Moving Towards a Clean Energy Future at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

The panel “Keeping Clean Energy Green Energy” on August 15 at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference examined Maryland’s transition to clean energy and explored what it means for county government infrastructure and land use policies. Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles reiterated that the state’s pending Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act plan requires Maryland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 from 2006 levels and prepares for a future reduction goal of 80%.…

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Walking the Agritourism “Tightrope” at #MACoCon

Agriculture remains a key economic driver for the state of Maryland, but like all successful businesses, agriculture is evolving with the times. Agritourism now plays an increasingly important role in the long-term profitability of agriculture, especially for small- to mid-sized farms. However, while most counties have attempted to embrace agritourism, its diverse and sometimes vague nature poses a variety of regulatory challenges – from zoning and building code requirements to health and sanitation issues. Even…

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Hogan Announces $10 Million to Expand Broadband to Underserved Areas

In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Access to affordable internet, broadband, wireless, and cellular services is an essential component of a county’s economic development and the socio-economic advancements of its residents. Residents benefit from increased economic growth, improved labor market access and outcomes, access to better health care, enhanced civic participation, enriched education opportunities, improved quality of life, and overall competitive and vibrant communities. During his closing address…

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Maryland Distilleries Collaborate on Rye Gins

As a further sign of the maturing distillery industry in Maryland, a Daily Record article (2019-08-07) reported that Frederick County-based McClintock Distilling Co. and Baltimore City-based The Baltimore Spirits Co. are collaborating to release two limited-edition rye gins. From the article: The project uses rye whiskey mash infused with botanicals to make a Genever-style gin. McClintock used mash from BSC’s Epoch Rye and BSC used mash from McClintock’s Bootjack Rye Whiskey. The article indicated that half…

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Hogan Administration Releases “A Better Maryland” Development Plan

A Maryland Department of Planning press release (2019-08-07) announced the release of the new state development plan, A Better Maryland. The plan will guide growth, preservation efforts, and infrastructure development throughout the state. Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order in 2017 ordering the creation of A Better Maryland and rescinded PlanMaryland. MACo had expressed concerns over PlanMaryland due to its top-down approach and creation of new (and in MACo's view redundant) land use classifications. A Better Maryland is developed from…

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New Apprenticeship Program Gives Students in Prince George’s Bridge Into Trade Careers

A new registered apprenticeship program through Prince George's County High School affords high school students the opportunity to learn a trade, be paid for the work they perform, receive college coursework credit, and the potential for job placement once they've completed high school and the program. From The Washington Post: In a program described as a first in the state, Wilson and other teenagers in Prince George’s County are paired with employees from their school…

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State Grant Will Help Allegany Residents Get to Work

Allegany County this week received a $300,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide more residents with reliable transportation to and from work. The three-year pilot program will expand bus routes to and from the North Branch Industrial Park (NBIP) — home to several large employers, providing residents with access to high-quality job opportunities. According to the Cumberland Times-News: “It’s no secret that sometimes transportation is a barrier to employment for individuals,” said…

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New Law Bolsters Economic Impact Analysis for Montgomery County Bills

The Montgomery County Council last week passed legislation requiring the County's Office of Legislative Oversight to prepare an economic impact statement (EIS) for each bill pending before the Council. The legislation aims to strengthen the current EIS requirement, originally enacted in 2010. Under the bill, sponsored by Councilmember Andrew Friedson, each EIS must include a bill’s potential positive or negative effects, if any, on the County’s workforce, taxation policy, property values, incomes, operating costs to…

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Frederick Launches Strategic Plan: Poised for Prosperity, Planning for Progress!
County Executive Jan Gardner (photo courtesy of Frederick County Government)
Frederick Launches Strategic Plan: Poised for Prosperity, Planning for Progress!

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner last week unveiled a new strategic plan designed to build on the County's accomplishments with an eye towards fresh ideas and new opportunities. The plan focuses on five key priorities: education, jobs, seniors, community needs, and growth. “Frederick County is poised for the future!” County Executive Gardner said. “We have exceptional schools, a safe community, a thriving economy with thousands of new jobs over the past few years, and a…

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Discover Maryland’s Clean Energy Future (and What It Means for Counties) at #MACoCon

Get the information you need about Maryland's plans to transition to "clean energy" and what it means for your county at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. Keeping Clean Energy Green Energy Description Maryland has embarked on a path toward more and more clean energy sources. With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 and Governor Hogan’s call for a 100% clean energy goal, our state must now navigate through the various benefits…

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