The 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 are now available for eligible individuals in age 16 and older. 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 is open 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 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 social distancing in classrooms and in-person instruction which has begun in correlation with the reopening plan, as well as planning for in-person school graduations in the spring. 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.
- Waterman’s Association President Bill Killinski provided a presentation on the Potomac River fisheries. Future opportunities presented included continuing oyster partnerships with Commissioners; improving fish habitat in the Potomac River to help rockfish, charter boats, and citizen recreation; and further considering waterman for economic development and tourism.
- Chief of Environmental Resources Frances Sherman and Recycling and Litter Control Superintendent Margaret Romero provided an update on the Clean Charles initiative. As a part of this initiative, there will be a Keep Charles County Beautiful community cleanup event, which promotes community involvement in litter cleanup throughout the county. More information about the cleanups is available online.
The County Commissioners participated in a Budget Work Session on the General Fund. The County Commissioners heard video and written comments from the Board of Education, Circuit Court, Sheriff’s Office, College of Southern Maryland, Library, State’s Attorney, Office, Department of Health, Election Board, Department of Social Services, and Charles County Charitable Trust.
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell and GS Proctor and Associates, Inc. representatives discussed final review of the 2021 legislative bills considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including a variety of bills on hunting, law enforcement/ police reform, Maryland Electricians Act, cannabis legalization, education, eviction and tenant rights, and transition from fossil fuels.
Follow-Up Work Session
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell provided a work session on local legislative proposals, including the amending the Zoning Ordinance 1.05.200 Commercial Greenhouse Operation with marijuana, banning American Pit Bull Terriers in the county, and adjusting the Charles County Traffic Calming program. Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling (District 1) sponsored the Charles County Traffic Calming proposal.
Commissioners also approved:
- A budget transfer request of $45,700 for stream monitoring of the St. Charles Parkway Stream and Thomas Higson Stream restoration projects.
- A contingency transfer request of $18,510 to cover equipment and fiber construction for Charles County Government Television to air in high definition on Comcast Cable.
- An amendment to the development agreement between CPV Maryland and Charles County Government.
- A funding delay for the College of Southern Maryland’s Velocity Center.
Next Commissioners Session: April 27, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.