On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the Board of County Commissioners voted to reschedule the Dec. 15 public hearing for the Required Face Coverings to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 Ordinance/Resolution 2021-21 to Wednesday, Jan. 12, requesting that Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney continue to monitor the COVID-19 latest statistics and provide this data to County Commissioners once the Maryland Department of Health data becomes available. The public is encouraged to continuing to wash their hands, socially distance, and get the COVID-19 vaccine.
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. 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 Vice President of Ancillary Services Bill Grimes provided an update on current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. 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. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which includes continuing social media monitoring and response to media inquiries.
Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. received a letter from the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVET) requesting that the county supports the $250,000 Bond Bill solicitation from the Maryland Veterans Museum at Patriot Park. Staff will follow up with NABVET for more information.
- Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation on the Bryans Road Sub Area Plan project. The plan analyzes land use, transportation, and the environment to create a shared vision for this area. More information on the plan can be found at www.BryansRoadPlan.com.
- Department of Planning and Growth Management provided a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on the new six-month VanGO pilot program, which will offer all riders fare-free rides from Monday, Jan. 3 to Thursday, June 30. The pilot program is to help those impacted by the pandemic and for older adults and people with disabilities and to increase ridership while offering a free fare as a post-pandemic relief.
Commissioners also approved:
- A fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $1,336,500 and a fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $554,620 for the Popes Creek waterfront property acquisition.
- Resolution 2021-24 Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
- Resolution 2021-25 Permit Issuance for Adult Entertainment Establishments.
- The St. Charles Water Line Reimbursement Proposed Agreement, which states the county and developer will split the costs of the design, permitting, construction, and inspection for the South County Water Project and the developer will increase the size of their pipe from a 12-inch pipe to a 16-inch pipe for the county’s benefit.
County Commissioners participated in a discussion on a grant opportunity with the Economic Development Administration for Mallows Bay design plans. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has a rolling grant opportunity, Fiscal 2021 American Rescue Plan Act Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation designed to help communities and regions devise and implement sustainable economic recovery strategies through a variety of non-construction and construction projects to respond to damage to the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors from the coronavirus pandemic and to promote the economic resilience of regions dependent on those industries. The county’s Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism is seeking funding to support a restroom facility, kayak launch, and outdoor classroom at Mallows Bay. County Commissioners voted to support the grant moving forward and staff researching a welcoming booth with cooling and warming capabilities for employees.
County Administrator Mark Belton and Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Deborah Carpenter provided anupdateon the Resilience Authority. Some of the ‘lines of effort’ the Authority is working on include the Private Stormwater Improvement Prioritization Project, Chesapeake Conservancy – Carbon Sequestration Action Plan, Morgantown Power Plant Redevelopment, and Intergovernmental Agreement for Executive Director.Carpenter also reviewed with theCounty Commissionersan annual progress letter required by statute from the Authority to theCounty Commissioners and several committees of the state legislature.
- Length of Service
- Top Performer for Third Quarter: Thomas Kidwell, Department of Public Works
- Reappointed Natalie Cotton and appoint Christopher Nickerson and Cecelia Miller to the Ethics Commission.
Town Hall Meeting
County Commissioners provided a town hall meeting for residents to discuss topics that are important to the community. All residents were invited to participate regardless of district location in Charles County.
On Wednesday, Dec. 15, County Commissioners provided a public hearing on Bill 2021-11 Commercial Real Property Improvement and Rehabilitation Tax Credit. Economic Development Department, County Administration, Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, County Attorney’s Office, and the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation provided a presentation on the proposed legislation, which would work to spur development and incentivize rehabilitation of blighted properties. County Commissioners adopted the bill.
Next Commissioners Session: Jan. 11, 2021