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Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update November 17th

 

LA PLATA, Md. - On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Board of Commissioners provided consensus to adopt Governor Larry Hogan’s new Executive Orders. Law enforcement representatives handle enforcement of these orders on a case-by-case basis. Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Charles County, the Commissioners voted to reinstate hazard pay for essential county workers and Sheriff’s Office staff, as outlined by Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services.

Open Session Briefings
• Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna Abney presented an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. The public is encouraged to get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is available every Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium, and appointments are required in advance by scheduling online. Residents should also get their annual flu shot, and the Department of Health is hosting a free flu shot clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Charles County is urging the community to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance during the holiday season, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and avoiding out-of-state travel and large gatherings of family and friends.

• Economic Development Department provided a briefing on the Charles County Restaurant Relief Grant Program, which will provide a minimum of $10,000 to eligible full-service restaurants, limited service restaurants, and caterers.  Food trucks, carry-out food and beverage businesses, and craft beverage taprooms are eligible to receive $5,000. The deadline to submit complete applications is Monday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. More information is  available here.

• Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provided an update on the CARES Act Funding. The deadline for the county to spend these funds and provide reporting to the Department of Health is Wednesday, Dec. 2 for Public Health Expenses.  The county has until Dec. 30 to spend the county share of CARES funds.

Commissioners voted to use CARES funding to reimburse the Board of Education for cleaning and maintenance for $281,901; Charles County Public Schools’ distance learning for $70,622; Economic Development Department Business Relief Grant for $420,000; and Department of Emergency Services portable radios for $280,000. 

• County religious leaders provided information on and a request to establish an Interfaith Commission. The Commission envisions a community distinguished by high standards of equity, justice, and compassion and collaboration, and sees a role for faith communities working together to help achieve that vision.

• Department of Emergency Services provided a briefing on the Emergency Operations Plan.

• Department of Planning and Growth Management provided an update on the proposed changes to the School Seat Allocation Policy. The public record for the proposed policy changes will close on Friday, Nov. 20 at 4:30 p.m. and the Commissioners Work Session to review the comments and deliberate on the findings is currently scheduled for December 1, 2020.

Discussion
Department of Emergency Services provided information on the portable radio standard and protocol. Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) requested portable radios for emergency on-call personnel workers on shifts. The Commissioners discussed and approved to use CARES Act funding to purchase 40 portable radios; 20 for Department of Emergency Services employees and 20, upon further discussion, to potentially be provided to fire volunteers. 

Approval Items
Commissioners also approved the following items:

• A request to introduce proposed Bill 2020 Resilience Authority. A public hearing is expected to be Tuesday, Dec. 8.

• A request for Commission for Veteran Affairs By-Law changes, including quorum requirements, meeting scheduling, alternating who appoints new chairpersons, and subcommittee requirements.

• A budget transfer request of $838,2280 for Mattawoman Inflow and Infiltration. A change order for the Mattawoman Inflow and Infiltration.

• A budget transfer request of $535,000 for a five percent increase for sworn officers.

• A contingency transfer request of  $1,012,700 for a five percent increase for sworn officers.

Draft Commissioner committee assignments, with amendment that Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3) serves as an alternate for the MACo Legislative Commission. 

• Renewal of the Maryland Airport Deer Management Plan.

• A waiver of the fiscal 2021 Maryland State Arts Council’s Grant match requirement for The Charles County Art Alliance.

• World Gym lease renewal and lease modification, which allowed rent payment to decrease to $10,853. 

• Capital Clubhouse East Coast Hockey and GymFit lease termination agreements.

Proclamations

Shop Small Business Saturday

Next Commissioners Session: December 1, 2020 (held virtually)

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

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