News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

Tuesday, April 28

The Board of Commissioners received an update from the Maryland Department of Health on how county nursing homes are being impacted by COVID-19.Dr. Howard Haft, executive director at Maryland Primary Care Program of the Maryland Department of Health, shared that 133 nursing home residents in Charles County have tested positive for COVID-19 and the state is continuing to work on a new statewide reporting system across all nursing home facilities with standardized data.

Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an overview of the Emergency Operation Center’s (EOC) work. She also reported that local first responders recognized the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center last week with a banner and parade of ambulances and fire trucks. Also, earlier this month, as part of the statewide medical surge planning efforts, the EOC requested an advanced medical tent for the hospital and this tent will be constructed in May and will provide 10 additional hospital beds.

Budget Work Session

The Board of County Commissioners held a budget work session to review thefiscal 2021 General Fund. Commissioners also received video and written comments from partnering agencies, including theBoard of Education,Charles County Sheriff’s Office,College of Southern Maryland,Charles County Public Library,Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office,Charles County Department of Health,Circuit Court, Election Board,Charles County Department of Social Services, andCharles County Charitable Trust.


Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following items:

  • Abudget transfer requestof $286,630 to cover the overage of debt issue cost.
  • Anintercategory budget transfer requestby the Board of Education of $103 million to support instruction supplies and materials, student personnel services, student transportation, operation of plant funds, community service, and capital outlay funds.
  • ANeutrality Agreementwith an amendment to section 7, which includes neutrality between Charles County and union organizations in regards to employees.
  • Aletter of supportfor the joint Charles County and Prince George’s County Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development transportation planning grant application. This funding will be used to complete a draft environmental impact statement for the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit (SMRT) project.
  • A motion to set up infrastructure for a COVID-19 business Relief Grant fund using funds from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARE’s Act) to provide economic support to those Charles County businesses that have suffered interruptions due to COVID-19 related business closures, subject to the following conditions:
  1. Meet all eligibility requirements established by the program.
  2. Must use all funds for purposes related to the impact of COVID-19.
  3. Provide written statement prior to closing certifying that funds will be used in accordance to the grant eligibility requirements for expenses incurred due to COVID-19.
  • A motion to add $100,000 to the Non-profit COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and that non-profits applying meet eligibility requirements, must utilize funds specifically for COVID-19, and provide evidence for expensesincurred due to COVID-19. Amended to include the funding source coming from the fund balance.

Wednesday, April 29

County Commissioners held another budget work session to reviewfiscal 2021 General Fund Operating Budget. County Administrator Mark Belton and budget staff presented the county’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget of $433,441,200, an increase of 2 percent over last year. More information available on ourwebsite.


  • Commissioners and Town of La Plata and Town of Indian Head representatives conferred on thefiscal 2021 tax differential. Section 6-306 of the Tax- Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland requires governing bodies to meet and confer on an annual basis regarding a form of compensation for government services that are provided by the municipal government. To compensate municipalities for services, many counties implement a tax differential (tax credit) on the residents’ tax bills or provide a tax rebate to the municipality.
  • Commissioners held a joint meeting with the Board of Education and Department of Planning and Growth Management staff to discuss thefiscal 2020 school allocation cycle.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following items:

  • Aresolutionto extend the County State of Emergency until May 30, 2020.

Public Hearing

Commissioners held a virtual public hearing on thefiscal 2021 Constant Yield. Comments for the Constant Yield Tax Rate public hearing may be submitted until Friday, May 1 at 5 p.m. via:

  • Phone: Call 301-645-0652 to leave a message.
  • Mail: Send to Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, Maryland, 20646 (must be received by Tuesday, May 5).

Next Commissioners Session and Fiscal 2021 Budget Public Hearing: May 5, 2020

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...