The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today at
1:00 p.m. with the following present: Roy W. Crow and William W. Pickrum,
presiding. Commissioner Livie was away on personal leave. Commissioner
Pickrum arrived at 1:30 p.m.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $4,368,709.00.
At 1:00 p.m., Commissioner Crow held budget work sessions with the following:
Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, and Charlotte Coleman, Director of
Fiscal Services, both of Upper Shore Aging, Inc., and Wayne Morris, Director
of Water and Wastewater Services. Pat Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director,
and Ed Robinson, County Attorney, were also in attendance.
Upper Shore Aging, Inc. - Mr. Burke indicated that he would be
forth-coming with information needed to answer a number of questions posed
by the Commissioners and Mrs. Merritt which he did not have readily accessible,
for example, the delineation of areas in which Kent County's general operating
support ($103,540.00) is used, and the status of routes conducted by USTAR
Public Transportation in the County.
Department of Water and Wastewater Services - Wayne Morris reviewed
his proposed budget and noted that, during his preparation of it, it appeared
that the rate increases implemented in January are moving the County's
budget for water and sewer services towards the objectives and goals of
reducing the County subsidy to 15%. Mr. Morris added that this is the
first fiscal year in which he has been able to budget necessary repairs
and maintenance while, as the same time, being able to decrease the amount
of subsidy money needed from the previous year.
The budget work session adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
Correspondence was received via electronic mail from Mike Johnson, of
Chestertown, registering his disapproval of any further development of
housing and of the water and sewer system in Chesapeake Landing citing,
what he believes to be, the following reasons: the existent failing septic
systems, the threat to resident wildlife, and the destruction of the existing
wooded buffers that serve to slow-down ground- and rain-water run-off,
and which filter the water before it flows into the Bay via Mill or Worton
Creeks. Mr. Johnson is scheduled to meet with the Commissioners on April
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (DSS)
Correspondence was received from Patrick J. Carney, Director, Kent County
Department of Social Services, requesting funding for one, contractual
case management position in the DSS to be used for the purpose of administering
the non-mandated programs which Mr. Carney described in his letter, inclusive
of the Local Emergency Assistance program, the Rental Assistance Program,
and the Rental Assistance to Work Programs. The DSS' request for funding
would be on a year to year basis until the DSS is fully staffed. The total
salary package of an entry-level position is $27,236.00. This request
will be reviewed during the budget process.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTE WATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services,
appeared and reported on the following:
Piney Neck/Skinner's Neck/Wesley Chapel Service Area - The Commissioners
approved the recommendation of Mr. Morris that Leah Jester Kelley receive
one sewer allocation for the 10.713 +/- acres which constitute part of
Parcel # 378, Tax Map # 51, that is being subdivided from and being sold
of Ms. Kelley's total property of 12 +/- acres.
Edesville Service Area - One bid was received, at $195,572.00,
for the water line construction, which is $20,000.00 less than the total
Frank Hepbron, a resident of Rock Hall, was present and inquired as to
how the County will respond to residents who cannot afford to pay for
their water and sewer services.
Commissioner Crow and Mr. Morris both responded by encouraging those residents
to contact the County Commissioners' Office and the office of the Department
of Water and Wastewater Services as soon as they realize their inability
to pay. They advised that a payment schedule could possibly be worked
out for those individuals and sources of funding from Social Services
and grants will be explored.
Tolchester Service Area - The Commissioners approved Mr. Morris'
recommendation that the County contract with McCrone, Inc. (engineering
firm) to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether or not more
than ten additional connections may be made in compliance with the conditions
specified by McCrone, Inc.'s letter dated December 17, 2004 and included
in the "Conclusions and Recommendations" of the Tolchester Growth Management
The Growth Management Plan does specify that, without additional expense,
the County may provide 10 additional allocations which comply with McCrone's
recommendations. If the County wishes to exceed 10 additional connections
or to approve a connection that does not meet the conditions, McCrone
would need to reconstruct its computer model of the entire wastewater
collection system and evaluate the new scenarios. The fee for the reconstruction
of the computer model and evaluation of the scenarios is approximately
$3,500.00 if a college intern is employed to reconstruct the model and
input the data.
Millington Service Area - Mr. Morris introduced correspondence
which he received from Dora V. Brand of Millington, indicating that due
to the circumstances of Hurricane Isabel, her residence received severe
flood damage and has since been demolished. She has applied for a building
permit which has been approved, and she expects to rebuild by June 2004.
She reported that she is in the process of purchasing a new home. Ms.
Brand requested a waiver of her first two quarter bills, due to the damage
to her home as a result of the Hurricane and the fact that she has not
started to use the system.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum,
and and made unanimous by the majority of the Board to charge Ms. Brand
for water and sewer services based on the vacant lot fee, instead of the
residential fee, for the first two quarters, due to the hardship she incurred
as a result of Hurricane Isabel.
DREDGED MATERIAL MANAGEMENT
Correspondence was received from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup extending her
appreciation for the Commissioners' testimony in support of House Bill
1263 - "Dredge Deposits - Creation of Artificial Islands in the Chesapeake
Bay - Prohibited Use as Part of the Management Plan" before the House
Environmental Matters Committee (ENV) on March 10th.
Although House Bill 1263 received an "unfavorable report" from the ENV,
Delegate Walkup indicated her intention to file legislation again with
the following phrase removed from the Dredged Material Management Plan:
"the construction of Artificial Islands to be used as containment sites
for the disposal of dredge materials as an option for consideration for
future planning sites."
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (EMA)
The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution as it relates to the
Commissioners having the authority to participate in Maryland Emergency
Management Assistance Compact in accordance with the terms and conditions
contained in the Maryland Annotated Public Safety Code Section 14-801
to advance, organize and implement comprehensive emergency preparedness,
which shall be in the nature of a compact and agreement among participating
entities that have adopted similar resolutions or ordinances.
Correspondence was received from Anthony Myers, Public Service Commission,
Chair, Emergency Number Systems Board, of the Department of Public Safety
and Correctional Services, requesting that the EMA review and update the
strategic plans of its jurisdiction in the enhancement and utility of
9-1-1 system. For the record, the Emergency Number Systems Board's interest
in this information derives from its statutory authority to fund 9-1-1
enhancements under the Public Safety Article of the Annotated Code.
The data requested will support its funding strategy and the need for
any legislative adjustment to the State's 9-1-1 fee structure. A copy
of this correspondence was forwarded to Robert B. Rust, Jr., Emergency
Management Director. Mr. Rust appeared and recommended that the EMS program
be expanded and advised that within his Fiscal Year 2005 budget proposal,
he is requesting the amount of $60,000 to cover employment of two EMT's
to provide availability of a EMT to accompany the paramedic on emergency
He further recommended that salary needs of the dispatchers be considered
with a COLA and increment ($2,000@). He also recommended creation of a
Emergency Communication Specialist (ECS) II to provide more incentive
Mr. Robinson noted if the Commissioners wish to consider creation of this
new position, a job specification must be prepared as well as factored.
Mr. Rust's recommendations will be further discussed during the budget
The Commissioners approved and signed the following Permit: a Combination
Multiple Gaming Device/Raffle Permit for Chester River Hospital Center,
Chestertown, to take place at its fund-raising event at the Kent School
in Chestertown on April 17, 2004, from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
HOTEL RENTAL TAX
Correspondence was received from Danielle Hanscom, President, Kent County
Lodging Association, reporting that, at its Spring meeting on March 24,
2004, the Lodging Association decided to support the Commissioners' initiative
to increase the lodging tax, provided that the additional funds raised
(the entire 2%) be devoted solely to the promotion and marketing of tourism
in the County.
Ms. Hanscom advised that the Lodging Association believes that tourism
is one of the pillars of Kent County's economy, and added that the lodging/sales
tax total of 10% is not insignificant. She reported that the members of
the Lodging Association went along with the initiative because this area
has great potential as a tourist destination, and because they felt that
if there was a significant effort made to advertise the County, the entire
community would benefit.
Memorandum was received from Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, advising
of notice received by her office indicating that the eight elevation projects
included in the County's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) application
must be surveyed. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) received
funding for the surveys from its federal counterpart.
Ms. Moredock also advised that the presence of surveying teams does not
indicated that the pertinent properties are definitely and imminently
going to be elevated. Because this work is only preliminary, there is
no guarantee of approval for the elevation project; funding is contingent
upon availability and the State's approval.
Corresponding to Ms. Moredock's memorandum was a "Hurricane Isabel HMGP
Status Report - March 2004"that was received from MEMA. Included in this
Status Report were the following:
- all 65 applications have been reviewed for applicant and project eligibility,
completeness, and accuracy; complete and accurate applications for eligible
physical projects are now being submitted to the State Clearinghouse for
interagency review (required by the federal government);
- a benefit-cost analysis, federally required, is currently being performed
for several infrastructure projects;
- all projects determined cost beneficial and feasible will be reviewed
by the State's Mitigation Committee; applications selected for funding
will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for
- HMGP funds are awarded to local government entities. As such, project
implementation is the responsibility of the County.
For elevation projects, the County will select a construction contractor
through a competitive bidding process and will be paid by the County.
- FEMA has established a deadline of one year from the date of the disaster
declaration for obligating all funds. The State anticipates making funding
decisions months in advance of this deadline.
- HMGP funds cannot be used for new construction, elevation of second
or vacation homes, repairs, or elevation work that has already been undertaken.
KENT COUNTY BUSINESS CENTER AT WORTON
The Commissioners approved recommendations submitted by Tom Beckett, Chairman,
Economic Development Advisory Board, as it relates to marketing ideas
for the Business Center at Worton.
The Commissioners approved and signed contract with Unity Landscape Design/Build,
Inc. for the County Government Center and Pardoe's Lawn & Tree Service,
Inc. for the Courthouse, Detention Center and Library as it relates to
At 3.55 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board 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
The executive session adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (MDE)
Correspondence was received from Jeffrey L. Rein, Deputy Program Administrator,
Wastewater Permits Program, Water Management Administration, MDE, advising
that a tentative determination on the application for the Mears Great
Oak Landing Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant discharge permit has
been made, and that a public hearing on the proposed permit has been scheduled
to take place on May 6, 2004, at 11:00 a.m. in the Kent County Public
Library Meeting Room in Chestertown.
PARKS AND RECREATION
The Commissioners approved the recommendation of Jeff Troester, Director
of Parks and Recreation, that F. and C. Catering and Sons be awarded the
Worton Park and Betterton Beach concession agreements for the 2004 season,
contingent upon satisfactory completion of all licenses, insurance and
Health Department requirements.
At 2:35 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session
with Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, to discuss personnel matters
in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated
Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
REGIONAL CORRECTIONS FACILITY
Correspondence was received from Kenneth S. Carpenter, Technical Assistance
Manager, of the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), U.S. Department
of Justice, in response to the Kent and Queen Anne's County Commissioners'
request of March 9th, conveying the decision of the NIC Jails Division
that no additional assistance would be granted for the establishment of
a regional corrections system.
At a recent regional jail meeting, Warden Howell was advised that Kent
County's projected share of a feasibility study would be $66,250 of the
total $265,000 if approved.
No action was taken.
Correspondence was received from Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, Upper
Shore Aging, Inc. (USA) which was sent to Jean W. Roesser, Secretary,
Maryland Department of Aging (MDoA), extending his gratitude on behalf
of USA for the funding of $11,753 in addition to the $21,000 in funding
which the MDoA has provided Area Agency on Aging USA, Inc. for the current
fiscal year. Mr. Burke indicated that the $21,000 will be used to support
the operations of the Senior Center; the $11,753 will be used to support
"five specific programs" of the Senior Center.
Correspondence was received from Dean Kindig, resident on Bay Shore Road,
Fairlee, via electronic mail (dated April 5th), indicating his opinion
that the response of the Sheriff's Office to his complaint of March 20th,
by patrolling Bay Shore Road for speeding vehicles, was effective only
during those days in which the patrol cars were present.
Mr. Kindig requested the County's consideration of alternative measures,
such as permanent installation of signage and rumble strips, the use of
radar, and a more visual presence of police. Mr. Kindig once again emphasized
his concern for the safety and the quality of life of residents on Bay
Shore Road due to the illegal speeds of vehicular traffic on Bay Shore
SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE (SCS)
COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER LAWN
Correspondence was received from Karen L. Miller, District Manager, Kent
Soil and Water Conservation District, Teri Batchelor, MD Department of
Natural Resources Service Forester of Kent County, and the Boards of Supervisors
which they represent, for permission to plant a tree on the front lawn
of the County Government Center on 400 High Street in memory of Walter
The Commissioners approved the request for a tree to be planted in memory
of Mr. Harris. Ms. Miller will be requested to contact Carter Stanton,
Public Works Director, for tree location.
UPPER SHORE AGING (USA)
Correspondence was received from 34 citizens requesting that the Commissioners
consider allocating all of the funds as requested by USA in the County's
budget for the next fiscal year. All 34 people expressed their opinion
that many senior citizens in the County depend on services provided by
USA and the Senior Center, adding that, without the County's funding,
many of these services for seniors may have to be cut.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, April 13, 2004, at 6:00 p.m., at the Millington
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.