On Tuesday, March 16, 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 mass vaccination site in Southern Maryland has opened at the Regency Furniture Stadium and Maryland residents who are eligible can register for a vaccination at the site and other locations in the county online. 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.

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 with approximately 3,000 students returning for in-person instruction on Monday, March 22. 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  

  • The COVID Recovery Task Force members, which includes representatives from local businesses, non-profits, and government agencies, provided a briefing on the COVID Recovery Task Force Report. The task force worked to help identify immediate business needs during the pandemic and suggest recommendations to meet those needs.
  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff and Clifton Larsen Allen, LLC representative Remi Omisore provided a briefing on the Fiscal 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

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 1072and House Bill 1060. The County Commissioners supported House Bill 1060 amendments as amended and in a motion of 3-2, the County Commissioners did not approve sending a letter of opposition for House Bill 655. The County Commissioners will be accepting spring legislative proposals until March 26, 2021.

Work Session

The County Commissioners participated in a Fiscal 2022 Budget Work Session on the Enterprise Funds, including the Water and Sewer Fund and Recreation Fund, as well as the Cable Franchise Fund. For the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund, the majority of the revenue is paid by customers through user feeds for operating and the maintenance of the county’s water supply and sewage systems.

One of the proposed water and sewer budget requests includes a pilot program for the county to absorb the credit card fee for residents paying county water and sewer bills. For the Recreation Enterprise Fund, all programs are budgeted based on estimated participation; the proposed fiscal 2022 budget shifts certain fixed aquatic costs to the general fund to allow the enterprise fund to remain in a healthy position.

The Cable Franchise Funds supports the government access channels for Charles County and through a franchise agreement with cable TV providers, generates revenue from a franchise fee assessed on monthly cable customers’ TV bills.

Discussion

The County Commissioners, Department of Planning and Growth Management staff, and Department of Public Works staff participated in a discussion on Charles County Transportation Commuter Strategies. This discussion focused on the county’s efforts to build a multi-modal transportation system that integrates land-use planning with an interconnected roadway and transit network for all users.

Next Commissioners Session: March 23, 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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