Charles County Commissioner’s Meeting Update, May 24-25

charles county commissioners

LA PLATA, Md. – Tuesday, May 24, Department of Emergency Services; Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism; Department of Economic Development; Department of Community Services; and Department of Land Use Planning and Growth Management staff provided an update on Goal 5: Quality of Life of Commissioners’ Goals and Objectives. Highlights included the transition to next-generation 9-1-1 and the public safety radio system; mobile integrated healthcare program; leisure offers; parks and amenities, including the new Gilbert Run boardwalk and two multi-purpose synthetic sports fields; sales tax on lodging, restaurants, recreation and entertainment; agritourism updates; the Housing Authority’s request for additional ordinary coupons; housing stability efforts, home ownership program and facility loan program; and the Affordable Housing Task Force.

Open information sessions

  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Emergency Services Department Director Michelle Lilly provided a update on COVID-19 in Charles County.
    • There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, group residences, 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 and testing sites, visit the Department of Health website website.
    • There is a COVID-19 testing site at Regency Furniture Stadium (11765 St. Linus Drive, Waldorf) daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a list of pharmacies and other available vaccination clinics and testing sites, visit the State of Maryland’s website.
    • Charles County Public Schools Director of Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ COVID-19 contact tracing process, weekly screening program and case statistics.
    • Media Services Manager Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, including continuing to support the Department of Health’s outreach efforts.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management Deputy Director Jason Groth and Planner III Ben Yeckley gave a presentation on Bill 2022-06 Adequate Public Facilities 2022 Traffic Section Handbook Update. County commissioners approved the bill for tabling and scheduled a working session for Tuesday, June 7 before a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 29 at 6 p.m. in a hybrid format.

Update
Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided an update on Department of Health activities. The Department of Health continues to monitor COVID-19 data and provide vaccines and testing for COVID-19 in different areas of the county. The department has seen a decline in staff numbers over the past few years and is actively recruiting for many positions such as behavioral health clinicians and nurses. Normal operations continue for many clinics, including reproductive health, HIV testing and dental care. Improvements are being made to office spaces such as WIC and the Behavioral Health Suite to make them more welcoming spaces. Despite ongoing challenges from the Maryland Department of Health’s network security incident, the Environmental Health Division is conducting many of its routine operations, including inspections of food establishments, septic systems, beaches and public swimming pools. The Chronic Disease Program works with local dental practices to screen for obesity in children and adults, providing inclusive programs for people of all abilities, distributing boxes of local products to community organizations and food pantries, developing a local food safety committee, providing evidence-based programs include the Diabetes Prevention Program and the Living Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, implementing the Healthy Heart Ambassador Program in collaboration with faith-based and community organizations , the distribution of blood pressure monitors and the free offer of cooking and exercise classes.

Chief of Capital Services John Stevens, Senior Project Manager Brian Kagarise and Deputy Director of Planning and Growth Management Department Jason Groth provided a update on the Western Parkway Phase 3 road improvements from Pierce Road to US Route 301. Phases 3A-1 and 3A-2 are complete, Phase 3A-3 is in the design phase and 95% complete, and Phase B is also in the design phase and is 90% complete.

Approval items

The Commissioners also approved:

Acknowledgement

County Commissioners recognized county staff with the 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award in the Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation category for the documentary series “Deep Roots & Many Branches: The African American Experience in Charles county”. The National Association of County Achievement Award recognizes innovative county government programs. Watch the award-winning documentary series here: https://bit.ly/3KTPRR7.

County Commissioners also recognized Charles County Government Television staff for being a two-time recognized winner at the 43rd Annual Telly Awards. The Telly Awards present the best works created on television and through video, for all screens, which recognize excellence in video and television. The Video “Blue Jay Motel” is the winner of the Telly Silver Award in Non-Broadcast – History. The Video “Pomonkey Village” is a Bronze Telly Award Winner for Non-Diffusion – Documentary. More information about these prices here.

Discussion

County commissioners discussed House Bill 1433 State Highways-Designations-Piscataway Highway. The sponsors of the bill sought to have Maryland Route 210 renamed the Piscataway Highway, but Letter from the Maryland Department of Transportation interprets the bill as a designation. A designation does not change postal addresses, Google Maps, emergency mapping and other government systems, and other legal or real estate documents.

new business

Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling, III (District 1) offered to revisit a community revitalization effort, such as a Strong Neighborhoods Initiative. County commissioners recommended considering equity as part of this effort and instructed county staff to research similar programs in other jurisdictions.

Wednesday May 25

Public hearings

County Commissioners held a public hearing on Zoning Map Amendment 21-01 NRP Holdings, LLC Moreland Properties. County commissioners approved the amendment.

The County Commissioner held a public hearing on 2016 Charles County Comprehensive Plan Septic Levels Map Change. The public record will remain open until July 23.

Meeting viewing option: Click here

Next session of Commissioners: June 7, 2022

Citizens with special needs can contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or the TDD Relay Service: 800-735-2258.

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