Calvert County Commissioner Mike Hart stated Tuesday that the entrepreneurial spirit is the fabric of the county. February 11-18 is now known as Entrepreneurial Week in Calvert County.

Hart knows all too well that ‘calling out’ is not an option when you own a business as he has been a business leader for over 30 years. He owns Patuxent Wine & Spirits and Barrel 9 in Lusby.

The employee of the month was honored and nominated by his coworker. Mark Mister, now in his 34th year in County Government was honored. Mister is the Calvert County Highway Maintenance Division Chief.

“Thank God when I hit Calvert County,” Hart said. “He’s a God-send to me. I’ve never had a call in eight years where Mark didn’t know the condition of the roads.”

Bills pending in Annapolis that may affect the progress of County Government were shared by County Attorney, John Norris.

The subject of the residential solar roof top tax credit was mentioned as was the importance of safety when it comes to the solar panels on ones roof.

Discussions about batteries and battery packs are taking place.

“Is Annapolis taking this serious or do they want to put a green energy bill in place,” Catherine Grasso stated.

Norris, understanding the importance of the safety stated that yes, Annapolis is hearing the seriousness.

The Commissioner’s passed the Tree Coupon and Grant program and heard from Calvert County public works, to include First Sergeant Officer Dean who was present.

Strategic Roadway Safety Plan

Public Works was seeking approval to move forward with the strategic roadway safety plan that would reduce fatalities, enhance sobriety safety, continue to enforce child safety seats and to study high crash rates and where risky behaviors on the highways are taking place.

 A local plan in place could be beneficial for program funding (HSIP Funding) for the county. In the past five years there have been 1,115 crashes, eight fatal. Once a year from bicyclists.

The three year plan is to gather data, develop partnerships and strategizing. Increase enforcement of Occupant protection laws, make use of social media and nation campaign materials and to put out data driven education for high-risk populations.

Stress and fatigue have been influential causes of accidents in Calvert and the surrounding area. The Steering Committee will lead the effort. See the Department of Public Works website for a full listing of the Committee.

Commissioner President Earl F. Hance mentioned the grueling efforts its going to take when the legalization of marijuana takes place.

Calvert County does have four drug impairment experts.

“Our counter measures are training and we’re adjusting as laws change. I can tell you from experience that we’re seeing a decrease in alcohol impairments to now drug related arrests.” Dean stated.

Hance mentioned the guardrail requirements and that he has noticed south of Prince Frederick; more guardrails will be put in place. He stated local farmers will have a difficult time moving equipment. Patience from the public is needed on the highways to in essence be cognizant of the local farmers as they move about trying to do the work they need to.

Hance stated that the board of education budget is one that will also need to be discussed.

“As we get into the budget, it’s a little eye-opening,” Hance stated. “It’s going to be a challenge as they all are. We have to work with various components. Most requests are important and there’s only so much money but you can’t say ‘yes’ to everything. We’ll get a break in July, but I want to reinforce to everyone that it’s not easy [to work with the budget].”

Hart reflected on the 8 million dollar budget when he first came on board. Hart stated that a snow removal can easily cost 1 million dollars. It’s often not a popular thing to say no, but a lot of growth is not sustainable. It’s why we don’t have a lot of the same issues that local towns have. We’re going to see a whole lot of rock throwing this year.

Hance said that the school board is asking for 24 million dollars, all of which are reoccurring costs.

“This year is really going to be a challenge.” Hance closed with.  

The Calvert County Superintendent of Public Schools, Andrae’ Townsel presented the school budget on January 26 for fiscal year 2024.

In essence the board is seeking an increase of $24,974,168.00, which includes a 9.3  percent increase in teachers salaries.  

The Next Town Hall meeting to go over the Blue Print for Calvert County Public Schools will be held on February 28.

The meeting will take place at the Multipurpose Room at the CCPS Central Office located at 1305 Dares Beach Road in Prince Frederick.

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