Charles County, MD – At Tuesday’s March 6 meeting, the Board of County Commissioners received an update regarding Chapel Point State Park. County staff have been discussing a proposed lease agreement with the Maryland Park Service to develop a master plan for a 49-acre section of the park that would enhance public use and access. The leased area would include a boat launch, beach access, and an area for expanded parking and a kayak launch. The county would benefit tremendously from the integration of recreational opportunities with tourism, by expanding the heritage trail with interpretive exhibits, promoting passive and outdoor adventure recreational activities, and linking them to Historic Port Tobacco Village and Port Tobacco River Park. The Board of Public Works anticipates review and approval of the proposed lease in April 2018.

Budget Work Session: Operating and Capital Enterprise Funds
The Board of County Commissioners held a budget work session to review the anticipated revenues, expenditures, and requests for funding from the county’s Enterprise Funds in the fiscal 2019 budget. County budget staff presented a detailed overview of the Landfill Fund, Environmental Services Fund, Watershed Protection and Restoration Fund, Inspection Services Fun, Recreation Fund, Cable Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, and the Water and Sewer capital improvement project.

Open Session Briefings and Approvals
• Commissioners approved the establishment of a Charles County Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students who are continuing education and enrolled in a workforce development course at the College of Southern Maryland. A contribution of $4,600 will be made to the annual scholarship fund by April 1, 2018.
• The County Attorney provided an update on the county’s state legislative package, obtained county positions on bills that have been introduced, and highlighted other issues of interest that affect the county.
• The Commissioners reviewed the Compensation Commission’s recommendations for a small salary increase of 2 percent annually for individuals who serve as Orphans’ Court judges and for each of the County Commissioners. Modest stipend increases were also recommended for individuals who serve on the Board of Appeals, Board of Electrical Examiners, Board of License Commissioners, and the Planning Commission. The Commissioners previously took action to recommend that an increase be granted to Orphans’ Court judges. The Commissioners did not take any action on the other recommendations and will delay a vote on them so that they can be considered as part of the fiscal 2019 budget process.
• The Commissioners approved appointment of individuals to the Commission for Women, Ethics Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, and the Homeowners Association Dispute Review Board.
• The county’s actuarial advisor presented an update on preliminary results of the actuarial valuation and Governmental Accounting Standards Board Accounting Disclosure for the Charles County Pension Plan. The actuarial funding method and assumptions were discussed and Commissioners approved the actuarial assumptions recommended by the pension committee.
• The county’s investment advisor presented information and recommended investment fund changes to the Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan. The changes are anticipated to improve fund performance. Commissioners approved the pension committee’s recommendations as presented.

Approval Items
• Commissioners approved changes to their upcoming meeting schedule. They added regular meetings on March 27, April 10, April 24, and May 8. The April 3 meeting has been canceled and the proposed fiscal 2019 budget and public hearing was moved to April 10. The final fiscal 2019 budget is scheduled for adoption on May 15.
• Commissioners approved a letter of support for a $25,000 grant application that the Maryland Veterans Museum at Patriot Park that will be submitted to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant Program.

• Donations Received for Backpacks of Love: Representatives from the Town of La Plata Police Department and the Blue Ribbon Project were presented with more than 40 backpacks filled with supplies that will help meet the needs of children during their first 24 hours after entering foster care. The Commissioners thanked employees and the community for their generous contributions to support this initiative. View photo on Flickr.
• Social Work Month Proclamation: Commissioners recognized the county’s social workers by presenting a proclamation recognizing March as Social Work Month. This year’s theme is “Social Workers: Leaders, Advocates, Champions” to highlight their important role in providing support and assistance to the most vulnerable people in our community. View photo on Flickr.
• Women’s History Month Proclamation: Representatives from the Charles County Commission for Women received a proclamation from Commissioners to recognize March as Women’s History Month. Charles County will highlight several women who are important to its local history throughout the month of March. View photo on Flickr.

Next Commissioners Meeting: Tuesday, March 20

For More Information:
Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming at   Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at upon approval.