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From the Desk of
County Executive Jan Gardner

(11/2017) Northern Frederick County shines each autumn, as thousands of visitors head to the mountains. Visitors to Colorfest overflow the streets of Thurmont to celebrate the season’s beauty each October. Despite the cloudy start, this year’s craft show was another success for those who start their holiday shopping early or simply crave homemade apple dumplings.

In Emmitsburg, a solemn ceremony drew thousands from across the nation to honor firefighters who have died in the line of duty. I am always touched by the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service and am honored to welcome families of the fallen and to let them know that our community opens our arms to them.

This year, we gained a place to honor fallen heroes from our own county. The Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum dedicated a memorial wall honoring the 23 men and women who perished in the line of duty since 1840. I encourage you to stop by the museum on South Seton Avenue to see this wonderful tribute to our own fallen heroes.

Save money on prescription medication

Everyone likes to save money! Many residents are concerned with the growing cost of prescription medication and other health care services. I am pleased to share some good news! Frederick County has again partnered with the National Association of Counties (NACo) to provide all residents with a free Live Healthy prescription discount card.

The prescription discount card can save you big bucks. The discount card may be used by all county residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage, and is accepted at 50 county pharmacies, including independent drug stores as well as major drug store chains and pharmacies located in grocery stores. There are participating pharmacies in all our neighboring counties, as well, including in Pennsylvania. The card can be used to reduce the cost of some over the counter items too. For example, people with diabetes can get a discount on test strips and the prescription discount card can even be used on prescriptions for some pet medications.

The prescription discount card is easy to use. You can take it to the pharmacy and present it along with any prescription plan you now have and the pharmacy will tell you which plan will give you the better deal or you can use the discount card alone if you do not have a plan that covers prescriptions. The prescription discount card may cover some items your health plan does not cover. Last year, the average savings for county residents who used the card was 33 percent. That’s real money!

The prescription discount card incurs no cost to the county or to citizens and is offered to the county through our membership in NACo. There is no enrollment form, no membership fee and no restrictions or limits to use the discount card. You can print an ID card from, or pick one up at your local library or senior center, or many county facilities. You can call my office at 301-600-1100 and we can mail you a card.

Save money on dental and health services

More good news! Starting this month, in addition to the Prescription Discount Card, we are participating in the Live Healthy program by adding low-cost health and dental discount options. With so much uncertainty about the future of health care, these programs can offer some assurances.

The dental program provides savings on dental procedures like exams, fillings, and dentures. The health services program reduces the cost of vision services including frames, contacts, and Lasix; hearing aids, diabetic supplies, and some lab and imaging services. Many people do not have a dental plan and dental care is important to good health. The dental plan and the health services plan do have a cost but the cost is very reasonable. There are local dentists and other health care providers who participate in the dental and health discount programs.

You can sign up for just the low-cost dental program, just the health program, or a combination of the two. The programs cost less than $7 a month each for an individual, and less than $9 a month for a family. There is a discount for an annual enrollment. Enroll by calling 1-877-573-2395, or visit

Live Healthy can help those who are uninsured, as well as those who are underinsured. Everyone deserves an opportunity to live healthy and have a bright future. I encourage you to check these programs out to stay healthy and save some money.

Saving green through PACE

If you own a business and want to save money on energy, the commercial PACE program may fit the bill! PACE is an innovative program that helps commercial properties to take out private loans for up to 100 percent of up-front capital costs to make energy-saving upgrades and then pay these loans back over 20 years through a special assessment or surcharge on the property tax bill. For instance, a business may want to reduce its energy consumption, conserve water, or install solar panels. PACE loans allow the work to be done quickly, while repayment can take up to 20 years. Often the savings from the energy improvements make the project net positive even in the first year. The loan repayment can transfer with the sale of the property. No public funds are used, and the county does not assume any risk for the loans.

The PACE program can help Frederick County businesses that want to save green by going green. PACE creates opportunities for other small businesses, such as the contractor making the high-tech improvements. The Bar-T Mountainside in Urbana has already been pre-approved for the first PACE loan. Bar-T is partnering with TimberRock Energy Solutions of Frederick to design energy efficiencies for the ranch. If you own a commercial property and want to learn more, please call the County’s Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources at 301-600-1416 or go to

Energized by Innovation

A few weeks ago, I presented the annual State of the County Address and highlighted some of the exciting and innovative programs inside county government and in the community that are energizing our community and moving us forward to a prosperous future.

In Frederick County, we are advancing innovation in public education with new state-of–the-art schools and with the LYNX program – Linking Youth to New Experiences. We are turning big ideas into new jobs with our innovative business and technology collaboration at ROOT. And we are leading the way with a new and different approach to serving our growing senior population. You can learn more by watching State of the County at This presentation includes a video tour of the new Frederick High School and some video of innovation in business and agriculture. I encourage you to check it out!

Good things are happening in Frederick County every day. If you need information or have a question, please contact me at or at 301-600-3190.

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