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Board of County Commissioners

September 10, 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 $ ( 203,169.00)


Correspondence was received from Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Public School Construction Program, advising of the tentative budget figures for FY 2004 Public School Construction Capital Improvement Program. He advised of the recommended amount of funding for Kent County to be $200,000.00.

It was reported that the Board of Education members would not be able to make a work session with the Commissioners during their regular meeting due to the daytime scheduling and requested reconsideration of an evening meeting. The Commissioners approved this request and the work session for reviewing proposed Capital Improvement Projects has been rescheduled for September 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Board of Education meeting room.

A copy of Future Planning for Schools in Kent County - School Enrollment and Feasibility Study Report was received from the Board of Education. The Administrations's recommendation to the Board of Education was that the Board of Education should make no decisions on closing the Rock Hall Elementary School until a ten-year capital improvement for all eight schools is developed this year and agreed upon by the Board of Education and County Commissioners. The plan would include recommendations for major school modernizations, renovations, possible consolidations and/or closings.


Correspondence was received from W. D. McIntire, Director, Chamber of Commerce reporting that the "Welcome to Kent County" signs are in need repair. He advised of the establishment of a sign repair fund and requested local organizations and local government annually contribute $65 for sign maintenance. The Commissioners concurred to fund sign maintenance for the welcome signs. This expenditure will be funded from the Tourism Budget.


The County Administrator reported that he attended the grand opening of the Chesapeake College Learning Resource Center on September 9.


Shawn Mathiesen, Systems Information Manager, provided a status report advising that the Public Works to County Government Center wireless link is installed and operating. She advised that the Verizon T1 line is disconnected. She noted that computers have internet access via the wireless link provided by the School Board's network. Ms. Mathiesen reported that Jim Corns, Board of Education employee was instrumental in installing the wireless connection, thanks to his supervisor, Steve Wilson, who willingly arranged Mr. Corn's schedule to assist the County. A letter of appreciation will go forth to Messrs. Corn and Wilson with copy to the Superintendent.


Correspondence was received from Raymond L. Richards, Worton, advising that the re-paving of Coopers Lane has caused dangerous situation for both motorists and cyclists due to the condition of the shoulder of the road. He reported that after contacting the County Roads Superintendent he addressed the problem by adding crushed stone to the shoulder, however, Mr. Richards stated his opinion that the stone exacerbated the road condition and requested the Commissioners to take action to remedy the road condition.

The Commissioners received correspondence from Ed Spray, County Roads, Superintendent, providing an update to Mr. Richards' concerns relating to the blacktop recently applied to Coopers Lane. Mr. Spray advised that more material will be placed on the shoulder area this and lines painted on the road will visually enhance the shoulder area.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Agreement by and between the Department of Human Resources as it relates to the renewal of the Emergency Food Assistance Program for a total contract of $ 4,500. The Agreement is to commence on October 1, 2002 and terminate on September 30, 2005. This program will continue to be administered by the Department of Social Services.


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

Worton Service Area - Mr. Morris provided an update on the Knights Landing project. He advised that the final plans for the project have been approved and he expects payment for 21 allocations imminently.

Piney Neck/Skinners Neck - Mr. Morris provided a copy of a sewer allocation request from John Daniels, Rock Hall, for the Kelly Parks Subdivision, lots 7 and 8. Per Mr. Morris's recommendation, the Commissioners approved the request.

Quaker Neck Service Area - The Commissioners received correspondence from Daniel and Judith Oberholtzer, 25175 Lovers Lane, requesting a sewer allocation. Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer requested consideration for one of the nine available EDU's as their septic system is in distress.

After Mr. Morris left, Bill Ingersoll, Town Manager of Chestertown, appeared to report that his calculations of available EDU's were not the same as Mr. Morris's calculations. Although Mr. Morris calculated nine available EDU's, Mr. Ingersoll believes there are none left. He surmised the difference may arise from the circumstances originally designated to vacant lots. Commissioner Fithian commented that Smart Growth encourages development around towns. In order to comply with Smart Growth, the Towns need to be open for additional sewer allocations; one cannot work without the other. Commissioner Fithian requested further research to confirm the number of available sewer allocations before any future discussion is held on this issue. The County Administrator will schedule a meeting with the Town Manager and Director of Water and Wastewater Services.

Drought Coordinator - Mr. Morris advised that although it has recently rained, Level II drought restrictions are in effect. He stressed that water conservation was still needed. Commissioner Beck inquired if Level II restrictions were published on the web site for public awareness. Mr. Morris reported that restriction information is available of the Maryland Department of the Environment and stated he would contact the Kent County web site administrator to investigate adding the information to the site.

Millington Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris provided an update on the Millington Wastewater project. He reported advertising for request for bids to construct the project The bids are to be returned on October 7 and will be opened on October 8 at 10:00 a.m. during the Commissioners' regular meeting.

Maryland Center for Environmental Training (MCET) - In follow-up to correspondence that went forth to Governor Glendening, and local legislators expressing concern that funding for MCET training was cut from the Maryland Department of Environment FY 03 Budget, the Commissioners received correspondence from Karen Brandt, Director, MCET, expressing appreciation for support of MCET funding. Kent County relies almost exclusively on the various services and training programs provided by MCET at local community colleges. This training is the primary means for keeping service utility operators current with credit hours needed for certification/renewal, updating and assisting with new regulations and rules. Ms. Brandt advised that MCET is continuing to work with Maryland Department of Environment to explore all options to meet the communities' needs.


Correspondence was received from Warden Ronald Howell, providing an update on inmate hospitalized on September 3.


In follow-up to August 27, Commissioner Fithian reported on the Upper Shore Association of Counties meeting held on September 5 relating to the Eastern Shore 2010: A Regional Vision agreement. Representatives of the Farm Bureau and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy were in attendance to discuss farm zoning concerns. He reported that the majority of the participants were in concurrence of the agreement and changes to the agreement were distributed for review. Commissioner Fithian stated his opinion that without Kent County's efforts toward compromise and negotiation, the agreement would not have progressed. He anticipates the agreement to be ratified in the near future.


The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for Kent and Queen Anne's Hospital (Christmas Shop) to hold fund raising event on October 12 at the Sgt. John Newnam Armory.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Mark Taylor, Team Leader, Cooperative Gypsy Moth Suppression Program, Forest Pest Management Section, Department of Agriculture, requesting cost share funding (with State) for a gypsy moth survey to predict the outbreak and infestation levels to initiate suppression activities. The Commissioners approved the expenditure of up to $2,000 for the County share of the project.


Helen Guastavino, President, Chestertown Library, Inc., and Elizabeth Bos, Secretary, Joan Horsey, Treasurer, Marie Rypka, Member, Jean Baldwin, Member, and Estelle Bennett, Member, Gloria Urban, Director, Jerry Keiser, Assistant Director, Kent County Public Library, Jim Blake, President, and Helen Tyson, Member, Board of Library Trustees, appeared to discuss a new location for the Chestertown Library. Mrs. Guastavino advised that the Chestertown Library has been in existence for a century and the current building used by the Chestertown Library for the past sixty years has been sold. She reported that Chestertown Library is operated by volunteers, includes a Literary Club that meets monthly. Commissioner Fithian advised that he had been contacted by Mrs. Horsey to inquire about the County owned Hearse House to be used as their new location. He advised that the Public Library had previously expressed interest in using the Hearse House for a meeting room.

Mrs. Guastivino stated that the Literary Club would donate $50,000 toward the renovation of the Hearse House (207 Calvert Street) providing the Literary Club was allowed to use the facility for monthly meetings. She provided a draft agreement stating the Literary Club's pre-requisites for the monetary donation. A copy of this agreement will be forwarded to the County Attorney for review. Commissioner Fithian thanked the Literary Club for the generous donation. Mrs. Urban expressed her gratitude and considered the Chestertown Library and the Public Library a "match made in heaven". She stated that the Public Library would consider fund raising activities to subsidize renovations. Commissioner Fithian advised that Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, would assist in obtaining estimates for renovations. The Commissioners pledged their support and Commissioner Fithian stated the County would also financially assist in the project. It was agreed for the Public Library to spearhead the project with assistance from the Public Works Department. The Commissioners again thanked the Literary Club for their generosity.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported a request to use High Street Public Landing on October 19 from the Chester River Association for the Chester Pumpkin Party. The Commissioners approved the request.


Correspondence was received from Mary Louise Preis, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, requesting approval of a statewide HUD list of housing/financial counselors to comply with 2002 House Bill 649 which provides fair credit granting mechanisms to citizens throughout the State.


At 10:20 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 to discuss litigation in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 10:21 a.m.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Carolyn Sorge, Coordinator, Extended Day/Year Programs, directed to Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, expressing her appreciation of Parks and Recreation employee, Judie Berry, Recreation Supervisor, for her excellent management and resourceful skills.

At 9:05 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.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that portable sanitary facilities at Shipyard Public landing were destroyed by fire set by vandals.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, with attached confirmation that Maryland Department of Aging will disburse 100% of the Senior Citizens Capital Improvement Grant ($417,000) for the Kent County Senior Center in the current fiscal year.


The Commissioner received a copy of correspondence from Rev. Gonzalee Matthews, Janes United Methodist Church, directed to Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board, advising of his resignation as Project Coordinator for the Woods Edge Learning Center and the termination of Janes United Methodist Church in the partnership.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, September 17, 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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