Nov. 14, Charles County, MD – In a recent session, Charles County Commissioners were briefed on a range of critical topics, including updates from the Health Department, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head (NSWC IH), Rural Broadband Task Force, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Re-Districting project.

Health Department Update

Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney provided Commissioners with an in-depth update. The presentation covered crucial aspects such as the latest information on COVID-19 variants, vaccination options, and eligible individuals for the COVID-19 vaccine. The briefing also delved into disease prevention, behavioral health, environmental health, free community programs, healthy kids’ meal legislation, and the current state of health in Charles County.

NSWC IH Smart Arsenal Initiative

Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head (NSWC IH) Technical Director Ashley Johnson and Charles County Economic Development Department staff presented the Smart Arsenal Initiative. This initiative focuses on Smart Infrastructure, Smart Workforce, and Smart Partnerships within NSWC IH, providing a comprehensive overview of the center’s key areas of development.

Rural Broadband Task Force Updates

The Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff briefed commissioners on Rural Broadband Task Force updates. The presentation covered the county’s ongoing and completed broadband projects, the FCC Mapping Project, and upcoming grant and project opportunities.

Sheriff’s Office Patrol Re-Districting Project

Charles County’s Sheriff Troy Berry and Captain Andrew Schwab presented a detailed overview of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Re-Districting project. The briefing included insights into patrol divisions, research, projections, patrol statistics, and plans for additional officers and staff.

Policy Discussions

Commissioners engaged in discussions on policy for outside participation in Charles County Government activities, led by County Attorney Wes Adams. In January, a decision was made to reconvene to formulate guidelines on this matter.

Another discussion centered around the Adequate Public Safety Ordinance (APSO), with plans to hire a consultant to comprehensively analyze the needs and costs of providing county residents with services and amenities.

Public Hearings

Two public hearings were held, addressing Bill 2023-10 Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 22-170 Watershed Conservation District (WCD) and the draft Amendment to the Keswick Developers Rights and Responsibilities Agreement (DRRA). Commissioners voted to adopt the proposed changes and the draft Amendment, respectively.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved several items, including a new holiday pay policy effective Jan. 1, 2024, and corresponding budget transfers to support eligible department employees. Additionally, requests from the Commission for Veterans Affairs to use community support funds for public events and holiday supplies were approved.

A significant resolution, the 2023-17 Bond Award of $55 million, received approval. The county secured a favorable interest rate of 3.75%, lower than the anticipated rate and last year’s rate, from the 20 bids received.


Commissioners issued a proclamation recognizing November as National Family Caregivers Month.

The next Commissioners Session is scheduled for Nov. 28 – 29, 2023. For those interested, viewing the meeting and the Commissioner Listening Session options are available online.

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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