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Board of County Commissioners

March 4, 2003

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 $ 5,983,047.00.


Correspondence was received from JoAnne Parke Gerhardt and Robert A. Gerhardt, Chesapeake Investment Advisors, Inc., Dr. John Toll, President, Washington College, Leigh Reiley, Chestertown Marina, Bob Ramsey, President, The Finishing Touch, and Charles M. Schaefer, Phoenix Aviation, Inc., expressing support for the proposed Kent County Airport.


Correspondence was received from Barbara Strein, Executive Director, Interagency Committee on School Construction, advising of additional projects approved to be recommended to the Board of Public Works for the FY 04 Capital Improvement Program .

A copy of the 2002 Maryland School Performance Program Report for the Kent County Public Schools was received .


Correspondence was received from Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, advising due to new GASB 34 requirements, Kent County financial statements will have to include depreciation beginning with the June 30 statement. After evaluating several software packages, recommendation was made to purchase a software package "FAS GOV Asset Accounting" in the amount of $2,925 and a recurring annual maintenance fee of $770 to document required depreciation information. She advised that the purchase has not been budgeted and requested the expenditure be purchased out of contingency. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioners Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the expenditure in the amount of $3,410.00 to purchase required software for the depreciation calculations.


The Commissioners forwarded correspondence to the editor of the Kent County News advising that the cuts to Kent County revenues from the State will be deeper than originally estimated. Intending to govern within the County's fiscal means, the Commissioners stated that one County entity will not benefit at the expense of another and to encourage all County

departments and citizens to weather the storm by exercising fiscal restraint in the 2004 budget process.


Contract by and between the County Commissioners and JoAnne Ellison representing JAE Facilitation and Training, Inc. was approved and signed by the Board at a cost of $3,000 plus mileage and other incidentals.


In follow-up from last week, Sheriff John Price and Warden Ronald Howell appeared to discuss their requests to purchase replacement vehicles. Warden Howell advised that he inherited the fleet of cars that did not provide adequate safety (caged confinement of inmates) for transportation officers. He emphasized that the safety of the officers was his priority. He provided data on the number of transports done annually. Warden Howell estimated that a new vehicle would most likely have a life span of greater than ten years. He also advised that his current vehicle could not be retrofitted with a safety cage.

Sheriff Price advised that historically the Sheriff's Office fleet is upgraded annually with new vehicles and typically each car accrues 28,000 miles per year. He provided status of each vehicle relating to year, make, model, vehicle number, and mileage.

Commissioner Livie expressed his concern that at this time the Board was facing funding uncertainties for FY 04. The Commissioners concurred to further evaluate budget information before making a final decision. Sheriff Price advised deadline for ordering the vehicles under State contract is May 1 with delivery in August.

Sheriff Price requested approval to use the compensation, as a result of the September 12 accident, to purchase an in-car video camera, 2 year warranty for video camera, two in-car radar units with antennas and warranty for two radar units for a total amount of $7,353.00 should a new vehicle purchased.


Martin C. Kahney, Refuge Manager, appeared to personally invite the Commissioners to a Centennial event sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Eastern Neck Island on March 15 beginning at. He advised that as part of the celebration a time capsule would be buried.


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

Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris provided an update on the meeting with the Rock Hall Mayor and Council on March 3 for further discussion relating to connecting the Edesville wastewater system to the Wesley Chapel system with ultimate disposal to the Rock Hall system. He reported that the Rock Hall Mayor and Council voted unanimously to pursue the project. He also reported the existing agreement would need to be modified as a part of the approval process. Mr. Morris advised that both the County Attorney and Rock Hall Attorney would review the agreements.

Mr. Morris advised when the Piney Neck/Skinners Neck/ Wesley Chapel project was agreed upon, the County shared in the cost to upgrade the Rock Hall wastewater treatment plant. The County's pro-rated share purchased 23,000 gallons per day of capacity. Currently the system is utilizing approximately 30,000 gallons per day. Edesville would add approximately 20,000 gallons per day at Rock Hall leaving an estimated reserve growth capacity for the Piney Neck/Skinners Neck/ Wesley Chapel of 75,000 gallons per day. He estimated that this remedy would cost approximately $150,000 to $200,000 and was far less expensive than upgrading a lagoon. Commissioner Livie inquired as to how the Edesville and Wesley Chapel users would be informed of the transition. Mr. Morris advised that the residents will be advised and information as to cost effectiveness will be communicated. Commissioner Pickrum requested a public meeting be held in order to explain any changes and associated costs to the users. Mr. Morris noted that Barry Ebersole of McCrone's Engineering Inc., will be requested to update the information.

Tolchester Service Area - In follow-up from Commissioner Crow's inquiry last week relating to why all allocation fees were not paid in the Tolchester Service Area, Mr. Morris forwarded copies of letters advising property owners, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Smith and Mr. James McGuire, of the possibility of having allocations rescinded if payment is not received.

Millington Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris advised that he would be investigating computerized maintenance of the of the wastewater project and existing treatment plants and equipment. He stated he would keep the Commissioners apprised of any further information.

Mr. Morris advised that the a project meeting will take place on March 6 and reported that residents are being contacted to determine the location of individual grinder pumps.

General - Mr. Morris reported that he is investigating controlled access to water and wastewater facilities for security measures. Commissioner Pickrum suggested investigating the availability of Federal funding relating to homeland security. Mr. Morris confirmed that he is pursing the matter in that vein.

Kennedyville Lagoon - Commissioner Crow reported that he has been in contact with residents near the Kennedyville lagoon and advised that they seem receptive to the County purchasing adjacent property to expand the facility to allow for a mechanical wastewater system.


Correspondence was received from Robert Rust, Director, Emergency Management, forwarded the following proposals for purchasing pagers for fire and Emergency Medical Services departments and County Paramedics.

Falcon Wireless $116,200.00

Magnum Electronics $99,375.00

Mr. Rust advised that funds for this purchase have been approved by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency through a grant from the Department of Justice in the amount of $114,386 in addition to a grant from the Health Department through the Center for Disease Control in the amount of $33,000. Per Mr. Rust's recommendation, the Commissioners approved the purchase from Magnum Electronics for the amount of $99,375.00.

Per Mr. Rust's request, the Commissioners approved for him to proceed with project for enhanced 911 phones. Phase I involves caller's number and receive tower site location; there is no change involved with completing this phase. As soon as bids are received for Phase II, permission will be sought from the Commissioners to submit request to the Maryland Emergency Number Systems Board for funding for this project.


Sheriff John Price appeared to recognize the following volunteer members of the Kent Telephone Reassurance Program: Jim McClung, Helen Cannon, Charles D. Startt, Rebecca Startt, Dottie Smith, Peggy Clark, Geraldine Pauls, Don Owens, Norman Little, Nora Wright, and Ed Sutton. The following members were recognized, however, not in attendance: Mary Johnson, Marie H. DeMoss, Florence Yiannakis, Trisha J. Brady, and Nancy Teal. Sheriff Price advised that these volunteers make calls to communicate with senior citizens who live alone or home alone with an illness.

Kim Porter of TRIAD presented Sheriff Price with a print by Henry Peacock in recognition of his initiation and support of this program that helps so many in the community.


At 11:40 a.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 land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

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


At 11:20 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 Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Items of discussion included pending litigation and contract relating to the Millington Service Area Contracts.

The executive session adjourned at 11:40 a.m.


Notification was received from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup advising that HB 689 "Dredge Deposits -Creation of Artificial Islands in the Chesapeake Bay -Prohibition Use as Part of Management Plan" will be heard on March 5 at 1:00 p.m. before the House Environmental Matters Committee.

The Commissioners approved to send letter of support of enabling legislation requested by the Caroline County Commissioners to raise the development excise tax cap.


Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board (LMB) appeared to discuss the status of LMB funding. She advised that consideration was being given by the State to abolishing LMB organizations statewide. Mrs. Livie reported that although LMB's provide services for children, they promote the well being of the entire family.

Per Mrs. Livie's request, the Commissioners forwarded correspondence encouraging the continuation of funding to LMB's, to the Chairman and members of the House Appropriations Committee, Health and Human Resources Subcommittee, Education and Economic Development Subcommittee, Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Health and Human Services Subcommittee, and Education, Business and Administration Subcommittee, as well as local legislators.


The Commissioners received a copy of the Maryland Stadium Authority's Annual Report for 2002.


At 10:45 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with Sheriff John Price to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director/County Attorney was also in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Sheriff Price introduced recently employed deputy sheriffs, Jeffrey Nate Gerres and Tyrell M. White to the Board. The Commissioners welcomed Messrs. Gerres and White on their new appointments and wished them well.

Agreement by and between the County Commissioners, Sheriff of Kent County and Tyrell M. White and Jeffrey Nate Gerres whereby Messrs. White and Gerres agree to reimburse the County for police training costs incurred if they leave county employment prior to completing two years of service.

At 11:05 a.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. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director/County Attorney was also in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 11:20 a.m.

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 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.


In follow up to Police Mutual Aid Agreement signed by the Board on December 27, 2002, a replacement agreement was signed by and between the Rock Hall Mayor and Council, County Commissioners and Sheriff Price.


A letter of commendation will be presented to county employees who assisted in snow removal during the recent winter storms. A letter to the editor will also be prepared thanking all those individuals in the County who also assisted in snow removal efforts.


Dorothy Morlock, Loretta Freeman, and Gwen Rodney, representing the Board of Trustees, Mental Health Facility, appeared to express their concern of consideration being given by the State to close the Upper Shore Mental Health, Inc., facility. Having taken care of patients at the hospital, Mrs. Morlock, retired nurse, expressed her concern as to the consequences to patients should the facility be closed. Mrs. Rodney stated that the facility is operating with a skeleton staff and is one of the most efficiently run hospitals in the State. In response to phone request received from Mrs. Morlock, the Commissioners forwarded a letter of support to legislators requesting the facility remain open. Mrs. Morlock thanked the Board for their quick response and reminded the Commissioners that the hospital provided a dual diagnosis program that treats both substance abuse as well as mental health. Commissioner Pickrum stated that the hospital is very important to the community and neighboring counties. He also stated the importance of the many jobs that could be lost. Again, Mrs. Morlock thanked the Commissioners for their support in striving to maintain the mental health facility for the Upper Shore.


Notification was received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advising of the proposal to perform maintenance dredging of the Baltimore Harbor and Channels 42 and 50-Foot Federal navigation projects during calender years 2003 and 2004. A map disclosing the plan and location (including Tolchester Channel) of the proposed work was attached.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, March 11, 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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