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Board of County Commissioners

October 15, 2002

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Larry B. Beck, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding. W. Michael Newnam, was not in attendance due to a commitment with his employer, Verizon.

T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $9,790,940.00


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to advise of a request from Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Police to use the second floor of the Bayside Public Landing and Park pavilion as office space. Mr. Stanton stated that he advised the DNR representative to put the request in writing.


Karen Miller, District Manager, Soil Conservation Service, (SCS), Teri Batchelor, Department of Natural Resources, (DNR), Forest Service, Elizabeth Clark, Washington College Graduate Program, appeared to discuss the Francis Cann Demonstration Woodlot. Mr and Mrs. Robert Sparre, who donated the six acre lot to the County, were also in attendance.

Mrs. Batchelor advised that Ms. Clark authored the forestry plan which was approved by both DNR and SCS. Mrs. Batchelor provided a history of the lot which was donated by the Sparre's in 1980 and provided an update on a previous program with high school student volunteers planting trees.

Mr. Sparre reported that he donated the land to the County in order to reinforce his beliefs that marginal land, not suitable for farming, should be planted with trees. Commissioners Beck and Fithian thanked Mr. and Mrs. Sparre for their generous donation.

Ms. Clark advised that she was pleased to undertake the project as her Senior thesis. She updated the plan from 1993 and shared her ideas for tree identification, educational trails, remove trees from tubes, additional nesting boxes, and informational brochures. The plan delineates goals of the project for the next fifteen years.

Mrs. Miller advised that with the plan in place and support from Kent County High School, the plan can be implemented by high school student and teacher volunteers. Commissioner Fithian advised that should additional funds be required for the project, the matter should be discussed with Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation.

Mr. Sparre expressed his appreciation for all of the professional effort to enhance and manage the property. The Commissioners concurred and thanked Mr. and Mrs. Sparre as well as Mrs. Batchelor, Mrs. Miller and Ms. Clarke for their interest and dedication.


First reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 6- 2002 which is an Act to repeal and reenact with amendments the Zoning Ordinance for Kent County and amendments thereto, Zoning Maps and Part III of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, revising, recodifying and consolidating all of the regulations governing land use in Kent County; adding new statements of purpose as follows: to enhance the Kent County employment base, provide efficiency in the process of development, protect the county's significant historic structures and areas from destruction or encroachment; creating five (5) new zoning districts - Rural Character, Community Residential, Intense Village, Employment Center, Industrial District Critical Area - LDA; changing conditional uses to special exceptions; replacing Limited Marine District with Marine District; removing the Planned Industrial and Intense Marine Districts; removing authority for private piers on parcels of more than twenty (20) acres where there is no main dwelling, except in the marine district; removing affordable housing district; classifying the dates used in determining density in and outside of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area; establishing a buffer modified map, Flood Plain maps, Airport Safety Zone Map and to be known collectively as the Land Use Ordinance for Kent County, Maryland, to be Part III of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, Maryland.

A public hearing will be held on November 12 in the Commissioners Hearing Room, County Government Center, at 7:00 p.m. The Planning Office has scheduled the following: a Galena area informational meeting on October 29 at the Galena Fire House. 2) a Chestertown informational meeting on October 30 at the Commissioners Hearing Room, County Government Center, and 3) a Rock Hall area informational meeting on November 6 at the Rock Hall Municipal Building. The draft ordinance can be found on the County website : www.kentcounty.com/gov/planzone/.


The Quarterly Status Reports for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) were received from Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide. Mrs. Pinder-Almen reported on the status of Chestertown Foods Project, Phase II Housing Improvement Program and Phase III Housing Improvement Program Project. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the report.


Mauritz Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage Inspector, advised that the condition of the County car used in his alcoholic beverage inspection has not been reliable and resulted in the need for towing. Commissioner Fithian confirmed that the vehicle he is currently using was a former Sheriff's Office patrol car and has been used extensively. Mr. Stetson stated his opinion that he is in need of access to a more reliable car. Commissioner Fithian requested Mr. Stetson to contact Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, to obtain cost estimates for a used vehicle for further consideration.


Correspondence was received from Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, recommending signs be placed: School Road limiting the speed to 30 miles per hour and a "Stop Ahead" sign, Millbrook Drive, limiting the speed to 25 miles per hour, and on Sheldrake Drive, limiting the speed to 25 miles per hour. The Commissioners approved the recommendation as presented.


In follow-up from previous request on June 11 from a contractor making repairs to Emanuel Episcopal Church, to use the Court House lawn, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, advised of another request to put a tractor on the lawn to continue repairs to the church. He advised that the contractor would not be utilizing the lawn while court is in session and should any damages occur to the lawn or brickwork, repairs will be made by the contractor. The Commissioners approved this request.


The Commissioners received notification of the remaining amount of the Maryland State Ceiling for Private Activity Bond issuance in 2002.


A memoranda was received from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advising that she and Jim Wright, County Engineer, attended th Department of Transportation Pre-Tour Meeting. Discussion was held relating to an origin and destination study conducted in the Summer and Fall, 2001. The purpose of this survey was to determine the need for future improvements at the existing Chesapeake Bay and Potomac crossings by developing a demand model for the year 2025. A copy of the survey data and map was requested to be provided showing the districts.


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

Tolchester Service Area - Mr. Morris advised of a request for sewer allocation from Ralph Peck, for his property located in Tolchester Estates. Per Mr. Morris's recommendation the Commissioners approved the request.

The Commissioners approved and signed Public Works Agreement for a sewer allocation in the Tolchester Service Area.

Kennedyville Service Area - The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the application to Rural Development to repair and upgrade the Kennedyville sewer and pump station and lagoon. Mr. Morris estimated that with financial assistance the project should commence next year. He advised that the project cost is estimated to be $1,900,000.

Generators - Mr. Morris also advised of the aging generators are a potential problem. He stated the County owned generators are no longer being manufactured or supported and advised that the generators at both Fairlee and Kennedyville are in need of replacement. Mr. Morris advised that the cost of replacement generators is included in the total project cost, however, the replacement generator for Fairlee station is not included in this project. Commissioner Fithian requested Mr. Morris to obtain cost estimates for replacement generators.


At 10:40 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 Elmer E. Horsey, Economic Development Director, and Jack Canan, Economic Development Coordinator, to discuss proposal for a business to remain in Kent County in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Item of discussion related to the Revolving Loan Fund.

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


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed a deed transferring property located at 315 Middle Street, Millington, (Sandfield) from Darrell D. and Maria H. Jeffers to the County. This property was acquired using Hurricane Floyd FEMA funding. The County has ninety days from the date of settlement to demolish the structure.


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 Block Grant Program and a legal matter concerning Millington Pool.

The executive session adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


The County Administrator reported that he attended a County Administrators/ Attorneys conference in St. Michaels on October 10 - 11.


Commissioner Beck requested cost information to be obtained for clean up of the Daniels property, the Norcross property and the Ashley property. The County Administrator will further investigate the status of the violations.


At 8:55 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 personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 9:10 a.m.


Per the Commissioners' request, Elmer Horsey, Economic Director, appeared. Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, was also in attendance. Commissioner Fithian announced that Mr. Horsey will be resigning as Economic Development Director, effective November 1. Commissioner Fithian thanked Mr. Horsey for his many accomplishments and his years of service to promote economic development in Kent County. Mr. Horsey advised of his pleasure in working with the Commissioners. Commissioner Fithian read and presented Mr. Horsey with a Certificate of Appreciation and framed County Seal as a token of their appreciation.

The Commissioners requested Mr. Canan to assist in the interim transition until a replacement Economic Development Director is hired. Mr. Canan confirmed his willingness to continue to assist in Economic Development matters.

Due to Mr. Horsey's resignation, the Commissioners concurred to advertise for the position of Economic Development Director as both a part-time or a full-time position with the option to determine exact requirements after a candidate has been selected.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Jon Burrell, Executive Director, Local Government Insurance Trust, (LGIT), advising that Kent County has been selected to receive a LGIT Award for Excellence in Risk Management. The awards luncheon will be November 11 in Annapolis.


Correspondence was received from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, inviting the Commissioners to attend the ceremonial groundbreaking for the future Kent County Senior Center facility to be held at Wednesday, October 23, at 2:00 p.m. at 100 Schauber Road Chestertown.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the grant award entitled"Kent County Protective Order/Ex-Parte Order Entry Assistance (12)" in the amount of $7,911.00 from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention under the Violence Against Women Grant Program to perform data entry of ex-parte and protective orders.


The Commissioners received the September Tourism Progress Report as prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director.


In follow-up from last week, the Commissioners forwarded correspondence to the Army Corps of Engineers formally requesting their assistance to study the Urieville Lake Ecosystem

Restoration Project. The study to be performed by the Army Corp of Engineers will generate viable solutions to remedy Urieville Lake of high sediment load and low dissolved oxygen.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, October 22, 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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