August 20, 2002

The Honorable Board of County 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 $2,879,189.00


In follow-up from November 6, 2001, Delegate Mary Roe Walkup appeared to discuss the status of the stability of the Rigbie Bluff Condominiums and associated shoreline. Dave Wilson, Resource Conservation & Development (RC &D) Coordinator, Mary Ann Skilling, Critical Area Circuit Rider, Carolyn Sorge, Mayor of Betterton, Judy Kohl and Denver Snelson representing Rigbie Bluff Condominium Association, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, and Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, were also in attendance.

Delegate Walkup introduced Philip R. Hager, Planning Studies/Project Manager, Civil Project Development Branch, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, who, in response from a request from Rural Community and Development (RC&D) delineated the process for federal assistance from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. He advised that after a site visit and determination that a problem exists, the Corp of Engineers will then decide if there is Federal interest in the project and if the Corp is the appropriate agency, if so and a plan, schedule, cost, feasibility study, and develop concept/alternatives will be prepared. Mr. Hager advised that all non-federal sponsors must enter into a cost sharing agreement holding the sponsor responsible for 35% of the cost of the project; however, there is no cost to the County for the feasibility study. Commissioner Beck confirmed that the project will need federal approval prior to feasibility and a cost agreement was required. Mr. Hager confirmed and advised of required criteria for federal funding as well as sponsors approval of the project plan. Mr. Hager advised that a study team and an internal study team will evaluate the project and remedy.

Mr. Wilson reported that RC&D is investigating funding to meet the local share obligation. Commissioner Newnam inquired if the initial study to be performed by the U.S. Corp of Engineers could be expedited. Mr. Hager advised that the initial study will commence in approximately thirty days and conclude within four months. Commissioner Fithian requested that if during the initial investigation any immediate danger or risk is identified they be notified. The Commissioners thanked all for attending.


The third reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 3-2000 which is: an Act to add new Chapter 36, Human Relations Commission, to the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, Maryland, establishing the Kent County Human Relations Commission; providing for the membership, purposes, goals, powers, and duties of the Commission; to provide for satisfaction of the 180 days statutory deadline for filing complaints with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations upon the filing of a written request for alternative dispute resolution with the Kent County Human Relations Commission; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the establishment of the Kent County Human Relations Commission.

The ballots were distributed for voting. Upon their return, all ballots were marked favorable and the local legislation was unanimously approved.

This local law will take effect on October 4, 2002.


In follow-up from July 23 relating to a request from Robert L. Davis, Jr., Coventry Farm L.P., for an extension to the original Agreement by and between Coventry Farm Limited Partnership and County to upgrade Cromwell Clark Road, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to inquire if the agreement was to be drafted by the County Attorney. The Commissioners concurred to have Mr. Stanton draft the extended agreement providing that all costs of the overlay would be equally divided between the County and Coventry Farm Limited Partnership. Commissioner Beck requested no specific cost amount be stated. Commissioners Newnam and Fithian concurred.


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

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 advised that he reviewed the map delineating with 36 vacant lots and 191 residential lots the County's assessment is 227 leaving 9 reserve allocations. Commissioner Fithian confirmed 9 EDU's to be offered. Mr. Morris advised the 9 allocations could be used however the Commissioners deem appropriate. Mr. Lawrence was in attendance and he advised that a formal request will be submitted for sewer allocations.

Millington Water and Wastewater Project - In follow-up from last week, Mr. Morris has arranged scheduling of an information meeting on October 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Millington Fire House. He also advised this project will soon be ready to go out to bid. The Commissioners requested that the bid opening be held during a regular weekly meeting day.


Correspondence was received from Ronnie Howell, Warden, requesting approval to utilize $400 of unexpected revenue from the Social Security Administration as incentive payment for inmates that are receiving benefits while incarcerated for the cost of the most recent repair for the generator located the Detention Center/Emergency Management. Warden Howell advised that the total repair bill of $900 would be paid by both the Detention Center and Emergency Management. The Commissioners approved the request as presented.


In follow-up to July 16 Commissioner Fithian provided an update on further discussion held at the Maryland Association of Counties Conference on the proposed Eastern Shore 2010: A Regional Vision prepared by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy to protect and enhance Eastern Shore land. He advised that further discussion revealed that the goals of the agreement are to obtain Federal funds to purchase preservation easements for farmland. He advised of Kent County's support of this proposal. Commissioner Fithian reported that Queen Anne's County will coordinate future meetings relating to the agreement; representatives of the Farm Bureau and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy will be invited to attend.


Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, Housing and Community Development, forwarded five (5) Deferred Loan Agreements for the Phase III Housing Improvement Project (HIP). The Commissioners approved and Commissioner executed the loan agreements for Marie Butler, Rosanna Fletcher, Kenneth M. Glenn, Sr., and Kenneth M. Glenn, Jr., Louise and Jerome E Hutchins, Tracey L. Mummert and Robert Ray Nye, Sr.


In follow-up from August 6 bid opening, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported the demolition and disposal of various structures located on Montabello Lake Road was completed. These structures were damaged as a result of Hurricane Floyd. He inquired as to the future use of the now - County owned property. Commissioner Fithian requested he and Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, review the property and discuss potential uses, if any.

Mr. Stanton recommended the entranceway to the property be barricaded until any decisions relating to the property are made. The Commissioners concurred.


At 10:45 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 litigation, land acquisition and local legislation.

The executive session adjourned at 11:00 a.m.


Nancy Zinn, Executive Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Dr. Yasuo Takahashi, Member, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Gary Fry, Deputy Health Officer, appeared to discuss the Community Mental Plan For FY03.

Mrs. Zinn reviewed past accomplishments including affordable housing, crisis services children's services and law enforcement training. She advised that consumer growth in service needs has doubled.

Commissioner Newnam inquired as to any fiscal problems this year. Mr. Fry advised that he does not foresee deficit in the magnitude of the previous year. The Commissioners thanked all for their efforts in providing services to the region.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the Community Mental Plan For FY03 for a one year period retro-active to July 1.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement and the Federal Annual Certification Report by and between the Federal Government, local government and the Narcotics Task Force for FY 02 as prepared by the Sheriff's Office.


At 11:00 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 11:10 a.m.


A rails to trails workshop was held with the following: Dr. John Toll, President, Washington College, Mrs. Toll, Lee Secrest, Margo Bailey, Mayor, Chestertown, Jim Bristoll, Member, Chestertown Town Council and Bill Ingersoll, Chestertown, Town Manager. Also in attendance was Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, Karen Willis, representing Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, and six interested citizens. (Commissioner Newnam was in attendance for this meeting)

Mr. Secrest reported that an interested group supporting the rails to trails program met. He advised of plans to have fund raising activities and hopes to submit a grant by September 25. Mr. Secrest also reported that the grant would require a 50% match by County /Chestertown /citizens group. Mr. Ingersoll provided a map with proposed rails to trails route involving areas near MD 289, John Hanson Road, Airy Hill Road and MD Route 20. Commissioner Fithian Commissioner Fithian inquired as to who would be securing the right-of-way easements for the proposed trail. Mr. Ingersoll advised that obtaining easements would be simpler on the rail portion of the trail since ownership is secured. Commissioner Fithian advised of his preference to pursue the proposed portion of the trail primarily in Chestertown referred to as the "sewer loop", as it would not cross Washington College campus. Dr. Toll had previously requested the project not include Washington College campus at this time. Commissioner Beck stated his support for the "sewer loop" portion of the project. Commissioner Fithian reported that rails cannot be part of the proposed trail past Mary Morris Road (Worton area) for economic development purposes.

Commissioner Fithian and Mayor Bailey reported that they would support the sewer loop trail with the County and Chestertown's share of expenses. Mr. Secrest advised of need for either the town or County to prepare the application to meet the September 25 deadline. Contingent upon all subject property owners are in agreement and the town acquiring all required easements, Commissioners Fithian and Beck will commit funding for the County's share for this project as well as share in its maintenance after the project is completed. The County will also share responsibility in the preparation of easements. Mr. Ingersoll advised that he would speak to local residents on the proposed sewer loop to obtain their opinion on the project.

Correspondence was received from the Tourism Development Board advising that before the Tourism Development Board will endorse the Rails to Trails project, the project must clearly be embraced by the local communities and citizens. Mrs. Willis agreed to seek availability of a pilot program.


Sheriff John Price, and Warden Ron Howell, appeared to discuss a proposed Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program. John Vail, Assistant to the County Administrator, was also in attendance. Sheriff Price advised that Warden Howell, who has been a reserve law enforcement officer for the Rock Hall Police Department, and Marty Holden, Waste Management Supervisor, certified law enforcement officer, are interested in participating in the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program. Warden Howell advised that his certification as a police officer is current and he is planning to resign from his part-time position with the Rock Hall Police Department.

The Commissioners received a memorandum from Susanne Hayman, Director, Human Resources, advising that the Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program could be grant funded providing for the deputy's/deputies' wages, training and certification expense. Sheriff Price estimated the reserve deputies would work approximately 16 - 32 hours per month at an hourly rate of $18.24, the same rate as a new hire law enforcement officer working overtime. He reported that the reserve deputy program would not affect Law Enforcement Officers Pension System (LEOPS) as only full time law enforcement officers are eligible for the benefit.

A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian, to initiate a Reserve Deputy Sheriff Program. Commissioner Beck suggested that the Reserve Deputies be employed part-time on a contract basis.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the Federal Equitable Sharing Agreement and the Federal Annual Certification Report by and between the Federal Government, local government and the Sheriff's Office for FY 02 as prepared by the Sheriff's Office.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc., from Nancy Noonan, Chief Regional Planning, Maryland Transit Administration advising that USTAR has not achieve compliance with all of the review issues and the corrective plan is still a work in progress. She specified ongoing requirements and issues to be addressed to allow USTAR Transportation to be in compliance with all State Transportation regulations.


Jody Taylor Morrison and Russ Morrison appeared to advise of the transfer of ownership of the local radio station, WCTR 1530 AM. Mrs. Morrison introduced the new owner of WCTR, Brian Wilson. Mr. Wilson and his wife, are broadcasters on ABC and WBAL. Mrs. Morrison reported that she would remain as the station's general manager until the FCC had approved the transfer.

Mr. Wilson advised that programing would remain relatively the same and will keep will keep WCTR visible and vocal at all community events. The Commissioners welcomed Mr. Wilson and Commissioner Newnam offered assistance should it be required.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 27, 2002



Janice F. Fletcher

Executive Assistant


Ronald H. Fithian, President