On May 2, 2023, the Charles County Commissioners received a briefing from the Bel Alton High School Alumni Association regarding their efforts to place the building on the National Register of Historic Places.

The school has already received historical designation from Charles County and the state of Maryland. The Commissioners approved the association’s request to pay up to $8,000 for an architectural historian to survey as part of the designation nomination process.

The Commissioners also discussed an inspection report provided by the Maryland Historical Society that highlighted the deteriorating conditions of the building. County staff provided information about capital improvement funds that have been set aside to address these concerns.

During the meeting, the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff reviewed several funds from the proposed Fiscal 2024 budget. The Commissioners received updates on the Special Revenue Funds, Enterprise Funds, and General Fund. They discussed items to add or delete for the General Fund and proposed the Capital Improvement Program budget changes.

Additionally, the Commissioners held a work session on the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan, where they addressed public comments on the 2023 Update of the Charles County Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan. The Commissioners voted to adopt and submit the draft 2023 Plan to the Maryland Department of the Environment for approval.

In the Open Session Briefings, Chief Equity Officer Renesha Miles presented a quarterly update on the county’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She highlighted monthly programs, training, and employee engagement efforts and discussed how these strategies were aligned with the county’s commitment to equity. The Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff reviewed the plan for expenditures of federal funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act. They also provided a presentation on the Third Quarter Fiscal 2023 General Fund Report.

During the meeting, the Commissioners approved the introduction of a zoning text amendment to allow Mark Vogel Companies, Inc. to broaden its ability to amend an approved Master Plan. The request would provide flexibility to respond to changing market trends for proposed projects. A public hearing was scheduled for June 13.

The Commissioners also approved changes to the public comments during Commissioner meetings, placing them ahead of Commissioner comments on agendas so that Commissioners can each respond to issues raised during public comments.

The Commissioners issued several proclamations recognizing May 2023 as Foster Care Awareness Month, National Drug Court Month, National Mental Health Awareness Month, Older Americans Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month. They also recognized April 30 – May 6, 2023, as National Small Business Week and Business Appreciation Week and May 5, 2023, as Resource Parents’ Celebration Day.

In addition, they recognized May 7 – 13, 2023, as Public Service Recognition Week, National Travel and Tourism Week, and National Correctional Officers Appreciation Week, May 15 – 21, 2023, as National Police Week, May 17, 2023, as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Awareness Day, May 19, 2023, as National Bike to Work Day, and May 21 – 27, 2023, as Emergency Medical Services Appreciation Week. They also recognized May 24, 2023, as Emergency Medical Services for Children Day.

The next Commissioners Session is scheduled for May 9-10, 2023. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258. For those who missed the meeting or would like to view it, click here.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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