On Tuesday, Sept. 28, County Administrator Mark Belton, Deputy County Administrator/ Economic Development Department Acting Director Deborah Hall, Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Deborah Carpenter, Department of Public Works Acting Director Bernard Cochran, and Chief of Environmental Resources Frances Sherman provided an update on the Commissioners’ Goals and Objectives: Goal 3 Environment. The presentation included conservation programs, natural resource management, and environmental management in the county.
Charles County continues best management practices for climate resilience, expanding recycling, hosting rain barrel workshops for residents, providing reimbursements for the Septic Pump Out program, maintaining wastewater treatment efforts, and providing compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Permit.
- Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. Abney reviewed the importance of recognizing misinformation and how to combat it. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. 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. University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the importance and availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as misinformation. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ COVID-19 contact tracing process and case statistics.
- County Administrator Mark Belton provided an update on the Charles County Government workforce COVID-19 statistics. For the last two years, there were 67 employees who were COVID-19 positive or 6 percent of County Government’s total employees. County Commissioners discussed the implications of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for County Government employees, but took no additional action. The County Commissioners requested that legal and human resources staff create an employee survey to collect additional data, consistent with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Americans with Disabilities Act legal requirements.
- Economic Development Department provided a presentation on the extended Online Sales and Telework Grant Program. There is $137,516 total in available funds. Any Charles County-based, for-profit business is eligible for up to $5,000 for expenses related to creating an online sales framework and/or offering employees telework opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 15. Learn more and request an application here.
- Charles County Charitable Trust Senior Executive Director Susan Petroff provided an update on the trust, including its reorganization, fiscal 2022 plan, and grants. The trust recommended that the county fund critical service needs through county departments.
Commissioners also approved:
- A fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $50,000 to match the pending grant for the Maryland 9-1-1 Board to cover the geographic information system planimetric map project.
- The fiscal 2023 budget calendar.
- A request for a public hearing for Heritage Green on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.
County Commissioners participated in a follow-up work session the 2022 preliminary state legislative proposals. County Commissioners approved moving forward with proposals 4, 5, 21, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, and 29.
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the County Commissioners provided a public hearing on Bill 2021-08 Zoning Text Amendment 921-164 Business Park Zone. County Commissioners adopted the bill.
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, the County Commissioners provided public hearings on the Petition for Indian Head Manor Section One- Inman Utilities, Bill 2021-05 Agricultural Reconciliation Committee, Bill 2021-06 Zoning Text Amendment 21-161 Private Elementary and Secondary School, and Bill 2021-07 Excise Tax Enactment. County Commissioners approved the petition and adopted all three bills.
Town Hall Meeting
On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the County Commissioners held their Quarterly Town Hall Meeting. Town hall meetings are an opportunity for County Commissioners to hear residents’ concerns.
Next Commissioners Session: Oct. 5, 2021 (held virtually)