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St. Mary's Commissioners Report

The first Board of County Commissioners meeting of the new fiscal year was held July 14.  At the meeting, the commissioners acknowledged the Maryland Buy Local Challenge Week by discussing the profitable local farmers' markets and encouraging St. Mary's residents to "buy local and buy a lot!" 

Funding and fiscal matters were addressed for the Health, Community Services and Public Safety Departments.  Commissioner Raley expressed his concern that funding for the Health Dept. has shifted from a state to a county burden and suggested that it be brought to the Delegate's attention.

Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron was at the session to go over several grant applications and awards that required the commissioners' approval. Cameron tells TheBayNet.com, "Grant funding enhances the delivery of law enforcement services, allows for overtime enforcement initiatives which we would not otherwise be able to provide and finances additional deputies on the street, all of which help to improve the quality of life for the citizens of St. Mary's County."

The department has received over $200,000 in grants so far and is seeking over $3 million in federal funding.  An application for the COPS Hiring Recovery Program has been submitted which would cover the salaries of a proposed 10 new deputies for three years.  If awarded, the county will supply funding for these officers' vehicles, mobile data browsers and weapons.  The Sheriff's Dept. is using these funds to facilitate new positions in the Crime Lab and enhance the effectiveness of programs for sex offender compliance, school bus safety, domestic violence and underage drinking.

Complete List of St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Grant Awards and Applications.

These grants will cover things that would typically come from the county's budget, thus the commissioners were compliant in approving the awards and applications.  BOCC President Jack Russell commended the sheriff and his staff for their work.

Bob Schaller and Bennett Donnelly asked the BOCC for funds to update the '02-'03 Housing Needs Assessment, urging that affordable housing to keep up with the county's rate of growth is still a pressing issue.  The board declined the request for funding but recommended for them to return in six months for reconsideration. 

Land Use and Growth Management Director, Derrick Berlage asked the commissioners to sign off on an extension for development plans that would prevent project setbacks due to the economic downturn.

The commissioners spent a moment discussing their recent activities, family news and Jarboe praised the mild summer we've been enjoying in Southern Md.  The next BOCC meeting will be held July 21.

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