News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Board of Commissioners approved an international trade mission to Mozambique, which is being planned by the Economic Development Department in May 2020. Staff briefed Commissioners on its Sister City partnership with Matola, in Mozambique, where they will help local businesses explore new markets and facilitate trade outside of the United States. They shared their proposed agenda, estimated staff-related expenses, and the members of the local delegation who plan to participate. Staff also provided background on the county’s other Sister City partnerships with Jogevia, Estonia and Walldorf, Germany, which were established to share information on mutual interests related to business and trade, community development, youth and education, and arts and culture.

Open Session Briefings

  • Commissioners received a briefing and approved a budget amendment request of $5,382,800 to record lease proceeds and lease purchases for energy conservation efforts. They also approved a staff request to advertise financing options for an energy savings performance contract. Staff presented information about an energy savings audit of county facilities that identified opportunities for reducing utility expenses, decreasing water consumption, advancing climate change goals, and supporting minority businesses through subcontractor participation. They summarized recommendations, that would include upgrades to LED lighting, replacement of certain infrastructure to conserve water use, and improvements in HVAC controls to reduce energy consumption.
  • Staff briefed Commissioners on the VanGO Safety Management System Plan. The plan is required by the federal government and includes safety performance targets, an employee safety reporting program, and safety risk mitigation procedures.  Commissioners approved the plan as presented.
  • Commissioners received a briefing and approved a request for introduction of a County Code amendment to a portion of Chapter 97, regarding the regulations governing benefit assessments (debt/payments owed) as part of a County Petition Project. Chapter 97 enables the county to be petitioned by the majority of a community to upgrade or replace community water, sewer, or stormwater management systems. The amendment would enable a property owner to transfer the remaining debt to a subsequent property owner/purchaser of the property.  Currently, Chapter 97 requires an affected homeowner to pay 100 percent of their share of the costs for these infrastructure improvements before the home can be sold.  This has created a barrier to home sales in affected communities, where neither the seller nor the buyer can afford to pay these costs at the settlement table.  The proposed amendment would authorize the buyer to assume the debt and pay it back over time through future annual assessments. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31.
  • Commissioners were briefed and approved a request for the introduction of an amendment to vehicle parking restrictions so that the $20 penalty can be enforced for vehicles that stop, stand, or park in prohibited areas. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 31.
  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff presented the Second Quarter Report for the fiscal 2020 General Fund. Staff provided information on the revenues, expenditures, and the estimated year-end fund balance.

Legislative Updates

Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly. She provided an update on the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation and other bills that are being considered that, if approved, could have direct impacts on county residents.

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

  • Abudget transfer requestof $19,200 for administrative salaries associated with the approval of an upgrade for a part-time accounts payable position to full-time in the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Abudget transfer requestof $376,000 from fund balance to contract services to pay for close-out of the yearly contract and current inspections.

Appointments

Commissioners appointed the following individuals to boards and commissions:

  • Reappoint Marvin Blake and Appoint Kathleen Seay and Stanley Ruth as at-large members and appoint Jennifer Walker as an alternate member to the Board of Appeals.
  • Appoint Dawud Abdur Rahman to the Planning Commission.

Recognitions

  • Commissioners recognized February asScald Prevention Monthand presented a proclamation to Aaron Kidder, Vice President of the Professional Paramedics and EMT’s of Charles County and Charles County Chief of Emergency Services John Filer. View the photo in theonline gallery.
  • Commissioners were introduced to new employees, recognizedemployees who achieved milestonesin years of service, and honored Employee of the Quarter Chris Chase, a maintenance technician in the Department of Public Works. View all recognition photos in theonline gallery.

Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.


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...