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Board of County Commissioners

December 17, 2002

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum, 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 $8,064,727.00.


Judge Thomas Sisk appeared to discuss the airport project. He advised that although he is a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board, he was not discussing the matter on their behalf. He requested another review of the airport project be made since he feels it will benefit very few citizens at the current proposed location. He stated his opinion that the proposed airport location does lend itself to industrial development and a location near U.S. Route 301, a main highway, would be more accessible to industry. He also expressed concern that if the airport location was moved Federal/State funding would not be available. Commissioner Pickrum advised that the project is nearing its final stages. An Economic Development Impact Study is due to be received and once available will be made to the public Commissioner Livie requested an updated proforma and expressed interest in cost to date. The County Administrator estimated $350,000 to date; 5% of which is reimbursable.

Tyler Campbell, member of the Airport Advisory Committee, and Dr. Bob Jones, were in attendance and advised of information received from the AOPA and they have prepared a fact sheet should the Commissioners be interested. Dr. Jones referred to advisory regulations of the location of an airport in relation to existing airports and history of current site selection. Mr. Campbell invited the Commissioners to view the Cambridge airport operation. Commissioner Pickrum reiterated that a decision on the project would be forthcoming.


Commissioner Pickrum requested that a copy of annual reports from County departments/agencies received be forwarded to the public library for public access.


The Commissioners received correspondence dated December 9 from Dr. Bonnie Ward, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools, directed to Dr. Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Public School Construction Program, providing written testimony for consideration to reverse the decision to defer the proposed capital project of replacement of boilers and underground fuel oil tank at the Chestertown Middle School.

Correspondence dated December 13 was received from Dr. Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Public School Construction Program, advising that Interagency Committee on School Construction met December 12 to review and act upon the staff recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2004 Public School Construction Capital Improvement Program. The following action was taken for Kent County State funding:

Chestertown Middle School - Boilers $ 0

Galena Middle School- Windows and Doors $225,000


The County Administrator advised that he and the Commissioners attended an orientation with Dr. Stuart Bounds, Chesapeake College, and financial staff at the college. Commissioner Pickrum stated that the college was underutilized by Kent County residents. Commissioner Livie advised that the development of transportation programs may stimulate enrollment. He further noted on the many benefits of the college and reported the Higher Education Facility is nearly completed. The construction of this facility was 100% funded by the State, however, no State funding was available for operating expenses.


Correspondence was received from William R. Kirk, Jr., President and CEO, Chester River Health Systems, welcoming the Commissioners and advising of their willingness to serve as a resource on healthcare issues that impact the community.


In follow-up from last week, correspondence was received from Jim Wright, County Engineer, addressing a complaint from Rex Kershaw, relating to a continued pattern of inconsistent air temperature in the County Government Center. Mr. Wright advised that the HVAC system is installed as designed and specified. Mr. Kershaw feels improvement is needed and should be addressed. The County Administrator agreed to continue to monitor the system.


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

Piney Neck/Skinner Neck Service Area - Per Mr. Morris's recommendation, the Commissioners approved a sewer allocation request from Sallie Jacquette for property identified as on Tax Map 51, Parcel 128.

Millington Water and Sewer Expansion Project - Commissioner Crow inquired if surplus allocations were included for the future. Mr. Morris advised of the number of planned users and allocations for both water and wastewater for the project leaving 48 reserved EDU's for water and 85 reserve for wastewater.

Correspondence was received from Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, advising that review has been made of the Agreement, Payment Bond and Performance Bond and found them to be in order. The Performance Bond is good for the construction period or any extension thereof for the term of one year and for any changes that may be incurred that do not increase the contract more than 20%. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the Notice of Award and Agreement with Brandywine Construction Company, Inc. as it relates to the Millington Wastewater Collection System Project. A copy of the Payment and Performance Bond for this project was also received.

Edesville Service Area - Rev. Ruben Freeman, President, Edesville Homeowners Association, inquired if there were only two allocations left in the Edesville Service area. Mr. Morris advised that he did not know exact numbers, however, with only one well the system could not afford many more users. Rev. Freeman broached the subject because a church may be coming to the area. Mr. Morris advised that a church is typically one EDU. Mr. Morris advised that the project to connect Edesville service area to the Rock Hall system in the event of an emergency was moving forth.

Quaker Neck Service Area - In response to inquiry made as to the water and sewer map amendment submitted by Kent Lawrence, Mr. Morris reported that the Resolution (signed by the former Board of Commissioners) and map were submitted to the Department of the Environment for approval.


The Commissioners received the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center Annual Report 2001-2002.


Correspondence was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising that one requirement of the Preservation Incentives for Local Governments grant was to establish the Heritage Advisory Committee to include an elected official. Ms. Martin requested an official be appointed.


Correspondence was received from Nancy Palmer, Administrator, Federal Resources, advising of the Notice of Removal of Grant Conditions and Release of Funds in the amount of $185,000 for the Housing Improvement Program representing Phase IV.


The Commissioners approved and signed the Kent County Drug Task Force Agreement and Kent County Drug Task Force Forfeiture Agreement by and between the Maryland Department of State Police (MSP), Chestertown Police Department, Rock Hall Police Department, the Kent County State's Attorney, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Department of Natural Resources, Kent County Commissioners, Chestertown Mayor and Council and the Rock Hall Mayor and Council.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Marcie Brown, Commissioners' Representative on the Planning Commission, appeared to report that the Planning Commission at its December 12 meeting, unanimously agreed that they are unable to endorse the Land Use Ordinance as passed by the former Board of Commissioners. She requested a meeting on behalf of the Planning Commission to discuss direction on the matter. She reiterated the goals of the Planning Commission is to focus on zoning that will benefit the entire County and not on an individual basis and not for short term.


Ann Hoon and Jane Hardy, representing the League of Women Voters, appeared to discuss government issues. Mrs. Hoon requested further information on Boards and Committees be disseminated to the public. She specifically requested it be made available as to duties involved for members on the various Boards and Committees, number of members, term limits, compensation, and meeting specifics.


At 10:55 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum 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 potential land acquisition and Quaker Neck Service Area.

The executive session adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


The Commissioners will meet with the local legislators for District 36 on Monday, January 13 at 9:00 a.m. in the County Commissioners Hearing Room, County Government Center.


Marilyn J. Praisner, Montgomery Council Member and President of MACo, James M. Harkens, Harford County Executive and In-Coming President of MACo, and David S. Bliden, MAC Executive Director, appeared to introduce themselves to the Board and to advise of the various functions and services that MACo provides to all Maryland counties. The Commissioners joined the MACo representatives for lunch and returned at 2:20 p.m.


Correspondence was received from John Berstein, Director, Maryland Environmental Trust, advising of the proposal by William D'Alonzo to donate a perpetual conservation easement on his 479 acre property to the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.


Notice was received that Civil case No. 0703-SP00030 -2002, County Commissioners v. William Ashley has been scheduled from December 5 to January 2, 2003 at 1:15 p.m.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Judie Berry, Recreation Supervisor, directed to Ms. Evon Thornton, Yoon's Martial Arts Academy, expressing appreciation for the donation of $816.00 raised during the "Kick-a-thon".


At 11:45 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with Sheriff John Price and John Vail, Administrative Assistant to the County Administrator, to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

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

At 2:40 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum 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 3:00 p.m.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Marcie Brown, Commissioners' Representative on the Planning Commission, appeared to report on the December 12 Planning Commission meeting.

A memorandum provided by Mrs. Owings was received delineating the role and responsibilities of the Planning Commission.

As adjoining property owners, the Commissioners received correspondence from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advising that on January 2, 2003, the Planning Commission will review a site plan submitted by David A Bramble for a 50 X 75 X 24 steel building on their property located on Morgnec Road adjacent to the Public Works Complex.


In follow-up from last week, correspondence was received from Lorraine Sexton, Risk Management Coordinator, recommending to accept the bid for property insurance from FAM & M, $1,000 deductible in the total amount of $46,057.00 for 2003.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared to report that after twenty-two years of serving on the Public Landings and Facilities Board, (PLFB) Douglas R. Edwards submitted letter of his resignation at their December 9 Board meeting. Mr. Stanton noted that Mr. Edwards served several years prior to the official formation of the PLFB.

The Commissioners received the Kent County Public Works Public Landing Annual Report for July 1, - June 30, 2002.


A bid opening was held at 9:15 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for the design and construction of an open canopy parking structure at the Public Works Complex . Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were in attendance. The following bids were received:

Bidder Bid Amount
Byler Builders LLC

Clayton, DE

J.J. DeLuca Company, Inc.

Wayne, PA


Mr. Wright advised the project was estimated to cost $98,000. He requested to review the bids and make a recommendation at a later time.


Correspondence was received Timothy Edwards, Chairman New Fire House Committee, Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company (RHFVC) requesting assistance in financing eligibility for tax free interest rate and initiate steps for a public hearing as it relates to construction of a new firehouse and community hall. A letter went forth to Mr. Edwards advising that the Commissioners have approved the RHFVC as an improved organization which is authorized and required to provide fire protection, firefighting and emergency medical services in Kent County. A public hearing has been scheduled for January 7, 2003 at 9:30 a.m. for the purpose of receiving public comment on the fire company's proposed loan.


Commissioner Crow expressed concern of potential dangerous intersections in the communities of Massey and Sassafras and suggested possibility of a four-way stop. He inquired of Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, the process to address issues of public safety. Mr. Stanton advised that he could forward his concerns directly or request State Highway Administration representatives to appear for further discussion. Commissioner Crow requested Mr. Stanton to forward the concerns on his behalf and request evaluation to be conducted.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to discuss surplus Government property identified as a portion of the Still Pond Station, consisting of 12.42 acres that is available for disposal. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, was also in attendance. Mr. Troester advised that he had toured the property at which the multi-purpose building, basketball/tennis court, pavilion, landing and access road was identified as surplus property. The Coast Guard's plans to retain the barracks, pier, and small out buildings adjacent to the pier. Mr. Troester advised that Echo Hill Outdoor School currently uses the area for learning excursions may be interested in developing a partnership to use the facility should it belong to the County. He advised that should the property be acquired, it could be used on a seasonal basis, unlike Program Open Space acquired properties. Commissioner Livie inquired as to the condition of the landing. Mr. Stanton advised that although the ramp was primitive, it could be improved. Mr. Troester advised that any improvements would not necessarily need to be made immediately and could be done over a period of time. Mr. Troester recommended pursuing the opportunity to acquire/preserve this waterfront property. A copy of correspondence was provided directed to the General Service Administration form Secretary J. Charles Fox of the Department of Natural Resources advising the DNR has determined that the property will better serve the citizens of Maryland under the ownership of Kent County.

Later in the day, Peter Rice, Jr., Director, Echo Hill Outdoor School, appeared to advise that the school keeps two 40 foot boats at the Still Pond Station. After September 11, 2001, they had to move the boats and it became evident the importance of the facility to Echo Hill School.

Mr. Troester advised word should be received soon from the General Services Administration as to application and procedures. No determination was made by the Board.


Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the status of Urieville Lake Project. Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advised that a citizens meeting took place on Sunday at Dr. Forney's residence. Agreement was made to submit a letter of support to work proposed to be done to the Lake and to encourage preservation of habitat.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Friday, December 27, 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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