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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


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August Events Aim to Help Citizens Clean Out Old Files and Dispose of Hazardous Waste

Two events in August will provide opportunities to clean out file cabinets, closets and desks and dispose of hazardous waste.

The Department of Public Works & Transportation will host its 2nd annual community Document Shredding Event at the St. Andrew's Landfill on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 8 a.m. until noon.

Residents can have their confidential, private, and important documents destroyed by a professional shredding service at no cost. The truck, provided by Nexcut Shredding, is capable of holding approximately 6 tons of paper using a "pierce and tear" system (knife-edged wheels to pull paper through a central cutting face). All paper material shredded during the event will be recycled.

Residents should not bring materials which are not confidential in nature (such as newspapers and magazines) as they will cause the truck to fill up more quickly. Citizens should limit the number of boxes brought to the event to 2 standard bankers' boxes (10"H x 12"W x 15"D) per person so we can serve as many residents as possible. The goal is to have between 230-255 individuals bring material to the event. Last year's event yielded over 4,650 pounds of paper.

Another event planned for August will allow citizens to safely dispose of hazardous household waste. The St. Andrew's Landfill will host the first of two Hazardous Waste Collection Days on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Residents can 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 cannot be accepted include Ammunition, Asbestos, Explosive Materials, MedicalWaste, Pharmaceuticals, Radioactive Materials, and Picric Acid.

For more information about these events, contact the St. Mary's Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-863-8400. For more information on recycling programs, log on to www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/

County Leaders to Learn Technological Advances and Cyber-Related Trends at MACo Summer Conference

The 2016 MACo Summer Conference is set for August 17-20 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. The theme of year's conference is "Cyber Solutions: Counties in the Digital Age." Much like what is being discussed and demonstrated in St. Mary's County on a daily basis, the focus of the conference will be on digital trends, cyber threats, and technological solutions for county officials and professionals. Participants can also expect to see demonstrations of drones, hear from experts about autonomous vehicles, and talk about the implementation of texting 9-1-1.

MACo's Summer Conference is an annual event where county elected officials, county staff, state and federal officials, and business representatives convene to study best practices in local governance and explore partnerships through which to better serve the people of Maryland. Local government officials make attending the MACo Summer Conference a priority because they gain knowledge and understanding of the most important local government issues, share ideas, and find solutions to challenges at home.

Other topics on the agenda include social media use and telecommuting for county employees, environmental updates, protecting children from cybercrime, concussions, funding methods for technology, and a Q&A session on medical cannabis. Participants will have two opportunities to be certified to administer Naloxone, the opioid overdose treatment drug.

"The MACo summer conference gives us the opportunity to learn from our colleagues across the state best practices on how to deal with the vast number of challenges we face in St. Mary's County," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. " We always come away from the conference with a fresh perspective on how we can best serve our citizens."

Updates will be given by the Departments of Natural Resources and the Environment. U.S. Senator Ben Cardin will host a town hall forum and U.S. Representative (and MACo Past President) Dutch Ruppersberger will moderate a general session on cybersecurity budgeting. Governor Larry Hogan will deliver the closing address of the conference.

Commissioner President Randy Guy will moderate an Academy for Excellence in Local Governance session on Consensus and Team Building. Also attending is Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District), a member of the MACo's Legislative Committee; Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District), who will moderate an Academy for Excellence in Local Governance session entitled "Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No—It's a Drone!"; Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District), and Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District). County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett will also attend the conference.

Participants will also have access to many educational sessions, covering issues on infrastructure, public safety, budget, education, planning, management, development, and more. The conference offers attendees the chance to hear from experts to learn from their experiences and insights.

S&P Affirms St. Mary's County's AA+ Rating

General economic outlook deemed stable

Standard and Poor's (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned a AA+ long-term rating to $25 million in St. Mary's County general obligation (GO) improvement bonds, series 2016. The ratings firm also affirmed its AA+ rating on previously issued GO bonds and deemed the county's economic outlook is stable.

S&P's rationale for the rating include:

• A strong county economy with per capita market value of $108,384. The agency noted the county's market value grew by 1.3% over the past year to $12 billion in 2016.

• Very strong management, including strong financial policies and practices under the agency's Financial Management Assessment methodology. This is indicative of strong financial policies which are well embedded and likely sustainable.

• The county's very strong budgetary flexibility with an FY15 available fund balance of 26% of operating expenditures, or $54.1 million. This also includes $44.6 million (21.4% of expenditures) in the general fund and $9.5 million (4.5% of expenditures) which is outside the general fund.

• Very strong liquidity with total available cash at 28.1% of total governmental fund expenditure and 6.7 times governmental debt service in 2015.

• Very strong debt and contingent liability profile with total governmental fund debt service at 4.2% of total fund expenditures. Net direct debt of 44.2% of total fund revenue.

S&P's overall economic outlook for the county is stable. The agency says this is due to the large and diverse property tax base. S&P predicts this will likely continue due to NAS Pax River's presence in St. Mary's County.

"This is very good news for St. Mary's County as we continue to work through our economic challenges," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "We look forward to continuing our economic policies which hopefully will lead to a AAA rating in the very near future."

The S&P Rating follows a AA+ rating from Fitch Ratings and a Aa2 rating from Moody's in June. The full report is available at stmarysmd.com/docs/S&P%20Rating%20Jul-20-2016.pdf.

Public Information Meeting to be Held to Discuss Revised Expansion of Mattapany Rural Legacy Area

In response to citizen comments about the January 2016 draft proposal of the expansion of the Mattapany Rural Legacy Area, the boundary has been revised to focus on areas with more conservation opportunities. The proposal also removes the majority of small developed residential lots.

Rural Legacy Areas are an important part of the County's land preservation efforts to maintain lands needed for farming and forestry activities, to preserve the rural landscape, and retain the rural character valued by St. Mary's County residents. More than 11,000 acres have been preserved through voluntary easements, which compensate property owners for electing to maintain their properties as rural. Land preservation also helps to maintain military operational capabilities necessary to retain the County's largest economic driver, Patuxent River Naval Air Station, by reducing development which may be incompatible with activities at Pax River and Webster Field.

A meeting has been scheduled to provide an opportunity for citizens to review and discuss the proposed expansion, and to offer written comments regarding this revised boundary proposal. The meeting will take place:

August 4, 2016 from 6–7:30 p.m.
Lexington Park Library (Meeting rooms A and B)
21677 F.D.R Boulevard
Lexington Park, MD 20653

Questions and comments regarding the Rural Legacy Program or the updated expansion area, should be directed to: Sue Veith at 301-475-4200 extension *1547 or via email at sue.veith@stmarysmd.com or Donna Sasscer at 240-309-4021 or via email at Donna.Sasscer@stmarysmd.com.

The county and local Rural Legacy Partners will consider all questions and comments and received at the August meeting, or via mail by September 2, 2016, before a formal proposal is submitted for consideration to the Commissioners of St. Mary's County in late Fall 2016.

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