Calvert Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Calvert Co. Gov. News Briefs

Charrette Results Offer Vision for Possible Future of Prince Frederick

Changes are coming to the Prince Frederick Master Plan and the Board of County Commissioners recently got a glimpse of what some of those changes might include.

On Aug. 27, commissioners heard a presentation from Craig Lewis of The Lawrence Group, the consulting company that conducted the Prince Frederick Town Center charrette in June. The charrette provided county residents the opportunity to have a voice in planning the future of Prince Frederick.

A recurring theme during the charrette was the desire to create a place friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. In the presentation, concepts included walking and biking trails throughout the town center to provide both access to locations within Prince Frederick and from the town to the water.

The concept also suggests a range of retail options, citing statistics claiming that more than $460 million in retail sales leave the county each year. The options included specialty retail stores from mid-size to big box. Bringing in more retail options would also bring in more jobs; more than half of Calvert County residents leave the county each day for work.

A variety of housing was also a top issue, as well as making Route 4 attractive. It was suggested that parking rules have created too much parking for shopping centers, and that requirements could be reduced. Also, the concept of expanding the boundaries of the town center to include the area west of Prince Frederick, including the College of Southern Maryland campus was suggested. The area is already served by public infrastructure and is considered a cultural asset because of the college and the events it draws. Also, there is existing development in the area that could be included in the town center master plan. Trinity Square

The Lawrence Group is compiling its findings from the charrette and will forward a report to the Calvert County Planning Commission in December. The Planning Commission will review the findings and give its recommendations to the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners. From there, the public will have more chances to be involved through hearings and meetings.

The consultant's presentation is available on the county website. Information on the Prince Frederick Town Center Master Plan is also online.

New Public Bus Route to Serve Dunkirk Region

Calvert County's Public Transportation Division will begin a new northern county bus route Monday, Sept. 30, bringing accessible, affordable bus service to areas from Dunkirk to Huntingtown.

Running Monday through Friday, the new route allows easy access to shopping, healthcare, employment and more in northern Calvert County, including the Dunkirk Town Center, Dunkirk District Park and Fairview Library. Destinations served by the new route include the Sunderland Park & Ride, Skinners Turn Road, Grovers Turn Road, Mt. Harmony Road and the town centers of Huntingtown, Owings and Dunkirk. At the Sunderland Park & Ride, riders can connect to the county's other northern bus route leading to Chesapeake Beach and North Beach. There are two routes each day from Prince Frederick to Dunkirk, or riders can transfer throughout the day at the Sunderland Park & Ride to get from Prince Frederick to Dunkirk.

All Calvert County public transportation routes operate through the use of designated reference points for timing the route and the "flag system." Riders must flag down the bus and can board anywhere along the route where the driver deems it safe to pull over.

One-way fares on the new route are $1.50 for adults age 18 to 59 and 50 cents for youth ages 7 to 17, adults age 60 and over, and those with a valid disability or a Medicare card. Children age 6 and younger ride for free. Full-day passes and value cards with preset denominations are also available.

Information on the complete bus route, fares and passes, commuter bus connections, service for the disabled and more is available online or by calling the Public Transportation Division at 410-535-4268.

County Staff Members Show They Care

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners offered county staff members the opportunity to spend the day helping out with the annual United Way Day of Caring on Sept. 11.

Several employees accepted the offer and helped a number of non-profit organizations with a variety of tasks. Recipients of the help were the Calvert County Humane Society, Farming 4 Hunger, Christmas in April, Calvert Nursing Center, CareNet Pregnancy Center, Barstow Acres Children's Center, Adult Day Care of Calvert County and Compassionate Friends, to name a few. Staff members helped with outdoor gardening and beautification projects, painting, drywall and much more.

At right, Julie Paluda of the Calvert County Department of Finance and Budget, in the background, brought her husband Keith to help out at Barstow Acres Children's Center.

Employees from dozens of Calvert County businesses were also involved in Day of Caring and major sponsors include Mar-Ber Development, Bayside Toyota, Sneade's Ace Home Center, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, Dominion and Maryland Country Caterers. A full list of participating businesses is located on the United Way of Calvert County website.

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners would like to thank all of the staff members who gave their time to this worthwhile project. Thanks also go to the United Way and its member agencies, who do so much for Calvert Calvert residents.

Commissioner Earns Certificate from Academy for Excellence in Local Governance

Calvert County Commissioner Evan K. Slaughenhoupt Jr. participated in the 2013 graduation for Fellows from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. The ceremony took place Sept. 15 at the Memorial Chapel on the University of Maryland College Park campus.

More than 100 Maryland public officials received academy certificates. All of the participants completed a substantial number of program hours of core and elective classes designed to meet their professional needs as municipal or county officials in local government. The program not only enhanced the officials’ understanding of local government issues and ethical standards for public service, but also helped develop a foundation for informed policy-making and effective governance.

“This graduation celebrates the important commitment to public service that these public officials have made,” University of Maryland School of Public Policy Dean Donald F. Kettle said. “Their work in the academy not only prepares them for even greater service in the future; it lays the foundation for excellence in Maryland’s government in the future. We’re very proud of this important effort.”

The academy, which offered its first classes in 1998, is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the Maryland Municipal League and Maryland Association of Counties.

The School of Public Policy is recognized as one of the county’s premier programs in public policy and management. For more than 25 years, it has delivered acclaimed leadership development and public policy programs to public (federal, state, and local) clients as well as for-and non-profit organizations and government agencies from abroad.

Savings Continue to Add Up for Participants in Calvert County's Prescription Drug Discount Program

Under Calvert County's free prescription drug discount program, county residents have filled more than 15,000 prescriptions at discounts averaging more than 28 percent ($17.06 per prescription), for a total savings of more than $263,000.

Introduced in July 2009, the program helps consumers cope with the high price of prescription drugs. The county makes the free prescription drug discount cards available under a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The cards may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage and are accepted at all of the county's pharmacies. A national network of more than 59,000 participating retail pharmacies also honors the card.

To use the discount card, residents simply present it at a participating pharmacy. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no limit on frequency of use. Cardholders and their family members may use the card any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance. The card also covers pet medications available at participating pharmacies. The card cannot be used for co-pays or to obtain additional discounts on prescriptions that are covered by insurance.

The NACo website for the program includes information on local pharmacies and drug pricing, as well as tools to make the process of obtaining a card easier. The site offers information on drug interactions and provides information on specific drugs.

There is no cost to county taxpayers for NACo and Calvert County to make these money-saving cards available to residents. Cards are available at all Calvert County libraries, senior centers, the Health Department and the Calvert County Department of Community Resources, located at 30 Duke Street in Prince Frederick. County residents can call toll free 1-877-321-2652 or visit for assistance with the program.

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