KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of License Commissioners
March 25, 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 $ 6,009,603.00.
AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION ADVISORY BOARD
Correspondence was received from John Bergen, Chairman, Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board, reporting that at their last meeting, discussion was held as to the idea of granting a tax credit to landowners participating in the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation Program. He advised that additional information would be forthcoming.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Michael Thielke, President, Board of Directors, Chester Bridge Foundation, Inc., and Linda Kimble, Secretary, Greater Rock Hall Business Association, expressing support for the proposed airport project.
At 12:00 noon the Commissioners met in a budget work session. The County Administrator and Budget and Accounting Director were also in attendance.
CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM
The Commissioners received correspondence from James Mallow, Forestry Workgroup, Chair, and Steven W. Koehn, Maryland State Forester, requesting comments on the Chesapeake Bay Program's new goals for the Riparian Forest Buffers. This request was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration.
COUNTY OWNED EQUIPMENT
Correspondence was received from Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, requesting approval to purchase a used computer to replace the computer used by Judy Hickman, Secretary III. He advised that the purchase could be funded from their current FY 03 budget. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve this request.
CROSSROADS COMMUNITY, INC.
In follow-up from the March 11 meeting, John Plaskon, Executive Director, Crossroads Community, Inc., forwarded additional information on the Shore Alliance for Independent Living (SAIL) to address concerns expressed relating to the density of affordable housing for mental health consumers in the region.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Quaker Neck Annexation - Correspondence was received from Frank Tarbutton, Past President, Country Club Estates Civic Association, expressing concerns relating to the proposed annexation. He advised of a request for allocation that was denied and now a developer is proposing construction in the same area. Response went worth advising that his concerns will be addressed during the construction permit process.
General - Mr. Morris advised that the recently signed Constellation Energy contract for electricity was terminated due to Constellation Energy's inability to provide the electricity at the agreed price. Mr. Morris stated that per the contract, the County will receive payment in the amount of $6,000 , the amount of savings specified, over the current service provider. Commissioner Pickrum confirmed that the short contract yielded revenue for the County.
Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris advised that he continues to attempt to contact homeowners relating to location of equipment on the homeowners property although several residents have ignored his requests. He advised of three residents with whom contact has still not been made.
Mr. Morris provided copies of correspondence directed to Peoples Bank, Millington Branch, addressing the capacity and location of grinder pump.
Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence directed to Millington Mayor Dennis Hager with the Maryland Department of the Environment's Capacity Development Regulations. Mr. Morris advised that these regulations need to be addressed prior to the issuance of a construction permit. The Commissioners advised that they would follow-up with Mayor Hager on this matter.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Mick Butler, Administrator, Oil Control Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, requesting approval to perform testing at the Detention Center for the presence of Methyl-Tertiary-Butyl-Ether (MTBE) a gasoline oxygenate additive to determine if the underground oil storage tank is leaking. The correspondence was forwarded to Robert Merritt, Maintenance Supervisor, for his attention and follow-up.
The Commissioners introduced Priscilla Anne Miedel (P.A.M.) Schaller who was recently appointed to fill the Economic Development Director position. Commissioner Pickrum stated the County was fortunate to receive applications from many impressive candidates and appreciate all who applied. Mrs. Schaller brings to the position over sixteen years of economic and small business development experience, with her primary focus on the Mid-Shore region of the Maryland's Eastern Shore. Being a certified Economic Development Professional, she has a diverse background in business, planning, development, and consulting within public affairs, government relations and private and public business finance. Commissioner Crow advised that the Commissioners will be introducing Mrs. Schaller to local businesses to focus on expanding the local businesses. Commissioner Livie stated that he is looking forward to working with Mrs. Schaller and the Economic Development Advisory Board to establish priorities for this year. Michael Waal, USA Fulfillment, and former Economic Development Director, offered his congratulations as well as assistance. Commissioner Pickrum stated goals of expanding local businesses and to continue to integrate economic development and tourism. The Board's goal is to keep school graduates and local talent here in Kent County. The Commissioners welcomed Mrs. Schaller to her new position.
At 3:30 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, as it relates to a proposal for business to remain in Kent County in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland
The executive session adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
GALENA VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY, INC.
Correspondence was received from Gregg Bird, Chairman, 2003 Fire Grant Committee, Galena Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., advising of grant application to purchase a fire fighting vehicle (quint) with an aerial device for fire and rescue. He reported that acquisition of such vehicle has the potential to lower citizen's insurance rates as well as provide additional rescue capabilities. As requested, the Commissioners approved to forward a support letter to accompany the grant.
Commissioner Pickrum advised of the Board' s interest in hiring summer season interns to provide a career path for the County's youth.
At 5:40 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 potential land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
In follow-up from March 4 and in response to correspondence forwarded 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 encouraging the continuation of funding to LMB's, correspondence was received from David R. Brinkley, Senator, and Delegate, Addie Eckardt, Deputy Minority Whip, advising of the difficult fiscal decisions facing the State and advised of his goal to minimize the impact of any reductions to services.
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 11:50 a.m.
At 1:00 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.
This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 2:55 p.m.
At 3:20 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 3:30 p.m.
PLANNING AND ZONING ADMINISTRATION
Correspondence was received from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advising that the copier in the Planning and Zoning office will expire in April. Mrs. Owings provided lease information received from Towne Stationers, local vendor, on a new color and monochrome copier. She reported a color copier costs the same per month as the current contract and requested approval to lease a color copier for the amount of $420.00 per month plus a cost per copy. A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve leasing of the color copier to be funded within current budget.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH MISSIONS COMMITTEE
Lanny Parks and Pastor Sara Holben, representing the Presbyterian Church Missions Committee, appeared with Lindiwe Galela and Thandi Mbo of South Africa who will be spending a week in Kent County. Pastor Holben advise that she had ministered in Africa. The Commissioners welcomed the guests to the County and commended them for their volunteer work.
Thandi Mbo, here in U.S. to share her experiences, advised that young Africans are dying of HIV/Aids. As a former member of the African Health Department, spoke of the need to have trained workers to help in administering those dying and how the church will be partnering with Hospice to try to meet those needs. She stated that they need help to obtain housing for Hospice in rural African areas as well as need for training in home care.
Lindiwe Galela thanked the Commissioners for the opportunity to speak and stated that unemployment rate in her township is 65%. She advised that every house on her street has one or more child with HIV/Aids, including her own. She reported that with her earnings from a small business in her home she has started a soup kitchen to feed those in need. She advised that she feeds 150 people a week. She requested any assistance, including financial, and wished to establish an orphanage as well as the Hospice program.
As a token of their appreciation, the women presented the Commissioners with pins as a symbol of the fight against HIV/Aids. The Commissioners presented the women with Kent County pins. The Commissioners thanked all for their work and sharing their experiences with them.
Jack Canan, Housing, Community Development Coordinator, and Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, appeared to request the Commissioners to proclaim the month of April as "Fair Housing Month" in Kent County and to encourage fair and equal opportunity housing throughout the year.
Mr. Canan advised that the County has utilized approximately $900,000 in funding to date to assist in home rehabilitation.
The Commissioners read and presented Mr. Canan with a proclamation as requested.
The Commissioners expressed interest in the County offering a procurement fair for local vendors in order for them to better compete in the bidding process. It was also suggested for janitorial services also be included in the procurement fair.
RAILS TO TRAILS
The Commissioners received correspondence from Edward Townsend, Airy Hill Road, Chestertown, and Joyce Luff, Manor Ave. Chestertown, expressing opposition to the proposed Rails to Trails project.
The Commissioners received electronic mail from Dr. John J. LaFerla, expressing his support for the proposed Rails to Trails project.
In follow-up from last week, James Urda inquired as to the County's acceptance to sponsor grant application was for planning/feasibility purposes for the proposed rails to trails project. Commissioner Crow advised that he recently learned that Congressman Wayne Gilchrest forwarded the grant application on behalf of the project and that he will be meeting with Congressman Gilchrest to obtain additional information. Due to concerns raised by citizens, the Commissioners plan to seek information in order to fully understand the proposed project before action is taken.
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
In follow-up from February 4, the Commissioners received correspondence from Richard Lindsay, District Engineer, State Highway Administration, addressing issues discussed at that time. He provided status on the following projects: a review of operations at the Kent and Queen Anne's Rescue Squad on MD 291 will be completed by the end of June, a traffic review will commence at MD 313/MD 330/ MD 299 in Massey and MD 299 at Sassafras Caldwell Road, and revisions of the planned improvements at MD 291 and MD 20 to be presented at yet to be determined meeting with the Town of Chestertown.
TAX SALE PROPERTY
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Roger Williams, Treasurer, directed to Dr. Serge Duckett, addressing his continuing concerns relating to tax sale properties.
The Commissioners received the Tourism Progress for the month of February as prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director.
In follow-up from the indoctrination meeting held at Echo Hill Camp, Roger Williams, Treasurer, appeared to review and make recommendations for refinancing the County's long term debt. Mr. Williams reviewed the County's loan summary. He advised that refinancing County debt would not require any action from the Board. The Commissioners approved refinancing of the following projects:
Project Former Interest Rate New Interest Rate Savings over Life of Loan
Capital Projects FY00 5.23% 2.15% $38,000
400 High Street 4.9148% 4.6648% $40,000
Capital Projects FY01 3.81% 2.25% $20,700
Recycling Truck 5.43% 2.05% $2,300
Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, appeared to discuss Upper Shore Aging/USTAR proposed FY 04 budget. Mr. Burke provided status of the construction of the Senior Center and advised that it was currently one month behind in schedule. He reported that the Commissioners had pledged $91,000 for the Senior Center and noted that the Town of Chestertown acquired a grant in the amount of $40,000 lessening the County share to $51,000.
Mr. Burke advised that the proposed FY04 budget request is $239,832, an increase of $133,801 from FY03. He noted contributing factors to the increase were first time operating expenses for the senior center, increased insurance costs and local match for USTAR programs.
Mr. Burke confirmed Commissioner Pickrum's inquiry as to USTAR Transportation's status as a non-profit organization. Commissioner Crow inquired if USTAR and MUST could combine administrative services such as dispatching vehicles. Mr. Burke advised that MUST dispatches via USTAR. Commissioner Crow inquired as to the cost of administration and salaries in the FY04 proposed budget. Mr. Burke advised that he did not know and would supply the information at a later time. Commissioner Livie inquired as to the MUST program as it relates to providing transportation to Chesapeake College and expressed the need for continued service. Mr. Burke advised that the MUST program was under evaluation and had mixed reviews. The Commissioners thanked Mr. Burke for presenting the proposed Upper Shore Aging budget.
Commissioner Pickrum suggested consideration be given to an intra-county transportation program to provide more efficient transit for County residents. Intra-county transportation is currently available, however, it is very time consuming for the passenger to be returned to original destination.
UPPER SHORE COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH CENTER
In response to correspondence forwarded to Senator E. J. Pipkin, the Commissioners received a copy of correspondence forwarded to Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr., from Senator Pipkin expressing concern and opposition to the contemplated closure of the Upper Shore Mental Health Community Center.
Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, reported that a meeting will take place on March 31 at 10 a.m. to 12 :00 p.m. at Urieville Lake to familiarize the new Army Corp of Engineers Urieville Lake Project Manager with the area and project to date. Further discussion will take place later in the day at 400 High Street, second floor conference room.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, April 1, 2003.
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.