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Board of County Commissioners

July 8, 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 $ 3,264,911.00.


Correspondence was received from Kevin Melich, Chestertown, expressing his support for the airport project.


The Commissioners agreed to establish an Airport Study Committee to study the feasibility of an airport in Kent County and at another location (other than MD Route 297) if appropriate. The following were appointed to this Committee: Thomas K. Beckett, Sr., J. Tyler Campbell, Larry Cox, James F Douglass, Bronwyn Fry, George E. McLaughlin, and H. Thomas Sisk. An organizational meeting will be hosted by P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, in the near future. The deadline for submission of the Committee's findings is October 1, 2003.


At 10:00 a.m., the Commissioners attended meeting at the Betterton Town Hall for discussion of funding possibilities to assist in the stabilization project for Rigby Bluff in Betterton. Those in attendance were Commissioners Pickrum, Crow, and Livie, Delegate Mary Roe Walkup, Mayor Carolyn Sorge, David H. Wilson, Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) Coordinator, Phil Hager, representing Baltimore District Corps of Engineers, Mary Ann Skilling, Critical Areas Circuit Rider, Fred Krambeck, Judy Kohl, Les Small and Denver Snelson, representing the Rigby Condominium Association, T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, and Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director.

Mayor Sorge welcomed everyone in attendance. Delegate Walkup expressed concern as to the erosion of the bluff. The bluffs are approximately 30 -35 feet in height and encompasses a portion of the Betterton bluffs for approximately 350 feet and is owned by both the County and Town. She expressed appreciation for Mr. Wilson's involvement in this project and noted that the RC&D was originally involved in the Betterton Beach Revitalization Project in the early 1980's providing financial assistance. She advised of her support to address the erosion problem,

however, State funding is lacking.

Mr. Wilson stated that Kent and Cecil Counties are having problems with bluffs seeping making them unstable. RC&D nominated this project for Corps of Engineers funding and $10,000 was allocated to perform the first of four phases, which lead to eventual funding (if approved) for construction (reconnaissance, feasibility, plans and specifications and construction). The Preliminary Restoration Plan and Quality Control Review Report for the Betterton Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration effort were completed December, 2002. Mr. Hager reviewed outcome of the plan which revealed that stabilization of the bluff will protect the beach and the walkway, will reduce local sedimentation and avert a disaster that would result if the pump station was damaged. Though restoration of the wetlands at the base of the bluff will provide some habitat to several avian and amphibian species it will encompass a relatively small area. Based upon the need to stabilize the bluff and the limited contributions to aquatic resources, a Section 206 project is not recommended by the Corp of Engineers at this time. Due to the potential for environmental degradation, implementation of a project under the authority of Section 510 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 will be pursued. This authorizes the establishment of a pilot program to provide environmental assistance to non-Federal interest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Mr. Hager stated the County and Town need to decide what they deem appropriate to move forward. RC&D has expressed continued interest in working with the Baltimore District in addressing this problem. It was also suggested for contact be made to the Maryland Department of Environment, Chesapeake Bay Trust and Department of Natural Resources to seek other sources of funding for this project. It was also noted that contributions could be accepted from the Condo Association for the design phase to assist in a local match. Mr. Hager also advised of possibility for the County to contact their Congressman to see if determination could be made denoting a serious problem and to obtain federal funding for the repair of the bluff. Mr. Wilson agreed to act as conduit to collect letters from the County, Town, etc. to be forwarded to Congressman Gilchrest, Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes seeking their assistance. Mrs. Skilling agreed to personally contact Senator Sarbanes' Office.

Mr. Krambeck expressed concern as to the time frame involved in obtaining a financial solution to this problem. He advised that the Condo Association would assist in relocating the drain to avoid additional seepage. He was advised that water quality issues would need to be addressed if changed. Mr. Krambeck agreed to contact the SCS Office and Mr. Troester agreed to look into water run off issues.

Mrs. Kohl expressed concern as to amount of trash that has collected on the bank and asked if the County could assist in cleaning the area. Delegate Walkup suggested an "Adopt a Bank" Committee to clean the bank on a regular basis. Mr. Wilson also suggested the obtain assistance from the Boy/Girl Scouts to plant shrubbery on the bluff to help in its stabilization.

The meeting ended 11:40 a.m.


The Commissioners advised of desire to schedule a meeting with the Board of Education to discuss the capital project plan for Kent County High School in addition to the power point presentation on the goals that have been established for the County. A meeting will be scheduled in the near future.


Correspondence was received from Michael Kelemen, Director, Governmental Relations, initiating the franchise renewal agreement.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Quarterly reports for Chestertown Foods, Inc., Project, Phase Two, Three and Four of the Housing Improvement Project.


Marcie Brown, Planning Commission Member, reported that the Planning Commission will begin discussion and review of the Comprehensive Plan this Fall.


In response to correspondence from J. Frederick Price, Judge, Circuit Court, expressing concern about excessive moisture in the basement and of potential health hazards of mold to Court House employees as well as the condition of books/documents, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared and reported that the basement currently has one sump pump and will investigate installing additional pump(s) to drain the water more expediently. Mr. Stanton also reported that the gutters have been cleaned and contributed the water overflowing from the gutters to excessive rain storms. He will investigate installing additional downspouts and gutter drains to ensure the water is moved away from the building.

Mr. Stanton and the Commissioners expressed concern as to the potential deterioration of the foundation due to the long term presence of water. The Commissioners requested Mr. Stanton to include a long term solution in the Fiscal Year 05 budget to permanently address the problem. Judge Price will be so advised.


The Commissioners reappointed Patricia A. Durham and appointed Rev. Laurance Purnell and Mary Adda Moore as members of the Social Services Board for a three year term ending June 30, 2006.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum executed an Agreement by and between the Maryland Department of Transportation and Kent County for a grant in the amount of $480,000 for overlay on approximately 40 miles of County roadways.


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

Financial Management Services - In follow-up from June 24, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the revised proposal to develop a cost of service/rate model for Kent County water and sewer systems for the amount of $15.000.00.

General - In follow-up from April 22, Mr. Morris reported that the trial alarm system proved to be valuable. He was alerted of a power outage at Edesville and a malfunction at Kennedyville by the alarm system and recommended consideration be given to purchasing the alarm for each of the thirteen unmonitored facilities when the trial period is successfully completed.


At 3:20 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, to discuss proposal for a business to expand in Kent County, in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


The Commissioners appointed Judge Thomas H. Sisk as a member of the Kent County Ethics Commission to serve an expired term ending October 1, 2004.


Correspondence was received from Michael M. Thielke, Executive Director, Chester Bridge, Foundation, Inc., expressing the need for a wireless internet services throughout Kent County and proposed leasing rights to private sector investors interested in installing towers in the Community. This proposal will be taken under consideration.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Thomas Schanno, Project Manager, Maryland Department of General Services, advising that the Department of Natural Resources has submitted an application to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, for a permit to construct an aluminum step-pass fishway on the dam spillway at Jones Lake located east of Millington, upstream of Peacock Corner and 10 School House Road.


Commissioner Livie requested Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, investigate the possibility of obtaining grant funds to purchase the LaMotte property located on the Scenic Byway, at the intersection of MD Route 291 and MD Route 213 in an effort to target heritage preservation. He expressed concern of the potential for the property to be commercially developed rather than used for a museum or park, etc. Mrs. Owings advised that she would contact the Chestertown Mayor and Council, Reverend David LaMotte to seek their interest in cooperating in this effort as well as to investigate availability of conservation funding sources.


At 1:45 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum 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, was also in attendance.

Items of discussion included Quaker Neck Service wastewater service, donations, building permit procedures, nuisance ordinance violation and Worton Road Project.

The executive session adjourned at 3:20 p.m.


In follow-up from last week, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that the leaks at the Library are not from the roof; he advised the gutters were clogged forcing water under the roof material causing a leak. He advised that the gutters will be cleaned on a more regular basis.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the following three Grant Award and Acceptance documents: Youth Strategies/Kent County /Teen Court/Base in the amount of $17,910.00; Youth Strategies/Kent County /Kent Stars/Base in the amount of $53,689.00; Youth Strategies/Kent County /Community Mentoring/Base in the amount of $66,018.00.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, provided Maryland State Law and Regulations as they relate to commercial harvest of oysters, clams and other shellfish, per the Commissioners' request. Commissioner Pickrum suggested the Department of Natural Resources initiate a seminar for waterman explaining the Maryland Shellfish Regulations relating to Kent County waters.


Correspondence was received from Richard Lindsay, District Engineer, State Highway Administration, (SHA) advising that the lighting belonging to Parks and Recreation in Betterton, that was damaged by a contractor while working on a SHA project, is not the responsibility of SHA or the contractor, as " Miss Utility was contacted and the damaged facility did not meet the National Electric Code depth requirements.


At 1:35 p.m., a motion was made by 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 1:45 p.m.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Marcie Brown, Planning Commission Member representative to the Commissioners, appeared to report on the July 3 Planning Commission meeting.


Carla Martin, Community Planner, appeared to advise that the Queen Anne's County members of the Scenic Byway Committee are working to submit a grant application enabling the employment of a representative of Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne's County to continue with the promotion of the Scenic Byway.

Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, appeared to advise that Scenic Maryland is applying for a grant with the Bartus Trew Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to do a scenic assessment of Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot and Caroline Counties heritage area.


The Commissioners received an executed Project Agreement from the Department of Natural Resources, Shore Erosion Control Division, for the shore erosion project at Tolchester Estates to initiate a schedule for the project.


The Commissioners received notification from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advising that application has been received from Spring Cove Marina, Rock Hall, to dredge a 1.52 acre area to a depth of 5 feet to construct a pier to add 39 boat slips. Comment period for the project is from June 26 to July 28.


Correspondence went forth to Kevin Morse, Director, Mid-Shore Regional Council, recommending the direct administration of MUST Bus Pilot Project Grant be the responsibility of the Mid-Shore Regional Council effective July 1 2003. This correspondence authorized Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, as the Kent County representative on the Transportation Advisory Group (TAG).


The Commissioners received notification that the Maryland Department of Fisheries Services has applied to hydraulically dredge 10 million bushels of fossilized oysters shells from a 583 acre site off of Worton Point and a 729 acre site of Plum Point.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, July 15, 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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