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Board of County Commissioners

April 29, 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 $ 5,251,532.00.


Alan E. Peljovich, P.E.,Mack LaZenby, Director of Aviation & Engineering, Wilbur Smith & Associates, and Jim Wright, County Engineer appeared to discuss the airport project. Mr. Peljovich gave a brief history of the project to date and followed by questions from the Commissioners and the public.

Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the duration of construction. Mr. Peljovich estimated 24 - 30 months. Commissioner Crow inquired if any changes would be made to the airport plan since the September 11 terrorist incident. Mr. Peljovich reported that no changes were imminent, however, airport growth has shifted out two to three years. Commissioner Livie inquired if the proforma included Kent as a tourist destination. Mr. LaZenby advised that the proforma was a conservative estimate and tourism was a factor in estimating usage. Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the impact of delaying the construction of a fuel farm. Both Mr. Peljovich and Mr. LaZenby stated that the fuel farm was a critical revenue source and encouraged a fuel farm be part of the airport as soon as possible. Mr. Lazenby noted that the fuel farm could be self service in the interest of less employees. Commissioner Crow inquired as to the possibility of increasing the length of the runway and the impacts. Mr. Peljovich advised that although area is available, the grant applies to a 4200 foot runway. He noted a future expansion grant would be based on need. Commissioner Crow inquired about fencing requirements. Mr. LaZenby recommended the airport be fenced to delineate the property as well as keep it secure from deer, etc. Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to the cost of airport management. Mr. LaZenby estimated the airport manager position salary to be $28,000 since he feels this position would be of interest to someone retired from the airport industry or a first time management position. Discussion was held as to economic development around the airport and leasing area for business/industrial development. A member of the audience inquired as to the omission of a vehicle for airport use and in his opinion the under estimation of the cost of personnel and insurance. Tyler Campbell noted that according to the Maryland Aviation Administration every airport in Maryland has a waiting list. Commissioner Pickrum inquired if the environmental assessment addressed noise. Mr. Peljovich advised that the proposed airport is below noise levels as determined by State mandate. Mr. LaZenby concluded by stating that typically an airport brings a higher level of standards to the area.

The Commissioners stated that before any decision is made a public hearing will be held.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, reported that the Board of Appeals met April 28.


The Commissioners attended the Arbor Day Poster Awards Ceremony at 1:15 p.m. hosted by the Maryland Forest Service and Kent County Forestry Board. The ceremony took place at the Henry Highland Garnett Elementary School, rather than the Courtyard, due to inclement weather.

The Commissioners selected winners of the third grade Arbor Day Poster Contest as follows:

First Prize Rachel Stoddard Garnett Elementary School

Second Prize Amanda Crew Worton Elementary School

Third Prize Dustin Wood Millington Elementary School

Fourth Prize Andrea Pinder Garnett Elementary School

Fifth Prize KeKe Downing Garnett Elementary School

The Commissioners presented a proclamation designating the month of April, 2003 as Tree-Mendous Month in Kent County in an effort to encourage all citizens to become actively involved in the State's Urban Forestry and Stewardship Programs.


Leslie Raimond, representing the Kent County Arts Council, appeared to discuss the FY 04 Budget. Others in attendance were: Bernadette Van Pelt, Director, Tourism, Tom McHugh, John Buetner, Dave Bell, Lottie Bowie, Kate Mahoney, Sylvia Frazer, Larry Schroth, Lolli Sherry, and Gia Campana.

Ms. Riamond thanked the Commissioners for past support in the amount of $5,000 and requested $6,000 in FY 04. She advised that the arts has a direct impact on economic development and tourism providing $9.7 Million in revenue to the Upper Shore Counties. Mr. McHugh noted that the arts provide a venue for fund raising and reported that over $50,000 in charitable funds had been raised at the Mainstay in Rock Hall. Mr. Bell advised that investment in the arts provided a great return given arts activities revenues generated in the County. Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, thanked the group for giving tourism a product to market all year round.

The Commissioners thanked Ms. Raimond for her efforts and thanked all for appearing. This funding request will be considered during the budget process.


Correspondence was received from Madhu Sidhu, President, Kent County Parent Teachers Association (PTA), requesting a meeting with the Commissioners as she believes they are not convinced of the importance of fully funding the Board of Education requests. Mrs. Sidhu advised that the meeting may turn into a rally in or outside of the Commissioner's Office. A meeting has been scheduled for May 20.


In follow-up from the signing of the lease for the Board of Election Supervisors, the Commissioners received correspondence from Tina Smith, Office of Account Services Manager, KRM Development Corporation, advising of basic items to be addressed at commencement of the lease.


At 2:30 p.m., the Commissioners held a budget work session. Those in attendance were the County Administrator and the Budget and Accounting Director.


The Commissioners received the Kent County Commission on Aging Annual Report for January 1, 2002 - December 31, 2002.


Correspondence was received from Ed Spray, Superintendent, County Roads, advising of a request from Charlotte Heverin, Golts, to install "Children at Play" signs to alert truck traffic of children. After inspection of the area, Mr. Spray recommended installation of "Pedestrian Walking " symbol signs on Golts Caldwell Road and Golts Road. The Commissioners concurred.

A Memorandum directed to the County Commissioners from Ed Spray, County Roads Superintendent, was received advising that the County installs an average of seventy-six entrances per year. The cost to the County exceeds $800 which includes labor, equipment and materials. The owner is responsible for the purchase of the pipe. At this time, the County does not recover these costs. The Commissioners approved to charge a fee of $850 to cover costs of the pipe and installation to be effective July 1.


Correspondence was received from Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, advising that the Critical Area Commission staff will recommend at its June 3 meeting to include all of Kentmore Park in the Buffer Modified Area list due to the presence of the endangered tiger beetle. Commissioner Livie expressed concern that the classification may impact property values and requested Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, contact the Critical Area Commission.


Pat Cartney, Director, Department of Social Services, withdrew his request to use the County payroll system for six of his department's employees.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Warden Ronnie Howell, from Sherri Butler, Director of Claims Services, Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) relating to discussion on 24 hour inmate medical services. Ms. Butler advised that although 24 hour medical coverage is not mandated, full time contractual medical care does decrease liability.

The Commissioners received a proposal from CONMED Inc., for providing 24 hour inmate medical services at the Detention Center for the annual amount of $181,791.48. No action was taken at this time.

The Commissioners received a copy of a memorandum Warden Howell distributed to Detention Center employees relating to Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Commissioner Pickrum requested a similar advisory be given to all County employees with their next pay check.

In follow-up from last week and after discussion, per the recommendations of the County Administrator and Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, the Commissioners approved the purchase of a new Crown Victoria with cage for the amount of $20,903.00. It was noted that the weight of the cage was too heavy for an average car.


Correspondence directed to the Middle and Upper Shore County Administrators was received from Amy M. Owsley, Director of Community Planning, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, requesting designation of a representative to serve on the Eastern Shore 2010 Land Protection Task Force. The Commissioners designated Carla Martin, Community Planner, to represent Kent County on this task force.


Correspondence was received from Gregg Bird, Chairman, 2003 Fire Grant Committee, expressing appreciation for supporting the Firefighters Grant application.


The Commissioners approved a Raffle Permit for Kent County Chamber of Commerce to hold festivities during the months of May and June at the Chamber of Commerce Office, Chestertown.


At the February 4 meeting, the Board approved to allocate Grant-in-aid funding to the incorporated towns for a four year period. For Fiscal Year 2004 calculation, an amount equivalent to $.02 per $100 using Fiscal Year 2003 assessable property will be distributed as follows: Betterton - $6,227.00; Chestertown - $56,013.00; Galena - $4,740.00; Millington - $2,775.00; Rock Hall - $22,407.00; totaling $92,163.00.


As recommended by Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Release of Mortgage for Dorothy L Muse, deceased, for property located on Sunnyside Road, Rock Hall.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Mary Ellen Williams, Chairman, Human Relations Commission, along with a copy of proposed by-laws and proposed budget for the Human Relations Commission. Mrs. Williams will meet with the Board next week for further discussion.


As a result of review of the proposed zoning text amendments submitted by the Planning Commission and the Critical Areas Commission, the County attorney felt some of the proposals would be considered as substantial and a formal amendment to the local law and a public hearing would be required. The Commissioners concurred and local legislation will be prepared in the near future.


At 10:35 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, for legal counsel.

Items of discussion included Land Use Ordinance.

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


The Commissioners received correspondence from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup advising that House Bill 607 "Telecommunication and Computer Network Access - Task Force on Broadband Communications Deployment in Underserved Rural Areas" was passed and amended on April 5. Delegate Walkup thanked the Commissioners for their support and inquired if the Commissioners were interested in serving on the task force.

The Commissioners requested correspondence go forth recommending Brian Wilson of WCTR, be considered as a member of the task force.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Gloria Urban, Director, Kent County Public Library, reporting that the library phone system failed on April 9 and a new phone system was installed for the amount of $6,500. Although the expenditure was requested in the FY 04 Budget, Mrs. Urban requested the phone system be paid for from the current FY 03 budget.

A motion was made by Commission Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to fund the phone system in the amount of $6,500 out of contingency.


Correspondence was received from Nancy Zinn, R.N. , M.S., Executive Director, advising of the upcoming formal comprehensive assessment of community needs that impact the development of Maryland Public Mental Health Systems in the five County Mid-Shore region.


At 11:00 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 11:05 a.m.


Commissioner Crow displayed a map delineating planned development through 2020 forwarded from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and prepared by 1000 Friends of Maryland.


Wallace D. Miller, former member of the Planning Commission, and former County Commissioner, was recognized by the Commissioners for his many years of volunteer service on the Planning Commission. Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, Betty Carroll, Administrative Aide, Elizabeth Morris, Chairman, William Sutton and Marcie Brown, members of the Planning Commission were also in attendance to recognize Mr. Miller. The Commissioners presented Mr. Miller with a certificate of appreciation as well as a volunteer mug and County seal pin.


Captain Martin E. Knight, Maryland State Police, Lt. Brian Kirby, Sheriff's Office, Chief Walter Coryell, and Captain Robert Edler, Chestertown Police Department, and appeared to advise the Commissioners of the 2003 Maryland Chiefs' Challenge Campaign. The campaign educates and informs the public about the merits of child safety seats and seat belts. The hopes of this coalition of law enforcement along with County government proclamation, is to encourage the use of seat belts to ensure public safety. Commissioner Livie read and Commissioner Pickrum presented the proclamation.

The Commissioners celebrated National Nurses Week, May 6 -12 as requested by Shannon McClellan, Senior Advisor to the Dean, University of Maryland School of Nursing. The Proclamation recognizes the many contributions professional nurses.


Correspondence was received from Judge Alfred Burka, expressing opposition to the proposed Rails to Trails project.


The Commissioners forwarded correspondence to Larry D. Thompson, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, requesting John Vail, an employee of the Justice Management Division serving Kent County assigned to the Kent County Sheriff's Office, be extended through January 3, 2004 so that he may complete the accreditation process for the Sheriff's Office.

Correspondence was received from Sheriff Price requesting the compensation funds in the amount of $8,075.00 received from the September 14 accident be used to purchase equipment for the police vehicles. The equipment, in-car video, radar units and associated warranties total $7,353.00. The Commissioners approved the expenditure from the current FY 03 budget.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Carl Burke, Executive Director, requesting the remaining appropriation for USTAR Transportation approved earlier in the year, in the amount of $10,766.50. The Commissioners approved the request.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, May 6, 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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