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St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


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St. Mary's County Leaders to Join over 2,000 Maryland Government Officials to Discuss Economic Development Challenges and Opportunities at MACo Conference

This year's Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference will allow county elected officials, county staff, state and federal officials and business representatives to discuss Maryland's workforce growth and wealth of opportunities in a variety of industries. The conference will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City from August 16—19.

St. Mary's County Commissioner President Randy Guy and Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District), members of MACo's Legislative Committee, along with Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District), will attend the conference. In addition, County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett, Chief Financial Officer Jeannett Cudmore, County Attorney George Sparling, Human Resources Director Catherine Pratson and Public Information Officer Tony Jones will also attend.

MACo's annual conference attracts more than 2,000 stakeholders in Maryland's local government. County elected officials and staff, state officials and department leaders, Senators and Delegates, Congressmen and representatives from commercial and nonprofit organizations will discuss challenges and opportunities facing Maryland's residents. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and their Cabinet traditionally participate throughout the conference.

The conference kicks off with Wednesday's Tech Expo, hosted by the Maryland Tech Council (MTC) and MACo. This tradeshow will include special technology-focused sessions and a nearly 50-booth expo of technology products, services and best practices. Other session topics include economic development opportunities around specific industries in Maryland, including agritourism, energy, technology, manufacturing and the sharing economy.

"MACo's summer conference affords us an 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 to best serve our citizens."

There will be a heavy focus on the opioid crisis as officials at every level of government strive to battle this epidemic. A panel discussion, several industry perspective presentations and a general session forum will take place. Attendees will discuss partnership opportunities and strategies to help address the crisis and support the treatment of individuals suffering from opioid addiction.

The conference will adjourn on Saturday following the Governor Larry Hogan's Closing Address.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day Coming August 19

The time to clean out barns, basements, sheds, garages, storage areas under kitchen sinks, etc. to properly discard of potentially toxic/dangerous materials is coming on Saturday, August 19.

The St. Andrew's Landfill will host its Hazardous Waste Collection day between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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, however you 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.

Last year's event collected just over 40 tons of materials. Citizens can help us collect even more and dispose of it through safe, environmentally responsible practices.

For more information contact the St. Mary's Department of Public Works and Transportation at 301-475-4200 or log on to the department's website at www.stmarysmd.com/dpw/Household.asp

Approved Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Book Available Online

Budget includes modest tax relief for citizens

The St. Mary's County fiscal year 2018 budget book has been released and is available for online viewing. The Commissioners of St. Mary's County voted on May 16 to approve the General Fund budget at $221,324,105. The figure represents a 0.4 percent decrease over fiscal 2017. The balanced budget was adopted with a modest decrease in property tax rates. Funding for education, county departments and elected officials, along with public safety, accounts for nearly 87 percent of the General Fund budget. The adopted budget supports a fiscal year 2018 Capital budget of $50,581,291.

The FY2018 budget highlights include …

• Real Property Tax Rate is reduced to $.8478 per $100 of assessed value (Constant Yield Rate). The decrease amounts to about $12 per household.

• Certain elderly individuals and Veterans are eligible for a 10% property tax credit for up to five years

• Income Tax Rate remains at 3% of net taxable income

• St. Mary's County Board of Education receives a funding increase of $2,472,539 over fiscal 2017 to $102,189,940. The county's investment supports salary increases for teachers and other school employees. State mandated Maintenance of Effort is $100,850,888 based on an increased enrollment of 192.5 students.

• The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office will realize a $1.7 million increase over fiscal 2017 to $38,575,373.

• Various increases were approved for county employees for performance-based merit increases as well as funding for other one-time costs.

'This year's budget proved to be challenging in every aspect," said Commissioner Randy Guy. "We were able to provide a small tax decrease while holding the line on spending. I thank our hard working finance staff for all of their work through this year's process."

The full budget can be viewed at: www.stmarysmd.com/docs/Final%20FY2018%20Approved%20Budget%20for%20Print.pdf

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