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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


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Recreation and Parks Board Cancels Meeting

The Recreation and Parks Board meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, May 5, 2016, has been canceled.

Recreation and Parks Board meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of each month, unless otherwise noted. The next regularly scheduled meeting is Thursday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m., in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown.

For more information, please contact the St. Mary's County Department of Recreation and Parks at (301) 475-4200, ext. 1811.

Community Meeting to be Held to Address Traffic Concerns in North County

Input from residents regarding a proposed parallel road and town center plan sought

With traffic congestion a major concern for residents in the north county, the Department of Land Use and Growth Management (LUGM) is undertaking a study to identify a north county parallel road. The road would run east of Three Notch Road, extending from Mohawk Drive to MD 6.

LUGM will hold a meeting to discuss a proposed north county parallel road on Wednesday, May 18, from 6:30—7:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Hall Library. The library is located at 37600 New Market Road in Charlotte Hall.

A consultant has been hired to identify possible locations for the planned road and determine impacts from various road alignments. Maps depicting current road conditions will be on display at the meeting.

Input from the community is needed. LUGM reminds residents that this is just the first step in the overall design, development and implementation process of the North County Town Center Plan. Citizen participation is necessary to develop a plan which reflects a community they call home.

Questions about the meeting or the North County Town Center Plan should be emailed to northcounty@stmarysmd.com.

Nominations Sought for Commission for People with Disabilities Awards

The St. Mary's County Commission for People with Disabilities is asking individuals and businesses to consider nominations for the annual Awards program.

The awards program promotes awareness and acknowledges the outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations which improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities in St. Mary's County.

Six awards will be issued in July to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The deadline to submit award candidates is June 1. Any person, business or organization within St. Mary's County is eligible and may be submitted by any party. In the event no candidate is nominated, an award will not be issued. Winners of an award may be resubmitted in successive years.

The awards may consist of a certificate and proclamation to be presented during a regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County.

Award nominations may be sent to:

Commission for Persons with Disabilities
c/o Christina Bishop
23150 Leonard Hall Drive
P.O. Box 653
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Completed nomination forms may be emailed to christina.bishop@stmarysmd.com

Current members of the Commission for People with Disabilities are not eligible to win awards.

Coming This Fall: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days

The St. Andrew's Landfill will host two Hazardous Waste Collection Days on Saturday, August 6, 2016 and November 19, 2016. Both events will take place between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Department of Public Works & Transportation thanks the residents of St. Mary's County for participating in the largest single day collection event on August 22, 2015. The event collected 57,440 pounds (28.72 tons) of material.

The program allows residents to clean out their barns, basements, sheds, garages, storage areas under kitchen sinks, etc. and properly discard potentially toxic/dangerous materials.

Hazardous waste items which will be accepted for collection include Acids, Ammonia, Bleach, Cleaners, Fuels, Gas/Oil Mixtures, Gasoline, Household and Lawn Pesticides, Mercury Thermometers, Photography Chemicals, Pool Chemicals, Solvents, Wood Preservatives, Paint Thinners, and Alkyd (oil-based) Paint. Since Latex Paint is not considered hazardous, it can be disposed with your regular trash collection as long as the mixture is harden by adding absorbents (cat litter, sand, sawdust, or paint drying crystals) prior to disposal. If citizens are unable to do so, Latex Paint will also be accepted.

Items which will not be accepted include Ammunition, Asbestos, Explosive Materials, Medical Waste, Pharmaceuticals, Radioactive Materials, and Picric Acid.

For more information please contact the St. Mary's Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-863-8400 or log on to their website at stmarysmd.com/dpw/Household.asp.

Citizens are Reminded to Refrain from Including Plastic Bags and Films with Recyclables

St. Mary's County has been told plastic bags and plastic film/wrap can no longer be recycled with other single stream recyclables currently collected at the six Convenience Centers. Plastic bags (i.e., sandwich, grocery, tall kitchen, and heavy duty bags) as well as plastic film/wrap create operational problems, safety concerns, and hazards to the processor's equipment specifically the conveyor belts used in sorting single stream recyclables as seen on this video youtube.com/watch?v=vIYLnHQ9peM

Loads with plastic bags/plastic film will be considered "contaminated" and rejected by the Prince Georges County Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), causing additional processing fees to be assessed to the county and zero credit toward St. Mary's recycling efforts. Until technology can be developed to separate plastic bags and plastic film/wrap from the other recyclables, these items are banned from our convenience center single stream collection.

Citizens who use plastic bags at home to collect recyclables are no longer permitted to throw the entire bag into the recycling container. Residents must dump the recyclables out of the bag and dispose of the bag into a collection container located near the recycling containers at the Convenience Centers. Attendants are available on site to assist customers. On this Earth Day citizens are reminded that plastic bags can be recycled at other local vendors (such as grocery, chain, department stores) or to consider reusing them as demonstrated at wikihow.com/Recycle-Old-Plastic-Bags.

St. Mary's County is currently researching user-friendly alternatives for the separate collection of plastic bags, evaluating TREX as a recycling possibility, and exploring the feasibility of using other recycling processors. We appreciate those citizens who realize the environmental and cost benefits of recycling and trust you will continue your recycling efforts.

Commissioners Celebrate Older Americans Month

Seniors living in St. Mary's County are a thriving community and are deserving of recognition for the contributions they have made to ensure a better life for future generations. In proclaiming May Older Americans Month, the commissioners joined staff members of the Department of Aging and Human Services for a proclamation ceremony prior to their weekly business meeting.

The Department of Aging and Human Services is committed to helping all individuals live longer, healthier, active lives in the community of their choice for as long as possible and, along with the commissioners, recognize the value of community engagement and service on the part of older Americans.

"Our community provides opportunities to enrich the lives of individuals of all ages by promoting and engaging in activity, wellness, and social inclusion and ensuring community members of all ages benefit from the contributions and experience of older adults," said Commissioner President Randy Guy.

The Commissioners urge all residents to take time during the month to celebrate older adults and the people who serve and support them as powerful and vital individuals in the community.

Commissioners Honor Small Businesses

St. Mary's County and its commissioners took time to acknowledge the contributions made by its many small businesses to the economic growth and quality of life in the county, throughout the state and across the country be declaring May 2016 Small Business Month.

St. Mary's County, in partnership with local organizations, provides support for small businesses that represent major opportunities for economic development, innovation, growth, and expansion in our communities.

"Small businesses generate a large percentage of jobs in St. Mary's County, and a large majority of our small businesses employ fewer than five people," said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District). "Government contributes to small business growth through its economic growth strategy and various business growth incentive programs."

In proclaiming Small Business Month, the commissioners asked citizens to join with them in their continuing support of the numerous small businesses that form the heart of the St. Mary's County business community.

Commissioners Acknowledge Important Work of Drug Courts

Recognizing the focus and leadership for community-wide anti-drug systems, bringing together criminal justice, treatment, education and other community partners, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a ceremony to acknowledge the important services provided by Drug Courts by proclaiming May National Drug Court Month.

Drug Court programs are recognized as the original form of drug policy reform and combine intensive judicial supervision, mandatory substance abuse treatment and drug testing with sanctions and incentives in order to break the cycle of drug abuse and drug related crimes.

"The judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment and supervision professionals, law enforcement personnel, researchers, educators and community leaders are dedicated to making a profound impact through hard work and commitment to their communities," said Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District).

The ceremony allowed the county to recognize the practitioners and participants who make drug courts work and the significant contributions drug courts have and continue to make in reducing drug usage and criminal behavior in the community.

It's hoped the proclamation will further increase public awareness of the effectiveness of Drug Courts in St. Mary's County.

Mental Health Awareness Month Proclaimed by Commissioners

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County have joined the National Mental Health Association and its partners in the observance of Mental Health Awareness Month by proclamation. Mental Health Awareness Month occurs each May in an effort to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Conservative statistics indicate mental illness will strike one in five adults and children in a given year, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or economic status.

"An estimated two-thirds of adults and young people who suffer from mental health disorders are not receiving the help they require," said Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District). "The cost of untreated and mistreated mental illnesses and addictive disorders to American businesses, governments and families has grown to more than $100 billion annually."

With effective treatment, individuals with mental health conditions can recover and lead full, productive lives. Good mental health is essential to every individual's overall physical and emotional well-being.

In declaring Mental Health Awareness Month, the Commissioners called upon all citizens, government agencies, private and public institutions, businesses and schools to increase their understanding of mental health and the need for appropriate and accessible services for those with mental health disorders throughout the community.

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