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Board of County Commissioners

June 22, 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 $1,703,434.00.


Mike Waal, President of the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, appeared and presented correspondence to the Commissioners, dated June 22, 2004, and reiterating, on behalf of the Chamber, its support of a County owned municipal airport.

The Chamber recommends that the Commissioners engage in activities to distribute the information contained and readily available in the Airport Advisory Committee report to the County's citizens, and take appropriate action to place a question on the November 2004 ballot, asking Kent Countians whether or not they want a Kent County Municipal Airport constructed by the County.

The County Administrator briefly outlined for Mr. Waal the legal process for establishing the question for public referendum: only a local law can be petitioned for referendum on the ballot in accordance with Article 25B, Section 10 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The Commissioners thanked Mr. Waal and the Chamber for their comments.


Commissioners Crow and Livie attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the BBC in Kent County. The ceremony took place at 8:00 a.m. today at the tower located in the Courtyard.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Program Open Space Development and Capital Renewal Application and Project Agreement to seek funding for the replacement of the Bath House roof, replacement of step treads, hand railing and gazebo roof and new underground wiring for boardwalk and security lighting at a cost not to exceed $19,400.


Correspondence was received from Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, submitting a budget adjustment for the unrestricted and restricted portions of the current expense fund as approved by the BOE at its June 7 meeting. It was noted that the original column of the Restricted Fund as submitted did not balance. Ms. Miller will be contacted for correction and, therefore, no action was taken at this time.


The Commissioners appointed Joan Groce as a member of the Commission on Aging to fill an unexpired term ending December 31, 2005, and Rebecca M. Startt to fill an unexpired term ending December 31, 2004.


Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, appeared and responded to Commissioner Livie's inquiry as to whether or not she has as yet discussed with the High School renovations' design team about the County's interest to attach the proposed community center to the High School building structure. Commissioner Livie explained that, given the economy of scale, there would probably be a significant saving of money if the community center was built attached to the High School structure rather than built as a separate structure.

Dr. Ward responded by inviting the Commissioners to meet with design team involved in the High School renovations and those involved with the plans for the proposed community center.

The Commissioners agreed to a joint meeting to be scheduled in mid-July.


Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, reported that a Visioning Session for the Comprehensive Plan Review will take place this evening at 7:00 p.m. at the County High School.


Due to their being no meeting of the Board on June 29, the Commissioners unanimously agreed to authorize Commissioner Crow to accept the low bid on interest rates to be sought for funding in the amount of $888,853 to be borrowed by the end of the fiscal year for the following capital projects: Detention Center roof and infrastructure, Library Hearse House, Chesapeake College Dorchester Building, and Fiscal Year 2004 Board of Education Capital Projects.


The Commissioners approved the expenditure of an amount not to exceed $18,000 out of contingency for an audio system for the County Commissioners' Hearing Room. The Commissioners also approved the expenditure of a work station and accessories in the County Commissioners' Office within budget.

The Commissioners approved the expenditure in the amount of $2,286 out of contingency for the purchase of two computers ($1,726); four table chairs and one desk chair ($560) for the Personnel Office.


In follow up to bid opening held on June 10 and as recommended by the County Administrator, the Commissioners approved to award contract for vehicle maintenance to the low bidder, Joey's Auto.


A bid opening took place at 2:00 p.m. on June 18, 2004 at the Public Works Complex for custodial services for the Kent County Public Library. Only one bid was received. The bid received was from Rosalind Beck in the amount of $630 per month. It was noted that this bid is $15 less per month than the current provider. The Commissioners agreed to award the contract to Ms. Beck.


The Commissioners approved the expenditures in the approximate amount of $2,000 out of contingency for a cabinet to protect the data processing equipment in the Budget and Accounting Office.


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

Rock Hall Service Area- A letter went forth, as per the Commissioners' request, to Ronald H. Fithian, Town Manager, Rock Hall, conveying the Board's agreement to meet with Mayor Jay Jacobs and the Town Council of Rock Hall to discuss the feasibility study concerning the Rock Hall Service Area on August 2, 2004, at 7:00 p.m., in the Rock Hall Council Chambers.

Piney Neck/Skinners Neck/Wesley Chapel Service Area

The Commissioners signed a Public Works Agreement by and between the Board and Leah Jester Kelley for one sewer allocation for Ms. Kelley's property shown on Tax Map 51, Parcel 378, Lot # 2.

Mr. Morris referred to correspondence received from Stanley P. Watkins, Jr., M.D., dated May 28, 2004, owner of the property known as Spencer Farms, requesting a connection from his farm to the County sewer system. Dr. Watkins explained that during the winter of 2003, he placed ten 2' 4"pipes in various locations on his farm. Only one of these met the requirement for a mound system.

After careful consideration, Dr. Watkins indicated that he realized that any mound system would be marginal because of the high water table and, therefore, he would like to build a house and connect his farm to the County's sewer system. Dr. Watkins also stated that appropriate engineering studies have already been performed which confirm the feasibility of the establishing the connection, as well as determining the necessary equipment.

He further explained that Spencer Farm consists of 190 acres which have been placed in an environmental trust and, therefore, no more than two building sites can be placed on the farm. In Dr. Watkin's opinion, careful planning and landscape design will assure the rural nature of the farm and will minimize any disturbance to the watershed of Herrington Creek and Grays Inn Creek.

Mr. Morris indicated that Dr. Watkins' request would require a line extension, which would be Dr. Watkins' responsibility to install and maintain; the County's responsibility would be to provide a grinder pump.

Mr. Morris also indicated that he will provide more information to the Board, pending information based on a review of Dr. Watkins' request by the Planning and Zoning Administration.

No further action was taken.

Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) - Pursuant to Federal and State requirements, Consumer Confidence Reports, "Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports," were prepared by the Department of Water and Wastewater Services for the Worton, Edesville, Fairlee, and Kennedyville Service Areas and mailed to the respective residents therein, dated July 1, 2004, and representing the monitored period of January 1999 through February 2003. This analysis for each of the above mentioned Service Areas was based on a review of the water quality data, potential sources of contamination, aquifer characteristics, and well integrity.

It was determined from recent evaluations completed by the Maryland Department of the Environment that the drinking water in each of these Service Areas is safe and meets all Federal and State requirements for safe drinking water and is not susceptible to microbiological contaminants and/or additional inorganic/volatile/synthetic and radiological compounds.

A completed source water assessment is available at the Department of Water and Wastewater Services for review, upon request.

Millington Water System Project - Due to the bid coming in higher than anticipated, Mr. Morris reported that he met with Farmer's Home/Rural Development for further review of the project. As a result of this meeting, the Rural Development has come up with additional grant/loan participation to be determined once the contract is signed and the project is awarded.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to authorize award of contract for the Millington Water System Project to the lowest bidder, with the condition that the pipes used be of the same standard of specifications as used currently.


Correspondence was received from the following members of the Steering Committee of the Coopers Lane Group, with representatives from Kinnaird Point Property Owners Association (KPPOA), Clearview Homeowners Association (CHA) and Independent Residents of Coopers Lane, directed to Congressman Wayne Gilchrest: Richard Feeny and John Jopling of CHA, Wally Gordon, Ray Richards, and Steve Russell of KPPOA, and Jane Huskill and Jerry Smith - both independent.

The individuals listed above expressed their concern about the proposal to expand Drayton Retreat Center into a retreat, spa, and conference center citing primarily, what they believe to be, the increase in Drayton's water consumption and wastewater output from less than 5,000 gallons per day to volumes approaching or exceeding 15,000 gallons per day, thereby exceeding Kennedyville's current estimated treatment of approximately 20,000 gallons per day.

The above persons also requested that Congressman Gilchrest's office arrange an appointment for Mr. Drew Lausch, a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency, to discuss the issue of small package wastewater treatment and large septic systems with them as part of his assessment of wastewater treatment in their election district.


In a Memorandum received from P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, the following topics were noted: Kent County Business Park at Worton

- Ms. Schaller invited John Kling, Soil Conservationist, to present to the Commissioners a review of stormwater management from the vantage points of State and Federal guidelines that must be integrated into the KRM Project approval process. Bay Broadband Communications (BBC)

- Ms. Schaller made reference to an article, "Eastern Shore, Hungry for High-Speed Internet Access, Gets a Player" that appeared in The Daily Record, by Andrea Cecil. Board of Education

- Ms. Schaller made reference to an article in the e-mail newsletter, Leadership Maryland, which indicated that the Board of Commissioners of Cecil and St. Mary's Counties meet informally once a month with their respective Board of Education to share information and to find solution to issues.


Correspondence was received from Robert Agee, President of Forvm Foundation, indicating that the Forvm for Rural Maryland, the State's independent rural development council, changed its name to The Rural Maryland Council, and relocated its offices to Annapolis.

Mr. Agee also indicated that the Rural Maryland Council is planning to hold a special event in January 2005 in Annapolis to celebrate both the Rural Maryland Council's 10 years of service in partnering with rural leaders to improve the quality of life, and to celebrate rural communities across the State.


Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, reported on her discussion with Mayor Margo Bailey concerning the proposed Hotel Tax. The Town is seeking additional staffing for the Visitors' Center and requests that the County provide personnel and/or funding, therefore, for 13 staff hours. The cost for 13 staff hours is almost $6,000. The Commissioners agreed with this request.


The Commissioners approved the implementation of a "suggestion box" to be available to the citizens of Kent County on the County's website, www.kentcounty.org , with the proviso that all suggestions made would remain anonymous.


County Attorney, Alexander P. Rasin, III, Andrew Bradley, and Dan Saunders, Esq., representing Mr. Bradley, appeared at Mr. Saunders' request. Others in attendance were Dr. and Mrs. Rick Wirtz, Dr. Teresa Schaefer, Pam Cambardella, a representative from Dr. David Smith's office, Lisa Raffetto, a local realtor, P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, Tom Beckett, Chair, Economic Development Advisory Board, and members of the media.

Mr. Saunders indicated that his client was interested to finally "put to rest" some outstanding issues pertaining to the LaMotte property as it pertains to ownership by the County and the 2.5 acres to be assigned to Mr. Bradley.

Some of the issues cited were: transportation access from MD Route 291; the exact delineation of the property, particularly concerning ownership of the existing pond, etc.

Commissioner Crow advised that the Board has not been able to make any definitive determination about the property because it is waiting to receive the economic feasibility report about the potential utilization of the property. He said that the Board expects to receive the report in approximately three weeks.

Mr. Bradley stated that he was under the misconception that said study was a site plan. Mr. Rasin suggested that the Board complete the subdivision application and submit it to the Chestertown Planning Commission. The 2.5 acres to be assigned to Mr. Bradley originally included the westerly end to the railroad tracks to the southwest corner abutting the tracks and fronting MD Route 291.

Mr. Bradley indicated that he has not been able to proceed with his plans for his portion of the property given that he was not aware of the County's plans for its portion.

Commissioner Crow stated that once the Board receives the information based on the economic feasibility of the property, it will be able to begin making decisions.

Mr. Bradley would like to know if his property is going to include the pond.

Commissioner Livie advised that it is the interest of the Board to maintain the original configuration of the property lines.

Commissioner Crow concurred.

Since the Commissioners agree that there will be no change in the configuration of the 2.5 acres, Mr. Rasin will proceed by contacting Michael Scott, Surveyor, to prepare the plat of the entire tract of land to be submitted to the Chestertown Planning Commission.

Responding to Mr. Bradley's questions, Commissioner Livie indicated that the Board is not opposed to private ownership of the pond and that it is not the preference of the Board to subdivide the County's portion of the property.

Mr. Rasin advised that the original agreement between the County and Mr. Bradley does not preclude cooperation of both parties concerning transportation access to and from the property.

Commissioner Livie questioned Mr. Bradley as to his intention for the use of the property.

Mr. Bradley stated that no decision had been made.

Responding to a question posed by Dr. Wirtz as to whether or not the Board's vision for the use of the LaMotte property would come to fruition, Commissioner Livie indicated that the information gained from the feasibility study would be a key step in formulating a vision.

He added that, at the present time, the Board is interested in the following: the highest and best use of the property that is economically sustainable and able to create higher-paying jobs; that the property be aesthetically pleasing; and that the property would be accessible to the public.

Following receipt of the feasibility study, the next step would entail the Board's discussion with architects about a concept of use and design that would be supported by the feasibility study, to be followed by the need to address any environmental issues.

He indicated that prior to the formulation of a Request for Proposal, all of the above issues and discussions would have to be addressed.

Commissioner Crow concurred, adding the additional step of presenting the plan for the approval of the Chestertown Planning Commission which, he noted, is understandably concerned that the plan's design should fit well architecturally with the rest of the Town.

Responding to questions posed by Mrs. Raffetto, Commissioners Crow and Livie indicated that, as described above, that it would be a lengthy process before a prospective buyer/builder could begin construction. They confirmed that access to the property would be via MD Route 291.

A question was raised as to whether or not the two properties known as the LaMotte property could be developed independently of each other.

Commissioners Livie and Crow answered in the affirmative. Commissioner Livie added that there are many issues and questions to be addressed, such as whether it is more economically feasible to rent lots, or to offer the space for condominiums, or to offer outright ownership.

Another question was raised as to whether or not the Commissioners had any problem with subdividing the lot to be assigned to Mr. Bradley.

The Commissioners advised that it would not be their preference; they would like to see the lot developed as a full unit with the best use of the property.


At 10:30 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 tax sale properties, revolving loan fund, Kennedyville Service Area Land Acquisition project.

The executive session adjourned at 11:10 a.m


The Commissioners approved and signed Grant Award for funding approved for the Local Management Board from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for the following programs:

Project Entitled: YS3/Kent/CaSAStart in accordance with the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act; $109,590 awarded funds; $27,398 in kind match. YS3/Kent/DMR/Yr2 in accordance with the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Formula Grant (Title II of the JJDP Act of 1974); $33,205 awarded funds; $32,750 in-kind match. YS3/Kent/Youth Leadership Institute in accordance with the Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative; $24,800 awarded funds; $5,875 in-kind match. YS3/Kent/Reconnecting Youth in accordance with the Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative; $30,050 awarded funds; $9,977 in-kind match. YS3/Kent/Teen Court in accordance with the Temporary Aid for Needy Families; $17,910 awarded funds; $6,000 in-kind match.


Commissioner Crow gave a report based on discussions of the Mid-Shore Regional Council and information received from the Maryland Environmental Services (MES) and Waste Management Program. The consortium of Counties responsible for the Mid-Shore Solid Waste Facility (Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, and Caroline Counties) were informed by MES that the currently used landfill "cell" is projected to reach its capacity in three years and, therefore, the consortium will have to decide to open its fourth cell or to raise the level of the remaining cells.

The consortium has also learned that Dorchester County owns a large landfill which is not being utilized to its maximum capacity. Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, indicated that the respective County administrators of the consortium will be meeting on July 28 to discuss the above information, and that MES has requested that the consortium members sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

Commissioner Crow advised that the consortium will have to make a determination soon because the engineering process required to open the cell would have to begin very soon.

Commissioner Livie suggested that Kent County should start projecting expenses and saving money towards its responsibility for providing a regional landfill in 2050.

Commissioner Pickrum advised that the responsibility of the County is the provision of land for the landfill, and that the County would fund the capital expenses through the bond market.

Commissioner Crow indicated that it is the responsibility of the consortium to pay for the operations of the landfill.

Commissioner Pickrum concurred with Commissioner Livie that it would be wise for the County to begin its considerations of a location and to begin to project its financial obligations for the construction of the landfill in Kent County in 2050.

No further action was taken.


The Human Resources Director will send out a memorandum to County employees encouraging them to utilize the availability of direct deposit. S. Martin Hale, who was recently employed as Personnel Coordinator, appeared to meet with the Board.

The Commissioners welcomed him aboard and recommended he attend a seminar on COBRA compliance.

At 11:35 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie 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.

Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, was in attendance.

The executive session adjourned at 12:00 noon.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, reporting that on July 1, 2004 at 1:30 p.m. the Planning Commission will review an application submitted by KRM Development Corporation requesting preliminary site plan approval for a 4,000 square foot office building and a 4,000 square foot warehouse for Alger Oil at Commerce Road and Worton Road in the Third Election District. The property is zoned "I" Industrial.


The Commissioners approved and signed proclamation recognizing Major Michael S. Panos of the Maryland State Police who is retiring after thirty-two years of dedicated service.


In follow up to bid opening held on June 15, a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board to award to bid to FAM and M at a cost of $52,193 since it was felt that it was in the County's best interest to contract locally.

Commissioner Livie recused himself from voting on this matter.


The Commissioners approved the following recommendations submitted by the Board of Public Landings and Facilities at its meeting on June 7:

- the request of the Rock Hall Fallfest Committee for the use of Bayside bulkhead and Sharp Street pier for September 24 through 26, 2004;

- that a sign be placed on Sharp Street pier, stating that the pier is closed to vehicular traffic ($100 fine, otherwise);

- that the following projects be requested for Fiscal Year 2006 Department of Natural Resources grants: $100,000 for phase two of Turner's Creek jetty (100% grant), $100,000 for phase two of Bayside bulkhead (matching grant), $50,000 for Quaker Neck ramp (100% grant) and $50,000 for Shipyard ramp (100% grant).


The Commissioners requested the painting and carpeting projects for the Public Works Complex be bid out and the Fiscal Year 2005 budget will be amended to reflect this expenditure.


Community Work Program - The Commissioners formally recognized Robert Sparre for his years of service as the Director for the Community Work Program. Mr. Sparre, who is retiring after serving the County for 22 years, was presented with a framed County Seal by the Commissioners to honor his years of service. Al Streelman, the newly appointed Director, was also in attendance.

Retiring School Teachers: The Commissioners recognized Doug Walters, a teacher of the Kent County Public Schools for 31 and one-half years upon the occasion of his retirement. Mrs. Chris Walters and Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, were also in attendance. Mr. Walters was honored for his dedicated service to the students of the County and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and a framed County Seal. Ms. Marjorie Baker was unable to attend; however, she will be schedule to meet with the Board at a later time.


Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning, appeared and indicated that the County has received a revised standard sediment control plan. Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, was also in attendance. Mrs. Owings reported that this plan applies to small projects such as new single family dwellings. The standard plan was revised to reflect the requirements of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).

The need to revise the standard plan was identified during the Maryland Department of the Environment's sediment control delegation review. The Kent County Soil and Water Conservation District revised the plan with comments from MDE and the Planning Department.


Correspondence was received from the Shore Erosion Control Director, Department of Natural Resources, advising that the Modified Shore Erosion Control Project Agreement for the installation of a structural shore erosion control project at Montana Avenue and Bayview Drive in Kent County has been executed by the Department of Natural Resources. This correspondence constitutes the County's authorization to proceed with this project.


The Commissioners approved and signed a letter to be sent to Raja Veeramachaneni, Director, Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering, Maryland State Highway Administration, indicating that, as a result of the cooperative effort of the Department of Public Works, County Roads, and Planning and Zoning Staff, a list of County Roads was submitted for reclassification during the most recent SHA Highway Functional Classification for approval by the Federal Highway Administration.

The list is the result of the cooperative effort of SHA and local agency representatives, including Ed Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, and Mrs. Owings.


Commissioner Crow advised that Mayor Bailey has agreed to work out an agreement for the administrative staff of the Upper Shore Regional Council to use office space located in the Visitors Center.


Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared and responded to Commissioner Livie's request for an update on the algae proliferation on Urieville Lake. Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, was also in attendance. She reported that the Gannett Fleming Engineering Company involved in the proposed Urieville Lake project is currently in the process of collecting the comments received during the requisite public commentary period, which is now closed, and that said comments will be posted and made available to the public by the end of this July.

Ms. Moredock also reported that the Section 206 funding for the participation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was cut. Ms. Moredock expressed her belief that a community forum will be organized for discussions as to the future of the Urieville Lake project and that she hopes that the County will be able to acquire local funding for the project.

Commissioner Pickrum requested that a letter go forth to Senator Edward Pipkin requesting his assistance with determining sources of funding for the proposed Urieville Lake project.

Expressing his interest in exploring options for the removal of the extensive algae growth on Urieville Lake, Commissioner Livie indicated that he would contact a chemical company, with which he is acquainted, in order to inquire about a safe, organic chemical treatment that removes algae growth.

No further action was taken.


Correspondence was received Sue E. Leager, Director, Department of Aging, Queen Anne's County, with congratulations extended to Susanne Hayman upon her appointment as the County Administrator of Kent County. She requested of Ms. Hayman an opportunity to discuss transferring the administration of the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) grants to another agency and about the possibility of coordinating the Kent County grants with the existing MTA routes in Queen Anne's County.

The County Administrator reported that she and Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, met on June 21 with regional county administrators of Caroline, Queen Anne's and Talbot to discuss pending transportation issues. Commissioner Crow recommended that a meeting be scheduled with, Sue E. Leager, Director, Department of Aging, Queen Anne's County.


An application for a Zoning Text Amendment was received from Carl Wright, of Wright Land Development, LLC, of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for review and recommendation. Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, advised that Mr. Wright's application will be reviewed at the July 1 meeting of the Planning Commission.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, July 6, 2004.

There will be no meeting of the County Commissioners on June 29 due to scheduling conflicts.


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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