LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County held their regular business meeting Tuesday, Sept. 15, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown. During their work session, the Commissioners delivered four proclamations, recognized three-county employee retirements, convened as the St. Mary’s County Board of Health, and approved $142,106 in grant awards.

The Commissioners read proclamations recognizing National Constitution Week, National Senior Center Month, Underground Railroad Month, and the change of duty station proclamation for Captain Christopher Cox of Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The first item on the agenda was a Public Hearing for the Department of Land Use & Growth Management to receive public comments on the ordinance to repeal and reenact §§ 50.4.48 and 51.3.48 of Chapter 285 of the Code of St. Mary’s County, Maryland to allow a convenience store as a permitted use in the Rural Service Center (RSC) zone. The request will return to the Commissioners for a decision on September 29.

The Commissioners then adjourned and reconvened as the St. Mary’s County Board of Health and heard a brief from Dr. Meenakshi Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. In addition to updating the Commissioners on COVID-19 statistics in St. Mary’s County, Dr. Brewster also issued a strong recommendation to the community to get flu shots. Dr. Brewster stated that concerns about the coronavirus are heightened with the onset of flu season. The Board of Health also heard from Dr. Brewster regarding recent updates to sports participation. Dr. Brewster stated that several factors went into the recommendations for sporting activities, including “data, capacity, policy, and science, and we will review these factors on a monthly basis and update the recommendations as needed.” Information about COVID-19 and sports is on the St. Mary’s County Health Department webpage, www.smchd.org/covid-19-sports/.

The Commissioners then approved grant awards for the Circuit Court, Department of Aging & Human Services, and the Department of Public works & Transportation for over $142,000. The grants will go toward the adult drug court, programs for seniors, and shoreline stabilization in Piney Point.

The final agenda item was a request from the County Administrator for additional expenditures from the CARES Grant for two Court Smart Portable Recording Systems, face coverings, an internet provider assessment, and funding for part-time staff for Recreation & Parks. In response to the request, Bob Kelly, Chief Information Officer, Department of Information Technology, briefed the Commissioners about the request for funding for an internet provider assessment. In response to the expressed need for improvement of the high-speed telecommunications infrastructure in St. Mary’s County. The funding would go toward the costs for meetings with local stakeholders, to survey local pricing and availability of internet providers, and to execute a Request for Proposals for high-speed services. The Commissioners unanimously approved the expenditure requests.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County is Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Commissioner agendas can be found on the county website each Friday before the Commissioner Meeting.

Commissioner decisions and related public documents are available on the county government website in BoardDocs. St. Mary’s County Commissioner Meetings may be viewed live Tuesday mornings on SMCG Channel 95 or as a replay Friday nights at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the St. Mary’s County Government YouTube Channel.

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