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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

December 16, 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 as corrected.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $8,169,366.00


AIRPORT

Correspondence was received from Thomas K. Beckett, Chair, Airport Study Committee, indicating that the following two members of the Study Committee have asked that their signatures be removed from the Airport Study Committee Final Report: Bronwyn Fry and Tom Sisk. Mr. Beckett explained that Mrs. Fry and Judge Sisk signed the Report initially with the assumption that the Report would be taken at "face value" by the Commissioners and the community. Additionally, they indicated that they expected the Report to be respected by the other members of the Study Committee who signed it. Mrs. Fry and Judge Sisk have indicated that they do not believe that the latter has been the case. Therefore, Mr. Beckett, on their behalf, has requested that their signatures be removed.

Judge H. Thomas Sisk, a member of the Airport Study Committee, appeared and thanked the Commissioners for having appointed him to the Study Committee, and he thanked Thomas K. Beckett, Chair of the Study Committee, for his "genius and patience." Judge Sisk expressed to the Commissioners that it was important for him to give to them some understanding of how the Study Committee functioned.

Judge Sisk indicated that it was his understanding that the mission of the Study Committee was to study the feasibility of an airport in Kent County and, in doing so, to consider a site for it other than that of the property of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Fry. He concurred with a statement made in a letter from Larry Cox, another member of the Study Committee, which conveyed the opinion that a segment of the Study Committee repeatedly considered the Fry's property (a.k.a. the Worton site) as a viable option when it was, in fact, not an option.

Judge Sisk stated his belief that the Study Report does not include any reference to the Fry's property as an option and, that the media, inclusive of the local radio station, has misrepresented the Study Report by indicating that it was an option. Judge Sisk reported that he asked that his name be withdrawn from the Study Report because of, what he believed to be, the misuse of the Study Report.

Commissioner Pickrum reiterated that the Commissioners have accepted the Study Report as it stands. He conveyed that, although some people have tried to misrepresent the Study Report, the Report remains a useful and timely report. He strongly encouraged the Commissioners to appoint an Airport Authority.

The Commissioners gave formal recognition of the members of the Airport Advisory Committee and the Airport Study Committee. Commissioner Crow read the Certificate of Appreciation, commending the efforts of the members, which were distributed to those members in attendance as well as gifts of Kent County Volunteer mugs. The Airport Study Committee members present were Bronwyn Fry, Thomas K. Beckett (Chair, Study Committee), John Caputo, Larry Cox, James F. Douglass, Bill Knepshield, George E. McLaughlin, and H. Thomas Sisk. Tyler Campbell, a member of the Study Committee, was absent due to medical reasons. No members of the Airport Advisory Committee were present.

Commissioner Pickrum read a letter which the Commissioners received from Edwin C. and Lorraine Fry, expressing their contentment in their decision to keep their farm in agriculture. They also conveyed their appreciation to the Commissioners for having the airport issue studied with "thoroughness and objectivity and for not wavering from pre-election convictions regarding the rights of private property owners." In their letter, the Fry's reported that they have no plans to re-enter negotiations for the sale of part of their property for use as an airport site.

Commissioner Pickrum conveyed his belief that, with the assistance of the Study Report, the County will move forward with a determination concerning an airport in Kent County.


BETTERTON BEACH BLUFF

Discussion took place regarding correspondence that was received from David H. Wilson, Coordinator, Resource Conservation and Development Council (RCDC), indicating that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) nominated the Betterton Bluff Project for funding because it meets all criteria for funding and that they submitted their proposal to the State Legislature for funding approval. Mr. Wilson reported that this year the Legislature reduced the budget in half, eliminating the Betterton Bluff Project. The MDE, however, will use stormwater dollars for this project, and instead of waiting until July 1, 2005, the County can proceed immediately with the preparation of the engineering plans and specifications and other necessary preliminaries. Instead of receiving a 50% grant, the County will receive the stormwater grant of 75%.

Commissioner Crow asked Jim Wright, County Engineer, to consult with the Betterton Beach Condo Association in order to ascertain whether or not the Association will provide the 25% of the costs for the project's funding. Ed Robinson, County Administrator, stated that he would request this point of clarification from the Betterton Beach Condo Association.


BOARD OF EDUCATION

Concerning the proposed partnership between the County Government and the Board of Education for "sharing" an Internet Technology Assistant, Commissioner Pickrum suggested that a letter go forth to each member of the School Board, inviting discussion about this proposal. Ed Robinson, County Administrator, indicated that he would first communicate with Dr. Ward, Superintendent, and provide the Commissioners with her response.

Correspondence was received from Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, and Allan T. Hanifee, Sr., President of the Board of Education, thanking the Commissioners for assisting the Board in giving all full time employees a step plus 1% salary increase, effective with the first pay period in January. They indicated that this increase represents the amount agreed to with support staff during last year's meeting and about two-thirds of what was agreed to in the teachers' negotiated agreement. Further, they conveyed that Board members were reassured by the Commissioners' commitment the County will cover all emergencies this school year up to $154,000.


BUDGET

Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, appeared and reviewed proposed budget schedule for Fiscal Year 2005.


CHESAPEAKE BAY TRUST

The Commissioners approved and signed letter of nomination for the Ellen Fraites Wagner Award.


CODE HOME RULE
911 FEE

Third reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. #5-2003 which is an Act to repeal and reenact with amendments Section 13-7 of Part I of the Public Local Laws of Kent County, Maryland, entitled, "Charge for switched local exchange access service and other 9-1-1 accessible service", to provide for an increase in the current "9-1-1" fee by 25 cents per month, to be applied to all current telephone bills for switched local exchange service as well as wireless telephone services or other 9-1-1 accessible service in Kent County.

Ballots were distributed for voting. Upon their return, all ballots were marked favorable and the Board unanimously approved to adopt and sign this legislative bill. This bill will become effective on January 30, 2004.


COMMISSIONERS' MEETING SCHEDULE

Commissioner Pickrum suggested that the Commissioners' meetings be scheduled on Tuesday evenings, beginning in January 2004, in order to better accommodate the schedules of the public. He further suggested that the meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. Concern was expressed by Commissioner Livie expressed concern that, given the Commissioners' meetings average four to seven hours in length, the current schedule would have to reconfigured.

Commissioner Pickrum suggested that the Commissioners meet on the evening of the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 6:00 p.m., in addition to the regularly scheduled times on the other Tuesdays of the month. He also suggested that this new schedule be made on a trial basis and evaluated in the future.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum for the Commissioners to meet in the evening of the second Tuesday of each month beginning in February, instead of a daytime meeting, beginning at 6:00 p.m., in addition to the current schedule for the other weekly meetings. In January 2004, the Commissioners will meeting in the evening on the third Tuesday due to a previous scheduled public information meeting in Rock Hall.


COUNTY ROADS

Correspondence was received from Bruce O. Black, President, Crestview Community Association of Chestertown, commending J. Edward Spray and Lynn Cain of the County Roads Division of the Public Works Department for "their successful efforts" in correcting two inaccurate signs in the Crestview Community development. Mr. Black added that Mr. Spray and Lynn Cain understand that "Little Things Mean A Lot", expressing his appreciation for their attentive and courteous response.


DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

A copy of the Kent County Department of Social Services' 2003 Annual Report was received, Patrick Carney, Director.


DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER

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

Millington Service Area - In follow up to an inquiry received, Mr. Morris sent a letter to Daniel Piasecki, Public Health Engineer, Water Supply Program, Maryland Department of the Environment, reporting that the new water system proposed for the Millington area will provide service to the Millington Elementary School. He also reported that this project should be completed by the late spring or early summer 2005, the school being one of the first connections scheduled. Mr. Morris advised that the well at the school would be abandoned.

Edesville Service Area - In response to several questions of the Commissioners concerning the availability of funding on the State and Federal level to install water and sewer services to Edesville, Mr. Morris replied that the County has not been eligible for grant money; the State would not approve grant money given to counties for the purpose of installing water and sewer services. Commissioner Pickrum suggested that, given the State's new emphasis on "growth within", the criteria for eligibility in areas such as Edesville may now have changed. Mr. Morris conveyed that installing water services to the Edesville Service Area is an immediate goal for the County, expressing his belief that it would be better to buy water from the Town of Rock Hall than for the County to maintain Edesville's own water plant as is being done currently.

Commissioner Crow advised that with the new interpretation of the laws, the Priority Funding Areas (PFA) could now be reviewed and reconsidered for grant-eligibility status.

Rock Hall Service Area - Mr. Morris reported that he and Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, have together revised the original proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Town of Rock Hall and County Commissioners which will revise, update, and consolidate all the existing waste water treatment agreements, and define and clarify the sharing of costs between the Town and the County for waste water treatment for the County's Piney Neck, Skinners Neck, Wesley Chapel, Spring Cove, Green Lane, and Edesville Service Areas.

Mr. Morris, referring to the MOA, indicated that payments by the County to the Town of Rock Hall would be based on a cost per "Equivalent Dwelling Units" (EDU's) charging formula, in which the total cost to operate the sewerage treatment plant, including administration costs, would be determined annually based on fiscal year end audit numbers. This formula would address the Edesville and Allens Lane water and waste water concerns as well. The Commissioners approved and signed the revised MOA for a twenty year term commencing on July 1, 2003 as recommended by Mr. Morris and Susanne Hayman.

Green Lane Service Area - Mr. Morris referred to correspondence that was received from W.A. Willis, owner, The Sailing Emporium, Inc., requesting that the Department of Water and Wastewater Services Account # 3183 - 19442, located at 21148 Green Lane (The Sailing Emporium) be changed to a vacant lot status. Mr. Morris reported that the home to which this connection was made is scheduled to be demolished because of, according to Mr. Willis, non-repairable hurricane damage.

Mr. Willis also requested that consideration be made to the outstanding balance due of $427.50 for water and wastewater services, given the loss of the said home and its water and wastewater utilities.

Commissioner Livie indicated that the County has a policy of waiving fees due to storm damage, and that it is a good policy. The Commissioners agreed to have a letter go forth to Mr. Willis, conveying to him that they have granted him the vacant lot status which he requested, and that they expect the damaged building on said property to be demolished in a timely manner. Concerning Mr. Willis' request that consideration be made to the outstanding balance due of $427.50 for water and wastewater services, the Commissioners determined that the County take the charges of Mr. Willis' previous quarter, and pro-rate that amount between the vacant lot charge of $46.00 and the residential charge of $95.00, thus requiring of Mr. Willis payment of the outstanding balance on his account.

Tolchester Service Area - Referring to correspondence that was sent to Andrew and Judith Tolomeo regarding their sewer allocation request for Tax Map 35B, Parcel 382, Mr. Morris reported that he advised Mr. and Mrs. Tolomeo that the Commissioners imposed a sewer allocation moratorium in the Tolchester Sewerage Service Area effective December 9, 2003. Mr. Morris explained that once recommendations are made by a review committee for revising the existing growth management plan, Mr. and Mrs. Tolomeo's request will be placed on a list and reviewed in the order in which it was received.

Kennedyville Service Area - Commissioner Crow inquired about the progress of discussions between Mr. Morris and McCrone, Inc.(engineering firm) regarding the upgrading of the lagoon. Mr. Morris reported that he and McCrone reviewed the cost estimate of a similar project in Pennsylvania and compared it to the estimate provided by McCrone. He indicated that there is a potential $3,000 to $4,000 savings in McCrone's estimate. He further noted that the County has a $300,000 grant that could be applied to the upgrading of the lagoon. Beginning on January 1, 2004, Mr. Morris intends to recommend to the Commissioners to use a portion of that grant and to direct McCrone to initiate the design-phase of the project which, he hopes, will be accomplished by the spring of 2004. Mr. Morris also noted that, by the first of the year, the County should receive a decision by the Rural Utilities Service regarding the funding level for the lagoon project.

Water & Sewer Rates - Memorandum was received from Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, and Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, providing several water and wastewater services rate options as per the Commissioners' request, in light of the comments received at the December 2 public hearing.

Jim McFadden, a resident of Fairlee, appeared and, identifying his statements as representative of all the citizens of Fairlee, conveyed to the Commissioners that the people of Fairlee believe that the Commissioners have inherited a difficult financial situation concerning water and wastewater services. He briefly outlined the history of these services in Fairlee and stated they were initiated completely through grant funding.

Mr. McFadden expressed his belief that environmentalists in the past had put all the blame for the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay on the chemical run-off from farms into the Bay. He cited reports in the media indicating what he believed to be a recognition of the negative effect of sewer systems on water quality of the Bay. He also stated his opinion that the biggest enemy of the Bay is chlorine. He suggested to the Commissioners that there must be, in his opinion, unlimited grant money available from the federal government to research and resolve this problem.

Commissioner Crow stated that there was a time when the federal government gave substantial grant funding for the upgrading of water and wastewater services in rural counties, and that Fairlee was a recipient of the benefits of availability of funding. However, Commissioner Crow advised, that funding dried up in the late 1980's and now the burden of paying for system-upgrades must be born by the counties. All of the Commissioners thanked Mr. McFadden for his attendance and for sharing his concerns with them.


DETENTION CENTER

Ronald L. Howell, Warden, appeared and provided information regarding the Work Release Program. He referred to his memorandum to the Commissioners to which was attached the following:

- Kent County Detention Center Inmate Work Release Agreement and Rules and Regulations;

- Employer's Obligation and Responsibilities including the list of holidays;

- Signatures of Employee and Employer, confirming that the Agreement had been read, terms accepted and copy provided to involved parties;

- A monthly breakdown of current revenue received from work release program for calendar year 2003;

- Copies of furlough requests.

Warden Howell reported that he met with the presiding judge concerning to the situation in which the Warden denied a work release for a detained employee of Chestertown Foods, Inc. for Thanksgiving Day, clarifying for the Commissioners the Detention Center's policy pertaining to terms of Work release and the courts position in the circumstances in question. The Warden indicated that, except for emergency situations, it is the policy of the Detention Center not to make individual adjustment of policy in response to requests made by employers of detained employees, unless there is a court order. He underscored the necessity of applying the same terms of policy to all inmates all of the time, the only exception being emergency situations.

Warden Howell noted that he made contact with seven surrounding county detention facilities on the Eastern Shore, and learned that only one of them allows inmates work release on holidays. He also noted that, should the work release holiday policy be modified allowing inmates to work, it could conceivably cost the County taxpayers approximately $7,000 in additional over-time costs. He added that this would be a required expenditure in order to supervise and maintain appropriate levels of accountability and security.

Commissioner Crow inquired as to the reason for the release of the other six detainees, to which Warden Howell reported that the other six detainees were not released for employment furloughs, but rather for family visits per court order. He identified the criteria for the granting of furloughs: 1. The inmate must be in the work release program; 2. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only opportunities for petitioning the judge for a furlough to visit with families; 3. The Warden then approves or disapproves the judges' decision based on the disciplinary record of the inmate.

Commissioner Livie offered to speak to Mr. Laird of Chestertown Foods for the purpose of clarification.

The Commissioners expressed their appreciation to Warden Howell for his attendance and for clarifying the terms of the Work Release Program.


DREDGED MATERIAL MANAGEMENT

Notice was received from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District (Corps), indicating that the Corps and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), under the auspices of the Maryland Port Administration (MPA), are investigating the potential expansion of the existing Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project (PIERP), located in the upper-middle portion of the Chesapeake Bay, approximately 34 nautical miles south-southeast of the Port of Baltimore and one mile northwest of Tilghman Island in Talbot County, MD.


EARLY ACTION COMPACT(EAC)

A copy of correspondence was received sent by Kendl P. Philbrick, Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), to Donald S. Welch, Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III., requesting that Mr. Welsh resubmit the EAC on behalf of Kent and Queen Anne's Counties. The MDE reported that it has data indicating the Counties' attainment of the 1-hour ozone standard, thereby qualifying them for the EAC. Mr. Philbrick additionally noted that Kent and Queen Anne's Counties have already submitted all required EAC milestones, assuming 2003 ozone data would be clean, and have met all deadlines to maintain eligibility in the EAC program. Additionally, he reported that Kent and Queen Anne's Counties already implement significantly more controls than do other local areas participating in the EAC process.

A copy of correspondence was also received from Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest, to Mr. Welsh, in within the Congressman expressed his support for the approval of Kent and Queen Anne's Counties Early Action Compact in partnership with the EPA. He explained that Kent and Queen Anne's Counties were initially denied an EAC agreement based on previous data collected at one monitoring station located in Millington. However, he reported that the most recent readings taken at this station have met all of EPA's standards and, therefore, Congressman Gilchrest feels that the EAC deserves reconsideration by the EPA. He further noted that the acceptance of the Kent and Queen Anne's Counties' EAC would "put the Counties in a better position for achieving emissions reductions and to achieve cleaner air faster than the Clean Air Act would otherwise require."


EASTERN SHORE AREA HEALTH EDUCATION CENTER

The Annual Report 2002-2003 of the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center was received by the Commissioners. It was conveyed that the Center has a new address which is: 814 Chesapeake Drive, Cambridge, MD.


EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Service Agreement by and between Kent County and Verizon Maryland, Inc. for the Lease and Maintenance of Enhanced 911 Customer Premise Equipment.


HURRICANE ISABEL

Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, advised that she coordinated with the Emergency Management office and the Maryland Legal Assistance Network for the provision of cost - free legal advice for hurricane victims in the County.


KENT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

The Commissioners approved and signed "Third Amendment to Lease" to extend lease with KRM Development Corporation for a three year term commencing on January 1, 2004 and terminating December 31, 2006 for the Health Department Headquarters at 125 S. Lynchburg Street and Publick House at 110 S. Lynchburg Street at the following square foot rate: Year 1 at $11.20 ; Year 2 at $11.35 and Year 3 at $11.50.


LEGAL COUNSEL

At 10:45 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.

The executive session adjourned at 12:00 noon.


MARTIN WAGNER ROAD

Memorandum was received from Ed Spray, Superintendent, County Roads Division, Public Works, reporting that there have been several requests received from property owners on the private section of Martin Wagner Road since 1987 to have the County assume maintenance of the said section of the road. He stated that to each request, the County advised the property owners that the road would need to be improved to County standards before the County would accept maintenance responsibilities.


MIDSHORE REGIONAL COUNCIL(MSRC)/
PUBLIC TRANSIT POLICY COMMITTEE

Correspondence was received from Kevin J. Morse, Executive Director, MSRC, inviting Commissioner Pickrum to participate on the MSRC's Public Transit Policy Committee. The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for January 7, 2004 at Chesapeake College. The following is a description of the Committee's responsibilities: to address public transit policy issues, serve as government and community liaison, and provide policy guidance for the regional transit programs. This Committee meets four times a year.


MIDSHORE SOLID WASTE FACILITY

Commissioner Pickrum, referring to a memorandum that was received from Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, (referencing Resolution # 93-1537), reported that it is the obligation of the County to acquire a parcel of land suitable for development as a solid waste disposal facility and to develop a financial plan for funding the acquisition. In his letter, Mr. Stanton emphasized the importance that the County honor its commitment and obtain an option to buy or purchase the 100 acres needed to fulfill the Waste Disposal Service Agreement. Commissioner Pickrum indicated that the Resolution represents the County's commitment to provide a site for the Midshore Solid Waste facility within the County in 2051. He conveyed his hope that, between the present time and the year 2051, waste management technology will have advanced enough to alleviate the need for landfills and, thereby, eliminate the need to purchase the 100 acres for the landfill site.


PERSONNEL

At 12:00 noon, 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.

The executive session adjourned at 12:10 p.m.


PLANNING

Correspondence was received from Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, on behalf of the Kent County Planning Commission, advising of application advising by Norman A. Savage for a variance to construct a single-family dwelling within a 100-foot Critical Area Stream Buffer. This .341 acre property is owned by Dan and Joan Loller and located on Worton Lynch Road in the Third Election District and is zoned "V" Village. It is adjacent to county owned property that previously housed the Department of Water and Wastewater Services.

Correspondence was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising the Planning Commission will review a concept plan for 19 lots submitted by Douglas and Judith O'Dell who wish to subdivide a 97.225 acre parcel currently owned by William Knight for property located on the west side of Coopers Lane in the Third Election District. This property is adjacent to county owned property that was acquired through the Comprehensive Flood Management Grant Program as a result of Hurricane Floyd.


PUBLIC LANDINGS

At 9:00 a.m., a bid opening was held on sealed bids for Project Number PL 04-02 , Various Public Landings/Pier Structure Repair Project, of the Department as it relates to repair of damaged timber piers at Bogle's Wharf and Cliffs City Public Landings including removal of damaged or deteriorated timber members and the installation of new or re-installation of existing timber caps, stringers and decking in the damaged areas of the piers.

Commissioner Crow opened and read the one bid received from Deckelman's Pile Driving for the amount of $27,800. Approval of the bid was recommended by Jim Wright, County Engineer. A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum, to approve the bid submitted by Deckelman's Pile Driving for the repair of the piers at Bogle's Wharf and at Cliffs City, for the amount of $27,800; $20,850 (75%) of this amount is to be funded by FEMA; the remaining balance of $6,950.00 is to be funded out of Contingency.


REGIONAL CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

Commissioners Pickrum and Crow, along with Warden Howell and Ed Robinson, County Administrator, met with Mr. Howerton, Consultant, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) at the Detention Center relating to feasibility study to be conducted on a Regional Correctional Facility. A meeting with County Commissioners, Warden, and the County Administrator of Caroline, Cecil, Kent and Queen Annes Counties is scheduled to be held on December 18 in the County Commissioners Hearing Room, Chestertown.


SHARP STREET PUBLIC LANDING

At 9:10 a.m., a bid opening was held on sealed bids for Project Number PL 04-01, Sharp Street Public Landing/Structure Repair and Re-Decking Project, of the Department of Public Works, for the removal of the existing timber decking, repair of the superstructure including reinstallation of pier caps and stringers and the installation of new timber decking on a sixteen foot wide by one hundred fifty foot long pier at Sharp Street Public Landing in Rock Hall.

Commissioner Crow opened and read the bid from Deckelman's Pile Driving for the amount of $138,775.00. The Commissioners tabled action on this bid pending further research by Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works. It was noted that a $50,000 grant has been obtained from the Waterway Improvement Division; 75% (66,581.25) is to be paid by FEMA with a remaining balance of $22,194.


THE SAMARITAN GROUP

Correspondence was received from Jane Ann Martin, Corresponding Secretary, The Samaritan Group, requesting the Commissioners' support of the Emergency Winter Shelter Program of The Samaritan Group, which, with the encouragement of professional support service providers, have planned to operate the emergency shelter this coming winter, beginning January 5, 2004. The Samaritan Group reported that it is recruiting volunteers and is seeking financial assistance from the community. Also, it has found two more churches which will assist by serving as hosts for the shelter.


U-STAR TRANSPORTATION

A copy of correspondence was received sent by Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc. (USA) to Nancy A. Noonan, Regional Planning Manager, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), requesting that the MTA immediately audit any Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) on the Eastern Shore, given that it has not done so recently.

Correspondence was received from Lenny Howard, Chief of Regional Planning, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), in follow-up to a previous meeting with Commissioner Crow at which discussion ensued about the future of the U-STAR Administrative office and Maintenance Facility project in Denton. He reported that he corresponded with Councilwoman Hope R. Harrington, reiterating the MTA's need to receive written confirmation that the counties support the continuation of the Denton project and appropriate local funding commitments no later than January 15, 2004. Mr. Howard explained that, without the commitment of the counties, the MTA will terminate the Denton project, including the disposal of the property already acquired.


WATER QUALITY

Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, and Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and responded to questions posed by the Commissioners concerning whether or not water quality of the C&D Canal was monitored. Mrs. Owings agreed to follow up on this concern. She reported that the United States Department of the Environment recently chose five watersheds in which to study water quality, one of which being the Morgan Creek Watershed. Commissioner Pickrum advised that the County must be diligent that the Eastern Shore receive its due attention by Federal and State environmental programs and research.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, December 23, 2003.


THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.




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