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The original item was published from 10/25/2023 7:41:26 PM to 11/14/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: October 25, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Building Bridges, Lifting Up Voices

State of the County

State of County Address Features Successes 
 of First Year of Fitzwater Administration

FREDERICK, Md. – The state of Frederick County is strong, County Executive Jessica Fitzwater declared in her first State of the County Address this evening. That strength comes from focusing on the Administration’s core values of inclusion, sustainability, and accountability. The County Executive unveiled three key initiatives during her 30-minute address – the creation of a transition dashboard, the establishment of an Office of Agriculture, and the opening of the walk-in crisis care center – and she highlighted progress on a wide range of topics. 

“I am proud that my administration is building bridges and bringing people together so we can make transformational change,” County Executive Fitzwater said in her address. “We are standing up for the things that really matter. We are lifting up voices that have not been heard so we can all rise and thrive. The State of Frederick County is strong, and through innovation, hope, and purpose, we continue to grow stronger every day.” 

The key initiatives unveiled Wednesday include: 

Transition Dashboard

People can now track the Administration’s progress on over 60 recommendations made by the Transition Team in its final report. The dashboard lists details of work done to implement each recommendation. The site will be updated quarterly so the public can stay up to date on progress. The dashboard can be found at FrederickCountyMD.gov/Transition-Dashboard.

Office of Agriculture

The newly created Office of Agriculture will centralize and elevate the County’s agricultural functions. The Office will bring together the agricultural land preservation programs and the award-winning Agriculture Innovation Grants program. One of the first tasks for the new office will be to update the County’s Agricultural Strategic Plan, which was last published in 2008.

Crisis Care Center

A 24/7 Walk-In Crisis Care Center for people experiencing mental health and/or substance misuse crises will open for patients at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 26. The center – a first of its kind in Maryland – will provide basic medical care and connect patients to community-based resources to provide ongoing recovery-oriented services. The facility is owned by Frederick County and operated by the Mental Health Association under the direction of the Frederick County Health Department. Funding came from Congressionally Directed Spending, a State capital grant, and a portion of Frederick County’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation. Day-to-day operations will be supported by opioid settlement payments made to Frederick County.

County Executive Fitzwater presented her State of the County Address at the Prospect Center, a large, County-owned facility on Himes Avenue in Frederick City. Once fully renovated, the center will house several divisions that directly serve the public. A solar canopy will be installed in the parking lot. A microgrid at the center will improve reliability and resilience for essential county services. “By locating County offices at the Prospect Center, we will meet residents where they are in a way that is accessible to more county residents, especially our historically underserved communities,” County Executive Fitzwater said. 

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