St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


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Planning Commission Cancels Meeting

The St. Mary's County Planning Commission meeting, scheduled for Monday, April 22, 2019, was cancelled.

The next scheduled Planning Commission meeting is Monday, May 13, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

For more information, please contact Bill Hunt, Land Use and Growth Management Director, at 301-475-4200, ext. *1508.

Department of Aging & Human Services to Host First Annual Centenarian Luncheon

Do you know someone living in St. Mary's County who will be 100 years of age or older this year? We want to honor them!

The St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services is proud to host the first annual Centenarian Luncheon in St. Mary's County at the James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, located at 24005 Point Lookout Road in Leonardtown, Md. The Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, May 22, at 11 a.m.

Friends, family, and caregivers are welcome to accompany our honorees to the first annual Centenarian Luncheon. Due to space constraints, each honoree is limited to a maximum of three guests. Indicate the number of participants when registering. Honorees must be 100 years of age or older as of December 31, 2019.

Space is limited and registration is required. Please contact Sarah Miller, Community Programs & Outreach Manager, at 301-475-4200, ext. 71073, or Sarah.Miller@stmarysmd.com to RSVP.

Animal Control Reminds Citizens to be Mindful of Foxes

St. Mary's County Animal Control wants to remind citizens that foxes are out during the day, especially this time of year. If you see one outside during the day, it's no cause for alarm. They will usually run away from you as soon as they detect your presence. If not, the fox has probably learned to associate people with food (likely because someone has been feeding them), and may exhibit a boldness or even approach you. These foxes can easily be scared away by making loud noises such as yelling or blowing whistles, dousing them with water houses or squirt guns and throwing objects such as tennis balls toward them.

Here are a few facts to put the presence of foxes in your yard in perspective:

— Foxes are not dangerous to humans, except when they are rabid (which is very rare) or when they are captured and handled. Even then, a fox's natural tendency is to flee rather than fight.

— Foxes may prey on small pets or livestock (such as rabbits, guinea pigs or chickens), so pets should be kept indoors or housed in sturdy structures.

— Foxes will also eat various fruits, but they usually do not bother garden vegetables.

— Sometimes foxes are blamed for damage they did not cause, such as when they are spotted eating from spilled trash when neighborhood dogs or other animals were responsible for the overturned trashcan.

— A fox cutting through your yard is probably just passing through on their way between hunting areas and no action is necessary on your part.

Before calling to report a fox or ask for assistance, take time to observe the fox's behavior, and look for these signs:

— Partial paralysis or the inability to use their limbs well.

— Circling or staggering as if drunk.

— Self-mutilation.

— Acting aggressively for no reason.

— Acting unnaturally tame.

If you observe these signs, do not approach the fox—remember exposure to rabies is primarily through bites or saliva. Contact St. Mary's County Animal Control at 301-475-8018 if you see a fox showing the above signs.

Farmer's Produce Stand Vendors Sought for St. Mary's Co. Government Center

St. Mary's County is gauging interest from local produce vendors who may be interested in providing fresh grown produce and locating intermittently during business hours on the St. Mary's Governmental campus in Leonardtown. This also includes offering produce sales and options for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Vendors that accept WIC FMNP/SFMNP & FVC are preferred. The center is home to numerous governmental offices and receives many visitors daily.

Interested Farmer's Produce stand operators/farmers, please call the Department of Human Resources at 301-475-4200, ext. 71100. Only actively licensed vendors who carry sufficient auto liability, product liability, and general liability insurance coverages will be considered.

This notification is only seeking interest and is not a formal solicitation or a promise of business location at the Governmental Center. The address is: St. Mary's County Governmental Center, 23115 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

St. Mary's Transit System Seeks Opinions Regarding Public Transportation Services in the County

St. Mary's Transit System, the public transportation program in St. Mary's County, is developing a five-year plan update, termed the 2019 St. Mary's County Transit Development Plan (TDP). The plan will be presented to County Commissioners this autumn.

Major tasks for the planning study include: an analysis of current services; an analysis of transit need based on demographics, land use, and stakeholder input; the development of options to consider for inclusion in the plan; and the draft and final versions of the TDP. The previous TDP was completed in 2013. The plan is a requirement of the Maryland Transit Administration.

As part of the transit needs analysis, a survey has been developed to gather the opinions of St. Mary's County residents. Stakeholder outreach will also include surveys of current transit riders and major employers.

The public survey is accessible by logging onto:

English Version: www.surveymonkey.com/r/STS_Public_Survey

Encuesta en Español: www.surveymonkey.com/r/STSEncuesta

Paper surveys in English and Spanish are also available at the locations listed at the end of this media release. This survey is being conducted between April 22 and May 22. The survey results will help inform the study team regarding the service options that should be considered for inclusion in the five-year TDP Update.

For more information, contact Mary Ann Blankenship, Transportation Supervisor, St. Mary's Transit System, maryannblankenship@stmarysmd.com or (301)475-4200 ext. *1123.

Paper Surveys available at the following locations:

Charlotte Hall Library
37600 New Market Road
Charlotte Hall, MD 20622
301-884-2211

Leonardtown Library
23250 Hollywood Road
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-475-2846

Lexington Park Library
21677 FDR Blvd.
Lexington Park, MD 20653
301-863-8188

St. Mary's County Department of Social Services
23110 Leonard Hall Drive
Leonardtown, MD 20650
240-895-7000

College of Southern Maryland
22950 Hollywood Road (Building A)
Leonardtown, MD 20650-4700
240-725-5300

St. Mary's County Health Department
21580 Peabody Street
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-475-4330

St. Mary's County Farmers Markets Open for the Season

Spring is here and we all know what that means! All of the St. Mary's County farmers markets are open for business on Saturday, April 20.

The California Farmers Market will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1p.m. from April 20 until November 16. The location is 22801 Three Notch Road, California, MD (the BAE parking lot).

The Home Grown Farm Market is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until December 21. The location is 21078 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, MD.

The North County Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April. In May, the market will be open Monday through Saturday. From June through August, the market's hours will extend to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The market will be open with varying hours through November. The location is 37600 New Market Road, Charlotte Hall, MD (Charlotte Hall Library).

Learn more about the farmers markets at www.visitstmarysmd.com/food-drink/farm-markets/ or by calling the Department of Economic Development's Agriculture and Seafood Division at (240) 309-4022.

St. Mary's County Museum Division Announces Access Program for Low-Income Families

Museums for All to increase accessibility of high-quality museum learning resources

The St. Mary's County Museum Division is pleased to announce that it has joined Museums for All, a signature access program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), administered by the Association of Children's Museums (ACM), to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum-going habits.

The program supports those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits visiting the museums overseen by the St. Mary's County Museum Division—St. Clement's Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse Museum—for a minimal fee of $3 per person for the museum and the water taxi (or free admission if just visiting the museum) at St. Clement's Island Museum and $3 per person at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, up to four people, with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

"As part of our ongoing efforts to reach out to our local community, we are extremely excited to be participating in this program," says Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary's County Museum Division. "Everyone, regardless of background, should have easy access to the historic treasures in our care, and Museums for All helps us accomplish this goal."

Similar free and reduced admission is available to eligible members of the public at more than 250 museums across the country and St. Mary's County, including Historic St. Mary's City and the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum & Visitor Center. Museums for All is part of the St. Mary's County Museum Division's broad commitment to seek, include, and welcome all audiences to experience everything that local museums and historic sites have to offer.

For more information regarding the Museums for All program, please visit www.Museums4All.org. For more information regarding the St. Mary's County Museum Division's museums and historic sites, please visit www.facebook.com/SCIMuseum or www.facebook.com/1836Light, or on Twitter at @StClemIsMuseum or @PineyPtLHMuseum.

Worksite Wellness Collaborative Meeting Set for May 16

The St. Mary's County Health Department (SMCHD) and the Charles County Department of Health are working jointly to provide a workshop for area business leaders to discuss the importance of worksite wellness. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 16 from 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m at the St. Mary's County Health Department at 21580 Peabody Street in Leonardtown.

Participants will learn the value of worksite wellness as proven by research and how it can be implemented in local businesses. This will be an opportunity to network with other businesses to consider what works and what does not. A representative from the Healthiest Maryland Businesses (HMB) will provide guidance for interested participants, including how to get organizational support and the benefits of joining the Healthiest Maryland movement.

Healthiest Maryland Businesses is a state-wide initiative to increase the health of Maryland employees. HMBs receive free consultation support, training, information, and resources to create a healthier environment for their workforce.

Participating businesses should be located in Maryland and registration is required. To RSVP for the workshop, please register here:

stmaryshmbcollaborative.eventbrite.com

For more information about HMB, please visit:

www.healthiestmdbusinesses.org/

St. Clement's Island Museum presents "Dinner and a Cruise" Series for 2019

Series Kicks off with "The Civil War and St. Clement's Island" cruise during the Black Diamond Disaster, an American Civil War Commemoration Weekend

Beginning April 28, visitors can enjoy a fun evening of cruising on the St. Clement's Island Water Taxi, cocktail reception at St. Clement's Island Museum and delicious seafood dinner at waterside Morris Point Restaurant during a series of themed events throughout the season.

The run of four cruises kick off on April 28 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. as part of the Black Diamond Disaster American Civil War Commemoration Weekend with "The Civil War and St. Clement's Island." The tour will include a guided presentation about St. Clement's Island's interesting role during the American Civil War. Your guide will be Foxhall Parker, the Commander of the Potomac Flotilla during the war. He will talk about events on the Island, on the Potomac River, and in Leonardtown. As a special addition to the April cruises, the event will include attending the Black Diamond Ceremony on St. Clement's Island.

"After last year's October 2018 inaugural cruise sold out almost immediately, we knew we had to continue offering these fun, yet informative, cruises as part of a new event series," states Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary's County Museum Division. "2019's series includes four cruises, all concerning different interesting subjects. We now have plenty of opportunities for the public to grab tickets before they sell out."Though there are more chances to get your spot before tickets are gone, Stone suggests reserving early. "We recommend calling in for any of the cruises as soon as possible—the tickets will sell out quickly as we only allow a maximum of 20 spots per cruise for these exclusive events."

The three remaining cruises occur in June, August and October, and include the following themes: Sunday, June 2 features "An Evening with Father Andrew White, S.J." from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. where your water tour guide will portray historical figure Fr. Andrew White and offer an account of White's journey to the island in 1633. Sunday, August 11 features "The Flora, Fauna and Natural Beauty of St. Clement's Island" from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. where your tour will include a guided presentation on the natural environment of St. Clement's Island and surrounding environs. Sunday, October 13 features "A Narrated Fall Foliage Tour" from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. where your water tour will include a guided presentation about why St. Clement's Island is so important.

Tickets for all cruises are $55 per person or $100 per couple, and include boat ride, cocktail reception at St. Clement's Island Museum and dinner at Morris Point Restaurant. When making a reservation, the public is encouraged to choose an entrée for their meal, which include: Crab Cake; Seafood Combination (broiled or fried of any two: crab cake, shrimp, scallops, soft shell crab or fish); or Chicken and Pasta dinner. All meals include two sides.

For more information or to reserve your ticket, please call St. Clement's Island Museum at 301-769-2222. For more information regarding the St. Mary's County Museum Division's museums and historic sites, please visit www.facebook.com/SCIMuseum or www.facebook.com/1836Light, or on Twitter at @StClemIsMuseum or @PineyPtLHMuseum.

St. Mary's Gymnastics Academy Scores Big in 2019

Gymnastics is thriving! St. Mary's Academy is proud of the recent achievements of several USAG gymnasts as they wrap up a successful competition season full of highlights and exciting travels.

In February of this year, 26 athletes traveled to Orlando, FL to compete in the Presidential Classic. Over 20 countries participated from around the world which provided a new competition and experience for all the athletes. Several gymnasts from Level 2-9 earned places in vault, beam and floor routines. The team is already looking forward to returning in 2020 which requires significant fundraising and Booster Club support.

Another great achievement was realized on March 24 by Level 8 gymnast, Virginia Krasznay, as she claimed the Maryland State Beam Champion title with a first place win at the Women's Maryland State Meet in Landover, MD. Virginia also earned 2nd place on vault and secured her position as 5th All-Around.

Virginia is a senior at Chopticon High School and hopes to continue gymnastics in college, likely at Towson University, while pursuing a career in physical therapy. Virginia also teaches gymnastics classes part-time at St. Mary's Gymnastics Academy and loves interacting with aspiring gymnasts.

Head Coach Diane Picolo is extremely proud of Virginia's accomplishment, telling her prior to the beam routine, "You have to win this for me." Virginia has been a USAG gymnast since 2017 and designated Level 8 placement this competitive season.

St. Mary's County Recreation & Parks congratulates each team gymnasts on a successful season and thanks all of the hard working coaches helping them reach their goals.

MetCom Reminds Homeowners of Improved Fire Protection Rating in Lexington Park Area

Effective March 1, 2019, the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department ("BDVFD") Public Protection Classification ("PPC") fire rating was upgraded from a Class 3 to a Class 2 rating. Virtually all U.S. insurers of private and commercial property use the PPC fire rating from the Insurance Services Office's ("ISO") to calculate premiums. Generally, the price of fire insurance in communities with a higher PPC rating is substantially lower than pricing in communities with poor PPC ratings. Property owners in the BDVFD fire service area may wish to contact their insurance providers on possible policy savings.

The ISO reviews each fire department's comprehensive ability to prevent and extinguish fires in their community. Factors evaluated include fire prevention efforts, the 911 and dispatching system, response times, apparatus, staff training, and most significantly, the availability of water for fire suppression. This involves a combination of location and amount of storage, number of and location of hydrants, and service and maintenance of the public water distribution systems, etc.

This improved rating is the result of efforts since approximately 2014 between BDVFD, the St. Mary's County Department of Emergency Services and the St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission ("MetCom"). MetCom is proud to be part of the collaborative effort which will better serve the community, assist our volunteer members at BDFVD as well as the professionals who are part of the St. Mary's County Department of Emergency Services.

Contact Jason Adams, BDVFD PIO at 240.538.4664 for more information about ISO's PPC program. To learn more about BDVFD, see www.bdvfd.org. Contact information and other details concerning the St. Mary's County Department of Emergency Services, can be viewed at www.co.saint-marys.md.us/es/.

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