LEONARDTOWN, MD – The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County held their first regular business meeting of 2021 Tuesday, Jan. 5, in the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

The first item on the agenda was a request from Bill Hunt, Director of Land Use and Growth Management, for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, the Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan and the Resolution to allow Sewer Service in the Sewer Service Area of the Expanded St. Clements Shores Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Commissioners approved the amendments.

The Commissioners also held two public hearings during the meeting, first soliciting community input on the disposition of county-owned surplus real property. County Attorney David Weiskopf briefed the Commissioners on the status of recommendations associated with the request. The Commissioners received no public input during the Hearing but will continue to accept input via email, phone or video submission until Jan. 12, 2021.

The second Public Hearing was for the transfer of surplus county-owned real property (South Coral Place/Tulagi Place Alleyway) to a nonprofit corporation. The Commissioners heard from residents and will continue to accept public input via email, phone or video submission until
Jan. 12, 2021.

The Commissioners approved the Sheriff’s Office request to accept the FY2021 School Resource Officer/Adequate Coverage grant for $210,231.

A budget amendment request from the Sheriff’s Office was also approved and will increase grant funding to $494,703. The funding covers mandatory services provided by the Child Support Unit.

Lori Jennings-Harris, Department of Aging & Human Services Director,  received approval from the Commissioners for the Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 Southern Maryland Continuum of Care grant award of $200,000.

The Commissioners approved the Department of Economic Development to begin accepting applications for additional COVID-19 relief funding for local restaurants and new grant applications for local hotels and lodging providers. At the direction of the Commissioners, the portal for local applications for the Restaurant Relief Fund will open Jan. 8, 2021.  

The Commissioners also approved updates to the Personnel Policy Manual, including administrative leave provisions for employees with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. The federally mandated Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passed by Congress in March 2020 provided for 80 hours of leave for employees affected by COVID-19, but the leave provisions expired 12/31/20 and were not extended in the most recent COVID relief and spending bill just passed.

At 10:30, the Commissioners convened as the Board of Health to hear updates from County Health Officer Dr. Meenakshi Brewster and MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Michaels. Dr. Brewster provided valuable and current information on vaccinations in St. Mary’s County, and Dr. Michaels described existing COVID-19 related statistics at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital.

The Commissioners will gather again tonight at 6 p.m. for a Public Hearing requested by the Office of the County Attorney on the legislative proposal entitled- Authority Having Jurisdiction – Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Billing. Members of the public are invited to participate in the Public Hearing by calling in (301-475-4200 x 1234) or sending an email to csmc@stmarysmd.com.

The next regularly scheduled business meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County is Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 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.

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...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply