KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
June 11, 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 $4,921,932.
BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING AND PARK
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to provide an update on the progress of improvements to Bayside Public Landing and Park. He advised that a total of 37 slips had been allocated, nine slips were not allocated until further notice, and the waiting list contained 15 future patrons.
He advised that construction on the boat launching ramp would commence this week. He also noted that the swimming pool is being heavily used.
Mr. Stanton reported that the PLFB did not recommend approval to request received for a refuse dumpster at the facility. The Commissioners concurred with the policy that patrons are responsible for the disposal of refuse.
Commissioner Fithian inquired as to the owner of the small unmowed section of grass. Mr. Stanton advised that the property was not owned by the County.
Correspondence was received from Nancy Unruh, Supervisor of Assessments, advising that the Bayside Public Landing and Park is exempt from assessment and taxation from the date of acquisition.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
At the invitation of the Commissioners, Katherine Hill and Dorothy Ringgold, appeared to be recognized, as they retire, for their years of dedicated service in the Kent County Public Schools. Mr. Hanifee was not attendance due to other obligations. Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Ringgold were honored for thirty years of teaching service. Mr. Hanifee was recognized for thirty four years of teaching service.
Dr. Bonnie Ward, Assistant Superintendent, was also in attendance.
The Commissioners expressed their appreciation for their commitment to Kent County Public Schools and presented them with a Certificate of Appreciation and a framed County seal.
Correspondence was received from Dr. Stuart Bounds, President, advising the Board of Trustees has approved and requested formal approval by the Commissioners of the transfer of the $340,657 FY 01surplus in the Current Unrestricted Fund as follows: $205,000 to the technology fund; $135,657 to the Maintenance and Repair Fund in order for it to be included in their financial statements for FY 02. Funding allocated to the Technology Fund will finish the purchase of computers for the new Learning Resource Center. The Technology Fund will be discontinued and all future technology purchases will be purchased through the General Fund. Correspondence will go forth approving the transfer of funds as requested.
Mr. Stanton reported that Chesapeake Landing, residents expressed interest in establishing a special tax district to get a portion of Mill Creek dredged. Discussion was held as to the location to place dredged material and funding for dredging. He also advised that the residents offered the launching ramp as a public boat launch area. The PLFB declined the offer. The Commissioners concurred.
COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Correspondence was received from Denise Ferguson-Southard, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment, (MDE), and Scot Spencer, Chair, Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities (CEJSC), inviting participation in this newly formed commission as it relates to community and environmental matters.
Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board, (LMB), and Charles "Chip" MacLeod, Project Consultant, appeared to discuss the status of the proposed Community Center/Parks and Recreation project. Mr. MacLeod reviewed the legislative request for Bond Bill and discussed the likelihood of support from the County to proceed with the project. He advised of the LMB's proposal to fund the development of construction plans if the project were still viable to the Commissioners. Commissioners Beck and Fithian advised of their intent to proceed with the project, however, noted the pledge of funding from legislators was a political promise and future elections could alter the path of the project. Commissioner Fithian agreed for them to proceed with architectural drawings and a formal request for additional funds will be submitted for consideration by the 2003 General Assembly. The Commissioners will consider this project during the FY 04 budget process. In addition, the Commissioners agreed to address the County's fiscal position in January 2003 to evaluate if assistance may be considered at that time.
Mr. MacLeod stated that he hoped to use the time until funding was available to initiate a building design and draft an agreement with the Board of Education relating to land for the project.
Mr. MacLeod also noted that a Rails to Trails project would be a welcome addition to the proposed Community Center project. Commissioner Fithian concurred with the concept however, stated that a Rails to Trails project is fraught with problems yet to be resolved.
COUNTY OWNED EQUIPMENT
Shawn Mathiesen, Information Systems Manager, submitted recommendation for the County to install a wireless link for networking. The wireless connection will replace the T-1 line which would afford the County a significant savings. The initial cost would be $12,215. There are sufficient funds in the FY02 budget to cover the purchase of three modular interface bays from Allied Telesyn, Inc. in the amount of $3,384.00 in order to begin the process. Commissioners Fithian and Beck approved to proceed with this recommendation.
COUNTY ROADS DIVISION
A bid opening was held at 9:15 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room for petroleum fuel and propane. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, and Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, were also in attendance. The following bids were received:
Mr. Wright took the bids for review. Later in the day, Mr. Wright recommended Contracts A & B be awarded to Tri-Gas & Oil Co. Inc., and Contract C to Paradee Gas Co. The Commissioners concurred.
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported of a request made by a contractor scheduled to make repairs to Emanuel Episcopal Church, Cross Street, to utilize the Court House lawn by placing a crane on the west end lawn. Mr. Stanton recommended the crane be placed on Memorial Street rather than Court House lawn. The Commissioners concurred, however, if Memorial Street was not available the matter would be further discussed.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
General - At the invitation of the Commissioners, Senator Walter Baker, Delegate Wheeler Baker, Delegate Jim Crouse, and Delegate Mary Roe Walkup appeared to discuss the lack of opportunity to refinance water and wastewater projects via the Maryland Department of the Environment programs due to Smart Growth program restrictions. Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, was also in attendance. The Commissioners thanked Senator Baker and Delegates for their time and assistance.
Commissioners Fithian advised that since the County acquired the former Sanitary District, every effort is being made to reduce the debt and not raise user fees. Refinancing of former projects would result in a long term savings of $2 Million dollars over the life of the loan. Mr. Morris advised that refinancing has been thwarted due to the past projects not meeting the requirement to be located in a designated Smart Growth area. He advised that although the projects, which have included remedying failing septic systems that were both health and environmental hazards, were not located in what is now considered a designated Smart Growth area, the projects were done prior to the Smart Growth concept, and a required growth management report was documented at the time.
The Commissioners requested assistance from Senator Baker and Delegates to induce MDE to allow refinancing of the project although not located in a Smart Growth area. Senator Baker requested information relating to statutes/regulations MDE advises that is prohibiting refinancing as well as any additional information that would assist. Mr. Morris will provide the requested information as well as past documentation on the matter to the local delegation.
The Commissioners expressed their appreciation to Senator Baker and the Delegates for their willingness in assisting the County on this matter.
Kennedyville Water and Wastewater Feasibility Study - Barry Ebersole, representing McCrone Inc., appeared to review the Kennedyville Water and Wastewater Feasibility Study. Mr. Ebersole advised that the current water and wastewater infrastructure includes two wells, water treatment plant, wastewater collection, 3 pumping stations and wastewater treatment lagoon to serve 108 customers. To accommodate all potential growth, 138 customers would be added. In order to accept 138 new connections, McCrone recommended $1.6 Million in improvements. Some of the recommended improvements include: new pumps, repairs to wastewater lagoon, new well, and new water storage tank.
The largest improvement, repairing the wastewater treatment lagoon, which includes removing sludge, lining the lagoon, and installing aeration and filtration system, totals $595,000.
Commissioner Fithian thanked Mr. Ebersole for his detailed and comprehensive presentation.
Quaker Neck Service Area - In follow-up from last week, relating to the request for 12 additional allocations, correspondence was received from Kent Lawrence expressing appreciation for the Commissioners requesting allocations on his behalf. He advised that he would not be able to attend the June 17 Utility Commission meeting. He requested the Commissioners to consider joining him in requesting a delay in the meeting at a time convenient to all. A letter will go forth to the Mayor and Council of Chestertown requesting the meeting be postponed.
Warden Darling and Ronald Howell, Chief of Security, appeared along with Department Heads, District Court Judge Floyd Price, Jack Jester, Rock Police Chief, Sheriff John Price, Mrs. Ronald Howell, and several interested persons for formal announcement of appointment of Ronald Howell as Warden, effective July 10. Commissioner Ftihian advised that Warden Darling would be resigning effective July 10 and thanked him for his dedication and hard work.
Upon announcing Mr. Howell as newly appointed Warden, he read the press release expounding on Mr. Howell's credentials in both law enforcement as well as corrections. The Commissioners wished Mr. Howell well in his new position.
EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY
In follow-up to proposal submitted by Governor Harry Hughes and Robert Etgen, Executive Director, representing the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Commissioners requested the County Administrator to schedule a meeting of the Upper Shore Association of Counties for further discussion.
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Robert Kiel, Maryland State Highway Administration, from Sheriff John Price, advising that after meeting with Rev. Ruben Freeman, representing the Neighborhood Improvement Association in Edesville, Rock Hall, to discuss potential traffic safety hazards relating to parking on the shoulder of the road ( in front of Berry's Flowers and Produce) at the intersection of Edesville Piney Neck Road and MD Route 20, enforcement of "No Parking" signs will commence. He advised that safe traffic flow is the priority, however, does not want to cause undo hardship to Mr. and Mrs. Berry or patrons of the store. Sheriff Price requested Mr. Kiel's to reevaluate the intersection to allow a safe traffic flow and not impede local business efforts.
HIGH STREET PUBLIC LANDING
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report on the June 10 Public Landing and Facilities Board (PLFB) meeting a request was made by the Shrewsbury Institute to dock a schooner at High Street Public Landing on June 29 - 30. PLFB recommended approval of the request. The Commissioners concurred.
At 11:55 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, 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.
Items of discussion included water and sewer allocation request and Sandfield Floodplain Project.
The executive session adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to report the Millington Pool is closed due to broken pipes under the pool. He advised the contractor who installed the dual main drains in the Fall caused the leak and would be making all the repairs. The County would not incur any cost to repair the damaged pipes and advised the pool should be reopened within several days.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, reported a problem in recruiting lifeguards for the Summer season. He will keep the Commissioners apprised of this matter.
At 12:20 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, 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. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
In follow-up from April 30 request from Preservation Incorporated, for letter of support to accompany a grant application to the Maryland Historical Trust Emergency Grant for the preservation of the Charles Sumner Post located in Chestertown, the Commissioners were advised that a grant in the amount of $50,000 was awarded.. The Charles Sumner Post, 206 S. Queen Street, provided service to the African American community by administering to sick and dying veterans before the age of veterans hospitals and social security. It was the only integrated social organization of the 19th century. Preservation Inc., a non-profit agency, plans to purchase the site.
PUBLIC LANDING AND FACILITIES BOARD
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report on the June 10 Public Landing and Facilities Board (PLFB) meeting. He advised the PLFB discussed a request for three ($100,00) FY 04 projects relating to Waterway Improvement Funding. The following projects were recommended in order of priority: 1) Bayside Public Landing Park slip adjustment (make slips longer and wider), 2) Bayside Bulkhead, 3) Turners Creek Jetty. He noted that although the cost of these projects may exceed grant funding, the PLFB recommended a portion of a project be started and continue when additional funding becomes available. The Commissioners concurred.
Mr. Stanton reported that a request was made by Happy Harry's, Rock Hall, to sell trailer permits. He advised that the PLFB recommended not to include Happy Harry's in the location to offer the permits. The Commissioners concurred and Commissioner Fithian requested correspondence be sent forth advising Happy Harry's of the PLFB's decision.
REGIONAL MENTAL HEALTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Correspondence was received from Nancy Zinn, M.S., R.N. Executive Director, advising that Lorraine Costella, member, Regional Mental Health Advisory Committee, has resigned and recommended her successor, Dr. Bonnie Ward, for a three year term commencing July 1, 2002, terminating on June 30, 2005.
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
Correspondence was received from Parker Williams, Administrator, attaching a service delivery Customer Survey to be completed. The survey will be distributed to all counties in District 2 ( Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties) for evaluation of State Highways Administration's service delivery and customer satisfaction with four State Highway Administration Districts.
A motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to approve and sign a Resolution adopting the Kent County Levy. Commissioner Fithian read the Kent County Levy.
ORDERED, by the Board of County Commissioners of Kent County on the 11th day of June, 2002 that the below accounts be allowed and included in the levy for Fiscal Year July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003 and it is further
ORDERED, that the following taxes are hereby levied upon the assessable property in Kent County, Maryland for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2003:
$1.012 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of real property subject to taxation for County purposes that are located outside the incorporated limits of the towns of Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall.
$0.992 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of real property subject to taxation for County purposes located within the incorporated limits of the towns of Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall.
Public Utility Operating Property
$2.53 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of public utility operating real and personal property subject to taxation for County purposes that are located outside the incorporated limits of the towns of Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall.
$2.48 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of public utility operating real and personal property subject to taxation for County purposes that are located within the incorporated limits of the towns of Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall.
ORDERED, in accordance with Section 10-204.3, Tax Property Article, Maryland Annotated Code that the service charge for the semi-annual payment of property taxes shall be sixty six hundreds of one percent (0.66%) the anticipated lost interest income to the County associated with delay in payment of the second installment, plus 10% of the lost interest to cover the administrative cost of the semiannual collection of property taxes.
Commissioner Fithian advised that Kent County tax rates would not increase in FY 03.
Commissioner Fithian advised of the June 4th budget hearing and noted that public attendance was the smallest he had witnessed in eight years. A motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to adopt the FY 03 Budget as submitted.
Commissioner Fithian thanked Pat Merritt, Director Budget and Accounting, and her staff as well as the County Administrator for their diligent efforts in the budget process.
In follow-up from the September 25 when the Commissioners approved a $10,000.00 donation on behalf of Kent County in conjunction with Wicomico County Council, Delaware County Councils, Maryland Eastern Shore County Commissioners and Councils and Virginia Eastern Shore County Boards of Supervisors, uniting the Delmarva Peninsula to support the rescue and clean up efforts in New York, correspondence was received advising of the presentation of the monies on June 15 in the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury. Commissioner Fithian will plan to attend.
Correspondence was received from Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, advising of a duplication of reimbursement funds (sediment control) for development of Toal Park. In an effort to reimburse Program Open Space (POS) for the overage, POS representatives advised to apply the funds toward a development project at Toal Park. Mr. Troester proposed to utilize the funds for the installation of a well and the construction of a pump house. He noted that any remaining funds be used to expand the parking area near the pavilion. The Commissioners concurred.
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report on the June 10 Public Landing and Facilities Board (PLFB) meeting a request was made by the Delaware Bass Federation for use of Turners Creek Public Landing for a fishing tournament on July 21. PLFB recommended approval of the request. The Commissioners concurred.
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
Correspondence was received from Robert Linder, Chief Planning Division, advising of public meetings for the initiation of a dredged material management plan. The public meeting located on the Eastern Shore will be held on June 12, at the Queen Anne's County Library, Stevensville, at 7:00 p.m. Written comments may be submitted up to July 19.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.