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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


St. Mary's County Encourages Motorists to Dump the Pump on June 18

St. Mary's County joins the Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM), and other public transportation systems across the country in encouraging citizens to celebrate the 10th Annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 18..

As gas prices continue to fluctuate, everyone is looking for a way to save money. National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save money.

Riding public transit is an economical way to save money, particularly when gas prices are high. The latest APTA (American Public Transportation Association) Transit Savings Report shows that a two person household that downsizes to one car can save, on the average, more than $9,569 a year.

However, public transportation doesn't just help people save money, it also helps communities grow and prosper. For example, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is returned in economic returns. Mayors know that communities with public transportation are more competitive. So, riding public transportation helps people and their communities!

School's Almost Out! Registration Continues for Summer Camps

With the school year nearing completion thoughts of parents turn to figuring out how to keep their children occupied during the summer break. The St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks' 2015 Summer Camps could be the answer.

Registration for the camps, which offer a variety of activities, continues both online and in person. More than 30 Summer Camps for children ranging from 3 years old to 20 years old are available.

Summer Fun Day Camps begin the week of June 22. The one week sessions run through August 14. All Summer Fun Day Camps are $135.00 unless specified; $170.00 and $200.00. Fun Camps operate Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Camp Keepers (extended care) is available from 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. and 4 -6 p.m. for $15.00 per session (morning or afternoon) per week. Locations include Hollywood Recreation Center, Carver Recreation Center, Margaret Brent Recreation Center, Elms Beach and Chancellors Run Regional Park.

Two Therapeutic Camps, New Horizons and Camp Inspire, will be offered at Green Holly Elementary school on Monday through Thursday. Camp Inspire is a 4-week camp designed specifically for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). New Horizons is a 6-week fun filled adventure for children with various disabilities.

Sports Camp opportunities kick off June 22 and continue through July 23. 13 different sports camps are available for ages 5 and up. Camp times, location, and price will vary depending on the camp. Full payment is due at time of registration.

Camp Limbo will be June 17 - 19 and will operate from 6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. for $30.00 per day at the Carver Recreation Center.

To register online for any of the camps go to www.stmarysmd.com/recreate. In person registration will be accepted at the Recreation & Parks office in Leonardtown or they can be mailed to P.O. Box 653 Leonardtown, MD 20650. For more information call 301-475-4200 ext. 1800 or 1801.

County Commissioners Honor Nursing Assistants

In recognizing the significant and lasting contribution to the quality of life the Commissioners of St. Mary's County have proclaimed the week of June 11 - 18 National Nursing Assistants Week in the County.

The theme of this year's observation is "The Heart of Care" and recognizes nursing assistants' significant and lasting contributions to the quality of life in the county.

"Their selfless dedication, diligent service and concern for others have earned them the respect, admiration and gratitude of the residents of the St. Mary's Nursing Center and the citizens of St. Mary's County and the State of Maryland. Their work inspires all of us," said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District).

The commissioners urge all citizens to become more aware of and involved with the activities, issues, and continued need for Nursing Assistants across the County.

Commissioners Cut Ribbon on New Athletic Fields

Fields to fill shortage of facilities in northern county

After years of planning citizens in the Charlotte Hall, New Market and Golden Beach sections of the county will soon have new athletic fields to enjoy.

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County joined Recreation and Parks staff in cutting the ribbon on three new athletic fields in Fifth District Park. The fields, adjacent to Lettie Marshall Dent Elementary School, are designed as practice fields for football, lacrosse and soccer and are regulation sized.

Residents in the northern section of St. Mary's County have lobbied long and hard for the new fields. ""Shortage of athletic fields in the Charlotte Hall, New Market and Golden Beach areas has been documented as far back as 1999," said Brian Loewe, Recreation and Parks director.

A site analysis of several County-owned properties in the northern county was conducted in 2005. The recommendation was to add the fields on County property adjacent to Fifth District Park and Lettie Dent Elementary School. The County entered into a lease agreement with St. Mary's County Public Schools for just over 2 acres of land next to the school.

"Recreation is important to everyone," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "We need these facilities for our citizens. It's a part of the culture and fabric of our community and an integral part of our future."

Construction was awarded in February, 2013 to Jimmy Richards and Sons and managed by CSBI. Total cost was $654,000 in county funding. Work was completed in the fall of 2014 however opening was delayed as new fields generally require two growing seasons before they can be used.

MetCom Reports Strong Financial and Debt Profile

The first Debt Capacity Study of MetCom since 1999 was released at the April 21, 2015 meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County. The study by Davenport Public Finance, a firm which provides financial and underwriting services to the public as well as for not for profit issuers in the Mid-Atlantic region, including St. Mary's County, gave MetCom a positive report.

The Davenport study compared MetCom customer costs favorably against similarly sized peers across the United States. The details examined in the financial and debt profile of MetCom costs were based these key points: outstanding long term debt per customer, annual combined customer bill versus median household income, operating margins, debt service coverage, and cash liquidity. MetCom scored well in each of these areas and Davenport commented that MetCom's debt profile was strong, in part due to its "strong operations and management."

Further strengthening the findings demonstrating MetCom's solid debt profile, is that its customer base is smaller than comparable peer utilities resulting in lower customer costs even though those total costs are distributed among fewer rate payers.

Davenport concluded that MetCom operates "at a level consistent with a solid AA rated Utility Enterprise Operation." Further, due to MetCom's "strong financial, management and debt track record," the utility has the capability to explore potentially more efficient and flexible financing mechanisms as well as possibly issuing standalone bonds to finance projects.

The Executive Summary for MetCom begins on page four of the study, which can be accessed here. The remainder of the MetCom report resumes on page 29 of the study. View the video of the April 21, 2015 Commissioners of St. Mary's here, choose Commissioners of St. Mary's County, and select Videos, April 21, 2015, from the drop-down menu.

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