On Tuesday, May 25, County Administrator Mark Belton, Department of Emergency Services; Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism; Department of Community Services; and Department of Planning and Growth Management provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on Commissioners’ Goals and Objectives, Goal 5: Quality of Life. This goal includes public safety, recreation and entertainment, and affordable/ workforce housing.

Open Session Briefings  

  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, the College of Southern Maryland, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. Appointments are available for those 12 and older who would like to receive the Pfizer vaccine through the Department of Health. For a list of county vaccination clinics, visit the Department of Health’s website. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics available, visit the State of Maryland’s website. Masks are still required in Charles County indoors at schools, on public transportation, and in health care settings. 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. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update, which included a pilot COVID-19 screening program.
  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided the Department of Health’s bi-annual update, which included statistics on mortality rates, infant mortality rates, obesity, and the COVID response. The department also discussed new projects, Mobile Integrated Health, and updates on Environmental Health, Behavioral Health Services, and the Community Health Needs Assessment.
  • Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) requested to introduce Bill 2021-03 Redistricting Board, in order to amend the Charles County Code to provide certain selection criteria for the members of the Charles County Redistricting Board. County Commissioners approved introduction of the bill and set a public hearing for June 22, 2021.
  • Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall and Chief of Information Technology Evelyn Jacobson provided an update on the Rural Broadband Task Force, including the Nanjemoy and Cobb Neck Broadband Buildout project and the county receiving the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband’s Expansion of Existing Broadband Networks Grant. This grant would assist with the Neighborhood Broadband Expansion Category 2 project, which includes Comcast expansion into the Serenity Woods neighborhood, and onto Belle Ridge Court, Cameron Ridge Road, Emory Place, Oaks Road, Waverly Point Road, and Banks O’Dee Road.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Deborah Carpenter and Chief of Codes, Permits, and Inspection Services Ray Shumaker provided a briefing on Charles County Code Violation Fees. County Commissioners requested staff to revisit options moving forward.
  • Planner III Beth Groth provided a presentation on the Renewable Energy Work Group’s recommendations for a climate action planning process. Staff recommended a phased approach, starting with a government operations Climate Action Plan as Phase 1, followed by a community-wide Climate Action Plan as Phase 2.
  • Chief of Business Development Lucretia Freeman-Buster and Griffin & Strong representatives Michele Clark Jenkins and Anan Paula Pohl provided an update on the Charles County Disparity Study. Griffin & Strong is currently conducting relevant market analysis, utilization analysis, availability analysis, disparity analysis, and statistical significance test.

Discussion

County Commissioners participated in a discussion with Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell, Department of Community Services Director Dina Barclay, and Chief of Housing Rita Wood on the history of Housing Authority in Charles County. 

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

  • The lease agreement for the Capital Clubhouse with Black Bear Sports Clubhouse, LLC.
  • letter of intent that the county intends to provide the local share of funds to design, construct, and equip the new packaged wastewater treatment facility for the College of Southern Maryland. This is an approved capital improvement project in the fiscal 2022 budget.
  • The Commission for Veterans Affairs to create a video called, “Veterans N Transition.”

New Business

County Commissioners provided consensus to work with the Charles County Board of Education on the selection of an implementation coordinator to act as a liaison to the State Accountability and Implementation Board. This board was created by the Kirwan legislation.

Proclamation

Next Commissioners Session: June 8, 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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