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The Indian Head Town Council unanimously approved the town’s participation in a joint land use study with Naval Support Facility Indian Head and Charles County at the council’s regular meeting Monday.

The town’s inclusion in the study will require no funds from the town. The study is being funded by the Charles County commissioners, and the town will serve as an adviser on the study.

The study is a collaboration among military installations and surrounding communities. Indian Head Mayor Dennis Scheessele said activity at the Indian Head naval base can affect water quality in the town.

The study will “explore the interfaces land-use-wise between the three organizations” and work out ways or mitigate effects on each other, he said.

The town’s participation in the JLUS was effective at Monday’s meeting.

“I think this will be a great opportunity to explore what each of us does, what our land use does,” Scheessele said.

The council also voted unanimously on a resolution for town residents who qualify to be exempt from paying into the Bay Restoration Fund.

Scheessele said the Maryland General Assembly asked the Maryland Department of the Environment to create a program for exemptions from the fund.

To qualify for exemption, a town resident must be the owner and occupier of a dwelling, and meet the yearly gross income restriction of $20,107 for one person or $27,142 for two people, or at least two of the following criteria: receive energy assistance from the Department of Social Services; receive public assistance benefits such as supplemental nutrition services, receive veterans or Social Security disability benefits; or receive the Homeowner’s Property Tax Credit for the same fiscal year.

Exemptions from the fund will have no fiscal effect on the town, Scheessele said, because the town only collects the fund payments for the state.

The council showed appreciation to Toni Milton-Trainor, who was reassigned this school year to Gale-Bailey Elementary School in Marbury after serving as principal of Indian Head Elementary School for nine years.

“We’d like to recognize Toni Milton-Trainor for her service to the town,” Scheessele said.

He said Milton-Trainor did a good job as principal, including organizing children’s events.

“I can’t even mention all of the things she’s helped [the town council] on,” Scheessele said.

Milton-Trainor was presented with a framed copy of the town’s seal.

“This means so much to me,” Milton-Trainor said, as she choked up with emotion. “It’s been a wonderful nine years.”

Milton-Trainor said she put her “blood, sweat and tears into doing what’s best for kids.”

During public comments, Indian Head Planning Commission member Thomas Blake said he briefly served under Milton-Trainor, and that his time working with her is why he started free tutoring for kindergarten through college-age students by Heart & Soul Ministries in town. Blake added that he also pursued a career in the educational system because of his time working with Milton-Trainor.

In his monthly report, Indian Head Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeff Williams said 164,500 cooking fires occur in residential homes yearly in the U.S.

“That’s a pretty big number,” Williams said. Kitchen safety was the message for this year’s National Fire Prevention Week held Oct. 6 through 12.

Williams said kitchen fires are the leading cause of residential fires and injuries.

Williams asked residents to use common sense: Do not leave the kitchen while cooking. Use a lid that is bigger than the pot so if a fire starts, it can be suffocated with the lid.

“If it can’t breathe, it can’t burn,” Williams said. He added that residents also should have a kid-free zone 3 feet around the kitchen stove while cooking.

In his monthly report, Officer Lee Elliot, the town’s community police officer, said reports for all crimes are down.

The Indian Head Town Council will hold a work session at 1 p.m. Oct. 21 and hold its next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4.