KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
April 15, 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 $ 5,521,011.00.
Correspondence was received from Ashish Solanki, Airport Services Officer, Office of Regional Aviation Assistance, Maryland Aviation Administration, advising of their continued support for the proposed airport and noted that the process (available funding) will be extended from July 1 to December 31.
Correspondence was received from James Gillespie, Gillespie & Son, Inc., and Hugh Wyble, Wyble Enterprises Realtors, expressing support for the proposed airport project.
Correspondence was received from Frank Hudson, containing seventeen signatures of residents opposed to the proposed airport project.
BETTERTON BEACH JETTY
The Commissioners received correspondence from Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Program, advising that payment representing 100% of the cost, for the Betterton Beach Jetty project has been processed.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Correspondence was received from Ann Dwyer, expressing support for the FY 04 Board of Education proposed budget.
BOARD OF ELECTION SUPERVISORS
Jack Wright, Chairman, and members, George Parsons, Charles Startt, and Lola Price, representing the Board of Election Supervisors, Florence Sutton, Election Director, and Pat Hill, Administrative Assistant, appeared along with David Heller, Project Manager, and Joe Torre, Procurement Officer, representing the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Messrs. Heller and Torre provided demonstration of the new AccuVote-TS Voting System as mandated by State Law to be uniform throughout the State by using the latest
technology with touch tone system. The State will share 50% of the costs. Kent County's share of the equipment cost will be $113,556 and operating cost will be $43,110. The operating cost will be a recurring cost. The first payment is due in Fiscal Year 2005. Effort will be made by the Board of Election Supervisors to find a market for the voting machines currently being used.
In follow-up to last week's meeting, the proposed lease agreement for office space for the Board of Election Supervisors was again reviewed. As recommended by Mr. Wright, the Commissioners approved to accept a five year lease agreement with KRM Development Corporation for office space at 135 Dixon Drive with request that clause be added whereby subleasing would not be prohibited. A list of costs separating the storage space from the office space will also be requested to be attached to the lease agreement.
The Commissioners held a budget work session with Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, Robert H. Strong, Jr., State's Attorney, Robin Spielman, Victim Witness Coordinator, and Jack Wright, Chairman, Board of Election Supervisors, and Florence L. Sutton, Election Director. The County Administrator and Board of Education were also in attendance.
COMMISSION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS
The Commissioners received correspondence advising that Governor Ehrlich has established a twenty member Commission on the Development of Advanced Technology Business. Commissioner Pickrum noted that rural Maryland was under represented and there was not representation from the Eastern Shore. He recommended correspondence go forth requesting representatives from the Eastern Shore be included as members of the Commission; Commissioners Crow and Livie concurred. Correspondence went forth to Governor Ehrlich and local legislators recommending Michael Waal, National Sales Manager, USA Fulfillment, for appointment to the committee should the Governor wish to include rural members.
CORE SERVICE AGENCY
The Commissioners received a copy of the Executive Summary and the Final Report Assessing the Maryland Core Service Agencies prepared by the University of Maryland Systems Evaluation Center. A copy of this report was forwarded to Dr. Jon A. Grant, Health Officer.
COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
As submitted by W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, the Commissioners approved and signed Corporate Resolution and Bank Document from the Chestertown Bank of Maryland as it relates to refinancing of the County Government Center Renovation Project for a rate of 4.66%.
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Commissioners received correspondence from William Fitzgerald, Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing and Community Development, advising of the opportunity to participate in Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) services for Kent County. This program provides services/plan to reduce home energy use for very low income families. A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging.
Correspondence was received from Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, advising of his agency's interest to continue to administer the Weatherization Assistance Program in Kent County. The Commissioners concurred and the State agency will be so advised.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Correspondence was received from Patrick Carney, Director, Social Services, requesting the Department of Social Services be allowed to use the Kent County payroll system for six -seven contract employees. Currently the contract employees are paid via the Board of Education payroll system which adds a 5% administration fee. Mr. Carney requested to use the County system without charge. Mr. Carney will be requested to meet with the Board for further discussion.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Shirley Ashley, Ed Birkmire, Director, Environmental Health, Noni Howell, Sanitarian, and Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to discuss Mrs. Ashley's request for a sewer allocation for Allens Lane. Mrs. Ashley advised that the properties on Allen's Lane would not pass percolation tests should they be tested today and believed that most if not all septic systems were in some state of failure. Ms. Howell confirmed failing septic systems with the exception of one property and provided pictures depicting drainage ditches filled with liquid during the drought indicating leaking sewage. Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the number of residences affected. Ms. Howell reported 26 properties would need wastewater services and approximately ten properties on Grays Inn Road. Mr. Birkmire expressed concern as to the many shallow wells involved and that discharge may be penetrating ground water and seep into wells as well as the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Morris advised that he was aware of the situation, however, funding had not become available to further the project. He stated that a feasibility study would be required and estimated the cost of the study to be between $10,000 -$15,000. Mr. Morris stated that Allen's Lane area was not included in the priority funding area and emphasized the need for documentation from the Health Department to substantiate a request for financial assistance. Ms. Howell noted that documentation was in place. Mr. Morris noted that Rock Hall would also need to be apprised of the project and their approval sought.
After discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve to proceed with obtaining a feasibility study to extend public service to Allen's Lane for an amount not to exceed $15,000. The project is to be funded from the Contingency Fund.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Warden Ronnie Howell providing status on the inmate medical conditions and may result in subsequent costs to the County.
Commissioner Pickrum advised that the County is investigating a better cost from local health care providers for inmates. He further explained that the County is responsible for the entire medical costs for inmates at the Detention Center and expressed concern at the potential liability. Commissioner Livie advised that this Board would prefer medical service providers charge no more than Medicaid rates. He noted that the matter could be pursued regionally if necessary.
EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY
The Commissioners received the new resource booklet " Better Models for Development on the Eastern Shore" prepared by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy/The Conservation Fund to assist in keeping the Eastern Shore Counties special in managing commercial development.
P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, forwarded a status report/ economic development activities for the past fifteen days.
Correspondence was received from Loblolly Productions, requesting an addendum be added to the current contract to produce a CD-ROM for economic development for Kent County to extend the completion date to June 3, 2003. The Commissioners approved and signed the Addendum to contracts as presented.
The Commissioners approved for Mrs. Schaller to attend a one day workshop entitled Creating the Technology Incubator in the amount of $355. The workshop is sponsored by the National Incubation Association. The expenditure may be funded from the current Economic Development budget.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Correspondence was received from Theresa Martella, Chesapeake Bay Program Office, advising that Kent County must re-certify this year to maintain status as a Bay Partner Community. An application for re-certification was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration for her attention and follow-up.
The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for Curves of Chestertown Softball Team to hold a fund raising event at the Super Fresh Parking Lot on April 19.
KENT CENTER, INC.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Carol Callaway, Executive Director, advising that the Kent Center is planning to build a 22,000 square foot building on Scheeler Road in Chestertown for the expansion of program activities, food preparation and dining, conference rooms and administrative offices. At Ms. Callaway's request, a meeting will be scheduled for future discussion with the Board.
At 10:25 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 Pat Quinn, SHA Real Estate Division, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, 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 10:40 p.m.
LAND USE ORDINANCE
Correspondence was received from Julie LaBranche, Natural Resources Planner, Critical Area Commission, advising that the Critical Area Commission at their April 2 meeting, approved the amendments to the Kent County Critical Area Program incorporated in the newly adopted Land Use Ordinance with conditions to the following categories: 1) Growth allocation for Special Exceptions; 2) Designation of Modified Buffer Area.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Marcie Brown, Planning Commission member, appeared to review the Planning Commission proposed amendments to the Land Use Ordinance which includes requested amendments submitted by the Critical Area Commission. Mrs. Owings advised that changes need should be reviewed and if deemed "substantial", a public hearing should be scheduled. The County Attorney will review the proposed amendments and will advise of recommendation.
At 10:50 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.
Litigation issues were discussed.
The executive session adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence from Gloria Urban, Director, Kent County Library, directed to Harry Pisapia, Mayor of Galena, advising that the Library Board of Directors voted to turn over the maintenance of and access to the Galena book drop to the Town of Galena. Mrs. Urban requested a Memorandum of Understanding be drafted to formalize this arrangement. The County Administrator advised that the Town of Galena would be transporting the books back to the Library and that the County could be responsible for insurance/liability costs for the book drop box. The Commissioners concurred.
The County Administrator reported that he met with Ms. Urban on April 14 and plans to have the County Attorney review the Memorandum of Agreement.
MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
The County Administrator advised that correspondence from Marilyn Praisner, President, Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) was forwarded to Governor Robert Ehrlich, requesting he not veto House Bill 753. The legislative bill would raise nearly $150 Million through the imposition of new taxes and fees. Ms. Praisner stated that the bill would compensate for revenue loss resulting in lessening the burden to County government. Later in the day, correspondence went forth from the Board to Governor Ehrlich advising that House Bill 753 would provide assistance in providing much needed revenue for the State.
The Commissioners approved the amount of $600 out of contingency toward the burial expense of John K. Mench, Sr. as submitted by Stephen L. Schaech of Galena Funeral Home.
At 8:30 a.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 a personnel matter in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 8:45 a.m.
At 11:15 a.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 11:20 a.m.
At 2:40 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, 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 2:50 p.m.
PLANNING AND ZONING ADMINISTRATION
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, forwarded the Building Permit Quarterly Report.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Marcie Brown, Planning Commission Member representative to the Commissioners, appeared to report on the April 3 Planning Commission meeting.
Ms. Brown noted that the Planning Commissions from the County and incorporated towns have met and the Planning Commission attorney provided a training session. The planners also agreed to meet once a month, however, all board members will not be required. Commissioner Livie requested that a representative of the Planning Commission attend Economic Development meetings and incorporate town meetings on a quarterly basis. Commissioner Crow requested all commercial properties be identified for economic development purposes. Mrs. Owings reported that a map had been prepared. Commissioner Pickrum confirmed that an annual meeting of all Planning Commissions and members will take place.
Marie Bradley and Pat Gatto, International Association of Administrative Professionals, Tidewater Chapter, appeared to recognize Administrative Professionals Week. Mrs. Gatto emphasized the many contributions of administrative professionals on a daily basis. Commissioner Pickrum read and presented the proclamation.
Judy Sharretts, President, Beth McDonald, Volunteer Coordinator, Bill Catherwood and Ronnie Vinet, Hospice Foundation, Inc., and appeared to recognize National Hospice Foundation Volunteer Week. Mrs. Sharretts reported that Hospice is celebrating twenty years of service to the community and recognized the countless hours of volunteer service that provides comfort and support to those at the end of life. Commissioner Pickrum read and presented the proclamation.
PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT APPEALS BOARD
Correspondence was received from Lawrence Hogan, Jr., Secretary of Appointments, Office of the Governor, requesting a list of three names and resumes for each position to be consideration for the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board.
Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, forwarded material documenting Community Development Block Grant support in the amount of $41,000 for the Senior Center.
SHORE EROSION CONTROL DISTRICT
Correspondence was received from Leonard Larese Casanova, Director, Shore Erosion Control, Department of Natural Resources, advising of recommendations pertaining to the proposed shore restoration project on Montana Avenue, Tolchester Estates. This correspondence has been forwarded to the County Attorney for review.
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY BOARD
The Commissioners reappointed Charlotta "Lotte" Bowie and Jonathan Wright as a member of the Tourism Development Advisory Board for a three year term ending May 1, 2006.
U.S. COAST GUARD STATION
The Commissioners received correspondence from David Wilson, RC & D Coordinator, advising of plans prepared in 2002 by midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, to address shore erosion at the U.S. Coast Guard property, Still Pond. RC&D can obtain plans and permit applications. In addition, RC&D would submit an application to MDE for 75% of grant funds ($300,000) of the estimated $400,000 for the project. The project includes three breakwaters and a 300 foot long jetty a the entrance to the channel. Additional costs can be offset by using volunteers to plant the substantial number of marsh grass plants that will be required and possibly other in-kind services. If the Commissioner approves this project, Mr. Wilson will proceed as outlined. No decision was made at this time.
VICTIM WITNESS PROGRAM
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the Victims of Crime Assistance Program grant application for a portion of the salary for the Victim Witness Coordinator and Secretary II positions in the State's Attorney's Office.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, April 22, 2003.
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.