KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
December 27, 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. ET. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $8,346,847.00
Correspondence was received from Marian Fry, expressing her opinion that agriculture is an important industry in Kent County and inquired if the FAA would consider moving the location of the proposed airport from an agricultural community to an area along U.S. 301 corridor.
BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING AND PARK
In follow-up from November 19 recommendation by the Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Division representatives, to construct a concrete slab adjacent to the Bayside Public Landing and Park ramp, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, and James Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, appeared and provided details from the December 20 bid opening held at 2:00 p.m. at the Public Works Complex, 709 Morgnec Road, Chestertown. The bids received are as follows:
The estimated cost of this project was $7,800. Due to the cost, Mr. Stanton recommended the project be pursued in-house. He advised that he would make a further recommendation next week.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Correspondence was received from Dr. Yale Stenzler, Executive Director, Public School Construction Program, advising that the amendments to the Rules, Regulations, and Procedures for the Administration of the School Construction Program were approved on December 18.
The Commissioners agreed to write to Delegate Walkup to submit the names of Thomas M. Groce, Jr. and James J. Lupis, Jr. for her to submit to the Governor for consideration to fill the vacancy on the Chesapeake College Board of Trustees due to the upcoming resignation of Commissioner Livie.
CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL
Bill Ingersoll, Chestertown Town Manager, appeared to discuss annexation of the area contiguous with the Town along the Chester River between Alger Oil, Inc., and KRM Development Corporation lands. Earnest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, was in attendance for this meeting. Mr. Ingersoll presented a copy of the signed Resolution as well as an outline for extension of services, including water and sewer. Mr. Ingersoll advised of a developer's plan to construct condominiums in the area. He felt this proposal would benefit the Town and County in economic development.
Commissioner Livie expressed his support of the project. Mr. Ingersoll reported of the public hearing scheduled for February 10. The Commissioners advised of their intent to meet with the Chestertown Mayor and Council. Mr. Morris requested that no action be taken on the sewer line until further discussion is held. The Commissioners concurred.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Worton Service Area - The Commissioners received correspondence from John Hansen, Cambridge, advising that he feels that he should not be responsible for the excessive water use charge against him and the expanse of the quarterly bills since the incident since he has had the water shut off since May 2002 and questioned possibility of Mr. Morris' crew causing the rupture in the line during regular maintenance work.
Mr. Morris provided a copy of a letter of response to Mr. Hansen advising of the policy to continue to bill the homeowner (when a leak occurs and the water is turned off) the minimum quarterly charge. Mr. Morris further noted that since no payment has been received since May, the property will be placed on the tax sale list if the account is not paid in full.
Quaker Neck Service Area - Mr. Morris forwarded an application for 12 sewer allocations from Lawrence and Associates as the Master Water and Sewer Plan was amended on December 3 to include this property in the Quaker Neck Service Area. Mr. Morris recommended the request be acknowledged, however, wait until the Master Water and Sewer Plan be approved by State.
Mr. Morris recommended service to the area which he estimated to be 75-100 properties. Commissioner Livie expressed his goal of providing service to the entire area, including the development and other residents. The County Administrator confirmed the feasibility study cost to be approximately $10,000 - $12,000. Mr. Morris advised that since the Chestertown infrastructure is being updated, adding additional users to serve the area would be timely. Commissioner Pickrum concurred and suggested the cost be shared. He requested to proceed with the feasibility study as soon as possible.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Judith and Daniel Oberholtzer, 25175 Lovers Lane, expressing concern with the action taken on December 3 by the former Commissioners relating to the Amendment to the Master Water and Sewer Plan requested by Lawrence and Associates. Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer advised of their understanding that a study was to be done to review the sewage needs in the area before proceeding. Mr. and Mrs. Oberholtzer reported that their septic system is failing and believes residents with failing septic systems should receive sewer allocations before a new sub-division. They requested the Commissioners to assist in resolving the matter.
An invitation will be extended to the Chestertown Mayor and Council to meet with the Commissioners on January 23 at 7:00 p.m. for discussion relating to this service area.
Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence directed to Millington residents relating to scheduling meetings/site visits over the next several weeks with homeowners and Brandywine Construction/McCrone Engineering, to discuss and determine the location of the grinder pump.
Mr. Morris provided draft sewer and water service agreements for review by the Commissioners.
Mr. Morris noted that he would be requesting an additional water and wastewater operator position if his department for the Millington water and wastewater expansion project once construction commences.
Commissioner Crow inquired if the project is fiscally sound. Mr. Morris advised the rates, set by the Commissioners would determine the financial outcome of the project. Mr. Morris estimated construction to commence on the wastewater project in March.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, appeared to discuss the Early Action Compact for Kent and Queen Anne's Counties. The agreement enables the Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards to protect health and environment. Commissioner Pickrum inquired what could be done to improve air quality when air born pollutants reach Kent County from other areas, possibly other states. Mr Canan expressed concern that the document was not specific in Kent County's commitment to a remedy.
Mrs. Owings advised that the document is to be signed by December 31 and recommended a representative from Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) meet with the Commissioners to further discuss the matter. Mr. Rex Kershaw, Rock Hall, expressed concern of Velsicol may be contributing to the poor air quality. Mrs. Owings also noted that U.S. Route 301 and U.S. 95 traffic may be a source of poor air quality as well.
Later in the day, Mrs. Owings advised that an MDE representative would be present on December 31 to further delineate the intent of the program/document.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Donald Keldsen, Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) forwarding a Notice to Proceed with the FY 2002 funding as it relates to the State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program. A copy of this information was forwarded to Robert Rust, Director, Emergency Management.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The County Attorney reported the balance from the Jarrett foreclosure sale from a rehabilitation loan in the amount of $2,547.82 will come back to the County.
KENT FAMILY CENTER
Correspondence was received from Governor Parris Glendening advising of the Board of Public Works has approved Kent County's request for $120,000 in State grant funds to assist Shared Opportunities Services, Inc., for construction of the Kent Family Center.
LAND USE ORDINANCE
The Commissioners received correspondence from Richard Feeny, Worton, expressing concern of the recently approved Land Use Ordinance that includes the enclave provision. He stated his opinion that the public should have the opportunity, via a public hearing, to express their opinions best serving the future of Kent County.
Correspondence will go forth to those who have written relating to the newly adopted Land Use Ordinance advising this matter is currently under review by the Planning Commission.
MAGNOLIA HALL REHABILITATION NURSING CENTER
The County Attorney recommended continued service of current bond counsel for new bond issues at Magnolia Hall. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum, to continue with current Bond Counsel, Neal Hoffberger, for Magnolia Hall.
Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, appeared and reviewed operations and functions of the Budget and Accounting Office. Various suggestions were made by the Board for Mrs. Merritt to explore and to report back her findings.
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.
PLANNING AND ZONING ADMINISTRATION
The Commissioners received a copy of the 2001 Infrastructure Needs Survey Report from James Noonan, Director, Local Planning Assistance, Maryland Department of Planning. The report covers 27 types of infrastructure ranging from schools, public transportation, roads, bridges, sidewalks, libraries and parks.
In follow-up from the November 17 bid opening for the design and construction of an open canopy parking structure at the Public Works Complex, correspondence was received from Edward Spray, Superintendent, County Roads, advised of discussion with the lowest bidder, Byler Builders LLC, to reduce the cost. He advised that the cost could be reduced to $112,000 (from $131,000) by eliminating electrical costs, reduction of cost of steel and eliminating one foot of overhang. With these cost reductions he recommended to proceed with the project. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to accept the (modified) low bid of $112,000. The Commissioners approved and signed a contract by and between the Commissioners and Byler Builders, LLC for the amount of $112,000.
RESOURCE, CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
Correspondence was received from William S. Sutton, RC& D Council Chairman, welcoming Commissioner Crow to serve as the Commissioner representative on the Maryland Eastern Shore RC& D Council and requested an alternate member also be appointed. Commissioner Pickrum will serve as the alternate member and Mr. Sutton will be so advised.
ROCK HALL PLANNING COMMISSION
The Commissioners received correspondence from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising that on January 8 the Rock Hall Planning Commission will review the final plat submitted by Howard Gibson, to divide his property located adjacent to Bayside Public Landing and Park.
Sheriff Price and John Vail, Assistant to the County Administrator, to provide an update on the progress of the effort towards achieving accreditation from Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) for the Sheriff's Office. Mr. Vail advised that accreditation will reduce the liability, potential reduce insurance costs, and allows the Sheriff's Office to match itself against national standards. He also reported that although regulations were in place, a full operations manual has been updated.
Mr. Vail stated that the accreditation assessors would be in Kent County August 2003, with accreditation slated for November 2003. Mr. Vail noted that his employment agreement expired in June and requested it be extended to December 2003. An interested citizen in attendance questioned internal affairs procedures as it relates to CALEA. Mr. Vail advised that the standards required advertising of the procedure to register complaint a relating to a deputy. He recommended the County web site provide a vehicle to relay information relating to internal affairs. Mr. Vail also noted that a public hearing would be a part of the accreditation process. In the absence of controlling legislation governing mutual aid, Mr. Vail also recommended the Commissioners seek approval to enter into a Mutual Aid Agreement with the neighboring law enforcement agencies.
A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to proceed with Mutual Aid Agreements, extend Mr. Vail's employment agreement and to have the Kent County web site modified to provide information on the Sheriff's Office.
The Commissioners approved and signed Mutual Aid Agreements with neighboring law enforcement agencies (Chestertown, Queen Anne's County, Rock Hall, Cecil County, and New Castle County, Delaware) as a part of the accreditation process.
An invitation will be extended to the Mayor and Council of the five incorporated towns to
meet with the County Commissioners on January 28 at 7:00 p.m. for discussion on issues of mutual interest and tax differential.
The Commissioners approved the updated Tourism Development 5 Year Strategic Plan as developed and prepared by the Tourism Development Advisory Board and Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director.
The Commissioners received a Tourism progress report for the month of November prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Director, Tourism.
TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Jack Canan, Economic Development Coordinator, and John General, Consultant, appeared to provide an update on the Transportation Advisory Committee. Mr. General provided and reviewed documentation of the Chesapeake Bay Region Technical Center of Excellence. He reviewed the mission to develop environmentally friendly high technology companies which have the potential to create community and personal wealth on the Eastern Shore. He reviewed several projects including Maryland Upper Shore Transit (MUST), and Incubator Feasibility Study. Commissioner Livie expressed interest in touring a technical incubator project underway. Mr. General advised of approximately 10 incubator projects in development and would arrange for a tour.
Correspondence was received from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, advising that he met with both Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) representative and Director of Public Works, Caroline County, to discuss the building purchased in Denton as permanent dispatch and garage facility for USTAR Transportation Program. As a result of that meeting, he forwarded a detailed project budget regarding the renovation of the facility. The local match share for the $2,095,600 project is $287, 560 of which $130,000 has been located. Mr. Burke requested a meeting be scheduled with Talbot and Caroline Counties to discuss the remaining local match funding of $157,560. The County Administrator advised that a meeting will be scheduled in the near future.
Bill Ingersoll, Chestertown Town Manager, appeared and advised of the dedication and ribbon cutting of the Visitor's Center located at Cross and Maple Avenue, Chestertown on January 14 at noon.
WATER MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION
In follow -up from October 22 correspondence was received from the Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers advising that public informational meeting for Joseph E. Colen's has application to construct a 375 foot long stone revetment and to mechanically maintenance dredge a 700 foot long by 25 channel located by his property in Rock Hall has been changed to January 9, 2003 at the County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown. Questions may be directed to Charles DeRose at 410 537-3851.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.