Three Notch Trail Phase VI Set to Open July 1
With planning, design and construction work complete, Phase VI of the Three Notch Trail is set for a "soft opening" on Friday, July 1. A ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open the new five mile section of the trail is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26 at 9 a.m. behind Immaculate Conception Church in Mechanicsville.
The new section runs from MD Route 236 in New Market south to MD Route 5 in Mechanicsville. This long-awaited segment connects completed sections in Charlotte Hall to Mechanicsville. This provides a continuous eleven mile trail in the northern area of the county. Trail users should be aware of all trail signage, pavement markings, the new hazard identification beacon on MD Route 5, and new push-button, rapid flash beacon on Mechanicsville Road.
"Developing the County's railroad right-of-way into a hiking/biking trail continues to provide numerous benefits to local citizens and tourists," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "We are very thankful to have several partners who helped pay for this project and worked with us to make this important phase of trail a reality."
The project was made possible by money from the Commissioners of St. Mary's County; Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration contribution from the Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) of $1.7; MDOT's Maryland Bikeways Program; SHA's Recreational Trails Program; Maryland's Program Open Space; and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
Parking for the ribbon cutting ceremony will be available at Immaculate Conception Church located at 28297 Old Village Road, Mechanicsville. For more information on the Three Notch Trail, contact the Department of Recreation and Parks at 301-475-4200 ext. *1811 or go to www.stmarysmd.com/recreate and click on parks and facilities.
Moody's Assigns Aa2 Rating to St. Mary's County Debt; Outlook revised to positive
Moody's Investors Service has assigned an Aa2 rating to St. Mary's County's $25 million Consolidated Public Improvement Bonds, Series 2016. The announcement comes on the day when commissioners voted to approve the sale of the bonds. In its report Moody's also affirmed the Aa2 rating on the county's $32.6 million of general obligation (GO) debt outstanding. The firm revised the county's outlook to positive.
The agency's attributes the rating to "the county's sizeable and stable tax base," anchored by NAS Patuxent River, above average resident wealth levels, health reserves, liquidity supported by formal fiscal policies, and low debt and pension burdens.
"I'm very excited that we've received a second positive rating in as many weeks," said Jeannett Cudmore, Chief Financial Officer. "This is an indication that our conservative fiscal policies continue to serve us well as we continue down a somewhat uncertain fiscal path." One week ago Fitch affirmed the county's AA+ rating on the same debt.
Moody's decision to revise its rating outlook reflects the county's stable technology-based local economy which will "likely continue to experience growth given further development within the technology sector as well as other industries." The firm also pointed to the county's plan to rebuild reserves given a change from cash-funding pay-go capital projects to issuing debt.
The agency says the county's rating could receive an upgrade if reserves increased as a result of the reduction of pay-go capital projects and continued growth in the tax base.
"This ratings report comes as very good news as we prepare to place $25 million in bonds on the market," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "We were very encouraged during our meeting with Moody's in early June and believe our fiscal policies will continue to reap rewards for the citizens of St. Mary's County."
To download a copy of the report go to: http://www.stmarysmd.com/docs/Moodys%20Rating%2006.28.2016.pdf
Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Sirens to be Tested July 5 @ Noon
A full-cycle test of the alert and notification sirens throughout St. Mary's, Calvert and Dorchester counties will take place on Tuesday, July 5, 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. Citizens are asked to remember the scheduled testing and relay the information to friends, family and neighbors.
The test is being conducted to check 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 Lexington Park
• WYRX 97.7 FM Lexington Park
• WTOP 103.5 FM Frederick, D.C.
• 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
• WKHZ 1460 AM Easton
Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared and can make all the difference when seconds count. Visit prepare.stmarysmd.com to learn about Disasters & Hazards, Being Prepared and Being Informed.
Commissioners Celebrate Lexington Park Lions 70th Anniversary
Since 1946 the Lexington Park Lions Club has assisted citizens with some of their basic needs. The group has a history of charitable work, from assisting with the cost of eye and hearing exams to awarding annual scholarships to graduating seniors at Great Mills High School. These were among the accomplishments the Commissioners of St. Mary's County lauded during a special 70th anniversary proclamation ceremony.
The Lexington Park Lions Club also provides vision screenings for pre-school children, coordinates American Red Cross blood drives, and sponsors local families at Christmas. The list of their community and charitable work is a long one.
"The Lexington Park Lions Club supports Lions Club District Programs such as Lions District 22C Youth Band and Camp Merrick, a camp in Nanjemoy, Maryland, which provides recreational activities for diabetic children," said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District). "The organization also supports international programs such as Sight First I and II, which strives to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness."
Lexington Park Lions Club members participate in other volunteer activities such as Meals on Wheels, AARP Tax-Aide, United Way Day of Caring, and boating safety training.
In congratulating the Lexington Park Lions on their 70th anniversary, the commissioners recognized the group's ongoing care and commitment its members have provided the people in St. Mary's County for seven decades.
Commissioners Honor "St. Mary's Surgeon"
Many St. Mary's County residents are familiar with Dr. John Roache. He's credited with touching the lives of countless patients, many of whom include multiple generations among family, friends, neighbors and coworkers, for more than 42 years at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital. On the occasion of his retirement the Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a ceremony to thank him for his many years of service inside a packed meeting room.
Dr. Roache's dedication to the county is exemplified through the many committees and boards he sat on through the years. Among them are the Hospital's Cancer Committee, Tissue and Transfusion Committee, Infectious Control, Hospital Disaster, Medical Society, St. Mary's Ryken High School Alumni Board Member, Leonard Hall Junior Naval Academy Board of Trustees, Board for the Juvenile Drug Program in St. Mary's County, Board of Trustees of the College of Southern Maryland, and he's currently the three term president of the Board of Directors for St. Mary's County Historical Society.
"Dr. John Roache has been a devoted member of Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad for 56 years, serving 36 years as president and 2 years as vice president. He also served as President of the St. Mary's County Rescue Association for 26 years," said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District). "In 2003 he was inducted into the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen Association Hall of Fame and has received the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services' Southern Maryland Star of Life Award and Leon W. Hayes Award for Excellence."
The Commissioners of St. Mary's County, expresses its appreciation to Dr. John Roache for his many years of service to St. Mary's County and its citizens and congratulated him on his upcoming retirement.