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Board of County Commissioners

October 29, 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 $13,645,336.00


Due to the cancellation of the appointment for J. Michael Connolly, CPA, Auditor, and Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, to present and review of the Fiscal Year 2002 Financial Statement, Commissioner Fithian read a brief statement advising of the County's current financial status. He reported that the County's FY 02 unreserved, undesignated fund balance totaled 9.8% of total revenues which has more than doubled from its FY 98 balance when this Board took office. The County's debt service is well below the maximum level. The presentation of the audit has been scheduled for November 6.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported of a request by a slipholder to move pilings, at his own expense, to expand the width of the slip. Mr. Stanton advised that the modification to the boat slip in question would not affect any other slip holder. The Commissioners approved the request contingent upon the cost of the modifications be borne by the slipholder and Mr. Stanton approve the work to be done.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that the Betterton Beach Jetty Project has been successfully completed.


In follow-up from October 15 discussion relating to the Francis Cann Demonstration Woodlot forestry plan was presented, correspondence was received from Robert H. Sparre, who donated the lot, expressing his gratitude for the forestry plan. He also forwarded a donation to assist in continuation with the program.


In follow-up from October 15 discussion relating to purchasing a vehicle for the Alcoholic Beverage Inspector use since the vehicle he currently uses is not reliable, correspondence was received from Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, advising of the following two used vehicles ( with approximate mileage of 30,000 miles) available at Maryland State contract pricing:

Chevy Cavalier - $10,118

Chevy Malibu - $12,094

Mr. Wright recommended the Chevy Malibu as the Cavalier would be too small for Mr. Stetson's needs. A motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to purchase the Chevy Malibu for the amount of $12,094. The expenditure is to be funded from the Contingency Fund.


The annual tour by representatives of the Department of Transportation was held today with the following present: Secretary John D. Porcari, Parker Williams, State Highway Administrator, Richard Lindsay, SHA District 2 Engineer, Neil J. Pederson, Department of Administration, Planning and Preliminary Engineering, Bruce F. Mundie, Director, Maryland Aviation Administration, and approximately twenty others representing the SHA in addition to Senator Walter M. Baker, Delegate Wheeler Baker, Delegate James G. Crouse, Delegate Mary Roe Walkup, Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, Jim Wright, County Engineer, Ed Spray, County Roads Superintendent, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, Betty Carroll, Member, Galena Town Council, and approximately seven interested persons.

Secretary Porcari advised the purpose of the meeting was to outline the Department of Transportation's six year capital program as well as garner input for the program. He described projects such as the goal to double transit ridership, rehabilitate the rail bed between Massey and Delaware, and the $1.8 Billion capital program at BWI Airport to accommodate expanded parking, increased passengers and mandated security measures. He further delineated programs at the Port of Baltimore which is now the largest roll on/roll off port in the nation. He also reported on the progress on the Port sponsored program to continue restoration of Poplar Island which has received National recognition in environmental restoration. Secretary Porcari also noted motor vehicle programs such as the Rookie Driver Program and Easy Pass advantages.

Commissioners Fithian and Beck expressed their appreciation to Secretary Porcari and the Department of Transportation staff who support the County with their expertise on many Kent County projects.

Delegate Baker complimented Secretary Porcari and his staff for the restoration of Poplar Island and for support of the Chestertown Visitors Center.

Parker Williams advised of Highway Programs totaling $6.6 Million. He discussed the new interchange at MD 301 and 313 and the significant reduction in accidents since the construction of the "J" turn. Commissioner Fithian stated that although the community was skeptical of the project, since the construction he has received many favorable comments complimenting the State Highway for eliminating the problem. As a member of the Galena Town Council, Betty Carroll advised that they were pleased with the project. Mr. Williams also expounded on the Salisbury Bypass, a regional project.

Richard Lindsay, District Engineer, expressed his appreciation in working with County employees and stated Kent County made his job easier. He reviewed the following local programs:

Primary Development and Evaluation Program

  • •US 301, Blue Star Memorial highway - Study to construct a new interchange at MD 313. Shoulders on MD 313 will accommodate bicycles.

Resurface and Rehabilitate

  • •Augustine Herman Highway: South of Creamery Street to MD 449; resurface **
  • •Morgnec Road/River Road; resurface *
  • •Locust Grove Road/Kentmore Park Road; resurface **

* Construction start 2003

** Construction start 2004

Safety Spot Improvement

  • •MD 213 Washington Avenue; at Spring Street; sidewalk and pedestrian improvements - Funded for preliminary concept studies only - concept underway

Neighborhood Conservation

  • •MD 213 - Augustine Herman Highway, East Cross Street and South Main Street in Galena; urban street reconstruction - Funded for preliminary engineering only **
  • •MD 291 - Cypress Street; Through the Town of Millington; urban street reconstruction - Funded for preliminary engineering only.
  • •MD 292 - Main Street; Within the Limits of Betterton; urban street reconstruction *
  • •MD 292 - Still Pond Road; Through the Town of Still Pond; urban street reconstruct- Funded for preliminary concept studies *
  • •MD 445 - Main Street; .Green Lane to Rock Hall Ball Park and MD 20 from Gratitude to Chesapeake Villa Road in Rock Hall; urban street reconstruction and drainage *

* Construction start 2003

** Construction start 2004

Neil Pederson reviewed the following project:


  • •Scenic/Historic Highway Program/Visitors Center - Chestertown Visitors' Center - Construction of a 4,000 square foot visitor center on the main north/south state road - construction underway

Commissioner Beck acknowledged improvements have been made to traffic lights on Washington Avenue, however, due to continued traffic problems he inquired if the SHA could initiate discussion relating to the Chestertown Bypass with the new Board of Commissioners in Queen Anne's County and Kent County, once in office. He agreed to do so. Delegate Walkup advised of her concerns relating to truck traffic. Mr. Lindsay noted that a large percentage of the truck traffic is local delivery trucks.

Commissioner Beck also inquired as the progress with the proposed project at the Washington Square shopping center entrance/exit. Mr. Lindsay reported that SHA is continuing to work with the developer on the matter.

The Commissioners again thanked Secretary Porcari and his staff for the presentation and support.


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

Kennedyville Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade - Mr. Morris advised that the Maryland Department Environment acknowledged receipt of the application for funding assistance.

Mr. Morris advised of a complaint from a Kennedyville service area customer relating to particles in the water. Mr. Morris reported that he has had the water and equipment analyzed and concluded that the particles are sediment from the homeowner's plumbing system. Commissioner beck inquired if he had received any other similar complaints. Mr. Morris advised that no other complaints had been received.

Worton Service Area - Mr. Morris reported of request from Charles "Chip" MacLeod, Project Consultant, requesting sewer allocation for the proposed Community Center Project, Phase I. Given the project has not commenced, the Commissioners requested the matter be revisited in 2003.

Tolchester Service Area - A Public Works Agreement was approved and signed by the County Commissioners and Ralph M. Peck for a sewer allocation in the Tolchester Service Area.


Warden Ronald Howell, and James Dempsey, Correctional Officer, appeared and Mr. Dempsey presented to the Commissioners and Warden Howell with a Certificate of Recognition to Kent County from the National Guard and Reserve Force as a Patriotic Employer. Mr. Dempsey advised that he served for one year protecting homeland. On behalf of the Detention Center, Warden Howell expressed his appreciation for the Certificate of Recognition and thanked Mr. Dempsey for his service.


The Commissioners received correspondence from John Bernstein, Director, Maryland Environmental Trust, advising of the following conservation easements donated to Maryland Environmental Trust and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy:

Philip and Lisa Hoon on a twenty acre property

Robert, Jean And Christine Payne on a sixty six acre property

George Conner on a 23 acre property

A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration.


Elmer Horsey, Economic Development Director, appeared to advise of a $5,000 grant from Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) sponsored by Conectiv Power Delivery to be used for marketing. He plans to obtain cost estimates for development of a CD to promote both living and working in Kent County. He will be working with Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, to obtain proposals from local businesses. Ed Athey, Chairman, Economic Development Advisory Board, was also in attendance.


The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for the Radcliffe Creek School Fund-raising Committee for an event to be held on November 11 at the school.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that he and a marine contractor reviewed the condition of the bulkhead at Gratitude Landing. He advised that the 16' bulkhead has deteriorated to the point that it may have an adverse effect on the roadway. Mr. Stanton reported that the estimated cost to repair the bulkhead would be $2,400. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to fund repairs to the bulkhead in the amount of $2,400 from contingency fund, contingent upon the unavailability of Highway User Funds for the project.


At 11:45 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 relating to the Block Grant Program.

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


The Commissioners received correspondence from Nancy Zinn, M.S. , R.N., Executive Director, forwarding a copy of the final Internal Audit for FY 02 for Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc.


The County Administrator reported that he attended the quarterly meeting at the Mid-Shore Regional Solid Waste Facility and forwarded a copy of the FY 02 Year End Report. The schedule for the regional facility is as follows: The Regional Solid Waste facility located in Easton is estimated to be at capacity in 2010. Caroline County will be next host County for the facility in 2011. It is scheduled for Queen Anne' s to host the facility in 2030 and Kent County in 2051.


At 9:00 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 at 9:02 a.m.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Wednesday, November 6, 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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