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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


Routes 235 and 712 Interceptor Rehabilitation project loan

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a $2,601,000 Water Quality State Revolving Loan Fund loan to the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission will help fund the Routes 235 and 712 Interceptor Rehabilitation project. The project entails the design and rehabilitation of a portion of the sewer system in the Lexington Park area of St. Mary’s County. The existing sewer system, built in the 1940s, has deteriorated, allowing inflow of stormwater runoff and and infiltration of groundwater into the wastewater system that can cause sewage overflows in wet weather. The project includes rehabilitation or replacement of sewer mains and manholes.

Drug Summit for Parents Available for Viewing

Due to an overwhelming request from citizens the Drug Summit for Parents, held on March 7, will be aired on St. Mary's County Government TV 95 (SMCG TV 95) and be available on the county's YouTube channel.

The summit, which attracted over 500 citizens to the Hollywood Volunteer Fired Department's social hall, was held to address the increasing problem of heroin and pills in the county. A panel spoke about pathways in which parents could utilize to help address the situation with their children.

The summit will be shown on SMCG TV 95 (on Metrocast Cable) this weekend. The one hour program will air on Saturday, March 22 at 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. and again on Sunday, March 23, at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

For those without access to Metrocast cable you can view the live feed on the SMCG TV 95 webpage at http://www.stmarysmd.com/broadcast.asp. Click the LIVE link at the top of the page. For those with Apple or other devices not compatible with Microsoft Media Player, or who wish to view the summit at a time other than that scheduled on SMCG TV 95, can do so by directly viewing the program on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/StMarysCoMDGov?feature=mhee.

Fees for Entrance Permit Bonds Increasing

Effective July 1, the cost of Driveway Entrance Permit Bonds will rise. The new bond amounts will be as follows: Single Use R-16/17 - $5,000.00 and Joint Use R-19/20 - $10,000.00

Monies collected guarantee the installation of a new residential entrance will meet the minimum specifications for entrances onto County roads. These bonds are refundable upon field inspection to verify that the residential entrance has been constructed in accordance with the minimum specifications.

In the event the applicant fails to install the residential entrance in accordance with the minimum specifications, within 3 years of permit issuance, the monies shall be forfeited.

Questions regarding Entrance Permit Bonds should be referred to Permits Coordinator, Harry Knight, at the Department of Land Use and Growth Management, at 301-475-4200 extension 1560.

St. Mary's County Prescription Drug Program Continues to Save Residents Money

Average savings of $22.40 per prescription and 27 percent off retail price

In March 2010, St. Mary's County began offering a prescription discount card program to help consumers cope with the high cost of prescriptions. To date, County residents have saved in excess of $200,134, an average of $22.40 per prescription. A total of 8,936 prescriptions have been filled through February 2014, surpassing the savings estimate of $19 per prescription or 29 Percent off the retail price as reported in January 2012.

The cards are easy to use; simply present the card to the participating pharmacy. There are no enrollment forms needed, no membership fees or limitations on frequency of use. Residents may use the card any time for prescriptions are not covered by insurance.

The free discount cards are offered through a partnership with the National Association of Counties and CVS Caremark.

There is no cost to county taxpayers for St. Mary's County to provide these cost effective prescription cards. The cards may be used by all county residents regardless of age or income. Discount cards can be used with any existing health coverage plan and there are many participating pharmacies in the county.

Cards are available at all St. Mary's County Libraries, Senior Activity Centers, and the Division of Human Services and via the internet by logging on to www.caremark.com/naco.

St. Mary's Early Childhood Advisory Council Awarded Race to the Top Grant

Designed to improve learning services and developmental programs for children

The St. Mary's Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) has been awarded the Maryland State Department of Education's Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC). The RTT-ELC is a program jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funds administered at the state level will expand and improve learning services and development programs for children, from birth to 5 years old. The grant awarded to the ECAC on February 5 is in the amount of $29,900 and is to be implemented over a three year period.

The Early Childhood Council is made up of about three dozen representatives from agencies in the county, including the St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services, Department of Social Services, St. Mary's Public Library, St. Mary's Health Department, St. Mary's County Public Schools, child care providers and others.

"This grant will allow us to pull together a lot of the good work being done to help young children and their families. It provides us and the family a chance to address the achievement gap before it becomes a chasm," said Kelsey Bush, Youth Coordinator for the St. Mary's County Department of Aging & Human Services.

In St. Mary's County grant funds will be used to support a comprehensive approach to superior early learning programs. Specific projects grant funds will improve include:

-- Providing two buses for Early Learning Fairs at Park Hall and Lexington Park Elementary Schools. The buses will provide transportation for parents to register their children for kindergarten;

-- Train council members, agency staff and interested community members on the impact of growing up in poverty;

-- A strategic planning contractor who will set up the first six months of content management for a social media campaign;

-- Identify and train "Community Mentors" within targeted neighborhoods that will help families find programs and become aware of services;

-- Train ECAC members in Maryland's Early Childhood Family Engagement framework;

-- Print a yearly booklet of low cost events that take place locally;

-- Planning of an annual retreat;

-- Training the ECAC on maintaining social media postings.

Acting as the fiscal agent in St. Mary's County for administering this grant will be the Promise Resource Center. The Promise Resource Center is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to providing training, resources and certification for those who care for children in the tri-county area.

"Our non-profit status will make it possible for the Promise Resource Center to receive donations on behalf of the ECAC from individuals and companies. Donations that are received may allow the ECAC to add additional projects or extend the current ones selected. The Promise Resource Center's specialized work mirrors the grant requirements set forth by the Maryland State Department of Education - making it a complimentary fit for managing the grant," said Siobhan Ponder, Executive Director for the Promise Resource Center.

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