers. Project-based vouchers are different from housing choice vouchers because they would be dedicated for use in subsidizing apartment rentals at a specific project location.

Fiscal 2020 Budget Work Session

Commissioners held a final work session to review the proposedFiscal 2020 General Fundbudget. They made suggestions and changes based on Commissioner requests from fund balance and contingency reserve, developed aspreadsheet of consensus additions, and finalized a list ofpending new positionsto be added to the Fiscal 2020 General Fund budget. They also reviewed and finalized allEnterprise Fundbudgets and theFiscal 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Programbudget.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following requests:

  • Billingsley Road Access Management Plan:Modifications toBillingsley Road access points, to close the current median access point near the Middletown Roundabout and relocate it. The new access point will facilitate entry into the Piney Reach Business Park, add a new right-in/right-out access for the proposed Roebling Court, and ensure that commercial and industrial traffic is separated from nearby residential neighborhoods.
  • Purchase of Development Rights:Apurchase price capnot to exceed $12,000 for the sale of transferable development rights during the fiscal 2020 acquisition cycle.
  • Middletown Roundabout:Abudget transfer requestof $42,210 from transportation contingency reserve to contract services for change orders requiring payment for additional construction services.
  • Broadband Study:Abudget amendment increaseof $94,000to increase the budget for a state grant and required grant match. The grant is to conduct a feasibility study that will assist in the expansion of broadband services in under-served areas.
  • Fiber Install:Abudget transferof$37,960 to fund a fiber install at Chesapeake Street, La Plata.
  • Board of Elections Lease:A letter requesting alease extensionto December 31, 2020 on the space occupied by the Board of Elections at 201 East Charles Street, La Plata, Maryland.

Recognitions

  • Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing May asDrug Court Month. This year is the 30thanniversary of treatment courts, which improve substance abuse disorder outcomes, and reduce addiction and related crime. View photo inFlickr.
  • Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing May 5-11, 2019, asNational Small Business Week. Small businesses employ more than a third of the workforce and support the economic health of communities through job creation and tax revenue generation. View photo inFlickr.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...