KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
May 13, 2003
The Honorable Board of County Commissioners held an evening community meeting 7:00 p.m. at the Rock Hall Municipal Building with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, presiding. William W. Pickrum was not in attendance due to personal business.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $4,359,190.00.
TOWN OF ROCK HALL
Rock Hall Mayor Jay Jacobs welcomed the Commissioners to Rock Hall and thanked them for extending the opportunity for residents who work during the day to attend a Commissioners' meeting. Mayor Jacobs presented Rock Hall pins to the Commissioners and staff. He also thanked the Commissioners for restoring Grant-in-Aid to the incorporated towns.
Commissioner Livie thanked Mayor Jacobs for hosting the meeting and congratulated him on the recent election. Commissioner Crow acknowledged Council members also in attendance: Olin "Butch" Price, Rosalie Kuechler and John Toulson and Town Manager, Ronald Fithian. Commissioner Crow stated he looked forward to working with all the incorporated towns and thanked Mayor Jacobs for his hospitality.
Mayor Jacobs advised of the Rock Hall Museum that would open on Memorial Day and invited all to attend.
Approximately 15 interested persons were in attendance.
The Commissioners received sixteen electronic letters expressing support for the proposed airport from out of County pilots. The Commissioners received letters from Walter A. Newman, Jr., and Jay Chrisrthilf in support for the proposed airport.
Correspondence was received from Tyler Cambell advising of thirty five parties who have expressed interest in hanger space at the proposed airport. Correspondence was also received from Dr. Robert Jones, Tyler Campbell and Dave McIntire, representing Concerned Citizens for Kent County Airport thanking the Board for the meeting scheduled with the consulting firm, Wilbur Smith Associates, on April 29 who answered questions from the Board and interested persons in attendance and commending the Board on plans to hold a public information meeting on the project.
Correspondence was received from Ed Athey, Chairman, Economic Development Advisory Board, advising it it's the Board's belief that the proposed airport could be an asset to Kent County in terms of both Board's goal to improve the economic climate in the County and recommending an update of the financial information relating to the airport to ensure the airport be a success should the project come to fruition.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Edwin R. Fry, Fair Hill Farms, Inc., expressing concern of news story in the Kent County News that the proposed airport could be expanded in the future. Mr. Fry again expressed his opposition to the proposed airport.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Commissioners received correspondence from Pamela Cardullo Ortiz, Chestertown, Betsy Skinner, Chestertown, and Carole Manley, expressing concern of the impact budget cuts to the Board of Education may have on education programs.
Correspondence was received from Frank Hudson suggesting the Board of Commissioners adjourn until after the budget process in order, to avoid response to the Board of Education relating to the budget.
At 1:30 p.m., the Commissioners went into a budget work session with the Director of Budget and Accounting and County Administrator.
BUILDING PERMIT FEES
In light of budget restraints and pending State budget cuts, the Commissioners entertained recommendations from the Director of Planning and Zoning Administration for recovering costs associated with building permit and project review fees. After the Board's review and discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the following fees:
CITIZENS REVIEW BOARD FOR CHILDREN
Correspondence was received from Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., advising that William Taylor has been reappointed as a member of the Kent/Queen Anne's County Citizen Review Board for Children serving a four year term to commence on July 1, 2002.
COUNTY ROADS DIVISION
Correspondence was received from Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, outlining the proposed FY04 Surface Treatment Program & Blacktop Overlay for County Roads, if the MD SHA approves a grant in aid for same. The possible program treats 43 roads for a total of 37.44 miles for an estimated cost of $219,107.00. In addition, 5 roads for a total of 5.28 miles of blacktop overlay for an estimated cost of $260,200.00. We should know by September, 2003, wheather we will actually receive the grant-in-aid.
In follow up to additional information received, the Commissioners approved to rescind decision made on April 29 and revised permit fee for entrance pipe installation as follows to be effective July 1:
$850 for permit fee, installation of entrance pipe, and inspection fee (pipe to be provided by owner)
$ 50 for permit and inspection fee (excluding installation of pipe by the County Roads Division).
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris forwarded correspondence from Peter Bourne, P.E. requesting sewer allocation for the Church of God in Rock Hall. A motion was made by Commission Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the allocation as requested.
Mr. Morris reported of meeting with representative of the Town of Rock Hall, Maryland Department of Environment, and Rural Development, relating to funding for the Edesville water/waste water expansion project. He advised that an application will go forth and funding may be available in FY 05.
Allen's Lane - Mr. Morris reported of a meeting held relating to funding options available for extending service to Allen's Lane due to failing septic systems, he advised that partial funding could be obtained if a health hazard is proven although the proposed project is not in the priority funding area. The Commissioners advised that a public hearing or information meeting is planned to be held prior to the commencement of any projects. Mayor Jacobs applauded proposed public meetings on the matter as he believes the public does not always get correct information. Council Member Kuechler stated that Rock Hall residents should be made aware of the rates for new connections so that they know they are not subsidizing new connections. Commissioner Livie advised that rates for fees throughout the County would be reviewed as they have not been reviewed recently and effort will be made to make the department solvent. Frank Hepbron stated his opinion that major costs for repairs such as leaking lagoons, etc. should be made public so that users are made aware that all tax payers are subsidizing projects. Rex Kershaw inquired as to how much the Department of Water and Wastewater has been subsidized in the past year. Commissioner Crow advised that the projected subsidy for FY 03 was $260,000.
General - In follow-up from previous discussion as to refinancing the loan for the Department of Water and Wastewater debt, Mr. Morris advised that Maryland Department of the Environment submitted documentation that may remove the need for Smart Growth approval for refinancing. Mr. Morris stated that he will keep the Commissioners apprised of the matter.
As recommended by Mr. Morris, the Commissioners approved purchasing a backhoe and tractor in FY2004. Mr. Morris will need to have the purchasing coordinator bid the equipment and the County pay directly for same and than borrow the actual money over a 5 year period.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Ronald Howell, Warden, requesting approval to purchase a pulse oximeter (device that reads the amount of oxygen in the blood. Per the Chief paramedic, this device will aid in determining if hospital care is needed and costs 575.00. Warden Howell reported that the expenditure could be funded from funds received from the Social Security Administration finder bonuses. The Commissioners approved the expenditure.
A Memorandum was received from Robert B. Rust, Jr., Director, Emergency Management, requesting the Board's approval for him to use available grant monies to purchase a generator for WCTR, the County's local emergency alert station. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) recently granted the County a one time supplemental grant in the amount of $20,000 with no Federal match requirement to be obligated by September 30, 2003. Mr. Rust advised that MEMA supports this request and understands the County's need for issuing evacuation or shelter-in-place recommendations during times when there are power outages. The Commissioners approved this request.
At the recommendation of Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, the Commissioners approved release of Irrevocable Letters of Credit No. 457, 458 and 459 for the account of Peoples Bank of Kent County, Maryland in consideration of satisfactory compliance to the Kent County Landscaping Policy, Kent County Sediment Control Ordinance and Kent County Stormwater Management Ordinance.
GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST
Correspondence was receive from Jon Burrell, Executive Director, Local Government Insurance Trust announcing the Board of Trustee's approval of FY 04 Health Benefits Service rates. He advised that the average rate increase for medical benefits will be 54%. He provided renewal rates for current benefit products for review. The County Administrator will be obtaining additional information for review.
MID-SHORE RECYCLING PROGRAM
The Commissioners approved and executed two Intergovernmental Agreements with Maryland Environmental Service 1) to implement the e-Cycle program (electronic equipment) and the disposal of mercury thermometers and 2) agreement for the Household Hazardous Waste Collection event on June 7 at the Nicholson Transfer Site.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Judy Berry, Recreation Supervisor, appeared to advise of Summer programs offered by Kent County Parks and Recreation Department. Ms. Berry thanked the Rock Hall community for their dedication in providing time to children's programs. She provided information on the programs including the new Jr. Leader's Club for 5th and 6th graders.
Rock Hall Council Member Kuechler inquired if lifeguards were on duty when the pools were open. Ms. Berry confirmed that lifeguards will be on duty, with the exception of Betterton Beach, which has life guards on weekends only.
At 8:50 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, 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 9:05 p.m.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Roger Mangels advising of his resignation from the Planning Commission effective immediately.
Judy Hagerty, William Marshall, Barbara Anthony and Patricia Gross, representing the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, appeared to request the Commissioners to proclaim the week of May 17 to be National Safe Boating Week in Kent County. Mrs. Hagerty advised of the Operator Boat Smart Poster Contest Award as a result of an assembly at the Rock Hall, Chestertown and Galena Middle Schools to teach youth the importance of safe boating. The winners of the poster contest were: Allisa Coleman, Rock Hall, Emily Strong, Galena and Jory Yerkie, Chestertown. Miss Coleman was presented a $100 savings bond. The other two winners were not present but will also receive a $100 savings bond. Mrs. Anthony introduced Suzanne Morris who, although is not a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, contacted businesses who contributed for the savings bond prizes.
The Commissioners read and presented Mrs. Hagerty with a proclamation observing May 17 - May 23 as Safe Boating Week.
Correspondence was received from Michael J. Nelson, Assistant Secretary, Capital Grants and Loans Administration, Department of Natural Resources, advising that the Board of Public Works has approved Program Open Space funds for Bayside Public Landing and Park in the amount of $58,420.00.
Correspondence was received from Michael J. Nelson, Assistant Secretary, Capital Grants and Loans Administration, Department of Natural Resources, advising that the Board of Public Works has approved Program Open Space funds for Turner's Creek Lathim House Renovations Phase II in the amount of $21,988.00.
A Memorandum was received from Carter G. Stanton, Public Works Director, advising that at the April 14 Public Landings and Facilities Board meeting, it was agreed to recommend the following fee increases for public landings:
Group moorings - increase application fee from $100 to $200 and cost per mooring from $5 to $10.
Individual moorings - one mooring will remain free of charge, increase application fee for two or more moorings from $25 to $50 and the cost per mooring from $5 to $10
Increase yearly resident permit from $10 to $20 with revenue generated to be earmarked for Public Landings budget.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the above fee increases effective July 1.
SHORE EROSION CONTROL
There will be a public information meeting on Tuesday, May 20, 2003, at 10:15 a.m. in the County Commissioners' Hearing Room, to receive public comments on the application submitted by Richard C. and Mary K. Merriken, Jerome M. Staller and Sandra M. Goldberg to establish a shore erosion control district at Montana Avenue, Tolchester, Sixth Election District, Kent County, Maryland.
Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, appeared to advise of the efforts and progress made in promoting tourism in Kent County. She provided a detailed update on National Scenic Byway in Kent County, May 14 Channel 9 Television appearance promoting Chestertown, WCTR appearance advising of local Tourism activities, presence in Getaway Package promotions; various tours given to State tourism officials familiarizing them with Kent County attractions, Eastern Shore Heritage Inc., related projects/opportunities, and Water Mark Cruise expanded activities/tours. The Commissioners thanked Mrs. Van Pelt for her enthusiasm, dedication and success in promoting Kent County tourism.
Rex Kershaw noted that some residences along the National Scenic Byway in the County were in need of zoning ordinance/nuisance violation enforcement. Commissioner Crow advised that the County Attorney was addressing the issue to make enforcement entities more unified.
TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY GROUP
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Crow executed the Authorizing Resolution to file application with the Maryland Transit Administration of the Maryland Department of Transportation for Phase Three of the Transportation Advisory Group "Coordination Demonstration" Project.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, May 20, 2003.
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.