On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID-19 vaccinations have expanded to include Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C.
The Department of Health is providing this information on their website and a recorded hotline message, at 301-609-6710. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is available every Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium, and appointments are required in advance by scheduling online.
The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on its COVID-19 patients and the vaccination of its staff. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and reminders to continue to wear masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings of family and friends.
Open Session Briefings
- County Planner IV and Program Manager for Preservation and Long Range Planning Cathy Thompson and Piscataway Indian representatives Francis Gray and Julia King provided a briefing and request for approval for a draft letter of support of the Tracing Piscataway History on the Ground project to be submitted for a 2021 Maryland Heritage Areas Program Grant. The Commissioners approved the letter of support.
- Chief of Capital Services John Stevens and Chief of Roads Stephen Staples provided a presentation on the Charles County Sidewalk Programs. A few recent sidewalk projects completed include Western Parkway Phase 2 from Acton Lane to Pierce Road, Village Drive from St. Linus Drive to the P.D. Brown Library, Valverde Drive between Carthage Court and Bancroft Drive, and Western Parkway Phase 3 from Pierce Road towards Mattawoman Beantown Road. Current projects include Smallwood Drive from Thoroughbred Court to Middletown Road, Mill Hill Road from Homecoming Lane to Davis Road, and Hamilton Road Phase 1 from Acton Lane to Quietfields Street. Future projects include Chapel Point Road from Causeway Drive to Commerce Street, Westlake Community at St. Patrick’s Drive and Maryland Route 301, Billingsley Road from St. Patrick’s Drive to Middletown Road, along Indian Head Highway and Livingston Road from Wooster Road to Matthews Road, and along Middletown Road from Billingsley Road to the Indian Head Rail Trail.
- Chief of Capital Services John Stevens and Energy Ventures, LLC CEO Bradley Jefferies provided an update on the Solar Energy-Power Purchase Program. Proposed solar power sites include Pisgah Landfill in La Plata, Willets Crossing in White Plains, and Davis Road in Waldorf.
Commissioners also approved the following items:
- Resilience Authority of Charles County bylaw changes, which added a member to represent the agricultural community.
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell discussed the 2021 legislative bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including House Bill 1018, House Bill 1024, House Bill 1061, House Bill 1072, and House Bill 1081, which are all awaiting hearing date; and House Bill 1060 and the Maryland Stimulus Package, which has passed the Senate.
The County Commissioners participated in a discussion on the future of renewable energy in Charles County, presented by County Attorney Wes Adams. The Commissioners approved a motion to create an internal work group to determine a renewable energy policy.
Next Commissioners Session: Feb. 23, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.