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From the Desk of
County Executive Jan Gardner

(1/2016) Happy New Year! 2015 ended with good news and 2016 looks to be even better!

We are blessed to live in a caring community where people look out for their neighbors and take care of each other. In Frederick County, the season of peace and goodwill extends throughout the year with our many nonprofit human service agencies providing support and basic human needs for our citizens on a daily basis.

Thus, I was thrilled to recently announce the first-ever Community Partnership Grant awards. These grants will strengthen our community and create a collaborative partnership between county government and our nonprofit agencies to ensure that our county’s prosperity extends to everyone. Working together, we can leverage our resources, avoid duplication, provide more efficient services to people in need, and save tax dollars

Community Partnership Grants focused on three priority areas – housing, seniors, and community needs. Twenty organizations were awarded grants that will provide a variety of services including case management to help people transitions to stable housing, food for the hungry, rides for seniors to doctors appointments and the grocery store, car maintenance and repair so low-income people can continue to get to work, and substance abuse intervention services among many others.

For example, the Thurmont Ministerium will use its grant to provide food to low-income households. This organization serves 340 households in the Thurmont area every year. One out of every five people they serve is a senior or a person with disabilities. This grant will allow the Ministerium to expand its mission to buy food and transport it to shut-ins.

Mission of Mercy, which serves uninsured and underinsured Frederick County patients at its health clinics in Frederick, Taneytown and Brunswick will use its grant to provide continuity of care to senior citizens, particularly those with chronic health conditions.

Rebuilding Together Frederick County will utilize its grant to rehabilitate at least 10 more homes in the county to allow seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes.

Together, we can provide more services to more people. And we can save tax dollars through early intervention and prevention. It is more cost effective to help stabilize housing and prevent homelessness than it is to transition people from homelessness to permanent housing. It’s more cost effective to provide preventive health care than it is to provide emergency health services.

It is important to note that these relatively small grants from the county often open doors for even more funding. Nonprofits can often leverage these local grants to obtain state and federal grants, as well as grants from endowments, foundations and philanthropists who require a demonstration of local support. The YMCA, for example, already has a matching grant from a private foundation, effectively doubling the county’s investment and helping them to replace furniture in Head Start and the early learning center that was damaged by a recent flood.

Celebrating these partnerships was a great way to conclude 2015 and will help ensure a bright future for many of our citizens.

So what’s in store for 2016?

  • Ethics legislation has been re-drafted and will be re-introduced after the first of the year by the county council.
  • A lot of time and effort will be spent identifying and discussing school construction solutions to keep needed new schools on schedule. I am committed to solving school overcrowding.
  • The Solid Waste What’s Next? steering committee will short-list and advance solutions obtained through five public forums on how best to dispose of our trash. A public forum and brainstorming session will be held at the Thurmont town hall on Saturday, January 23rd at 10:00 am. Please come and share your ideas.
  • Livable Frederick will move forward with public meetings to create a new master plan for growth in Frederick County. Frederick County will grow but we need to do it right.
  • And, there will be a significant amount of heavy lifting to transition Citizens and Montevue back to county ownership.

The county budget discussions will also be lively as citizens provide input to help prioritize how the county best allocates our community’s tax dollars to provide services and infrastructure to our citizens – particularly in the areas of education, public safety and public works. No tax increases will be proposed.

Get involved, speak out, and help shape the future of Frederick County. There is no better time than now!

If you have questions or need information, please contact me at 301-600-3190 or

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