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Board of County Commissioners

September 3, 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 $2,148,376.00.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Lindstrom Excavating Contractors, Inc., from James Wright, County Engineer, advising of Notice to Proceed on the Betterton Beach Jetty Rehabilitation Project.


The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Final Progress Report for Easter Seals of DE and MD, Inc.,was received from Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide Housing and Community Development. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the report.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, from John Plaskon, Executive Director, Crossroads Community, Inc., advising of the circumstances relating to Crossroads Community, Inc., purchasing four federal surplus properties in Chestertown.


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

Quaker Neck Service Area - The Commissioners received correspondence from Mary Evans, 7420 Quaker Neck Road, Richard and Susan Walls, 25181 Lovers Lane, Paul W. Kelley, 25420 Lovers Lane, Patrick Jones, 25165 Lovers Lane, John And Elizabeth Spence, 7761 Airy Hill Road, and Meredith Davies Hadaway, 25195 Lovers Lane, expressing interest in obtaining sewer allocations. Interested persons in attendance were: Dan and Judy Olberholtzer, John and Elizabeth Spence, and Elizabeth Kerr.

In view of the attendance related to this subject, Commissioner Fithian and Mr. Morris

provided a brief history of the circumstances surrounding Kent Lawrence's request for twelve sewer allocations and the total of nine available allocations. Mr. Morris further delineated the procedure to request an allocation and noted that the cost for extending a sewer line after obtaining the allocation would be borne by the applicant.

Mrs. Kerr advised that although only two occupants reside in the dwelling, the septic system has to be pumped on a yearly basis. Mr. Olberholtzer advised that over the weekend he had to have emergency service on their septic system. Mr. Spence requested that local residents, some of whom are having difficulty with their septic systems, should also be able to apply for a sewer allocation. Like a developer, he requested that residents also be given an opportunity for the remaining allocations. Commissioner Fithian advised that a residence with failing septic systems would take priority due to health issues. Commissioner Beck assured that a sub-division would not take priority over failing septic systems.

The Commissioners commended the residents for attending today's meeting and suggested that they send correspondence to Mr. Morris requesting sewer allocation so that he may plot the location of each request to estimate the feasibility of extending sewer service. Commissioner Beck advised that the Town of Chestertown adopted a policy limiting sewer allocations to be within the Town limits. Mr. Morris reiterated his concerns as to cost for one resident to bear the cost of wastewater service and suggested neighbors be canvassed and be included in the request in an effort to minimize individual cost.

Mrs. Olberholtzer advised that she and Mrs. Kerr requested sewer service from the Chestertown Town Manager and was denied.

Commissioner Fithian thanked all for attending and assured residents that a failing septic system would take priority in the assignment of sewer allocations.

Septage Regulations - In follow-up from August 13, the Commissioners approved and executed a Resolution amending the County Septage Regulations to reflect a discount (a per gallon discount currently available to residents) availability for commercial operations if a holding tank was the single source of a septic system.


In follow-up from August 13, Shawn Mathiesen, Information Systems Manager, forwarded a memorandum relating to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) pilot grant program for the provision of broadband transmission service in rural areas. She provided a plan for the grant proposal and according to the criteria rated each Kent County community. She also provided an estimate of staffing costs after the grant expires. She requested direction from the Commissioners on choosing a community for the focus of grant funding and support for staff after the grant has expired. The Commissioners took no action at this time in order to further review the proposal.


At 1:00 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 with Terry J. Page, Manager, Washington Airports District Office, representing FAA, Bruce Mundie, Director, Office of Regional Aviation, representing MAA, Pat Quinn, Nancy Brice, District 2 Real Estate, State Highway Association,, Alan Peljovich, Senior Aviation Project Manager, Wilbur Smith Associates, Consultants, to discuss land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development, were also in attendance and Commissioner Newnam joined the discussion via conference call.

The executive session adjourned at 3:00 p.m.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, appeared to report on interest by the State Highway Administration, and Queen Anne's County citizens in a long term MD Route 301 beautification program.


The Commissioners forwarded correspondence to Richard Castaldi, Office of the Governor, advising of a brief history of the recent events relating to the conflict of landowners riparian rights and mooring buoy regulations. The Commissioners believe the alternative, presented by Worton Creek Marina, to remove all of their moorings and construct additional slips to negate any economical impact, should be implemented as soon as possible.


At 8:40 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 8:50 a.m.


At the Commissioners' request, Bill Ingersoll, Chestertown Town Manager, and Lee Secrest, appeared to discuss the proposed rails to trails project. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, was also in attendance.

Commissioner Fithian reiterated previous comments that the County would be in support of the rails to trails project contingent upon easements being obtained. He stated that in view of the opposition to the project that has been expressed to him in the form of phone calls, personal appearances and a forthcoming petition with over one hundred signatures in opposition, the County was withdrawing their support for the project.

Mr. Ingersoll reiterated his statement the project would have problems, however, mis-information was distributed to the public advising that the project would include Foxley Manor. (Note- the initial rails to trails meeting reported the proposed trail through Washington College and vicinity; following rails to trails meeting indicated a proposed trail referred to as the "sewer loop".) Commissioner Beck inquired as to his findings with discussions of property owners. Mr. Ingersoll would not report on these discussions as the County was withdrawing their support.

Mr. Secrest advised that their goal was to take advantage of the upcoming grant opportunity and similar projects were successful without using tax dollars. Mr.Ingersoll stated that he did not feel it realistic to have a grant application completed to meet the September 25 deadline; however, felt it was more realistic to go with rails toward Worton since easements form the Railroad Administration are already in hand. Commissioner Beck suggested a public information meeting be scheduled. Mr. Ingersoll felt it sufficient for public information due to media coverage of Commissioners and Chestertown Mayor and Council meetings. Mr. Secrest feels it important to keep moving forward to find an area that will be agreeable to all involved. Commissioner Fithian stated that the Town of Chestertown had the option to go forward with the project without County support.

Commissioner Fithian stated that the County had plenty of open space to exercise and the trails in other areas are successful because they did not infringe on private property and safety was an issue in heavily populated areas. He stated that the County should move forth with projects that County residents wanted.

The Commissioners received correspondence from Edward Townsend, Airy Hill Road, Chestertown, expressing strong opposition to the proposed Rails to Trails project.


A corrected Agreement by and between the County Commissioners and Chestertown Mayor and Council as it relates to use of the pistol range at the Tolchester Site. The agreement was originally signed on July 23 ; this date will remain the same on the corrected agreement.


Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, appeared to provide an update on the Senior Center. He reported that bids for a general contractor were due September 9, ground breaking estimated for the last week in October and completion by July 1, 2003.


Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, and Paul Nichols, Director of Transportation Services, appeared to advise the Upper Shore Aging's projected FY 04 fiscal requests. Mr. Burke thanked the Commissioners for the emergency funding appropriations recently received.

Mr. Burke projected that Kent County's matching portion of USTAR's fiscal requests would be in the amount of $4,187. The Commissioners thanked Mr. Burke for keeping them informed. Commissioner Fithian thanked Mr. Burke and Mr. Nichols for providing a much needed service to area residents and elderly.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed Transportation Section 5311 and SSTAP grants for FY04. Kent County will again be the lead agency for Kent, Caroline and Talbot Counties USTAR program. Mr. Nichols advised that as required by the Mass Transit Administration, a public hearing will be scheduled for October 16, 2002.


The Commissioners received notification of the State Water Management Administration for an application to appropriate and use an average of 98,000 gallons per day and 85,000 gallons per day, from Henry Dierker, Jr., Massey, from two wells in the Aquia aquifer for crop irrigation. One project is located 34181 Maryland Line Road, Massey and the other located at 33658 Golts Road, Golts.

The Commissioners received correspondence from Conrad and Patricia Langenfelder, advising of application filed with the Water Management Administration to appropriate and use an average of 21,000 gallons per day for livestock watering and sanitation. The project is located at 11974 Blacks Station Road, Kennedyville.

All inquiries and requests for either project should be made to Matthew Pajerowski, Chief, Water Rights Division, Water Management Administration, 2500 Broening Highway, Baltimore, Maryland 21224.


In follow-up from last week and at the Commissioners request, Ed Birkmire. Director, Environmental Health, appeared to provide an update on the status of the Health Department findings relating to the presence of West Nile Virus in two birds found in Kent County. Mr. Birkmire advised that the number of positive birds had increased to three total. He reported the locations of the infected birds to be Haven Harbor, Rock Hall, College Heights, Chestertown, and on MD Route 291 towards Millington.

Mr. Birkmire reported that once two birds were identified as succumbing to the disease, and the presence is identified, the State will not test additional birds due to the volume of tests required. He advised that there was not additional action to be taken other than the current mosquito spraying program. He stated that with the amount of mosquito habitat on the Eastern Shore, eliminating the pests would be impossible.

Mr. Birkmire stressed that statistically the chances of a reasonable healthy individual becoming infected with the disease were very low. He advised that although West Nile Virus was a health issue there was not a proactive measures to be taken. Mr. Birkmire provided a toll free number (886 886-2769) that could provide information on West Nile Virus. Commissioner Fithian thanked Mr. Birkmire for putting the project in perspective.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, September 10, 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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