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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

February 11, 2003

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum, presiding. Roy W. Crow was away on a family vacation.

T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as amended.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $ 5,308,745.00.

AIRPORT

The Commissioners received correspondence from Terry J. Page, Manager, Washington Airports District Office, Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) responding to questions posed relating to impact of location change to proposed airport project. Mr. Page confirmed that Federal funds would not be provided should the airport location be changed and advised that since there would be no FAA funds/participation with a change in site location for the airport the project would not be restricted with Federal/State regulations and would not result in any time delay.

Correspondence was received from Richard G. Davis, Heron Point, expressing his support for the proposed airport project.

BROADBAND COMMUNICATIONS
UPPER SHORE ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES

At the February 5 Upper Shore Association of Counties meeting discussion was held as to the RFP being requested to bring broadband communications to the Eastern Shore. The RFP is jointly sponsored by the Tri-County Council for the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and by the Mid-Shore Regional Council. Kent County's contribution would be $5,000 if decided to participate. A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to contribute to the broadband project in the amount of $5,000 from the Contingency Fund. Mr. Robinson reported the Information Systems Manager has agreed to represent Kent County on the Selection Committee.

BOARD OF EDUCATION

Correspondence was received from Barbara Strein, Deputy Director, Public School Construction Program, advising that at the January 22 Board of Public Works Meeting approval was given to the Interagency Committee on School Construction's recommendations for the FY 04 capital improvement program as presented, however, on January 23 Governor Robert Ehrlich increased the school construction allocation from $78.5 Million to $93.3 Million in his capital budget. She advised that additional projects will be recommended for approval by the Board of

Public Works at their March 5 meeting. Ms. Strein reported that the Counties will be informed of the Board of Public Works' decision at that time.

Correspondence was received from Frances W. Miller, Assistant Supervisor of Administrative Services, advising the Board of Education approved Budget Adjustment #4 at their February 3 meeting and now seeking approval from the Commissioners. A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to approve FY 03 Budget Amendment # 4 to both the unrestricted and restricted portions of the current expense fund as presented by Ms. Miller.

BUDGET

Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, appeared to obtain direction as to the budget process.

The Commissioners advised of desire for the County Administrator and Superintendent of Schools to devise a strategy in a joint effort on the County's behalf, to formally document the financial hardship that Kent County will experience based on the proposed reduction in State funding.

CHESTER RIVER ASSOCIATION

In follow-up from January 21 notification that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to roll back water quality standards on the Chester River, a copy of correspondence was received from Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners, directed to Allison Wiedeman, U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, requesting more data on the Chester River and advising that the new standards are unacceptable.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Correspondence was received from JoAnne Ellison, Ed. D., JAE Facilitation and Training, Inc., submitting two proposals for an organization development intervention with the Leadership of the Kent County government. A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to accept Proposal II in the amount of $3,000 plus expenses out of the General Services Fund. Conference call will be held with Commissioner Crow on February 12 to obtain his concurrence.

DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

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

Piney Neck Service Area - Per Mr. Morris' recommendation a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to approve sewer allocation for John Thompson, Tax Map 16, Parcel 110, Rock Hall.

General - Mr. Morris forwarded correspondence from Elaine K. Dietz, TMDL Outreach Coordinator, Technical and Regulatory Services Administration, Department of Environment, advising of the status of the development of the a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Middle Chester River. Mr. Morris reported that the proposed increased standards would impact the Kennedyville and Worton wastewater treatment facilities. Commissioner Pickrum requested a copy of the correspondence be forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration. In follow-up from January 14, Commissioner Livie requested Commissioner Cassell, Queen Anne's County, again be contacted relating to information requested on new wastewater treatment technology.

Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the status of the operating agreements with Millington for the Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project. Mr. Morris advised that the agreements were being reviewed by attorneys. Commissioner Pickrum requested the attorney reviews be expedited.

Wastewater Treatment Facilities - In follow-up from last week, Commissioner Livie requested Mr. Morris to contact Dr. Eileen McLellan, Chester Riverkeeper, to assist in locating funding for the upgrade of County wastewater treatment facilities. Commissioner Livie noted that the large goose population must impact the amount of nutrients in the waterways. Mr. Morris confirmed that geese do impact the ponds.

Water Storage Towers - Rex Kershaw expressed his concern that the antennas located on water storage towers may be causing electrolytic action with the potential of creating holes in the water towers. Mr. Morris advised that all contracts with antennae lessees specifically regulates grounding to prohibit damage to the water towers.

EXCISE TAX
LEGISLATION

The Commissioners received correspondence from the Caroline County Board of Commissioners requesting comment on the proposed legislation to eliminate the $750 per lot cap on development excise tax imposed under Article 25B, Section 13F of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Also proposed is to raise the development excise tax cap to $5,000. If approved, this would provide enabling legislation to all Code Home Rule counties. The Commissioners did not have any objection to the proposed legislation but agreed to review this request further next week with the Community Planner.

GRANT-IN-AID

Commissioner Pickrum read a press release announcing the Board of Commissioners unanimously passed Grant in Aid funding for the county's five incorporated towns. In an effort to partner with the towns of Betterton, Chestertown, Galena, Millington and Rock Hall, the Commissioners approved the appropriation of funds for the next four years to help the towns offset the impact of state funding decreases which are expected over the next several fiscal years. The towns and County are currently preparing their fiscal year 2004 budgets which will take effect July 1, 2003. The Commissioners believe it is their responsibility to provide assistance to the towns during these challenging budget times. It is hoped that the county's financial contribution will help municipalities avoid tax increases to town residents. The Commissioners approved the Grant in Aid program in response to a request made by the municipalities during a meeting between the Mayors and Commissioners on January 28, 2003. During the meeting the Mayors expressed concerns regarding the impact that the state budget cuts would have on

their towns.

Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey, Rock Hall Mayor Jay Jacobs, and Betterton Mayor Carolyn Sorge, representing Millington, T. Edward Robinson and Galena Council member Betty Carroll were in attendance. Mayor Bailey, Mayor Jacobs, Mayor Sorge, and Mrs. Carroll expressed their appreciation for the Commissioners' interest and support to the towns in financially difficult times.

HIGHWAY USER FUNDS

The County Administrator forwarded data on the proposed reduction to Highway User Revenues in FY 04. If approved by the Governor, Kent County will receive an estimated reduction of 78.6% of the total Highway User Funds.

IMPACT FEES

In a follow-up to inquiry made by the Commissioners, a memorandum was received from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, reviewing the types development exactions such as, impact fees, community facilities districts, and building excise taxes to assist with funding of needed infrastructure. She reported that she is conducting a survey of the use of the exactions in Maryland counties and related ordinances.

MARYLAND ENERGY CONSORTIUM

Correspondence was received from Hope Bliss, Maryland Energy Consortium, confirming interest in the consortium and to include Kent County government in the bid price. She advised that effective July 1, 2003 Connectiv accounts go into default and will be forwarding additional information.

MID-SHORE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC.
CORE SERVICE AGENCY

The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Nancy Zinn, M.S., R.N., Executive Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., directed to Gary Fry, Executive Director, Regional Mid-Shore Mental Health Services, responding to Mr. Fry's request for additional funding to address the Talbot County site deficit. Ms. Zinn advised that funding was not available and the request has been forwarded to the Mental Hygiene Administration.

PARKS AND RECREATION

Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to discuss proposed existing program and facility fees. He recommended an increase for all program and facility fees. Mr. Troester advised that after comparing other counties fees, he concluded that Kent County's fees were lower.

Mr. Troester proposed the following fee/program changes:

2001 SCHEDULE OF RENTAL FEES

WORTON PARK:

Arena $25.00/hr. (in-county) change to $30.00

$50.00/hr. (out-of-county) change to $30.00

(NO SUMMER RENTALS)

Pavilion $20.00/hr. (3 hour minimum) change to $25.00

$100.00 flat fee for (5) or more hrs $250/day with unlimited use

(NO WEEKDAY SUMMER RENTALS BEFORE 6 PM)

Playing Fields $25.00 per event (in-county) change to $50 per game

Change to Ball Diamond Use $50.00 per event (out-of-county) delete

Add: Athletic Field Use $75.00 per game

Orem Field Lights ("A" Diamond)

$60.00/event (in-county) change to $75.00

$80.00/event (out-of-county) change to $100.00

Equestrian Area $75.00/day (in-county) change to $100.00

$100.00/day (out-of-county) change to $150.00

Add: Softball Tournament Fees $30.00 per team

TURNERS CREEK:

Pavilion $20.00/hr. (3 hour minimum)

$100.00 flat fee for (5) or more hours

BETTERTON BEACH:

Pavilion $20.00/hr. (3 hour minimum)

$100.00 flat fee for (5) or more hours

EDESVILLE PARK:

Building/Park $20.00/hr. (3 hour minimum)

$100.00 flat fee for (5) or more hours

Add:

TOAL PARK:

Pavilion $20.00/hr. (3 hour minimum)

$100.00 flat fee for (5) or more hours

MILLINGTON POOL: (Additional fees for lifeguards)

Swimming Pool $50.00/hr. (in-county)

$75.00/hr. (out-of county)

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by a majority of the Board to approve the amended schedule of program and facility fees.

PERSONNEL

Susie Hayman, Human Resources Director, appeared and reviewed draft County mentoring program policy with the Board. The Commissioners agreed that it would be prohibitive for any employee to earn overtime and/or compensatory time to accomplish this goal.

The school system would prefer most mentoring time be done around school hours but will make every effort to make mentoring possible after school hours. Commissioner Livie would like to encourage mentors to provide additional hours to the students on their own time. The Commissioners approved to allow one hour of county time for mentoring to include travel time not to exceed forty minutes (to and from the school). Ms. Hayman will follow up with Tyler Brown, Mentoring Coordinator, to finalize the draft policy.

At 11:10 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board 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 12:00 noon.

PLANNING COMMISSION

Carla Martin, Community Planner, and Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared to report on the February 6 Planning Commission meeting.

UPPER SHORE AGING, INC.

The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to local legislators from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc., advising of the services provided as well as funding, transportation and Medicaid waiver issues.

U. S. COAST GUARD STATION

Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, advised that the application to acquire the U.S. Coast Guard Station surplus property to the U. S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, was submitted on February 8. He reported that later in the day he was scheduled to meet U.S. Coast Guard representatives to evaluate the septic system.

VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT
LEGISLATION

Copy of correspondence was received from Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners directed to Delegate Sossi requesting support for proposed legislation to allow the fire chiefs of each volunteer fire department in Queen Anne's County to set the criteria and notify State officials of members who are authorized to have lights on their privately owned cars to be used in response to emergency dispatch. The current law places a limit of light on five private vehicles.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, February 18, 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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