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Board of County Commissioners

May 6, 2003

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, 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 $4,428,517.00


The Commissioners received forty-five electronic letters expressing support for the proposed airport from out of County pilots. The Commissioners received two letters in opposition of the proposed airport.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that he has been advised that the proposal to re-align boat slips with grant funding will now be a 50 - 50 match (rather than a 100% match) with the County being responsible for $200,000 of the project cost. The Commissioners concurred that the project will be considered at another time.


Commissioners Pickrum and Crow held budget work sessions with P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, and Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director. The County Administrator and Budget and Accounting Director were also in attendance.


Correspondence was received from Skip James, Government Relations Coordinator, Charter Communications, advising effective May 1, 2003, Charter Communications will be implementing a settlement program relating to the Global Class Action Settlement Agreement per the Circuit Court for Montgomery County , Maryland. He advised that billing inserts would explain the procedure for settlement benefits relating to late fees.


Correspondence was received from Neil Pederson, Acting Administrator, State Highway Administration, inquiring if there is an interest in holding a joint meeting between the Kent County Commissioners and the Queen Anne's County Commissioners relating to the MD 213 Chestertown Bypass project. This request will be further discussed.


First reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-2003, which is an Act concerning the distribution, sale, and display of tobacco products for the purpose of regulating the distribution of tobacco products to minors for commercial purposes in certain circumstances; regulating the method of displaying tobacco products for commercial purposes in certain circumstances; providing for enforcement of these regulations by civil fines; and granting the Public Health Officer of Kent County the power to enforce certain laws relating to the sale, distribution, storage, and display of tobacco products. A public hearing will be scheduled in the near future.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that a large maple tree on the front lawn is about to expire and provided a cost estimate from Pardoe's Lawn and Tree Service in the amount of $1,500 to remove and replace it with another maple tree and a cost estimate of 1,000 to replace both trees with a different variety (Green Vase Zelkova). He reported the expenditure could be funded from the current maintenance budget. Mr. Stanton advised Pardoe's was the only local tree service he was aware of that had a spade large enough to remove these trees. The Commissioners requested Mr. Stanton to obtain cost estimates from other businesses if capable to perform the same service.


Deed by and between the County Commissioners and Robert S. and Cynthia L. Hays, prepared by Eugenia C. Wootton, Esq., was approved by the majority of the Board and signed by Commissioner Pickrum conveying 170 foot boundary line of county owned property (formerly known as Galena Elementary School) located off of MD Route 313. Mr. Hays recently learned that his garage has encroached on county property for the past forty years and sought correction of this matter.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that a spruce tree at the Court House is leaning dangerously and should either be braced or removed. The Commissioners concurred to have the tree removed. Mr. Stanton gave assurance that this work can be completed by County crew.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, forwarded the presentation and summaries compiled by the Maryland Department of the Environment following their Nutrient Trading Seminar held on March 26.


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

General - Mr. Morris advised that he was recently appointed to the Maryland Rural Water Association Board of Directors.

Mr. Morris presented cost options for a backhoe under a lease-purchase program for the Board's review and consideration.

Tolchester Service Area - In response to Charmayne Dierker's request on behalf of Mr. Bramble for sewer allocation for properties owned by Mr. Bramble fronting on Tolchester Road and Tolchester Beach Road, Mr. Morris advised that the properties are outside of the Tolchester Service Area and were not in future plans for service.

Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris reported that the Edesville Service Area was without water for a brief period due to mechanical problems. Mr. Morris advised that upgrades were needed to the facility. He advised that new SCADA monitoring equipment would be tested at the Edesville facility to aide in alerting of problems.

Worton Service Area - Mr. Morris advised that the new security system would be installed at Worton lagoon next week and requested approval to notify septage haulers of the security system and of the $25 fee for a second security entrance card. The Commissioners concurred.

Mr. Morris advised of problems with the aging generators at the Worton facility. He reported the generator is 22 years old and replacement parts are no longer available. Mr. Morris advised that a new generator could be purchased for the amount of $14,353.00. The Commissioners approved the project to go out for bid.

Maryland Department of Environment - Mr. Morris advised that the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) inspected both the Worton and Edesville lagoons. MDE reported no major concerns at Worton lagoon, however, ground water infiltration was suspected at the Edesville lagoon. Mr. Morris advised that he was aware of the suspected problem and had initiated connection to the Rock Hall system months ago. He advised the project is ongoing.

Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - The Commissioners received correspondence from Roger Persons, Community and Business Programs Specialist, Rural Development, advising that Rural Development has not received the required agreements between Millington and the County. He advised that without the documents the project will not move forth. Commissioner Pickrum requested the Mayor of Millington be contacted to expedite the document since the County portion has been completed.

Financial Management Services - Ed Donahue representing Financial Management Services, made a presentation on financial services relating to a feasibility study for public service rates. Mr. Donahue advised of financial services rendered to other counties as well as for the Sanitary District in 1993. He advised of the rate study that could be performed as well as general fund cost reductions and revenue enhancements.

The Commissioners thanked Mr. Donahue for the presentation. No action was taken at this time.


Correspondence was received from Warden Ronald Howell, requesting approval to purchase an office chair in the amount of $59.99 and two printers for the estimated amount of $200. Warden Howell advised that the expenditures could be funded from revenues accumulated from Social Security bonuses for informing them of incarcerated recipients. The Commissioners approved the request as presented.


Mary Ellen Williams, Chairman, Human Relations Commission, appeared to discuss the FY 04 budget as well as the commission's proposed bylaws. The County Attorney was also in attendance. Mrs. Williams advised of the preference to limit the number of members to 11. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the bylaws as presented.

She reported that a workshop/seminar on diversity and cultural awareness has been scheduled for May 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room.

Mrs. Williams also provided a list of potential candidates for review to be appointed as members of the Human Relations Commission. The Commissioners appointed Dr. Ann Hennessey to the Commission for a term ending in 2003 and Paramjit Singh for a term ending in 2004.


George Lenher, President, and Bill Seitzer, Treasurer, Humane Society, appeared to discuss their proposed FY 04 Budget. Discussion was held as to capital expenditures which include the resurfacing of the parking area, maintenance on the property adjacent to the animal shelter, as well as a new well. The Commissioners thanked Messrs. Lenher and Seitzer for appearing.


At 11:00 a.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 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 local laws and land acquisition.

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


The Commissioners received correspondence from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup expressing appreciation for support of House Bill 689 "Dredge Deposits -Creation of Artificial Islands in the Chesapeake Bay -Prohibition Use as Part of the Management Plan". She advised that HB 689 was held for Summer Study which will include review of reuses for dredge materials.


James Blake, Chairman, Dee Newnam, Member, Board of Library Trustees, Gloria Urban, Library Director, and Jerry Keiser, Assistant Director, appeared to review the FY 04 proposed budget. Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, was also in attendance.

Ms. Urban reviewed the budget requests including automation upgrade for the amount of $12,400. She advised that automation software was a regional effort that would reap a cost benefit for all Counties involved. Ms. Newnam advised that the web based upgrade was more comprehensive and be more cost effective. Mr. Keiser reported that the regional libraries were continuing with the wireless internet project, SailorNet. Discussion was held as to other budget items such as insurance costs and materials. The Commissioners thanked all for attending.


Gloria Urban, Library Director, provided a copy of the fund raising campaign brochure for the Library Hearse House.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advised of request from Audrey Scott, Secretary, Maryland Department of Planning, for a Kent County representative to serve on the Maryland Citizen Planners Association.


At 11:20 a.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 11:40 a.m.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, reported on the May 1 Planning Commission meeting.

Carla Martin, Community Planner, has returned from tour her in Brazil as part of the Rotary Group Study Exchange; she will be making a formal presentation at a later time.


Correspondence was received from Neil Pederson, Acting Administrator, State Highway Administration, expressing appreciation for the Commissioners' endorsement of the Urban Boundary document for the Chestertown Urban Area.


Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, received word from the U. S. Department of Interior that as of May 5, the County assumed full responsibility of the Still Pond Station property. A quitclaim deed will be forthcoming within six to eight weeks. The County Administrator contacted Ed Athey of FAM&M to obtain quote for property insurance. Commissioners Pickrum and Crow approved payment of $750 to cover insurance for this property to be funded out of contingency. Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, will be contacted to include this roadway into the County Roads System.

Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to propose the installation of an automated gate system and with card reader to secure the Still Pond Coast Guard Station. He reported the automated system would cost approximately $4,000 and $4,500 to install (which is not a budgeted item). Mr. Troester proposed the automated gate as the most effective way to control access to the area.

Commissioner Pickrum requested the Coast Guard be contacted to seek willingness to share the access gate cost. Commissioner Crow stated that until a revenue plan has been established for the facility, he would rather not have any expenses incurred.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rock Hall Town Hall.


Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

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