KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
June 10, 2003
The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, and Scott D. Livie, presiding. William W. Pickrum, was not in attendance due to a personal work commitment.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $ 2,414,798.00.
Terry Page, Manager, Washington Airports District Office, Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) Alan Peljovich, Senior Project Manager, Wilbur Smith Associates, (WSA) Ashish J. Solanki, Airport Services Officer, Maryland Aviation Administration, appeared to discuss the proposed airport project. Commissioner Pickrum was in communication via conference call. Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, Alexander P. Rasin, III, Co- Counsel, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were also in attendance as well as approximately 26 interested persons and members of the media.
Commissioner Livie explained that the meeting was in response to correspondence dated May 23, 2003 from Mr. Page (which he read into the record) advising of several critical issues that prevent the FAA from concurring that Federal Funds could be used for the acquisition at this time. He advised that the following factors influenced required action in order to further discuss FAA funding, 1) increased acreage of land acquisition, 2) increased land acquisition cost, 3) the Environmental Assessment does not appear consistent with the evaluation criteria, 4) the Maryland Department of Environment would not look favorably to the draining of five ponds without other wetlands being established, and 5) the lapse of three years since the previous re-evaluation of the Environmental Assessment. Mr. Page suggested that either the County construct a non-Federally supported airport or re-evaluate and revise the site selection phase of the project reconcile inconsistencies. Commissioner Livie read correspondence from Mr. Peljovich responding to Mr. Page's letter advising that WSA believes that the current site is the best location for the airport and will continue to reconcile the concerns identified by the FAA.
Mr. Peljovich confirmed with Mr. Solanki that State grant funds were perishable at the end of the year. Mr. Solanki noted that the State 12/31/03 deadline was flexible and if FAA issues were mitigated or in the process of mitigation, the State would continue with the project if in progress.
Mr. Page advised that the proposed airport would not be profitable for some time. Commissioner Livie advised of the goal to make the VonSethe property an industrial park and inquired if that property were removed from the equation, if it would reconcile an issue. Mr.
Page advised that the Environmental Assessment has to match the original criteria. Mr. Peljovich expressed concern that an updated Environmental Assessment may take longer than three months.
Commissioner Pickrum stated that the proforma prepared by WSA was optimistic. Commissioner Livie stated his goal to make the airport a long term economic development investment. Commissioner Pickrum stated that he cannot justify spending funds for possible/questionable economic development; he would be more interested in investing in something more tangible. Commissioner Livie expressed concern that without a change in the dynamics of the County, there will be no jobs to support young families. An airport would be something to market which is tied in with an industrial park in the same vicinity. Judge H. Thomas Sisk, former member of the Economic Development Advisory Board, stated that he was not against the airport, he preferred it to be located on U.S. Route 301.
Edwin R. Fry questioned the proforma stating that the Airport would be profitable in 2 -3 years whereas the FAA stated it would not be profitable for some time. Mr. Peljovich stated that the proforma was based on certain assumptions. Bronwyn Fry inquired as to the specific County obligations to FAA once the project is accepted. Mr. Page advised that during the planning stage there are no obligations, however, after acceptance, there are many mandatory requirements for a twenty year commitment.
Paula Ruckelshaus, former site selection officer for companies, stated that it has been her experience that the location of an airport is not usually a factor in selection of a site to relocate a company and entice economic development. Commissioner Livie stated that a large company is the last thing he would like to see move to Kent County, he is looking towards niche companies suited for the area.
Mr. Rasin noted that the Bruther property is not eligible for Federal funds if acquired by the County. Mr. Page confirmed that the property is not directly needed for airport development. Commissioner Livie stated this property was involved in land negotiations with the Fry's.
Mrs. Lorraine Fry inquired as to the importance of public opinion and financial impact as to the decision making process. Commissioner Crow stated that the impact to the taxpayer would strongly influence his decision. Dylan Fry inquired as to how an industrial park would attract jobs for college educated citizens. Commissioner Livie advised that he would like to see a spectrum of jobs associated with the airport and hoped the airport would be a step in improving the infrastructure to attract economic development. Ken Fry expressed concern that the airport would eventually require a longer runway in order to be profitable and be forced to concede the remaining portion of the family farm. Commissioner Livie stated that the current plan for a 4200 foot long runway should be adequate for a County airport. Mr. Page confirmed that need for any additions to the airport would have to be proven. George Smith, Member, Economic Development Board, expressed concern that constructing an airport was not considered infrastructure and stated that other utilities are needed to be provided before an airport.
The Commissioners thanked all for attending.
Correspondence was received from Susan and Breck Debnam, Pond View Farm, William Griffin, Heron Point, William Rienhoff, III, Worton, Shirley Loller, Chestertown, D.Miles Barnard, Chestertown, Henry Gruber, Chestertown, Frank Dierker, Chestertown, and Betty Spence, Chestertown, expressing opposition to the proposed airport project. The Commissioners received 118 (form) letters of opposition to the airport project.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Correspondence was received from Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, forwarding a copy of the Board of Education's budget adjustment #7 for FY 03. No action was taken on this request. An error was found in an earlier request for budget adjustment, when the revised request is reviewed by the Budget and Accounting Director, action will be taken on the three budget adjustment requests simultaneously.
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
As received from the Office of Transitional Services, Department of Human Resources, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Livie signed the amended Standard Contract Modification Form as it relates to The Emergency Food Assistance Program Contract providing an additional $1,000 to Kent County for this program.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
A bid opening was held at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for the purchase of a (replacement) Emergency Generator for the Worton Pump Station #4. James Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, and Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, were in attendance. Only one bid was received:
Chesapeake Diesel $14,151.00
Mr. Wright reported that the estimated cost was $15,000 and recommended the lowest bidder, Chesapeake Diesel. A motion was made by Commissioners Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the purchase of the replacement generator from Chesapeake Diesel for the amount of $14,151.00.
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Spring Cove/Green Lane - Mr. Morris advised that he forwarded the sanitary survey prepared by the Kent County Health Department to McCrone Engineering relating to the Allen's Lane Feasibility Study.
Quaker Neck Service Area - In follow-up to the Maryland Department of the Environment's (MDE) letter of denial of the Water and Sewer Plan Amendment relating to the Quaker Neck Service Area, Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence with additional information to be forwarded to MDE.
Warden Ronald L. Howell, Chief of Security, appeared to give recognition to Captain James S. Wachowiz, Correctional Officer III, recipient of the "Kent County Officer of the Year" award. Trish Scott, Administrative Aide, Joseph Wachowiz, Correctional Officer IV, Lt. Sharon Glenn, and Sgt. Charles Mench, were also in attendance. Warden Howell reported that this is a locally peer nominated award. Warden Howell read the plaque which was awarded to Mr. Wachowiz during a recent conference. The Commissioners congratulated Mr Wachowiz on his excellent achievements.
The Commissioners received correspondence from Edward M. Athey, resigning as Chairman of the Economic Development Council, effective immediately due to personal reasons.
At 10: 20 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow and passed by the majority to go into executive session with M. 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 mooring buoys and County contracts.
The executive session adjourned at 10:35 a.m.
At 10: 40 a.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 with M. Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, and William Ingersoll, Chestertown Town Manager, were also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 11:50 a.m.
At 1:00 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 with Susanne Hayman and Alexander P. Rasin, III, County Attorneys, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
H. Thomas Sisk objected to the Commissioners going into executive session.
Mr. Rasin explained the purpose of this session was to obtain protocol as to manner in which to handle the meeting relating to the proposed airport project.
The executive session adjourned at 1:05 p.m.
LIBRARY ANNEX BUILDING
A bid opening was held at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for the interior renovation of the public library annex building located at 207 Calvert Street, Chestertown. James Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, was in attendance. The following bids were received:
Mr. Wright will review the bids and make a recommendation. Later in the day, upon recommendation by Mr. Wright, Commissioners Crow and Livie approved to award the contract to Site Construction.
LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
Correspondence was received from Delegate Norman H. Conway, following up from his April 15 correspondence clarifying legislative reductions in funding the Local Management Boards. The recent correspondence specifies the amount of reduction to each LMB. Kent County LMB received the average State reduction of 48%.
MILLINGTON FOOD LION
The Commissioners received e-mail for Marcia Landskroener, Millington, expressing opposition to the proposed Food Lion in Millington.
PARKS AND RECREATION
The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to James Taylor, President, Chester River Men's Softball League, from Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, reporting of an incident at Worton Park on June 1, 2003 where the Bluebird Tavern Softball Team displayed inappropriate behavior that will not be tolerated. Mr. Troester advised that the team or individuals will be banned from Worton Park should this behavior continue.
At 9:55 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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. Robert B. Rust, Jr., Emergency Management Director, Ken Smith, Emergency Communications Supervisor, Sue Willits, Emergency Planning Coordinator, and Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, were also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
At 11:50 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned 12:20 p.m.
Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, and Marcie Brown, Planning Commission member, appeared to report on the June 5 Planning Commission meeting.
Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, reported her attendance at the Upper Shore Tributary Team meeting. The outcome of the meeting was to plan preparation of an informational document explaining the operation of septic tanks.
Correspondence was received from Clarence Hawkins, President, Upper Shore Aging, Inc., recommending the Counties who provide local match funding (Talbot, Caroline and Kent) focus the limited available resources to the Statewide Specialized Assistance Transportation Program that will support the USTAR program, and any remaining funds shall support limited transportation services to riders of all ages.
Correspondence was received from Sarah Meredith, Member, Upper Shore Aging Advisor Council, requesting the limited transportation funds be funneled toward USTAR services ( for elderly and disabled) rather than the MUST programs.
Correspondence containing twenty-seven names urging the Commissioners to support funding for USTAR Transportation was received.
WORTON ROAD PROJECT
In a follow-up to the June 3 meeting, a meeting was held with Ron Athey and Bob Thompson representing KRM Development Corporation, Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Ed Robinson, County Administrator, on June 4. As a result, it was agreed that KRM and Kent County will split the balance ($17,840) according to the total estimated cost percentage in accordance with Contract by and between KRM Development Corporation and the County. Kent County's percentage in 45.5%. It was also agreed that Kent County will pay $1,629.82 representing letter of credit for Unruh Excavating. The County will incur the following cost: $8,117.20 representing overrun of cost for the Worton Road Project and $1,629.82 for letter of credit totaling $9,747.02.
ZONING MAP AMENDMENT
An application fo a zoning map amendment was received form Ronald H. and Robin B. Fithian by reclassifying property from the AZD Zone to Commercial Residential Zone located on Anderson Avenue, Rock Hall. This application will be referred to the Planning Commission for recommendation.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, June17, 2003.
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.