St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Additional St. Mary's County Government Office Closures Announced

In addition to holiday closures on December 25, 2015, and January 1, 2016, previously announced on December 7, all St. Mary's County Government Administrative offices will close at 12 p.m. on December 24 and December 31.

St. Mary's Transit Holiday Service Changes

The St. Mary's Transit System (STS) has announced schedule changes for the upcoming Christmas and New Years holidays.

On Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), all public and ADA transportation bus services will operate until 8 p.m.

STS bus service will not operate Christmas Day (December 25) or New Years Day (January 1, 2016). STS bus service will operate normally all other times.

For more information about STS schedules and fares, go to

Commissioners Approve Additional Appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County have announced additional appointments to the following boards, committees and commissions. The appointments were approved on December 15 and are effective January 1, 2016:

Agriculture, Seafood & Forestry Board: Scott Bacon, through 12/31/18

Metropolitan Commission Board: Robert Russell (reappointment), through 12/31/18

Southern Maryland Tri-County Council: Helen Wernecke, through 12/31/16

Open Skate Night to Operate Under New Hours Beginning in 2016

Recreation and Parks' Open Skate Night will not operate on Saturday, December 26 due to the Christmas holiday.

Beginning January 9, 2016, and continuing through the end of March, the hours for Open Skate Night will change to 6:30—9:00 p.m. Open skate is open to all ages and operates year round on Saturdays at Leonard Hall Recreation Center. Cost is $5 per person and skates are available for rent at $2.50 per person.

For more information please call 301-475-4200 extension 1800 or 1801.

Health Department Seeking Accreditation Support

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) has awarded grant funding to the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) for fiscal year 2016 to support its accreditation process. Therefore, SMCHD is seeking a contractor /consultant who will lead the Accreditation Team through the process of developing the Quality Improvement/Performance Measures, beginning approximately on January 4, 2016. For more information about this request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

FAA Announces Small UAS Registration Rule

Registration begins December 21, fee waived for first 30 days

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a streamlined and user-friendly web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (UAS) weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms), including payloads such as on-board cameras.

"Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators, and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely. I'm excited to welcome these new aviators into the culture of safety and responsibility that defines American innovation."

Registration is a statutory requirement that applies to all aircraft. Under this rule, any owner of a small UAS, who has previously operated an unmanned aircraft exclusively as a model aircraft prior to December 21, 2015, must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of any other UAS, purchased for use as a model aircraft after December 21, 2015, must register before the first flight outdoors. Owners may use either the paper-based process or the new streamlined, web-based system. Owners using the new streamlined web-based system must be at least 13 years old to register.

Owners may register through the web-based system at

Registrants will need to provide their name, home address and e-mail address. Upon completion of the registration process, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft.

Owners using the model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS. The registration will be valid for three years.

The FAA will waive the normal registration fee of $5 between December 21, 2015 and January 20, 2016. The agency is doing so to encourage as many people as possible to register quickly.

The online registration system currently does not support registration of small UAS used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation—for example, using an unmanned aircraft in connection with a business. The FAA is developing enhancements which will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.

The full rule can be viewed here:

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