On Tuesday, Sept. 15, the Board of Commissioners received updates on the CARES Act funding for the Charles County Department of Health and Charles County Government. Health Officer Dianna Abney provided a budget summary for the Department of Health.
Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided an update on the county’s CARES Act funding. Staff also provided information on a funding proposal from the Department of Social Services to support a short- to medium-term shelter and service needs of residents who are facing homelessness during COVID-19. Staff will work with the Department of Social Services to utilize CARES Act funding for this purpose. Commissioners directed staff to work with the Charles County COVID-19 Relief Collaborative and Charitable Trust on additional programs. Commissioners approved a budget amendment increase to establish the fiscal 2020 budget for the county’s costs associated with mitigating and responding to the COVID-19 emergency pandemic through June 30.
Economic Development Department provided information on their ongoing COVID-related initiatives. The department has been working with and continues to collaborate with various local and state agencies and partners, as well as the county business community during the COVID pandemic. To further communicate available resources, the department provides information on its website, e-newsletters and digital advertising, and a webinar series. There is also financial assistance for small businesses. The department is also planning for the future, including the Recovery Task Force, regional study, and strategic plan update.
Open Session Briefings
- Director of Emergency Services Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna Abney presented the latest statistics on the COVID-19 public health emergency. The public is encouraged to get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, the local pharmacy, or Waldorf VEIP station where residents can schedule an appointment online. The Department of Health is also offering personal protective equipment (PPE) for local businesses; businesses can request PPE by filling out the online form. Residents are also encouraged to get their annual flu shot. County staff is prioritizing compliance with state executive orders and best practices for business and industry; public adherence to facial coverings, social distancing and hygiene; testing and contact tracing; and keeping vulnerable individuals safe.
- Planning and Growth Management staff and SMECO representatives provided a briefing on the Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) Electric Vehicles (EV) Charging Station Infrastructure Program, which would install EV charging stations at public sites. Proposed sites include the Charles County Department of Health, Waldorf Jaycees, Waldorf Senior, and Recreational Center, White Plains Regional Park, Laurel Springs Regional Park, Community Services Building, and the Capital Clubhouse.
- County Attorney Wes Adams provided an update on the Task Force on Police Practice and Policy Initiative. The Commissioners provided consensus for the task force to be under the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
In response to the school allocation discussion with the Board of Education (BOE) last week, Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. recommended a meeting with critical staff of BOE and Commissioner Thomasina Coates (District 2) and Commissioner Amanda Stewart (District 3) to discuss proposed options and strategies moving forward.
Commissioners approved the following items:
- A budget amendment increase of $140,000 for the Groundwater Study.
- A change order for curbside recycling collection service contract modification.
- A budget transfer request of $545,000 to cover a contract modification for the processing of recyclables collected curbside.
- A resolution to designate the Board of Appeals as the forum for the appeals of orders issued by the Nuisance Abatement Board.
Commissioner recognized the following proclamations:
- Commissioners held a virtual public hearing to obtain resident input on community development and housing needs to be considered for submission of an application to the Maryland Community Development Block Grant for funds warded through the CARES Act Program. Funds will be used for rental assistance for eviction prevention due to COVID-19. The resolution was approved and the draft application will be available for public review from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23 at www.CharlesCountyMD.gov.
- Commissioners held a virtual public hearing on state legislative proposals. Proposals submitted can be found here. Comments will be accepted until Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. by using the e-comment feature or by calling 301-645-0652 to leave a message. In addition, residents may submit comments by mail to the following address: Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, MD 20646.