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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

January 13, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow and Scott D. Livie presiding. Commissioner William W. Pickrum was absent due to personal reasons.

Commissioner Crow requested a moment of silence in honor of the memory of Emma Pickrum, Commissioner Pickrum's mother.

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

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $4,243,551.00.


BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING

Contract by and between the County Commissioners and Deckelman's Pile Driving was approved and signed by the Board for installation of a timber boardwalk and repair to bulkhead at the Bayside Public Landing in the amount of $8,750.00, $5,000.00 of which is grant-funded. The repairs needed were as a result of Hurricane Isabel.


BETTERTON ARK PROJECT

Commissioners Crow and Livie requested that Linda Hall, President, and Judith Kohl, Vice-President of the Betterton Community Development Corporation, be invited to attend the next meeting of the Commissioners to provide more information concerning their request for a letter of support for their "Save the Betterton Ark!" project.


BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)

Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, and Joan Buffone, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, appeared and reviewed the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Adjustment. Pat Merritt, Director of the County's Department of Budget and Accounting, was also in attendance. Dr. Ward distributed copies of charts provided by Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Kent County Public Schools, which indicate a 1% plus step increment for all employees effective January 1, 2004, approved by the BOE, and the budget adjustment reflecting all of the changes requested in December 2003 that permits this increment to take place. The charts indicate adjustments to Fiscal Year 2003-2004 for unrestricted and restricted revenue. The adjustments include a transfer of salary from a supervisory position not filled to instructional supply.

Commissioners Livie and Crow both requested Dr. Ward to prepare the Public Schools' financial reports with greater clarity specific to the origin of monies in those instances when they are shifted to other categories in the budget. Included in this request are the following:

- To identify the specific items and the corresponding amounts in each adjustment shown to the restricted and unrestricted expenditures.

- Identify which revenue adjustments correspond to which expenditure adjustments .
- For the Schedule "Kent County Public Schools Salary Increases: 1/01/04", please provide the number of positions included in the salary increase by category (i.e. administration, mid-level, etc.).

Dr. Ward agreed to do so.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and passed by the majority to approve the Budget Adjustment as presented by the Kent County Public Schools, effective January 1, 2004.

Commissioner Livie affirmed the effort made by the County Public Schools in their applications for grants, to which Dr. Ward responded that the administration of the Public Schools watches very carefully which of their grants are due to expire for renewal and/or look for other possible grants.

Commissioner Livie initiated discussion regarding the Board's letter in response to the BOE's request that the Commissioners send a letter conveying their support of and their intention to attend the Public Schools Funding Rally in Annapolis on January 26. The Rally supports full funding of the Thornton Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act. Commissioner Livie spoke of the Commissioners' response to the BOE, conveyed in a letter advising of the Commissioners' support of the major principles of the Thornton Act. In that letter, they also advised of their decision to decline from signing the letter in support of the Rally due to their concerns about the funding formula used by the Thornton Act which adversely impacts the County as a result of the declining school enrollment and economic classification.

Dr. Ward reviewed the principles of The Thornton Act, indicating that, in her opinion, this legislation provides a greater alignment of the resources of the State and the County and is focused on providing an increase in education equity for every child in the State through its funding formulas. Dr. Ward continued to explain that in 2003, the County's Public Schools received more State foundation aid as a result of the Thornton Act. However, due to the drop in the County's enrollment ( a drop of 67 students) and the loss of competitive grants from the State. In 2005, she continued, the Public Schools will gain additional State funding of $383,871.00 through the Thornton Act's funding formula, even though there will be a projected drop of 42 students. Dr. Ward identified this additional funding as a way in which the County's schools will be able to meet the requirements of the federal "No Child Left Behind Act." She summarized the Thornton Act as follows: the State reviewed the level of funding and spending of the local governments, such as Kent County, and, assuming the same level of local funding, the State determined to increase its share proportionately. As a result of this process, the State will increase its share of public school funding as the local governments reduce their share of funding. The State's assistance will continue to increase, despite the drop in enrollment, and the school system will still gain funding each year until 2008.

Dr. Ward encouraged all Maryland citizens to attend what she described as an important Rally on January 26th.

Dr. Ward expressed her appreciation for, but respectfully declined the offer extended in a letter sent by the Commissioners of the assistance of the County's Budget and Accounting Office relating to findings noted in their FY'03 Management letter. Dr. Ward outlined the steps that are being taken by the BOE this year which she feels will resolve issues related to the timely reconciliation of records and maintenance of depreciation records. She reported that a more detailed audit will be completed by June 2004, and that the steps mentioned above will include training of the BOE's financial administrative staff and the use of scanners to achieve greater accuracy in taking inventory. Dr. Ward invited County staff to attend the training, and offered to share the scanners with the County. Mrs. Merritt thanked Dr. Ward for the invitation and for the use of the scanners, indicating that the County will take advantage of these offerings.

Commissioner Crow initiated discussion about possible partnerships between the Kent County Government and the Board of Education. As per the request of the Board of Commissioners, the BOE has been asked to consider sharing staff in the area of technology and community relations. The sharing of staff would assist both organizations in the coordination of services and with cost effectiveness in staffing.

Dr. Ward recommended that a closer partnership be established between the County government and the BOE in the areas of technology and communication. She indicated that additional positions may need to be considered. Her initial recommendations include the following:

- Supervisor of Technology

1. Coordinate with the County government on the future development of telecommunication efforts in the areas of wireless networks, broadband access, and telephone systems.

2. Provide technical support and consultation in the areas of telecommunication and wireless networks.

- Coordinator of Community Relations

1. Coordinate with the County government and the Chamber of Commerce the development of documents that promote Kent County and the Kent County Public Schools.

2. Coordinate with Kent County Economic Director to publicize information about opportunities for economic development in Kent County.

3. Act as Public Information Officer for Kent County during emergencies.

4. Provide training to County staff in the development of media documents (press release, radio/TV information, etc.)

Commissioners Crow and Livie concurred that the County will work very hard to determine partnerships with as many agencies, organizations, and groups as possible for services and programs within the County in order to save money, particularly in those instances where expertise is currently "in house." They expressed their strong support for a partnership regarding an Information Specialist. Commissioner Livie cited additional potential realms of partnership, such as maintenance and purchasing/procurement.

Commissioners Crow and Livie expressed their gratitude for the attendance of Dr. Ward and Joan Buffone and for Dr. Ward's presentation.


COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

The Commissioners appointed Carol A. Brown as a member of the Commission on Human Relations to fill an unexpired term ending October 4, 2005.


COMMUNITY CENTER

The Commissioners held a work session with Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, and Judie Berry, Recreation Supervisor, as it relates to plans for a Community Center. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed to have the Commissioners, Board of Education and Parks and Recreation meet with the 36th Legislative Delegation to seek support of current plans for a Community Center.


COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM

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


DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER

Wayne Morris, Director of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared and reported on the following:

Millington Service Area - Sample connection letters were sent to the following: John M. Stoltzfus, regarding the approved connection of Tax Map 31, Parcel #154 to the new Millington collection system; Kirk E. Hassell, providing pertinent information and the requirements for meeting prior to the connection of Tax Map 32, Parcel # 76 to the grinder pump as requested; Iraj E. Amini, providing the information and requirements for meeting the connection to the new grinder pump and, additionally, outlining two issues to be addressed - (1) the revision of Mr. Amini's quarterly billing charges, and (2) options for determining the allocation of the flow. Mr. Morris indicated that he has not yet received a response from Mr. Amini.

Mr. Morris reported that the County has received comments from some of the residents in the Millington sewer service area objecting to the expectation of the County that they pay for the current quarterly charge, given that their sewer system is not yet connected to the new sewer line. He told the Commissioners that it has been the County's policy that once the installation of a system has been approved, home-owners have three months to decide whether or not they will connect their home to the new system. They are, in advance, notified as to the costs and billing schedule involved. He noted that the first quarterly bill is due in April. The Commissioners concurred to comply with current policy.

Tolchester Service Area - A letter received from Susan Barnhardt indicating that she is planning to make a lot line adjustment to maker her properties ( Parcels # 598 and 599) one property and that, therefore, she is changing her request for two sewer allocations to a request for one sewer allocation for Parcel # 598 which fronts Queen Anne Street. Commissioners Crow and Livie approved Mr. Morris' recommendation that Ms. Barnhardt's request be approved.

Water and Sewer Allocation Fees and Septic Hauler Fees - Mr. Morris recommended increasing allocation fees and septic hauler fees. He provided explanation as follows:

The current water and sewer allocation fees are $2,240 for water and $2,240 for sewer, with the exception of Fairlee and Tolchester where the sewer allocation fee is $2,900. There is a difference in fees based on when the Tolchester system was built, the County took the total cost of construction and divided it by the capacity to obtain a cost per gallon, and then multiplied that number by 250 gallons (Equivalent Dwelling Unit or EDU). These fees were last increased in December 1997.

Mr. Morris recommended that, for consistency, the County choose one sewer and water rate and make it uniform throughout all districts. No action was taken at this time.

Mr. Morris recommended increasing septage and holding tank fees by a minimum of $0.01 each effective February 1, 2004. He explained the purpose for these increases as follows:

The septic haulers fees were last raised in January 2001 from $0.03 per gallon to $0.06 per gallon. The holding tank costs remained the same $0.01 per gallon. The septage lagoon is part of the Worton treatment facility and effects the loading concentrations. Typically, septage is 4 to 5 times stronger than normal domestic sewage, thus decreasing the available capacity of the lagoon through adding increased sludge, higher concentrations of BOD, suspended solids, and nutrients. No action was taken at this time.

Edesville and Worton Service Areas - Mr. Morris commented on the recent leaks in the connection of a residence in Edesville and in Worton which he believes were the result of the recent sub-freezing temperatures. Mr. Morris indicated that his department was currently repairing those connections.

Allens Lane - A Public Information Meeting took place on January 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the Rock Hall Municipal Building regarding the proposed sewer service for Allen's Lane. Present at the meeting were Commissioners Roy Crow and Scott Livie, T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater, Ed Birkmire, Director of Environmental Health, and Nony Howell, Sanitarian. Approximately 11 interested people attended.


DRAYTON RETREAT CENTER

To questions posed by Commissioner Livie concerning what, if any, action has been taken by the Planning Commission regarding the proposed Drayton Retreat Center, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, responded by indicating that the Planning Commission will review this matter at its February 5 meeting.

A copy of correspondence was received from John E. and Courtney L. Sjostrom, Richard and Judith Feeny, Jerry M. Smith, John R. Boehringer, and Raymond L. Richards, and a petition signed by 22 persons in opposition to the proposed plan for Drayton Manor Retreat Center.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, appeared and introduced Simeon Shoge, a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, who will spend 90 hours working with her on economic development issues.

Ms. Schaller, referring to the series, "Celebrate Kent County Business Breakfast," reported that the next one scheduled is January 15th. The breakfasts take place on the second Thursday of each month. Commissioners Livie and Crow both expressed their interest and desire to attend and requested more prior notice.


EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Correspondence was received from Dennis R. Schrader, Director, Office of Homeland Security, thanking Commissioner Pickrum for his letter requesting that the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reconsider the County's request for a portable backup generator. Mr. Schrader reported that, although the request was not eligible in 2003, it will be eligible in 2005. It is Mr. Schrader's understanding that MEMA has contacted the County and will work with the County to ensure that its application is addressed. He further stated that his office is encouraging MEMA to adopt a more regional focus and a responsive approach to the concerns of local governments.


EXTENSION SERVICE
NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

John Hall, Cooperative Extension Director, Beth Hill, Faculty Extension Assistant/4-H Clubs, Jean Austin, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Science, appeared and gave the Commissioners an update on their programs and services. Craig McSparran and Buddy Pinder, Nutrient Management Program consultants, were also in attendance and provided the Board with a presentation on their program - Nutrient Management.

Mr. Hall expressed his appreciation to the County for the use of office and storage unit space. He reported that on January 20th, he has been scheduled to offer testimony at the State Legislature's Education, Health and Environment Committee in Annapolis about Chesapeake Fields Institute (CFI). He also reported that CFI is working with the Department of Business and Economic Development in preparing an international sale sheet of 7 to 9 varieties of soybeans that would be introduced to the markets of Japan, Asia, Taiwan, and Korea, each one representing a significantly large market for soybeans.

Beth Hill reported that the 4-H Toy Drive of the past year was very successful and is one of the most successful service projects of the 4-H Clubs.

Jean Austin reported on the following: as per the request of Commissioner Pickrum (made at the October 28, 2003 Commissioners' meeting), that she encourage the Maryland Cooperative Extension (MCE) to include the senior population as targeted audience in its Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program (FSNEP), the concerns and needs of senior citizens will indeed be addressed by the FSNEP. Additionally, a nutrition education program for senior citizens is being formulated and will take place at the Kent Family Center. She also reported that the MCE's annual horticultural lecture series for homeowners will begin the third week in February.

Mr. Hall introduced Messrs. McSparran and Pinder. Mr. McSparran explained that the Nutrient Management program is not a regulatory but rather an educational agency of the State's Cooperative Extension Office, providing the following services to the agricultural community: consultation, nutrient management plans, soil testing and sampling, assistance with calibrating spraying equipment. Both Messrs. McSparran and Pinder reported that the major goal of the Nutrient Management program is to reduce nutrient pollution, citing nitrate and phosphorous as the primary pollutants. The reduction of nutrient pollutants can be accomplished through a more realistic projection of crop growth, reduction of manure, more effective fertilizer application, and with other measures. With the consultation of Nutrient Management, both farmers and homeowners can receive education towards achieving up-to-date compliance with current laws and regulations. They noted that Kent County has currently achieved over 100% compliance with the 1998 Water Quality Improvement Act.

Commissioner Livie expressed his opinion that there will be many more "non-traditional" areas faced with the challenges of nutrient management, such as golf courses, athletic fields, home-owners, organic farms, etc. Commissioner Crow advised that a better balance must be achieved between the concerns of the environmentalists and the concerns of the agriculture community, and that new legislation addressing, for example, the right-to-access and other issues, is forth-coming that will support a better balance. Commissioner Crow, identifying himself as a farmer, stated that farmers are business people and, therefore, have "a bottom-line," the need to make a profit. Commissioner Crow expressed his belief that farmers have to go further in balancing their needs with the nutrient management plans that are currently required.


HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (HIP)

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and passed by the majority OF THE Board to sign a Subordination Agreement, as per the recommendation of the Office of Housing and Community Development (HCD), authorizing the County's lien on the lands of Michael and Angel Standridge (known as 5278 William Street, Rock Hall) to be subordinated to Centrex Home Equity Company, LLC as it relates to Phase III of the HIP Program.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Live, and passed by the majority of the Board to approve and sign a Release of Mortgage on the property of Annis C. Pole, forgiving the lien in full, thereby releasing the lien as it relates to the HIP Program.


HURRICANE ISABEL
HAZARD MITIGATION

Commissioners Livie and Crow approved and signed two Hazard Mitigation grant proposals: elevation of structures in the floodplain and anchoring of fuel tanks within the floodplain. Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and reported that there were 15 applicants interested in these programs: all 15 applying for the tank anchoring grant; 8 applying for both tank anchoring and elevation. All the projects fall within and around the Town of Rock Hall. Ms. Moredock reported that a cover letter from the County and the Town will accompany the applications.

Ms. Moredock further reported that the County has received word from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to complete its budgets incorporating a cost-share from the State of 12.5%. Therefore, the County's share of each budget is 5% (75% Federal, 12.5% State, 7.5% homeowner, 5% County). The County's budget will incorporate staff time and materials and 50% of attorney fees associated with these grants.

Tank Anchoring Budget - The source of the non-Federal share is the property owner involved in the program. The property owner will cover the cost of anchoring which remains after all other expenses are covered. The County will manage the project; thereby contracting one company to anchor all fuel tanks involved in the project, coordinating efforts with the fuel suppliers, and developing educational materials.

Elevation Budget - The source of the non-Federal share is the property owner involved in the elevation. The property owner will cover the cost of elevation which remains after all other expenses are covered. The County will manage the project; thereby bidding out structural engineer, contractor, and surveyor fees, as well as bidding out contractors to complete the elevations and subsequent construction. The County will also cover the cost of the final inspection and permitting fees. In addition, the County also will cover 50% of the attorney fee.

To questions posed by Commissioner Livie, Ms. Moredock and Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, who also was in attendance, stated that homeowners are eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) according to the location of their damaged homes on floodplain maps and according to their level of elevation. Houses eligible for FEMA support must meet FEMA's structural requirements, such as existent crawl spaces.


KENT COUNTY BUSINESS CENTER AT WORTON

P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, reported that the Kent County Business Center at Worton is one of the "the most promising" among her department's projects in terms of eligibility for grant funding. She has learned that the "spec" building at the Business Center must be owned, operated, and maintained by the County in order for it to receive funding from the Department of Business and Economic Development (which is funding designated for the land only).

A representative of the Conectiv Delivery Service will be making assessments of the Kent County Business Center property next week. Conectiv has indicated that it will require above-ground poles which would run along the existing railroad tracks. Commissioner Livie expressed his preference for a utility that could be contained underground. Ms. Schaller advised that she will inquire with Choptank Electric about their above- or below-ground requirements. She also advised that, of the sites at the Business Center, the first leased or sold should be the lots in the mid-section of the Center. The expenses for this section would be less than the outer ones She also reported that she has discussed the Business Center project with Rural Development, noting also a scheduled meeting with the Department of Business and Economic Development.

The Commissioners received a memorandum from P.A.M. Schaller, Director, Economic Development, requesting the Board's decision regarding the price for the industrial parcels, given that the appraisal of the Kent County Business Center is completed, the subdivision of the site has been initiated, and a recent visit has been made by a Conectiv utility company representative.


KENT COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS) COUNCIL

Correspondence was received from Eric S. Jackson, Chair, Kent County EMS Council, inviting the Commissioners to attend the February 12, 2004 meeting of the EMS Council in order to discuss the "Future of Kent County Emergency Medical Services." Mr. Jackson explained that the Council, in conjunction with the Jurisdictional Medical Director, J. Dennis McGettigan, MD, has identified certain ideas and/or changes to be implemented in the Kent County EMS system in the future. The Commissioners will plan to attend.


MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE (MES)

Conway Gregory, Deputy Director, and John Allen, Chief of Operations and Maintenance, representing the Maryland Environmental Service, appeared for an informational meeting on the history and purpose of the MES.

Mr. Allen reported that the MES was created as a State agency in 1970 under the auspices of the Department of Natural Resources; however today it is considered to be an agency of the State, having its own board of directors. He summarized the services of the MES, which are offered on an as-requested-basis. Mr. Allen stated that a client can enter into an contractual agreement with MES at any time and that contracts are open-ended. Mr. Gregory added that MES does not solicit potential clients, nor does it compete with the private sector or with local governments.

To questions posed by Commissioner Livie, Mr. Gregory indicated that the MES has a good working relationship with the Maryland Department of the Environment, whose responsibilities include issuing permits and violations. He also described the service MES could offer water and wastewater systems by introducing to their expansion projects up-to-date technology of programs and capital, including those utilizing grinder pumps.

Commissioners Livie and Crow thanked Messrs. Gregory and Allen for their attendance and for the presentation about the MES.


MOSQUITO CONTROL

A letter went forth signed by the Board to Governor Robert Ehrlich and Lewis Riley, Maryland Secretary of Agriculture, responding to correspondence received from Cyrus R. Lesser, Chief, Mosquito Control Section and expressing the Board's disappointment in the decision of the State to reduce the financial support for mosquito control projects. The Board implored the State to restore the 50/50 cost-share with the County and its municipalities for mosquito control service in calendar year 2004 (FY'05 settlement), citing the necessity to control the spread of the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases. The Board conveyed its feeling that it is "absolutely necessary" to continue the mosquito control programs at the same or at an increased level.

Commissioner Crow, representing the Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC) as its Chairman, sent forth correspondence to Secretary Lewis R. Riley expressing the disappointment of the USRC in the proposal of the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to reduce the State's cost share funding for mosquito control programs. Commissioner Crow indicated that, although the USRC recognizes that these are difficult fiscal times, the USRC believes that this reduction of funding is a bad policy decision, threatening the human and economic health of the region it serves - Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne's Counties.

The USRC requested that the MDA find alternative means for financing adequate mosquito control in 2004, and requested an opportunity to meet with the Secretary to jointly address the issue in order to determine creative solutions.


NETWORK.MD BROADBAND ACCESS

Billie Dodge, Director of Information Technology, Washington College, appeared and gave a report on broadband access for Kent County. She indicated that she is currently serving on the Governor's Task Force for Broadband Internet, representing the whole of the Eastern Shore on the Task Force. She distributed copies of a power point presentation prepared by Ellis Kitchen, CIO, Maryland Department of Budget and Management, which conveys the State's intention to establish an OC3 Point of Presence in every county on the Eastern Shore. His intention for Kent County is to build a tower in the County located at the State Highway Administration site, to be completed by this spring.

Ms. Dodge strongly encouraged the Board to prepare a needs assessment for high-speed Internet service in Kent County, to include a list of the benefits that would be gained from connection to the high-speed Internet, a description of the County's plans for the future, etc., and to prepare a written proposal requesting the costs, etc. from potential high-speed Internet providers. She reported that there are many opportunities available to the County and , therefore, it would behoove the County to learn how to prepare a budget for a uniform system, given that Internet technology is not inexpensive.

Commissioner Crow expressed the Board's concern that there be broadband access not only for the government, but also for homeowners and private businesses. Ms. Dodge responded by saying that, although she does not currently have the figures, she felt assured that existing businesses, as well as new businesses will be included in the ATM Point of Presence opportunities as, for example, being offered by Verizon and other provider/vendors.

Ms. Dodge also pointed out her other goals for the Task force: to re-sell Network MD-capacity to business incubators in the County; and to encourage the interest expressed by the Department of Business and Economic Development in assisting broadband access for the Chester River Hospital. She projected that at some point in the future, the State will mandate a standard service provider to be shared by all levels of government, including local governments. Commissioner Crow asked if that mandate would eliminate the SAILOR network, to which Ms. Dodge answered it may not necessarily be eliminated. She added that it would be important for the County to maintain "redundant networks," for example a hardwire alternative. Ms.

Dodge reported Mr. Kitchen's willingness to work with vendors who are willing to barter with the State, especially in areas struggling with restrictive budgets. An example of bartering could be a trade of engineering talent for the opportunity to have space on the broadband tower.

Ms. Dodge felt that the County would benefit in having a technical specialist in addition to and separate from a designated information specialist. A technical specialist's responsibilities would include skills and capabilities that are more "hands-on"; whereas, an information specialist would be more vision/mission-oriented, having a better understanding of budgetary needs of the County. Another suggestion she made was for the County to consider establishing eventually one, standard system for the entire County.

P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, was also in attendance and inquired as to how Washington College fits into the plans for broadband access. Ms. Dodge reported that a T-3 is coming to Washington College; however, the College is currently under contract with, and therefore obligated to, another vendor. Ms. Dodge, in response to Ms. Schaller's other questions, indicated that Mr. Kitchen will have the tower in place by this March or April, even though the County might not actually be connection-ready at that time. She reported that Verizon has offered to establish a "Virtual ATM Point of Presence - or, hi-speed capacity in Chestertown.

Commissioner Crow inquired as to how the County can connect now, to which Ms. Dodge responded that she will be working hard to provide an answer as soon as possible. Commissioner Livie extended the Board's appreciation to Ms. Dodge for her attendance and for representing the County with her significant level of expertise.


PERSONNEL

At 11:40 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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.

At 12:30 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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 1:10 p.m.

At 2:20 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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 2:50 p.m.


PLANNING AND ZONING

Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and reviewed the actions and discussions of the January 8 Planning Commission meeting. She also noted that she issued reports which reflect a significantly large number of building permits issued and those carried over from last year.


PUBLIC LANDINGS AND FACILITIES

Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, appeared and reported on the meeting of the Public Landings and Facilities Board as follows:

- The Public Landings and Facilities Board recommended an increase in the trailer permit fee, from $10.00 to $20.00 each year, effective January 1, 2004, and increase percentage given to the vendors from $1.00 to $2.00 for each permit sold. A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by the majority of the Board to approve the increase in a hauler permit fee from $1.00 to $2.00.

- The Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Public Landings and Facilities Board that approval be granted to the request made by JBK True Value Hardware store, Chestertown, to sell trailer permits.

Responding to several questions posed by the Commissioners, Mr. Stanton indicated that the County generally sells all 50 of its allotted out-of-state hauler permits ($20.00 each), and sells all of them usually on the first day they are for sale. Mr. Stanton stated that boats registered in the State of Maryland or by a Maryland resident are eligible for a $20.00 boat trailer permit.

Hurricane Isabel

- The repairs to Bayside Landing (the bulkhead and the pier) in Rock Hall have been completed.

- Commissioner Livie inquired as to whether or not the repairs will sustain the use of the bulkhead and pier through the summer months, to which Mr. Stanton indicated that he was hopeful that they would. Commissioner Crow encouraged Mr. Stanton to inquire with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as to whether or not it would be possible for the County to borrow its approved assistance before its designated date of receipt. Having this funding earlier would support the building of replacement landings and piers before the increased activity of the public at these facilities during the summer.

Contract by and between the County Commissioners and Deckelman's Pile Driving was approved and signed by the Board for repair of timber piers at various public landings at a cost of $27,800, 75% of which to be covered by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant funding, 25% to be covered by the County. The repairs needed were as a result of Hurricane Isabel.


SHARP STREET PUBLIC LANDING

Contract by and between the County Commissioners and Deckelman's Pile Driving was approved and signed by the Board for installation of new timber decking at Sharp Street Public Landing at a cost of $138,775.00, of which 75% will be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 25% to be covered by the County. The repairs were needed as a result of Hurricane Isabel.


UPPER SHORE AGING
U-STAR TRANSPORTATIO
N

Commissioners Crow and Livie approved and Commissioner Livie signed Section 5311 Capital Grant Agreement with the Department of Transportation for purchase of a bus with lift-replacement. The estimated net projected cost if $49,500; the Federal Share is $39,600, State share - $4,950 and local share - $4,950.

A copy of correspondence was received sent by Nancy Noonan, Manager, Statewide Planning, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to Carl Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc. (USA), responding to Mr. Burke's concerns that some public transit providers may not be aware of all the requirements necessary to comply with Federal and State regulations. Ms. Noonan indicated that in 2002 and 2003, the State's fiscal challenges and organizational changes within the MTA did not allow her office to realize its compliance reviews. However, she anticipates that in 2004, the Statewide Planning Office will resume its previously scheduled compliance reviews which will monitor compliance of the various rules and regulations imposed on public transit providers.


WCTR - 1530

Correspondence was received from Brian and Cassie Wilson, owners of WCTR-1530, informing of their intention to sell radio station WCTR. They also indicated that if a purchaser does not commit within 60-90 days, they will be forced to close the station and return the license to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The Wilsons advised that once a "daytimer" such as WCTR "goes dark", the FCC will not re-issue another license.


ZONING MAP AMENDMENT

The Commissioners received the application of Chris D. Shorter, Sr. of Worton, to amend the Zoning Map of Kent County by reclassifying from the "V" Village Zone to the "CC" Crossroads Commercial Zone the following property: Zoning Map # 12, Parcel # 39, Lot 2 (.50 acres), in the Second Election District. The present owners of the property are Enos and Susanne Bontrager, both of Worton. This application will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendation.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, January 20, 2004, at 6:00 p.m.


THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF
KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant


Approved: Scott D. Livie, Member

 

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




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