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Non-Perishable Food Items Sought for "Stuff the Bus" Campaign

In recognition of National Transportation Week, the St. Mary's County Department of Public Works and Transportation, along with the St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services, is coordinating a "Stuff the Bus" Food Drive.

The drive is an annual county government effort to replenish local soup kitchens and food pantries with non-perishable food items. The donated food items, distributed to the local soup kitchens, will be used as ingredients to help prepare hot meals for those in need. The pantries will disperse the donations to those in need so that individuals may prepare hot meals in their homes, essentially serving as a gap-filling service for individuals needing assistance with groceries. Local organizations fill a critical need by providing the meals to many individuals and families in St. Mary's County.

The "Stuff the Bus" campaign is an opportunity for the community to support local food pantries, soup kitchens and anti-hunger efforts across St. Mary's County. Citizens are asked to bring non-perishable food items and canned goods to the STS bus stop on the Governmental Center Campus in Leonardtown on Friday, May 17 from noon until 3 p.m. Donations can also be dropped off at McKay's in Leonardtown and Food Lion in Charlotte Hall on Saturday, May 18 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

SORP to Cancel Meeting

The Sheriff's Office Retirement Plan Board announces its June 27 meeting has been canceled.

The board's June 5 meeting will take place as scheduled.

Commissioners Approve Expedited Funding for Spring Ridge Renovation

In the aftermath of damage caused by fire at Spring Ridge Middle School, the St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously at its weekly business meeting, to approve $250,000 to begin design work for the $19 million renovation project.

The board, working with the St. Mary's County Board of Education and Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano, agreed to take action in the wake of the fire, which occurred the evening of April 25. The fire heavily damaged the 8th grade pod at the school.

The budget amendment approved today advances $250,000 in funding for the project into the current budget year. This will allow for design work to begin immediately. The work is a requirement for the State to provide approval of the project and State funding. At its May 8 meeting, the Board of Education approved changing their capital budget request, moving the renovation from FY2018 to FY2014. The commissioners responded by ensuring $10.2 million in funding will be in place in FY2014. The FY2014 budget is scheduled for approval on May 28.

"We are happy to respond to the needs of the school and community in a timely manner," said Commissioner President Jack Russell. "Unfortunately, there's no way to anticipate situations like this but we're ready to do whatever it takes to get the work done."

"This board has stepped up to the plate," added Commissioner Dan Morris. "Now we remain hopeful that the state will do the same by adding the additional funds to get the work done."

Under the new plan, the Board of Education will seek State planning approval of the project in December 2013, a necessary initial step to secure State funding of about $8.6 million. The Board of Education informed the commissioners that they would plan to start the construction in April 2014, with completion slated for December 2015.

"This proposed plan is the best way to go," said Commissioner Cindy Jones. "It really is the fastest we can get the work done on behalf of the community, the students and teachers at the school."

Skate Park at Nicolet Park to Reopen May 17

The St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks announce the reopening of the Skate Park at Nicolet Park. The park will again open to the public on Friday, May 17, 2013.

The operating hours of the Skate Park will be as follows:

May 17 - June 15, 2013 (Spring Season)
Friday - 3:00 p.m. until Sunset
Saturdays and Sundays - 12:00 p.m. until sunset

June 16, 2013 - August 20, 2013 (Summer Season)
Monday through Friday - 12:00 p.m. until sunset
Saturdays and Sundays - 12:00 p.m. until sunset

August 21, 2013 - November 5, 2013 (Fall Season)
Friday - 3:00 p.m. until sunset
Saturdays and Sundays - 12:00 p.m. until sunset

November 16, 2013 - March 15, 2013 (Winter Season)
Saturdays and Sundays - 12:00p.m. until sunset

Skate Park entrance fees are as follows:
-- Daily Entrance Fee - $5
-- Season Pass (In County) - $25 per season
-- Season Pass (Out of County) - $40 per season

Skaters are required to wear a helmet at all times while inside the park. Additionally, participants must sign a waiver before being allowed access to the Skate Park. Participants 17 years of age and under must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver in the presence of park staff.

For further information on the Skate Park at Nicolet Park, please contact Parks Division staff at (240) 434-6669 or (240) 434-9812.

State to Collect and Recycle Empty Pesticide Containers

The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will sponsor a summer collection program for empty plastic pesticide containers from licensed pesticide applicators. The MDA will provide collection sites throughout the State, with the nearest location to St. Mary's County hosted by the Frederick County Landfill, located at 9031 Reich's Ford Road, Frederick, MD 21704. The collection dates are June 25, July 23, August 20 and September 24, 2013 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

The recycled containers will be made into plastic lumber and other recycled products. MDA inspectors will supervise the collection to ensure only triple rinsed, clean pesticide containers are collected. Additional information on the rinsing of empty pesticide containers can be obtained from the following MDA publications: Rinsing and Recycling Empty Pesticide Containers and Pesticide Information Sheet No.7 - Pesticide Container Recycling Program. Additional information from the MDA can be found on the web at or by calling 1-410-841-5710.

For information about recycling in St. Mary's County, please contact the Department of Public Works and Transportation, Recycling Program at (301) 863-8400, or on the web at

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