Counties: Let Us Enforce Energy-efficient Building Standards

On January 19, 2022, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko, testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 61 Charter Counties - Enforcement of Local Building Performance Laws (Building Energy Performance Standards Act of 2022). This bill would give charter counties broader enforcement authority over local building energy performance standards (BEPS). From the MACo testimony: Under current law, when a building is found in violation of BEPS, charter counties may only levy a…

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Counties: Incorporation Process Wisely Includes “Checks and Balances”

On January 18, 2022, MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in opposition to HB 42 Municipal Incorporation - County Commissioners or County Council - Required Consideration of Referendum Request. This bill would require the county commissioners or county council to "consider" a certain referendum request if a valid petition to incorporate a certain area as a municipality is presented by not less than 40% of the registered voters who…

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St. Mary’s Commissioners Appoint Dept. of Public Works and Transportation Acting Director

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County have appointed Gary Whipple, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPWT), to serve as Acting Director following the retirement of Director John Deatrick. Whipple assumed the duties of Acting Director effective Jan. 1, 2022. Whipple has served as the Deputy Director for DPWT since 2019. "It's an honor to serve the community in this new capacity. I hope to serve the County well during this…

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Nominations Open for Maryland Preservation Awards

The Maryland Historical Trust has begun accepting nominations for the 2022 Maryland Preservation Awards.  Since 1975 the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Historical Trust has presented the Maryland Preservation Awards. These awards are the highest level of recognition for historic preservation, heritage education, and community development projects in Maryland. The awards honor and celebrate significant achievements by individuals, businesses, contractors, non-profit organizations, local governments, and others who protect, promote, share, and give continued life…

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$6.7B to MD – DOT Releases Preliminary Numbers

The US Department of Transportation recently released state-by-state factsheets outlining anticipated infrastructure funding.  https://twitter.com/USDOT/status/1461449798268166149 Last week the US Department of Transportation released more information on infrastructure funding states can anticipate receiving. Maryland's four-page factsheet provides estimates of both direct funding and competitive grant programs, which will soon be made available. Highlights of Maryland's Transit Infrastructure: In Maryland, there are 273 bridges and over 2,201 miles of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have…

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Here’s What the Infrastructure Bill Means for Maryland

Maryland to receive billions for roads, bridges, broadband, cybersecurity, transit, and more. The Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $973 billion over five years from fiscal 2022 through fiscal 2026, including $550 billion in new investments for all modes of transportation, water, power, broadband, cybersecurity, energy, environmental remediation, resilience, and more. According to an analysis by the National Association of Counties (NACo): IIJA will direct $284 billion in above-baseline spending toward all modes of…

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Talbot Wastewater Project Among $272M in Federal Projects Through USDA

USDA recently announced a $272 million investment to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, $600,000 of which is headed for Talbot County. The USDA has recently announced $272 million to finance 114 rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects. These investments will help improve rural infrastructure for 270,000 people and businesses. Talbot County has one of the selected projects under the USDA's investment scheme and will receive $600,000. According to the USDA's press release:…

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Maryland Smart Energy Communities FY22 Applications Now Open

The Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) program is now open and accepting applications for the more than $1.03 million available in Fiscal Year 2022. Existing MSEC communities and first-time applicants are encouraged to apply for the MSEC program administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). Funding may be used for energy efficiency, renewable energy and transportation projects. The deadline for submitting applications is November 12, 2021. From MEA: Now in its 10th year, the MSEC…

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Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Want Bigger Bay Bridge

Officials from both Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s County are calling for a larger Bay Bridge as intense traffic becomes a regular issue.  In response to a growing need for congestion relief on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, both Anne Arundel County Council and Queen Anne’s County Council recently passed matching resolutions. These resolutions call for the state to upgrade the current bridge to one continuous structure with eight lanes. "'As the lead sponsor of the…

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Anne Arundel Passes Minimum Wage Increase, Benefits for Construction Workers

On Monday, October 4, the Anne Arundel County Council passed a bill to establish a minimum wage and benefits for construction trade employees in a 4 -3 vote along partisan lines. County Executive Steuart Pittman, County Council members and labor unions advocated for increased wages and benefits for construction trade professionals that do business with the county. Some council members raised concerns during debate on Bill 72-21 about how passing such a measure would effect…

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