KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
November 19, 2002
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $ 8,531,993.00.
BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING AND PARK
Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that a recommendation was made by the Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Division representatives to construct a concrete slab adjacent to the ramp so that it remains free of debris. Mr. Stanton advised that the project included a handicap parking spot, estimated to cost $6,700, could be funded from his current Waterway Improvement Grant. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded from Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to proceed with the project for the amount of $6,700.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Dr. Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Interagency Committee on School Construction, directed to Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent, Kent Public Schools, advising of the status of the Capital Improvement Program requests for FY04. Dr. Stenzler reported that only one of the two FY04 Capital project requests was funded. The Galena Middle School door and window replacement project was funded in the amount of $225,000. The Chestertown Middle School boiler replacement project was not funded. Commissioner Fithian stated that this was the first year he can recall that a capital request was not funded.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Dr. Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Interagency Committee on School Construction, proposing two amendments to the Rules, Regulations and Procedures for the Administration of the School Construction Program. The amendments include allocation adjustment per County, and the formation of an Interagency Committee on School Construction.
Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, appeared to review options (pay cash or financing) for a budget amendment proposal relating to funds required for the final payments to enter the State Retirement System Pension Plans. Mrs. Merritt recommended the payment of $587,965 to be made from the fund balance rather than financing given the strong cash position
of the County. A motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to pay the pension payment from the fund balance. The Commissioners approved and signed a Resolution for the FY 03 budget amendment.
COMMUNITY WORK PROGRAM
The Commissioners received correspondence from Robert Sparre, Director, Community Work Program, advising that the Community Work Program is in need of additional worksite locations. Worksites must be not for profit or some form of government agency for offenders to perform community service. Commissioner Beck recommended sending letter to non-profit organizations seeking interest in this program.
A bid opening was held at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for for demolition and disposal of various structures at 315 Middle Street and 337 West Street, Millington. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were in attendance. The following bids were received:
Mr. Wright recommended the lowest bidder, Unruh Excavating, Inc., for the amount of $9,500. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to award the project to Unruh Excavating, Inc.
OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The Commissioners received a copy of the permit in the name of Department of Natural Resources to construct an alternate material oyster reef to enhance shellfish and finfish habitat. The project allows for the construction of two reef sites, located approximately 5,600 yards offshore west, southwest, of Tolchester. The project is authorized until December 31, 2012. A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, for his information and files.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Correspondence was received from Shirley Williams, Assistant Director, Family Investment Programs, requesting disbursement of the remainder FY 03 Local Emergency Assistance allocation in the amount of $6,500. Mrs. Williams reported that to date 45 Kent County families have been served. The Commissioners approved this request.
The Commissioners appointed Ruth R. Briscoe as a member the Social Services Board to serve an unexpired term ending June 30, 2004 and Charles L. Hilton for three year term ending June 30, 2005.
EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY
Correspondence was received from Amy Owsley, Director of Community Planning, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, expressing appreciation for the regional signing of the land use agreement, Eastern Shore: 2010 A Regional Vision. She advised that each County will be presented with a framed document.
The Commissioners received correspondence from J.S. Whitney, Executive Director, Emergency Numbers Systems Board, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, advising that after the September 4 inspection, Kent County 9-1-1 Center has met the standards of performance and reliability. A Certificate of Excellence was forwarded to be presented to Robert Rust, Jr., Director, Emergency Management.
HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Per the recommendation from Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, Housing and Community Development, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed the Certification of Categorically Excluded Activities Request for Release of Funds for the Department of Housing and Community Development to release the $185,000 grant award.
LAND USE ORDINANCE
In follow-up from the November 12 Land Use Ordinance public hearing, the Commissioners received the following correspondence related to the Land Use Ordinance:
Robert and Elizabeth Hodge, Georgetown, requested their property located Tax Map 1, Parcel 8 remain zoned with a density of one dwelling unit per acre.
Ed Athey requested the comments made by Dan Saunders, Esq., be considered as he believes the proposed change in density of agricultural land may alter the value of the property if used as collateral. Mr. Athey also noted his support of the growth for marinas in the County.
William F. D'Alonzo, Turner's Creek Farm, requested the Commissioners not to change the zoning on the 111 acre parcel of his 500 acre farm, located on Tax Map 6, Parcel 226. He feels that the property was purchased zoned as Rural Residential and changing the zoning to Rural Character would have a negative financial impact.
Philip W. Hoon, Esq., representing Mr. and Mrs. Authur L. Foster, and son Eric, relating to their property Tax Map 37, Parcel 105, requesting their property maintain the Rural Residential zoning, one dwelling per acre. The proposed zoning of Rural Character District would severely reduce its potential density to 1 dwelling per 20 acres, hence reduce its potential value.
Laura Lynn Williams and David Williams, owners Tax Map 50 Parcel 45 and Parcel 75, requesting their properties not be zoned as Marine. Mr. Williams cites several reasons why the waterfront property is not suited for development/marina use.
Eileen McLellan, Ph.D., Chester Riverkeeper, proposed to 1) establish and protect a green infrastructure at the landscape scale, 2) ensure development avoids, minimizes and mitigates environmental impacts, and 3) provide for each zoning decision a mechanism for balancing the public benefits of environmental protection with the public/private desire for development. She provided specific details for each proposal.
A Land Use Ordinance workshop was held with Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration. After discussion, the following changes to the ordinance were proposed by the Commissioners to be incorporated in the final document to be prepared for voting on December 3:
Zoning Map Amendments
Zoning Map Amendments
Commissioner Fithian requested consideration be given to regulating hedgerows near roadways. He stated that hedgerows prevent car traffic from seeing both the landscape and deer as they cross the roadways. He expressed concern as to vehicular safety as well as expense for utilities to trim private property hedgerows.
Commissioner Fithian expressed his desire to allow Green Point and the Wharf at Handy's Point to expand their operations. Mrs. Owings advised that in order to expand the marinas the County would use double the amount of growth allocation to address these issues. This issue will be further discussed.
Commissioner Fithian expressed concern that the change to extend piers 150' but take away appeal process. He stated he understood that by extending the length of allowable piers to 150' the need for the appeal process would lessen, however, he believes the appeal process is necessary.
Mrs. Owings advised that the Critical Area Commission made unofficial recommendations that will eventually be incorporated into the ordinance once adopted.
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 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 Use Ordinance and litigation.
The executive session adjourned at 10:00 a.m.
Correspondence was received from Robert Merritt, Maintenance Supervisor, advising that the Library door closures need replacing. He estimated the replacement cost of $1,709.92 can be funded from his FY 03 budget.
As recommended by the Board of Library Trustees, the Commissioners approved appointment of Eloise Johnson and Donald F. Wierda to serve as a member of the Board of Library Trustees for a six year term ending January 1, 2008.
In follow-up from last week , Mr. Stanton provided another cost estimate for renovations to the Hearse House. He reported the additional estimate was also higher than originally thought. No action was taken at this time.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST
The County Administrator advised that he, the Director of Human Resources and the Safety Coordinator, attended the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) annual meeting where Kent County received a service award as well as a Maryland State flag that has been flown over the State House.
LOCAL INCOME TAX
Correspondence was received from Howard Simons, Distribution and Distributions Section, Comptroller of Maryland, advising that new percentages have been developed for purposes of preparing local income taxes.
MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST
Correspondence was received from John Berstein, Director, Maryland Environmental Trust, advising that Greg and Christine Asplundh propose to donate a conservation easement on their 58-acre property to the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.
The Commissioners unanimously approved and signed amendment to the Personnel Policies and Procedures to increase eligibility for health insurance for an employee retiring from Kent County Government on or after July 1, 2002 who has accumulated thirty years of service or more to be effective as of November 19, 2002.
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.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared to review the Planning Commission 2001 Annual Report.
Mrs. Owings reported on the November 7 Planning Commission meeting.
SKINNERS NECK PUBLIC LANDING
The Commissioners approved to honor David Mench's request to transfer his boat from his current rental slip to the slip vacated by Bobby Plato and to release the slip used by Mr. Mench to the next person on the waiting list.
UPPER SHORE AGING
The Commissioners reappointed Clarence A. Hawkins as a member of the Upper Shore Aging Board of Directors for a three year term ending September 30, 2005.
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Kenny Howard, Chief, Regional Planning, Maryland Transit Administration, directed to Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, advising that USTAR is in compliance with all operations and all corrective actions have been successfully addressed.
Amy Moredock appeared to report on the Urieville Lake forum that took place on November 17 to further discuss Urieville Lake restoration options. Ms. Moredock noted the meeting did not take place at the lake due to inclement weather. Ms. Moredock advised that the dredging option was cost prohibitive and funding was a major issue. She advised that the community would be meeting to discuss funding options on a community level such as grants. Ms. Moredock advised that restoration options included moving the dam to the historic site and create fish ladders. She stated that taking no action was also an option given the cost involved with any of the options presented. There will be another meeting scheduled during the first week of December to come up with recommendations to submit to the Commissioners and Department of Natural Resources.
In follow up to correspondence received from James Brandon, Chief, Northern Branch Property Disposal Division, the County Administrator reported that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Police has expressed interest in occupying several buildings on this property. A representative of DNR Police contacted Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, to seek interest from the County to share the property. The Commissioners requested that Mr. Troester present this issue before the new Board of Commissioners.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.