St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Terminate Contracts with Universal Health Care, Inc. and Universal Health Care Insurance Company

Effective April 1, 2013 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has terminated its contracts with Universal Health Care, Inc. and Universal Health Care Insurance Company, which sold Medicare Advantage policies in the St. Mary's County region under the name Any, Any, Any.

Individuals affected by this termination should have received notification of the termination and advised of their rights. As a result of the termination, CMS has provided a special enrollment period through May 31, 2013, allowing those affected to enroll in a different Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medicare Supplement policy.

For those requiring assistance in making decisions about their Medicare health coverage options, please contact the St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services to speak with a State Health Insurance Assistance Counselor at 301-475-4200, ext. 1050.

Fiscal Year 2014 Recommended Budget Available for Viewing

At their weekly business meeting earlier today, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

The $212.1 million budget includes increases to the Board of Education and St. Mary's County Sheriff's office.

The Recommended Budget for St. Mary's County covers the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014. As prescribed by law, Commissioners have approved the Recommended Budget for public hearing. This year's hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 at Chopticon High School. Commissioners are scheduled to approve a final budget and set tax rates at their weekly business meeting on Tuesday, May 28.

Citizens can view the Recommended Budget package on the Department of Finance website at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/finance/. The document listing is to the right of the page. The document is also available for viewing on the county's Facebook page at http://tinyurl.com/95kt4mw . Click on the Scribd tab, located under the title photo. Once in the Scribd section scroll to the bottom of the page.

The package will also be available in the 3 branches of the public library. A complete Recommended Budget book will be released in about a week and will be posted to the above mentioned sites.

Board of Appeals Meeting Cancellation Notice

The Board of Appeals meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 2013, has been cancelled.

The next meeting of the Board of Appeals is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, Maryland.

Welcome Spring with a Spring Fling Dance

The St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services Northern Senior Activity Center is set to welcome the season by hosting a Spring Fling dance on Friday, April 5. Featured music will include R&B, Oldies, Top Hits and line dancing favorites. Those planning to attend are asked to dress in their spring best. Doors will open at 9 a.m. with a hospitality table and complimentary beverages during social hour. Music will be provided by D.J. 'Mean Gene' before and after a lunch featuring chicken cordon bleu.

The party concludes at 2 p.m. with a lottery drawing, door prizes and a prize awarded to the person voted best dressed. Tickets are now available for the suggested donation of $7. The deadline to purchase tickets is close of business Wednesday, April 3, at the Northern Senior Activity Center, 29655 Charlotte Hall Road, in Charlotte Hall. For more information, call 301-475-4002, ext. 1001.

Clean Community Program Initiatives Take Aim at Neighborhood Litter

Citizens are encouraged to assist the Department of Public Works &Transportation and Maryland SHA in maintaining and improving the visual landscape of our roadsides. Litter just doesn't appear-it's a result of careless attitudes and improper waste handling. It is time we entered a new era of environmental responsibility, especially in terms of litter reduction. Clean communities have a better chance of attracting new businesses than those where litter is common. Litter is ugly and it is costly! So, how can citizens support a cleaner and litter free St. Mary's County?

Clean Community Programs

Clean Community Programs are available to residents wanting to maintain and to enhance their neighborhood's appearance. Through the program, neighbors can address issues such as littering, junk filled yards, inoperative vehicles as well as poor community pride and image. These Programs are designed to help residents implement neighborhood-based initiatives to reduce such problems. A community's appearance reflects on everyone within the community. This effort represents and encourages a program led and run by volunteers from within the community. However, the program is dependent upon neighborhood leadership for actual implementation and success. DPW&T representatives are available to support communities. To set up your Program, please contact our Solid Waste Manager @ (301) 863-8400 or fill out our on-line Clean Community Registration Form located at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/dpw/cleancommunity.asp

Neighborhood Litter Critter Program

Through the DPW&T's new Litter Critter Program, the Solid Waste & Recycling Divisions will park collection receptacles on your street on Friday, let you and your neighbors fill it up with garbage and debris over the weekend, then haul it away on Monday. The containers may be filled with just about anything, shy of appliances, tires and large amounts of commercial construction materials like sheet-rock and roofing materials. The Program is designed to be more customer friendly and give the homeowner more opportunity to plan. If a homeowner and several neighbors want to clean up a specific area, just a general clean-up of the neighborhood, they can call the Solid Waste Manager @ (301) 863-8400 or fill out a Clean Community Registration Form located at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/dpw/cleancommunity.asp

Adopt-A-County-Road Program

The existence of unsightly litter, garbage, posters, advertisements and other refuse along County roads detracts from the scenic and rural character of St. Mary's County. In an effort to preserve the aesthetic beauty of the County, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a program to encourage citizens to voluntarily help "clean up" along the County's roadways. Under this program, a homeowners association, business, group or other community organization may

volunteer to clean up those roads within their subdivision or general geographic area. Get together and clean it up and the DPW&T will haul it away for free. The Department provides safety vests, sticks, trash bags, safety signage and scheduled litter pick-up (optional) for community groups upon verbal or written request. Individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups and other organizations can also volunteer their time in this rewarding program. For more information on this community initiative, visit our Adopt-A-Road Program web-site at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/dpw/adoptaroad.asp

Litter Pick-up Program

The need for litter pick-up is based on routine field observation by our road crew and requests from citizens. In general, pick-ups are made May through November. Individuals may also submit a litter pickup request electronically, by calling the DPW&T at (301) 475-8400 or by filling out our on-line Maintenance Request Form at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us/dpw/maintenancerequestform.asp. Due to budgetary constraints, the majority of the DPW&T efforts are seasonal and of lesser year-round priority than safety and other infrastructure maintenance needs. However, we do keep a listing of known "problem areas" which are scheduled on a more routine basis. In St. Mary's County, legal responsibility for many roads lies with the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). Requests along State Roads (i.e. MD 4, MD 235, MD 237, MD 236, MD 5, etc.) can be reported directly to the SHA office in Loveville at (301) 475-8035

Reporting Roadside Litter

An obvious cause of litter in the community is the pedestrian or motorist who tosses litter on the road, roadside, sidewalk or yard. All motorists should carry and use car litter bags. Remember, the operator/owner is responsible for litter dropped, thrown from the vehicle or placed onto a public roadway. It is also illegal to drive with an unsecured load. Allowing items to fall from the back of a vehicle is equal to tossing trash out of a car window. If litter is seen coming from a vehicle, the owner or operator of the vehicle can be held accountable. Littering is against the law and litterers can be prosecuted. In most cases, the offense is considered a misdemeanor which prevents a sheriff deputy, unless a witness to the violation, from taking direct enforcement action. An officer cannot issue a citation based on an individual complaint. Depending on what extent a citizen wishes to pursue the offense, littering offenses can be reported in several ways which may result in the assessment of up to 2 points against the offender(s).

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