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Board of County Commissioners

August 27, 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 $2,132,798.00.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, appeared to report on the August 19 Board of Appeals meeting.


The Commissioners received the Child Protection Annual Report from Charlie Cooper, Administrator Citizens' Review Board for Children. In separate correspondence, Mr. Cooper advised of the status of the Kent County Child Protection Citizens' Review Panel. To date, one Kent County panel member has been certified to conduct case reviews and that two additional Certified Case Reviewers are needed.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Atta Mae Moore, Kennedyville, expressing her opinion that the new four way stop signs located at Old Locust Grove Road are not needed. She also expressed concern that the signs were erected prior to the residents being informed. Correspondence will forth to Ms. Moore advising that in response to a complaint received as to the conditions of this road, the County Roads Superintendent made a site visit for evaluation and determined that it would be prudent to install two more stop signs, making it a four way stop. Later in the day, the County Roads Superintendent advised the complaint received was the only one to date since the new signs have been installed.

Correspondence was received from Ed Spray, County Roads Superintendent, requesting approval to purchase a boom type mower for the new tractor. The mower was included in the FY03 budget, however, the mower cost specified was $29,33.12 and the mower requested for purchase is $31,727.30. He advised that the difference, $2,394.18 will amount to a 10% overrun for that line item in this FY 03 budget, however, felt it could be absorbed in the overall budget. The mower requested is on the Maryland State Contract. The Commissioners approved this request as presented.


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

General - Mr. Morris reported that the County owned building located in Worton, formerly used by his department, was vacated by the current renters. He recommended the building not be rented in the future so that it could be used for storage by the Department of Water and Wastewater Services. Commissioner Beck inquired as to the status of the building. Mr. Morris reported that the roof was in need of repair. Per Commissioner Fithian's request, Mr. Morris confirmed his need for additional storage space. The Commissioners concurred not to rent the facility and that it could be used for storage.

Millington Sewer Collection System - Mr. Morris advised that he notified the Millington Mayor and Council of the informational meeting to be held on October 1.

Drought Coordinator - As Drought Coordinator, Mr. Morris advised that Governor Glendening would be holding a press conference later in the day issuing further status on drought regulations for the Eastern Shore.

Quaker Neck Service Area - The Commissioners received official request from Kent Lawrence for nine allocations and three additional allocations should they become available on Lovers Lane in the Quaker Neck Service Area. He also requested an amendment to the Master Water and Sewer Plan. This request will be discussed with Mr. Morris next week.


In follow-up to August 20, the County Administrator advised that Queen Anne's County has scheduled an Upper Shore Association of Counties meeting relating to the Eastern Shore 2010: A Regional Vision agreement on September 5 at Chesapeake College. Brad Morris, President of Kent County Farm Bureau, as well as other representatives of the Farm Bureau and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy will plan to attend.


The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for Crossroads Community, Inc., for a fund raising event on October 11 at Crossroads Community, Inc., Administration Office, Centreville.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Deed by and between Garnett Demby, Gilbert Demby and Darlene Ianna Demby, personal representatives of the Estate of Georgeianna Elsie Demby, and the County Commissioners of Kent County to grant property located on Quimby Street, Sandfield, First Election District, near Millington to the County. Grant funding was obtained for the purchase of this property. This grant funding can be only be used to acquire interests in property, including the purchase of structures in the flood plain, the demolition or removal of buildings, and conversion of the land use to perpetual open space.


In follow-up from correspondence dated June 12, the Commissioners received additional correspondence from Jim Barrett, Barrett Family Limited Partnership, requesting his property not be downzoned from Rural Residential to Rural Character.


At 11:00 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 land acquisition, Shore Erosion Control Program, issue relating to Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, and draft Narcotics Task Force Agreement.

The executive session adjourned at 11:50 a.m.


Major Robert L. Scruggs, Lt. Frank Ford, Regional Drug Enforcement Commander, Sgt. Joe Brahnan, MSP, Lt. Charlie Rhodes, Chairman, Narcotics Task Force, Lt. Paul Kelley, Maryland State Police, Centreville Barracks Commander, Sheriff John Price, and Robert Strong, State's Attorney. Harris Murphy, Candidate for State's Attorney, and Susanne Hayman, former State's Attorney, were also in attendance to observe this meeting.

Commissioner Beck congratulated Lt. Kelley on his assignment as Centreville Barracks Commander and expressed his gratitude to have a Kent County resident as Barracks Commander. Lt. Kelley thanked the Commissioners for their support.

Lt. Rhodes advised that the termination of any member of the Narcotics Task Force, nullifies the agreement and the association is dissolved. Since the Sheriff's Office withdrew its membership in the task force, he proposed a new Agreement to recreate the Narcotics Task Force to include the Maryland State Police, Chestertown Police and Rock Hall Police. He advised that the Chestertown Police Department would assume the responsibilities previously administered by the Sheriff's Office. He reported that the Sheriff's Office would be included as an associate non-voting member of the task force.

Commissioner Newnam inquired if the new task force would focus on the Chestertown and the Rock Hall areas. Major Scruggs advised that the task force would have a presence in the entire County and this new organization will not have any adverse affects on drug enforcement. Commissioner Beck inquired as to the two task forces, the new task force and the Sheriff's task force working together. Major Scruggs stated that presence of two task forces will equate to more personnel dedicated to the drug enforcement and should enhance law enforcement coverage. Lt. Ford advised that resources are available and committed to Kent County.

Commissioner Fithian advised that the Board undoubtedly support this effort, however, he requested additional time to review the Task Force Agreement and the Forfeiture Agreement. Sheriff Price concurred with members of the Maryland State Police and expressed his commitment to work with the task force. Mr. Strong agreed to be available for providing advice and requested meetings for both task forces be consolidated. The Commissioners thanked all for attending.


Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, and Roger Williams, Treasurer, appeared and presented a bid tabulation for financing of the Maryland State Retirement System and Law Enforcement Officers Pension System in the amount of $4,000,000. The following bids were received:

Lender Rate Term Principal Annual Payments 15 Year Rate
Sun Trust Bank 3.95% 15 years $4,000,000 $358,848 Fixed
Centreville National 2.99% 15 years $2,500,000 $207,030 Floating
Chesapeake Bank 2.50% 15 years $1,000,000 $ 80,014 Floating
Peoples Bank 2.50% 15 years $ 500,000 $ 40,007 Floating

Mr. Williams also provided information on a combination of fixed and floating loans for a fifteen year rate. Mr. Williams recommended the fixed fifteen year loan at an interest rate of 3.95% offered from Sun Trust Bank. A motion was made by Commissioner Beck seconded by Commissioner Fithian, and made unanimous by Commissioner Newnam (who was not in attendance but gave verbal approval prior to his departure) to approve the fixed fifteen year loan at an interest rate of 3.95% offered from Sun Trust Bank

Later in the day, a Resolution was approved and executed by the Commissioners authorizing to finance the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System from Sun Trust Bank in the amount of $4,000,000.00 at a fixed rate of 3.95%.


At 8:45 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 8:53 a.m.


The County Administrator advised all Department Heads have been advised that Lorraine Sexton, Personnel Coordinator, would be assuming the position of Rick Manager.


The County Administrator reported that according to Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, the State would be participating with 100% of funding for FY 03 instead of the project being funded partially in FY 03 and F 04.

The County Administrator provided a copy of correspondence directed to Jim Wright, County Engineer, from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, requesting his assistance by performing a weekly walk through the Senior Center during construction so that any construction issues can be identified and addressed at an early stage. The Commissioners authorized Mr. Wright to do so.


Shawn Ryan, Project Director, Leonard Larese-Casanova, Program Director, representing Department of Natural Resources Shore Erosion Control Program, William J. Freshwater, John Carl Oberholtzer, Richard C. Merriken, Sr., Jerome Staller, Ph. D. Dave Wilson, representing RC&D, appeared to discuss requests for proposed shore erosion control projects. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, Roger Williams, Treasurer, and Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, were also in attendance.

Mr. Wilson provided a brief history of the partnership with DNR that previously provided grant funding, however, now the program offers interest free loans for the project. Mr. Casanova advised of the benefits and the requirements of the Shore Erosion Control Program which include technical and financial assistance. He noted that the program requires local government sponsorship as the interest free loan is offered to government and the recipient is responsible to repay government. Mr. Casanova advised that the repayment may be in the form of a special tax district or promissory note.

Commissioner Newnam inquired if the applications from property owners would be competing with one another for funding. Mr. Casanova advised that applicants are measured on public and environmental benefits on a statewide level. He cautioned that typically the program does not focus on individual properties but areas where communities would benefit.

Commissioner Fithian confirmed that Mr. Wilson would perform site visits and report back to the Board before filing an application on behalf of the property owner. Messrs. Merriken, Staller, Freshwater, and Oberholtzer, property owners who requested local sponsorship, advised that they have been in contact with a contractor. Mr. Merriken noted that his property was adjacent to a community right-of-way and would not be responsible for that section of shoreline.

The Commissioners concurred to support the projects, however, he advised that further discussion relating to the mechanics of repayment was required. Mr. Casanova offered a sample of repayment agreement for review. Commissioner Fithian reported that he would initiate further discussion on the matter with the County Attorney.


As prepared by Robin Spielman, Victim/Witness Coordinator, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Intergovernmental Agreement between Maryland State Department of Human Resources (DHR) , Office of Victim Services, and Kent County State's Attorney's Office to provide services to victims of crime for period commencing on October 1 2002 and ending September 30, 2003. The cost to the DHR for the services to be provided by the State's Attorney's Office under this Agreement shall not exceed $36,600.00. The Agreement will be forwarded to DHR for facilitation of the approval process.


As submitted by Ed Spray, County Roads Superintendent, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed State-Aid Program Data Sheet seeking $52,800 to be used towards surface treatment project on the Langford Bay Road.


In response to a monetary donation from local governments on the Eastern Shore and Delaware, to New York City following the tragedy of September 11, correspondence was received from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, expressing his gratitude for the donation to be used for the New York City Relief Fund.


The Commissioners received a Request for Proposals Year Round Youth Training Programs from the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board. All proposals must be received by September 27.


Notice was received from the Department of Environment, Water Management Administration, advising that a permit application has been received from Henry Dierker, Jr., Massey, to appropriate and use an average of 200,000 gallons per day from two wells in the Aquia aquifer for crop irrigation. The Water Management Administration advising that the impact to resource and nearby users were evaluated for impact. All comments or inquiries should be forwarded to Matthew Pajerowski, Chief, Water Rights Division, Water Management Administration, 2500 Broening Highway, Baltimore, Maryland 21224.


As Lead Agency for the U-Star Transportation, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Fiscal Year 2003 Maryland Comprehensive Transit Plan Operating Assistance Grant to provide funds for the Easton to Federalsburg Route. This project 100% State funded.


In view of the recent evidence of the presence of West Nile Virus in two birds found in Kent County, Commissioner Beck requested Dr. John Grant provide an update on the status of the Health Department findings.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to advise that he had been approached by a Worton Creek Marina boater who expressed concern for his safety in anchoring his boat in Worton Creek during the hunting season. Mr. Stanton referred this person to the Department of Natural Resources.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, September 3, 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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