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Board of County Commissioners

February 5, 2002

The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Larry B. Beck, W. Michael Newnam, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding.

T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $6,925,666.00.


The Commissioners received the Fiscal Year 2001 Annual Report of the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation. The report provided easement participation, reporting Kent County's total acquisition of 9,734.4392 acres as of June, 2000.


Correspondence was received from Charlotte T. Davis, Millington Road, Millington, expressing objection to the project for the west area of Millington. In her opinion, the water and septic is adequate and public water and wastewater service is not needed.

In follow-up from the January 29 public hearing for Code Home Rule Bill No. 1-2002 and Bill No. 2-2002, Bond Authorization for the Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project, where objection was heard from residents to public water and wastewater service, the Commissioners received correspondence from Edward Birkmire, Director, Environmental Programs, recommending residences on Millington Road be included in the Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project. Mr. Birkmire advised that residents from the older dwellings located on small lots are in need of public water and wastewater services. Other Millington Road residents in Village of Kent Mills, although newer homes and on larger lots, would be required to be abandoned if a community system were to become available.

Also in follow-up from the January 29 public hearing, David Lane, 126 Millington Road, appeared to further discuss the Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion project. He reiterated his objections to the project and stated that the project would benefit approximately fifty homes. Mr. Lane stated his opinion that the project was not cost effective for a small number of homes who need public water and sewer service and requested the Commissioners to again review the project and associated costs.

Commissioner Fithian advised that no action would be taken would be taken today on Code Home Rule Bill No. 1-2002 and Bill No. 2-2002 . The third reading is tentatively scheduled to take place on the next legislative day, February 19.


First reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 3 -2002, which is an Act to repeal and reenact with an amendment to Section 116 - 4A, "Enforcement Prosecution" of Chapter 116 of the Code of Public Laws, Kent County, [1994 Edition] titled "Nuisances" to repeal and reenact with an amendment to Section 116 - 4A, of said chapter "Enforcement Prosecution" removing the requirement of making a complaint "in writing".

A public hearing has been scheduled on this proposed legislation for Tuesday, February 26, 2002, at 9:45 a.m. at the County Commissioners' Hearing Room, County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland.


The Commissioners received the final report of the Commission on Education Finance, Equity, and Excellence.


Lee Myers, Administrative Assistant, provided an updated County Roads list as of January, 2002. She noted that no new roads were added from last year.


Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:

Kennedyville Service Area - Mr. Morris advised of correspondence received from Richard and Janice McMillan, Haymarket Country Store, requesting the water and wastewater consumption status to the minimum quantity used since the closing of the business. Per Mr. Morris's recommendation, a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to reduce the number of EDUs to one, contingent upon re-evaluation of water consumption should the water be turned back on.

Worton Service Area - Mr. Morris advised that KRM Development Corporation had requested an allocation for water and sewer to serve lot 2, District 3, tax map 28, parcel 166, Worton. He advised that allocation fees had been paid. The Commissioners approved the allocation for KRM.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Audrey Wahl, GAIT Coordinator, advising that the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center is coordinating a community-based clinical education program at Kent & Queen Anne's Hospital hosting a Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team (GAIT) project. Students representing various health care fields, such as, medicine, nursing, social work, pharmacy, dental, psychology, physical therapy will participate in the two day program.


Correspondence was received from Sue Willits, Emergency Planning Coordinator, advising that as a result of the Army's accelerated plan to dispose of the chemical agent stockpile at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Department of Defense's program to protect the public during disposal will be concluded. Since this obligation has be met, the MD Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, (CSEPP), will transition to MD communities. She advised that Federal funding for the Emergency Planning Coordinator and Information Systems Manager will continue until September 2003 and consideration should be given to future budgets relating to these positions.

Mrs. Willits reported that the Army was urged to continue maintaining the Chemical Agent Notification Telephone System lines, T1 connections and automated systems, for communicating with Aberdeen Proving Ground for incidents such as range fires, etc.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Mark Taylor, Team Leader, Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program, Department of Agriculture, advising of the status of the gypsy moth in Kent County. Mr. Taylor reported that gypsy moth populations increased in 2001 and egg mass surveys are underway to project the population for 2002. However, treatments with an insecticide to protect valuable forest and shade trees in Kent County is not anticipated at this time. He advised of the County's share of survey costs to be an amount up to $250.00.


Per Delegate Mary Roe Walkup's request, Commissioner Fithian read a press release announcing of a special hearing to discuss the conversion of CareFirst, from a non-profit health service plan to a for-profit service health plan. The hearing will take place at Chesapeake College, February 7, 5-9 p.m. and will afford an opportunity to evaluate and determine if the conversion is in the best interest of the public.


In follow-up from January 22, a letter went forth to incorporated towns delineating the mission of the proposed County Human Relations Commission as well as expenses and pertinent issues associated with its formation.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Nancy Everds and Peter Mann, along with a copy of correspondence dated February 3 directed to State, Department of Natural Resources, local legislators, and Kent County Planning Commission, signed by 38 citizens of the Gregg Neck area with specific concerns relating to the proposed subdivision, Hunters Run. Mr. Mann and Mrs. Everds requested the Commissioners' support in any way possible to address environmental and housing density issues for the proposed development which will be reviewed at the February 7 Planning Commission meeting.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Richard A. Lane, Project Manager, KRM Development Corporation, with a proposal to design a public road off of Maryland Route 297 near Worton within the County Industrial property adjacent to the KRM property. The proposed road would join the properties of both the County and KRM Development Corporation. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed a proposal prepared by Bruce E. Wright & Co. for the road design totaling approximately 1,000 linear feet at a cost of $6,960.00. This project will be funded from a DBED (State) grant.


Correspondence was received from Washington County Pennsylvania, Board of Commissioners advising of proposed legislation introduced a House Joint Resolution 81 in the House of Representatives proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to restore the freedom to pray in schools. The Washington County Board of Commissioners requested a proclamation to further the "grass roots" movement to reinstate prayer in public schools. The Commissioners approved this request.

For the Board's information and review, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, provided a copy of proposed legislation, introduced by Senator Walter Baker that was introduced at the request of local marina owners that may effect local legislation relating to mooring buoy regulations.

The County Administrator provided an update on the status of legislation introduced to the General Assembly on behalf of Kent County.


A map summarizing Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Oyster and Clam Harvesting Waters as of December 31, 2001 was provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Maryland Department of the Environment, (MDE), advising that a public hearing concerning an air quality permit to construct a hot mix asphalt plant submitted by David A. Bramble, Inc., is scheduled for February 19 at 6:30 p.m. in Galena Middle School, Galena.


In response to correspondence received from Governor Parris Glendening and David Iannucci, Secretary Department of Business and Economic Development, the Commissioners appointed Janice Fletcher, Executive Assistant, and Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, as the Kent County Co-coordinators for the "Maryland You Are Beautiful" program. Ms. Fletcher advised that a new committee should be formed to review and select applicants for the award.


The Commissioners approved the appointment of Mr. Lamonte E. Cooke for a second three year term to the Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems Board of Directors ending October 2004.


At 9:30 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian 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 9:55 a.m.

At 11:15 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters with Mauritz Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage Inspector, in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 11:20 a.m.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, appeared to advise that upon her request, Randall Arendt, Landscape Architect, Director, National Lands Trust, will be providing assistance specifically to the Planning Commission and the developer proposing to construct Dogwood Village subdivision. Mrs. Owings advised that Mr. Arendt will be in the Commissioners Hearing Room, Kent County Government Center on Thursday, February 11, to provide suggestions and alternatives to developers and has invited wide audience to include developers of subdivisions currently in the planning stage.


Nancy Kirby, Community Coordinator, appeared to request the Commissioners to proclaim "Trustworthiness" as the Character Counts! Pillar of the Month for February.

Mrs. Kirby advised trustworthiness is one of the most important pillars of character. She distributed Character Talk, a bi-monthly newsletter promoting character building and read from the newsletter describing the seven C's of Character which are; Conscience, Compassion, Consideration, Confidence, Control, Courage and Competency.

Commissioner Fithian congratulated Mrs. Kirby on her accomplishments in promoting character in Kent County. He thanked her for her work and stated his observation of the fruits of her efforts. Commissioner Fithian read the proclamation and the Commissioners signed the proclamation as requested.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, advised that he had been contacted by the town of Rock Hall relating to the conversion of the Rock Hall Civic Center/tennis courts, a Program Open Space (POS), funded property, to a miniature golf course. He reported that the tennis courts were to be leased to a private vendor who would be constructing a miniature golf course. Mr. Troester advised that a letter will go forth to POS administration advising that the proposed miniature golf course has a twenty-five year life expectancy, complying with requirements for POS funded endeavors.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to advise that Sheriff Price requested to use the Tolchester site for pistol range certification and practice. Mr. Stanton advised that minor modifications to the berms may be required. The Commissioners advised that as long as the range was safe, they had no objections.


Commissioner Newnam advised that he received correspondence from Frank Butler, Chestertown, reporting that he did not receive a property tax bill and requested the late charge be waived since the bill was not received and had been returned to the Treasurer's Office. Commissioner Newnam made a motion to waive the late charge as the bill was legitimately not received by the property owner, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian. The issue relating to errant mail will be further discussed with Mr. Williams, Treasurer.


Correspondence was received from Lenny Howard, Regional Planner, Maryland Transportation Administration, (MTA), documenting the findings of an extensive review of the administration and practices of U-Star Transportation relating to the adherence to State/Federal transit program regulations.

Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, forwarded correspondence advising of a meeting scheduled on February 5 with Mr. Howard to review USTAR's plan of action to address, and gain compliance with any unresolved issues.


In follow-up from last week, Commissioner Fithian inquired if Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, had received any response from the Wal-Mart representative who requested a meeting to discuss the construction of a smaller retail store. Mrs. Owings advised that she contacted the representative to advise that a meeting could be scheduled, however, she has not had any response. Commissioner Fithian requested she again contact the representative to confirm a future meeting.


In response to the January 22 correspondence directed to Michael Baxter, Assistant Division Chief, State Highway Administration, (SHA), requesting the closure of Worton Park Road to protect the newly renovated ballfields, the Commissioners received correspondence from Mr. Baxter advising that the road shall remain open in order to received SHA funding. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, and Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to discuss the road closure. Mr. Troseter advised that after discussion with Mr. Stanton, he recommended the inner circle be closed, not the entire park road. He advised that Mr. Stanton suggested pilings or telephone poles be installed to protect the ballfields. Commissioner Newnam advised that possibly Verizon would perform community service by assisting in the installation of the pilings/telephone poles. Mr. Troester expressed concern of installing creosote treated pilings/telephone poles. Mr. Stanton suggested further inquiry to Maryland State Surplus Agency to obtain cabling. The Commissioners thanked Mr. Stanton and Mr. Troester for resolving the matter.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, February 12, 2002


Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

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