On Tuesday, May 21, the Board of Commissioners received a briefing and introduction of a request for a zoning text amendment to allow the operation of permanent shelters in the General Industrial Zone. The request, submitted by Lifestyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc., would allow the organization to pursue additional steps toward opening a permanent homeless shelter in White Plains. A public hearing date is set for Tuesday, June 18, at 6 p.m.
Open Session Briefings
Commissioners received a briefing from the Planning Division on the county’s shoreline assessment and management plan. The assessment reviews much of the county’s 183 miles of shoreline to identify and prioritize areas for restoration. This plan identifies opportunities for implementation of shoreline restoration projects and is an efficient method to meet requirements of the county’s stormwater permit. The report prioritized 153 sites and 27 miles of shoreline for restoration based upon erosion rates, proximity to agricultural or residential sites, with a combination of sill systems and living shorelines as the primary method for restoration. The report will enable the county to be considered for state and federal grants, determine future restoration programs, provide a model for other counties to follow, and share information with the public.
Economic Development Department Director Darréll Brown and Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Steve Kaii-Ziegler updated Commissioners on school seat allocations within opportunity zones designed in the county. Staff consulted with Superintendent Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, her executive team, and the Board of Education to consider alternatives to the current school seat allocation policy. Staff requested additional time to develop preferred options for the Commissioners’ consideration prior to Aug. 1.
Chief Executive Officer Brandon L. Jones presented Commissioners with an update on Hospice of Charles County, which provides terminally ill residents and their families with support for routine, inpatient, and respite care. They provide patients with care in their homes, at extended care facilities, and at the Hospice House. He highlighted some common myths about hospice care and shared facts about the variety of ways it serves families and provides patient care. For more information about hospice services, visit www.hospiceofcharlescounty.org.
Dr. Suzan Lowry, the health officer for Charles County, presented a semi-annual update on the Charles County Health Department. She reviewed the department’s programs and services, and shared data on indicators assessing the health and well-being of residents. Dr. Lowry discussed strategies for improving public health and highlighted the department’s efforts to address public health priorities.
Internal Auditor John Simpson briefed Commissioners on the work of the Internal Audit Oversight Committee. The committee is charged with reviewing the annual audit plan and internal audit reports, making recommendations, and ensuring there are no unjustified restrictions or limitations on the Internal Audit Office.
Commissioners approved the following budget requests:
An fiscal 2019 inter-category budget transfer request to the Board of Education in the amount of $6.9 million to support instruction materials, student transportation, operations, and capital outlay.
A fiscal 2020 contingency transfer request to fund the county’s match for the Teacher’s Salary Incentive Grant Program. Staff presented an updated document that includes this change in the Board of Education funding in the fiscal 2020 approved budget.
Commissioners approved memorandums of understanding with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to pay a portion of the costs for the following programs:
A Geospatial Data Exchange and Index program;
Regional Law Enforcement License Plate Readers; and
Regional Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
Commissioners also approved a revised summer schedule to meet every two weeks in June and July.
Commissioners presented a proclamation to the county’s Emergency Medical Services staff and volunteers in recognition of May 19 – 25, 2019 as Emergency Medical Services Week. View photo in Flickr.
BALTIMORE, MD – As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA)
reminds the nearly two million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday to plan ahead, travel offpeak and put safety first. This total represents a 1.0% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.
MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 24, and Monday, May 27:
• Bay Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 340,000.
• John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 550,000.
• Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) – more than 590,000.
• Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) – more than 215,000.
• Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) – more than 190,000.
An additional 190,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. All totals represent traffic in both directions.
The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:
• Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the
Bay Bridge this weekend include:
? Thursday/Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
? Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
? Sunday/Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
• Motorists traveling to and from the Eastern Shore should remain on US 50 to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents.
• Avoid the Flock!
? For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
? Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions or visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras.
• Get there faster with E-ZPass! E-ZPass transponders are FREE and no $1.50 monthly fee. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll online and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
• Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.
• Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore during your holiday travels. Visit mdta.maryland.gov for toll rates.
Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will step up seatbelt enforcement during the Click It or Ticket Campaign through June 2. Additional MDTA Police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles during the holiday weekend. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 24, to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 28.
• I-895 Bridge Project currently features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel southbound bore. The northbound bore is closed until mid-June. Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.
• I-895 Patapsco River Flats bridge deck and superstructure replacement continues. Current traffic pattern features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 on I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge near Baltimore/Washington Parkway. Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.
For your SAFETY and the SAFETY of other motorists and emergency personnel:
• Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
• Buckle Up! Every Trip. Every Seat. Every Time.
• State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle
or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
• Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
• Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
• Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge. Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.
• Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.
• Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.” If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
• When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
• The location of the emergency;
• A call-back telephone number; and
• Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.
The E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Centers will be closed on Monday, May 27. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824.
For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!
On May 8 at 11:36 p.m., officers responded to a motel in the 11000 block of Crain Highway in Glasva for the report of a citizen armed robbery. The victim reported two suspects, one who was armed with a gun, approached him as he was sitting outside his room and demanded his money and medication. The victim complied and the suspects fled in a gray Audi passenger car which was occupied by a driver and a passenger. M/Cpl. Kuhnow located the suspects’ vehicle traveling north on Route 301 in the area of Preference Drive. He initiated a traffic stop and the suspects were taken into custody. Joseph Robert Ellsworth Hayes, 22, of Nanjemoy; Jeffrey Carter, 23, of Bryans Road; Annaya Rachel Liverpool, 22, of Virginia and Teziah Marquis Randall, 18, of Bryans Road were charged with robbery, second-degree assault, and other related charges. Further, prior to entering the detention center, a body scanning machine revealed hidden contraband on Hayes. Forty pills, the same amount stolen from the victim, were recovered. PFC J. Harley is continuing the investigation.