Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

May 26 Board of Appeals Meeting Canceled

The Charles County Board of Appeals meetings originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 26 is canceled.

Board of Appeals meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month, unless otherwise noted in the Commissioners’ meeting room at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore St., La Plata). The next regular meeting of the Board of Appeals is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners’ meeting room at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).

For more information, contact Ms. Carrol Everett, Clerk to the Board of Appeals, at 301-645-0540 or Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

Commissioners Attend St. Charles High School Dedication

On Friday, May 15, the Charles County Commissioners participated in an event marking the official opening of St. Charles High School and the dedication of the Colonel Donald M. Wade Aquatic Center, located on Piney Church Road in Waldorf.

St. Charles High School is a 88,283 square-foot building that houses the James E. Richmond Science Center, a state-of-the-art digital classroom, and Science on a Sphere.

The Aquatic Center was named for Colonel Donald M. Wade who served 16 years on the Charles County Board of Education. Col. Wade was known for his passion to provide children with a quality education.

For more information about St. Charles High School, visit

Household Hazardous Waste Collection June 6

The Charles County Department of Public Works would like to remind citizens that the next household hazardous waste collection for this year will be held on Saturday, June 6. The household hazardous waste collection site is located in the parking lot of the Department of Public Works building, located at 10430 Audie Lane, off of Radio Station Road in La Plata. Collection hours are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Items accepted free of charge include: pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, gasoline, oil-based paint, cleaning supplies, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, mercury thermometers, and other poisons found in the home. Please remember to mark any container that does not have a readable, original label.

Unacceptable materials include bio-medical waste (sharps, needles, anything with bodily fluids), latex paint, prescription drugs, and ammunition. Used motor oil, anti-freeze, propane tanks, and batteries are accepted on a regular basis at various collection sites. Latex paint is not considered hazardous waste and can be placed in your household trash as long as it is solidified. This can be accomplished by adding kitty litter, shredded paper, paint hardener, or sawdust to aid in drying it out.

Household hazardous waste collection will occur on the first Saturday of each month through December. Upcoming 2015 collection dates are: June 6, July 11* (Due to July 4th Holiday), Aug. 1, Sep. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7, and Dec. 5.

For more information, call the Charles County Department of Public Works, Environmental Resources Division at 301-932-3599 or 301-870-2778, or the landfill and recycling information line at 301-932-5656. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Drug and Alcohol-related Intoxication Deaths Rise in Charles County

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released the 2014 Drug and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths in Maryland Report on Tuesday, May 19. The report found that there was a 21 percent increase in the number of Maryland deaths in 2014 compared with 2013’s data.

A total of 21 drug and alcohol related intoxication deaths occurred in Charles County in 2014. This is an increase from the nine deaths confirmed in 2013 and the 13 deaths confirmed in 2010. 95 percent (20 out of 21) of the Charles County drug and alcohol intoxication deaths were opioid-related.

“These needless deaths are unacceptable,” states Dianna E. Abney, M.D., Charles County health officer. “We recognize this as a serious community problem. Last year we held a number of forums to help give us a better scope of the issue. The forums helped us identify the necessary steps to tackle the problem.” Abney says, “This is a complex problem with no simple fix. A solution involves every sector of our community: public health, government, treatment and prevention, medical, education, law enforcement, and the public at large. Actions are underway and we have to accept that it may take a while for our efforts to take hold.”

The report states:

-- Heroin-related deaths doubled from five in 2013 to 10 in 2014. On a state level, heroin-related deaths increased by 25 percent between 2013 and 2014.

-- Prescription opioid-related deaths nearly doubled from five in 2013 to nine in 2014. The overall number of prescription opioid-related deaths remained relatively stable on a state level.

-- For Charles County, fentanyl-related deaths reduced from three deaths in 2013 to one death in 2014. This is very different from the three fold increase seen at the state level (from 58 to 185).

-- Charles County did not see any cocaine-related deaths in 2013 or 2014. This is very different from the 29 percent increase seen on the state level.

-- From 2007-2014, Charles County generally sees between 1-3 benzodiazepine-related deaths. For 2014, there were two deaths due to this substance.

-- Alcohol-related deaths in Charles County have remained relatively stable in recent years. In 2014, there were five deaths related to alcohol in Charles County. On a state level, there was a 13 percent increase in alcohol-related deaths from 2013 to 2014.

The problem of increasing opiate-related fatalities is universal. Similar increases are reported nationally and state-wide. While Charles County falls in the middle of rankings by county in the state report there remains much room for improvement. Dr. Abney says, “We are determined to turn this problem around.” The complete report may be viewed at

Vacancies for Commissioner-Appointed Boards, Committees, and Commissions

The Charles County Commissioners are seeking county residents to fill vacancies on the following boards, committees, and commissions:

-- Adult Public Guardianship Review Board

-- Alarm Review Board

-- Area Council on Aging

-- Cable Advisory Commission

-- Commission for Women

-- Commission on Individuals with Disabilities

-- Disadvantaged Business Loan Review Committee

-- Ethics Commission

-- Gaming Permit Review Board

-- Heritage Commission

-- Historic Preservation Commission

-- Homeowner’s Association Dispute Review Board

-- Monument Commission

-- Planning Commission (Deadline for applications is Friday, May 22)

-- Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board

-- Wicomico Scenic River Commission

There is one vacancy on the seven-member Planning Commission for a four-year term. The Commission is involved in drafting and implementation of the Comprehensive Plan, makes recommendations on re-zoning requests, and is the approval authority for subdivision of property in Charles County.

The Charles County Commissioners are seeking persons interested in Commissioner-nominations for Governor’s consideration for membership on the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board for five-year term. The Board hears appeals from Charles County property owners who disagree with the values assessed by the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, and appeals concerning local tax credits, local taxes, and other local tax matters. Those interested must fill out the Office of the Governor Request for Appointment Consideration Biographical Information form. To obtain the form, contact the Clerk to the Commissioners, Danielle Mitchell at 301-645-0554 or

There is one vacancy on the Ethics Commission for a four-year term. The board devises, receives, and maintains all forms generated by the Charles County Code, Chapter 170, Code of Ethics; provides published advisory opinions to persons subject to aforementioned code as to the applicability of the provisions; investigates, processes, and makes determinations as to complaints filed alleging violation of the aforementioned code; and conducts a public information program regarding the purpose and application of the code.

There are five vacancies on the Commission on Individuals with Disabilities. The board provides the Charles County Commissioners with advice, information, and assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, to increase social acceptance and ensure full participation of individuals with disabilities.

Positions remain open until filled. Applications and a detailed list of all current vacancies are available on the Charles County Government website at or by contacting Ms. Carol DeSoto, Commissioner Specialist, at 301-645-0691 or A separate application must be submitted for each membership for which you wish to apply.

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