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Board of County Commissioners

August 13, 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 $2,219,508.00


Correspondence was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising that if the County wishes to commit matching funds for the FY 2002 Easement Acquisition Program, a written request should go forth. The Commissioners concurred to again participate in the program and a letter went forth to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that the August 12 Public Landing and Facilities Board (PLFB) recommended a letter be sent to slipholders advising that before any improvements were made to a slip at Bayside Public Landing and Park, a proposal, as well as a $50.00 deposit, must be forwarded to the Public Landings and Facilities Board for approval. Mr. Stanton advised that the $50.00 fee guaranteed funding for removal of any modification to the slip should later, the slipholder not renew the slip.

Mr. Stanton advised that the Public Landings and Facilities Board would initiate a plan to

develop the entranceway of Bayside Public Landing and Park.

Mr. Stanton reported the Public Landing and Facilities Board recommended obtaining a cost estimate for additional lighting on the newly constructed boat launching ramp.

The Public Landing and Facilities Board also recommended three pilings located to the rear of "C" dock be removed to allow for easier navigation. Mr. Stanton advised that the project could be funded from Waterway Improvement Grant funding.

The Commissioners approved recommendations as presented.


In follow-up from last week, the Commissioners received correspondence from Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Schools, advising of an upcoming meeting with both Rock Hall Elementary School and Middle School principals to review the guidance counselor schedule and the need for additional support for the two schools. Dr. Ward reported that the guidance counselor services will be monitored during the first weeks of school.

The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Jeanne Edwards, Rock Hall, directed to Dr. Ward further expressing her concern relating to the part-time guidance counselor at Rock Hall Elementary School and requested a review of the budget to fund a full time guidance counselor.


In follow-up from April 23, the Commissioners received from Dr. Stuart Bounds, President Chesapeake College, responding with additional information requested by Queen Anne's County Commissioners relating to Chesapeake College FY 03 Budget Proposal.


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

General - Commissioner Fithian advised that he had received concerns that the $5.00 late penalty fee for water and sewer bills caused citizens who regularly pay their bills on the first of the month, unnecessary cost. He proposed extending the amount of time before a late fee is to be incurred from thirty (30) days to forty five (45) days. The Commissioners concurred. The County Treasure will be so advised

Mr. Morris reported that the septage unit upgrade is installed and running. He advised that the upgrade has made the process much more efficient. Mr. Morris reported that septic haulers have been informed of the new septage unit monitoring process.

In follow-up from correspondence sent forth on June 25 to Governor Glendening expressing concern the funding for Maryland Center for Environmental Training (MCET) had been cut from the Maryland Department of Environment FY 03 Budget, correspondence was received from Merrylin Zaw-Mon, Acting Secretary, advising that the Glendening-Townsend administration is making an effort to find substitute funding for MCET to provide various services and training programs for service utility operators current.

Worton Service Area - Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence forwarded to Mrs. W. Winters, Worton, advising that her water meter was removed for inspection/ testing to certify its correct calibration as she disputed the amount of water usage stated in her fourth quarter water bill. Mr. Morris advised that the smallest of water leaks can yield excessive waste of water often unbeknownst to the homeowner.

Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence forwarded to Mr. H. Prewitt, Worton, relating to an adjustment in his fourth quarter bill due to a water leak in plumbing from the previous homeowner. Mr. Morris advised that per the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, Mr. Prewitt's bill would be reduced by one half.

Mr. Morris reported that owner of Georgetown Yacht Basin requested a fee reduction for septic holding tanks at the marina. He advised that the marina has no other septic system other than holding tanks. The marina has one holding tank for boat wastewater and another for office/rest room wastewater. He stated the policy for residents whose only means of a septic system is a holding tank, receive a per gallon discount. Mr. Morris provided correspondence from Ed Birkmire, Director, Environmental Programs, Kent County Health Department, approving the marinas holding tanks. Commissioner Beck confirmed that the holding tanks were the only means of a wastewater repository. The Commissioners concurred to provide a discount for both holding tanks. Commissioner Beck requested the regulations be amended to reflect the discount availability to commercial operations if a holding tank was the single source of a septic system.

Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris advised that Mr. Ken McLendon requested a copy of the Annotated Code of Maryland mandating a property owner be connected to the water and septic system. Mr. Morris reported he forwarded a copy of the law to Mr. McLendon. Commissioner Newnam inquired as to the need for an additional information meeting. The Commissioners concurred to have another informational meeting given the continued inquiry of additional questions relating to the Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project. The Commissioners requested a meeting be scheduled in Millington and it should include the Director of Environmental Health, and Barry Ebersole, representing McCrones, Inc., for a repeated presentation.

Mr. Morris advised that Mike Kessler, Millington Wastewater Operator, has resigned. Mr. Morris requested approval to send correspondence to the Millington Mayor and Council proposing the County assist with the position. Mr. Morris advised should the Millington Mayor and Council accept, he would need to hire additional staff. Commissioner Fithian confirmed the concept of the County assisting Millington water/wastewater plant as the County will be assisting after the new wastewater plant is expanded. Commissioner Beck requested Mr. Morris to prepare a cost estimate for providing an operator to assist in Millington.

Fairlee Service Area - Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence forwarded to Mrs. D. Lindsey, Georgetown Road, advising that her water bill for the fourth quarter would be reduced by one half due to a water leak.

Quaker Neck Service Area - in follow-up from last week, relating to the Commissioners request to the incorporated Town of Chestertown to consider purchasing additional allocations to allow some growth in the Quaker Neck Service Area and possibly serve Mr. Kent Lawrence's proposed 12 lot subdivision on Lovers Lane, Mr. Morris prepared a map delineating where the 36 vacant properties are located. Mr. Morris stated that the payment to the town for fourth quarter billing totaled 191 EDUs. With 36 vacant lots and 191 residential lots the County's assessment is 227 leaving 9 reserve allocations. This combined total of 236 is consistent with the 1997 agreement between the Sanitary Commission and the Town of Chestertown.

Commissioner Fithian stated that this issue is in conflict with the State's Smart Growth Initiative whereby new growth/development should be directed towards the municipalities and current infrastructure.

Additional correspondence was received from Kent Lawrence again requesting approval for 12 sewer allocations. The Commissioners requested Mr. Morris meet with the Town manager to obtain additional information for further discussion.


In follow-up from the January 15 request to complete the survey to assess Emergency Management's capabilities for responding to and recovering from an act of terrorism on a large scale, the Commissioners received correspondence from Donald Keldsen, Acting Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, advised that Kent County will receive $114,358.88 in FY 02 Office of Justice Program in funding to increase the areas capability to respond to and recover from an act of terrorism.


Shawn Mathiesen, Information Systems Manager, appeared to advise of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) pilot grant program for the provision of broadband transmission service in rural areas. Ms. Mathiesen advised that nationally $20 Million in grant funding was available. She recommended the County and the Library serve as the catalyst to coordinate and focus communities to propose projects for the grant application as the funding will be based on community projects. She reported that the criteria of 1) rural - population, 2) economic need, and 3) proposed projects, should make Kent County a candidate for assistance. Ms. Mathiesen advised that the next step would be to identify community projects and a plan to implement projects.

Commissioner Newnam suggested she contact Heron Point as they have an active computer group who may have a project proposal. He noted that this grant project has his full support. Commissioner Beck requested a list be made of potentially interested community participants.

The Commissioners approved to proceed with the grant application and thanked Ms. Mathiesen for initiating the project.


In follow-up from last week's bid opening to rehabilitate six (6) homes as part of the Housing Improvement Program (HIP), Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, Housing and Community Development, and Harold Colemen, Housing Specialist, appeared to recommend the low bidder, H & H Builders, Marydel, MD for the amount of $103,389.00 for the project. The Commissioners approved this recommendation and Commissioner Fithian executed a contract by and between the Commissioners of Kent County and H& H Builders in the amount of $103,389.00.


At 10:00 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 Wastewater billing and Local Management Board Memorandum of Understanding and County Purchasing Policy.

The executive session adjourned at 10:15 a.m.


Due to the resignation received form Dr. Ruth Shoge and per the Local Management Board (LMB) nominating committee recommendation, the Commissioners appointed George Best to fill this unexpired term terminating on June 30, 2005.

Correspondence was received from Anne Livie, Director, LMB, advising of a new LMB program entitled "Kent Shines". The program intended to brighten the future by bringing people together, to honor the "quiet heros" of our community. The program designed for ten monthly sessions, will build on the wealth of individual skills and talents to nurture personal, family and community growth. Nominations will be accepted by the LMB no later than September 1.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed a Memorandum of Understanding by and between Parks and Recreation and the Local Management Board designating both parties to continue to provide elementary after school programs in cooperation with the Kent County Board of Education.


Correspondence went forth congratulating Lieutenant Paul W. Kelley, Maryland State Police, who was recently appointed Commander of the Centreville Maryland State Police Barracks effective May 22. The Commissioners expressed their pride to have a Kent Countian appointed to this position, as no other Kent County resident has been Commander of the local State Police facility.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, Brenda Marzucco, Director, Youth Services Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, and Joe Wheeler, Crew Chief, appeared to discuss the Summer Project in Kent County. Ms. Marzucco thanked Mr. Troester for providing a project for the Youth Leadership Program and advised that the project recruits youth, age 14 and older for workforce training. Mr. Wheeler introduced the following youth participants (Kent County High School students): Willie Sephas, Justin Tiller, Walter Cooper, Nyderah Corbett and Devon Beck. Each student described their participation in removing the old fence and constructing a new fence for the Worton Park Equestrian ring. The Commissioners congratulated the participants for their achievements.


At 10:20 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 10:30 a.m.

At 10:35 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 10:40 a.m.


The Commissioners requested all Department Heads be reminded that purchases requiring a bid be processed through Jim Wright, County Engineer/Purchasing Coordinator, to ensure compliance with County purchasing policies.


Correspondence was received from Ed Spray, Superintendent, County Roads, recommending the speed limit be lowered on Quaker Neck Landing Road (near the Quaker Neck Landing) from 50 mph to 30 mph and Tolchester Beach Road from 40 mph to 30 mph. The Commissioners approved this recommendation as presented.


The County Administrator advised that Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, requested suggestions for alternative names for the proposed senior center.


In follow-up June 4, the Commissioners received correspondence from Dr. Serge Duckett relating to tax sale property identified on Map 55, Parcel 149. He requested a remedy for unregulated a tax sale, certification the that the property exists, as well as certification of the title of the property. A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to the County Attorney and Supervisor of Assessments.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that the Public Landing and Facilities Board recommended a "caution - large wake" sign be placed at the Tolchester Public Landing. Commissioner Fithian stated that the occasional large wakes can prove fatal. The Commissioners approved the request as recommended.


The Commissioners received the tourism progress report for the month of July as prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Director, Tourism Development.


The Commissioners received correspondence advising that William E. Kirwan was appointed as the new Chancellor of th University System of Maryland.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Mathew Pajerowski, Chief Water Rights Division, Water Management Administration, advising that a public information hearing was held on July 18 relating to the water use application from Henry Dierker, Jr., located at Wood Bound Farm, Massey, to be used for agricultural irrigation. He advised that after review of the permit and impact to the Aquia aquifer, the permit was issued.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 20, 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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