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Board of County Commissioners

December 31, 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 $7,473,170.00.


The Commissioners requested additional information be provided on the airport project.


The Commissioners advised of desire for various county boards and committees commence their regular meetings in the evening which will allow county residents more of an opportunity to attend and/or seek membership. However, if a board or committee wants to meet earlier than 6:00 p.m., approval would need to be obtained from the County Administrator.


Charles "Chip" MacLeod, project consultant, Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, Judie Berry, Project Director, Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board, and Michael Thielke, representing the Chester Bridge Foundation, appeared to discuss the Community Center Project. Mr. MacLeod provided a chronology of the project as well as architect's renderings of the community center. He reported that a $1,000,000 commitment had been garnered from the previous Board of Commissioners, real property located near Parks and Recreation building and the high school was designated as the Community Center location and financial commitment from the LMB was secured.

Mr. Thielke reported that the Chester Bridge Foundation had raised $46,000 as seed money toward preliminary expenses for the project. He advised of the Chester Bridge Foundation Board's commitment to support the project and reported a business plan and fund raising campaign plan were available for review.

Mr. MacLeod reported of the Board of Education's commitment to the project in that it would be utilized by the school system during the day and for after school programs.

Ms. Berry advised that construction was proposed to be in phases. She also noted that informational meetings reflected the need for a recreation center for the entire family, not just youth oriented. Ms. Berry spoke of the need for a swimming facility in a water oriented community as well as child care. Mrs. Livie expressed her appreciation of the Chester Bridge

Foundation's accomplishments in a short period of time. She feels the State has endorsed this project as a County/private venture, since one entity most likely could not do the project alone. It is being proposed that a separate authority such as a non-profit organization operate the facility.

A member of the audience inquired if the cost of liability had been factored in the project. Mr. Thielke advised that the business plan called for a $7 Million project cost and a $2 Million endowment for operations, which did include liability costs. A member of the audience also inquired if membership would be limited to Kent County. Mr. Thielke advised that the business plan suggested the community center become a regional facility with a membership fee for County residents and non-county residents, and some subsides for those residing in Kent County who cannot afford to pay the membership fee.

Mr. MacLeod inquired as to the next step relating to the project and legislation involvement. Commissioner Pickrum advised of the Board's intent to discuss the project at a meeting with District 36 Legislators scheduled for January 13.


In response to the Request for Proposal (RFP) recently advertised for the position of County Attorney, five proposals were received. The Commissioners will take time to review the proposals and discuss this matter next week.


A community public information meeting to be hosted by the County Commissioners has been scheduled on February 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Millington Fire Hall.


The Commissioners received a copy of the Crossroads Community Fiscal Year 2002 Annual Report.


Worton Service Area - The Commissioners received correspondence from Jay Yerkes, Estimator, Project Manager, from Mt. Olive Church, requesting water and sewer allocations for a church addition. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and passed by the majority of the Board to approve this request. Commissioner Pickrum abstained from voting on this issue.


In follow-up from last week Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, appeared with Randy Moshier and Diane Franks, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) representatives, to discuss the Early Action Compact for Kent and Queen Anne's Counties. Jack Canan, Economic Development Coordinator, was also in attendance. The agreement enables the Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards to protect health and environment. Ms. Franks described the standards and noted Kent County did not meet the ozone attainment standards and had three failures within the last three years. She noted that fires in Quebec may have exacerbated the summer pollution causing extreme conditions and may be waived. The Kent/Queen Anne's monitoring site, located in Millington, was in a transport region. Ms. Franks confirmed Commissioner Pickrum's inquiry as to ozone pollutants that did not originate in Kent County, penalty is still applicable despite pollutants being transported to Kent County. Mr. Moshier advised that since Kent County does not qualify to for the Early Action Compact, MDE/ Kent County could prove good intent by signing the document and participate when standards are met in the future. By entering into the compact it may reduce the need for additional and potentially costly measures such as fuel additives, etc. Mr. Moshier reported that Queen Anne's County Commissioners signed the agreement this morning. Ms. Franks confirmed that Kent County was borderline compliance and anticipated future compliance. Commissioner Crow inquired as to the possibility of moving the monitoring site away from the U.S. Route 301 corridor. Ms. Franks advised that she would investigate, however, the site, located in 1993 provided historical data and doubted it would be relocated. Commissioner Pickrum inquired in State inspections sites included emissions testing for truck transport. Ms. Franks advised that there is a program on the Western Shore that monitors smoke emissions. Commissioner Pickrum requested consideration be given to initiating a similar program on the Eastern Shore.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to sign the Early Action Compact.


The following employees appeared to receive service recognition awards: (Other service awards were presented at the Employees Holiday Dinner on December 10).

25 Years - Phillip Russum, Sheriff's Office

20 Years - Robert Sparre, Community Work Program Director

15 Years - Robert Ayres, III, Sheriff's Office

William H. Dwyer, Jr., Sheriff's Office

Glenn M. Owens, Sheriff's Office

Grace Sisco, Detention Center

James G. Welch, Solid Waste

10 Years - Phillip Nickerson, Sheriff's Office

5 Years - Steve M. Linz, Sheriff's Office

Bryan Jackson, Roads Division

Ralph McGinnes, Roads Division

Thomas Rigby, Maintenance

Stanford Lewis, Solid Waste

Eugene Slaughter, Solid Waste

Benjamin Hicks, Sheriff's Office

The Commissioners congratulated all for their dedication and service.


Ed Spray, County Roads Superintendent, provided a summary of Kennedyville Bridge Expenses associated with the replacement as a result of damage incurred during Hurricane Floyd. The County portion paid (20%) $107,252.21 of the total $536,264.24 project cost. The County Administrator reported that the project was completed under budget.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Planning Commission members, Elizabeth Morris, Chairperson, William Sutton, Marcie Brown, Rev. Ruben Freeman, Roger Mangels and Jay Lancaster, appeared to discuss the Land Use Ordinance. Mrs. Owings provided a memorandum offering four options as to how to proceed with the recently adopted Land Use Ordinance. Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, was also in attendance.

Ms. Brown reviewed the history of the ordinance including the public input, public hearings and workgroup/Planning Commission/Planning and Zoning Administration dedication. She advised that the former Commissioners chose not to endorse the (2000 version) Land Use Ordinance because of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR's), Commercial development not larger than 60,000 square feet and open neon signs. She reported that after the (2002 version) Land Use Ordinance had public input, the Commissioners requested the enclave portion of the ordinance be put back in as well as the addition of hedgerow regulations and the ability to apply for a variance on pier permits. Mrs. Morris expressed her concern that the final version of the Land Use Ordinance was passed with substantial changes made the week before the vote, not allowing for public input.

Mr. Sutton reported of the dedication of the workgroup and their goal of having the best interest of Kent County in mind. Commissioner Pickrum thanked all for their years of dedication and assured all that the Board shared their concerns that the public did not have an opportunity for input before the final changes.

Commissioner Crow expressed concern for the value of farm land should the enclave portion be omitted from the ordinance. Commissioner Livie expressed his goal for land preservation and inquired if an option could be authored to phase out the enclave portion of the ordinance. Gail advised that a moratorium could be initiated on development or severe standards for the enclave be enforced.

Mr. Cookerly suggested that in view of the substantial changes that could be legally challenged, amendments be made to the Land Use Ordinance allowing for public hearings. Commissioner Pickrum noted that two separate issues were at hand; address the Land Use Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Sutton feels amendments to the Land Use Ordinance should be proposed before addressing the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan Update can be a lengthy process. Mrs. Morris did not feel major changes were needed in the Comprehensive Plan at this time. However, when it is addressed, strong positions need to be included since there has been some statements made by State representatives for Kent County being a possible location for another Northern Bay bridge.

Ms. Brown inquired with specific questions relating to amending the ordinance to include TDR's and commercial building limitations. The Commissioners concurred that TDR's was a broad issue and requested that proposed amendments be submitted for the Land Use Ordinance. Commissioner Pickrum again thanked all for their years of dedication and acknowledged a large task was again ahead of the workgroup and staff. Ms. Brown reiterated the need for a balance of individual preferences and the benefit of the County.

John Vail, Galena, expressed concern that the recently passed ordinance changed zoning for a northern portion of the County from Rural Residential to Community Residential increasing the density from 1 dwelling per 3 acres to 1 dwelling per acre. He requested that if a moratorium was not appropriate, zoning be changed to Rural Residential.

Dick Feeny, Worton, expressed concern that the enclave issue was presented at the final hour with only a select few having the opportunity to provide input. He also noted that in view of the preservation of farmland effecting land values, he suggested a multiplier/factor be created to adjust the land in the assessment process. Commissioner Crow advised the formulas were maintained by Federal and State agencies and could not be recalculated without legislation.

The Commissioners concurred for the Planning Commission to proceed to review the Land Use Ordinance for proposed amendments and to address the Comprehensive Plan at a later time. The Commissioners thanked all for their assistance.


At 12:00 noon, a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and passed by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session to discuss pending litigation in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 12:01 p.m.


Janice F. Fletcher, Executive Assistant, provided briefing on the operations and functions of the Board and Office of the County Commissioners.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Charles S. Frentz, Executive Director, Oyster Recovery Partnership, thanking the Commissioners for the $10,000 contribution to the program to support oyster restoration in the Chesapeake Bay.


At At 12:01 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, 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 12:15 p.m.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, January 7, 2003.


Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

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