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Board of County Commissioners

June 17, 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 $3,204,490.00


Correspondence was received from Edward R. Burka, Worton, James Fouss, Chestertown, Tom Truitt and Joanne Scott, Chestertown, Patricia Kobes, Rock Hall, Dr. Ann Hennessey, Rock Hall, William and Catherine Reinbold, Chestertown, Robert and Elaine Naper, as well as a petition containing 37 signatures expressing opposition to the airport.

In follow-up from last week's meeting, correspondence was received from Bruce Mundie, Director, Office of Regional Aviation Assistance, Maryland Aviation Administration, addressing issues raised at the meeting. Mr. Mundie advised that the MAA would consider extending the grant to June 30, 2004 if one or more parcels were acquired before December 31, 2003. He further delineated the use of grant funds.


Correspondence was received from Charles and Margaret Sommers, detailing their plans to build a home in Tolchester only to have a variance approved by the Appeals Board and thwarted by State Environmental Health regulations. A response was requested. This letter will be discussed with the County Attorney.


The Commissioners approved Budget Adjustment # 5, #6, and # 7 as requested by the Board of Education. Budget adjustments were as follows: Budget Adjustment #5 related to unrestricted appropriations; Budget Adjustment #6 related to the Current Expense: Unrestricted Budget; Budget Adjustment #7 related to changes to the unrestricted and restricted portions of the current expense funds.

The Commissioners expressed interest in discussion with Queen Anne's County Commissioners as to the possibility of partnering with other school systems as it relates to educational programs (Magnet School Program and/or accepting students from neighboring communities in Queen Anne' s County) to fill unoccupied class rooms as well as sharing of school administrators.


A bid opening was held at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for petroleum fuel and propane for various County buildings/properties from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004. Jim Wright, County Engineer/Purchasing Coordinator, was in attendance. The following bids were received:

Bidder Contract A Contract B Contract C

Diesel Fuel #2 Heating Oil Propane

Tri-Gas & Oil Co., Inc. $9,187.50 $1,782.50 $4,800.00 @


Paradee Gas Co. No Bid No Bid $22,400.00 @


Alger Oil, Inc. $5,273.75 $1,249.25 No Bid

Prices shown for Contracts A &B are delivery costs above rack prices. Fuel is not included.

Price bid by Paradee on Contract C includes rack price of $0.62/gal. for 5/20/03 plus $0.0880/gal. delivery cost.

Mr. Wright will review the bids and report back at a later time.

Later in the day, Mr. Wright returned to further discuss the bids. Commissioner Livie inquired as to the prices compared to the consortium and if all County departments were included in the process. Mr. Wright advised that all County entities were included in the request for quote with the exception of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, of which he was unsure of how they purchased fuel. The Commissioners requested no action be taken at this time until Commissioners Livie's questions have been addressed.


Millington Water Project - Correspondence was received from Kendl Philbrick Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment, advising that the General Assembly has approved $280,000 from the FY 2004 Capital Budget for the Millington Water project.


Correspondence was received from Warden Ronald Howell providing an update on the current FY 03 Detention Center Budget.

In light of space needs, the Commissioners expressed interest in discussing the concept of a future bi-county facility with Queen Anne's County.


Correspondence was received from William D. Fay, President and CEO, NATSO, requesting support to preserve Federal legislation banning rest area commercialization. He reported that the Federal Highway Administration is requesting Congress to overturn this law that would permit the commercialization of rest areas which may cause local businesses to fail because they could not compete with a State sanctioned business at rest areas. The Commissioners requested the County Administrator to contact the Queen Anne's Commissioners to see if they plan to take any action on this issue. The Commissioners requested the County Administration to contact the Queen Anne's Commissioners to see if they plan to take any action on this issue.


The Commissioners received the January 13, 2003 Grand Jury Report as filed with the Kent County Circuit Court.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the Release of Mortgage for five properties in conjunction with the Housing Improvement Program as prepared by Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide, Housing and Community Development.


Herschell Claggett, realtor, representing Authur Foster, appeared along with Mr. Foster to discuss the zoning on Mr. Foster's sixty six acres on MD Route 213 near Chestertown. Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration and Carla Martin, Community Planner, were also in attendance. Mr. Foster advised that at the time of purchase of this property, it was one acre zoning (Rural Residential) and requested that the zoning be changed to Community Residential (one acre zoning). The property is currently zoned Rural Residential with 1-3 acre zoning under the Land Use Ordinance recently adopted. Mr. Foster provided correspondence from the State Highway Administration advising that entrance requirements (for a development) onto MD Route 213 would total approximately $250,000 which would severely impact the cost of development. Ms. Hayman advised that the Land Use Ordinance was completed last year, however, not effective until Critical Area modifications are approved and that a procedure was in place for zoning change requests. Commissioner Pickrum suggested Mr. Foster follow the procedure by applying for a zoning map amendment.


At 10:40 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 correspondence received from Charles and Margaret Sommers and draft agreement with Maryland Department of Transportation.

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

At 11:15 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 potential land acquisition.

The executive session adjourned at 12:00 noon.


The County Administrator advised that Program Open Space capital funding has been reconfigured increasing the amount for replacement of Betterton Beach steps and bath house roof projects (due to costs higher than anticipated) while eliminating the tennis court patching project, however, the total amount remains the same. Commissioner Livie expressed concern at the condition of the tennis courts and suggested the project be funded from FY 03 contingency fund. The County Administrator is to investigate the estimated amount of the project with Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation.


At 11:00 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. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


The Commissioners received a copy of the Public Landings and Facilities Board hearing denying the request made by Herschell Claggett for six mooring buoys on Worton Creek. An administrative hearing will be scheduled in the near future.


Correspondence was received from James Wood, Regional Recycling Coordinator, reporting that the June 7 Household Hazard Waste and Electronics collection at the Nicholson Transfer Site was successful and provided detailed data on the amount of recyclables collected.


The Commissioners received the May Tourism Progress Report as prepared by Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director.


Roger Williams, Treasurer, appeared to advise that correspondence dated June 3 had been received from Robert Young, Associate Director, Department of Assessments and Taxation, acknowledging that $143,375.00 will be deducted from the County's Fiscal Year 2004 Homeowners' Tax Credit Program reimbursement for the assessment administration costs. Mr. Williams noted that this loss of revenue to the County was not specified in the FY 04 Budget recently adopted by the Board. Commissioner Crow noted that Queen Anne' s County loss of revenue was not proportionally greater than Kent County although they have a far greater population. Mr. Williams stated that he did not have information as to how the calculations were made, however, he interpreted the loss of revenue to fund a portion of the assessment office administration. The Commissioners requested correspondence go forth inquiring as to the details of the change in policy.


Correspondence was received from Robert Gaudette, Director, Waterway Improvement Program, Department of Natural Resources, advising of the reduction in $3.0 Million in Waterway Improvement Funds for FY 04 and provided the schedule for applications to be submitted for FY 05.


Correspondence was received from Charles Puffinberger, Assistant Secretary, advising that the Noxious Weed Control Grant Agreement scheduled to expire May 31, 2003 is extended to June 30, 2003.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, June 24, 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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