Calvert Co. Gov. News Briefs

Calvert County’s Tap Water Takes First Place at Water Taste Competition

Employees of Calvert County Water and Sewerage Division did not have to go far to pull a sample for a water taste contest. They walked downstairs and filled a bottle with tap water from a faucet in County Services Plaza.

With that sample, the division won first place in the “Toasting the Tap” water taste competition conducted at the Maryland Rural Water Association (MRWA) annual conference, held May 4-7 in Ocean City.

Members of the MRWA were able to enter a gallon of tap water in the contest. Attendees of the conference tasted samples of each entrant’s water and voted for the one they considered the best. The votes were tallied and announced during the conference. There were 10 entries in the contest this year, and judges looked for water that had the best taste, odor, color and clarity.

Calvert County’s winning sample was taken from the Prince Frederick water system, which comes from the Aquia aquifer and serves 1,442 customers.

“Calvert County’s source water comes from deep production wells,” said Wayne Raither, Water and Sewerage Division chief. “Then it’s very carefully disinfected and monitored for quality, as required by state and federal regulations, by a talented group of certified water professionals who operate and maintain the public water system on a daily basis.”

Calvert County Water and Sewerage operates 21 water systems in the county, serving 5,142 customers. All other county residents and businesses are served by either large private systems, which also have deep production wells and must do the same monitoring and reporting on a regular basis, or from individual wells, which are not as deep but also require testing when they are initially built.

By winning the state competition, Calvert County Water and Sewerage is now qualified to enter the National Rural Water Association competition at the NRWA Rural Water Rally in Washington, D.C., in February 2015.

The MRWA ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural communities regarding safe, affordable drinking water. Its members include water and wastewater systems, industry vendors and individual operators. The MRWA holds the water taste competition to promote the high quality of drinking water provided by small and rural water utilities.

For more information about the Calvert County Water and Sewerage Division, call 410-535-1600, ext. 2329; send an e-mail to; or visit online at

Business Resource Center Now Available at Calvert Library’s Southern Branch

The Calvert County, Md., Department of Economic Development, through the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), is pleased to partner once again with the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) and the Calvert Library to offer a self-guided business resource center for public use at the southern branch library.

A similar reference center was established at the Prince Frederick library in 2007 and has become a great resource for the business community. Featuring assorted reference materials, the business resource center provides local entrepreneurs with a wealth of information that can answer questions on marketing, writing business proposals, incorporating, taxes and more. Unique to the southern branch business resource center is a collection of step-by-step start-up guides developed by Entrepreneur Magazine and provided courtesy of the SBTDC. The guides include industry-specific steps to help entrepreneurs through the first three years of business. All information is supported with worksheets, checklists, calculators and resource kits.

Kelly Robertson-Slagle, business retention specialist for the Department of Economic Development, says, "We are pleased to offer yet another tool that entrepreneurs can use to start, grow or manage their businesses. We envision the business resource center as a supplement to the valuable counseling and training provided by SBTDC counselors. It provides a way for people to conduct their own research or find answers that they can then discuss with a small-business professional."

Carrie Plymire, director of the Calvert Library, said, "Our reference staff receives a lot of business start-up and management questions since many people naturally come to the library for information. The reference materials provided through this project serve the public well and answer the majority of the questions they have about business. I think we've done a good job providing a range of materials the public will find useful."

The SBTDC offers confidential, no-cost counseling and low-cost training and resources to new ventures and existing businesses in Southern Maryland with counselors available in Prince Frederick four days a week. For more information, visit online at or call 301-934-7583.

The Calvert Library consists of a main library in Prince Frederick and three branches in Owings, Solomons and Chesapeake Beach. The southern branch is located at 13920 H.G. Trueman Road and is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 410-535-0291 or visit online at

Winners Announced for 26th Annual Calvert County Historic Preservation Awards

The restoration of a tobacco barn, the educational efforts of a local museum and an archaeology project involving high school students all received recognition in the 26th annual Historic Preservation Awards hosted by the Calvert County Historic District Commission. The winners were announced at the May 20 meeting of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners.

Gregory and Judith Coffren and Solomon Esh won the Project Award for their restoration of Briscoe Tobacco Barn D. The Coffrens purchased the property on which the barn stands in 2011. At the time the barn was deteriorating so they hired Esh to restore it, as well as another barn on the property. Both barns were repaired with the trappings of tobacco culture intact.

Grace Mary Brady received the Service Award in recognition of her efforts as president of the Bayside History Museum in North Beach. Brady extended the reach of the museum by partnering with other institutions to present lectures about local history and educational activities. The museum has fostered the preservation of local history and promises to build on that foundation.

Kim Popetz and Patricia Samford received the Education Award for their work on the Federal Reserve Project at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM) in St. Leonard. Popetz is administrator of education at JPPM and Samford is the director of the facility’s Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory. For the project, students from Huntingtown High School were given the opportunity to analyze 30 boxes of artifacts from a site in Baltimore. Popetz and Samford worked with the students, ensuring they learned the process of archaeology on an intensive level. Students catalogued, sorted and mended the artifacts. They researched specific artifacts and created exhibits, interpretive posters and reports. Popetz and Samford are carrying the work forward in a program that is now in its second year.

The Historic Preservation Awards recognize outstanding achievements and excellence in protecting and preserving Calvert County’s cultural heritage. For more information about the awards, contact Calvert County Historic Preservation Planner Kirsti Uunila at 410-535-1600, ext. 2504, or by email at

Calvert County Emergency Management Division to Conduct Quarterly Test of Alert and Notification System Sirens

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety, Emergency Management Division, will conduct a full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout southern Calvert and St. Mary’s counties on Monday, July 7, 2014, at noon.

The full-cycle test includes a three-minute activation of all sirens within the 10-mile area around Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant. All citizens are asked to remember the scheduled testing and relay the information to friends, family and neighbors.

The testing is conducted to enhance siren operation and increase public awareness of the alert and notification siren system. If the sirens sound at any other time, residents should tune to one of the local radio stations listed below for information and instructions.

Emergency Alert System stations include:

WPTX 1690 AM Mechanicsville
WYRX 97.7 FM Lexington Park
WTOP 103.5 FM Frederick
WKIK 1560 AM La Plata
WKIK 102.9 FM California
WPRS 104.1 FM La Plata
WSMD 98.3 FM Mechanicsville
WNNT 100.9 FM Warsaw
WGOP 540 AM Pocomoke
WCEM 1240 AM Cambridge
WCEM 106.3 FM Cambridge
WCEI 96.7 FM Easton
WRAR 105.5 FM Tappahannock
WEMD 1460 AM Easton

Contact the Calvert County Division of Emergency Management at 410-535-1600, ext. 2638, for additional emergency or disaster preparedness information.

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