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Baltimore County News

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
  1. Baltimore County Announces Benefits Screening Call Center

    Connect with More Than 20 Programs to Address Critical Needs

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a new initiative to connect low to moderate income County residents with critical federal, state and local benefits. Residents can call 311 to be referred to trained counselors for a comprehensive screening process.

    The CASH Campaign of Maryland, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic advancement, will serve as the County’s lead partner for this initiative.

    “This pandemic provides unfortunate reminders every day that too many of our residents are struggling, particularly those who have lost jobs or income,” Olszewski said. “This new service ensures that our residents have a one-stop-shop to help them determine which benefits might be available to help them weather this crisis.”

    Benefit Programs

    The CASH Campaign of Maryland is now offering its benefits screening and support services to County residents. Callers to 311 can request an appointment to receive a confidential and customized screening for over 20 different benefit programs to help them make ends meet and support their financial future.

    These programs include:

    • Temporary Cash Assistance
    • Temporary Disability Assistance
    • SNAP (formerly food stamps)
    • Medicaid
    • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)
    • Maryland Utility Assistance
    • NeedyMeds (discount pharmacy program)
    • Discounted Cellular and Landline Programs
    • Maryland Children’s Health Program
    • Child Care Subsidy Program
    • Child Support Payment Incentive
    • Free and Reduced Price School Meals
    • Head Start and Early Head Start
    • Renters and Homeowners Tax Credit
    • Child Tax Credit
    • Earned Income Tax Credit

    Making the Call

    Interested residents should call 311 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to be connected to CASH. A trained case manager will help callers complete an application and navigate the process to receive the help they need. CASH can also help County residents develop a plan to strengthen their economic stability through financial coaching and financial education classes—all offered remotely, by phone and for free. All conversations with the CASH team are confidential.

    “CASH is excited to work with Baltimore County more closely to ensure that residents are getting connected to the resources and help they need. Many families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and getting the help they need can be really overwhelming,” said Sara Johnson, Co-Founder and COO of the CASH Campaign. “CASH is here to be a guide. Our benefits access program is free and confidential, so we encourage people to take advantage of this service. It's really encouraging to see County leadership and their teams working to streamline access to programs like ours.”

    The Benefits Screening Call Center is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools have distributed more than four million meals to residents facing food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, Olszewski has committed millions for the County’s efforts to help residents avoid eviction.

    Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:56:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-announces-benefits-screening-call-center
  2. Olszewski Announces Baltimore County Secures New Market Agreement to Recycle Glass

    Through 10-year Agreement, County will Provide Glass to be Recycled as New Glass Containers

    Baltimore County today that announced the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Solid Waste Management has started a new glass recycling program in partnership with Cap Glass, Inc. of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. 

    Under the new 10-year agreement, the County will deliver glass from the Cockeysville Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to the Cap Glass facility in Baltimore City. Cap Glass will process the glass to remove contaminants (such as paper and other items) and recover marketable glass. The marketable glass will be sent to OI Glass, Inc. to make new glass containers. 

    “A better Baltimore County is one where sustainability and the future of our planet is a top priority, and this new agreement puts that commitment into action as we make our County’s recycling even more efficient,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I’m proud that our team was able to find an innovative solution to resume glass recycling in Baltimore County, reducing waste output in the process.” 

    The glass recycling program will expand both the number of products and the volume of material that the County will be able to market. The County started delivering glass loads on July 20, 2020.  

    “This is an important initiative to expand the County’s current recycling efforts,” said Michael R. Beichler, C.P.E Chief of the Baltimore County Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Solid Waste Management. “We’re thankful to engage in this productive partnership with Cap Glass and are looking forward to working together for years to come.” 

    Until 2013, Baltimore County directly processed glass recycling. Like most jurisdictions across the country, Baltimore County experienced both technical and financial limitations that prevented efficient glass recycling at municipal facilities. 

    This new agreement is the result of Baltimore County’s multi-year search for a sustainable glass market. Olszewski, who took office in December 2018, provided new funding in the County’s FY21 budget to help support County efforts to pursue a cost-efficient glass recycling initiative. 

    This is the latest effort from the Olszewski Administration to promote environmental sustainability. 

    Shortly after taking office, Olszewski created the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer who is leading the development of county-wide Climate Action Plan, covering topics such as reduced energy consumption, promotion of green infrastructure, and sustainable growth policy. Earlier this year, Olszewski convened a Youth Climate Working Group to ensure youth voices and recommendations are included in the County’s Climate Action Plan and other sustainability efforts. The Youth Climate Working Group presented their recommendations to the administration in April 2020.

    Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-announces-baltimore-county-secures-new-market-agreement-to-recycle-glass
  3. Baltimore County to Support Local Businesses with Grants to Chambers of Commerce

    $20,000 Grants will Fund COVID-Related Programming and Marketing Efforts

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a $600,000 grant program designed to assist chambers of commerce and business associations in their missions to support businesses in their communities.

    The grant program will fund initiatives that support local businesses by providing educational programming and marketing efforts to help sustain the viability of this important economic sector that has been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

    “Our independent small businesses and our neighborhood business corridors are an important element of our local economy and they add to our overall sense of community,” said County Executive Olszewski. “These grant funds will quickly go where they are needed to provide critically-needed support to help our small businesses districts.”

    The COVID-19 Business Corridor Sustainability Grant Program is narrowly focused on providing financial support to Baltimore County’s small business associations and chambers of commerce so that they can provide professional-level services to support member and nonmember businesses in their communities.

    A total of $600,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants, capped at $20,000 per organization. Applicants will be required to submit a proposal that demonstrates how the organization plans to utilize these funds to support small businesses in Baltimore County by providing COVID-19 related services.

    These grant funds will enable the County’s chambers and small business associations to pay staff or outside experts to conduct virtual educational programming on COVID-19 related recovery efforts such as accounting requirements for government assistance programs or negotiating forbearance agreements with landlords and financial institutions. Funds could also be used for marketing campaigns to help promote community patronage and support for local “Main Street” businesses.

    Apply Now

    Applications are open now and available.

    Applicants must be a not-for-profit business association or chamber of commerce that:

    • Serves businesses located in Baltimore County
    • Has been in operation as of January 1, 2020
    • Has at least one paid staff member, and provides an employee roster listing all employees as of January 31, 2020
    • Is registered and in good standing with the State of Maryland, if required to do so by law
    • Is not currently in default on any loans, or out of compliance with any grants from Baltimore County, or delinquent on any taxes owed to Baltimore County
    • Submits a complete and acceptable application and proposal by 5 p.m. on Monday, August 31

    Baltimore County staff will review the application to ensure proper completion, and an inter-agency committee will be responsible for reviewing each application submitted to determine eligibility.

    Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:25:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-to-support-local-businesses-with-grants-to-chambers-of-commerce
  4. Amid National COVID-19 Spike, County Executive Olszewski Announces New Efforts to Protect Public Health

    Baltimore County Requires Face Coverings in Indoor Spaces, Calls on Governor Hogan to Revisit Indoor Dining and Bars Statewide

    As jurisdictions in Maryland and across the country see increasing COVID-19 cases, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced today that Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch has issued a new public health order requiring all individuals ages 2 and over to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, and also strongly encouraging residents to wear face coverings in outdoor public spaces wherever six-foot social distancing is not possible.

    This new public health advisory supplements existing state orders (PDF), which currently require residents to wear masks in some indoor locations.

    “The advice of scientific experts is clear: face coverings work. This commonsense step will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “I want to thank our neighbors and businesses who continue to take the necessary steps to keep our loved ones safe. We must all do our part, or we risk jeopardizing the progress we’ve made together.”

    Despite current prevention measures, Baltimore County is experiencing the highest seven-day average of 97 community cases per day—exceeding the previous peak of 94 cases per day over a seven-day period in May. Meanwhile, Baltimore County’s positivity rate has increased since July 7 to 5.92 percent, demonstrating continued community transmission of COVID-19. On Sunday, Maryland saw the largest number of cases reported in a single day in nearly two months.

    CDC guidance has demonstrated the effectiveness of face coverings in preventing transmission of COVID-19 by symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The suppression of COVID-19 will be critical in supporting future school reopening, continuing Baltimore County’s economic recovery, and safeguarding public safety.

    “Our fight against this virus is not over. Without a vaccine or a cure we must continue to follow the science and the evidence which shows that face coverings—paired with social distancing and avoiding large gatherings—can slow the spread of this disease,” said Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch. “Our data is beginning to show initial troubling signs. To keep us from losing ground, we must act now.”

    Face Covering Requirements

    Beginning Thursday, July 23 at 9 a.m., Baltimore County residents ages 2 and up will be required to wear face coverings in any indoor business, service, organization, or establishment that serves the general public. This includes, but is not limited to, retail establishments, recreational establishments, houses of worship, and other locations open to the public.

    Residents are strongly encouraged to wear masks in outdoor public areas where social distancing of at least six-feet is not possible.

    Individuals will not be required to wear a mask if:

    • Eating or drinking while seated at food service establishments. In accordance with Governor Hogan’s orders, face coverings are still required when otherwise moving in or about a restaurant or bar premises.
    • A face covering cannot be worn due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

    County to Swiftly Act to Protect Health

    Additionally, under the order issued today, the Baltimore County Health Officer may also issue a warning, modify operations, or immediately shut down any business or place of assembly that presents an immediate threat to public health or demonstrates unreasonable risk of exacerbating the spread of COVID-19.

    “We’ve focused on education before enforcement with our business community, because we understand how hard they have been hit by this pandemic. While the vast majority are doing their part, we will do whatever is necessary to protect the health and safety of our people,” Olszewski added.

    Olszewski Calls on Hogan to Reconsider Indoor Dining

    Following nationwide COVID-19 spikes, over a dozen other states or localities have taken steps to re-close bars and restaurants. County officials noted that, similar to statewide trends, young people now account for the majority of cases. Over the past three days, 53 percent of Baltimore County cases are residents under the age of 35.

    County Executive Olszewski today called on Governor Hogan to limit bars and food service establishments to outdoor dining and takeout or delivery service.

    “Maryland’s increasing case numbers are troubling and public health officials have consistently warned us about how indoor dining and congregating in bars can play a significant role of increased COVID-19 case counts. We have also seen that patchwork approaches to determining which businesses should be opened don’t work. I urge Governor Hogan to reengage with local leaders so that we can work in partnership to take statewide action to protect public health and save lives.”

    Tue, 21 Jul 2020 17:15:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/amid-national-covid-19-spike-county-executive-olszewski-announces-new-efforts-to-protect-public-health
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