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 $2,716,712.00.
Commissioner Pickrum requested a moment of silence to honor the memory
of the life of David A. Bramble, Community Leader.
BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOL BOARD
A press release was received, City Schools System Falls Short of Governor's
Accountability Requirements, from Karen Smith, Esq., Director of Intergovernmental
Relations, Office of the Governor. The Governor directed the Secretary
of the MD Department of Budget and Management to formally reject the material
submitted to the State by the Baltimore City Public School System, explaining
that the material submitted by the City school board on February 20th
contained none of the required accountability measures expected on behalf
of the citizens of Maryland.
BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING
Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, appeared and responded to the
Commissioners' questions as to whether or not the County could borrow
the grant money ahead of time from Waterway Improvement Division for the
repair of Bayside Landing, Rock Hall, Mr. Stanton indicated that borrowing
ahead would not be possible. The Waterway Improvement Division has committed
to funding $100,000.00 this year (of the total it has committed of $350,000)
for the repair of Bayside Landing. Another $100,000.00 will be extended
for said project next year. Should the County choose to complete the entire
project using borrowed funds, it would not be eligible reimbursement of
the amount over $100,000.00.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
At 6:00 p.m., the Commissioners hosted a Fiscal Year 2005 budget work
session with the Board of Education. Those in attendance were Commissioners
Pickrum, Crow and Livie, Dr. Jim Siemen, President, Allan T. Hanifee,
Lamonte E. Cooke, John Larrimore and J. Brian Kirby, representing the
Board of Education, Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, Dr.
Joan Buffone, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and
Staff Development, Ed Robinson, County Administrator, and Pat Merritt,
Budget and Accounting Director. Discussion was held as to anticipated
County revenues which is 4.1% over last year, some of which cannot be
anticipated for more than one year i.e. recordation and property transfer
tax revenues in light of low interest rates which are not predictable
to remain as is.
The Commissioners were candid as to probable expenditures facing the County
based on State mandates and reduction in State funding. They also advised
of desire to address salary issues for both the BOE and County contingent
upon available funding.
Discussion was also held as to the Commissioners' interest in a partnership
that the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute has with Queen Anne's County
Schools. At this time, the local volunteer fire companies are not attracting
young participants and the Commissioners advised of their interest in
including training by the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute on Kent County's
curriculum for Fiscal Year 2006. Students would be able to receive certifications
for EMT, fire fighter, rescue technician, hazmat operations, terrorism
operations and engine company operations. The courses and credits can
also count toward college credits.
Students in Queen Anne's County enroll through their respective school's
guidance department and provided through a Career Technology Program.
Queen Anne's County provides transportation for their students, however,
Caroline County students drive their own vehicle to the Institute classes.
Each participating county would need to provide funding for its students.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Correspondence was received from Richard A. Eskin, Director, Technical
and Regulatory Services Administration, MD Department of the Environment
(MDE), with a copy of the map which summarizes the status of MD's Chesapeake
Bay Oyster and Clam Harvesting Waters, as of December 31, 2003, and a
description of the location of restricted and conditionally approved shellfish
The Commissioners approved and signed Contract by and between the County
Commissioners and Indoor Environmental Services, LLC for rehabilitation
of the interior wall in the District Court Office located in the Courthouse
at a cost of $7,782.00.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services,
appeared and gave report on the following:
Mr. Morris indicated that he was appointed to the Board of Directors for
the MD Rural Water Association to serve on the State's Advisory Council
on Water Security and Sewer Systems, and on the Interagency Technical
Assisting Committee on Wastewater Treatment Systems.
Tolchester Service Area - The Commissioners approved Public Works
Agreement with Mark Anthony for a sewer allocation located on Map 35A,
Parcel 21 in the Tolchester Service Area.
Rock Hall Service Area - Pertaining to the upgrading of the Town
of Rock Hall's water system, the pre-bidding will take place on March
16th. Given the Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) between the Town of Rock
Hall and the County for this project, Mr. Morris reported that he will
provide the Commissioners with the figures for the County's share of the
costs for the upgrades in approximately two weeks.
Chester River Landing Project - Margo Bailey, Mayor of Chestertown,
and William Ingersoll, Chestertown's Town Manager, appeared in response
to discussion held during the February 17th meeting as it relates to the
Chester River Landing Project and its potential impact on the County's
water and wastewater services.
For the record, Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and
Wastewater Services, advised the Commissioners at their February 17th
meeting that he was interested in reviewing and providing comments about
the plans for these projects with Chestertown's engineer, given that the
force main relocation and pump station upgrades would require strategic
coordination and scheduling to insure minimal disruption to users.
Pertaining to the Chester River Landing Project, Mr. Ingersoll reported
that there will be 20 additional units built which will necessitate the
upgrading of the pumping station. Mr. Ingersoll indicated that the original
costs for the upgrades were projected to be $37,000; however, given unanticipated
expenses, he stated that the costs for the upgrades will be $68,000. Mr.
Ingersoll added that the Town of Chestertown is not asking the County
to contribute financially to this cost.
To Commissioner Livie's question as to the total number of units projected
for Chestertown Landing, Mr. Ingersoll reported that there will be 44
units, adding that he has the plans to deliver to Mr. Morris.
Commissioner Crow underscored the importance of communication between
the Town of Chestertown and the County concerning the development of the
Chester River Landing Project as well as the Chestertown Biological Nutrient
Removal Project. Mr. Ingersoll advised that if the sewer line to service
Chester River Landing cannot work with gravity flow, the developer will
re-route it back to the Town.
To Commissioner Crow's comments concerning the "Flush Tax," Mr. Ingersoll
reported his disapproval of the way the "Flush Tax" is imposed; he feels
that the tax should be imposed on all residents and not just on those
on public systems.
Later in the morning, the Commissioners requested Mr. Morris' perspective
on the above discussion. Mr. Morris conveyed his appreciation for the
Board's comments to Mr. Ingersoll, with which they urged him to conduct
more frequent, thorough, and timely communications between the Town of
Chestertown and the County, particularly when cooperation for joint projects
is anticipated and necessary. Mr. Morris expressed his concern that the
County continues, despite the discussion with Mr. Ingersoll, to lack the
information needed, as specified at the February 17th Commissioners' meeting.
According to Mr. Morris, it is imperative that the Town of Chestertown
clearly specify what aspects of said projects it intends to claim responsibility
for and at exactly what expense to the Town. Thereby, the County will
be informed as to what obligations it can anticipate. Given that 44 units
of Chester River Landing are already being advertised, the County must
ascertain now what financial obligations will be expected of it. Mr. Morris
reiterated that the operating and maintenance costs have to be considered
and determined as soon as possible.
The Commissioners forwarded a memorandum to Mr. Ingersoll specifying the
County's understanding of the extent of its obligations pertaining to
these projects with Chestertown, requesting the same clarification, in
turn, from Chestertown.
Memorandum was received from Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works,
reporting about the evidence of a considerable amount of dust and dirt
in the duct work at the Detention Center which was verified by Bob Merritt,
Maintenance Supervisor. An estimate of the cost to clean the ducts was
received from Indoor Pollution Solutions, Inc., of Denton, at $5,950.00,
inclusive of all labor and materials. No action was taken on this request
at this time.
Correspondence was received from Elizabeth H. Morris, Chair, Kent County
Planning Commission, regarding the Peninsula Conference Methodist Church
and John Petro. At its February 5th meeting, the Planning Commission voted
unanimously to recommend approval of John Petro's application to use growth
allocation for the operation of a retreat on the former Drayton Manor
property owned by the Peninsula Conference Methodist Church. The property
is in the 3rd Election District, Tax Map 11, Parcel 45, on 12651 Coopers
Daniel Saunders, Esq. appeared and spoke on behalf of his clients, the
applicants for the proposed Drayton Manor Retreat and Conference Center.
He requested that the Commissioners address the growth allocation of the
pertinent site now rather than delay that decision pending the results
of the other necessary site assessments, such as those of the health department.
Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, and Carla Martin, Community Planner,
were also in attendance.
Ms. Martin, conveying the advice of Gail Owings, Director of Planning
and Zoning, recommended that, because there are many outstanding issues
involved, the scheduling of a hearing date to determine the growth allocation
should not be rushed.
The Commissioners will discuss this matter further with the County Attorney
before making any decision on the hearing date.
In the matter of the application for the Drayton Manor growth allocation,
an Appearance of Counsel was received, requesting that the appearance
of Clayton A. Mitchell, Esq., and Hoon and Associates, LLC, be entered
as attorneys for the Kinnaird's Point Homeowners Association, its members,
Robert Steinwurtzel and Sara Strang in regard to the above-captioned matter.
The Commissioners approved and signed Contract by and between the County
Commissioners and Joseph R. Smith, Inc. to complete project for installation
of underground PVC conduit at the Emergency Management Agency at a cost
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS)
In follow up to concerns raised at the EMS Council meeting held on February
12th, Commissioner Crow arranged for a meeting with representatives of
EMS, Chestertown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Chester River Manor,
Bob Rust, Emergency Management Director, and Kent and Queen Anne's Rescue
Squad to discuss transport issues. This meeting was held today at 2:00
p.m. in the EMA conference room at the Detention Center facility.
HOTEL RENTAL TAX
During the February 18th County Council of Governments meeting, Commissioner
Crow advised of the Board's interest in increasing the County Hotel Rental
Tax from 3% to 5% and seeking the incorporated Towns' support to contribute
their share of the 2% increase to the County on the condition that the
contribution will be used exclusively for economic and tourism efforts.
A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was distributed for the Towns'
review and consideration.
William Ingersoll, Town Manager of Chestertown, accompanied by Mayor Margo
Bailey, indicated that the Town would have $55,000 in hotel rental tax
revenue at the end of the year. Commissioner Pickrum underscored that
the funds from the Hotel Rental Tax would be dedicated specifically to
tourism. Mayor Bailey commended Bernadette Van Pelt, Director of Tourism,
on a job well done on behalf of tourism development.
Mr. Ingersoll noted that Chestertown's Visitor's Center is experiencing
staffing challenges (noting that between 8,000 and 9,000 visitors came
to Chestertown during the previous year), and that part of the money that
would be raised by the additional 2% of the hotel rental tax could be
used for personnel. He stated that, thus far, the Visitor's Center has
been able to function well with the assistance of a volunteer staff; however,
with increasing numbers of visitors coming to the Center, it is anticipated
that a larger, designated and staff will be required, especially as the
summer season approaches.
Mr. Ingersoll and Mayor Bailey expressed their interest in a paid staff
to handle the greater influx of visitors and the greater demand for assistance
at the Center. Revenues generated from the additional 2% would help address
these costs. The Town may be agreeable to returning 1% of the 2% increase,
estimated at $27,277. Mr. Ingersoll expressed his concern and the concern
of the Mayor that the County might have intentions to terminate the leasing
agreement for the space the County currently rents on the Center's top
He added that, if, in fact, the County no longer has interest in renting
the space, he would rather release the County of its contractual obligations,
and use that space for the Visitor Center's increasing needs, such as
storage. He requested the opportunity to further discuss this issue with
Regarding the disbursement of the hotel rental tax from the County to
the Town of Chestertown, he requested a more speedy return. (For the record,
when the Hotel Rental Tax was initiated, policy was established to distribute
the revenue generated on an annual basis immediately upon completion of
the audit.) It was noted that the Town of Betterton has agreed to sign
the MOU as prepared.
KENT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT (KCHD)
Memorandum was received from Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer, reporting
that the Fiscal Year 2003 end-of-year reconciliation was calculated by
the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with a balance of $7,275.15
remaining in local County funds. Given that the Kent County Health Department
has no special needs for the use of said funds at the present time, Dr.
Spencer sent forth to the Commissioners a check in said amount.
At the request of Andrew Bradley, the Commissioners met with him at the
LaMotte property at 11:20 a.m. to review possible lot variations. The
topography of the property was discussed including drainage and the storm
water management pond to ascertain the visual point of view as to what
area can support construction and what cannot support it. Ed Robinson,
County Administrator, and Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director,
were also in attendance.
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed documents as
they relate to the Land Acquisition Bond, Series 2004. Commitment for
financing in the amount of $1,250,000.00 was approved and signed by the
Board with the Chestertown Bank of Maryland at a rate of 1.60% floating
rate for a 20 year amortization. Bond closing for land acquisition of
the LaMotte Property will be held on March 4th.
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
Items of discussion included economic development projects.
The executive session adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
WIND ELECTRIC GENERATING FACILITIES
In response to correspondence received from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup,
a letter went forth in support of House Bill 1269 relating to Wind Electric
Generating Facilities. This legislation is being heard by the Economic
Matters Committee today.
Correspondence was received from Gloria Urban, Director, Kent County Public
Library, requesting that the Library's administration be permitted to
participate in the review process of the cleaning contract before it goes
out to bid. She expressed the dissatisfaction of the Library staff with
the current cleaning vendor. No action was taken on this request at this
LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD (LMB)
At the request of Anne Livie, Director, LMB, a letter went forth in support
for Year Three of the Youth Strategies Initiative.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES (NACo)
Commissioner Pickrum attended the NACo conference February 29th and March
Alex Dolgos, Enforcement Section for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Eugene Morgenthaler, Permit Review Section of the Corps, appeared at the
invitation of the Commissioners in order to provide information about
non-tidal wetland delineation. Nancy Metcalf, Soil Conservationist, Amy
Moredock, Environmental Planner, and Carla Martin, Community Planner were
Mr. Dolgos distributed copies of pamphlets in which wetlands are described
Wetlands are defined as those areas that are inundated or saturated by
surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support,
and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation
typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.
Wetlands are transitional areas between open water and dry land and are
often found along bays, lakes, rivers and streams. Examples include bottomland
forests, swamps, bogs, marshes, wet meadows and seasonal wet woods.
Wetlands need to be identified for the following reasons: Section 404
of the Clean Water Act requires Corps authorization for the discharge
of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. ... . Activities in
the wetlands for which permits may be required include, but are not limited
to, placement of soil; road construction; shoreline erosion control; mining;
and utility line or pipeline construction.
Mr. Dolgos stated the following criteria with which the Corps determines
if an area is a wetland: vegetation, soil, and hyrdrology:
- Wetland vegetation consists of plants that require saturated soils to
survive. Also, wetland vegetation may sometimes exhibit physical adaptations
which indicate the presence of water, for example, swollen trunks or roots
growing from the plant stem or trunk above the soil surface.
- Soils that occur in wetlands are called hydric soils. These soils have
characteristics that indicate they were developed in conditions where
soil oxygen is, or was limited by the presence of water for long periods
of the growing season. By examining the soil, one can determine if hydric
indicators are present. Mr. Dolgos explained that hydric soils have a
bluish grey or gray color at 10 to 12 inches below the surface layer,
or have dark (brown or black) soil as the major color.
- Wetland hydrology refers to the presence of water, either above the
soil surface or within the soil, but near the surface. This condition
must exist for a sufficient period of the year to deprive the soils of
oxygen and significantly influence the plant types that occur in the area.
The most reliable evidence is provided by gauging station or ground water
well data. There are also field indicators that provide evidence of the
periodic presence of inundation or soil saturation, such as standing or
flowing water, waterlogged soil, etc.
Mr. Dolgos also explained that permit regulations are advised and enforced
by the State government and the local government in addition to the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers' Regulatory Branch. Each county is given a soil
survey tool by the United States Department of Agriculture to assist with
The delineation of non-tidal wetlands is determined by the extent of response
of the plants and soils to the wetland hydrology. If a site has been determined
as a wetland, a permit has to be granted before any construction can begin,
along with mitigation. In other words, the intention of the regulations
is to minimize construction in wetlands. Parcels of land are individually
assessed by the regulatory agency before construction can begin on those
parcels. If parcels are included in a site projected for development,
they must still be individually assessed.
To Commissioner Pickrum's questions concerning the definition of water
quality and watershed tributaries, which were topics addressed at the
recent meeting of the National Association of Counties which he attended,
Ms. Martin and Ms. Moredock explained the important role of public education
and underscored the importance of the County's participation in the watershed
restoration project which will help to define water quality, as well as
monitor that quality.
Correspondence was received from Mrs. Ward, a resident of Edesville, expressing
complaint as to neighboring properties in violation of the Nuisance Ordinance.
A copy of this correspondence was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director of
Planning and Zoning, for her information and attention.
At 10:35 a.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 10:45 a.m.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - Jana Johnson, Coordinator of
the KCHD's Colorectal Cancer Public Awareness Office, appeared and updated
the Commissioners about the activities of her office during the month
of March which is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In addition
to Mrs. Johnson, Charlene Perry, Mary Walker, Loretta Freeman, Ruth Briscoe,
Sylvia Sparks, and Vincent Florek, representing KCHD's Community Health
Coalition, were also in attendance.
Mrs. Johnson expressed the KCHD's gratitude to the Commissioners for their
support. Mrs. Johnson that the survival rate of persons with colorectal
cancer in Kent County is 56%; last year's survival rate was 50%. She also
reported that there are two effective tests available to County residents,
both of which are funded by the KCHD and, therefore, free to its residents:
the home testing kit and the colonoscopy which is a test conducted at
Chester River Hospital.
Mrs. Johnson shared with the Commissioners examples of gifts and informational
materials which her department offers to residents as incentives and positive
reinforcements for screening procedures. Mrs. Johnson introduced Vincent
Florek, a survivor of colorectal cancer, who reported that his cancer-detection
and recovery were the result of his attendance at a Colorectal Cancer
Awareness Seminar conducted by Mrs. Johnson's department. Having learned
about the signs and symptoms of this cancer, he was able to recognize
them in his body and immediately sought help.
Mr. Florek extended his gratitude to Mrs. Johnson and the Coalition. The
next Seminar is scheduled to take place on March 10th, to which the Commissioners
were invited to attend. Commissioner and Mrs. Livie will both be offering
presentations at the Seminar.Commissioner Livie reported that he is a
recovering from colorectal cancer and urged everyone to take advantage
of a colonoscopy as early as age 45.
At the request of Mrs. Johnson and her coalition, the Commissioners approved
and signed a proclamation declaring March 2004 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness
Month in Kent County. Commissioner Livie read the Proclamation which advised
that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths
in the County; and that Maryland has the third highest colorectal cancer
mortality rate among the states and the District of Columbia.
The Proclamation also advised that colorectal cancer is a highly preventable
cancer for which there are effective tests for detection, such as the
recommended colorectal cancer screening among Marylanders 50 years of
age and older. The Commissioners urged all County citizens to speak with
their loved ones and health care providers about the importance of regular
Mr. and Mrs. Haenlein - The Commissioners approved and signed a
proclamation declaring February 20, 2004 as the date on which the 50th
wedding anniversary of George and Elizabeth Haenlein, residents of Galena,
was celebrated and honored.
PROGRAM OPEN SPACE
Responding to the Commissioners' questions as to whether land may be purchased
for the expansion of public landings, Carter Stanton, Director of Public
Works, indicated that the cost of purchasing land has been prohibitive.
He added that his department is always alert to opportunities to increase
parking availability at public landings if and when they arise.
REGIONAL CORRECTIONS FACILITY
Correspondence was received via electronic mail from Lamonte Cooke, Warden,
Queen Anne's County, giving notice of a meeting of the Regional Correctional
Task Force on March 8th, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with Secretary Mary Ann
Saar and Assistant Secretary David Bezanson of the MD Department of Public
Safety and Correctional Services, at the Maryland Judicial Center, Annapolis.
UPPER SHORE REGIONAL COUNCIL
At 12:00 noon, Commissioners Roy Crow and William Pickrum, Chairman and
Vice Chairman of the Upper Shore Regional Council (USRC) hosted a lunch
meeting of the USRC Executive Board at 12:00 noon in the Commissioners
Hearing Room. The meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.
Correspondence was received from Lenny Howard, Chief of Regional Planning,
MD Transit Administration (MTA), MD Department of Transportation (MDT),
and sent to Charles C. Cawley, County Administrator, Caroline County,
responding to Mr. Cawley's previous letter that expressed the interest
of Caroline, Kent, and Talbot Counties to use Delmarva Community Services
(DCS) to provide public transportation services beginning in Fiscal Year
Mr. Howard confirmed Mr. Cawley's assertion that the use of DCS will require
the cooperative effort of the three counties, the MTA, DCS, and USTAR
in order to make this transition "smooth and orderly." Mr. Howard offered
the counties technical and regulatory guidance that will be needed to
facilitate this change of service providers, and suggested that the counties
schedule a meeting to include the three counties, Nancy Noonan of the
MTA, and himself.
As items to be addressed, Mr. Howard advised discussions about the feasibility
of this project and its administrative and policy implications. He also
advised that, if a decision is made to move forward with the project,
each county identify a staff member (a non-DCS employee) to work with
Memorandum was received from Marty T. Holden, Waste Management Coordinator,
with attached "Workplace Violence, Supervisors Incident Report" concerning
an assault on a County employee. Mr. Holden reported that the incident
occurred at the Nicholson Transfer Site on February 24, 2004. The incident
was investigated by the Sheriff's Office and charges were filed by the
employee against the Defendant. The employee did not require any medical
treatment and was not injured.
The Defendant, Daniel Roland Sherwood, of Worton, was a customer at the
Nicholson Facility during the incident. Mr. Holden requested that the
Commissions send a certified letter to Daniel Sherwood advising that he
is not permitted to use any of the three Kent County Solid Waste/Recycling
drop-off facilities. This request will be further discussed next week.
Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, reported that Kent County
has received two pieces of the Wye Oak tree and a bag of leaves from the
historical tree. Commissioner Pickrum recommended that Mr. Stanton contact
Leslie Raimond, Director of Kent County Arts Council, to seek creative
ideas for use.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, March 9, 2004 at 6:00 p.m.
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.