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Board of County Commissioners

March 30, 2004

The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum, presiding.

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

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $5,475,122.00.


Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent, Kent County Schools, appeared and presented the BOE's proposed Fiscal Year 2005 Unrestricted Budget of $22,327,112.00. The amount requested from the County is $14,289,943.00. She apologized that the budget adjustments promised to the Commissioners at their January 13th meeting were overdue, and expressed her hope that she will have them ready for presentation at the Commissioners' meeting soon, with corrections made and in a "reader friendly" format. She conveyed the greetings of James Sieman, President, and Alan Hanifee, Vice-President, of the BOE, who could not attend due to professional and family commitments.

As indicated in her correspondence to the Commissioners dated March 24, 2004, Dr. Ward explained that the FY 2005 Unrestricted Budget was prepared by a group effort including Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, and Dr. Joan Buffone, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, both of Kent County Public Schools. Dr. Ward noted that said budget contains an additional $1,138,968 in revenues over the current FY 2004 Unrestricted Budget of $21,188,143. This represents an increase of 5.38%.

Dr. Ward reported also that the increased State funding of $383,871 will be used to help the mission of successful learning for all students as well as the new requirements of the "No Child Left Behind" law. Dr. Ward explained that the BOE was faced with the following challenges in the preparation of its budget: a teacher and administrative staff shortage, the difficulty of recruitment of teachers, and the effort required to maintain a standard of professional and organizational excellence. She added that these challenges are evident throughout the State.

Commissioner Livie referred to the County-produced CD Rom, which was produced as a marketing tool to showcase the County's economic development. He invited Dr Ward's participation in the further enhancement of the CD to include more information about the County's schools and other educational opportunities for the families of business leaders and professionals who are considering establishing their businesses in the County. Dr. Ward agreed to participate in the project.

Dr. Ward also accepted Commissioner Livie's invitation to assist with a project that would link the County and the BOE's websites.

Dr. Ward continued her review of the FY' 05 Proposed Budget, noting that the budget meets most, but not all, of the BOE's needs. She believes that the most critical needs are met: the support of staff, a safe environment for students and staff, and the recruitment and continued professional development of highly qualified teachers. An example of the need to recruit more teachers and staff is the transition to all-day Kindergarten, required by the State to commence in the fall of 2007.

In response to the Commissioners' questions, Dr. Ward explained that all of the counties in the State are in competition with one another in the recruitment of teachers; there is no effort by the State to pool resources even though the entire State is faced with the same challenge to recruit teachers. Dr. Ward reported that of the students enrolled in teacher colleges, one-half do not graduate; the other half graduate, but leave their careers after five years. Effective incentives for the recruitment of teachers, she explained, are competitive salaries and programs that support teachers' professional development, for example, mentor programs.

Dr. Ward indicated that teacher salaries represent the core of the BOE's budget needs at 80% of the entire budget. She emphasized that the BOE is doing all that it can to limit class size, to hire new, quality teachers and to maintain them with competitive salaries.

Commissioner Livie emphasized that the BOE will have to prioritize its needs as all departments have done in the County, by targeting its key areas and issues. Commissioner Crow commented that when a percentage increase in teacher salaries is made across the board, the result is the widening of the gap between the salaries of teachers with seniority and the newly hired teachers.

Commissioner Pickrum expressed the appreciation of the Board for Dr. Ward's letter which reported the BOE's funding request. Commissioner Livie concurred, adding that the Board is excited about the opportunities for partnership with the BOE, and cited as examples the proposed Community Center, the High School renovations, etc. He also expressed the gratitude of the Board to the BOE which shared the expertise of Steve Wilson, the BOE's Information Technician, who served as a member of the County's IT Review Committee during its interviews of candidates for the IT specialist position.

Mike Waal, President of the Chestertown Chamber of Commerce, appeared and inquired as to whether or not the BOE has considered recruiting teachers from the private sector's unemployed individuals, to which Dr. Ward responded in the affirmative, citing the "Resident Teacher Program" which is a teacher-certification process for retired or unemployed professionals, sponsored and monitored by Chesapeake College.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Dr. Ward for her attendance and report.

Correspondence was received from Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent, Kent County Public Schools, expressing her thanks to Commissioner Pickrum for meeting and discussing with her the ways in which the County and the Public Schools can support each other to improve the services provided to the County's children. Dr. Ward indicated that the BOE also met with the staff of Parks and Recreation and have established a collaborative summer program for Kent's children.

Dr. Ward, in response to the request of the Commissioners, provided the amount of the full cost of funding the mid-year salary increase (1% and one step) that was given to the Kent County Public Schools staff in January 2004. She reported that the cost of funding that salary increase for a full year in Fiscal Year 2005 for all staff (certified and support staff) is $389,369.

Commissioner Crow reported that three "outstanding" companies have been interviewed for project manager and construction manager for the High School Renovation Project. Given the caliber of these companies, he expressed his optimism that this project will move forward very well, and that the County may be able to project a savings of $500,000 in expenses given the potential of these companies to reduce the time-line projected for this project.


At 1:25 p.m., the Commissioners held budget work sessions with the following: W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, Warden Ron Howell, Lorraine Sexton, Personnel Coordinator, Lori Kern, representing Maury, Donnelly, and Parr, Inc. (health insurance broker), Susanne Hayman, County Attorney/Human Resources Director and Janice Fletcher, Executive Assistant to the Commissioners. Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, and Ed Robinson, County Attorney, were also in attendance. The budget work session adjourned at 5:30 p.m.


As presented by P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, the Commissioners approved for grant application to be submitted to the Maryland Economic Development Assistance and Authority Fund, for the request of $52,500 for the purpose of having a Feasibility Study conducted for CFI.


A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the request of Rita Brantley, representing the CVMA, permitting the CVMA to stop at the Cross Street and High Street sides of the Court Yard during the procession planned through Chestertown, marking the "14 Stations of the Cross" on Good Friday, April 9, 2004, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Correspondence was received from Richard Robinson, Chair, CWRAC, requesting that the Commissioners appoint a replacement and a replacement alternate local government citizen representative from Kent County to serve on this Advisory Committee. The CWRAC advises the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and the MD Coastal Program on Coastal Program policy issues and is the main organization that citizens can contact to discuss their ideas and opinions about coastal resource issues. CWRAC also makes recommendations on various program issues, such as Tributary Strategies and Critical Area Legislation.


Correspondence was received from, Nellie D. Greenwood, indicating her resignation as a member of the Commission on Aging, after serving on the Commission for 20 years. A letter of appreciation will go forth to Mrs. Greenwood. At the recommendation of Mrs. Greenwood, the Commissioners approved Nancy Fernwalt to serve the unexpired term ending December 31, 2005.


Correspondence went forth to Margo G. Bailey, Mayor of Chestertown, from T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, in support of the Mayor and Council's continued primary leadership role for the 2005 CSAFE (Cooperative Supervision and Focused Enforcement, formerly known as "Hot Spots") Communities Consolidated Grant. He indicated that the County supports this project through Parks and Recreation youth activities, and that the Town's leadership role in this and all related grant projects will increase programming, fiscal, and administrative efficiency.


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

Millington Service Area - Patricia Gore, resident of Millington, appeared and, speaking on her own behalf and on behalf of other property owners in Millington, expressed complaint about what she believes to be a situation in which property owners in Millington were forced to hook-up to the new water and sewer system. Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, was also in attendance. Mrs. Gore explained that, in her opinion, many property owners in Millington have been prematurely billed for water and sewer services to which they have not yet been connected.

She also issued complaint about what she believes to be the inaccurate installations of grinder pumps. She inquired as to whether or not it is legal to be billed for services not being used, to which Ms. Hayman responded that it is legal for the County to bill the property owners for the benefit of the new water and sewer services in Millington, so long as the charge is not arbitrary or capricious ( e.g., using the charge in question to make a profit). Ms. Hayman pointed out that, concerning said water and sewer treatment services, that the County is losing revenue.

Mrs. Gore indicated that the cost for residents to have connection made to the new system ranges from $2,000 to $3,000, and that the cost to receive the new services is a burden to many property owners.

To Commissioner Crow's question as to whether or not the employment of local plumbers would be less expensive for Millington residents than that of the County's contractor, Mr. Morris responded that it might be less expensive. Mr. Morris emphasized that the work of a private contractor must comply with local and State regulations, but so long as regulations are met, local plumbers may be utilized.

To other concerns expressed by Mrs. Gore, the Commissioners responded that they have explained to the residents of Millington the necessity for the new water and sewer system, given the history of failing septic systems in that area which are polluting the water supply. The failing septic systems in Millington have had to be addressed because they constitute a health hazard most immediately to the community's drinking water.

Further, they advised that the Board will be pro-active about Mrs. Gore's concerns and will discuss with Jack Canan, Coordinator of Housing and Community Development, about possible sources of financial assistance for those residents of Millington who are not able to bear the cost of the connection of their property to the new water and sewer system.

Mrs. Gore requested that this discussion, with the inclusion of Mr. Canan, be continued at the Commissioners' meeting scheduled to take place in Millington on Tuesday, April 13th, at 6:00 p.m.

Mr. Morris commented on Mrs. Gore's concerns, indicating that, given any type of construction project, there is always the possibility of errors made by workers regardless of how diligently they work.

Commissioner Livie requested Mr. Morris' attendance at the Commissioners' meeting in Millington on April 13th.

Mr. Morris reported that a bid opening took place on March 23rd for the new water and sewer system contract in Millington, and that he recently was informed that the estimate on which the bid was based was underestimated by approximately $1 Million due to the sky-rocketing cost of steel and the State Highway Administration's requirements for the restoration of roads. Mr. Morris advised that he will determine options of handling this situation and will be forth-coming with more information for the Commissioners.

In terms of the status of the alleged leaking sewer lines in Millington, Mr. Morris reported that a camera crew is in the process of checking the lines for leaks.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Water and Wastewater System Grant Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture to grant a sum not to exceed $1,200,000 as it relates to the Millington Sewer Project.

Worton Service Area - The Commissioners approved the request of William M. Crowding, Registered Surveyor, representing Ernest Robinson, for one sewer and water allocation for 9.5 acres of his 9.9 acre parcel of land located at 25000 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, on Tax Map 20, Grid 4A, Parcel # 247.

Spring Cove/Green Lane Service Area - To the Commissioners' questions as to whether or not the properties in the County that are being billed for connection to water and sewer services are in fact connected to those service systems, Mr. Morris indicated that there is no mechanism of enforcement for those property owners to have that connection made. The new water and sewer systems were installed to prevent the continuation of a health hazard. Mr. Morris reported that there is a data bank of the property owners that should have been hooked up to the new systems.

The Commissioners expressed their determination that these files be reviewed and the respective properties be investigated as a means of enforcement.

Correspondence was received from Deborah A. Thomas, Capital Program Planning Division, Water Quality Infrastructure Program, Water Management Administration, of the Maryland Department of the Environment, (MDE), confirming receipt of Mr. Morris' pre-application for funding assistance from the MDE for the Allen's Lane Sewer Project.

Tolchester Service Area - Mr. Morris recommended that, given that no Public Works Agreement and Allocation Fee of $2,900.00 was received from Catherine Adams for her sewer allocation for Tax Map 35D, Parcel # 363 by the deadline of February 27, 2004 (as per notice of same sent to her in a letter dated January 30, 2004 by Mr. Morris), her sewer allocation for Tax Map 35D, Parcel # 363 should be rescinded.

Commissioner Crow recommended that Mr. Morris send a letter via certified mail to Mrs. Adams indicating that she must respond before the end of April 2004 in order to secure her allocation. The Commissioners advised that this procedure, of sending correspondence of this nature via certified mail, become a policy of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services for the purpose of accurate communication.

Correspondence went forth to Kay Lochary of Rock Hall in response to her request for a sewer allocation for Tax Map 35A, Parcel # 98, advising that her request will be placed on a list to be reviewed in the order in which it was received once the new Tolchester Growth Management policy is approved.

Fairlee Service Area - Notice went forth to residents that on Tuesday, April 6, 2004, the water distribution system will be flushed and that, thereafter, a flushing schedule will be established on a semi-annual basis during the Spring and in the Fall of each year, unless otherwise determined by the Department of Water and Wastewater Services (in which case residents will be notified). All hydrant flushing will be performed between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon. All residents were asked to refrain from washing laundry during these times in order to prevent clothes from becoming stained from sediment and/or iron that will be scoured from the water mains during these times.

Edesville Service Area - Notice also went forth to residents of Edesville indicating that on Tuesday, April 20, 2004, their water distribution system will be flushed between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon, advising of the same conditions and cautions.

Edesville Service Area/Kennedyville Service Area - Wayne Morris, Director of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared late in the day to announce that Rural Development has approved funding for the Edesville and Kennedyville Service Areas. Congressman Gilchrest and Senators Milkulski and Sarbanes have agreed to make a public announcement of these grant awards on Monday, April 19, at 1:00 p.m. at the County Government Center.

Water and Wastewater Plan - Memorandum was received from James M. Wright, Jr., County Engineer, recommending, along with Mr. Morris, that a workshop be conducted with the Commissioners pertaining to the 2004 Update of the Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan. The workshop has been scheduled for April 20th.


Bay Broadband Communications - The Commissioners approved and signed Memorandum of Understanding by and between the County Commissioners and Bay Broadband Communications (BBC) whereby the County agrees to rent tower space to BBC, on a non- exclusive basis, provided that technical plans when submitted by BBC for specific towers are satisfactory to the County and provided that the County and BBC reach agreement on lease terms. It was also noted in the MOU that BBC proposes to locate its principal office and create jobs in Kent County.

A memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, advising that George Smith will be moving out of the County and has resigned as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board.


Commissioner Crow inquired of Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, about the incorporated Towns' responses to the County's request that they support and sign a Memorandum of Understanding, committing themselves to the contribution of their share of the proposed 2% increase of the Hotel Rental Tax to the County. (A draft Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] was distributed in February to the Towns' for their review and consideration.)

Mrs. Van Pelt reported that the only communication that she has received was from the Kent County Lodging Association which indicated that their members have decided to sponsor a letter to be sent to the Towns, requesting them to waive the 2% and contribute the same in support of the County's tourism development.


A bid opening was conducted at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room for sealed bids received from qualified contractors for the rehabilitation of three homes situated in several locations within the County as HIP projects, Phase IV, Group 2, for work described as ranging from the repair/replacement of roofs and upgrade of electrical systems to the improvement of bathrooms and installation of replacement windows.

Bids were read by Commissioner Crow as follows:

H & H Builders, Marydel, DE......................................... $69,314.00

Quinnworks Quality Building, Centreville, MD.................................. $87,066.44

As recommended by Mr. Canan, the Commissioners approved to award contract to the lowest bidder, H & H Builders.


Correspondence was received from John W. Droneburg, Director, Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), advising that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) has established a deadline of one year from the date of the disaster declaration for obligating all Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding.

He also advised that Kent County's applications are being processed as expeditiously as possible, given the federal program's administrative requirements which he outlined in his letter. The total amount of funding requested as represented by the 65 project applications was $24 Million; the HMGP award to the State of Maryland was $5.5 Million.


Leslie Prince Raimond, Director, Kent County Arts Council, appeared and requested the County's continued level of support of the Arts Council in the amount of $5,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2005. In addition to Ms. Raimond, the following individuals appeared in support of the Arts Council: Carla Massoni, Dr. Ann Hennessy, Peter Heck, Jane Jewell, Mark Mumford, Sue Matthews, Lolli Sherry, Jim Landskroener, Gia Campana, Christine Bowman, Jasper Colt, Sarah Colt, Jane and Gordon Chapman. Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, and Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting, were also in attendance.

Ms. Raimond expressed the gratitude of the Arts Council for the County's financial support in the years past, noting that many counties in the State do not financially support the arts community. She emphasized the importance of the Arts Council and the art community in general by stating her opinion that they promote and enhance the quality of life and the economic development of the County.

Ms. Raimond introduced a packet of promotional materials produced by the River Arts Alliance which will function as a tool for communication among visitors, residents, and members of the arts community. She reviewed some of the recent programs and activities of the Arts Council, noting the Arts Council's relationship with the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and announced a new CD produced by the Arts Council. She reported that the Arts Council received two grants from the MD Endowment for the Arts which is indicative of the recognition the Arts Council is receiving at the State level.

Ms. Raimond invited and encouraged the Commissioners to attend any and all events sponsored by the Arts Council.

Carla Massoni, owner of the Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, announced a new program, "First Fridays'", sponsored by the Kent County Office of Tourism Development, the Kent County News, and the Downtown Chestertown Association. Ms. Massoni explained that "First Fridays'" is a celebration of art, antiques, literature, designers, and theater in downtown Chestertown, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, featuring special events, exhibitions, and extended hours of the participating businesses, galleries, theater, etc. For a full list of special activities and openings on specific "First Fridays", the public can visit the Kent County web site: www.kentcounty.com. Ms. Massoni distributed copies of the brochures produced for "First Fridays'" promotion.

Mark Mumford, band leader of the Kent County Marching Band, and Clerk of the Circuit Court, said that it was important for the citizens of the County to realize that an important source of financial support for the arts community would come from the incorporated Towns' contribution to the Hotel Rental Tax, noting the delegation of Bernadette Bowman, Tourism Director, by the Commissioners who has visited the Town Councils, encouraging their support of the Hotel Rental Tax. The greatest contributor to the County's Marching Band is the Arts Council.

Mrs. Van Pelt concurred about the importance of the Hotel Rental Tax, expressed her belief that the arts are a large part of what is marketed in the County's tourism industry, and praised Ms. Raimond's efforts which have strengthened the Arts Council.

Dr. Ann Hennessy, of Rock Hall, expressed her opinion that the economy of Rock Hall could not survive without the arts community, and outlined just a few of the many arts-related activities sponsored by residents of Rock Hall, such as "FallFest."

Commissioner Crow, on behalf of the Board, expressed his gratitude to Ms. Raimond and all the supporters of the Arts Council who were present for their attendance and input.


At the invitation of Commissioner Crow, Nelson Reichart, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Real Estate, Maryland Department of General Services, appeared for the purpose of assisting the County in the economic and real estate development of the LaMotte Property. P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, was also in attendance. Mr. Reichart praised the research, content and production of the LaMotte Property Committee's Report, highlighting the leadership of Mr. Troester.

Mr. Reichart distributed copies of a RFP (request for proposals), a request for letters of interest, and a joint development solicitation, each representing the development of a site in the State and which could serve as informative samples. He also provided the names of two development advisors located in the Annapolis area who would be able to help the County to define the parameters of the LaMotte property development in order to fit the County's needs, to help the County write proposals, and to provide the tools to evaluate potential economic packages.

Mr. Reichart explained that consultants for economic development should not be confused with land planners, who would consult about drainage issues, for example. The consultants that he recommended would assist the County in its determination of how to market the LaMotte property and to hone the County's vision for the use of the property. He also encouraged the County to contact the Maryland Department of the Environment as a source of grant funding as well as for its advice concerning "green buildings."

Commissioner Livie expressed the Board's interest in a mixed-use of the property, concurring with Mr. Reichart that the County is in need of assistance with its discernment of the feasibility of potential markets specific to Chestertown and its environs.

The Commissioners thanked Mr. Reichart for his attendance and for his advice.

The Commissioners approved payment of bill received in the amount of $2,500 (within budget) for survey conducted by Michael A. Scott as it relates to the LaMotte property.


At 12:15 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 Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, to matter relating to land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, was also in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 12:25 p.m.


At 1:00 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 Maryland.

Items of discussion included potential litigation and an issue reported concerning a potential conflict of interest.

The executive session adjourned at 1:10 p.m.


Correspondence was received from Lewis R. Riley, Secretary, MDA, providing the Commissioners with background of and the purpose of the SFMNP. This program is a federally-funded program that enables the State to issue checks redeemable at SFMNP farmers' markets located throughout Maryland, including Kent County. Senior recipients can buy fresh produce directly from farmers' markets and they learn healthier eating habits. The program benefits both the needy and the local farmers.

Mr. Riley explained that federal funding enables the MDA to reach only a portion of the needy seniors in each county, adding that it would be possible for local funds to expand the coverage for a particular region. Kent County may have access to such funds.

Mr. Riley invited the County to consider targeting its senior populations and offered the assistance of the MDA in this regard. The MDA administers the current SMNFP and would work with the County to distribute any designated funds for this purpose. Should the Commissioners have interest in this approach, they were asked to respond with a financial commitment by April 15, 2004.


The Commissioners approved the recommendation of Nancy Zinn, Executive Director, MDMHS, that Robert Denison, Janice Brathwaite, and Julia Jerscheid be reappointed for a second, three year term from July 1, 2004 to July 1, 2007 on the Regional Mental Health Advisory Committee.


At 12:35 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 1:00 p.m.


Correspondence was received from Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, advising that the Worton Project Site Plan, submitted by KRM Development Corporation, was removed from the April 1st Planning Commission Agenda and was rescheduled for review upon submission of needed information as required by the County Land Use Ordinance.


Commissioner Livie read the Proclamation announcing April 2004 as Fair Housing Month in Kent County. Jack Canan, Coordinator, Robin Spielman, Administrative Aide, and Harold Coleman, Housing Specialist, all of the Housing and Community Development Office, were in attendance. The Commissioners approved and signed Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of Reverend Frederick W. Jones, Jr. for his spiritual guidance, dedication and accomplishments during his twenty years of service at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church


At 12:25 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 Sheriff John Price to discuss a matter concerning public security in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, and Brooke Eyler of Atlantic Security, Inc. were also in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 12:35 p.m.


Commissioner Pickrum, speaking on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, extended formal recognition and appreciation on behalf of the citizens of Kent County to Mr. Henry Zukowski for his 18 years of service to this community. The Commissioners presented Mr. Zukowski with a framed plaque, and wished him a long and happy retirement. Others in attendance for this recognition were Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, Marty Holden, Supervisor of Waste Management, and Tina Coleman, Administrative Aide, both of the Department of Public Works, and co-workers, Sue McGinnis, Lloyd Layton, Gregg Welch, and Maurice Lins.


Commissioner Pickrum noted receipt of correspondence that was received from Jean W. Roesser, Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging (MD o A), and sent to Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc.(USA), responding to Mr. Burke's request for financial support with a commitment of $21,000 from the MD o A's Fiscal Year 2004 Senior Center Operating Fund to assist USA, Inc. Memorandum was received from Jana Anderson, of Chestertown, suggesting that the Senior Center facility be shared by seniors and community children and youth for joint evening activities.


Correspondence was received from John F. Price, Sheriff, which was sent to Dean Kindig, resident of Bay Shore Road, Chestertown, responding to Mr. Kindig's letter of complaint, dated March 20, 2004 regarding an on-going speeding problem on Bay Shore Road. Sheriff Price reported that he has instructed his staff to perform periodic speed enforcement check in the area in question. Sheriff Price also encouraged Mr. Kindig to speak once again with the MD State Police, and request that they provide additional coverage and enforcement in the area. Two letters were received via electronic mail from Dean Kindig, both dated March 24th, expressing his appreciation to Sheriff Price for his "speedy response and action."


Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, appeared and presented her report about the State Office of Tourism's Welcome Center Staff Seminar which was hosted by and took place in Kent County on March 22, 23, and 24, 2004. Laurie Crossley, Administrative Assistant for the Tourism Development Office, was also in attendance.

Mrs. Van Pelt read a quote published by the Kent County News of a comment made by one of the participants who said that it was the best seminar he had ever attended, and she reported her receipt of many phone calls and e-mails conveying the positive experiences of the seminar attendees. Included among these contacts, was a phone call from the State Office of Tourism extending its gratitude to the Commissioners for enabling the County to host the seminar and for the County's generosity. She presented to the Commissioners "thank you" gifts of shirts from the State.

Mrs. Van Pelt reviewed the itinerary of the three days, emphasizing the generous amount of cooperation and hospitality on the part of the County's participating businesses and government leaders representing the County and many of the participating Towns, inclusive of Delegate Sossi, Commissioner Livie, County Administrator, Ed Robinson, Elizabeth Watson of the Eastern Shore Heritage, William Ingersoll, Town Manager, Chestertown, Mayors Pisapia (Galena) and Jacobs (Rock Hall), Councilmen Blake (Galena), Comfort Suites of Chestertown, area restaurants, Rock Hall Trolleys, all of the County's museums, and many others.


Boy Scouts of America/Chestertown Troop # 130 - Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and introduced the following leaders of Chestertown Boy Scout Troop #130 (which is 75 years in existence): Scout Master Art Elliott, former Scout Masters and current Assistant Scout Masters, Bill Clark and Richard Budden, and Assistant Scout Masters Ted Batchelor, Bob Ramsey, Mark Blyman, Rose Wallace, and Jeff Green. Along with Mr. Troester, Mr. Elliott explained to the Commissioners the purpose of the request of Troop # 130 to utilize a portion of Turner's Creek Park for a designated pioneering site.

"Pioneering" is the name of one of the merit badges offered by the Boy Scouts of America and represents approximately nine specific achievements that are required of a Boy Scout in order to be awarded the Pioneer merit badge, for example the ability to splice rope and tie knots, a demonstrated use of rope-tackle, and the construction of a project using spars and ropes. Achievement of the Pioneering badge is usually conducted in a primitive site.

The Troop Leaders indicated that Troop # 130, with a membership of 60-plus boys, will abide by the "leave no trace"policy, assuring their respect of the condition of the property.

The Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, made at its March 2004 meeting, and the Executive Board of the Kent Museum, Inc., made on March 23rd, to grant permission to Boy Scout Troop # 130 to utilize a portion of Turner's Creek Park as a designated pioneering camping site. The portion they will use is located on the east side of Turner's Creek Road, behind the Kent Museum. (This portion of the Park is leased to the Museum.)

The Troop Leaders invited the Commissioners to participate in the first Pioneering camp-out.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, informed the Commissioners that Turner's Creek County Park was approved as a Chesapeake Bay Gateway Site by the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, of the National Park Service. Mr. Troester noted that, given this recognition, Turner's Creek County Park is now eligible to benefit from Gateway grants which could assist with the restoration and renovation of the Kent Museum located at this site.


Correspondence was received from Charles C. Cawley, County Administrator, Caroline County, which was sent to Lenny Howard, Chief of Regional Planning, MD Transit Administration, requesting, on behalf of the County Commissioners of Caroline, Kent, and Talbot Counties, additional time to ascertain if a regional transportation solution could be reached before decision is made about on the three options advised by the MD Transit Administration. Mr. Cawley advised that if a regional solution fails to materialize, Caroline County will liquidate the building and return to the MTA their original $650,000. However, he added, this outcome would probably end public transportation in Caroline County.


Commissioner Pickrum noted the memorandum that was received via electronic mail from Philip W. Hoon, a resident of Walnut Road, Chestertown. Mr. Hoon requested that, due to its deterioration, Walnut Road be patched and repaired or, preferably, resurfaced.

Commissioner Pickrum reported that the current fiscal year represents the first time in which the State will not be providing funding to county roads divisions; in previous years, revenue for roads came to local governments from the State's Highway Users' Tax Fund. Therefore, Kent County cannot expect $42,000 from the State for its roads division.

Commissioner Crow acknowledged this status, adding that there is currently a bill being considered by the State legislature to raise vehicle registration fees; therefore, there may be more funding available. He added that citizens can expect the re-funding of the Highway Users' Fund in the next fiscal year.


A motion was made by Commissioner Live, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the request of Butch Crew, Weed Control Coordinator, for the purchase of a 2004 Chevrolet 2500 4x4 pickup, which meets the weed control requirements, to replace the current pickup. The Weed Control Committee recommended this purchase at the price of $17,776.00 and indicated that there are more than sufficient funds in their budget to pay for the vehicle.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, described what he believed to be a safety hazard at Worton Park: the parking of visitors' vehicles along MD Route 297. Of the two options to resolve this hazardous situation considered by Mr. Troester, he recommended that the 1+ acres of the County's land which are adjacent to the Worton arena and garage be used as a parking lot for park visitors, and that a crosswalk be designated from the new parking lot to the Park proper. Mr. Troester advised that Sheriff Price was supportive of a designated crosswalk.

Responding to Commissioner Crow's question as to whether or not all the fields in Worton Park are being utilized as sporting fields, Mr. Troester answered in the affirmative. This matter will be further discussed.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 1:00 p.m.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President


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

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