At the meeting on Tuesday, April 17, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) briefed Commissioners on a state project to map ecosystem services in Charles County. Ecosystem services are benefits gained by people from the environment. The effort to map the ecosystem is important because the value of the environment is not always factored into decision-making processes and it is often costlier for the government to restore natural resources than to proactively conserve them.
MDNR staff discussed the methodology used for mapping, the models that were applied, and provided examples from their work. They highlighted the results from their mapping of stormwater and flooding abatement, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge, greenhouse gas uptake, and nitrogen and air pollutant removal. Based on the mapping study, Charles County has the fourth highest ecosystem services value in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland Department of Planning presented an update on state development plan, which is required to ensure that development and growth is managed responsibly, smart growth principles are applied, and natural, cultural and historical resources are protected. The plan does not supersede planning and zoning ordinances or regulations but is intended to provide guidance on alternatives and best practices that could be considered and to coordinate state investment in future growth.
MDP is engaging the community to solicit public input on what should be included in the plan and how it could support state and local government coordination to improve future planning throughout Maryland. State planning staff are hosting listening sessions with stakeholder groups this spring, followed by data collection and analysis over the summer and communication and feedback sessions with the public later this year. They anticipate the plan will be completed by the summer of 2019. To participate in an online survey, visit abetter.maryland.gov/a-better-maryland-2/survey.
Budget Work Session
The Commissioners held a budget work session to review details of the proposed General Fund budget for agency partners, including the Sheriff’s Office, Library, College of Southern Maryland, State’s Attorney’s Office, Health Department and the Department of Social Services.
Commissioners also met and conferred on fiscal year 2019 tax differentials with elected officials from the Town of Indian Head and the Town of La Plata. This meeting is required annually to discuss compensation for government services that are provided by municipal governments.
Commissioners approved the following budget-related requests:
- A budget transfer request of $40,000 in salary savings from the County Attorney’s office to pay for additional costs related to external legal fees.
- A budget transfer request of $44,000 from tourism to parks and grounds for the purchase of maintenance equipment.
- A budget transfer request of $36,800 from the Watershed Restoration and Protection Fund contingency to Capital Projects for repairs and construction at Gilbert Run Watershed Dam.
Representatives from J.C. Parks Elementary School’s Green Team received a proclamation to declare April 17 as Skip the Straw Day. Americans use an estimated 500 million straws daily, and this day is recognized to encourage the community to avoid the use of straws and help reduce plastic waste. J.C. Parks Elementary School has decreased its use of straws by 5500 per month at school. Wade Elementary has decided to join the campaign and Skip the Straw this April. If people are unable to skip a straw, one can use a better alternative than a plastic straw such a reusable, compostable, or paper straw. View photo in Flickr.
Next Commissioners Meeting: Tuesday, April 24
For More Information:
Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming atwww.CharlesCountyMD.gov/media-services/ccgtv/ccgtv. Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted at www.boarddocs.com/md/chrlsco/Board.nsf/Public upon approval.
About Charles County Government
The mission of Charles County Government is to provide our citizens the highest quality service possible in a timely, efficient and courteous manner. To achieve this goal, our government must be operated in an open and accessible atmosphere, be based on comprehensive long- and short-term planning and have an appropriate managerial organization tempered by fiscal responsibility. We support and encourage efforts to grow a diverse workplace. Charles County is a place where all people thrive, and businesses grow and prosper; where the preservation of our heritage and environment is paramount; where government services to its citizens are provided at the highest level of excellence; and where the quality of life is the best in the nation.
It is the policy of Charles County to provide equal employment opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religious or political affiliation or opinion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other status protected by law.