September 2017

CHAIRMAN'S CORNER
Fall Greetings to our BQA Members and QAC Businesses!

You're probably aware that candidates for Queen Anne's County Commissioner have until February 28, 2018 to file.  Given it's Fall of 2017 already, Election Day 2018 is but a year away and in the world of politics, that's not a long time.  

The next set of Queen Anne's County Commissioners will have a Critically Important role, they will be charged with developing and enacting a New 10 year County Comprehensive Plan, on top of everything else they do!  

So for those who still favor Individual Property Rights, desire new business growth, seek the expansion of a far more comparable and counter balancing Commercial Tax Base, wish to see creation of jobs that allow living & working in Queen Anne's County and want responsible 'Smart growth' here in the County, NOW is the time to get involved with BQA!  

Let us know...join BQA, refer a new business or entrepreneur that needs to support BQA, inquire about serving on the board, or being one of our "reporters" at commissioner and/or Planning & Zoning commission meeting! 
 
Thank You!
Steve Donovan
BQA Chairman

 
FIBER BROADBAND COMING TO QAC

FTS Fiber, the same company currently serving Kent County, will provide the design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of a fiber optic broadband network throughout the county. Of particular importance is the fact that rural, under served areas of the county will have the opportunity to hook into the network. A company spokesman said 99.9 percent of county residents will have the ability and choice as to whether they want to be connected.

Megan DelGuadio, IT Manager for Queen Anne's County said the commissioners created a Broadband Task Force Committee and their mission was to research and make a recommendation to the commissioners on the best way to move the county forward with high speed internet. Last summer, the commissioners approved the committee's recommendation to solicit requests for proposals. Five proposals were received and reviewed by the committee, three companies were interviewed and FTS Fiber was selected.

"For $8.7 million, FTS is proposing to construct 160 miles of fiber throughout Queen Anne's County as well as provide the county government with a dedicated lit fiber network to 82 sites," she said. "This project is estimated to actually cost $30 million, but is being financed by investors. In order for FTS investors to be willing to put their money up they require that the county sign on to use their fiber which shows investors there is an ongoing revenue stream," DelGuadio said. "A breakdown for that $8.7 million is $6.5 million for construction and $2.2 million over 10 years for lit fiber service and maintenance to County facilities.
 Currently, a second company, ThinkBig, would handle installations from the road to the homes that ask for broadband, just as they are doing now in Kent County.
 Homes opting for broadband would pay a $400 installation rate whether their distance from the road to their home is 20 feet or a mile, which was a big concern for the Broadband Task Force Committee as the rural, farm areas of the county are underserved by other forms of internet.

 An undertaking of this magnitude is similar to when the country was installing electrical lines, and some say that broadband internet is a critical utility today, not just a luxury government should be involved in providing it, said Commissioner Jack Wilson, who voted to sign the contract.

Commissioner James Moran said, "Fiber is the future for Queen Anne's County children. It's a necessity not a luxury when 40-50 percent of the county has no connection. We approved the purchase of Chromebooks for our students, some have to go to the library or McDonalds do to their homework."

"We have people who could access better health care if they had the internet," said Commissioner Robert Buckey. "We have children that could study from home if they had access to the internet. This will also help advance broadband to county facilities. And let's not overlook just how important broadband is to economic development for both large corporations and our mom and pop business. We can provide this to our citizens without raising taxes."
 
Commissioners Stephen Wilson and Mark Anderson were the two votes against entering into the broadband contract. Commissioner Anderson wanted to first see a letter of credit or performance guarantees to protect the county revenue.
 Commissioner Stephen Wilson was the most vocal opponent. He wanted more public discussion. He questioned whether providing fiber is something that the government should do, and even if it was, was this the particular company that should be hired. He said he was not impressed with the company's rating on Dunn and Bradstreet.
 
Centreville resident Alison Davis also addressed that subject during the Press and Public Comment part of the commissioners' meeting. She said, "Big companies with good Dunn and Bradstreet ratings won't come to the table."
 "This is a necessity verses a want," said Davis. "As Gov. Hogan said this is a public necessity and government is responsible to provide it. We have a test case in a county nearby (Kent) and its going well. Investing in long lasting infrastructure is important. This isn't about wires in the ground, it's about people."

SECOND CONOWINGO DAM SUMMIT 
In August, Governor Larry Hogan held a second Conowingo Dam Summit in Darlington, Maryland, where he hosted state and local officials, regional partners, and members of the scientific, research, and environmental advocacy communities to discuss solutions to the growing threat posed to the Chesapeake Bay by sediment flowing through the Dam. Earlier in the morning, the governor addressed a seminar sponsored by the National Governors Association's Water Policy Learning Network, which he co-chairs along with California Governor Jerry Brown.

Following the summit, the governor was joined by Maryland Secretary of Natural Resources Mark Belton, Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles, Secretary of Planning Wendi Peters, Maryland Energy Administration Director Dr. Mary Beth Tung, and Maryland Environmental Service Director Roy McGrath, as well as Harford County Executive Barry Glassman and Cecil County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy to deliver an update on the administration's next step to address this critical water quality issue.

"To expand on the great progress we have made when it comes to the Bay, it is absolutely vital that we find real solutions for the problem of sediment and nutrient pollution," said Governor Hogan. "The Conowingo Dam reservoir has reached capacity and is no longer able to trap sediment, which if allowed to flow downstream, could substantially increase pollution, and negatively impact water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Much of our efforts to protect the Bay and safeguard our environment for future generations could be easily wiped out by the effects of one bad storm."

Governor Hogan went on to announce that the Maryland Environmental Service will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a demonstration project to determine the costs for dredging behind the Dam, identify markets available for the dredged material, and identify companies have the capability to beneficially reuse the material. The official RFP will be issued on August 31, with responses and a final award anticipated this fall.

Since his campaign for office and from the earliest days of the administration, Governor Hogan raised the alarm about the long-ignored issue of sediment overflow and pollution from the Susquehanna River across the dam and into the Bay. Recent scientific reports confirm that the Dam has reached full capacity and can no longer stop pollution from entering the Bay.

In 2016, Governor Hogan held the first Conowingo Dam Summit and announced a Request for Information (RFI) to identify cost-effective dredging solutions. The administration put together a multi-agency work group composed of representatives from the Maryland Departments of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Planning, the Maryland Port Administration, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the Maryland Environmental Service (MES). The work group reviewed the responses to the RFI and used the information to develop the RFP.

Since taking office, Governor Hogan has taken unprecedented actions to protect the Chesapeake Bay. The administration has invested more than $3 billion in state funds towards Bay restoration efforts, as well as nearly $145 million in the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, becoming the only governor in Maryland history to fully fund the Trust Fund. Governor Hogan worked closely with agricultural and environmental communities to develop enhanced Phosphorous Management Tool regulations, reflecting his commitment to seek innovative solutions to reduce sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus pollution in Maryland's waterways. The governor has also made it a priority to promote land conservation by fully funding Program Open Space and other land preservation programs.

In May 2017, the Chesapeake Bay received its highest score for water quality in nearly a quarter century, and in June 2017, Governor Hogan was unanimously elected chairman of the Chesapeake Executive Council, which includes five states and Washington, D.C.

BQA MEMBERSHIP, SUPPORT & SPONSORSHIP
WHY do you need to JOIN, SUPPORT, SPONSOR BQA?

BQA keeps you INFORMED on issues facing economic development, jobs and opportunities right here IN QAC, so the 86% of County residents who spend too much time commuting out of the County and across the bridge every day can actually "LIVE, WORK & PLAY" right here in QAC!! 

If you know a business that would be a great asset as a member, please contact our Membership Chair, Jack Ashley at jackashley@me.com

You can also contact administrator@businessqueenannes.com for a copy of the following application!


BUSINESS Queen Anne's


A Coalition for Economic Development and Responsible Government

The mission of BUSINESS Queen Anne's is to actively advocate sound economic growth; review all proposed state and local legislation and regulations; provide an objective assessment of proposed development in Queen Anne's County and its incorporated towns; endorse and support countywide growth that is well managed and consistent with adopted state and local planning and regulatory guidelines, comprehensive plans, and state and local initiatives; create positive and "business friendly" attitudes on the part of Queen Anne's County elected and appointed officials; and support business activity that promotes and encourages a vibrant economy, development of an adequate labor pool, a fiscally responsible and accountable county government, and a continued unique quality of life in Queen Anne's County.
   
You can find BQA on Facebook! Make sure to "Like" us! 

 
In This Issue
Just a reminder that the 
Membership Dues Renewal Invoices 
have gone out and are now due
If you have any questions, 
please contact Sandra at
 

Your BQA Board!
 
Steve Donovan, President
Title One & Associates, Inc.
410-758-1831
 
Nick Deoudes
Deoudes-Magafan Realty, Inc.
410-827-5441
 
Mike Dahle
MCDLLC
410-820-7288

Bob Wilson
Mears Point Marina
410-827-8888
 
Gary Hofmann
QAC Sheriff's Department
410-758-0770

George O'Donnell
410-490-7400 
Jack Ashley
410-310-0800

Barry Waterman
Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty
410-643-5005
Sandra Early 
Administrator  
410-739-4716
SIGN UP FOR CITIZEN'S ALERT
Have you signed up for the County's Citizen's Alert yet?

Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news by signing up for our Emergency Alert Program. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods.

You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how.

Click on the logo below to sign up!

 
MEMBERS INVITED!

BUSINESS Queen Anne's would like to invite all members (and even member guests!) to attend our monthly board meetings typically held the last Thursday of the month at Mear's Point Marina. (Please contact the office at administrator@businessqueenannes.com to verify)

Occasionally, we have County reps visit and give us updates. At the last board meeting it was decided that the next time we have speakers at the board meetings we will give our members ample notice in case they would like to attend...we want you to be in the know!

If you have a speaker that you would like to connect with and you think that Business Queen Anne's could help make that happen, please let us know.
 
MARK YOUR CALENDAR

County Commissioner's Meeting

Second and Fourth

Tuesday of the month!

Click here for published agendas!

107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
  
Planning Commission Meetings
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
(Same link above takes you to agendas for the Planning Commission too.) 

Visit the County's New Website to sign up for notices!
  

 
 
BQA wants you to get involved!

 
We are the only organization to consistently and publicly support  property rights and beneficial development projects in Queen Anne's County! If the growth of our County interests you at any level, you should be a part of this prominent group!
 
Become a member! 
Join the board! 



BQA is looking to grow membership and our Executive elite board and we are in search of Woman Business owners in the County...are you the woman for the job?
 
We are also looking for members to sign up to attend Commissioner's Meetings and/or Planning Commission Meetings!

If you are interested, please contact Administrator, Sandra Early at


BUSINESS Queen Anne's c/o Sandra's Office Support | 405 Victoria Way | Stevensville | MD | 21666