News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

On Tuesday, June 16, the Board of Commissioners received a briefing from the management team for the Blue Crabs about theirCOVID-19 Readiness Planfor reopening Regency Furniture Stadium. The Atlantic League plans to start a shortened season beginning next month, if federal and state directives permit them to proceed. There are also plans to host adrive-in fireworks showon the Fourth of July. They discussed their public health and safety protocols to protect both staff and fans and provided an overview of the process for ticket sales, seating, sanitation, food and beverage services, and other operational information.

Director of Emergency Services Michelle Lilly andDr. Howard Haft, executive director at Maryland Primary Care Program of the Maryland Department of Health, presented an updateon the COVID-19 public health emergency. Ms. Lilly shared that the COVID positive cases and deaths have significantly declined in Charles County. Due to the decline in COVID positive transports, the contracted decontamination operations will be discontinued, and training will be provided to all first responders on how to decontamination their apparatus.

Dr Haft shared that the State of Maryland numbers are continuing to decline. The Department of Health has posted information on their website for the how Food Services can submit a plan of compliance. Information can be found here:www.CharlesCountyHealth.org/health-officer-food-service-order.

Open Session Briefings

  • Staff provided abriefingfrom the New Normal Task Force on moving into Phase III of the county’s reopening. The county is making building modifications to maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of coronavirus for employees and the public; and installing thermoscanners to screen visitors when they arrive. The anticipated reopening of county government buildings is scheduled for July 13, 2020.
  • Staff briefed Commissioners on aproposalto apply for designation of a Nanjemoy Rural Legacy Area. This designation would protect the natural, agricultural, forestry, scenic and cultural assets of the area, including Mallows Bay, a National Marine Sanctuary. Commissioners approved of the proposal to move forward with the public process for requesting a new Nanjemoy Rural Legacy Area.
  • Staff provided anupdated proposalfor revisions to the school allocation policy, which creates predictability, encourages growth in development areas, and spurs mixed-use and affordable workforce housing. Affordable workforce housing is defined by median income, cost burden associated with housing, and the sectors of the workforce who may qualify. They based the proposed options on the types of development that would be built, student yield from these projects, and an annual cap on the allocations to be offered. Commissioners directed staff to move forward with option 3 and begin drafting legislation for it.

Work Sessions

  • Commissioners reviewed arequestfor azoning text amendmentto the Business Park (BP) zone that would expand the number of permitted amenity uses, allow freestanding retail buildings within the park, and adjust setback requirements. The amendment would limit the amenities to no more than 15 percent of a business park’s land area. It is intended to spur additional economic development, provide supporting services to the park and expand the county’s commercial tax base.
  • Commissioners reviewed a request for azoning text amendmentto the watershed conservation district. The amendment would grandfather preliminary plans of subdivision which have recorded 10 percent of the lots associated with the project and have completed 10 percent of the physical improvements beyond excavation, grading and filling.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following items:

  • Abudget amendment increaseof $12,100 to pay for renovation of the kitchen at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy.
  • Aninvestment changeto the Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan.
  • Alease agreementfor the Board of Elections to rent the second floor of their current building to provideadditional office spaceand abudget amendment increaseof $54,000 to cover the FY2021 rent.
  • Alease agreementfor LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation to rent the space at 3470 Rockefeller Court in Waldorf.
  • Aresolutionto extend the county’s State of Emergency declaration to July 29, 2020.
  • Aletter of supportfor the grant application submitted by the Planning and Growth Management Department to conduct aMilitary Installation Resiliency Reviewfor the Indian Head Naval Support Facility.
  • Arecommendation letterto Governor Hogan requesting the official appointment of Michelle Lilly as the Director of Emergency Services for Charles County.
  • Aletter of intentto the Maryland higher Education Commission for the College of Southern Maryland’s Health Technology Building Renovation project at the La Plata campus.
  • A variance for thememorandum of agreementwith the College of Southern Maryland Velocity Center to reallocate $100,000 dedicated makerspace equipment that could not be purchased during the COVID-19 emergency. The funds will be spent on event-related assets that are needed at the facility.
  • AStandard Operating Policyfor the review, approval and disbursement of funds from the COVID-19 Business Relief Loan Fund Program.
  • AStandard Operating Policyfor the review, approval and disbursement of funds from the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant Program, made available through the CARES Act, to assist small businesses that have suffered losses or experienced economic hardships during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Appointments to Boards, Commissions, and Committees:

  • Reappointment of Christi Montgomery as an At Large member to the Animal Matters Hearing Board
  • Appointment of Cynthia Nelson as a citizen member to the Area Council on Aging
  • Appointment of Allison Hartley as a Professional in the Field of Disabilities to the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board
  • Appoint Michael Windsor as a citizen member to the LOSAP Board
  • Reappoint Thomas Wathen as Representative of an Electric Cooperative/Company; and reappoint John Zanelotti as Chairman of the Board of Electrical Examiners
  • Reappoint Danielle Staudt as a Citizen Member and to appoint Karla Kornegay and Suzanne Darby as Citizen Members to the Library Board of Trustees

Public Hearings

Commissioners held virtualpublic hearingson the following items:

The public can also providewritten comments by mail to: Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, Maryland 20646.

Next Commissioners Session: July 7, 2020 at 9 a.m. (held virtually)

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