Maryland County Commissioners Section 3

Article - County Commissioners

§ 3.

      (a)      (1)      The county commissioners of each county in this State, in addition to, but not in substitution of, the powers which have been or may be granted them, have the following express powers.

            (2)      (i)      The following counties are excepted from these express powers.

                  (ii)      Anne Arundel County; included, however, in subsections (t)(3) and (t-1);

                  (iii)      Baltimore County; included, however, in subsection (t)(3);

                  (iv)      Cecil County; included, however, in subsections (g), (l), (s-1), and (t)(3) and (t-1);

                  (v)      Howard County; included, however, in subsections (t)(3) and (t-1);

                  (vi)      Prince George's County; included, however, in subsection (t)(3) and in subsection (t-1) except to the extent that an area is under the WSSC;

                  (vii)      Queen Anne's County; included, however, in subsections (f), (s)(3), (s-1), (t)(3), (t-1) and (ii);

                  (viii)      Worcester County; included, however, in subsections (l), (s)(2), (t)(3), (t-1), (x), (x-1), (x-2), and (y).

      (b)      Repealed.

      (c)      To grant franchises as provided under existing public general or public local laws.

      (d)      (1)      To provide for the appointment and removal of all county officers and employees except those people whose appointment or election is provided for by the Constitution or public general or public local laws.

            (2)      (i)      Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in Charles County, persons appointed to boards and commissions by the County Commissioners may not serve more than 2 consecutive full terms.

                  (ii)      The limitation imposed by this paragraph shall not apply if the County Commissioners determine that there is no qualified person to replace an incumbent who is disqualified under this paragraph.

      (e)      Subject to any restriction or provision imposed by public general or public local laws, to fix and prescribe the salary or compensation of all appointed officers and employees of the county incurred in the performance of their official duties.

      (f)      To establish a merit system in connection with the appointment of all county officials and employees not elected or appointed under the Constitution or public general laws of the State. This subsection shall be applicable in Dorchester, Somerset, and Queen Anne's counties. In Dorchester County, the County Commissioners additionally shall have the power and authority to include in the county's merit system the employees of the Dorchester County liquor control board, the Dorchester County Sheriff's department, and the Dorchester County Sanitary District. In Queen Anne's County, the County Commissioners may include in the county's merit system the employees of the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's department. In Somerset County, the County Commissioners additionally shall have the power and authority to include in the county's merit system the employees of the Somerset County Sheriff's department.

      The County Commissioners of Garrett County shall institute a merit system for all county employees pursuant to the final reports and recommendations of the merit system commission and governmental study commission of Garrett County, the system to be effective as of January 1, 1972.

      (g)      To establish and maintain a general system of pensions and retirement and group insurance for the benefit and advantage of its officers and employees, with necessary classifications and terms of admissions. This subsection shall be applicable in Kent County and Dorchester County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided herein. In Charles and Kent counties the County Commissioners also shall have the authority to make special provisions for retirement funds for employees who reach retirement age prior to the origination of a retirement system. In Dorchester County the County Commissioners may include the employees of the Dorchester County liquor control board and the Dorchester County Sheriff's department in any pensions, retirement or group insurance program established and maintained by the county. In Kent County the County Commissioners may include any official or employee of the Kent County Sheriff's department in any pension, retirement or group insurance program established and maintained by Kent County.

      (g-1)      (1)      (i)      In Charles County the County Commissioners shall establish a separate pension plan for the Charles County Sheriff's department which may include the Sheriff and shall include each sworn employee of the Sheriff's department who is actively engaged in law enforcement.

                  (ii)      The pension plan shall provide eligibility for retirement after 30 years of active service regardless of age, and for early retirement after 20 years of active service reduced by 2 percent for each year less than 30. Retirement income shall be 80 percent of final average earnings (base salary) for the three highest years preceding retirement, with a minimum of 20 years and 60 percent of the annual earnings.

                  (iii)      The plan shall be retroactive to include all sworn officers who are currently employed by the Charles County Sheriff's department and who have been working in law enforcement within the department on or before June 30, 1986. For each of the sworn officers included in this plan, the plan shall apply back to the original date of employment of the sworn officer.

                  (iv)      The plan shall contain disability provisions and death benefits for spouse and/or minor children.

                  (v)      An employee's contribution may not exceed 8 percent of wages not in excess of the amount of wages (base salary).

                  (vi)      There shall be a cost-of-living adjustment and a provision for a cash refund of contributions, plus interest for persons terminating employment.

                  (vii)      There shall be a provision for credit of 2 percent for each year of active duty in the armed forces of the United States, for up to 3 years of active duty, to be added to the employee's retirement after reaching minimum retirement.

                  (viii)      This pension plan shall become effective on July 1, 1995.

            (2)      (i)      In Charles County the County Commissioners shall establish a separate pension plan for the employees of the Charles County Sheriff's department. The plan may include the Sheriff and shall include all sworn employees of the Sheriff's department who were hired on or after July 1, 1986, and who are actively engaged in law enforcement.

                  (ii)      The pension plan shall provide eligibility for retirement after 30 years of active service regardless of age, and for early retirement after 25 years of active service reduced by 2 percent for each year less than 30. Retirement income shall be 80 percent of final average earnings (base salary) for the 3 highest years preceding retirement, with a minimum of 25 years and 70 percent of the annual earnings.

                  (iii)      The plan shall be retroactive in that it may include any living person who is working in law enforcement on July 1, 1986, and shall apply back to the date of that employment.

                  (iv)      The plan shall contain disability provisions and death benefits for spouse and minor children.

                  (v)      An employee's contribution may not exceed 8 percent of wages (base salary).

                  (vi)      There shall be a cost of living adjustment and a provision for a cash refund of contribution, plus interest, for persons terminating employment.

                  (vii)      There shall be a provision for credit of 2 percent for each year of active duty in the armed forces of the United States, for up to 3 years of active duty, to be added to the employee's retirement after reaching minimum retirement.

                  (viii)      This pension plan shall also provide for early retirement after 20 years of service. This provision for early retirement shall contain charges for retiring early. The retirement income shall be reduced actuarially depending on age for each year less than 25 years of service. The early retirement provision in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be approved by the governing body of Charles County before the provision may be implemented.

                  (ix)      This pension plan shall become effective on July 1, 1995.

            (3)      (i)      In Charles County, the County Commissioners shall establish a separate pension plan for the employees of the Charles County Sheriff's department who are classified as correctional officers.

                  (ii)      The pension plan shall provide eligibility for retirement after 25 years of active service regardless of age, and for early retirement after 20 years of active service reduced actuarially depending on age for each year less than 25 years of service. The early retirement provision in this paragraph shall be approved by the governing body of Charles County before the provision may be implemented. Retirement income shall be 2.25 percent for each year of credited service not to exceed a maximum benefit of 75 percent of final average earnings (base salary) for the 3 highest years preceding retirement.

                  (iii)      The plan shall be retroactive in that it may include any living person who is working as a correctional officer on July 1, 1995, and shall apply back to the date of that employment.

                  (iv)      The plan shall contain disability provisions and death benefits for spouse and minor children.

                  (v)      An employee's contribution may not exceed 7 percent of wages (base salary).

                  (vi)      There shall be a cost-of-living adjustment and a provision for a cash refund of contribution for persons terminating employment.

                  (vii)      There shall be a provision for credit for each year of active duty in the armed forces of the United States, for up to 3 years of active duty, to be added to the employee's retirement after reaching minimum retirement.

                  (viii)      This pension plan shall become effective on July 1, 1995.

            (4)      (i)      In Charles County, the County Commissioners shall establish a separate pension plan for the employees of the county who are classified as communications employees.

                  (ii)      The pension plan shall provide eligibility for retirement after 25 years of active service regardless of age, and for early retirement after 20 years of active service reduced actuarially depending on age for each year less than 25 years of service. The early retirement provision in this paragraph shall be approved by the governing body of Charles County before the provision may be implemented. Retirement income shall be 2 percent for each year of credited service not to exceed a maximum benefit of 75 percent of final average earnings (base salary) for the 3 highest years preceding retirement.

                  (iii)      The plan shall be retroactive in that it may include any living person who is working as a communications employee on July 1, 1995, and shall apply back to the date of that employment.

                  (iv)      The plan shall contain disability provisions and death benefits for spouse and minor children.

                  (v)      An employee's contribution may not exceed 7 percent of wages (base salary).

                  (vi)      There shall be a cost-of-living adjustment and a provision for a cash refund of contribution for persons terminating employment.

                  (vii)      There shall be a provision for credit for each year of active duty in the armed forces of the United States, for up to 3 years of active duty, to be added to the employee's retirement after reaching minimum retirement.

                  (viii)      This pension plan shall become effective on July 1, 1995.

      (g-2)      (1)      In St. Mary's County, the County Commissioners may adopt a separate plan of pension benefits or may supplement existing plans for any one or more of the following classes of employees:

                  (i)      Sheriff;

                  (ii)      Deputy sheriffs; and

                  (iii)      Correctional guards.

            (2)      The County Commissioners by resolution may provide for the provisions of the pension plan or supplement to existing plans.

            (3)      The County Commissioners shall provide for the funding that is required to implement and support any action taken pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.

      (g-3)      In Garrett County the County Commissioners may provide group health and hospital insurance benefits and a pension and retirement benefit plan for county officers and employees. The County Commissioners also may provide group health and hospital insurance benefits for retired county officers and employees.

      (g-4)      Boards of county commissioners may enter into joint pooling agreements with public entities, as defined in § 19-602 of the Insurance Article, for the purpose of purchasing casualty, property, or health insurance or, in accordance with other provisions of law, self-insuring casualty, property, or health risks.

      (h)      To provide for the prompt collection of all taxes due the county by authorizing discounts or imposing penalties.

      (i)      To license and regulate the construction, operation and location of trailers and tourist camps outside the limits of incorporated towns and cities.

      (j)      To provide for county advertising, printing and publishing of all laws, ordinances, resolutions or regulations, adopted by the county commissioners and the annual statements of receipts and expenditures of the county; provided, however, that the said commissioners shall appoint an auditor or accountant within thirty days after the close of the fiscal year to audit the books and accounts of all county officers collecting, holding or disbursing funds belonging to the county and shall publish or advertise the report of said auditor or accountant immediately after its completion to the extent that the said commissioners may deem proper.

      (k)      To provide for proof of all claims against the county before payment.

      (l)      (1)      (i)      To provide for competitive bidding for any county work and the making and awarding of contracts for the purchase of materials and supplies in excess of $15,000 and to require bonds in connection with the work or contracts, regardless of the amount, whenever the county commissioners consider it proper to require a bond; and if no bids are submitted in response to any request for bids, to place the order in a manner that the county commissioners consider appropriate.

                  (ii)      In Frederick County, to provide for competitive bidding for any county work and the making and awarding of contracts for the purchase of materials and supplies in excess of $30,000 and to require bonds in connection with the work or contracts, regardless of the amount, whenever the County Commissioners consider it proper to require a bond; and if no bids are submitted in response to any request for bids, to place the order in a manner that the County Commissioners consider appropriate.

            (2)      The provisions of paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection are not applicable in Somerset County with regard solely to contracting for the services of an architectural and/or engineering firm for design and/or consultation purposes. With regard to contracting for other county work these provisions are applicable.

            (3)      The provisions of paragraph (1)(ii) of this subsection are not applicable in Frederick County with regard solely to contracting for the services of an architectural, engineering, or consultant firm for design or consultation purposes. In Frederick County, contracts for architectural and engineering services costing more than $30,000, shall be awarded on a competitive basis which shall consist of either sealed competitive bids or competitive negotiation. "Competitive negotiation" means a process that includes the submission of written technical and price proposals from two or more sources and a written evaluation of those proposals in accordance with evaluation criteria.

            (4)      The provisions of paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection are not applicable in Charles County with regard to contracting for any professional services.

      (l-1)      (1)      Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, in Somerset County the County Commissioners may enter into lease purchase agreements and related financing agreements to obtain personal or real property for any public purpose in the county.

            (2)      The County Commissioners may enter into a lease purchase agreement under this subsection only after advertising for bids in at least 2 newspapers of general circulation in the county.

            (3)      A multiyear lease purchase agreement or related financing agreement shall be subject to cancellation by the County Commissioners at the end of a fiscal year if sufficient money is not appropriated to fund the agreement in the subsequent year.

      (l-2)      (1)      In Calvert County, the Board of County Commissioners may charge a fee for the issuance of tax exempt private activity bonds.

            (2)      The Board shall dedicate the proceeds of the fee to the Economic Development Loan Fund of the county.

      (m)      To provide for the recording and indexing of all records in the office of the clerk of the court, register of wills and county commissioners and other officers to the extent that such matters are not provided for by general law.

      (n)      To prevent and remove nuisances; to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases into the county; to approve the location for the manufacturing of soap and fertilizer; to approve the location of slaughterhouses, packinghouses, and all places which may involve or give rise to unsanitary conditions or conditions detrimental to health. However, the provisions of this subsection may not be construed to affect in any manner any of the powers and duties of either the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene or the Secretary of the Environment, or any public general law relating to the subject of health. This subsection also shall be applicable in Dorchester County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided in this section.

      (o)      (1)      To provide for grading, paving, regrading, repaving, curbing, recurbing, or repairing any road or sidewalk now or hereafter condemned, ceded, opened, widened, extended or straightened as public property and for levying for the cost thereof on the assessable basis of the county or providing for the payment of the cost thereof from the county's share of the State motor fuel tax; and to provide for establishing the office of county roads engineer, and defining the duties and powers thereof.

            (2)      In Charles County, the powers of the County Commissioners concerning the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of county public roads, insofar as not governed by the provisions of Title 8 of the Transportation Article, are controlled by the provisions of §§ 104-1 through 104-8 of the Code of Public Local Laws of Charles County, as amended from time to time, and not by the provisions of this subsection.

            (3)      In Somerset County, the County Commissioners may grade, pave, regrade, repave, curb, recurb, repair, or reconstruct any private road that has been used by the public for 20 years or more.

            (4)      In Talbot County, the County Council may grade, regrade, fill, repair, and reconstruct any private dirt or gravel road which was being maintained when the county roads ordinance was adopted in November, 1975.

      (p)      To fix the allowance or compensation to the sheriff or other person for boarding and keeping prisoners in the county jail.

      (q)      To provide for the appointment of county police and to prescribe their duties and fix their compensation, but said commissioners may appoint a special commission or commissioner to be in charge of said county police. The provisions of this subsection shall not be applicable in Charles and Wicomico counties.

      (r)      An act, ordinance, or resolution may not be adopted by the county commissioners, under the powers conferred by this section, until ten days after a public hearing has been held on the proposed act, ordinance, or resolution. Prior notice of the public hearing, together with a fair summary of the proposed act, ordinance, or resolution, shall be published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county once each week for two successive weeks. This subsection is not applicable to: (1) an administrative act or resolution adopted by the county commissioners of Dorchester, Frederick, Somerset, or St. Mary's County; or (2) a resolution, other than a bond resolution adopted under § 15 of Article 25B of the Code, adopted by the county commissioners of a county that has adopted home rule powers under Article XI-F of the Maryland Constitution. For purposes of this subsection, "ordinance" means a permanent rule of law enacted by the county commissioners, and "resolution" means a formal expression of the opinion of an official body.

      (s)      (1)      (i)      In Harford, Frederick and Kent counties, the County Commissioners may provide and prescribe regulations for the issuance of plumbing permits to be required before any sanitary systems, plumbing and fixtures may be installed within the county and provide any fee or charges for any such permits and for their enforcement. The County Commissioners are authorized to charge reasonable fees for the issuance of zoning certificates or permits for construction of improvements to real property.

                  (ii)      The County Commissioners of Harford and Frederick counties shall also have the power to adopt a plumbing code to regulate the construction of water, sewer, drainage, and sanitary facilities with power to designate and employ the necessary personnel to enforce the plumbing code and to provide criminal penalties for violation thereof. In the event the authority to adopt a plumbing code is exercised, the County Commissioners shall appoint an advisory plumbing board, with four-year terms of office:

                        1.      In Harford County, the Advisory Plumbing Board shall consist of a medical doctor, a plumber, and one other person to assist in the drafting and promulgation of the plumbing code and its enforcement; and

                        2.      In Frederick County, the Advisory Plumbing Board shall consist of a person designated by the Frederick County health officer, a plumber, and one other person to assist in the drafting and promulgation of the plumbing code and its enforcement.

            (2)      (i)      The County Commissioners of Kent County shall adopt, and from time to time may amend or supplement, a building code and a housing code. The County Commissioners of Harford, Frederick, Caroline, Calvert, Dorchester, and Worcester counties may adopt, and from time to time may amend, supplement, or abrogate, a building code and a housing code, or either of such codes.

                  (ii)      The building code shall provide and prescribe regulations for the issuance of building permits to be required prior to the construction or improvement of any buildings; and the code shall prescribe standards of construction, maintenance, and repair, covering structural safety, fire prevention requirements, lights and ventilation, and proper means of ingress and egress. The housing code shall provide and prescribe regulations and standards for human habitation, covering sanitation, density of occupancy, open-space requirements, rodent infestation, and human standards of occupancy.

                  (iii)      A building code and a housing code, when or if adopted, and all regulations thereunder, shall be designed to assure and protect the public health, safety, comfort, and moral and economic welfare. They may include provisions for enforcement, including the appointment and maintenance of inspectors and including penalties for a violation of either a code or the regulations thereunder.

                  (iv)      Any building or housing code may incorporate by reference a portion or all, if applicable, of either a building code or a housing code, as the case may be, issued or proposed and made available for general circulation by any governmental agency or by any trade or professional association; but any subsequent amendment to or change in whatever is adopted by reference shall not be effective in Harford, Frederick, Caroline, Worcester, and Kent counties until and unless it is specifically incorporated therein by action of the Board of County Commissioners.

                  (v)      Except dwellings in Calvert County on which construction is begun after July 1, 1979, all buildings on a farm and on any premises devoted solely to agricultural pursuits are exempt from the provisions and the application of both building and housing codes. In Frederick County, the exemption does not apply to any residential buildings nor to any buildings constructed for human habitation regardless of location or other auxiliary uses.

            (3)      The County Commissioners of Queen Anne's County may adopt, and from time to time may amend, supplement or abrogate, a building code. Farm residential buildings are included within these provisions, but other outbuildings on a farm, such as those that house animals or farm equipment or which are used for farm storage, are exempt from these provisions.

      (s-1)      To enact local laws conditioning the acceptance of any development of land for residential purposes approved by appropriate local authorities upon a demonstration of compliance, acceptable to local authorities, by the developer with the pertinent underground electric and telephone residential service regulations, including those pertaining to deposits, promulgated by the Public Service Commission of Maryland.

      (t)      (1)      To make reasonable regulations in regard to buildings and signs to be erected, constructed, or reconstructed in the county, and to grant building permits for the same; to formulate a building code or electrical code and to provide for inspections for and enforcement of such codes and to require reasonable charges for permits and inspections; to authorize and require the inspection of all buildings and structures and to authorize the condemnation thereof as provided under public general laws, in whole or in part, when dangerous or insecure, and to require that such buildings and structures be made safe or be taken down; to require the inspection and licensing of elevators and to prohibit their use when unsafe or dangerous or without a license. Any electrical code formulated under this section shall not apply to electrical equipment or electrical appliances and devices used by public utilities in furnishing their services, or to work performed by public utilities or their affiliated companies.

            (2)      The powers of the County Commissioners of Charles County are controlled by the provisions of the local laws of the county and not by the provisions of this subsection.

            (3)      In accordance with the Maryland Master Electricians Act, the governing body of a county, including the County Commissioners of Caroline, Somerset, and Dorchester counties by ordinance may provide for the general licensing of electricians; license and establish classifications of electricians; define and establish duties and powers of electrical inspectors, including permits and registrations; provide for penalties for violation of any of these ordinances; create and establish a Board of Electrical Examiners; and provide for, define, and establish powers and duties of the Board of Electrical Examiners.

            (4)      The Board of County Commissioners of Washington County may adopt ordinances or resolutions to license household appliance installers to perform plumbing work incident to the installation of home appliances. The Board may require a license fee and a performance bond before the license is granted.

            (5)      The County Commissioners of Calvert County by ordinance may provide for the adoption of an electrical code.

      (t-1)      In accordance with the Maryland Plumbing Act, to adopt a plumbing code and to provide for inspection for and enforcement of the code and for reasonable charges or permits and inspections.

      (t-2)      (1)      Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the County Commissioners of Washington County may adopt by ordinance or resolution a licensing scheme for:

                  (i)      On-site utility contractors who perform plumbing work while installing water or sewer service; and

                  (ii)      Septic system installers who place a service line between a septic tank and a building being served.

            (2)      A license issued under this section does not authorize the licensee to do plumbing work within 5 feet from a building being served.

            (3)      The County Commissioners may set a license fee and may require an applicant or licensee to provide a performance bond.

      (t-3)      The Board of County Commissioners of Washington County may adopt a licensing scheme for home builders. The Board may set a license fee and may require an applicant or licensee to provide a performance bond.

      (u)      To establish and maintain public parks, gardens, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities and programs to promote the health, welfare, and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the county. The powers of the County Commissioners of Charles County are controlled by the provisions of the local laws of the county and not by the provisions of this subsection.

      (v)      (1)      To require, regulate, or provide for the collection, removal, and disposal of refuse, garbage, rubbish, filth, or any other matter or thing that is or may become injurious to the health or comfort of the inhabitants of the county, and to provide whether the expense, if any, shall be borne by individual owners or tenants or shall be paid for in whole or in part by the county.

            (2)      To license refuse collectors for hire and to make it unlawful to collect, remove or dispose of refuse for hire without a license, to authorize regulation of commercial refuse collectors including provision for suspension, revocation and renewal of licenses, all to promote the health, safety and welfare of the county; to require public notice or hearing with the right to be represented by counsel in any case where an applicant is denied a license. This subsection shall be applicable in Dorchester, Somerset, and Garrett counties and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided herein.

      (w)      Repealed.

      (x)      To provide, maintain, and operate community and social services for the preservation and promotion of the health, recreation, and welfare of the inhabitants of the county. This subsection shall be applicable in Worcester County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided herein.

      (x-1)      The County Commissioners of Worcester County may appropriate and contribute an amount not to exceed thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) to the total amount required to construct a parking lot to serve the Convention Hall in Ocean City, Maryland.

      (x-2)      The County Commissioners of Worcester County are hereby authorized to provide, maintain, operate, and make appropriations for community and social services and projects for the preservation and promotion of the health, recreation, economic development, and welfare of the inhabitants of the county.

      (y)      To make agreements with municipalities, counties, districts, bureaus, commissions, and governmental authorities for the joint performance of or for cooperation in the performance of any governmental functions. To accept gifts and grants of federal or of State funds from the federal or State governments or any agency thereof, and to expend the same for any lawful purpose, agreeably to the conditions under which the gifts or grants were made. This subsection shall be applicable in Dorchester County and Worcester County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided herein.

      (z)      To create, change, or abolish offices and departments and to assign additional functions to offices and departments, but not including the power to create, change, abolish, or discontinue any office or department or to transfer any function of an office or department established by the Constitution, public general law or public local law of the county.

      (aa)      (1)      Subject to any restriction imposed by public general laws, to license and regulate any person who conducts the business of or acts as an itinerant or door-to-door peddler or salesman of goods, wares, merchandise, or subscription for magazines and other periodical publications, either by sample or otherwise; to license and regulate public amusements when in the interest of public welfare. This paragraph shall be applicable in Dorchester County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided herein.

            (2)      Unless specifically prohibited in a public general law and in addition to the licenses and regulations elsewhere provided, to license and regulate any person who conducts the business of or acts as an itinerant or door-to-door peddler or salesperson of goods, wares, merchandise, or subscriptions of magazines and other periodical publications, either by sample or otherwise; to license and regulate any person who engages in business for less than 1 year at any single location; to license and regulate public amusements when in the interest of public welfare. This paragraph is applicable only to Carroll County and the County Commissioners shall have the powers provided in this paragraph.

      (bb)      The County Commissioners of Charles County are hereby authorized and empowered to maintain a fund in the amount of forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) to provide for the improvement of channels to make navigable the waters of Charles County and for the construction of breakwater and other waterway improvement projects, including mosquito control in county waters.

      (cc)      In addition to other powers provided in this section, the County Commissioners of Dorchester County shall also have the power to make appropriations to incorporated municipalities within said county.

      (dd)      Including the counties excepted in subsection (a) of this section:

            (1)      To carry out, construct, operate, and maintain any works of improvement for flood prevention or the conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water in watershed or subwatershed areas qualifying for federal assistance under the provisions of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, as amended, c. 656, section 1, 68 Stat. 666 (1954), 16 U.S.C. 1001, hereinafter referred to as "the Watershed Act".

            (2)      To have such powers as are necessary to satisfy such conditions for federal assistance as are or may hereafter be required under the Watershed Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto by the United States or any of its agencies charged with the administration thereof.

            (3)      To accept such grants of money and technical assistance as may be offered by the United States or any of its agencies pursuant to the Watershed Act.

            (4)      To borrow money from the United States or any of its agencies pursuant to the provisions of the Watershed Act for such works of improvements on such terms and conditions as may be permitted thereunder or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, and to evidence such borrowing by the issuance of such instruments as may be acceptable to the United States or any of its agencies, any provision or limitation of any public general or local law to the contrary notwithstanding.

            (5)      To borrow money from private lending institutions and to evidence such borrowing by the issuance of instruments generally in accordance with Article 31 of this Code or the charter provisions or applicable local laws of the county.

      (ee)      (1)      The Talbot County Commissioners shall regulate the retail sale of alcoholic beverages within Talbot County.

            (2)      Any law enacted by the Talbot County Commissioners pursuant to this section shall prevail over any provision of the Code of Public General Laws of Maryland regulating the retail sale of alcoholic beverages. However, unless and until the Talbot County Commissioners enact a law which is contrary to a provision of the Code of Public General Laws regulating the retail sale of alcoholic beverages, the provisions of the Code of Public General Laws shall remain in effect.

      (ff)      The County Commissioners of Caroline County may provide the State's Attorney for Caroline County with funds in the amount they deem suitable for any special investigations or cases.

      (gg)      Repealed.

      (hh)      In St. Mary's and Charles counties, to regulate, by ordinance, consumption of alcoholic beverages on public property. For the purpose of this subsection, public property includes buildings, grounds, streets, highways, alleys, sidewalks, and other structures or roads located in or on land in St. Mary's or Charles County which is owned by St. Mary's or Charles County, by the boards of education of St. Mary's and Charles counties, or by the State.

      (ii)      The County Commissioners of Queen Anne's County shall have the power to adopt, amend and to enforce a comprehensive animal control ordinance.

      (jj)      The County Commissioners of Frederick County may regulate the smoking of tobacco products by designating smoking and no smoking areas in public buildings owned, controlled, or financed by the State of Maryland in Frederick County.

      (kk)      All political subdivisions, including the counties excepted in subsection (a) of this section, may make use of federal or State financial assistance available for commercial or industrial redevelopment projects, for the purpose of making grants, loans, or guaranteeing loans to private entities; provided, that the authority granted by this subsection may be used only for commercial or industrial redevelopment projects and may not be used for residential or housing projects.

      (ll)      (1)      (i)      In this section, "check" has the meaning stated in § 8-101 of the Criminal Law Article.

                  (ii)      For purposes of this section, determination of insufficient funds is governed by § 8-102 of the Criminal Law Article.

            (2)      In Washington County, the County Commissioners may levy a fee for each check that is presented in payment of any obligation to Washington County and is dishonored due to insufficient funds.

            (3)      The County Commissioners shall determine the amount of this fee.

      (mm)      (1)      To enact laws or regulations designed to prevent conflicts between the private interests and public duties of any county officers or employees, including the county commissioners, and to govern the conduct and actions of all such county officers and employees in the performance of their public duties, and to provide for penalties, including fines, forfeitures, imprisonment, and removal from office for violation of any such laws or regulations.

            (2)      This subsection applies to the county commissioners of each county, including those otherwise exempted by subsection (a)(2) of this section.

      (nn)      The County Commissioners of Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties may adopt ordinances or resolutions providing for the licensure of persons engaging in weather modification and requiring the reporting of any activity performed with the intention of producing artificial changes in the composition, behavior, or dynamics of the atmosphere as defined in the National Weather Modification Policy Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. § 330 et seq.

      (oo)      (1)      In accordance with the provisions of this subsection, to establish a commercial district management authority for any commercial district within its geographical limits.

                  (i)      As to each authority it establishes, the county commissioners shall:

                        1.      Specify the membership, organization, jurisdiction, and geographical limits of the authority;

                        2.      Specify one or more of the following as the purposes of the authority:

                        A.      Promotion;

                        B.      Marketing; and

                        C.      The provision of security, maintenance, or amenities within the district; and

                        3.      Provide such financing as it deems appropriate for the authority through fees which may be charged to, or taxes which may be levied against, businesses subject to the authority's jurisdiction.

                  (ii)      An authority established pursuant to this subsection may not:

                        1.      Exercise the power of eminent domain;

                        2.      Purchase, sell, construct, or, as a landlord, lease office or retail space; or

                        3.      Except as otherwise authorized by law, otherwise engage in competition with the private sector.

                  (iii)      Any fees or taxes imposed under this subsection shall be used only for the purposes stated in this subsection and may not revert to the general fund of the county.

                  (iv)      The county commissioners may establish an authority pursuant to this subsection as a special taxing district.

            (2)      This subsection applies to the county commissioners of each county, including those otherwise exempted by subsection (a)(2) of this section.

      (pp)      (1)      The Board of County Commissioners of Calvert County may establish a separate fully funded pension plan for the Calvert County Sheriff's department. The plan may provide for participation by:

                  (i)      Each deputy sheriff who is actively engaged in law enforcement;

                  (ii)      The county jail administrator; and

                  (iii)      Correctional officers assigned to the county jail.

            (2)      Any plan established by the Board of County Commissioners under this section shall include provisions regarding:

                  (i)      Retirement age eligibility;

                  (ii)      Retirement based on years of active service, regardless of age;

                  (iii)      Early retirement eligibility;

                  (iv)      Disability retirement;

                  (v)      Death benefits for a spouse or children;

                  (vi)      Cost-of-living adjustments; and

                  (vii)      Cash refund of contributions for participants terminating their employment.

            (3)      (i)      Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, the Board of County Commissioners shall determine the effective date for any plan that it establishes.

                  (ii)      The effective date of any plan established by the Board of County Commissioners shall conform to the provisions of Title 31, Subtitle 3 of the State Personnel and Pensions Article that concern the withdrawal by a county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State from the Employees' Retirement System of the State of Maryland and the Employees' Pension System of the State of Maryland and the transfer to a local retirement or pension system.

            (4)      (i)      Any pension plan established by the Board of County Commissioners of Calvert County under this section may not be applied to any person whose term of office ended prior to January 1, 1971, if that person is eligible to receive a pension under § 2-309(f)(3) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article.

                  (ii)      Any person who elects to participate in a pension plan established by the Board of County Commissioners under this section is not eligible to receive pension benefits under § 2-309(f)(3) of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article.

      (qq)      In accordance with § 21-1119 of the Transportation Article, the County Commissioners of Garrett County may:

            (1)      Designate a county road within the county to be an "emergency snow route";

            (2)      Regulate travel upon such emergency snow route;

            (3)      Provide for method of declaring a snow emergency;

            (4)      Prohibit the parking or abandoning of a vehicle on an emergency snow route during a snow emergency; and

            (5)      Authorize the removal of a vehicle parked or abandoned on an emergency snow route during a snow emergency.

      (rr)      (1)      In this subsection, "government organization" includes:

                  (i)      A county;

                  (ii)      A board of education;

                  (iii)      A municipal corporation; or

                  (iv)      A government cooperative purchasing organization.

            (2)      The County Commissioners of Garrett County may purchase goods and services through a contract that has been entered into by a vendor and a government organization that does not participate in a cooperative purchasing agreement in which Garrett County is a member.