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Board of County Commissioners

July 15,2003

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie. William W. Pickrum, was not in attendance due to a previous 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 $ 2,288,654.00.


The Commissioners agreed to add two additional members to the Airport Study Committee and appointed John Caputo and Bill Knepshield.

A letter went forth to Mr. and Mrs. Edwin C. Fry, Jurgen Von Sethe, President, Landmark, Inc. and Land Partners, Inc. and William F. Bruther, etal to formally advise that the Board has unanimously decided to terminate the airport project off of MD Route 297 due to reasons that the current environmental assessment has expired, the total estimated cost of the project has continued to escalate and the future reimbursement from Federal and State agencies is uncertain. The Commissioners feel the County does need an airport and will continue to study the feasibility of an airport at another location, if appropriate.


J. Michael Connolly, CPA, Auditor, appeared to review of the FY 03 audit process. Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, Roger Williams, Treasurer, were also in attendance.

Mrs. Merritt advised that complying with the new Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB 34) requirements and Uniform Financial Reports (UFR) by the October 31 deadline will require a concentrated effort by her staff and Mr. Connolly, as all the necessary data does not become available until August. Mr. Connolly concurred that meeting all the additional requirements (full accrual) will be difficult to implement since this year is the initial phase of the process.

Commissioner Livie noted the economic impact of GASB 34 on the private industry and expressed concern as to how it would affect all governmental entities.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared and advised that the Public Landings

and Facilities Board met on July 14 to prioritize FY 05 projects and approved to recommend submission of a grant application to the Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $400,000 to refurbish the 35 year old bulkhead at Bayside Landing and Park. Mr. Stanton advised that this grant would require a 50% County match and suggested that it be done in several phases per fiscal year. Mr. Stanton will check to see if the project can be delayed for several years before work commences.


In follow-up from last week, discussion was held with Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, as to Betterton Beach bluff and suggested action to be taken relating to the stabilization of the bluff. Commissioner Crow suggested that a special tax district could be implemented to defray the cost from Kent County tax payers and allow the condominium owners the opportunity to pay the cost over a long term time period. Commissioner Livie concurred.


Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent, Dr. Joan Buffone, Assistant Superintendent, and Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, appeared to discuss the FY 04 budget as well as the New Master Plan. Alan Hanifee, Chairman, Board of Education appeared later in the discussion.

Dr. Ward presented the FY 04 Budget for signature approval Dr. Ward discussed the budget calender to ensure the Commissioners would be aware of the schedule required by the State. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Crow signed the Budget document as prepared.

Dr. Ward advised of meeting on July 17 to review the high school facilities as it relates to developing a capital plan. She advised that the need for a new HVAC system has been postponed so that it could be addressed during a major building renovation, however, the HVAC system has reached the critical stage of immediate replacement. Dr. Ward noted that replacement of the HVAC system would cost approximately $6 -7 Million and advised that the expenditure would be the minimum of the renovation options. She reported that a more extensive building renovation was estimated to cost $15 -25 Million and a new school estimated to cost $40 Million.

Commissioner Livie advised of his desire to establish premier high school programs to attract adjacent county students and increase enrollment in Kent County High School. Dr. Ward discussed enrollment data and advised that projected enrollment data would be forthcoming. Commissioner Livie also stressed the importance of continuing to partner with Chesapeake College. Dr. Ward advised of the distance learning center currently available at the High School. Commissioner Live inquired as to statistics of high school graduates continuing to secondary education. Dr. Ward confirmed that approximately 60% of the graduating population went on to college. Commissioner Livie expressed concern that the remaining 30% -40% population was being adequately prepared. Mr. Hanifee advised that the vocational programs had been expanded to address that issue.

Ms. Miller reiterated the need for immediate attention to the aging HVAC system . Dr. Buffone advised that since the current high school was built, programs require more space for labs, vocational training etc. Commissioner Livie advised that the County now has the opportunity to review community/employment needs to justify and plan for goals at the high school.

Dr. Ward confirmed that she would contact the Superintendents of adjacent county schools to discuss the feasibility of sharing facilities. Commissioner Crow advised that the Board will discuss the matter at the next Bi-County meeting with the Queen Anne's County Commissioners.

Dr. Ward advised that testing scores/data to monitor the progress of students/ schools will be available August 22 and will keep the Commissioners apprised of the information.

Dr. Ward gave a quick overview of the Master Plan. The County and the Board of Education have sixty days to review the plan before it is submitted to the State for approval. A copy of the Master Plan will also be made available at the Kent County Public Library.

The Commissioners thanked all for attending and noted of their plans to be at the High School on July 17 to further the discussion.


In follow up to inquiry made by Commissioner Pickrum, Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, provided cost estimate from the American Tennis Courts, Inc. for patching of the three tennis courts (used by the public) located on the Chestertown Middle School grounds. Commissioners Crow and Livie approved expenditure of $7,270 for patching of the three tennis courts to be funded out of the FY03 contingency account. Once patching is completed, Commissioner Livie recommended that the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Staff patch on an as needed basis rather than allow the courts to become badly deteriorated. Mr. Troester agreed to look into obtaining material for patching the courts.


As a result of last week's discussion and Kent County News article relating to correspondence from J. Frederick Price, Judge, Circuit Court, expressing concern about excessive moisture in the basement of the Court House, Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that he had been contacted by a contractor willing to examine and discuss the problem. He will report back to the Board of his findings.


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

Tolchester Service Area - Mr. Morris forwarded a copy of correspondence from Jason Scott and Brandi Elliott, requesting a sewer allocation for their property located on Maryland Parkway and Fall Street located on Tax Map 35A, Parcels 90, 91,85,84,83, and P/O (part of) 81. The Commissioners approved the allocation per Mr. Morris's recommendation.

In follow-up from July 1, Mr. Morris reported that the request for sewer allocation for Charles Smith, III, Tax Map 35A, Parcel 68, is still on hold as he is waiting for further information/direction from the County's Tolchester Committee investigating the feasibility of additional sewer service.

General - The County Administrator advised that Mr. Morris would be purchasing a utility tractor and mower, as approved in the FY 04 Budget, for the amount of $23,824, a savings of $455.92 from the estimated cost.


Correspondence was received from Warden Ronald Howell, advising that the Detention Center experienced a lightening strike on the evening of July 6 which damaged the intercom system beyond repair. Warden Howell provided a price quote to replace the system in the amount of $15,704.00. The County Administrator referred Warden Howell to F.A.M. & M., who is the County's insurance carrier for processing this claim.


The County Administrator referred to agreement with Choptank Electric and the County cancelled for purpose to utilize the emergency generator at the Public Works Building for certain hours during the work day in an effort to realize energy cost savings, however, due to numerous problems encountered with county computer equipment, etc., the agreement was cancelled.


In follow-up from last week, Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, forwarded a memorandum advising of the status of the LaMotte property. She reported that the Town of Chestertown is supportive of the site being used as open space, parkland, museum or other public use and is consistent with the Town's Comprehensive Plan. Mrs. Owings also provided possible funding sources and contacts.

In follow up to discussion held last week, Commissioner Livie suggested additional funding sources be contacted as it relates to the possible purchase of the LaMotte property bordering MD Routes 291 and 213. He also suggested to schedule a "brain storming" session in the near future to include Mayor Bailey of Chestertown, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, Marsha Fritz, Bill Ingersoll, Town Manager, William Sutton, and Michael Thielke.


At 10:45 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. Others in attendance were J. Michael Connolly, CPA, Auditor, Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, Roger Williams, Treasurer.

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

At 11:10 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.

Items of discussion included nuisance ordinance violation, litigation and Human Relations Commission.

The executive session adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

At 11:45 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.

The executive session adjourned at 12:00 noon.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation appeared to recognized 30 youth participants and six counselors who participated in the Leaders Club Wilderness Challenge from June16 -20. Myra Butler, Recreation Leader, Leaders Club counselors, members of the Leaders Club and parents were also in attendance.

Mr. Troester advised that participants in the Wilderness Challenge were scheduled to canoe for five days, however, unsafe water levels on the Potomac River necessitated the group to camp and hike at Rocky Gap State Park.

Mr. Troester advised that the Leaders Club participants are 7thand 8th grade students and the program offers three trips a year, canoeing, hiking and bicycling.

Commissioner Crow recognized the following participants and awarded each with a certificate of achievement: Emily Egan, Sarah Egan, Porscha Hairston, Amber Hall, Anna Hall, Jennifer Horsey, Ben Licwinko, Heath Miller, Caitlin Myers, Robin Nesbitt, Robbie Nunley, Kassi O'Flahrity, Elyse Parcher, Jessica Parcher, Hillary Schatzman, Tiffany Shorter, Ashley Somerville, Ashley Steele, Tilise Swinson, Todd Troester, Jovan Turner, and Brendon Usiliton. Commissioner Livie introduced the following staff and thanked them for making the project a success: Clint Connelly, Dana Edwards, Katie Gelderman, Elisa Mendrano, Jill Pyfer, and Gillian Schatzman. Mr. Troester recognized Chris Shorter,Sr. who participated as parent volunteer.

In follow-up from last week, correspondence was received from Richard Lindsay, District Engineer, State Highway Administration, (SHA) advising of a meeting on July 23 to further discuss the lighting belonging to Parks and Recreation in Betterton, that was damaged during construction.


At 11:25 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 to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, advised that the Army Corp of Engineers will provide an update on the Urieville Lake Project on July 22. She also provided a list of issues and chronology of events relating to the project for information and review.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Elizabeth H. Morris, Chairman, Planning Commission, advising that the Kent County Planning Commission recommended approval of the zoning map amendment application submitted by Ronald and Robin Fithian to change the classification of their property from Agricultural Zoning District to Community Residential. A public hearing will be scheduled for the near future.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, July 22, 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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