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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

April 27, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Scott D. Livie and William W. Pickrum, presiding. Commissioner Roy Crow was not present due to personal reasons.

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

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $4,026,822.00.


BAYSHORE ROAD

Correspondence was received via electronic mail from Dean Kindig, resident of Bayshore Road in Fairlee, issuing complaint about what is in his opinion the excessive speeding of vehicular traffic on Bayshore Road, inclusive of cars, public school buses, trucks, and dump trucks. He requested that the Commissioners ask Sheriff Price to position his officers in the Kindig's driveway, and that the officers track the speed of the passing traffic using radar. Mr. Kindig emphasized his opinion that the speeds of said traffic are causing a serious safety hazard in his community, and that the quality of life in his community has diminished as a result of the situation which he described.

In response to the correspondence received from Dean Kindig, Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, submitted memorandum with recommendation pertaining to the complaint received.

The Commissioners requested Mr. Spray to purchase and install rumble strips that can be glued to tar and chip surfaced roads. The cost for the strips would be $216.00; the installation of warning signs for the rumble strips will also be required. The Commissioners also approved for placement of yellow diamond placards on the "reduced speed ahead" sign post in order to alert traffic to the speed limit on Bayshore Road.

The Commissioners approved the expenditure of the rumble strips and signs at an estimated cost of $400.00, to be funded out of the Highway Users Fund. Mr. Kindig will be advised of the Board's action.

Memorandum was received from Sheriff John Price regarding speed enforcement on Bayshore Road and the complaints issued by Mr. Kindig about what he believes to be excessive speeding by vehicles on Bayshore Road. The Sheriff reported that speed enforcement is routinely performed throughout the County and will continue to conduct speed enforcement of Bayshore Road as time allows. Sheriff Price also provided a copy of a recent log detailing the date, hours on scene, and the number of warnings and citations issued on Bayshore Road.


BETTERTON BEACH

Ann Morrison Gay, of Rigby Bluff, appeared and expressed her objection to a recent approval made by the Commissioners to install three pilings at the Betterton pier for the use of the boat that transports employees to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. She questioned enforcement procedures when the pilings are used by non-authorized persons.

The Commissioners have taken her concerns under advisement and will request the Public Works Director and U.S. Coast Guard to provide judgement on potential safety issues. Ms. Hayman felt this was a "grandfathered" use. The application for permit for the pilings is still pending.


BOARD OF EDUCATION

As requested by Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Schools, the Commissioners approved and signed letter to be forwarded to the Rural Utilities Service in support of the grant application submitted by the Kent County Public Schools for developing Distance Learning Network centers in five rural communities in Kent County. The initiative supports the County's Economic Development Plan and the general plan to increase services to citizens throughout the county.


CABLE TV
ATLANTIC BROADBAND

Correspondence was received from Steve Grossman, Vice President and General Manager, Atlantic Broadband, announcing that May 24, 2004 will mark the official launch of the Atlantic Broadband brand. He reported that Atlantic Broadband has begun work to upgrade the cable network in Delmarva communities, as well as provide High Speed Internet Service. This "always on" Internet Service will be available to everyone in the community, with special values for those who combine them with their video services. Mr. Grossman reported that the entire Delmarva upgrade will be completed by December of 2005.


COUNTY-OWNED VEHICLE

A bid opening took place on April 23, 2004, at 2:00 p.m. at the Public Works Complex, for a County-owned vehicle. The bids received were as follows:

- Vehicle No. 1 1986 Chevrolet Scottsdale Pickup Truck, with air conditioning, power steering, AM/FM stereo, mileage 183,839 miles in as is condition;
Charles Messer .........................................................$107
Anna Riggin .............................................................$200
Wallace Henry ..........................................................$500
William D. Thompson .............................................$600
Cana Motors .............................................................$601
Charles Starkey ........................................................$801

- Vehicle No. 2 1997 Ford Crown Victoria marked patrol vehicle, mileage 112,485 miles, in as is condition;
Charles Messer .........................................................$107
Anna Riggin .............................................................$200
Cana Motors ............................................................ $807

The Commissioner awarded the sale of the vehicles to the highest bidder as follows:

Vehicle # 1 to Charles Starkey of Church Hill at $801.00.

Vehicle # 2 to Cana Motors, of Cana, Virginia at $807.00.


COURT HOUSE

The Commissioners reviewed the memorandum received from Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, reporting that, as directed by the Commissioners at their April 20th meeting, he spoke with Judge Price regarding a new sign to be located at the Court House. Mr. Stanton indicated Judge Price's advice that the 6-inch bronze numbers and letters, such as the one on the Town of Chestertown's Office, would be more appropriate than a wooden sign. Mr. Stanton reported three suggestions for the presentation of the sign ranging from $368 to $2,244.50.

The Commissioners reviewed the suggestions and indicated that other, more cost effective options should be investigated. No further action was taken at this time.


DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

Recognition - Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, was awarded the "Decision Maker of the Year Award" by the MD Rural Water Association at its annual conference, April 24 - 28, 2004, in Ocean City, MD.

Tolchester Service Area

Correspondence was received from Tracy Stone, of Tolchester, requesting information as to the maximum number of homes along Maryland Parkway in Tolchester which can be served on a 2-inch sewer line. Ms. Stone reported that she is trying to purchase a lot on Maryland Parkway which is served by a 2-inch line, and that the purchase cannot proceed until, as she believes, she receives said information.

As a result of contacting Walid Saffouri, Chief, Project Management Division II, Water Quality Infrastructure Program, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), Ms. Stone reported the following information received from Mr. Saffouri: the manual of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that a 2-inch line can serve up to six homes; however, given the length of line on Maryland Parkway (.4 miles); Mr. Saffouri could not say whether this line could, in fact, serve as many as six homes.

Correspondence was received from Barry L. Ebersole, Branch Manager, McCrone, Inc. (Engineering), providing the results of McCrone's analysis of the Tolchester Wastewater Collection System and in response to Tracy Stone's letter (cit. above). Mr. Ebersole explained that the analysis was undertaken to determine what impact to the collection system has occurred as a result of the allocation of 37 additional connections to the Tolchester Wastewater Collection System beyond the original connections to the system that were constructed in 1996.

McCrone's analysis also included the impact of another 13 connections to the collection system. These 13 future connections include the three remaining connections to complete the original growth allocation of 40 homes and 10 possible future connections.

Mr. Ebersole further explained that the information which Mr. Saffouri supplied Ms. Stone was based on design criteria that does not apply to the Tolchester Collection System. Ms. Stone's reference from MDE is for a system in which velocity is never over 2 feet per second (fps); the Tolchester Collection System is designed to have velocities over 2 fps to prevent deposition of solids in accordance with MDE guidelines.

Mr. Ebersole concluded that, contrary to Ms. Stone's statement to the Commissioners, there is no problem with the 11 pumps connected along Maryland Parkway. The number of pumps which can be connected to any size main is dependent upon a number of factors such as: location relative to downstream end of the collection system; length of the main; size of the connecting main; geometry of the collection system; therefore, it is his opinion that 11 pumps can connect to the 2-inch collection main in Maryland Parkway, but not one more unless the collection main in MD Route 21 is upgraded.


EARLY ACTION COMPACT

Memorandum was received from Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its designations on ozone health standards on April 15, 2004, and identified Kent and Queen Anne's Counties as a moderate nonattainment area within the boundary designations for the 8-hour ozone standards for the State of Maryland. Although the County has not received official notice from the EPA or Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) that the joint Kent and Queen Anne's Counties' Early Action Compact has not been accepted, this EPA nonattainment area announcement serves the same purpose.

Ms. Moredock reported also that, according to the EPA, its next step in this nonattainment process is to work directly with the MDE to develop control requirements for Kent and Queen Anne's Counties to be implemented in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) by June 15, 2007.

Additionally, according to the EPA's information, these requirements will have to demonstrate how the Kent and Queen Anne's Counties nonattainment area will meet the 8-hour standard by the 2007 deadline. Further, according to the EPA's information, Kent and Queen Anne's Counties are not included in the Baltimore nonattainment area.

Ms. Moredock also reported that, according to the EPA, the Kent and Queen Anne's Counties nonattainment area maximum attainment date for clean ozone is June 2010. She provided with her memorandum the EPA boundary designation chart for the State of Maryland.


ELECTRIC RATES

Correspondence was received from Patricia A. Smith, People's Counsel, providing an update on the recent developments in the electric restructuring process in Maryland. Pursuant to the Public Service Commission's Order, Pepco and Conectiv have now completed the bidding process for wholesale power to serve residential standard offer service (SOS) customers in those territories.

Beginning July 1, 2004, the bill for Pepco residential customers will increase about 16% or about $14 per month. Conectiv's residential customers will see a 12% average increase in rates, which will result in an average increase of about $11 per month. These new rates will be in effect from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005.

Ms. Smith reported that customers may use the provided toll-free Electricity Rates Hotline to address their residential customer calls concerning the rate increases. The number is: 1-866-601-2233.


GAMING/RAFFLE PERMIT

The Commissioners approved and signed the following Permit: a Combination Multiple Gaming Device/Raffle Permit for the organization Relay for Life, to be held at the Chestertown Elks Lodge, in Chestertown, on June 19, 2004, 6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight, and the raffle alone throughout the County until August 21, 2004.


HOTEL RENTAL TAX

Mayor Margo Bailey of Chestertown appeared and expressed the support of the Town Council for the Hotel Rental Tax with the condition that the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pertaining to the Hotel Rental Tax be revised to include a statement that clearly indicates that the contribution of the incorporated Towns' share of the proposed 2% increase of the Hotel Rental Tax to the County be specifically used, and only used, for the promotion of advertisement.

(For the record, the original MOU included the statement that the funds representing the incorporated Towns' waiver of the 2% would be used in support of the County's tourism development.)

Mayor Bailey initiated discussion about the benefits to all of the incorporated Towns and to all of the communities of Kent County as a result of the advertisements and articles promoting tourism in the County in various magazines, such as the most recent article in the latest edition of Chesapeake Life. She emphasized that the expense of such advertisement is too great a burden for the Towns.

Commissioner Livie concurred and added that it would likewise be a burden to the County's budget without the assistance of the revenue generated by the Hotel Rental Tax.

Commissioner Pickrum emphasized that the Hotel Rental Tax is a lodging tax that is paid by those who room at any of the local lodging facilities. He reported that no other county in the State imposes a lower tax than that of Kent County, and expressed his opinion that the proposed 5% (from 3%) Hotel Rental Tax is reasonable.

Commissioners Livie and Pickrum agreed to revise the MOU as requested by the Town of Chestertown, adding that suggestions about the development of tourism are welcomed.

Commissioner Livie stated that the Board was disappointed by the response of the Town of Rock Hall to the proposed MOU, and indicated that he believes that the response may have been the result of a misunderstanding by Rock Hall as to the purpose of the Hotel Rental Tax.

Commissioner Livie suggested that the Commissioners and Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, meet with Rock Hall's Town Council for further discussion. Commissioner Pickrum concurred.

The Commissioners advised Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, and Bernadette Bowman, Tourism Director, of conversation held with Mayor Bailey. The Commissioners advised that the Town may need assistance from time to time in forwarding requested tourism information packets.

Mrs. Van Pelt advised that is a Tourism Office function and the Town should feel free to pass all mailing requests to her office to process which would relieve the Town of this time and expense.


KENT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

A copy of correspondence directed to Dr. C. Devadason, Health Officer, Queen Anne's County, from Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer of Kent and Caroline Counties was received which informed the Queen Anne's County Health Department of his decision to dissolve the Tri-County Mental Health arrangement as of August 31, 2004 due to a persistent fiscal deficit, which now totals over $500,000.00, and due to projections that this deficit is expected to worsen.

Dr. Devadason concurred with Dr. Spencer with regards to the fact that Queen Anne's County Mental Health Clinic does not meet its expenses, and hence is the reason for the deficit and the subsidy. Dr. Devadason expressed what he referred to as his optimism that, collectively, the three counties could reach a "no deficit status" in a year or two, with diminishing subsidies each year.

Given this letter from Dr. Spencer, Dr. Devadason, reported that he believes his options are limited and are as follows: 1. Cease the clinic operation as of October 31, 2004, or 2. Operate as an adjunct to the Queen Anne's County Health Department with the possibility that the deficit will be larger and long term since they will be a single entity.

Dr. Devadason concluded his memorandum by stating that he is in the process of evaluating the program and the status of its finances. Correspondence was received from the Board of County Commissioners, Queen Anne's County, referring to the decision made by Caroline and Kent Counties to withdraw from the mental health program, thereby dissolving the Regional Mental Health System that has provided outpatient mental health services in Queen Anne's, Caroline, and Kent Counties, administered by the Caroline County Health Department.

The Board expressed their concern that the mental health clinics in each of the three Counties are the only providers of mental health services. The Commissioners of Queen Anne's County also reported that, should the clinic services be discontinued, there would be over 2,000 clients/patients who would lose mental health service, and that those costs that would have been used in support of those clients/patients' mental health services would then be shifted to the County governments via law enforcement and detention costs.

The Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners indicated their awareness that the Regional Mental Health System has operated with deficits for the past few years, since the change over from grants to fee-for-service arrangement, and that the health officers have subsidized the service within their overall appropriations that are received from the State and counties.


Correspondence was received from Hanson Meikle, Executive Director, Kent Youth, Inc., of Chestertown, expressing his support of The Regional Mid-Shore Mental Health Services, and stating his belief that the residents of Kent Youth, Inc., which come from the Eastern Shore counties that include Kent, Queen Anne's, and Caroline, have long benefitted from the services that they have received from Mid-Shore Mental Health.

A petition, signed by 26 County residents, was received expressing opposition to the closure of the Regional Mid-Shore Mental Health Services in Kent, Caroline, and Queen Anne's Counties, and to the privatization of public mental health services.


KENT COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL (KCHS)/PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT (PIA)

Ms. Hayman advised that Sheriff Price received a substantial Public Information Act (PIA) request related to the recent incident at KCHS. Ms. Hayman advised Sheriff Price to contact Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) and bring the matter to LGIT's attention since they will provide any needed legal liability representation and therefore may wish to handle the PIA response.

Sheriff Price later advised Ms. Hayman that he contacted LGIT, and that Sherri Butler, Claims Analyst of LGIT, indicated that LGIT felt Ms. Hayman could handle the PIA response, which would save legal expense to LGIT. Since this matter is indirectly connected with a juvenile case pending against another child, the Commissioners felt that it was best to offer Mr. Strong the opportunity to draft the response.


LEGAL COUNSEL

At 10:50 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session 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 proposed economic development projects.

The executive session adjourned at 11:10 a.m.


MARYLAND STATE POLICE

Captain Martin E. Knight, Commander, Maryland State Police (MSP), appeared and presented to the Commissioners the yearly statistics for the Kent County Narcotics Task Force from 1998 through 2003 and statistics of "Part I" crimes (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, breaking and entering, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) that occurred in Kent County from 1975 through 2003. Sheriff John Price was also in attendance.

The following is a comparison of statistics pertaining to Part I crimes in Chestertown and in the County: 2002 2003 Chestertown 279 179 (-100) Kent County 229 193 (- 36) Captain Knight reported that, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting System, Kent County experienced the lowest crime rate in 2003 since statistics of crimes were recorded in 1975: most of the Part I crimes represented larceny; there were no murders; there were three rapes.

In response to the Commissioners' questions, Captain Knight indicated his belief that one of the main reasons for the low crime figures in 2003 was the work of the two Kent County Narcotic Task Forces (a program begun by Sheriff Price in 2003) and the combined efforts of those task forces with the work of the MSP.He explained that the dramatic drop in the occurrences of robberies and breaking and entering may have been, to a large extent, the result of a reduction in the purchase of drugs taking place within the County, the incentive to steal related to drug addictions and the desperate need for money with which to purchase drugs.

Captain Knight further explained, in response to the Commissioners' questions, that the majority of drug purchasing is currently taking place primarily in Philadelphia and Middletown, DE, and that mostly pertaining to cocaine and heroin. He added that, although the MSP does not request much assistance from the Federal government, assistance is always available when needed.

Commissioner Pickrum advised that there is a perception held by some citizens in Kent County that the MSP chooses to conduct its enforcement more frequently in Queen Anne's County than in Kent County. Captain Knight responded by reporting that there is a minimum of two troopers per shift assigned to Queen Anne's County, and the same assigned to Kent County.

He also reported that, by virtue of the comparatively larger population in Queen Anne's County, there would, therefore, be more numerous crimes attempted/committed in that County than in Kent County.

Another example of what may also be contributing to that perception is the fact that the troopers for both Counties are assigned out of the same barrack; when there's the need for more than two troopers to respond to an incident in Queen Anne's County, the troopers assigned to Kent County would have to be directed to assist the troopers in Queen Anne's County.

Discussion then ensued about the need for greater financial incentives to attract and to maintain the employment of deputy sheriffs in Kent County. Captain Knight indicated that, whenever possible, troopers are assigned to counties in which they were or are currently residents.

Commissioner Livie, on behalf of the Board, expressed to Captain Knight that the Commissioners would appreciate additional staffing of the MSP in Kent County, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, and indicated that a letter would go forth to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor requesting the same, as well as the establishment of a full-service MSP barrack to serve the County. Currently, Kent, Caroline, and Dorchester Counties are the only counties in the State that do not have a full-service MSP barrack.

On behalf of the County, Commissioner Pickrum expressed his appreciation to Captain Knight for his attendance and report and to the MSP for their law enforcement service in Kent County.


PERSONNEL

At 11:10 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 11:35 a.m.


PLANNING

Correspondence was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, reporting that on May 6th, the Planning Commission will review a site plan submitted by the Rock Hall Church of God for the construction of a 3,500 square foot church building located on MD Route 20 in the Fifth Election District adjacent to the Edesville Ballfield. This property is zoned "V" Village.

Given that the County is an adjoining property owner, the Planning Commission invite the Commissioners to comment of this proposed site plan.


PROCLAMATION

National Safe Boating Week - Barbara Anthony, former Flotilla Commander, Gerry Inglesby, Flotilla Commander, and Ken Peregoy, Flotilla Vice-Commander, all of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Volunteer Component of the 5th Southern District, appeared relating to the National Safe Boating Week. They advised of programs available, such as Vessel Safety Checks and Safe Boaters classes, and emphasized the importance of wearing life jackets while boating.

As requested, the Commissioners affirmed and supported the goals of National Safe Boating Week by proclaiming the week of May 22 to 28, 2004 as National Safe Boating Week in Kent County.

Law Day 2004 - Genie Wootten, Esq., President, Richard Cookerly, Esq., member, Tamal Banton, Esq., member, and Susanne Hayman, Esq., member and County Attorney, all representing the Kent County Bar Association, appeared in recognition of Law Day.

Included in the Proclamation were the following points of recognition: that May 17, 2004 is the 50th anniversary of the decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and that the Kent County Bar Association is celebrating Law Day by sending bar association members to every middle and high school in the County to offer educational programs about Brown v. Board of Education.

The Commissioners, acknowledging this milestone case and its moral and legal imperative of equality under the law, and renewing their commitment to a society of equality and opportunity and to a recognition of the value and richness of the diversity of Kent County as a people, proclaimed May 1, 2004 as Law Day.

The Commissioners urged Kent County citizens, schools, businesses, and media to use this occasion to dedicate themselves to preserve and strengthen the rule of law.

Tree-Mendous Month - April 2004 - In support of Tree-Mendous Maryland, a Program of the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, Commissioner Pickrum, representing the Board, read a Proclamation at the Arbor Day Poster Awards Ceremony that took place at 1:15 p.m. at the Court House yard, hosted by the Maryland Forest Service and Kent County Forestry Board. The Commissioners selected winners of the third grade Arbor Day Poster Contest as follows:


First Place - Emma Harvey, HHGES,
Second Place - Karlie Alexandria Williams, MES,
Third Place - Devan Bowser, HHGES,
Fourth Place - Ben Hillyer, RHES,
Fifth Place - Cybill Allspach, WES.


RECOGNITION

Romie Johnson, County Roads Division Crew Leader, was recognized by the Commissioners for his 18+ years of service as a County employee. Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, and Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, were also in attendance.

Commissioner Pickrum expressed the appreciation of the Board and the County for Mr. Johnson's dedicated to the citizens and communities of the County. In celebration of Mr. Johnson's retirement, the Commissioners presented Mr. Johnson with a cake and a plaque of recognition.


SENIOR CENTER

Correspondence was received from Jean W. Roesser, Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging (MD o A), that was sent to Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc., indicating that the MD o A was pleased to have supplemented the Senior Center with $21,000 in unencumbered State Senior Center Operating Funds for the purpose of alleviating the Senior Center's current fiscal dilemma experience.

Ms. Roesser also reported that for Fiscal Year 2005, the MD o A intends to make every effort to disburse as much of the anticipated Senior Center Operating Fund as possible. She advised Mr. Burke that the MD o A could not guarantee the availability of additional funds for similar purposes in the future, and encouraged him to plan the Senior Center Operating Budget accordingly.


STATE BUDGET
KENT COUNTY PROJECTS

Correspondence was received via fax transmission from Delegate Mary Roe Walkup inclusive of the 90-day Report of the State Budget that pertains to projects in Kent County.

The 90-Day Report included:

- Direct Aid and Retirement Payments, Estimated State Spending on Selected Health and Social Services;

- Selected State Grants for Capital Projects (i.e. Kent County High School renovations, and Chesapeake College projects);

- Community Mental Health/Addictions/Developmental Disabilities (i.e. Kent Center, Inc.);

- Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Loan, i.e. Chestertown (nutrient removal) and Kennedyville (collection system upgrades) Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP), a Millington WWTP, and bluff control in the Town of Betterton; - Water Supply Assistance Loan (i.e. a water system in West Millington); - Waterway Improvement, i.e. Bayside Public Landing (replacement of bulkhead and finger piers), Cannon Street (replace bulkhead), Turner's Creek (replace breakwater), Wilmer Park (bulkheading);

- the Kent County Recreation and Community Complex.


STATE TAX RATE

Memorandum was received from Sheila C. McDonald, Esq., Executive Secretary, State of Maryland Board of Public Works, reporting that, in accordance with Section 8-134 of the State Finance and Procurement Article, Annotated Code of Maryland , the State Board of Public Works, at its April 21st meeting, determined that the Fiscal Year 2005 State tax rates on real property subject to the tax will be:

Real Property of Public Utilities ................................... 33 cents per $100 of the full assessed value;

All Other Real Property ................................................. 13.2 cents per $100 of the full assessed value.


TOURISM

Commissioner Livie reported that Bill Ingersoll, Town Manager, has expressed concern that the County Tourism Office has not provided secretarial service (one hour per day) for the Visitors Center. Mrs. Van Pelt advised that clarification was needed since it was her interpretation that the County and Chamber would provide relief secretarial assistance when needed. Her office has not been contacted for assistance and that the Chamber has been asked only on occasion.

The Commissioners asked Mrs. Van Pelt to schedule a meeting with Mayor Bailey and Mr. Ingersoll for further discussion in this matter.


TURNERS CREEK PUBLIC LANDING

Correspondence, signed by the entire Troop, was received from Boy Scouts of America Troop 130, of Rock Hall, extending the appreciation of Troop 130 to the Commissioners for their approval to permit the Troop to utilize an area behind the Farm Museum at Turner's Creek for the purpose of furthering the boys' knowledge and outdoor skills. Troop 130 also extended its invitation to the Commissioners to join the Troop at any time to view first hand the opportunities they have afforded the Scouts.


UPPER SHORE AGING, INC. (USA)

Correspondence was received from Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, USA, Inc., requesting that the Kent County Commissioners and their counterparts from Caroline and Talbot Counties, member counties of USA, Inc., to assist him in addressing a loss of USA's annual administrative charges that support the organization's yearly administrative costs.

This loss of USA's annual administrative charges was described by Mr. Burke as follows: for Fiscal Year 2004, USA's administrative costs will be about $295,348, $106,000 of which (or 35%) was supported by administrative charges against Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) public transit operating grants, including SSTAP, Section 5311 and Job Access/Reverse Commute. By July 1, 2005, "as the result of many factors," USA will likely cease administrating these MTA operating grants, thus losing the $106,000 in annual administrative charges that now support USA's yearly administrative costs.

Mr. Burke added that the loss of $106,000 in administrative operations support would occur when USA ceases its involvement with MTA operating grants would, in his opinion, severely impair USA's ability to administer the County's Area Agency on Aging function unless replaced. He reported that USA discussed this situation with the Maryland Department of Aging and as a result has learned that the State sees this matter as a "local issue."


WASTE MANAGEMENT

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie and passed by the majority to approve the request of Marty T. Holden, Waste Management Coordinator, that a new chair be purchased as soon as possible for the Scale Attendant building at the Nicholson Facility, which would be covered by the current Solid Waste Fiscal Year 2004 Budget. In correspondence received from Mr. Holden, he expressed his belief that the chair would probably cost under $100.00.



WATERSHED RESTORATION ACTION STRATEGIES

Correspondence was received from C. Ronald Franks, Secretary, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), inviting the Commissioner Pickrum to participate in the Watershed Restoration Action Strategy (WRAS) Program's Request For Partnerships (RFP). Mr. Franks also reported that the DNR is currently accepting proposals to develop a watershed protection and restoration plan for a watershed in the County area.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, May 4, 2004.


THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


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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