LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, Sept. 27, County Commissioners held a follow-up work session on 2023 Preliminary State Legislative Proposals and Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell provided an update on the proposals. County Commissioners agreed to move forward on the following legislative proposals:
- Legalizing golf cars and low speed vehicles on Cobb Island
- Requiring emergency inpatient psychiatric admission to be available in Charles County, and every county in Maryland
- Reducing speed limits at all Indian Head Rail Trail crossings to 30 miles per hour
- Prohibiting unlicensed establishments from allowing alcohol consumption on their premises
- Prohibiting the operation of unlicensed vehicles, such as all-terrain vehicles, from being operated on a highway
- Creating an option for Alcohol Gift Basket Retailers (to include alcohol in personalized gift baskets)
- Ensuring that posting notifications of newly introduced legislation and enacted legislation is sufficient when a bill is posted to an internet website ordinarily used by the public body to provide information to the public
- Providing a tax credit to all those who volunteer as first responders with the fire department or emergency services.
Additional discussion on the details of these legislative proposals is scheduled at a follow-up work session on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
Open Session Briefings
- 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, as well as an update on monkeypox.
- There are a variety of vaccination clinics and testing sites in the community, and detailed information is available on the Department of Health’s website. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics and testing sites available, visit the State of Maryland’s website.
- Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged, close face-to-face contact. There is a vaccine for monkeypox in limited supply, but monkeypox can be treated with available antiviral medicines.
- The CDC recommends that adults get a flu vaccine by the end of October. The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death. Flu vaccination clinics are available and more information is on the Department of Health’s website.
- Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ take-home tests and PPE available for students and staff, as well as continuing to monitor COVID-19.
- Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, including continuing to support the Department of Health’s efforts to communicate vaccinations and healthy habits, as well as supporting internally for employees.
- Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland provided an update on the council. Highlights included fiscal 2023 funding, the summer youth program, Mobile Career Center, business engagement, annual regional hiring events, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission partnership and work in Charles County, Wheels to Wellness program, heritage partnership with Southern Maryland Heritage Area, and Rural Maryland Economic Fund.
Maryland Association of Counties representatives provided an update of the 2022 Legislative Session, including transportation funding, affordable housing, Police Accountability Boards, and education.
- A fiscal 2023 budget amendment increase of $484,000 for Indian Head Manor project construction, needed due to a 30 percent increase due to market inflation.
- A fiscal 2023 budget amendment increase of $41,000 to provide funds for potential property acquisition.
- A fiscal 2023 budget amendment increase of $36,100 for replacement of vehicle ES-68, which was deemed totaled by insurance company from storm damage.
- Amendment 2022-2 to make changes to the Charles County Pension Plan.
- Economic Development Department’s lease renewal.
Wednesday, Sept. 28
County Commissioners held a public hearing on Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department Proposed Bond Issuance. The record was closed and approved Resolution 2022-16 Issuances of Bonds by the Hughesville VFD and Rescue Squad, Inc.
Town Hall Meeting
County Commissioners held the Third Quarter Board of County Commissioners’ Town Hall Meeting, which provides the opportunity for public questions and comments. Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on preparations for flooding related to the possible impacts of Hurricane Ian as it moves up the coast.
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Next Commissioners Session: Oct. 4 and 5, 2022
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.