St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


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Phone Service to County Government to be Interrupted

The Department of Emergency Services and Technology will perform maintenance on the county government telephone system on Tuesday, November 14, beginning at 5:15 p.m. Maintenance work is expected to last 30 minutes. Telephone service to county government may be unavailable during this time.

911 communications will not be affected by this maintenance.

Economic Development Commission Meeting Location and Time Change

The St. Mary's County Economic Development Commission meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, will take place in the conference room of the UAS Test Site. The address is 44181 Airport Road in California. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Captain Matt Scassero, Test Site Director, will brief the commission about the Test Site. Ken Reed of S. Hunt Aero will discuss recent and upcoming development at the airport. Commission members will receive a short tour of the recently constructed incubator prior to the start of the meeting at 6 p.m.

With the airport quickly becoming the county's innovation and technology center, EDC members will learn first-hand what's already occurred at the airport and what's planned. As an innovation hub, the airport will help attract technology entrepreneurs and businesses.

This meeting has both a location and time change. EDC meetings are held quarterly and normally take place at 6 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

Recreation and Parks Announces Project to Replace the Great Mills Pool Bubble

The Department of Recreation & Parks is set to replace the bubble at the Great Mills Pool. The project includes the total replacement of the inflatable bubble structure, new doors and supporting air handling units. New LED lighting will be installed to enhance visibility inside the replacement structure.

Work is tentatively scheduled to be done between March 5 and March 16, 2018. Dates are subject to change based on factors such as weather and/or construction delays.

For more information or questions please contact Recreation & Parks at 301-475-4200, ext. *1800.

The Great American Smokeout

Get ready to lose the habit and become victorious over tobacco. Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society event, the Great American Smokeout. The Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco for this one day in the hope they may quit for good.

About 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. In St. Mary's County, 14.5% of adults and 22.6% of youth are currently using tobacco products.

This year on November 16, encourage someone you know to use the day to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and then quit smoking that day. By quitting—even for 1 day—smokers will be taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing their cancer risk.

There are many resources that can help someone quit smoking:

• FREE Quit Tobacco Classes are offered regularly throughout the community by the St. Mary's County Health Department. Call (301) 475-4330 or go to www.smchd.org/tobacco for more information.

• Local Nicotine Anonymous® Meetings are held weekly at On Our Own of St. Mary's County. Call (301) 997-1066 for more information.

• The State of Maryland offers a FREE Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW), available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, to support residents who would like to quit tobacco.

• SmokefreeTXT is a free text messaging program that gives 24/7 encouragement, advice, and tips for becoming smoke-free and being healthier. Sign up at: smokefree.gov/smokefreetxt.

• Get involved in community action to reduce tobacco use in St. Mary's County or access additional resources at: healthystmarys.com/tobacco-free-living.

County Receives Upgrade Ahead of Bond Sale

Bond rating rises to Aa1

Moody's Investors Service has assigned an upgraded rating of Aa1 to St. Mary's County Government ahead of the planned October 24 sale of $14.8 million in Public Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2017 The ratings service has also upgraded the county's $83.6 million of general obligation (GO) outstanding debt from Aa2 to Aa1.

The upgrade comes as the county prepares to refund the 2009B Bonds original issue of $16,945,000. Refunding is recommended when savings rise above 2%. Currently, savings are estimated to be more than $1.3 million. Principal and interest payments on the new issue will begin in FY2021 and will reflect an average annual savings to the county's budget of $136,000. Payoff of the new issue will be in FY2030.

The Moody's report mentions the county's formal fiscal policies, low debt and pension burdens as reasons for the upgrade. The report notes county's economy is likely to continue its growth due to a strong technology sector, anchored by NAS Patuxent River. The agency concludes "the county's economy is well diversified, including tourism, healthcare, higher education and advanced manufacturing."

"This is fantastic news for St. Mary's County," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "We remain confident that the financial course we set in 2014 continues to be the right one and will only continue to improve further in upcoming years."

Three St. Mary's County Commissioners Complete Academy for Excellence in Local Governance Program

Distinction of Fellow conferred

St. Mary's County Commissioner President Randy Guy, along with 1st District Commissioner Tom Jarboe and 4th District Commissioner Todd Morgan, were recently conferred the distinction of Fellow upon completion of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. They were among over 90 public officials from across Maryland to receive an Academy certificate at a ceremony on the University of Maryland campus in College Park.

Academy Fellows completed a substantial number of program hours, including core and elective classes designed to meet their professional needs as municipal or county officials in local government. Through the program, Academy Fellows not only enhanced their understanding of issues impacting local government and ethical standards for public service, but also developed a foundation for informed policy making and effective governance.

St. Mary's County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett completed the program and was conferred the distinction of Fellow in 2015. The Academy first offered classes in 1998 and is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the Maryland Municipal League, the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) and the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).

The School of Public Policy is recognized as one of the country's premier programs in public policy and management. The School has over 25 years of experience delivering acclaimed leadership development and public policy programs to public (federal, state, and local) clients as well as for and non-profit organizations, and government agencies from abroad.

Board of Public Works Approves $23 Million for Rural Legacy Program Grants Two areas in St. Mary's County to receive funding

Governor Larry Hogan has announced the Board of Public Works unanimously adopted a Maryland Department of Natural Resources recommendation approving 17 Rural Legacy Program grants totaling over $23 million statewide. Funding from these grants will permanently protect over 6,500 acres of working farms, forests, and open space in 18 counties.

The projects include protecting productive farmland, natural habitat, scenic view sheds, shorelines, wetlands, and woodlands as well as cultural, historical, and natural resources.

Two areas in St. Mary's County will receive grant funding. The Huntersville Rural Legacy Area is set to receive $1,474,971 while the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area has been awarded $771,543.

"Our administration is committed to land conservation, preservation, and recreation, and I am very pleased to announce these new Rural Legacy Program grants, which will preserve and protect our most pristine agricultural, environmental, and historical areas," said Governor Hogan. "When I became governor, I promised to restore funding for our world-renowned land programs, like Program Open Space, and we have done just that. We are following through on our commitment."

"We thank Governor Hogan and the Board of Public Works for approving the grants for the Huntersville and Mattapany Rural Legacy Areas," said Commissioner Randy Guy. "Part of our mission is to preserve our rural character. These grants will assist us in continuing our preservation efforts."

Established in 1997, the Rural Legacy Program is designed to preserve large tracts of productive and valuable agricultural and forested lands that contain exceptional features. The program acts through local government or private land trust sponsors to purchase conservation easements from willing property owners in 31 locally-designated rural areas located in every county. To date, the program has permanently protected 91,398 acres.

Volunteers Wanted for Boards, Commissions and Committees

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County are looking for individuals interested in playing a more active role in the community.

Citizens willing to volunteer their time have a choice of various Boards, Committees and Commissions on which to serve. Available positions, detailed descriptions of the various boards and membership application are available on the county's website at www.stmarysmd.com/voluntr/. All applications must include a resume and be submitted no later than Friday, November 17.

Some of the boards, commissions and committees which have vacancies include:

• Adult Public Guardianship Review Board—Citizen Member sought

• Airport Advisory Committee

• Board of Trustees Museum Division, Department of Recreation and Parks

• Commission for Women

• Commission on Aging

• Commission on People with Disabilities

• Human Relations Commission

• Transportation Advisory Committee

• Wicomico Shores Golf Course Advisory Board

The following vacancies have special requirements:

• Adult Public Guardianship Review Board—Physician

• Board of Appeals—Knowledge of planning, growth and development a plus

• Economic Development Commission—Community leader / private individual

• Family Violence Coordinating Council—Family or survivor of violence

• Metropolitan Commission—Must live in the 4th, 5th, 6th or 8th district

• Planning Commission—Knowledge of planning, growth and development a plus

Citizens interested in applying to a board, commission or committee, or wanting more information, can download an application from the county website or call Diane Gleissner at 301-475-4200, ext. *1700.

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