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Board of County Commissioners

May 27, 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 $3,810,546.00.


The Commissioners received a copy of the Farmland Protection Program Application from Carla Martin, Community Planning, for their reference. The application seeks funds to be used as matching funds for the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation to preserve local farmland.


George C. Smith, Bronwyn Fry, Edwin R. Fry, Jr., and Melinda Johnson, appeared to express their opposition to the proposed airport project. Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Alan E. Peljovich, Senior Project Manager of Wilbur Smith and Associates, were also in attendance. Mr. Smith read a letter written by Judge H. Thomas Sisk advising of his opinion that a family business should not be interrupted for a nonessential airport. Judge Sisk questioned the estimates for the airport project including the projection of finding a qualified manager for a salary of $25,000. He expressed the desire for a public hearing on the matter so that public opposition could be heard.

Bronwyn Fry read a statement that included the airport project being driven by a small vocal minority and questioned if taxpayers were aware that the County will undoubtedly need to borrow funds during the construction of the airport until Federal finding is provided at completion. Mrs. Fry stated that Easton Airport was not profitable for fourteen years. She questioned if the need to make a seventeen year old plan work was the threat of losing Federal funds. Mrs. Fry stated that she has obtained 140 signatures in opposition to the airport and will forward the information.

Melinda Johnson, sixteen year veteran in the field of aviation, voiced her opposition to an unnecessary hobby airport within a three mile radius of four schools, hospital, nursing home and rehabilitation center.

Edwin Fry, stated that all the negotiations for land acquisition have progressed in a very professional manner. He emphasized that although the Fry family signed land acquisition agreements does not in any way reflect support of the project. Mr. Fry expressed concern of the many changes that have taken place over the seventeen years of airport planning and the ability to

farm in the future. He advised that Fair Hill Farms Inc., has a $416,000 payroll and employs seventeen full/part time workers. Mr. Fry stated that the County proports the growth of agricultural business yet may limit the farm should additional land be needed to expand the airport to make it profitable.

Commissioner Pickrum read a letter he had prepared to send to the Kent News in which he advised that during his campaign he did not support the airport and has not gleaned any information that has changed his opinion.

Commissioner Pickrum firmly stated that he supports public information and assured all that a public information meeting would be held after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had reviewed and responded to the land acquisition information. Commissioner Crow stated that the airport project may be rejected and the Board is waiting for more information from the FAA. Mrs. Fry inquired as to the conditions in which the Commissioners would reject the project. Commissioner Crow replied that if the project becomes too costly it would be rejected. Commissioner Livie encouraged correspondence voicing the public's viewpoint.

The Commissioners received e-mail correspondence and correspondence from W. Andrews Newman, III, in support of the airport project. E-mail correspondence was received from Jim Bradley, Katy Macielag Maisel, Anthony Pucciarella and Hap Eliason, in support of the airport. Correspondence was received from Tyler Campbell, updating further interest in obtaining hangar space at the proposed airport.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, provided an update on the May 19 Appeals Board meeting.


Correspondence was received from David Wilson, R C & D Coordinator, advising that a cost for the bluff stabilization project was estimated to be $910,000. He reported that the Corps of Engineers viewed the project as having little environmental output and did not recommend proceeding to phase II for the feasibility study. He advised of possibility to apply for a Section 510 Corps of Engineers' program and suggested a meeting be scheduled for further discussion..


Correspondence was received from Betsy Skinner, Chestertown, Wendy Moorhouse, Kennedyville, in support of funding the Board of Education budget.

Correspondence was received from Patricia Chance and phone message from Joan Pinder supporting the Commissioners' stance to include the school administration in budget cuts.


The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution amending the Fiscal Year 2003 Budget.


Corrected deed as prepared by Eugenia Wooten, by and between the County Commissioners and Robert S. and Cynthia L. Hays was approved and signed by the Board as it relates to conveyance of boundary lines on property near Maryland 313 adjacent to the former Galena Elementary School. This deed supersedes one signed on May 6, 2003.


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

Financial Management Services - In follow-up from May 6, Mr. Morris advised that Ed Donahue representing Financial Management Services, has agreed to lower the cost of the feasibility study for public service rates by the Budget and Accounting Office providing some of the required data. The Commissioners advised that a decision would be made at a later time since they have not been apprised of the Governor's budget.

Millington Water and Sewer Expansion Project - Mr. Morris advised that the Millington has executed the agreement joining with the County for water and sewer services.

Spring Cove/Green Lane Service Area - Per Mr. Morris's recommendation, the Commissioners approved sewer allocation requests by Alden Yetman, on behalf of the property owners, for two properties located on Tax Map 51 Grid 1A, parcels 17 and 413. Mr. Yetman owns the construction company contracted to build two single family homes on the above referenced properties.

Tolchester Service Area - Per Mr. Morris's recommendation, the Commissioners approved a sewer allocation requested by Earl Hagertty for his property located on Tax Map 1 Block AA, parcels 42,43 and 44.


Correspondence was received from Warden Ronnie Howell requesting approval to purchase phone cards in the amount of $30.00 for the former Administrative Aide to assist the new Administrative Aide should she have questions. He advised the expenditure could be funded from the current FY03 budget. The Commissioners approved the request.

Correspondence was received from Warden Howell proposing that the parking area be expanded at the Detention Center as the number of vehicles at the multi-agency complex is increasing. The Commissioners will be advised of cost estimates once received.


Phil Hoon, Esq., and Timothy Dills, representative Scarab Associates, Inc. appeared to discuss the possibility of using the Detention Center stormwater pond for the moderate income housing project proposed by Mr. Dills. Others in attendance were: Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Nancy Metcalf, Soil Conservationist. Mr. Dills advised that the proposed project is planned to be located on the top of the hill near the Detention Center and will drain to the pond as a matter of course, however, he requested if he could use the pond he would make all necessary improvements and landscaping. He advised that the project has not been addressed technically, it is proposed that the stormwater is to be piped from the development to the stormwater pond. Ms. Metcalf advised that Soil Conservation has not been advised of the plans and would like to review the proposal. Mr. Hoon requested approval for Mr. Dills to explore opportunity. Mr. Wright stated that he did not foresee a problem with the proposal. The Commissioners approved for Mr. Dills to move forward with engineering information relating to the Detention stormwater pond. Mr. Hoon advised that they would return with specific proposal for the project.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared to advise of the revised draft of the Local Emission Reduction Control measures for Kent and Queen Anne's Counties. The proposal will be submitted to the Maryland Department of the Environment by June 16. Commissioner Pickrum expressed concern that the pollutant measuring station was gathering data on pollutants not generated in Kent County. Mrs. Owings concurred and advised that the entire state is being monitored for pollutants generated in the Ohio Valley. He requested the matter be brought before Congressman Wayne Gilchrest as the result of the study could financially impact the area.


P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, reviewed her current budget with the Board and advised of shortfall in the amount of $4,701.50.

The Commissioners went to the Economic Development Office where Mrs. Schaller presented first showing of the CD Rom developed by Loblolly Productions for promotion of economic development in Kent County.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Christopher Powell, President, Kent County Fire Chief's Association, requesting office space. The County Administrator advised that office space has for a number of years been designated at the Court House basement for the Fire Chief's Association.


Correspondence was received from Ethel Duhamell, Treasurer, Galena Volunteer Fire Department, requesting the County take the necessary steps to provide the fire company to finance a $160,000 ambulance using tax free interest rate loan. A public hearing will be scheduled once the required agreement, in accordance with IRS regulations, is provided.


Per Commissioner Pickrum's request, the County Administrator advised that he is investigating the addition of "frequently asked questions" to the Kent County web site to provide more information to the public.


At 11:05 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.

Items of discussion included the Still Pond Station Property and Nuisance Ordinance.

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


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, forwarded the presentations from the Point Source Workgroup in order to eventually publish a final Enhanced Nutrient Removal Policy, for the Commissioners reference.


The Commissioners received correspondence from John Bernstein, Director, Maryland Environmental Trust, advising of the easement proposal from E. Edward and Elizabeth Houghton, to donate their 152 acre property (Morgnec Road/Maryland Route 291) and the easement proposal from Kent Family Farm, LLC, to donate their 224 acre property (Maryland Route 291/Chesterville Bridge Road) to the Maryland Environmental Trust and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy.


Phil Nickerson, representing Kent County Lodge 110, provided information relating to the official days the American flag should be at half staff. He advised that the flag should be at half staff for Memorial Day, National Peace Officers Day, at the direction of the Governor and of the President of the United States. Commissioner Pickrum assured Mr. Nickerson that the information will be forwarded to the Public Works Department as a reminder to take the necessary action.


At 11:20 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 12:00 noon.


In follow-up from May 13, Judy Hagerty, William Marshall, and Barbara Anthony, representing the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, reappeared to recognize all of the winners of the Operator Boat Smart Poster Contest. Mrs. Hagerty recognized ten students from Galena, Rock Hall and Chestertown Middle Schools as follows: Emily Strong, Abigail Lorenz and Joey Sero from Galena Middle School; Alyssa Coleman, Parker Wise, and Sarah Evans from Rock Hall, Middle School; Jory Yerkie, Ben Townsend, John Cochran and Carli Smith from Chestertown Middle School.


The Commissioners received the Tourism Development update for the Month of April as prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Director of Tourism.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, reported that Kent and Queen Anne's Counties, in cooperation with the Chester River Association propose to apply to the Maryland Department oaf Natural Resources to develop a Watershed Restoration Action Strategy for the Upper Chester River Watershed. The counties will be eligible for a $40,000 grant for developing a plan.


Correspondence was received from Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, advising that the road leading from Still Pond Neck Road to the Coast Guard Station will not be eligible for Highway User funds until July 2004.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, advising that a water appropriation permit has been issued to Kenneth Corrin, Jr., for farm irrigation. For further information contact Mark Filar, Chief Water Rights Division, (410) 537-3590.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, June 3, 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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