KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: W. Michael Newnam, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding. Larry B. Beck was not in attendance due to illness.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $6,758,335.70.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Jon Burrell, Executive Director, Local Government Insurance Trust, (LGIT), requesting confirmation to sponsor Chesapeake College for health insurance coverage and LGIT participation. The Commissioners requested the County Administrator to further investigate this request.
COMMISSION ON AGING
The Commissioners received the Commission on Aging Annual Report for calender year 2001.
As requested by Delegate Mary Roe Walkup, correspondence went forth recommending the name "Kent County Recreation and Community Complex" on the Bond Bill.
The County Administrator advised that the Information Systems Manager would be replacing the current method of internet access (modem phone lines) with a Local Area Network (LAN) modem which will result in a savings of $93.00 per month.
COUNTY OWNED VEHICLES
Commissioner Newnam brought to the attention of Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, the possibility of purchasing a bus to replace Parks & Recreations' current bus from Queen Anne's County Government. Mr. Troester advised that he would investigate the condition of the bus. Commissioner Fithian inquired as to the safety of other Parks and Recreation vehicles. He advised that if the dump truck they are currently using is unsafe, locate a replacement vehicle. The County Administrator was requested to contact Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, to review potential available vehicles.
Correspondence was received from Deborah Rigby, D & P Perfection Cleaning, expressing interest in extending the contract for cleaning services to the Library. The contract expires June 30,2002. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to extend the custodial contract for the Library to D & P Perfection Cleaning to June 30, 2003.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Drought Coordinator - Mr. Morris reported that he received notification from Maryland Department of the Environment of drought emergency conditions for Kent Queen Anne's, Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties. He advised that the drought status changed from watch to warning and requested the media to make mention of the need for water conservation for both private and public service.
Rex Kershall, Rock Hall, expressed his concern of agricultural wells using large quantities of water under drought conditions and suggested an assessment of water availability be performed. Commissioner Fithian advised that it was his understanding the State would notify/restrict water usage if need be.
General - The relocation of this department to 709 Morgnec Road is tentatively scheduled for April, 2002.
Edesville Service Area - The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed a Professional Services Agreement with ARRO Consulting, Inc.,to provide engineering services relative to extending water main from Rock Hall to Edesville. Mr. Morris estimated the cost to design the connection to be approximately $8,000. He also noted that at this time if this project comes to fruition, the Water and Sewer Comprehensive Plan would need to be amended.
Worton Well Project - Mr. Morris advised that the project will commence in March. After discussion with consultants, Earth Data, recommended the location of the well not vary from the test well site. Commissioner Newnam inquired if the well would be used immediately. Mr. Morris advised that the well would be used promptly in light of the critical status of well No. 3. He reported that well no. 3 is decreased in output due to excessive iron clogging the line. He recommended acid treatment which would cost approximately $6,000. Commissioner Newnam confirmed the well be rehabilitated before the new well is in use. The Commissioners approved the $6,000 expenditure, funded from Contingency Fund, for well no. 3 to be treated.
Kennedyville Service Area - Mr. Morris reported that a Kennedyville water main broke on January 25 and his department worked for approximately fourteen hours in the evening to repair the water main. He advised that as a result of a fire, a hydrant was improperly closed resulting in excessive water pressure which caused the water main to break. Mr. Morris stated that a letter will go forth to the Fire Chief's Association delineating the proper procedure for fire hydrant closure.
The Commissioners requested letter of accommodation and appreciation go forth to employees who repaired the water main and expediently remedied the problem.
HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
A bid opening was held at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for the rehabilitation of seven homes in the Housing Improvement Program. Jack Canan, Coordinator, Housing and Community Development, Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, Harold Coleman, Housing Rehabilitation Specialist, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were in attendance. Commissioner Fithian read the notice to bid. The following bids were received:
Mr. Canan took the bids for review. It was noted that Mr. Coleman estimated the total cost to be $112,000. Mr. Canan appeared later in the day with bid recommendation for the low bidder. At the recommendation of Mr. Canan, a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to award contract to H & H Builders, Inc. for the amount of $109,167.81. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed a contract by and between the County and H&H Builders, Inc.
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that the closing on the Lins' property, via Hurricane Floyd Hazard Mitigation Grant, funding took place and advised that funding for the demolition of the structure was not accounted for in the Public Works budget. Commissioner Fithian requested the structure be boarded up and rendered safe until demolition took place.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, reiterated the acquisition, demolition, site restoration, and conversion to open space of four acres of the Lins property, located in the Third Election District as a result of Hurricane Floyd Hazard Mitigation Grant funding. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the deed for purchase of the property.
Mrs. Owings advised that demolition of the structure is required to take place within 180 days of closing and reported that she would investigate funding for demolition.
At 2:00 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session with Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Others in attendance were: Elmer Horsey, Economic Development Director, Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, Ed Athey, Chairman, Economic Development Advisory Board, Paige Bethke, Regional Manager, DBED, Pam Hepner, DBED Paolo Fezzi, President, Treasurer, and Leonard Colamarino, Vice President, General Counsel, representing CFF.
CFF ownership transfers and related obligations to the CDBG Agreement were discussed.
The executive session adjourned at 2:50 p.m.
At 2:50 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session with Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 3:10 p.m.
Per Delegate Walkup's request, supplementary documentation went forth on proposed legislation to allow a Special Theatre (on-sale) beer, wine and liquor license.
The County Administrator provided the status of legislative initiatives and distributed copies of the bills submitted.
The County Administrator also provided a copy of the Governor's Capital Budget.
MARYLAND HISTORICAL TRUST
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the FY 03 Preservation Incentives for Local Government Grant, (PILG) prepared by Carla Martin, Community Planner. Ms Martin advised that the grant, if approved, would allow for $21,550 in funding with an equal match. She advised that this grant will fund the Heritage Resource Survey and Evaluation Plan.
Ms. Martin advised that as part of the PILG grant, a Heritage Advisory Committee must be appointed. Although the requirement for the committee is a minimum of 5 members, one of which must be a local elected official, she suggested a 12 member committee. The Committee will prepare a Heritage Resource Survey and Evaluation Plan for all heritage resource types, archeological, history museums/collections, monuments, structures, buildings and districts, cultural landscapes and living traditions. Ms. Martin estimated the committee to meet twice a month, for eighteen months. Commissioner Fithian requested the formation of the committee be advertised for two weeks and a mission statement be drafted.
MID-SHORE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC.
In response to the Commissioners letter of January 15, the Commissioners received correspondence from Nancy Zinn, Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., advising that she is not aware of an agreement to guarantee equal liability among counties and further noted that deficit liability issues are local government/health department issues.
PARKS AND RECREATION
The Commissioners received correspondence from James W. Price, Director, Program Open Space, and Joseph Tassone, Director, Comprehensive Planning, advising that the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources have jointly reviewed the Kent County Land Preservation and Recreation Plan and finds it to meet all requirements. A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation.
In response to inquiry made by Sgt. Adrian Baker of Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Commissioners approved for the DNR to be provided a slip for their police boat in April, once the County assumes operation of this county owned property. A permanent slip will be assigned at a later time.
Susanne Hayman, Esq., Director of Human Resources, advised that Senator Mikulski is continuing to pursue the IRS ruling for converting employees Valic funds to the State Pension system without tax penalties to the employees. She advised that with Senator Mikulski's assistance a ruling may be available by February 28.
Ms. Hayman requested approval to proceed in getting a legal opinion and associated costs on the County obtaining tax exempt financing for the State pension system. Commissioner Newnam advised that she should pursue that option.
At 11:28 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 11:38 a.m.
At 11:57 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session with Susanne Hayman, Esq., Director of Human Resources, to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 12:05 p.m.
PROGRAM OPEN SPACE
Correspondence was received from James W. Price, Director, Program Open Space, advising the remaining funds for Program Open Space projects will be reverted to the County's Program Open Space general Fund.
PRISONER BOOKING FACILITY
As requested by Sheriff Price, the Commissioners made site visit to the Detention Center as to proposed location for a Prisoner Booking Facility. Those in attendance were Commissioners Fithian and Newnam, Ed Robinson, County Administrator, Sheriff Price, Warden Richard Darling, Correctional Officer V, Ronald Howell, representing the Detention Center, Chief Walter Coryell, Captain Rob Edler, representing Chestertown Police Department, Sgt. Adrian Baker, representing Department of Natural Resources, Sgt. Clay Howell, representing the Narcotics Task Force, Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, and Jim Wright, County Engineer. It was agreed to renovate the storage area attached to the Detention Center to be used as a Prisoner Booking Facility and a separate storage building was approved to be purchased for location within the fenced in area for storage of the tractor, etc.
RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
Correspondence was received from William Sutton, Chairman, Maryland Eastern Shore Resource Conservation and Development Council, (RCD&D) with attached survey, requesting assistance in advocating attendance so that a quorum would be available at council meetings.
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, from Robert Summers, Director, Water Management Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment, advising of approval for continued delegation of erosion and sediment control enforcement authority.
Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, appeared to discuss the status of the Senior Center. Mr. Burke advised that according to media coverage relating to the Governor's budget funding for the Senior Center will be forthcoming. However, the budget will not be approved until May 2002 and he would like to move forward with the architectural design. Mr. Burke requested a portion of the County funding available for that purpose.
Commissioner Newnam stated that he wanted the project to proceed and made a motion to approve $25,000 from Contingency fund for the project, Commissioner Fithian seconded the motion and it was passed by a majority of the Board. Commissioner Fithian requested the County Administrator to confirm the accuracy of the projected budget.
STATE'S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
As requested by Robert H. Strong, Jr., Stat's Attorney, the Commissioners approved and signed Forfeiture Authority Agreement by and between the County Commissioners, State's Attorney, Forfeiting Authority and Sheriff, Seizing Authority.
STATE'S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
The County Administrator advised of a request from the State's Attorney to hold the teen court program in the Commissioners' Hearing Room. The Commissioners approved the using of the hearing room for this purpose.
As requested by Robert H. Strong, Jr., State's Attorney, the Commissioners approved and signed Forfeiting Authority Agreement by and between the County Commissioners, State's Attorney, Forfeiting Authority and Sheriff, Seizing Authority.
TURNER'S CREEK PUBLIC LANDING
Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared on behalf of Kent Museum, Inc., requesting a support letter to accompany a grant application in the amount of $50,000 to restore the granary at Turner's Creek Public Landing. The Commissioners concurred to send forth a letter of support in support of the project granting an easement for the structure to the Maryland Historic Trust.
UPPER SHORE AGING
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the Maryland Comprehensive Transit Plan, Capital Assistance Grant and Operating Assistance Grant. The funds directed to U-STAR Transportation, will provide $75,000 (100% State Funds) to fund equipment for transportation services and will provide $40,000 (100% State Funds) to fund weekend transportation service for the incorporated towns of Denton and Easton.
Bill Ingersoll, Chestertown Town Manager, appeared to discuss the status of the Visitor's Center to be constructed at the intersection of Cross Street and MD Route 213, Chestertown. Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, was also in attendance. Mr. Ingersoll advised that construction would be imminent and a meeting was held meeting on January 24, with the County Administrator, and Mrs. Van Pelt to further discussions on the role of Kent County Tourism in the Visitors' Center.
Mr. Ingersoll proposed items to be outlines such as responsibilities, staff, duties and cost to be included in either a Memo of Understanding or lease, by and between the County and the Town of Chestertown for the Visitors' Center. Commissioner Fithian advised that he anticipates County tourism to have a presence in the Visitor's Center, as Kent County is becoming a tourism destination.
Mr. Ingersoll advised that construction for the 4400 square foot Visitor's Center will begin in several weeks. The town plans to use the Hotel Rental Tax revenue to assist with the debt service involve in the project. He noted that the second floor will have offices for the Chamber of Commerce and Kent County Tourism. Commissioner Newnam questioned Mrs. Van Pelt how many hours Kent County Tourism would spend in the Visitor's Center. Mrs. Van Pelt advised that the Tourism Office has only one part-time staff and would be able to spend one hour per day. Commissioner Fithian stated that the County had committed to a presence in the Visitor's Center and staffing may be expanded in the future. Mr. Ingersoll advised that he has volunteers ready to assist in greeting the public at the Visitor's Center. Commissioner Fithian confirmed that this Board would sign an MOU/lease for the Visitor's Center in the upcoming week.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advised that she had been notified by Wal-Mart representatives of interest in constructing a smaller store in Chestertown and would like to meet with the Commissioners. Commissioner Fithian advised that a meeting should be scheduled during a regularly scheduled meeting with the Board and an invitation to be extended to the Chestertown Mayor and Council and the Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Owings advised that she would keep the Commissioners apprised of any further communication.
Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, advised that ballfield renovations were underway. The Commissioners requested Worton Road be closed to ensure the renovated ballfields be preserved.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.