The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met this evening
at 6:00 p.m. with the following present: Roy W. Crow and Scott D. Livie,
Commissioner William W. Pickrum 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 $3,209,035.00.
BAY BROADBAND COMMUNICATIONS (BBC)
To assist the expedition of BBC's provision of broadband service in the
County, correspondence went forth to Dr. Allen Hammond, President, BBC,
with attachment of a list of Corrosion Control Corporation's list of maintenance
concerns for water tank antennae installations, and copies of correspondence
from them to Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater
Services. In said correspondence, Dr. Hammond was advised that it is the
County's opinion that it has done everything it can to expedite resolution
of the technological concerns in cooperation with BBC towards establishing
broadband service in Kent County.
BETTERTON MAYOR AND TOWN COUNCIL
TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Discussion took place in reference to correspondence that was received
from Carolyn C. Sorge, Mayor of Betterton, who request that the concept
plans for development in Betterton be carefully reviewed by the members
of the Technical Advisory Committee, and that a member of the Betterton
Planning and Zoning be allowed to meet with the Technical Advisory Committee
during this review to serve as a learning experience. Jeff Troester, Director
of Parks and Recreation, and Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, were also
Mayor Sorge reported that the Town Council of Betterton has been presented
with several concept plans for residential development, of which the proposed
number of units would more than double the size of Betterton.
Commissioner Livie expressed his concern about the impact of the doubling
in size of the Town of Betterton on the water and wastewater infrastructure.
Ed Robinson, County Administrator, agreed to ask Wayne Morris, Director
of Water and Wastewater Services, who is also a member of the Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC), to observe and report on developments in Betterton,
and to ask Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, to attend the
next TAC meeting.
BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)
Contracted Services - Pertaining to correspondence that was received
from Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent, Kent County Public Schools, that
provided a copy of a chart listing and describing the contracted services
which the school system receives from professional staff, Commissioner
Livie asked that further explanation be provided by Dr. Ward about the
purpose and/or need for said specialized services, such as supervision,
programming, engineering, planning, evaluation, and talent development.
Budget Adjustments - The Commissioners approved the budget adjustment
for the BOE's restricted (grants) and unrestricted portions of the BOE
Budget Hearing - Commissioners Crow and Livie agreed to attend,
as per the invitation of James Siemen, President, BOE, the BOE's Budget
Hearing on May 19th at 6:00 p.m.
Economic Advisory Committee - A motion was made by Commissioner
Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and passed by the majority of the
Board to approve the appointment of Jon Baker, Community Relations Coordinator,
as the BOE's representative to the Economic Advisory Committee. Mr. Baker
will replace Frances Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative
Services, Kent County Public Schools.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER
Edesville Service Area - Correspondence was received from Clementine
L. Tilghman, resident of Rock Hall, conveying her objection to the increased
rate of water and sewer services, and indicating her belief that the increase
in the rate has created a financial hardship for her.
Commissioner Crow asked that Mrs. Tilghman's concern be directed to Jack
Canan, Coordinator of Housing and Community Development.
The Commissioners approved and signed a raffle only permit for the following:
Horizons at Kent School, Chestertown, for its fund-raising events to take
place in Fountain Park, Chestertown, and at events throughout the County
from May to October 2004, the raffle to be drawn on November 8, 2004;
and the Humane Society of Kent County for its fund-raising event, County-wide,
to be sold through July 4, the drawing for which to take place on July
4, 2004 at the Humane Society office/ facility in Chestertown.
FISCAL YEAR 2004 GRANT PROGRAM
A press release was received via electronic mail from Karen Smith, Esq.,Director
of Intergovernmental Relations, Office of the Governor, reporting that,
as per Governor Ehrlich's announcement on May 10th, local jurisdictions
in the State are eligible for a combined $25 Million in federal reimbursements
for qualified homeland security spending. The U.S. Department of Homeland
Security will reimburse State and local public safety expenditures for
the planning, training, equipment and exercises to prevent potential acts
of terrorism or other disasters. Local jurisdictions may submit their
spending plans to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and
to the Department of Homeland Security. Reimbursement eligibility is determined
through a formula based on federal Department of Homeland Security assessment
including population, population and density, risk management and vulnerability.
Correspondence was received from MEMA, directed to Robert Rust, Jr., indicating
that Kent County will receive $399,019.40 of the Fiscal Year 2005 State
Homeland Security Grant Program as indicated in the Governor's press release
pertaining to the same. Of this grant, $65,000.00 will be designated for
costs related to planner consultation fees. The local share for each of
the communication tower-sites proposed by the State for joint use with
the County would cost the County approximately $250,000.00.
It is Mr. Rust's belief that the County has a commitment from the State
for the $250,000.00 needed locally for the proposed tower at the Maryland
State Highway Complex, and that the remaining balance of the grant could
be made available by the County for the proposed State tower site in Massey.
The Commissioners signed a Release of Mortgage for the property of Terri
L. and William Dorsey-Warren, thereby releasing the lien on that property.
The Dorsey-Warren property is a project of the Housing Improvement Program.
KENT COUNTY RECREATION AND COMMUNITY COMPLEX
Correspondence was received from Thomas R. Genetti, Assistant Secretary,
Facilities Planning, of the Maryland Department of General Services (MD
DGS), extending congratulations on the County's award by the State of
a grant authorized as a "bond bill" enacted by the MD General Assembly
for the construction of the Kent County Recreation and Community Complex
with attachment of required application information to be submitted by
The DGS will administer the grant and advised of the following deadlines:
a grantee has seven years from the date a grant is authorized in order
to complete the respective project and expend the State funds; the deadline
for certifying matching funds remains at two years.
Ian Kennedy and Ryan Grim, students of the University of Maryland School
of Public Affairs, appeared and gave a presentation of their study, "Measuring
the Financial Benefits to Kent County and Chestertown of Preserving the
LaMotte Property as Open Space" which was prepared for the Commissioners
and the Mayor and Council of Chestertown. Jeff Troester, Director of Parks
and Recreation, was also in attendance.
The study explored the effect of open space on property value and tax
revenue, using as a guide a roughly 20-year period of time before, during,
and after the construction of Wilmer Park. That data was used in turn,
along with open space pricing theory, to project the effect of the LaMotte
property, becoming permanent open space on property value and tax revenue
over a 20-year period.
Having made three projections with 95% confidence, low, middle, and high,
the results of the study indicated that (at middle and high estimates)
the "LaMotte Park property neighborhood" is worth more as open space to
the County than its $1.25 Million investment. The low estimate shows the
park generating tax revenue increases that could recoup substantial portions
of the taxpayer money spent on the park
Commissioner Livie indicated that he saw a lot of merit to the study,
and, referring to the County's proposed plans for the LaMotte property,
he expressed his interest in the application of this study to properties
other than residential, for example, commercial properties.
Commissioners Live and Crow extended their appreciation to Messrs. Grim
and Kennedy for their presentation and commended them for their study.
At 5:55 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by the majority of the Board to go into closed
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 the Chester River Landing Project; the proposed
Hotel Rental tax revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); KRM Development
Corporation and stormwater management; and broadband service.
The closed session adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
At 7:50 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous 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
Items discussed included a proposal for land exchange.
The executive session adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
LOCAL EMERGENCY PLANNING COMMITTEE (LEPC)
The Commissioners received an invitation from Jon William Baker, Public
Information Officer, LEPC, to attend a full-scale terrorism drill that
will include a Marine response unit. The LEPC will conduct a tabletop
drill on May 17th, 9:00 a.m., at Washington College to test the local
response, and the full-scale exercise will take place on May 19th, at
7:00 a.m., on the college campus. Commissioners Livie and Crow will attend
the event on May 17th.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT INSURANCE TRUST (LGIT)
Memorandum was received from Mary E. Balducci, Health Benefits Manager,
LGIT, with follow-up information pertaining to the Health Pool closure:
information regarding where to obtain coverage for Fiscal Year 2005, and
how to obtain benefit/claim information for charges incurred during Fiscal
Year 2004, but not paid until Fiscal Year 2005.
MARTIN WAGNER ROAD
As per the Commissioners' direction at their April 20th meeting, a letter
went forth from Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads Division, to
the Pig Neck Neighbors Road Association, pertaining to their request that
Martin Wagner Road, Rock Hall, be accepted into the County Road system.
In his correspondence, Mr. Spray delineated all the requirements for roads
in the County to meet County road standards. Mr. Spray also provided an
estimated cost for the road work necessary to meet these standards, given
that the existing base of the road is acceptable: Asphalt paving ................................................
Ditch grading .................................................. $25,000
3-Pipes, if needed ........................................... $ 4,500
Total .............................................................. $79,500+/-
Mr. Spray indicated that the total figure does not include engineering
fees or permit fees which can add an additional $20,000 +/- to the given
Commissioner Livie advised that the Board review the requirements for
roads in the County to meet the standards of the County, recommending
that the County standards for an existing road, such as Martin Wagner
Road, should not be the same as those for a new road constructed as part
of a new subdivision. He advised that an exception should be made in the
case of Martin Wagner Road. He asked that Jim Wright, County Engineer,
review the standards as they pertain to Martin Wagner Road, as well as
investigate whether or not it would be more cost effective for the County
to maintain tar and chip surfaced roads rather than asphalt surfaced roads,
and report about the same.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (MDOT)
Correspondence was received from Robert L. Flanagan, Secretary, MDOT,
introducing the plans of MDOT, the State Highway Administration (SHA),
and Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) to consider adding a managed
lane strategy known as "value pricing" to ongoing planning efforts where
this approach has potential merit. This express toll lane alternative
would offer motorists the option of paying a fee to use the express lanes
with toll rates varying based on demand by time of day, based on actual
traffic conditions - and collected 100% electronically at full highway
This strategy is projected to help reduce traffic congestion at toll plazas
and produce funding to help advance construction of key highway improvement
projects within the next 5 to 10 years, versus the 15 to 50 years it may
take if the State depends only on traditional funding sources. While new
to Maryland, Mr. Flanagan reported that the value pricing strategy has
been successfully implemented in a number of transportation projects within
the U.S. Public meetings have been scheduled by MDOT, SHA, and MdTA the
State's citizens to learn more about Express Toll Lanes.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer for Kent and Caroline Counties, appeared
and addressed concerns and provide information pertaining to his decision
to terminate administration of the Regional Mental Health System that
provides outpatient mental health services in Queen Anne's, Caroline and
Kent Counties. Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board (LMB), Nancy
Zinn, Executive Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. (MSMHS),
and approximately 16 interested persons were also in attendance, including
the following staff persons of the Regional Mid-Shore Health Clinic, Kent
County site: Nancy Connolly, Director, Phyllis Brooks Keen, Gale Tucker,
Pat Gatto, Inez Thompson, and Beverly Guck.
Dr. Spencer initiated the discussion by reviewing the rationale for his
decision to dissolve the tri-county mental health arrangement as of August
31, 2004, due to a persistent fiscal deficit of the Regional Mental Health
System, which now totals over $500,000.00, and due to projections that
this deficit is expected to worsen.
Dr. Spencer described two options for the County's provision of mental
health services: Option One would involve cutting the number of mental
health services staff in half, and directing clients of mental health
services to a private provider, given no new sources of funding; Option
Two would focus on mental health services for children and adolescents
and the most severe adult cases, given new funding sources.
Anne Livie indicated that the LMB would like to offer its financial support
for the provision of mental health services to the children of the County.
She expressed LMB's concern that private providers would not be able to
handle the population of people in the County requiring mental health
services, and she praised the quality of services currently provided by
the County's mental health clinic. She advised that LMB will proceed with
a process for requesting $30,000.00 funding from the State.
Nancy Zinn distributed copies of an outline indicating the local mental
health authority's role in a Health Department Clinic site transition.
A statement was made, indicating that, if the decision is made by the
local health department to modify the County clinic's current provision
of services, MSMHS, acting as the County's agent, will do the following:
- Assist the local government in the development of the County plan by
providing any additional information that may be necessary.
- If the consumers participate in the transition to other providers, MCMHS
determine which providers will be available to accept new consumers and
notify them; develop a transition team to include staff from MSMHS and
the clinic who will meet throughout the transition period; identify, utilizing
provider list and the list from recent claims data, those individuals
presently being serviced; assure that case management services are available,
especially for the more complex cases; provide the clinic with a listing
of available providers; assure that the individuals being served are notified
and have the ability to choose a provider of service; provide follow-up
to assure that those consumers who chose a provider have been successful
in that transition.
Mrs. Zinn emphasized the importance of the following: the provision of
a written plan that includes consideration of the impact on consumers;
that consumers require adequate notification and the opportunity to choose
a provider of service; and that decisions made be based on data, not speculation.
Mrs. Zinn also distributed copies of a chart indicating the growth in
mid-shore service providers from 1997 to 2004 as it pertains to public
mental health system service providers. She projected that the transition
period would require six months.
Responding to the Commissioners' questions, Dr. Spencer recommended the
following: that a partnership be established between the County and the
private sector that would provide services to the least complex of consumers,
and that the clinic provide services for the most complex consumers, serving
also as a "clearing house" for client referrals, until the Health Department's
clinic site transition is completed.
Mrs. Livie advised that LMB would be able to process a request for proposals
(RFP) within the next three weeks, provided approval is granted by LMB.
Dr. Spencer requested that the County insert into its budget a line item
for the mental health program every year, thereby, in his opinion, assuring
stability and longevity to County mental health services. He requested
that the County provide $30,000 a year in support of mental health services
designated for children, adolescents, and the most complex adult consumers.
He expressed his belief that this financial commitment from the County,
plus the commitment of $30,000 from LMB would enable the clinic to provide
said mental health services, with the proviso that Medicaid funds are
not cut by the Federal government.
Mrs. Livie expressed her opinion that the County's need to provide mental
health services should be considered a priority by all County citizens,
describing these services as a safety net which literally saves human
lives. She also noted that, from a purely fiscal perspective, it will
cost the County dearly in the long run if it does not provide the funding
for these services now.
Marge Fallaw, of Chestertown, expressed her concern of what she described
as the short notice of Dr. Spencer's decision, indicating that she does
not think that the privatizing of mental health services is an answer,
that many clients would not be able to afford the co-pay, and identified
clients' transportation to the clinic as an important issue requiring
resolution. She also expressed her concern that mental health services
be provided to clients of the closed clinics of Talbot, Dorchester, Caroline,
and Kent Counties.
A person, who identified herself as a sophomore in Kent County High School,
explained the benefits which she and her family have received from the
County's mental health services.
An adult, who identified himself as a current client of the mental health
clinic in Chestertown, expressed his concern that the progress of his
health would regress during a six-month transition period, and that transportation
to the site for mental health services is an issue for him.
Pat Gatto, a staff person of the Regional Mid-Shore Mental Health Clinic,
expressed her concerns as follows: that the consistency of mental health
services and the relationships established thereof are very important
and should not be disrupted; that if funding is made available by the
County, it would be designated for County mental health services; and
she recommended that a committee be formed to determine first what services
would be needed, and then to determine the budget to support those services.
Inez Thompson and Beverly Guck, also staff persons, expressed their opinions
that the staff/client accessibility at the clinic is more often realized
than that with a private provider.
Commissioner Livie expressed his opinion that there is the need for better
advocacy and lobbying on behalf of mental health services at the State
level. Commissioner Crow indicated that the County currently has a good
mental health system, and that it is the desire of the Commissioners to
assist that system through the challenges with which it is faced.
The Commissioners expressed their appreciation for the comments and suggestions
Correspondence was received from Daniel S. Smithpeter, M.D., Delmarva
Family Services, offering the services of Delmarva Family Resources as
part of the replacement delivery system in the attempt to fill the void
of the Regional Mental Health System.
Dr. Smithpeter advised that the staff of Delmarva Family Resources, the
largest organization of its type on Maryland's Eastern Shore, includes
therapists, social workers, nurse practitioners, counselors and psychiatrists
who are committed to working with individuals in need of mental health
Correspondence was received from Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., advising
that he has instructed the Secretary of Budget and Management, James "Chip"
DiPaula, Jr., to maintain the 50/50 State/local funding match for mosquito
control services, thereby rejecting proposals to increase the local portion
of this match.
According to Governor Ehrlich, maintaining this cost-sharing arrangement
will assist the County with its budget planning efforts and help to assure
a continued State and local cooperative effort towards reaching an effective
mosquito control program.
NATIONAL HUNGER AWARENESS DAY
Correspondence was received via electronic mail from Robert Forney, Chair,
America's Hunger Day Committee, reporting that the National Association
of Counties (NACo) is a participant in the plans for the National Hunger
Awareness Day, to be celebrated June 3, 2004, and is requesting that the
citizens and leaders of all counties work to create hunger-free counties.
For more information, citizens of Kent County may contact www.mdfoodbank.org
PEDALS OF PEACE
Correspondence was received via fax transmittal from Keith Ware, Volunteer
Outreach Coordinator, Pedals for Peace which represents a 700 bicycle
ride taken by six teenagers from May 13 - 20, 2004 for the purpose of
educating the public and raising money on behalf of children who they
believe are being persecuted in China. For more information about Pedals
for Peace, the public may contact www.pedalsofpeace.org.
At 5:35 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner
Crow 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.
Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, was also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, reviewed some updates
to the post-prom party that is being sponsored by Parks and Recreation
at the National Guard Armory in Chestertown. At his invitation, Commissioners
Livie and Crow agreed to attend parts of the event.
US COAST GUARD STATION
Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, reported about discussions
that he has had with Phil McGovern, Executive Director of Camp Tockwogh
(YMCA), and Peter Rice, Executive Director of the Echo Hill Camp. He indicated
he believes that the budget, which Mr. McGovern has prepared, will successfully
support the consignment agreement on the former Coast Guard property.
He also noted that Mr. McGovern would like Mr. Rice to be a partner. Bill
Huie, the County's Federal government land representative, who has participated
in said discussions, advised that the Federal government would accept
a 5-year lease renewable for additional years.
Mr. Troester expressed his opinion that this type of utilization of the
former Coast Guard property could be realized.
Commissioner Livie agreed to talk with Peter Rice about a consignment
agreement that would include some property of both the Echo Hill and YMCA
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, May 18, 2004.
THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
S. Ileana Lindstrom
Approved: Scott D. Livie, Member
Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410)
778-7435 or by e-mail with
any questions or comments.