KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
July 30, 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 $2,298,484.00.
AGRICULTURAL LAND PRESERVATION
Carla Martin, Community Planner, appeared to advise that the Agricultural Land Preservation Board has reviewed a list of applications to sell easements to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation. Ms. Martin provided a list of properties and reported that there is not a cap on the number of applicants and all seventeen were accepted. The properties were ranked using the Easement Prioritization Formula. The Commissioners reviewed and approved the list of properties which will be submitted to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.
BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING AND PARK
As adjoining property owner, the Commissioners received correspondence from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising of an application to subdivide property located on Bayside Avenue. The matter will be discussed at the August 14 meeting in Council Chambers in the Rock Hall Municipal Building.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Rock Hall concerned parents, Jeanne Edwards, Robert Willis, Christine Hicks, Marcie Webb, Barbara Nolan, and Sandra Nordhoff appeared to discuss the proposed plan by the Board of Education to have a Guidance Counselor administer to both the Rock Hall Elementary School and Rock Hall Middle School. This proposed plan allows for only a part-time presence of a guidance counselor in either school. Mrs. Edwards stated that this plan was not in the best interest of Rock Hall students. She advised that the Board of Education explained the cut in service was due to lack of funding. Commissioner Beck stated that the Board of Education received $500,000 additional funding from last year and questioned the explanation given.
Mr. Willis stated that the proposed plan appeared to be the initial step in combining the elementary and middle schools. Commissioner Fithian reiterated that the Board of Education received more funding while having less students than the previous year and also questioned how funding entered into the decrease in service to students. The Commissioners concurred that discontinuing the services of guidance counselors to young students warrants concern. Each of the parents expressed concern that a guidance counselor was needed in the formative years and students relied on her to be there during the entire school day. Commissioner Fithian advised that a letter would go forth requesting the Board of Education schedule a meeting to so that the matter may be discussed and a full time guidance counselor in both the Rock Hall Elementary and Middle Schools be reconsidered. He assured parents that the matter would be discussed with the Board of Education and they would be kept apprised of the situation.
In follow-up from the May meeting where a feasibility study to evaluate the possibility of closing the Rock Hall Elementary School, Mrs. Hicks inquired as to the status of the study. The Commissioners advised that results from the study have not been forwarded to this office by the Board of Education.
The Commissioners received correspondence from David Diehl, General Manager, Charter Communications, advising that Charter Communications will no longer carry the ESPNews channel on local cable television system due to cost reasons. Mr. Diehl advised that ESPN and ESPN2 channels will not be affected.
Per the Commissioners' request, Cheryl Russell, Bay Region Account Manager, Jim Smith, Public Affairs Coordinator Corporate Communications, and Richard Work, Regional Vice President Bay Region, appeared to discuss recent power outages/restoration issue relating to the July 3 power outage.
Mr. Work described the outage due to a lost circuit towards Rock Hall. He advised that outages may require the line be patrolled for safety reasons. In this instance after the line was patrolled, and reestablished power failed again. Mr. Work reported that due to the weather the load exceeded the power settings causing the circuit to trip. A portion of the load was transferred to another line so that power could be restored. He advised that this process, unfortunately, took several hours.
Mr. Work advised that customers used more power than expected and those estimates will be addressed in future planning to address the problem. He assured that Commissioners that action was taken and a new maximum load will be accounted for. Commissioners Newnam stated that since the outage occurred during the beginning of peak usage, concerns were raised that outages may happen consistently through the Summer months. Mr. Work advised that Conectiv shares those types of concerns, however, actions have been taken to ensure power during peak usage times.
Commissioner Beck requested Mr. Work to address response time during power outages. Mr. Work advised that protocols are in place to meet a response time standard to have technician available on site within 30 to 45 minutes. He also noted that Conectiv works in partnership with Emergency Management Services to assure safety priorities are met.
The Commissioners thanked all for attending and addressing their issues and questions.
COUNTY ROADS DIVISION
A Bid Opening was held at the Public Works Department on July 29 for a tractor to be used for mowing for the County Roads Division. Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, submitted a bid tabulation as follows:
Bidder Bid Price
Rathell Farm Equipment Co., Inc. $32,935.00
Security Ford New Holland, Inc. $34,104.00
W. N. Cooper & Son, Inc. $36,277.61
Mr. Wright advised that the tractor engine quoted on the first two bids did not meet
specification. At the recommendation of Mr. Wright, a motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to approve bid received from W. N. Cooper & Son, Inc.
The Commissioners were provided with calender year 2002 statistics of the roads receiving surface treatment/black topped. It was reported that 40.89 miles of County roads received surface treatment and 6.87 miles were blacktopped. An additional 2.48 miles will be blacktopped shortly.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Piney Neck /Skinners Neck - Per the recommendation of Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, the Commissioners signed a Public Works Agreement for Ernest Dinning.
Mr. Morris forwarded a copy of request from Mrs. Bonnie Tucker, Tax Map 51, Parcel 143, for three sewer allocations which was approved by the Commissioners.
Millington Wastewater Project - Charles "Chip" MacLeod, Bond Counsel, forwarded a copy of the final solicitation letter for interim financing for the Millington Wastewater Project, as well as the list of recipients to whom it was sent.
Correspondence was received from Ta-Shon Yu, Director, Technical Services, Water Quality Infrastructure Program, Department of the Environment, advising of receipt of the application for sewerage construction permit.
A bid opening was held at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for interim financing for the Millington Wastewater Project. Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting and Roger Williams, Treasurer, were in attendance. Commissioner Fithian read the solicitation for bids letter. Commissioner Beck opened the bids, however, due to the complex nature of the proposed financing, Mr. Williams and Mrs. Merritt agreed to review the bids and submit recommendation.
Later in the day, the following bid tabulation was provided:
Fixed Rate Variable Rate
Branch Banking & Trust 2.91% No Bid
Bank of America 1.97% 1.94% 30 day LIBOR+ 10 basic points
Centreville National Bank 3.49% 2.99% 63% of the Wall St. Journal Prime Rate
Chesapeake Bank & Trust Co. 1.99% 1.75% Prime Rate - 3.00% floating
Chestertown Bank of MD No Bid 1.84% 30 Day LIBOR
Farmers Bank of MD 3.68% 3.71% 78% of Wall Street Journal Prime
Peoples Bank of Kent Co. 3.00% 200 basis points US Prime Rate in Wall St .Journal
SunTrust No Bid 2.10% 68% of 30 day LIBOR + 0.85%
1.84% - 30 day LIBOR Rate
4.75% - Wall Street Journal Prime
At the recommendation of the Treasurer and Budget and Accounting Director, the Commissioners gave tentative approval of fixed rate in the amount of 1.99% submitted by Chesapeake Bank and Trust Company.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Warden Ronnie Howell advising that cable television, installed at the direction of the former Warden, did not have a formal account/bill. He reported that an account was initiated and will be funded from the inmate fund account. Warden Howell also advised that inappropriate music channels would be blocked.
EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY
The Commissioners received correspondence from Jane Scott, Vice President, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, expressing appreciation for support for the Eastern Shore 2010 Initiative.
The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for Chestertown High School Alumni Association to hold an event on August 11 at the Kent County Agricultural Center, Tolchester.
At the recommendation of the Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, the Commissioners approved to accept an Irrevocable Letter of Credit from the Peoples Bank of Kent County for the account of Country Living, LLC to guarantee compliance to various county ordinances involving road construction, water and sewer construction, landscaping and construction of tot lot.
LAND USE ORDINANCE
In follow-up from July 16 relating to the request from the Planning Commission recommending a moratorium on major sub-divisions until action is taken on the Draft Land Use Ordinance, correspondence was received from Florence Ramey, Galena, requesting a moratorium be placed on new subdivisions as soon as possible.
At 10:40 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian 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 on 10:45 a.m.
In follow-up from last week, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to advise carpeting was installed in the Kent County Library and the other floors stripped and waxed.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST
The Commissioners received a memorandum from Cheryl Bish, Risk Management Coordinator, advising of insurance renewal quotations from Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) for FY 03. It was decided by LGIT not to increase rates but instead to apply equity to the projected shortfall. The Commissioners approved to renew the County's liability insurance with LGIT.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Sherlynn Matesky, Adminstrator, Legislation and Research, advising that the Board of Trustees for the State Retirement and Pension System of Maryland approved Kent County's request to participate in the Employer Pickup Program effective July 1, 2002.
At 9:07 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 9:15 a.m.
PUBLIC LANDINGS AND FACILITIES BOARD
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report on the July 15 Public Landings and Facilities Board meeting. He advised that members of the board approved the proposed expansion of piers/boat slips at Worton Marina and forwarded correspondence so advising the Department of Environment.
RAILS TO TRAILS
Correspondence was received from Tom Beckett, Sr., Acting Chairman, Economic Development Advisory Board, reporting that the after a Rails to Trails presentation, the Advisory Board agreed that Parks and Recreation should be the lead organization evaluating the Rails to Trails proposal. Although the Advisory Board did not object to the Rails to Trails proposal, it was stipulated that the trail should not extend north of Mary Morris Road in the best interest of of businesses in Worton Industrial Park.
RENTAL ALLOWANCE PROGRAM
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed the Rental Allowance Program (RAP) Local Program Application and Grant Agreement for Fiscal Year 2003 as prepared by Shirley C. Williams, Assistant Director, Family Investment, Department of Social Services. The application and agreement will be submitted to the Department of Housing and Community Development for approval.
SHORE EROSION CONTROL
The Commissioners received correspondence from Mary and Richard Merriken, Sr., Tolchester, requesting assistance in gaining local sponsorship for the establishment of a special tax district and related shore erosion control project for property located at Montana Avenue, Tolchester. Mr. Merriken provided an estimate and sketch for the proposed revetment project. The County Administrator advised that Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, Roger Williams, Treasurer, Dave Wilson, Resource Conservation and Development Office (RC & D), Sean Ryan and Les Casanova, Department of Natural Resources, as well as applicants from Tolchester and Worton, are scheduled to meet with the Commissioners on August 13.
Correspondence was received from Lt Paul Kelley, Commander, Centreville, Maryland State Police, inquiring as to the details relating to any planned commemorative events planned for the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. The Commissioners requested a small program be arranged for Wednesday, September 11, 2002, in front of the County Government Center pledging allegiance to the flag at the same time as the original attack.
An electronic memorandum directed to the County Administrator was received from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, expressing concern that the Chestertown Planning Commission has requested a major design change to the Senior Center which will increase costs. Further information will be provided at a later time.
The County Administrator reported that per Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, that Caroline and Talbot Counties approved additional funding in the amount of $21,533 in funding for the USTAR Transportation Program in order to remedy the deficit caused by the loss of a contract. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck, and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to approve additional funding in the amount of $21,533 from the Contingency fund.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 6, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.