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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Health Department Suspends Seasonal Perc Testing

Due to declining seasonal groundwater levels, St. Mary's County Health Department's Environmental Health Services division has suspended additional scheduling of "wet season" perc testing. Health department staff will conduct the last perc tests for the season on Friday, April 29. Officials at the health department cite declining groundwater levels as the reason, made clear by observing conditions within a network of monitoring wells in the county.

Perc test applications already received this season will be scheduled and are expected to be performed. Perc test applications received after April 14, 2016 may be placed on hold and scheduled first when ground water levels are adequate for the next wet season, anticipated in 2017. Applicants may also request a refund; however, they will lose their place on the list and must reapply for next year's schedule when the wet season returns.

For more information, please contact the Environmental Health Services division at 301-475-4321 or visit the health department's website at

Commissioners Invite Citizens to FY2017 Budget Hearings April 19

Proceedings will be televised live on SMCG TV 95

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County will hold public hearings to present information regarding the Recommended FY2017 Operating and Capital Budget. The hearings will also address proposed increases in the Emergency Services Tax and Solid Waste and Recycling Fee. A hearing will also be held on the Constant Yield Tax Rate.

The hearings will take place on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 in the Chopticon High School auditorium, located at 25390 Colton Point Road, Morganza, Maryland. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the proceedings beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. The commissioners encourage members of the public to attend and participate. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities should be requested by contacting the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, extension *1342.

The hearings will be televised live on St. Mary's County Government TV 95 (SMCG TV 95) and taped for rebroadcast. Log on to for a schedule. The hearings will also be streamed live on the county's website at Click on the "Live" link at the top of the page (note: live streaming is not available on Apple or other mobile devices). A video of the hearing will also be available on the county's YouTube channel at

The evening will begin with an overview of the FY2017 Budget, followed by the hearings in the following order:

• Tax Rate Increase for Emergency Services Tax

• Rate Increase for Solid Waste and Recycling Fee

• Constant Yield Tax Rate

• FY2017 Recommended Budget

Citizens wishing to comment are required to sign in before the hearing begins. Comments will be limited to three minutes per person and five minutes for those representing a group.

Written comments can be submitted at the hearing or mailed to:

Commissioners of St. Mary's County
41770 Baldridge Street, Chesapeake Building
P.O. Box 653
Leonardtown, Maryland 20650

Comments must be received by April 29, 2016 for consideration during budget work sessions scheduled for May 3 and 10. The commissioners are scheduled to approve the FY2017 Budget on May 17, 2016.

The Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2017 can be found on the County's website at Copies are also available for viewing at all three St. Mary's County Libraries in Charlotte Hall, Leonardtown and Lexington Park.

The document is also available for viewing at the St. Mary's County Public Information Office, inside the Chesapeake Building on the Governmental Center campus, 41770 Baldridge Street, first floor, Leonardtown, Maryland.

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to be Held in Support of Men and Women in Law Enforcement

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County, the St. Mary's County Department of Aging and Human Services and the Triad/SALT Council invite the community to join them in thanking this year's Law Enforcement Officers of the Year at the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day ceremony. The event also remembers the men and women who gave their lives in service to their community.

The 2016 Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event will take place on Tuesday, May 10, at 11:30 a.m. at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center, located at 44219 Airport Road in California, MD.

The Officer of the Year from each agency will receive a citation from the Office of the Governor, to be presented by Maryland's First Lady Yumi Hogan, as well as recognition from the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates, as well as plaques and/or certificates of appreciation from the Commissioners of St. Mary's County, the Department of Aging & Human Services, and the Triad/SALT Council.

The public is invited to congratulate the Law Enforcement Officers of the Year and join them for a free lunch buffet following the ceremony.

For more information, contact Sarah Miller at 301-475-4200, ext. *1073, or via email to

County Employees Honored as People's Choice Recipients

Eighteen St. Mary's County employees were recognized for their efforts in serving county citizens by their colleagues.

The "People's Choice" award honors and recognizes employees who go above and beyond the call of duty and exceed expectations while working to support the mission of St. Mary's County Government.

"Candidates bring a sense of teamwork and quality to their job that is supportive, encouraging and beneficial to St. Mary's County Government and its departmental operations," said Catherin Pratson, Human Resourced director. "These employees also have an impact on the daily lives of their customers and co-workers."

Employees honored this year were:

• Sharon Ferris, County Administration

• Virginia Quade, Aging and Human Services

• Rebecca Kessler, Aging and Human Services

• Patty Stiegman, Finance

• June Robrecht, Human Resources

• Tracie McPherson, Human Resources

• Robert Bowles, Land Use and Growth Management

• Dave Chapman, Land Use and Growth Management

• Susan McCauley, Land Use and Growth Management

• Michael Nickerson, Department of Public Works & Transportation

• John Quade, Department of Public Works & Transportation

• Lisa Bodnar, Department of Public Works & Transportation

• Tony Hardesty, Recreation and Parks

• Kyle Kebaugh, Recreation and Parks

• James Stone, Sheriff's Office

• Erin Shoemaker, Sheriff's Office

• June Smith, Sheriff's Office

• Mark Clark, Sheriff's Office

Each employee received a plaque and was congratulated by the county commissioners during a ceremony held at the start of the commissioners' weekly business meeting. Award recipients were also treated to a special reception prior to the start of the meeting.

Commissioners Address Issue of Pay Inequity

In 1963 the Equal Pay Act addressed wage differences based on gender. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 further strengthened laws for gender equality. The Commissioners of St. Mary's County recognized Equal Pay Day at their weekly business meeting in Leonardtown.

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.

"According to statistics released by the US Census Bureau, year-round, full time, working women in 2014 earned only 79% of the earnings of year-round, full-time, working men," said Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District). "Fair pay strengthens the security of families today while enhancing the American economy."

In proclaiming Equal Pay Day the commissioners renewed their commitment to end wage discrimination and celebrate the strength and vibrancy that women add to the economy.

Commissioners Encourage Citizens to Visit Their Library in April

St. Mary's County has three public library branches which have an annual circulation of 1.4 million items, the 4th highest circulation rate in the state. The Commissioners of St. Mary's County took time to acknowledge those and other statistics during a proclamation ceremony for Visit Your Library Month at the weekly business meeting.

Library staff was lauded for its proactive approach to bringing library services to the community with its WOW! Van and increasing service to youth through its new 'Kids Cards' for fee-free lending of materials.

"There are 81,000 library card holders and every day more than 2,000 persons walk into their library to find a good book, magazine or newspapers, use computers, access the Internet, attend a computer class or program, or obtain information," said Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District). "Online resources available 24/7 include downloadable eBooks, magazines, movies, TV shows and music, databases, learning programs and homework help."

St. Mary's County Library director Michael Blackwell announced the start of an automatic renewal program for all eligible library items to help customers avoid fines and fees. The Library has also forged partnerships with St. Mary's County Public Schools and the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home to promote life-long learning at all ages.

In proclaiming April Visit Your Library Month commissioners urge all county citizens to get a library card and to visit their library often to learn, discover and relax.

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