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Board of County Commissioners

August 19, 2003

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners held the quarterly community meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the Galena Fire Hall with the following present: Roy W. Crow and William W. Pickrum, presiding. Commissioner Scott D. Livie was not in attendance due to family vacation.

T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as amended.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $ 1,587,961.00.


Galena Mayor Harry Pisapia welcomed the Commissioners to Galena and thanked them for extending the opportunity for residents who work during the day to attend a Commissioners' meeting. Mayor Pisapia acknowledged the recent burglaries in the area and reported of a meeting scheduled for August 20 with the Sheriff to discuss strategies to enhance public safety . He reported that the Town had received $7,000 in Program Open Space funds which will go towards acquisition of property for park land in the Town of Galena and expressed his appreciation for this allocation. Mayor Pisapia also reported of the proposed future addition to the Galena town office to address their space needs. He also reported on the Galena Community Festival scheduled for May 22, 2004 and a brief September 11 remembrance ceremony to be held at the Town Hall at 7:15 p.m.

Commissioner Pickrum thanked Mayor Pisapia and the Galena Volunteer Fire Company for hosting the meeting and advised that evening meetings are held once a quarter. Commissioner Pickrum stated the Board's preference for an open format to their meetings and welcomed participation.

Approximately 50 interested persons were in attendance.


The Commissioners received a copy of correspondence directed to Colonel Charles Fiala, Jr., Commander, District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup, requesting further consideration in support of the Betterton Beach Bluff Stabilization project.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Warren Deschenaux, Director, Department of Legislative Services, directed to the Maryland General Assembly, Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, advising of the Governor's adjusted budget cuts. The

adjusted FY 04 State Aid amount for Kent County went from - an additional 0.3% to - overall now 7.8 %. A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, for her information and attention.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Michael Thielke, Executive Director, Chester Bridge Foundation, requesting a letter of support to the Maryland Food Authority Commission, for the use of the old seafood processing plant at Rock Hall Harbor to house the future marine trades school. The Commissioners concurred to forward a letter of support for the project.


Third reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 3-2003, which is: an Act to repeal and reenact with amendments Article III, Section 1; Article V, Sections 1.2, 1.5.B.1, 1.5.B.2, 2.7.B.3.a.i, 5.7.B.3.a, 9.7.B.3.a.i, 9.7.B.4.b, 12.7.B.3.a, 13.1, 13.6.B.3.a.i, 13.6.B.4.b, 16.2, 16.7.B.3.a, 17.1, 17.2, 17.7.B.3.a.i, 17.7.B.4.b; Article VI, Sections 3, 5.4, 6.4; Article VII, Sections 7.24, 7.26; Article IX, Sections 2.2.1, 2.2.3, 3.1.1; and Article XI, Section 2 of the Kent County Zoning Ordinance; complying with the policies and criteria of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission; revising enclave provisions of Agricultural Zoning District for consistency within the Zoning Ordinance and with the Comprehensive Plan; deleting provision for manufacture/processing of hot mix asphalt in the ICA and ICA-LDA Districts; adding priorities for shore erosion control protection; adding requirements for plot plans and subdivision narrative; adding requirements for buffer, steep slope, and impervious surface variances; adding criteria for reviewing water dependent uses; clarifying standards for buffer establishment, habitat and other areas of special concern, farm employee housing density, and potential uses for growth allocation associated with golf courses; removing hedgerows as permitted use; deleting hedgerow setback requirements; adding definitions for "protected lands" and "modified buffer areas;" amending the definitions of "boathouse," "modified buffer," and "non-functioning buffer;" and making certain technical changes.

Ballots were distributed for voting. Upon their return, both ballots were marked favorable for this legislative bill. Commissioners Pickrum and Crow, the majority of the Board, approved this bill which will become effective October 3, 2003.


The Commissioners provided a presentation on the goals and strategies identified for their term of office. Commissioner Pickrum advised that this Board felt a need to hire a consultant to aid in identifying and focusing their priorities. Commissioners Pickrum and Crow reviewed the goals and strategies which is summarized as follows:

Goal I - Enhancing Our Economy

Public Private partnerships

Acting as a catalyst


Attracting businesses

Nurturing what we have

Primary Strategies

Affordable County-wide high speed internet

New business park(s)

Aggressively market Kent County businesses

Keep Chesapeake Fields Institute here

Fast track marine technology school

Goal II - Respecting Our Unique Quality of Life

Protecting our character

Public safety

Lifelong learning and career education opportunities

Building educational partnerships

Supporting the Arts

Community based social services

Planned growth

Upgrading water/sewer infrastructure

Primary Strategies

Review/revise comprehensive plan

Expand/promote existing arts

Establish satellite facility of Chesapeake College in Kent County

Improve/increase educational opportunities including workforce training

Establish a long range plan for water and waste management

Goal III - Committed to Fiscal Responsibility

Live within our means

Efficient and effective government

Responsive government

Improve customer service

Primary Strategies

Team building with all departments and Board of Education

Effectively utilize current workforce

Establish a project software as a standard management tool

Develop guide for users of State/County building permit process

Expand communications with citizens

Managing Our Goals

Develop a schedule

Empower County Employees

Keep plan in front of Commissioners

Look at plan quarterly

The Commissioners concluded by advising the presentation was a working document and welcomed public opinion.

Due to declining enrollment, Mike Waal suggested a business incubator be initiated at the high school to develop an entrepreneurial program. Mr. Waal suggested the high school offer additional career programs and intern programs via a business incubator in the high school.

Comments were made commending the Commissioners on their goals.

The owners of Otwell's Market were in attendance and requested assistance in providing more patrols from the Sheriff's Office. Commissioner Pickrum stated that he will try address more presence of State Police as well as Sheriff's Deputies.

The Commissioners thanked the audience for their attention and participation.


General - Correspondence was received from Teresa Ernest, Loan Officer Water Management Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment, advising that debt refinancing for the sewer systems (Piney Neck, Tolchester, Fairlee and Spring Cove) in the amount of $2,600,000.00 has been identified for funding.

Discussion was held as to bond counsel for the refinancing and the Commissioners concurred to seek bids. The County Administrator and Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, will address the matter.


The County Administrator reported of repeated sewage problems at the Detention Center as well as affecting the Emergency Management Offices and the Sheriff's Office. He advised of recommendations to add a grinder pump to remedy the problems allegedly caused by inmates putting contraband in the sewage lines. He did not provide an estimate of damages or grinder pump cost at this time.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Amy Owsley, Director, Community Planning, advising of the acceptance of nominations for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy awards program. The awards program will recognize outstanding leadership in the field of building and land stewardship.


At 9:35 p.m. and at the request of Mike Waal, representing USA Fulfillment, a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session to discuss a proposal to retain a business in Kent County in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 9:45 p.m.


Gregg Bird, representing the Kent County Fire Chief's Association appeared to discuss the following concerns and suggestions from the Fire Chief's Association:

1)He reported that the Court House basement office space provided to the Fire Chief's Association is no longer acceptable. He requested the Commissioners provide a more suitable location for an office and requested space for a desk, computer and file cabinet. 2) Mr. Bird requested that the Kent County Fire Chief's Association be provided with any correspondence received relating to the County's fire companies/ EMS/rescue. 3) Expressed the need for an additional paramedic unit in the northern portion of the County. Mr. Bird offered the Galena Fire House to house the new unit should be initiated. 4) He advised of the need to identify additional funding and suggested impact fees. 5) Mr. Bird expressed concern about the function of the Fire Chief's Association and the lines of communication to the Commissioners. 6) He suggested a part-time or full-time position be established to address standards, laws, and needs of the volunteer organizations.

Mr. Bird advised of proposed legislation that would require standards for volunteer organizations to be the same as requirements for paid fire/EMS staff resulting in increased operating costs. Commissioner Pickrum stated that this Board should be made aware of proposed legislation in order to address it with the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) legislative efforts.

Responding to the concern of lines of communication concern, Commissioner Pickrum advised that the County Administrator is responsible for the day to day operation of the County and can be easily contacted. Mr. Robinson confirmed of his availability on a daily basis and stated he always forwards concerns to the Commissioners directly. In response to the suggestion of impact fees, Commissioner Crow advised that the issue of impact fees has been reviewed and found it difficult to initiate impact fees when the school continues to decline in enrollment.

Mr. Bird thanked the Commissioners for attending a Fire Chiefs Association meeting in the past and invited them to attend the next meeting to further discuss the issues presented.

Mr. Bird provided a copy of an article from USA Today entitled Six minutes to live or die providing data on response times needed to save lives.


Correspondence was received from Jim Wright, County Engineer, advising of several issues relating to the renovation of the Hearse House building. He reported that a new water meter would be required prior to connection for the amount of $3,984.75. He also advised of the change order deleting a secondary heat pump. Mr. Wright reported that the Health Department has identified lead on the current windows. He recommended the windows be replaced for the amount of $10,609.48. Mr. Wright noted that the Chestertown Historical Commission will need to be advised of the need to replace windows. The Commissioners approved the changes as presented.


Jim Wright, Purchasing Coordinator, forwarded the following bids from the August 14 bid opening for the clean up of the Ashley property, 5272 Eastern Neck Road:

William Simpler, Jr., Excavating Co. $5,773.25

Millington, MD

Tuck Davidson $19,691.03

Church Hill , MD

Mr. Wright recommended the lowest bidder, William Simpler, Jr., Excavating Co. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to award the bid to William Simpler, Jr., Excavating Co. for the amount of $5,773.25. This abatement will not involve removal of the boat since District Court excluded the boat in the court order. The abatement will commence after the property boundaries have been identified via a survey. Abatement costs will be billed to Mr. Ashley for reimbursement.


At 6:35 p.m., a motion was made 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 6:55 p.m.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Rev. Carl Hardin, Pastor, Grace Apostolic Church, Kennedyville, requesting a waiver of the $25.00 building permit fee for a shed on the church property. The Commissioners approved the request as presented.


The Commissioners approved and signed a contract by and between the Commissioners and Edwin Wright, Jr., to install 300 feet of linear concrete curb and gutter at the Public Works Complex, 709 Morgnec Road.


The Commissioners forwarded correspondence nominating Robin Fithian for the U.S. Coast Guard Silver Lifesaving Medal recognizing her heroic actions on November 4, 2002 in saving Andrew James Bailey who accidently fell in Rock Hall Harbor while unloading oysters.


A letter of support went forth to Dave Wilson, Coordinator, Resource Conservation and Development, relating to the Swantown Creek Restoration Project.


The Commissioners approved the publication of the acceptance for sealed bids for the sale of the following County owned parcels of property (obtained through the tax sale process).

Map 36, Parcel 70-s/s Bayshore Road, near Fairlee, consisting of 0.175 acre.

Map 12, Parcel 167-w/s Coleman's Corner, Lynch Road consisting of 0.50 acre.

Map 15, Parcel 39-31774 Olivet Circle, Galena consisting of 0.25 acre.

Map 35, Parcel 79-w/s Georgetown Road, near Fairlee, consisting of 40' x 35' lot.

Bids will be received by the County Commissioners Office, County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland, 21620 until 4:00 p.m. Monday, September 8, 2003. The bids will be publically opened and read aloud at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday September 9, 2003 in the County Commissioners Hearing Room, 400 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland, 21620.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared to provide an update on Toal Park. He advised that the handicapped access trail from Toal Park leading to the pavilion will be constructed in a boardwalk like fashion. He advised that construction will commence this fall.


Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, appeared and reported on the current state of the algae bloom in Turners Creek and the Sassafras River. He stated that the algae continued to affect animals and humans who come ion contact with the algae. Warning signs are posted at the public landing and Betterton Beach remains closed. Mr. Troester provided a news release with additional information about the natural occurring toxic algae.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 26, 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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