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Deadline today for homestead credit

Homeowners have until Wednesday, Jan. 2, to file the application for homestead tax credit eligibility to continue to be qualified for this property tax credit that limits the amount of assessment on which a homeowner actually pays for taxes on a residence, according to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

The credit caps the increase in taxable assessments at 5 percent in St. Mary’s a year. To date, more than 850,000 homeowners across the state have filed their homestead application.

The form will be mailed to homeowners who send an email to hcredit@dat.state.md.us requesting it. Include in the email the street address for the property and specific county where the property is located. For those homeowners who do not have access to a computer, call 410-767-2165 or 1-866-650-8783. More information can be found at www.dat.state.md.us.

Draft stormwater management ordinance update available

An update of the 2010 county stormwater management, grading, erosion and sediment control ordinance is now available for public comment. The majority of the amendments drafted by the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation are minor and reflect streamlining initiatives, ensure consistency with current practices, add clarification and reduce redundancy between other ordinances. The document also includes revised erosion and sediment control regulations from the state.

The draft document is available at www.stmarysmd.com/formsanddocuments.asp, titled Draft 2012 Stormwater Management, Grading, Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance Update. Direct all comments to george_erichsen@co.saint-marys.md.us.

CodeRED system offers winter storm warnings

St. Mary’s County has upgraded its early weather alerting system to allow residents to receive winter storm warnings. The county provides weather warnings through a service called CodeRED weather warning. Notifications are only available to those who have opted into the system. To receive weather alerts, log on to www.stmarysmd.com and enter both an email address and a cell phone number. Warnings can be made by an automated phone call, by email or by text messages.

Teen court needs adult volunteers

The St. Mary’s County Teen Court program is seeking adults, 21 or older, with spare time on their hands and a willingness to help the community and a desire to encourage teenagers to make good decisions.

Teen court is a juvenile justice system diversion system, run by teens, where eligible teens appear before a jury of their peers who determine penalties to be imposed for a criminal offense. Several adults are needed to assist with the ongoing operation of the program. Sessions are held monthly on the second and fourth Mondays from 5 to 8:30 p.m. in the district court building, located on the second floor of the Carter state office building at 23110 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown. Adults can serve as community judge, bailiff, clerk, jury monitor or training assistant. Legal experience is not necessary and training will be provided. A favorable background check is required. Call 301-475-4200, ext. 1852.

Fiscal 2013 budget available online

The fiscal year 2013 budget for St. Mary’s County government is online and available to the public. The document provides information about the $211.6 million budget. It can be found at www.co.saint-marys.md.us/finance/index.asp or at www.co.saint-marys.md.us/formsanddocuments.asp.

Single-stream recycling offered

The six trash convenience centers in St. Mary’s County offer single-stream recycling. The trash convenience centers are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The centers accept household trash (up to the equivalent of four 35-gallon containers per trip). The St. Andrew’s Landfill off Route 4 in California is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The landfill is closed on Sunday.

Also, electronic equipment and fluorescent lights may be brought to the trash convenience centers. That includes computers, computer monitors, printers, keyboards, mice and power cords or wires, televisions, copiers, VCRs, DVD players, two-way radios and rechargeable batteries. At the convenience center, ask an attendant where to drop off items.