LA PLATA, Md. – The Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for eligible individuals in age 16 and older.  Residents can now make their own appointments to get vaccinated on the Department of Health’s website. For those who lack computer access or need assistance with making their appointment can call the Department of Health at 301-609-6710.

The mass vaccination site in Southern Maryland is open at the Regency Furniture Stadium and Maryland residents who are eligible can register for a vaccination at the site and other locations in the county online. The State of Maryland has a call center number for those who need assistance registering one of the state mass vaccination sites or need help locating a vaccination site. The state call center number is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy.

The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on the hospital operations, including their personal protective equipment qualities, staffing, and monitoring their visitation policy. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on social distancing in classrooms and in-person instruction which has begun in correlation with the reopening plan, as well as providing student COVID case numbers which have primarily begun from family-related means or spring sports. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and answers to their frequently asked questions.

Open Session Briefings 

• Melwood representatives provided an update on the Melwood’s operations, as well as the Melwood Agricultural Training Center. Melwood is one of the largest nonprofit employers of people with disabilities in the country.

• Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided a presentation on the Third Quarter Fiscal 2021 General Fund Report.

• County Administrator Mark Belton, Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall, and Department of Human Resources Director Alexis Blackwell provided an update on the education goal of the Commissioners’ Goals and Objectives, which included funding and collaboration with the Charles County Board of Education and College of Southern Maryland, as well as workforce development and education for Charles County Government.

Approval Items
Commissioners also approved:

• An intercategory budget change request of $28.9 million for the Board of Education.

• A one-time Commissioner Fiscal 2021 budget rollover exception for the County Commissioner Expensive Policy Standard Operating Policy.

Work Session
The County Commissioners participated in a Budget Work Session. Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff continued the Fiscal 2022 proposed General Fund County Administrator Budget, Special Revenue Funds, Enterprise Funds, and Governmental Capital Improvement Program.

National Donate a Lunch Day

The County Commissioners met and conferred with the representatives of the Town of La Plata and the Town of Indian Head on the fiscal 2022 tax differential.  County Commissioners provided consensus on the fiscal 2022 tax differential.

Public Hearings
County Commissioners also provided a virtual public hearing on Fiscal 2022 Constant Yield and the Fiscal 2022 Operating Budgets, Fiscal 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Program, and Proposed Fees, Rates, and Charges. The County Commissioners left the record open for both constant yield and fiscal 2022 budget comments until May 3, 2021.

Next Commissioners Session: May 4, 2021 (held virtually)

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