Counties Seek Clean Energy Loan Program Expansion for Grid Resiliency

  On 19, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson submitted testimony to the Senate Finance Committee to support SB 54 - Local Government - Clean Energy Loan Programs - Grid Resilience Projects. This bill would create an expansion of Maryland's Clean Energy Loan Programs - administered at local options by counties -  to include potential grid resiliency projects. From the MACo Testimony: SB 54 creates a broadened list of project components – still in keeping with…

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State Fire Marshall Kicks Off Community Risk Reduction Week

Today marks the start of Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week, a grassroots effort by the nation's fire service to encourage fire prevention and life safety education. Although COVID-19 will change the look of this year's efforts, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, along with multiple fire departments throughout Maryland, will take part in physically distanced or safe CRR initiatives to get ahead of the 9-1-1 call before an emergency happens. The Office of the…

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Maryland Board of Public Works – January 27, 2021 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works (BPW) reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have an effect on county governments. The BPW is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held in Governor’s Reception Room on the 2nd floor of the State House in Annapolis. Note: In light of the COVID-19 epidemic,…

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Hogan Declares State of Emergency for Presidential Inauguration

Governor Hogan declares state of emergency, seeks reimbursement for costs related to D.C. riots, presidential inauguration. Governor Larry Hogan today declared a state of emergency ahead of the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. The proclamation will allow the state to more efficiently coordinate support and provide assistance to local jurisdictions within Maryland and neighboring states. The emergency declaration authorizes the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and all other appropriate state authorities to deploy and coordinate available resources in…

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MACo Urges OPEB Trust to Be Added Under Local Tort Law

On 15, January 2021 MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified virtually before the House Judiciary Committee to support HB 378 - Local Government Tort Claims Act - Definition of Local Government. This bill would change the definition of local government to include MACo's Pooled OPEB Trust Fund under the Local Government Tort Claims Act. From the MACo Testimony: HB 378 seeks to specify that this Pooled Trust, clearly performing a governmental function on behalf of its member…

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MACo Recommends Study for On-Site Wastewater Services Bill

On January 15, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified virtually before the House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 302 Environment - On-Site Wastewater Services - Regulation with amendments. This bill would create minimum standards for individuals who perform on-site wastewater systems. From the MACo Testimony: Data presented showed issues with systems were not abundant within three years after installations, suggesting that installers are sufficiently regulated. The vast majority of counties already require licensure for…

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Counties Back Bill to Promote Development of New Markets for Recycling

On January 15, 2021, MACo Policy Associate Alex Butler testified virtually before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 164 Department of the Environment - Office of Recycling - Recycling Market Development. This bill would require the Maryland Department of the Environment to promote the development of new markets for recyclables. From the MACo Testimony: Markets for recycled commodities have seen sincere hardships in the last several years due to a decline in market demand…

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Baltimore County Executive Announces $500K Gift from Baltimore Ravens for Destination Playground

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced this week that the Baltimore Ravens have committed $500K toward the construction of a new destination playground in Owings Mills. The playground, to be situated in Northwest Regional Park, will be approximately .8 acres and will not replace the existing playground at the park. It will be located near the Lyons Mill Road entrance and feature a wheelchair accessible rubberized surface and a timed 40-yard dash, among other equipment…

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Fun Fact: Which County has the Newest Barn Quilt Trail in Maryland? (And What’s a Barn Quilt Trail??)

While there are thousands of barn quilt trails all over the country, and two in Maryland, the Calvert County Barn Quilt Trail is the newest and the first in Southern Maryland. Courtesy: Calvert Barn Quilt Trail A barn quilt is a replica of a colorful square on a quilt, painted on wood and mounted on a barn or building. Every square tells two stories. First, the design and pattern of each square has a special…

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