On Tuesday, March 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 are being scheduled for eligible individuals in 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. The State of Maryland now has a call center number for those who need assistance registering one of the state mass vaccination sites or need help locating a vaccination site.

The state call center number is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy.

The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center representatives provided an update on the hospital COVID-19 operations. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on county teachers and other school staff receiving the vaccination and reopening plan. 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 answers to their frequently-asked questions. 

Open Session Briefings  

  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided an update on closed or abandoned capital projects. In fiscal 2020, nine projects were closed and $15,560 was returned to the Governmental Contingency- Inflation Account. County Commissioners approved the motion to accept the County Administrator’s recommendation on abandoned projects.  Private Water System Interconnection Project and the Bensville/Bryans Road Water System Interconnection Project will be closed until funding is needed.
  • Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell and Code Official Don Litten provided a presentation on the Rental Housing Work Group Survey. Staff will continue to monitor House Bill 1061 and if the bill is passed, will seek further direction from the County Commissioners.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management staff and engineering consultant Aaron Duke of Hazen & Sawyer provided an overview of the Proposed Water Supply Program for the county. One of the next steps of this program is to enter into a memorandum of understanding with WSSC Water to increase appropriation of water supply provided by WSSC and create a sustainable water supply into the future.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management staff and Economic Development Department staff provided an update on the Watershed Conservation District. County Commissioners voted to direct staff to begin the legislative process that would delete the requirement to have owned the property on July 21, 2017, and for a period of at least 10 years for Intrafamily transfers; retain the residential density at one dwelling unit per 20 acres and reduce the minimum lot size from 20 to three acres; and add to the Planning Division’s Work Program a task to complete a Sub-Area Plan for an area near White Plains, consisting of 1,160 acres.
  • Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism staff and Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provided a presentation on the Program Open Space Grant and the Land Preservation, Parks, and Recreation Plan (LPPRP). The 2022 LPPRP process to update the plan will begin in spring 2021.

Legislative Update 

Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell discussed the 2021 legislative bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including House Bill 1018House Bill 1024House Bill 1061House Bill 1072, and House Bill 655House Bill 1081 and House Bill 66 were withdrawn. County Commissioners approved the revised State and Local Legislative Package Process/ Guidelines Standard Operating Policy. Commissioners will be accepting spring legislative proposals until March 26, 2021.

Next Commissioners Session: March 16, 2021 (held virtually) 

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

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