The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with
the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum,
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $3,271,416.00.
The morning session of the Commissioners' meeting was conducted at the
Kent County High School auditorium with approximately 100 students present,
including members of the Student Government Association and several senior
classes. In addition, Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, Allen
T. Hanifee, President of the Board of Education, Dr. Gordon Sampson, Principal
of the High School, and several teachers were in attendance.
The students were in attendance beginning at 9:30 a.m. and were later
joined by the Board and the County Administrator for lunch at the High
School cafeteria, after which the Commissioners parted to resume their
meeting at the County Government Center.
Jessi Bedell, the sophomore class government representative, formally
welcomed the Commissioners to the High School, thanking them for allowing
the students to be a part of their meeting. Commissioner Pickrum strongly
encouraged the students to recognize the importance of understanding how
their local government functions, reminding them of their citizenship
and the importance of that role. Speaking on behalf of the Board, he expressed
his appreciation for this opportunity to conduct the Commissioners' meeting
at the High School.
During the morning session, presentations to the students were made by
representatives of County government and services, outlining their responsibilities
to the County's citizens, indicating respective employment and educational
internship opportunities, and providing the students with contact names
and phone numbers to encourage further discussion. At the conclusion of
each presentation, the speaker opened the floor for questions from the
students. Presentations were made by the following:
Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) - Stacy Gould, Chief Paramedic,
reported that the EMS responds to every single call for assistance, and
works very closely with the fire departments. She stated that the youngest
age requirement for training and certification as an Emergency Medical
Technician (EMT) is 16 years; with EMT certification, the individual is
then eligible to receive the two-year training program for Emergency Medical
Paramedic (EMP). The latter is available through Chesapeake College. Ms.
Gould also reported that EMS employment is particularly fulfilling for
people who appreciate experiencing immediate results from their work,
adding that there are also internships available.
9-1-1 / Central Alarm Office - Joanne Donovan, 9-1-1 Dispatcher, reported
that there have been three high school interns serving at the Central
Alarm Office that have since become employees. She described 9-1-1 dispatch
work as particularly fulfilling for those who are gratified by the immediate
results of their efforts and encouraged the students to consider internships
through the Central Alarm Office.
Volunteer Fire Companies - Commissioner Crow praised and affirmed
the importance of the many volunteers serving as part of the emergency
response in the County, citing as an example Fire Chief Christopher Powell,
of the Galena Volunteer Fire Company, whose service is an "integral part
of how our County functions," was unable to attend today's meeting. He
encouraged the students to consider their service as volunteer firefighters.
He also cited the work of Robert Rust, Jr., Director of the Emergency
Management Agency, and his coordination of many County departments and
their emergency response efforts during and in the aftermath of Hurricane
Parks and Recreation - Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation,
included in his presentation the announcement that his department will
sponsor a post-prom party to take place on May 15, 2004, from midnight
until 5:00 a.m., at the armory in Chestertown. Mr. Troester encouraged
all County juniors and seniors to attend (noting that tickets will be
forth-coming), and that they may expect many games, a D.J., food, and
an abundance of prizes and "give-aways."
A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to take $500.00 out of the
Parks and Recreation Fiscal Year 2004 budget for the purpose of supporting
the post-prom party. Included in his comments about Parks and Recreation
Mr. Troester reported to the students that there are 45 seasonal jobs
offered by the County each summer, for which 20 to 25 high school students
would be eligible. He underscored the need for life-guards to work at
the various County camps, the Country Club, etc., indicating that the
hourly wage is $9.47 (with previous experience).
Mr. Troester advised that the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will
begin its annual selection process of junior class students to serve on
the Board from July 1, 2004 through June 2005. Applications were made
Sheriff's Office - Sheriff Price presented to the Commissioners
copies of the Kent County Sheriff's Office 2003 Annual Status Report,
summarizing the progress and the new developments of his office and citing
many statistics in support of his comments. Included in his summary, Sheriff
Price noted that since the inception of the School Resource Officer Program
at the High School, there has been a significant reduction in juvenile
referrals. The students made many inquiries of Sheriff Price and his responses
included the following: Sgt. Knapp, the School Resource Officer at the
High School, functions in this capacity as a sworn deputy sheriff and
as a member of the High School staff. Sheriff Price reported that a newly-sworn
police officer is under probation for 2 years and given stringent evaluation.
If and when an allegation of corruption is made, the "Law Enforcement
Officers' Bill of Rights" dictates the stages of investigation of the
Department of Health - Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer serving
Kent and Caroline Counties. Among those health programs and services that
would pertain specifically to teenagers, Dr. Spencer noted:
- the County's "stop-smoking" program and services, citing teenage use
of tobacco as a major problem in the County and in the entire State. Dr.
Spencer appealed to the students not to begin smoking.
- issues regarding sexuality;
- depression (The major signs of depression being loss of sleep, loss
of appetite, and incessant physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach
pains, etc.); - suicide (Teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 represent
the highest risk group throughout the country.) Dr. Spencer appealed to
the students that if they, or someone they know, have ever considered
suicide, to please contact his office.
Dr. Spencer fielded many questions from the students, including a concern
about whether or not mononucleosis can be contracted from drinking the
water from water fountains at the High School. Dr. Spencer reported to
the students that evidence of "mono" is tracked carefully, and that it
is caused by a virus transmitted person by person and is highly contagious.
The average number of cases per year of "mono" at the High School is 10;
20 cases would be considered "problematic." Cases of "mono" are much more
prevalent on college campuses and military bases than in high schools.
Concerning the confidentiality of the health reports of people under 18
years of age, Dr Spencer indicated that, given certain conditions, the
confidentiality of pertinent reports, such as inappropriate sexual contact
and sexually-transmitted diseases, is protected by federal law.
Board of Elections - Florence Sutton, Director. All eligible students
were encouraged to register to vote if they had not already. Mrs. Sutton
reminded everyone that elections for the primaries will take place on
March 2nd and emphasized the importance of primary elections. She invited
registered students to seek employment at the election polls during election
days and noted the use of new voting machines. (Demonstrations of the
new voting machines were made available in the high school lobby.)
Commissioner Crow advised everyone of new legislation by stating that
if a person's 18th birthday takes place the day after election day (i.e.
a November 3, 2004 birthday) that person is eligible to register to vote.
Commissioner Crow presented to Mrs. Sutton two absentee ballots, representing
two of his sons, and explained the purpose of absentee voting. To a student's
question regarding the security of the new voting machines and illegal
"hackers," Mrs. Sutton responded that the effort to tamper with the voting
machines would require an obvious use of tools and effort and would likely
be, therefore, unsuccessful. She also indicated that a "hard copy" of
every ballot would be available.
Following the conclusion of presentations, Commissioner Pickrum opened
the floor to questions from the students, and for the next 45 minutes,
the Commissioners addressed questions including topics such as the preparation
of budgets, the proposed County community center, slot machines, the high
school renovations, the Baltimore City School Board's fiscal crisis, the
County's plans to stimulate economic development, the County's plans to
encourage its younger citizens to start businesses and families in Kent
Included as closing comments before the lunch break, the entire Board
expressed pride in Kent County and, as affirmed by Commissioner Livie,
encouraged the students to see themselves as the future leaders of Kent
County. "See the world," the Commissioners encouraged, and expressed their
hope and anticipation that the students will discover their preference
for the quality of life offered by the County and, therefore, choose to
live and work here. Dr. Sampson expressed his appreciation and, on behalf
of the County High School, the gratitude of the students to the Commissioners
for "bringing this meeting to the High School."
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Commissioners requested Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, to schedule
a training session with the Board of Education prior to the budget work
session scheduled on March 2. The purpose of the training session was
to aim toward improving leadership and communication as well as team-building
skills. It was noted that this type of meeting is not subject to the Open
Meetings Act since it does not apply to a meeting in which the public
body is engaged in an executive function (Maryland State Government Code,
Section 10.503(a)(1). This meeting took place on February 23 at 6:00 p.m.
at the Second Floor Conference Room, County Government Center.
Margie Elsberg served as the facilitator. As a result of this meeting,
the following was agreed upon: professionalism decorum be maintained during
public hearings, when issuing press releases, request the media to obtain
points of view from both boards, improve communication between the boards
prior to firming budget proposal and to strive for an earlier budget schedule,
the Commissioners will make report to share information during BOE's monthly
meeting, to find common ground in addressing new employee/teacher pay
steps, the BOE Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services is
to work with the County's Budget and Accounting Director to make the BOE
budget more transparent and easier for the Commissioners and public to
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
The Commissioners approved payment of $250 for the services rendered by
Mrs. Elsberg out of FY04 General Services Budget (consulting line item).
The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution authorizing the issuance,
sale and delivery upon the full faith and credit of the County of a general
obligation installment bond in the principal amount not to exceed One
Million Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars under the authority of Section
15(4) of Article 25B of the Annotated Code of Maryland and Sections 3-9
and 3-9.1 of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County to be designated
"Kent County Land Acquisition Bond"; the proceeds of the sale of the Bond
is to be used and applied for the public purpose of financing and refinancing
the acquisition by the County of the LaMotte property in Chestertown,
Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, presented a copy of preliminary
Fiscal Year 2005 budget projection as it relates to property tax revenue.
At the invitation of the Commissioners, the following County Department
Heads/Division Heads appeared for a FY 2005 Budget overview and for the
opportunity for open forum of questions and concerns:
Robert Rust, Jr., Emergency Management Agency, Marty Holden, Waste Management
Supervisor, Bernadette Van Pelt, Director of Tourism, P.A.M. Schaller,
Director of Economic Development, Roger Williams, Treasurer, Sheriff John
Price, Linda Stryholuk, Administrative Aide, Sheriff's Office, Jeff Troester,
Director of Parks and Recreation, Bob Merritt, Maintenance Supervisor,
Warden Ronald Howell and Trish Scott, Administrative Aide, Detention Center,
Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, Lee Ann Myers, Administrative
Assistant, and Ed Spray, Superintendent, County Roads Division, Carter
Stanton, Director of Public Works, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and
Zoning, Susanne Hayman, County Attorney and Director of Human Relations,
Robert H. Strong, Jr., Esq. and Joyce Benton, Administrative Assistant,
State's Attorney Office, and Wayne Morris, Director of the Department
of Water and Wastewater Services.
Commissioner Pickrum initiated the discussions by expressing the Board's
hope that the team work and cooperative actions, evident among the Department
Heads and the Board over the past year, would continue. He underscored
the commitment of the Board to work closely with each department.
Commissioner Livie directed the discussion to the FY 2005 budget, asking
those present for their ideas about allocating resources. He also noted
that although it is not the desire of the Board to dictate what each department's
goals should be, the Board does encourage the heads of departments to
"think creatively" concerning their budgets, i.e. to prioritize actual
needs and to research alternative, supplemental sources of funding. He
encouraged "flexibility" in this thought process, indicating, for example,
that funding that may not be a possibility in FY 2005, may be a possibility
in FY 2006. Commissioner Livie appealed to those assembled to inform the
Board of ideas to better facilitate the needs of the County while maintaining
a quality standard of service to the citizens.
Mr. Spray expressed his concern about the challenge being faced by his
department of having to work with a "skeletal crew" compounded by the
need to complete a substantial number of projects. Mr. Stanton confirmed
this challenge, indicating that the Department of Public Works is currently
five years behind in the progress of projects due to previous cut-backs
in their budget. He expressed his opinion that his department would not
be able to work effectively with any additional cuts.
Commissioner Pickrum noted that the County's economic cycle currently
matches that of the rest of the country: "things are going to be tough."
Commissioner Crow emphasized the awareness of the entire Board of the
many significant projects that have already been accomplished under financial
constraints. Commissioner Pickrum added that, "We know that you are working
In response to the Board's request for flexibility and creative allocations,
Mr Rust noted that as a result of his attempts to find alternative sources,
he has learned that the construction of facilities is usually not an eligible
recipient for grants. Mr. Williams expressed his opinion that the co-pays
under the current insurance plan are too high, especially for families
with young children.
Following some discussion about insurance plan options, premiums, and
co-pays, the Commissioners agreed to research a plan that represents a
more beneficial compromise between co-pays and premiums, as well as a
short term disability insurance. Commissioner Livie reiterated that the
insurance challenges facing the County mirror those of the challenges
being faced by the nation and that both need to be addressed.
Commissioner Pickrum concurred, adding that it is never the interest of
the Board to balance the budget on the backs of the County employees.
To Commissioner Pickrum's question as to how the County government can
more effectively serve its citizens, Mr. Spray suggested that there be
an inspector representing water and sewer services at every job concerning
the same. Warden Howell suggested that inmates at the Detention Center
participate in more clean-up type projects throughout the County, providing
as an incentive, in certain cases, a decrease in the length of sentences.
Commissioner Pickrum concluded the meeting with his request that the Department
Heads convey to their employees the Board's affirmation of their work.
He praised Kent County as "the best County I've ever lived in, ever witnessed...
. I value all of you every week." And, on behalf of the Board, he thanked
everyone for their attendance and input.
CHESAPEAKE MARINE TRADES CAREER SCHOOL (CMTCS)
Commissioner Pickrum requested that a letter go forth to Michael Thielke,
Executive Director, CMTCS, recommending that a governance board for CMTCS
be organized and constituted by individuals representing expertise in
the boat-building industry.
CONSTANT YIELD RATE
Memorandum was received from the MD Department of Assessments and Taxation,
advising that the 2004 Constant Yield Tax Rate Certification for Kent
County is 0.961 as of July 1, 2004. The rate for 2003 was 0.948. COUNTY
FLAG The Commissioners approved expenditure of $1,590 (excluding shipping
costs) out of contingency to cover minimum order of twenty county flags
from F. W. Haxel Company, Inc. A Kent County flag was presented by the
Commissioners to Owen Connelly, President of the Student Government Association,
on behalf of the County High School.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared
and reported on the following:
Millington Service Area
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, advised
that request was made by Patricia Gore to have a grinder pump installed
on Saturday, February 28th. Mr. Morris expressed concern as to having
work done on a weekend due to overtime costs. The Commissioners approved
for Mr. Morris to schedule this work as request contingent upon Mrs. Gore
agreeing to pay the difference in overtime costs involved in this work.
- Mr. Morris reported that he received a response to his letter sent to
Iraj E. Amini, indicating that Mr. Amini is agreeable to the 3,500 gallons/day
flow allocation for his restaurant and the new charge calculations to
determine his quarterly charges.
Update on Water Project
- Regarding the new water and wastewater treatment plant that is under
construction in Millington, Mr. Morris reported that the Maryland Department
of the Environment (MDE) recently advised him that the construction will
cost $600,0000.00 more than the original estimate. This additional cost
is represented by the following: the State is requiring a complete overlay
of MD Routes 313 and 291; and the water tank foundation will require pilings
as opposed to a split foundation. Mr. Morris indicated that he would meet
with representatives of the MDE and Rural Development the following week
to discuss further this additional cost and the construction requirements,
and will report back to the Board.
Worton Service Area
- A letter was received from Wayne Murray, President, Wayne's Welding
Service, Inc., requesting the rental of the office space located at the
Sanitary District Worton location, to be used as office space and possibly
as a showroom for truck equipment. Mr. Morris recommended that approval
should not be given to said request and, given the current state of the
building's structure, its location, and the storage of chemicals inside
of the building. No action was taken at this time regarding this request.
The Commissioners met with Mr. Morris for a site visit at the Worton Building
later in the morning.
Quaker Neck Service Area
- Mr. Morris reported that a letter went forth to William Ingersoll, Town
Manager of Chestertown, pertaining to the Chestertown Biological Nutrient
Removal Project, requesting a copy of the plans for said project, including
the John Hanson Road Pump Station Upgrade. Mr. Morris indicated that he
would like to review and provide comments to Chestertown's engineer on
the County's portion of this project, given that the force main relocation
and pump station upgrades would require strategic coordination and scheduling
to insure minimal disruption to users. A copy of the engineer's cost estimate
for the County's portion of this project was also requested. Mr. Morris
stated that he has not as yet received a response from Mr. Ingersoll.
- Mr. Morris recommended to the Board that they revisit the plans and
concerns pertaining to this Annexation Project. As a point of information,
Mr. Morris noted that in July 2003, several of the County's sanitary customers
were annexed into the Town of Chestertown and, thereby, eliminating approximately
$4,000 of County operations and maintenance (O & M) revenue per year.
The Board at that time agreed not to charge allocation fees for the proposed
Chester Landing Project (20 town homes) or O & M charges to Chestertown.
Mr. Morris referred to a verbal discussion between Mr. Ingersoll, Town
Manager, and the Board on July 29, 2003 to consider a pro-rata share to
upgrade the pump station by the developer of the Chester Landing Project.
Responding to the Commissioners' questions, Mr. Morris indicated that
he sent the Town of Chestertown a letter (cit. above "Letter to William
Ingersoll") requesting a copy of the plans from the developer (who has
received preliminary approval from Chestertown Planning and Zoning to
increase the size of the Chester Landing Project to 40 town homes) and
what expenses the County might expect from said project.
Mr. Morris recommended to the Commissioners that this issue be re-addressed.
Mr. Morris expressed his belief that it is unfair to the users of the
Quaker Neck System that there are no charges being assessed to the developer
or to the Town of Chestertown for the pump station upgrades or to the
O & M cost. Further, it is Mr. Morris' concern that the County's revenues
to cover the O & M cost will be significantly reduced with the loss of
the 14 EDU's (Equivalent Dwelling Units) annexed by Chestertown.
Mr. Morris also recommended that the Commissioners determine whether or
not to assess the developer or the Town of Chestertown a pro-rata share
of capital and operational costs.
The Board agreed that before they take action on Mr. Morris recommendations
and concerns, they await a from Mr. Ingersoll to Mr. Morris' letter.
Update on Country Club's Sewer Issues
- Mr. Morris reported that he met with representatives of the Chester
River Country Club and village on February 20th regarding the need to
upgrade the grinder pump for the water and sewer service of that area.
Given the substantial increase in users, the pump size will have to be
increased. Mr. Morris indicated that the representatives have agreed to
all of the construction and installation costs of an upgraded pump station
to the County's specifications. He further reported that the costs for
the duplex pump station would be approximately $7,000.00. The Commissioners
agreed that Mr. Morris should compose a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
between the Chester River Country Club and the County concerning the construction
and installation of a duplex pump station.
Tolchester Service Area
Charles Smith's Sewer Allocation - Pertaining to the Public Works
Agreement by and between the County Commissioners and Charles Smith for
a sewer allocation located on Map 35A, Parcel 68, Mr. Morris reported
that Mr. Smith has paid for the allocation.
Tolchester Growth Management Plan - Memorandum was received from
the Tolchester Review Committee providing their conclusions and recommendation
as of January 2004. For the record, the Tolchester Growth Management Review
Committee was established in December 2003 by the Board of Commissioners
for the purpose of revising the Tolchester Growth Management Plan which
is included in the County's Water and Sewer Plan.
The Committee's directive was to provide additional allocations beyond
the original 40 allocations originally authorized in order to accommodate
current needs and to allow appropriate controlled growth in Tolchester
Estates. In addition to Mr. Morris, the Tolchester Review Committee consists
of the following members: Nancy Metcalf, Soil Conservationist, Carla Martin,
Community Planner, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, Marci
Brown, member of the Planning Commission, Ed Birkmire, Director of Environmental
Health, and Susanne Hayman, County Attorney.
The following are the Review Committee's conclusions and recommendation:
- Without additional expense, the County may provide 10 additional allocations
which comply with the recommendations outlined in the attached December
17, 2003 letter from McCrone, Inc.(engineering firm).
- To maximize the permitted allocations, make the most efficient use of
existing infrastructure, and limit disturbance to the forested area, these
ten additional allocations should be limited to the lots on Cumberland
Avenue and west toward the Chesapeake Bay. Extension into the wooded area
east of these lots should not occur until a nontidal wetlands delineation
- The County should work with the Tolchester Community Association and
any other entity owning the roadways to develop a minimum road standard,
culvert standards, and maintenance agreements.
- The County, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Tolchester
Community should investigate methods to improve the existing drainage
ditches in the developed sections of the Community. If additional drainage
cannot be addressed through the existing drainage system, these entities
should work together to develop a plan to address the remaining drainage
- The Tolchester Community Association should develop standards for permitted
access clearing on its property. The County should amend its Water and
Sewer Plan by deleting the Tolchester Growth Management Plan and by adding
a Tolchester Allocation Policy Section. This allocation policy should
state that an allocation will only be granted in the Tolchester Service
Area when the proposed lot is a minimum of 10,000 square feet in size
and is within the area delineated on map. The Commissioners requested
to meet with representatives of the Committee for further review of their
Correspondence was received from Barry L. Ebersole, of McCrone, Inc.,
indicating that Kent County can approve ten additional connections to
the Tolchester Low Pressure Wastewater Collection System provided that
four conditions be met. Mr. Ebersole advised that if a property requests
a connection which does not meet one of said conditions or exceeds the
ten additional connections, McCrone, Inc. would have to reconstruct its
computer model of the entire collection system, including all the new
connections approved by the County after construction was completed in
1996, at a cost of approximately $3500.00.
Piney Neck Service Area
- The Commissioners approved and signed Public Works Agreement with Allan
F. Ferver for sewer allocation on Map 51, Parcel 148 in the Piney Neck
Septage and Holding Tank Disposal Rates
- The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution establishing septage
and holding tank disposal rates as follows:
A. Effective March 1, 2004, the fee for dumping licensed septage shall
be $.07 per gallon and
B. Effective March 1, 2004, the fee for dumping approved holding tank
waste shall be $.02 per gallon.
Water and Sewer Rates
- The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution amending Water and
Sewer Service Rates adopted on December 2, 2003 to correct error in regard
to the sewer rate established in the Fairlee Water and Sewer District.
It was adopted that the water and sewer service rates, effective January
1, 2004, for the Fairlee District are as follows:
Water and Sewer Residential/Commercial - $163.l7/EDU
Water only - 99.03/EDU
Sewer only - 99.00/EDU
- Correspondence was received from Teresa T. Ernst, Loan Officer, Grants
and Loan Division, Water Management Administration, Maryland Department
of the Environment (MDE), regarding the State Revolving Fund (SRF) Clean
Water 2003 Intended Use Plan/Project: Sewer Collection System Debt Refinancing.
Enclosed were copies of draft exhibits and the draft repayment schedule
that were revised based on eligible refunding costs and a "Pay-Off Date
of 3/1/04." Ms. Ernst requested that the enclosures be reviewed for the
estimated SRF loan in the amount of $2,035,599.87.
Correspondence was received from Andrew L. Price, Mid-Atlantic Region,
Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Department of Justice, and sent to Warden
Ronald L. Howell, providing the results of the Full Monitoring Inspection
conducted by Mr. Price and his inspection team at the Detention Center
on February 11th. The monitoring team reviewed inmate accountability,
billing procedures, medical services, the food service operation, life
safety, and sanitation. They also conducted interviews with all of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates.
Mr. Price reported that during the inspection, his monitoring staff spoke
with two federal inmates, both of whom stated that they were fairly treated
by the Detention Center staff and that the living conditions were good.
Some areas of concerns noted have now been addressed satisfactorily and
the monitoring is officially closed.
EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY (ESLC)
Robert J. Etgen, Executive Director, ESLC, a private nonprofit land conservation
organization dedicated to the preservation of farmland habitat on the
Eastern Shore, Andy Andrews, Community Economic Specialist for American
Farmland Trust, and Amy M. Owsley, Director of Community Planning, ESLC,
appeared for a workshop with the Commissioners, during which they conducted
a powerpoint presentation about Eastern Shore 2010: A Regional Vision
Project - the strategies and options that the task forces of the ESLC
have explored for the County's consideration (options, not mandates).
By way of background, Mr. Etgen indicated that in the fall
of 2002, six counties of the Eastern Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester,
Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot) endorsed a regional land use agreement,
Eastern Shore 2010. This agreement represented the joint efforts
of the six counties to attain regional goals focusing on land protection,
the economic viability of working landscapes, growth centers, and transportation.
With this agreement, the ESLC has been organizing a series of research
task forces charged with identifying strategies which Eastern Shore counties
could use in order to attain the Eastern Shore 2010 goals. Task
forces were formed in 2003 to develop "research white papers," for the
first two goals of the agreement: land protection (coordinated by ESLC),
and strengthening the economic viability of working landscapes (coordinated
by the American Farmland Trust).
Ms. Owsley and Mr. Andrews presented an overview of the task force work,
specifically the strategies and options that each task force explored
for the County's consideration. They recognized the work of Carla Martin,
Community Planner, as an integral part of the ESLC's work in Kent County.
The first goal of the agreement is: "To strive to protect from development
through the use of voluntary preservation programs 50% of Eastern Shore
land outside of locally designated growth areas by 2010." The baseline
calculations of the task force revealed that the Eastern Shore 2010
goal would mean, on average, a doubling of land currently protected in
each county. It was noted that, although purchase of development right-type
programs are an essential part of reaching the goal, significant progress
has been and should be made through other mechanisms, such as the donation
of development rights. For example, rough calculations of the acreage
protected show that, if the current level of support is extended for protecting
land through the donation of easements (as opposed to purchase), another
0.5% to 3% progress in each county toward the goal could be expected.
Further, moving beyond the current level of effort to encourage the option
of easement donation could increase this percentage substantially. The
workshop addressed the important question of next steps by laying out
the implementation tools available to federal, state, and local governments,
and to the private sector that could help the County attain the land protection
goal of Eastern Shore 2010. Strategies and actions were presented,
as well as baseline progress (as of December 2003) towards these actions.
Responding to Mr. Etgen's report that the average age of the farmer on
the Eastern Shore is 63 years, Commissioner Pickrum inquired as to what
would attract the next generation to continue the farming business. Mr.
Andrews indicated that there is a need for new programs, and identified
existing programs, such as the mentoring program that is available for
"beginning farmers." In addition, there are new "niche markets" that are
proving to be attractive for beginning farmers. Mr. Etgen concurred, adding
that the biggest challenge for new farmers are the upstart capital costs.
P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, appeared and inquired
as to whether or not the ESLC has a prototype of land preservation, a
portion of which is dedicated to economic development. Mr. Etgen responded
in the affirmative, offering ESLC's assistance with establishing a similar
scenario in Kent County if and when it is needed. He and Ms. Schaller
agreed to discuss this potential further.
The Commissioners expressed their enthusiasm and interest for the development
of more niche farming in the County, citing many sustainable agricultural
organizations that would be able to assist. They concurred that, although
there are a lot of resources available, the County has to attract them
to this region.
To Commissioner Pickrum's question as to what part of the County's government
should be involved in this type of initiative, Mr. Andrews advised that
the Cooperative Extension has been very productive in this area. Mr. Etgen
concluded this discussion by indicating the need for the County to support
the poultry and grain farmers and, at the same time, to diversify farm
products to meet the market drive for alternatives, citing as examples
the work of the Chesapeake Fields Institute and the current interest of
other groups in aquaculture.
Commissioner Pickrum extended the appreciation of the Board to Mr. Etgen,
Ms. Owsley, and Mr. Andrews for their presentations and informative discussions.
At 4:15 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, to discuss
a proposal for a business to relocate in Kent County in accordance with
State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Items of discussion included appraisal of property.
The executive session adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Bay Broadband Communications Company (BBC)- As per the suggestion
of the County Administrator, Ms. Schaller recommended a meeting to include
the County Attorney, Wayne Morris, Director of Water and Wastewater Services,
Bob Rust, Director of Emergency Management and the Commissioners, with
Dr. Allen Hammond, representing the BBC, on February 27th, to address
outstanding concerns and questions about the BBC.
The Commissioners approved and signed Contract by and between the County
Commissioners and Information Products of Maryland, Inc. for purchase
and installation of a digital multi-channel voice logging recorder for
Central Alarm at a cost of $24,495.00.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS)
The Commissioners approved and signed Memorandum of Understanding by and
between the County Commissioners, Kent County Emergency Medical Services
(EMS) the Galena Volunteer Fire Company (GVFC), Rock Hall Volunteer Fire
Company (RHVFC), and the Kent and Queen Anne's Rescue Squad (KQARS) whereby
the GVFC, RHVFC, and KQARS agree to become a satellite prehospital Advanced
Life Support (ALS) provider for the EMS program Correspondence was received
from Jeff Haley, President, Galena Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., and Christopher
A. Powell, Fire Chief, requesting that the Commissioners consider expanding
the County Paramedic Program. Specifically, the Chief and President Haley
are requesting at least one more County Paramedic to serve 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, and stationed in the northern part of the County.
Should the Commissioners approve of this request, the Galena Volunteer
Fire Department would make the arrangements for housing the additional
For information purposes, correspondence was received from George V. Lenher,
Board President, The Humane Society of Kent County, MD, Inc., sent to
Margo Bailey, Mayor of Chestertown, requesting that the Town of Chestertown,
in addition to the Towns of Betterton and Rock Hall, adopt the Kent County
Ordinance Chapter 64, thereby designating the Human Society of Kent County
as the Animal Control Officer under one uniform code, rather than under
three different ordinances as it currently functions.
LAMOTTE PARK STUDY COMMITTEE
At the invitation of the Commissioners, the following members of the LaMotte
Park Study Committee were present, Jeff Troester, Chair, Andrew C. Bradley,
business owner and potential property owner, D. Miles Barnard, landscape
architect, Marsha Fritz, Chestertown Planning Commission Member, and William
Sutton, Kent County Planning Commission. Nancy Metcalf, Soil Conservationist,
and Karen Miller, District Manager, both of the Kent Soil and Water Conservation
District, and Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, were also in attendance.
Commissioner Livie initiated the discussion, advising that the Study Committee
hire a consultant to organize and prioritize their research and recommendations
towards developing a site plan. He expressed the Board's interest to "fast
track" this plan and encouraged their contact with Robert Brennan, Assistant
Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), who
offered his assistance and recommendations for consultants to balance
all facets of this project and for the development of the site plan.
Commissioner Livie underscored the importance for the County to have the
full cooperation of the Town of Chestertown with this project. Ms. Fritz
suggested that Mr. Troester and one or, preferably all, of the Commissioners
attend the next meeting of the Chestertown Planning Commission, scheduled
for March 17th. Commissioner Crow advised that the consultation with DBED
incorporate all the pertinent parties representing environmental concerns,
such as soil and water. Mrs. Metcalf confirmed her willingness to assist
with this effort, noting, as an example, the need for stormwater management
to concur with the maintenance of the existing pond on the property.
The Commissioners accepted Mrs. Metcalf's offer and expressed their appreciation
for the expertise she will contribute to the project. The Commissioners
conveyed the excitement shared by Mr. Brennan for this project, and individually
shared their opinions that picking a consultant would be the next step
of the project - a consultant with a critical eye for design and appearance,
as well as an appreciation for the history and culture of this region.
They concurred with Ms. Fritz that the consultant would be faced with
a challenging "balancing act": balancing site and traffic conditions,
in cooperation with the State's road department, and with design and appearance
To questions posed regarding how to incorporate Mr. Bradley's interests,
Commissioner Livie responded that the County must honor the fact that
Mr. Bradley owns 2.5 acres that are enveloped by the designed project
property. He felt that the interests of all parties involved would be
addressed given the creative guidance of a consultant. Mr. Bradley responded
by indicating that he is moving forward with projections for the use of
Commissioner Pickrum expressed his commitment to leading the County in
good faith, thereby honoring the interests of both Mr. Bradley and the
County. Mr. Bradley stated that he is "keeping the door open" and will
cooperate with the designated consultant.
Commissioner Pickrum thanked all those who gathered representing the LaMotte
Property Project, and re-affirmed their report, Analysis and Recommendations,
and their evident service to the County.
At 5:00 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance
with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of
Items of discussion related to bond issue.
The executive session adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (MDE)
Correspondence was received from Jeffrey L. Rein, Deputy Program Administrator,
Wastewater Permits Program, Water Management Administration, regarding
the Mears Great Oak Landing Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).
Mr. Rein indicated that the MDE is aware of the County's interest in said
WWTP and that the MDE has made a tentative determination on the discharge
At 4:00 p.m., 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. Susanne Hayman,
Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
At 5:10 p.m., 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 5:45 p.m.
P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, advised of plans to schedule
a County Procurement Fair in May. Ms. Schaller inquired as to whether
or not the Procurement Fair will include any opportunity for Federal and
State Procurement representatives, or only outgoing County bids. She suggested
that the Board consider a Small Business Procurement Fair at another time.
A bid opening took place at 2:00 p.m. on February 19th at the Public Works
Complex for the sale of a 1994 International 4900 regular cab dump truck.
The bid tabulation was as follows: Town of Betterton $15,000.00; Town
of Rock Hall $12,001.00.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to accept the bid to the Town
of Betterton for the high bid of $15,000.00.
Correspondence was received from Lenny Howard, Chief of Regional Planning,
MD Transit Administration, MD Department of Transportation (MTA), and
sent to Charles Cawley, County Administrator for Caroline County, identifying
strategies to bring to a close the project concerning the USTAR office
and maintenance facility. Mr. Howard advised that the decision to terminate
the rehabilitation project would significantly reduce Caroline, Kent,
and Talbot Counties' ability to continue to utilize the Denton property
as a public transit facility, and that the MTA would not permit the property
to function in its current condition as it exists presently.
Given that the MTA used Federal funding to assist in the Denton project,
the MTA is, therefore required to ensure that the Federal Transportation
Authority (FTA) rules and regulations are followed as the said project
is closed. He, therefore, listed three "readily apparent methods" for
the Counties by which the MTA could meet this objective:
- Sell the property and reimburse the FTA their funds. This would require
USTAR to seek an alternative location to house their vehicles and administrative
- The counties purchase the property and reimburse the FTA. This scenario
would allow USTAR to continue to utilize the current facility as it exists
- The counties undertake the project entirely on their own, developing
a strategy that will achieve local goals, while meeting the State and
FTA regulations. (A list of required topics to be addressed in this building
rehabilitation project was enclosed.)
Mr. Howard advised that if the counties chose to use this strategy, their
need to "aggressively" plan and design improvements to the Denton facility
would remain, and they would have to provide assurances that construction
of the improvements would begin in fiscal year 2005.
Mr. Howard concluded by offering assurance to the Counties of the MTA's
continued support of their public transportation services, regardless
of the project's final disposition. He asked that, once the Counties have
identified a project termination strategy, they provide him with a written
detail of their plans by March 31, 2004.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, March 2, 2004.
THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Janice F. Fletcher
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.