LA PLATA, Md. – On Monday, March 7, the Board of County Commissioners met with Senator Ben Cardin for an update on the federal priorities for Maryland and local governments. Highlights included the federal appropriations; American Rescue Plan Act, which awarded more than $31 million to Charles County in 2021; Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes supporting the health and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay; Senate Bill 825 Maryland National Heritage Area Act; and Build Back Better, which touches on strengthening existing tools such as low-income tax credit program.
On Tuesday, March 8, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), Maryland Food Bank, and D.C. Department of Homeland Security representatives provided a presentation to the County Commissioners on food security and food resilience. Highlights included the impact of COVID-19 on food security, the response to food insecurity, Maryland Food Bank’s impact, the COG FARM priorities, and planning for food and water resilience. County Commissioners approved making a food security and resilience workgroup in Charles County.
Open Session Briefings
- Chief of Transit Jeffry Barnett provided a presentation on the Transit Division Annual Transportation Plan. County Commissioners approved the Resolution 2022-02 for filing a grant application under the Transit Act.
- College of Southern Maryland (CSM) President Dr. Maureen Murphy and CSM Trustee Jose M. Gonzalez provided a presentation on the State of the College, including the economic value of the college and economic impact and investment analysis. Dr. Murphy recognized the County Commissioners for providing Charles County Care scholarships, which have provided educational opportunities for students.
- Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland (TCCSMD) representatives provided a presentation on the 2022 Summer Youth Program. The program offers county youth with the opportunity to develop skills, set career goals, and learn more about their community. TCCSMD also provided a student testimony about the program.
Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell provided an update on the 2022 Maryland General Assembly Session. Highlighted bills include House Bill 1423/ Senate Bill 965, House Bill 739/ Senate Bill 916, House Bill 1415, House Bill 1290, and House Bill 162. Mitchell will draft a letter of support for House Bill 1416. This week, Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. will provide oral testimony on House Bill 514 and House Bill 1187, Commissioner Gilbert “BJ” Bowling (District 1) will provide oral testimony on Senate Bill 388, and Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris will provide oral testimony for House Bill 1428.
County Commissioners discussed a request from Maryland State Senator Arthur C. Ellis on Senate Bill 297 to support an amendment to change the radius of sports wagering facility locations from 1.5 miles to a 10-mile radius. County Commissioners voted 5 to 0 to sending a letter of opposition with concerns regarding economic development potential with a restrictive radius.
Commissioners also approved:
- A fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $109,060 to support change orders related to the Detention Center intake area capital project.
- A fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $170,000 to fund remaining contract balance for services at Piney Brand Sewer Interceptor upgrade capital project.
- The Board of County Commissioners’ Welcome Letter for New Businesses in Charles County.
The Charles County Board of Elections provided an update on the board’s election procedures and information. The board consolidated polling locations within the county, including C. Paul Barnhart Elementary School, Matthew Henson Middle School, La Plata High School, Mattawoman Middle School, McDonough High School, Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School, North Point High School, Milton M. Somers Middle School, St. Charles High School, Thomas Stone High School, and William B. Wade Elementary. Early voting centers will include Waldorf Jaycees, Sacred Heart Church Friendship Hall, and St. Joseph’s Parish Center.
Next Commissioners Session: March 15 and 16, 2022
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.