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Board of County Commissioners

June 15, 2004

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

Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $2,943,828.00.


Frank Barnes, a resident of Bayshore Road in Fairlee, appeared and expressed his objection to the proposed installation of rumble strips on the section of Bayshore Road which is directly in front of his property and the lane that leads to his home, citing noise pollution primarily as the reason for his objection Mr. Barnes also expressed his opinion that those people who do exceed the speed limits will drive around the rumble strips, and then continue to speed. He also requested that if the rumble strips are installed, that they be placed in front of the property owner who requested them.

The Commissioners indicated that a solution to the excessive speeding of vehicular traffic on Bayshore Road is still in discussion and, therefore, pending.


Errol Alexander, Ph.D., appeared and introduced himself to the Commissioners. He identified himself as a resident of the County for the past six years, and that he represents the County on the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board. He expressed his interest to serve on other Boards in the County and that it is his interest to contribute to the County. Commissioner Crow suggested that Dr. Alexander speak with John Hall, President of the Chesapeake Fields Institute. Dr. Alexander commended the work of the Commissioners.


The Board unanimously approved the adoption of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget and the Tax Levy. Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, was also in attendance.

The following taxes are levied upon the assessable property in Kent County, Maryland, for Fiscal Year July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005:

Real Property

$1.012 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of real property subject to taxation for County purposes.

$0.132 cents on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of real property subject to taxation for State purposes.

Public Utilities

$2.53 on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of property subject to taxation for County purposes.

$0.33 cents on each One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) of property subject to taxation for State purposes.

In accordance with Section 10-204.3, Tax Property Article, Maryland Annotated Code, the service charge for the semi-annual payment of property taxes shall be thirty two hundreds of one percent (0.32%) annually - the anticipated lost interest income to the County associated with delay in payment of the second installment, plus 10% of the lost interest income charge - to cover the administrative expenses associated with the semi-annual collection of property taxes.

Commissioners Livie and Pickrum emphasized the long hours and hard work extended by Mrs. Merritt and everyone else who was involved in the preparation of the Budget, and they expressed their appreciation to the public that assisted by voicing their opinions.

Mrs. Merritt pointed out the significant investment of time and effort by the Commissioners towards the preparation and presentation of the Budget.


Discussion took place concerning a request received from Gretchen Stroh, of Rock Hall, for a waiver of the application fee in the amount of $350.00 for a variance which would permit she and her husband, Richard Stroh, to have steps to their back and front doors built. Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, was also in attendance.

For the record, Mrs. Stroh reported that her home was damaged severely by Hurricane Isabel and that she and her husband, in order to rebuild on the same property, have had to lift their house above the flood plain. According to Mrs. Stroh, in order to have access to their front and back door, steps would have to be built. Mrs. Stroh indicated that, in her opinion, the $350 application fee for the variance constitutes a financial hardship for her and her husband, and hence, the request for the waiver.

Discussion included reference to information in a Memorandum submitted by Amy G. Moredock, Environmental Planner, concerning variances resulting from Hurricane Isabel in the Fall of 2003, in which Ms. Moredock reported that 14 of the 35 dwellings documented by the Planning and Zoning Administration's office were substantially damaged, and that three of those homeowners have sought variances and paid application fees for replacement plans to existing nonconforming structures as a result of Hurricane Isabel.

Commissioner Livie expressed his concern that by granting the waiver to Mrs. Stroh, a precedence would be made, necessitating, for the sake of fairness, the same waiver to other homeowners in similar situations.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to deny waiver to Gretchen Stroh for the application fee of $350.00 for the building variance.


Correspondence dated June 9 was received from Elizabeth H. Morris, Chair, Planning Commission, advising that at its March 4 and June 3 meetings approval was recommended for proposed amendments to the Land Use Ordinance. These amendments address the changes in the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program approved by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2004 session, and clarify regulations concerning

(1) commercial dog kennels in Agricultural Zone District;
(2) yard requirements in the Marine District;
(3) signs on Commercial buildings in Crossroads Commercial, Commercial and Commercial Critical Area District;
(4) structures and buildings in retreats;
(5) country inns, in new buildings in the Marine District;
(6) maximum fines;
(7) variances;
(8) dwelling units in the Critical Area;
(9) private piers;
(10) open space;
(11) accessory structures; and
(12) Agricultural Land Preservation District as it relates to family members.

Local legislation will be prepared for introduction.

The first reading was held today on Code Home Rule Bill Number 1-2004 which is an Act to amend the Kent County Zoning Ordinance by adding a note to Article V, Section 1.5.A clarifying limits on an Agricultural Easement Program participant's ability to transfer property to a child.

A Public Hearing will be scheduled on July 6, 2004 at 10:00 a.m.


Due to the Board's unresolvable schedule conflicts, there will be no regular meeting of the Board on June 29.


A bid opening took place at 9:00 a.m. for the delivery of petroleum fuels to various County buildings or properties from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005. Jim Wright, County Engineer, was also in attendance.

Two bids were received as follows:

Paradee Gas Co.
P.O. Box 716
Dover, DE

Contract A (Diesel Fuel) ....................... No Bid.

Contract B (#2 Heating Oil) .................. No Bid.

Contract C (Propane) .......................... $29,440.00


Alger Oil, Inc.
P.O. Box 639
Rising Sun, MD

Contract A (Diesel Fuel) ...................$3,448.78

Contract B (#2 Heating Oil) ...............$1,690.00

Contract C (Propane) ...................... No Bid.

At the recommendation of Jim Wright, County Engineer, a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum, to award contracts to Paradee Gas Co. and Alger Oil, Inc. as submitted.


A bid opening took place at 2:00 p.m. on June 10 at the Public Works Complex for maintenance services on approximately 30 County vehicles consisting primarily of police package Chevrolet Caprices or Ford Crown Victorias. Several light duty pickup trucks are also included in the County fleet. The prices shall be valid for the period of July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005. Bids for the following services were received:

Oil Change & Lube (5 quarts of oil and filter)

Caldwell's .$16.75

Colonial Chev. $17.95

C-Town Jeep $19.95

Joey's Auto $13.95

Labor Rate

Caldwell's $36.00/Hr.

Colonial Chev. $36.50/Hr.

C-Town Jeep $70.50/Hr.

Joey's Auto $39.00/Hr.

Parts Discount

Caldwell's 25%

Colonial Chev. 25%

C-Town Jeep 10%

Joey's Auto 20%

Brake Replacement
Front Disc Brakes

Caldwell's $120 - $130

Colonial Chev. $120-$130

C-Town Jeep $169.95 incl turning

Joey's Auto $106 Rear

Drum Brakes

Caldwell's $122.95

Colonial Chev. $125.95

C-Town Jeep $169.95 incl turning

Joey's Auto $110

Transmission Filter & Fluid Change

Caldwell's $69.00

Colonial Chev. $79.95

C-Town Jeep $139.95

Joey's Auto $79.95

Radiator Flush & Anti-Freeze Change

Caldwell's $49.95

Colonial Chev. $49.95

C-Town Jeep $69.95

Joey's Auto $39.95

Fuel Injection System Cleaning

Caldwell's $45.00

Colonial Chev. $47.95

C-Town Jeep $69.95

Joey's Auto $39.95

Front End Alignment

Caldwell's $39.00 2 Whl /$59.95 4 Whl

Colonial Chev. $39.00 2 Whl /$59.95 4 Whl

C-Town Jeep $59.95/2 Whl / $69.95 4 Whl

Joey's Auto $60.00

The Commissioners decided to table the award decision until legal opinion is received to determine whether or not a possible conflict of interest exists.


A memorandum was received from Carter G. Stanton, Director, Public Works, submitting the following quotes for tree removal from Court House lawn: Anthony's - $600.00; Sharp - $800 - $1,000; and Pardoes - $1,350. The low bid was approved and accepted for Anthony's.


Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, requested approval of the following projects out of Fiscal Year 2004 contingency fund: - Public Works Complex exterior painting - $5,800. - Public Works Complex carpet replacement - $13,750. This request will be further discussed next week.


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

Allens Lane Project - Responding to the County's application for a Maryland Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund pertaining to the Allens Lane Low Pressure System Installation, correspondence was received from Robert Summers, Director, Water Management Administration, and Jag Khuman, Director, Water Quality Financing Administration, indicating that the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) prepared its draft Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2004 Intended Use Plans (IUPs) for the Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund (WQRLF or WQSRF) and the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF or DWSRF) Programs.

The IUPs and their respective draft Project Priority Lists (PPLs) were available for review and comment on June 1, on MDE's website www.mde.state.md.us/wqfa.

The documents cited indicate that the County's pre-application to the Revolving Loan Fund Programs concerning low interest loans for the Allens Lane Project is on the "Waiting List." This status refers to projects that fall below the funding availability line and projects that are not ready to proceed with the FFY 2004 budget period.

The draft IUPs will be the subjects of a Public Hearing on July 1, 2004.

Rock Hall Service Area - Correspondence was received from Ronald H. Fithian, Town Manager, Rock Hall, conveying the interest of the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall to meet with the Commissioners and Mr. Morris on August 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the Rock Hall Council Chambers to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to the feasibility study as it concerns the upgrading of Rock Hall's water system.

The Commissioners agreed to attend the August 2 meeting.

Kennedyville Wastewater Treatment Plant - The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Standard Form of Agreement between the County Commissioners and McCrone, Inc. as it relates to the County's project to upgrade the Kennedyville Wastewater Treatment Plant in accordance with the Water and Wastewater Study dated May 23, 2002 as amended by letters from McCrone, Inc. dated March 26, 2003 and February 18, 2004.

Commissioner Crow inquired about problems expressed to him by some Kennedyville residents relating to the condition of the water in that service area.

Mr. Morris responded that the hardness of the water is a big contributor to the problems being experienced by owners of the older homes with older plumbing systems, such as the need to replace parts of water heaters; however, these problems do not in any way indicate any diminishment in the quality of water.

Edesville Wastewater Treatment Facility - The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Standard Form of Agreement between the County Commissioners and McCrone, Inc. as it relates to the County's project to construct a 2-inch HDPE force main between the Edesville Wastewater Treatment Facility and the existing 2-inch force main on Maryland Route 20 south of Martin Wagner Drive and modify the Edesville Wastewater Treatment Facility Influent Pump Station. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Wastewater Treatment Plants Assessments.

Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and reported that Drew Lausch, a representative of the EPA, is working in conjunction with Congressman Wayne Gilchrest's office for the next three months to assess the 77 wastewater treatment plants in the First Congressional District. Evaluations of the plants will be made based on their age, flow, capacity, nutrient loads, and any proposed expansion of them.

The evaluations do not represent independent testing, and Mr. Lausch will make his recommendation, based on the assessments, to Congressman Gilchrest as to whether or not the plants may be eligible to receive additional funding for necessary upgrades as determined.

General - Mr. Morris reported that Consumer Confidence Reports, CCR, are being prepared by his office and will be in the mail by the start of the next week.


P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, and Thomas K. Beckett, President, Economic Development Advisory Board, appeared and reviewed Ms. Schaller's memorandum that provided updates about the Kent County Business Center at Worton and the proposed Employment Center Management Association.

Mr. Beckett referred to a draft of a proposed Covenant for the Employment Center at the Business Park which he developed and presented to the Commissioners. The draft provides the following relevant provisions:

- the creation of an Employment Center Management Association;

- provision of a time limit on the period between purchase of the land by a private interest and the completion and occupation of a facility for a designated industrial;

- advance approval of all original plans for development of the properties and all subsequent alterations of properties, including buildings, landscaping, signage, parking, etc.

Mr. Beckett noted that the proposed Covenant does not yet address a marketing plan for the Business Park.

Mr. Beckett and Ms. Schaller suggested that the County determine pricing for the lots of the Business Park and designate a commercial realtor to list the lots and provide a marketing plan.

Commissioner Livie requested that contact be made with Paulo Fezzi, President, CFF, to request his decision concerning the proposed agreement pertaining to an easement for stormwater management on the Business Park property.

Ms. Schaller's memorandum also addressed the following:

The Chesapeake Marine Trades Career School - The School building is cleaned out and ready for paint. The July 7 meeting of the Economic Development Advisory Board will be held in this building.

Charrette in Kennedyville (June 7,8,9) - Ms. Schaller expressed her opinion that the Charrette was conducted well, eliciting a significant amount of response from the residents.


Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and responded to the Commissioners' inquiry made at their May 25 meeting as to whether or not it is possible to exempt affordable housing from the excise tax.

Mrs. Owings reported the following: both Queen Anne's and Montgomery Counties have an exemption policy in their impact fee regulations. Queen Anne's County exempts subsidized housing. Montgomery County exempts housing approved in conjunction with its inclusionary housing program which requires that the units remain affordable for 10 to 15 years. Anne Arundel County is considering an exemption, but has not established a definition and monitoring program. No further action was taken at this time.


The Commissioners approved and signed the Release of Open Space for the Foreman Subdivision on Bayshore Road in Fairlee. For the record, in 1992, the Planning Commission granted approval of Phase I (Lots 5-11) of the Foreman Subdivision, a part of this approval including the provision of land to be dedicated to the County for a community park.

After approval, several citizens objected to the idea of a community park and the County agreed that the area would be maintained as a passive recreation area until such time as a park becomes more acceptable to the neighborhood or for 10 years.

At the May 6, 2004 meeting of the Planning Commission, approval was granted for the Release of the Open Space and its conversion into an additional lot.


Informational issues discussed were as follows:

Mooring Buoy Regulations - Ms. Hayman reported that the Court of Special Appeals issued opinion last week and that Herschell Claggett won his appeal as a result of the following findings: that Code Home Bill, as amended by Code Home Bill No. 7-2001, is void to the extent it permits boat moorings to remain in the extended property line of a neighboring riparian property owner for any part of wild waterfowl hunting season without the neighboring riparian property owner's permission.

Nuisance Ordinance - Tom Yeager, County Attorney, discussed the status of the legal process as it relates to Nuisance Ordinance violations.

At 10:40 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session with Thomas N. Yeager, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Items of discussion included the Revolving Loan Fund and tax sale properties.

The executive session adjourned at 11:00 a.m.


In follow up to the Public Hearing held on June 8, Commissioner Pickrum read correspondence that was received from Richard W. Feeny, of Worton, which issued objection to the proposed increase in the local income tax, and expressed his opinion that County expenses should be managed in accordance with the County's existing revenues. Mr. Feeny suggested that the Board re-evaluate the fiscal status of the County in July 2005.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve and sign Resolution stating that a local or County income tax of 2.85% of an individual's Maryland taxable income will be levied upon the residents of Kent County for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2005, and this rate continue in effect for each succeeding calendar year until changed by the Board of County Commissioners of Kent County.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Limited Community Partnership Agreement for Fiscal Year 2005 between the State Subcabinet for Children, Youth and Families and Kent County.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Letter of Agreement with the Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. between Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties an the Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. (Core Service Agency) which describes the responsibilities of the Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc.


At 11:00 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, was in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 11:15 a.m.


Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and reviewed her response to the Town of Betterton's request for a project review by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

For the record, it was the consensus of the TAC members that the incorporated Towns of the County should have professional planning and zoning assistance, and that for very small towns, such as Betterton, assistance from the County is the most effective and cost efficient way to obtain the services of professional planners.

Mrs. Owings indicated that, provided the County's assistance to Betterton is limited to TAC review (and not inclusive of the entire process, e.g. the processing and review of building permits, plan and ordinance development and implementation, and zoning enforcement, which would cost $130 to $300 per lot), the County's cost to provide a project review for Betterton would not be expected to exceed $25.00 per lot, and that the staff of the Office of Planning and Zoning would assist as much as possible within said limitations.

Mrs. Owings explained that, given the staffing and the significant amount of time required to review subdivision and site plans, it was her opinion that the Planning and Zoning Office staff would not be able to, at this time, attend to the project review as requested by the Town of Betterton. Therefore, she requested the Commissioners' guidance as to how to respond to Betterton's request.

The Commissioners agreed that Mrs. Owings propose to the Town of Betterton that in return for payment which would not be expected to exceed $25.00 per lot, the Planning and Zoning staff would provide a project review for Betterton and would assist the Town as much as possible within said limitations.


The Commissioners approved and signed Proclamation declaring July 1 as Walter Virgil Turner Day in recognition of his retirement from the Kent Soil and Water Conservation District after 46 years of dedicated service with 36 years being served in Kent County.


A bid opening took place at 9:00 a.m. for insurance on the following types of coverage: (1) Property; (2) Crime; (3) Boiler and Machinery; (4) Mobile Agricultural Floater; (5) Electronic Data Processing Equipment; (6) Mobile Property Floater; and (7) Contractors Equipment Floater.

Lee Ann Myers, Risk Management Coordinator, Edward Robinson, Procurement Agent, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were also in attendance.

Two bids were received as follows:

F. A. M. & M.................$5,000 deductible for each type of coverage; $52,193.00 Total Deductible

Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) ........... $1,000 or $5,000 for each type of coverage; $55,684 or $48,098, respectively, Total Deductible.

These bids will be further reviewed next week.


The Commissioners recognized Theresa Crew for her service to the County as a County employee for 15 years and nine months. Ms. Crew, who is retiring from County employment, was presented with a cake and a plaque by the Commissioners.

Warden Ronald Howell and Joseph Wachowiz, Captain of the Detention Center, were also in attendance and extended to Ms. Crew their appreciation for her service as well.


Memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, and Thomas Beckett, Jack Canan, Susanne Hayman, Raymond Tarrach, and Roger Williams, Loan Advisory Review Committee (LARC) members, advising of the notification received by Roger Williams, Treasurer, and confirmed by Ms. Schaller, that a loan recipient has declared bankruptcy.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and reported on a meeting that took place on June 3 to discuss the possibility of organizing a Sassafras River Association. She indicated that approximately 50 people attended, and that another meeting to continue discussions about goals has been scheduled to take place on July1, at 7:00 p.m., at the Turners Creek Pavilion.


The Commissioners approved the request made by Robert H. Strong, Jr., State's Attorney, for funds in the amount of $953.00 out of contingency fund, for the purchase of a new computer to replace his currently non-functioning computer.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and reported that the sixth annual "Wade-In" will take place June 19, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (formerly Horsehead Wetlands Center), Grasonville.

She invited the Commissioners' participation for the actual "Wade-In" which would take place at 1:00 p.m.

For the record, since 1997, the month of June has unofficially become the "Wade-In Month" across the State of Maryland, with many of its Tributary teams conducting public education and outreach events to promote the enhancement of water quality in their respective watersheds, using the "Sneaker Index" method of measuring water quality.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, June 22, 2004.


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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