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Board of County Commissioners

July 13, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met this evening at 6:00 p.m. in Rock Hall 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 $2,456,460.53.


The Commissioners held their meeting in the Municipal Building in Rock Hall this evening. Mayor Jay Jacobs welcomed the Commissioners and briefly reviewed the progress of some of the current projects of the Town, including the re-surfacing and restoration of roads, planting of trees along the roads, the new waterline, and the construction of the Fire Hall.

Olin "Butch" Price, Rosalee Kuechler, and John Toulson, Council Members, Rock Hall Town Council, were in attendance, as well as approximately six interested persons including members of the media.

Commissioner Livie commended the recent fireworks display at the Fourth of July festivities and all of the effort extended towards the show and events. Commissioner Pickrum, on behalf of the Board, expressed the Commissioners' appreciation to everyone that attended the meeting.


Public School Construction Program - Memorandum was received from David Lever, Executive Director, Maryland Public School Construction Program, reporting that in the 2004 Legislative Session, the General Assembly passed two bills that concern public school construction in Maryland:

House Bill 199 requires the Board of Public Works to include modular construction as an approved public school construction cost, and to adopt regulations that define modular construction and establish minimum specifications for approval of a modular construction project;

House Bill 1230/Senate Bill 787, the public School Facilities Act of 2004, contains a broad range of provisions that significantly impact project delivery, finances, State Rated Capacity, relocatable classrooms, and a number of other issues.

Maryland Retired Teachers' Association (MRTA) - Commissioner Pickrum noted that a memorandum was received from Sue Betsill, President, and Legislative Chair, Kenneth K. Muir, of the MRTA, dated July 6, 2004, referring to an editorial in The Baltimore Sun which speculated that Governor Ehrlich might consider balancing the State budget next year by shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the State to the counties.

Ms. Betsill and Mr. Muir reported that said speculation, whether well-founded or not, has caused active and retired school employees in every Maryland subdivision to express concern about the continued security of their retirement and the continuing progress that, in their opinion, Maryland's public schools are making as a result of the Bridge to Excellence in Education program (a.k.a. "Thornton Act") funding.

They advised of the MRTA's desire to work with the Governor to do everything possible to maintain the current funding and security of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, and requested the support of the County's Commissioners.

Commissioner Pickrum explained that the Bridge to Excellence in Education program was created by the State government which, by virtue of its implementation, created in turn a funding requirement which, however, did not receive financial support of State governments. He cited a recent press release issued by the State indicating that it is the intention of the State to reduce its support to local governments by 12%.


Memorandum was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, attaching a copy of the results of the Visual Preference Survey and a list of all the comments from the break-out groups conducted and received at the Comprehensive Plan Visioning Session which took place on June 22.

Correspondence was received from Elizabeth H. Morris, Chair, Planning Commission, that a resolution be adopted to amend the County's Comprehensive Plan by including the Stories of the Chesapeake Management Plan. The Kent County Comprehensive Plan recognizes that cultural and heritage tourism is an important part of the County's economy, and that the Stories of the Chesapeake Management Plan is consistent with and sets forth a roadmap to accomplish tourism goals as outlined in the County's Comprehensive Plan.

The Commissioners approved and signed Resolution stating that the Management Plan and the proposal to request that the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area become a Certified Maryland Heritage Area is approved. The Resolution also authorized the submittal of the Management Plan and Certified Heritage Area proposal to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority for approval.

A formal public hearing will be scheduled on this issue.


In response to the Commissioners' request for required minimum construction standards for roads to be accepted into the County road system, Jim Wright, County Engineer, responded by memorandum, with attached copy of the existing subdivision Road Design and Construction Standards and proposed amendments for consideration.

The Commissioners will meet with the Public Works Director, County Roads Superintendent and County Engineer on August 3 for further discussion.

The County Administrator reported that she will be meeting with Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, and Mr. Spray, County Roads Superintendent, prior to the August 3 meeting.

Commissioner Crow explained that it is in the interest of the Board to bring the current standards of the County more in line with the current standards of the State Highway Administration as well as to address the cost-efficiency of this work.


As per the Commissioners' request, a "Suggestion Box" has been made available to the citizens of Kent County on the homepage of the County's website: www.kentcounty.com. Citizens are invited to click on "Suggestions to the Commissioners" and enter their suggestions to the Commissioners with or without the inclusion of their name or other contact information.


A Memorandum was received from Warden Ronald Howell of the Detention Center recommending that an animal assisted activity protocol be adopted by the County for implementation at the Detention Center.

Warden Howell explained in his memorandum that inmates with mental health disabilities would benefit from pet therapy and would be selected for participation. Supervision of said program would be the responsibility of the Warden, Detention Center mental health personnel would identify and select those inmates meeting the criteria. Warden Howell also explained that the program's implementation and maintenance would be at no cost to the County's taxpayers.

No action was taken at this time.


Memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, providing the following updates:

Kent County Business Park at Worton - Stormwater location is in legal negotiations since February 2004.

Ms. Schaller urged the Commissioners to come to a decision in order to move forward on the site plan, and because potential businesses are seeking other areas outside of Kent County given of the realities of land cost rising and building costs. -

Chesapeake Marine Trade Career School - The Economic Development Advisory Board held its last meeting in the proposed building for the School in Rock Hall. Chesapeake College continues to work on the curriculum with courses ready to be offered in the Fall with help from the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC). Many citizens of Rock Hall and throughout the County have volunteered time and resources to the School.

- The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has nearly completed the Marine Trade Survey.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the Fiscal Year 2005 Operating Budget (County appropriation) for the County Extension Service.


Memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, reporting that Sarah Woodworth, Vice-President, ZHA, Inc., met with the Economic Development Advisory Board, Commissioner Livie and Ms. Schaller on July 12 to discuss the draft ZHA, Inc. prepared entitled, Retail and Office Market Analysis, as it pertains to the LaMotte Property. Commissioner Livie extended an invitation to Ms. Woodworth to attend the Commissioners' Meeting on July 20 to brief the Board and field questions.


Correspondence was received from James M. Arnie, Director, Office of the Comptroller of Maryland, acknowledging receipt of the County's letter, dated June 18, and copy of the Resolution to increase the County's income tax from 2.58% to 2.85%, beginning January 1, 2005. The Comptroller's Office will advise all employers so that the appropriate State and local income taxes are withheld from the salaries and wages of the residents of the County beginning January 1, 2005.


The Commissioners approved and signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Local Management Board and the Parks and Recreation Department for the provision of the Fiscal Year 2005 MINI - Youth Fishing Derby and Fiscal Year 2005 MINI - Leaders Club

Correspondence was received from William Clark, Vice-Chair, Local Management Board (LMB), Kent County, and directed to Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent, Kent County Public Schools, concerning the resolution of the issues related to the Fiscal Year 2004 School Based Mental Health Grant.


Commissioner Pickrum noted correspondence was received from Thomas E. Hutchins, Superintendent, MSP, extending his appreciation to the Commissioners for their letter sent to Governor Ehrlich, Jr., requesting additional police presence in Kent County.

Mr. Hutchins, responding on the Governor's behalf, reported that the MSP is currently reviewing the results of an internal examination in an effort to develop a comprehensive model for assigning personnel throughout the State. As personnel are redeployed, the MSP will look to increase its presence where it is needed most.

Mr. Hutchins also indicated that he has directed Captain Martin E. Knight, Commander of the Centreville Barrack, MSP, to keep the Commissioners informed of the MSP's endeavors concerning redeployment.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and introduced to the Commissioners the Parks and Recreation current Summer Staff. Judie Berry, Recreation Supervisor, Myra Butler, Recreational Program Coordinator, Sally Mullen, Administrative Aide Antoninette Campbell, Camp Director, and approximately 45 of the 55 young adults who constitute the 2004 Parks and Recreation Summer staff were also in attendance.

The young adults represent Summerscape Camp counselors, Junior Leaders' Club, lifeguards, and Daycare Camp counselors. Mr. Troester asked that all the staff members introduce themselves to the Commissioners in order to "put a face to the name."

He also reported that the summer recreational program is about mid-way completed.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Mr. Troester and all the members of the 2004 Summer Staff for attending.


At 5:30 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into closed session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The closed session adjourned at 6:00 p.m.


Jim Wright, County Engineer, obtained the following bids for carpet replacement in the Public Works Complex, for materials and labor:

Austin Carpet, Inc.
Chestertown, MD..........................................................................$11,900.00

Park Rug & Floor Covering Chestertown, MD.......................................................................... $13,750.00

The Commissioners approved the recommendation of Jim Wright, County Engineer, to award the carpet replacement project to Austin Carpet, Inc., the low bidder.

After contacting local painting contractors, only one bid was submitted to Mr. Wright for exterior painting at the Public Works Complex:

Everett Painting
Chestertown, MD......................................................... $7,500.00

The Commissioners approved the recommendation of Mr. Wright to award the project to Everett Painting. A budget amendment will be prepared for the above projects.


Correspondence was received from W.A. Willis, owner of The Sailing Emporium, Inc., of Rock Hall, indicating that in his opinion the entrance to Rock Hall Harbor is in need of dredging. He estimated that the area around the jetties have filled in about 3 inches since the last dredging.

According to Mr. Willis, because the harbor is in constant use for both commercial vessels and recreational vessels of deeper draft, the shoaling entrance is a commercial issue as well as a safety issue.

Mayor Jacobs and Council Member Price concurred that, in their opinion, the harbor is in need of dredging and indicated that the extensive erosion contributing to the increased sediment in the harbor was the result of Hurricane Isabel.

Mayor Jacobs also noted that a significant amount of time transpired since the last dredging of the harbor took place, conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Commissioners will ask Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, to contact the Corps of Engineers and discuss if and when dredging would be needed. They asked that Mr. Stanton keep the Mayor and Council of Rock Hall advised of the results of his research.


Correspondence was received from Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., directed to Robert Etgen, Director, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, providing notice that the Board of Public Works, at its meeting on June 9, 2004, approved a grant of $850,000 in Rural Legacy Program funds for the Agricultural Security Corridor Rural Legacy Area.


Correspondence was received from Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, expressing his gratitude to the Commissioners for their prompt consideration and endorsement of changes to the Federal Functional Classification System for Kent County. These changes will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for approval, and given its approval, the SHA will distribute new Kent County functional classification maps.


Correspondence went forth to the Tobacco License Holder at High's 97, located at 887 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, from Mauritz Stetson, Tobacco Inspector, providing notice that on July 7, 2004, at 1:40 p.m., a controlled purchase of a tobacco product was made at said establishment.

Mr. Stetson indicated that the purchase was made during a "sting operation" by a certified 16-year old who was not asked for identification of age. Mr. Stetson also indicated that it was decided not to bring charges for this violation at this time, and reminded the License Holder that both the person who made the sale and the management are subject to a citation for the sale of a tobacco product to a minor.

According to Mr. Stetson, the License Holder has been put on notice that the "controlled buys" of tobacco products will be on going and that if he/she should make a sale of tobacco products during these future compliance checks, citation(s) will be issued.

Mr. Stetson reported to the Commissioners about an alleged violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Law, Article 2B, Section 13-101, (2)(i) (failure to have an individual certified in alcohol awareness training on the premises during the hours in which alcoholic beverages may be served or consumed) of the Annotated Code of Maryland at the Super Soda Center on Maple Avenue, Chestertown, on July 8, 2004, while Mr. Stetson was delivering a notice to the Licensee for a hearing for an alcoholic beverage violation and a letter notifying them of a previous alleged violation of the tobacco laws.He indicated that a detailed report will be forth-coming to the Board once a hearing takes place.

An administrative hearing addressing both alleged violations at the same time will be scheduled.


Commissioner Pickrum pointed out that notice was received from Ann Wilmer Hoon indicating that she observed a significant amount of algae on Morgan Creek which, in her opinion, she has not witnessed since 1980, citing Urieville Lake as the source of the algae. Mrs. Hoon would like Urieville Lake to be cleaned up in order to prove to citizens that the cause of the algae present in Morgan Creek originated from the algae in Urieville Lake and not from farms.

Commissioner Pickrum reviewed the project initiated by the County and in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean-up Urieville Lake and explained that the start of the project will take place in a few years as per the schedule of the Corps of Engineers.

Guy Beckley, Operations Manager of the Chesapeake Marine Trade Career School, who was observing the meeting, offered to inquire into a possible solution for the removal of the algae growth in Urieville Lake. Commissioner Livie explained that the Board has been conducting researching into companies whose business it is to remove algae growth in an environmentally safe manner.


Notice of Applications Received for State Permits was received from the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, Water Supply Program, including notice of the application submitted by Lester C. Jones of Kent County to increase an existing appropriation from an annual average of 10,000 gallons of ground water per day (gpd), and an average of 13,000 gpd in the month of maximum use to an annual average of 35,000 gpd and 38,000 gpd in the month of maximum use.

The water is withdrawn from two wells in the Aquia aquifer and used for farm irrigation. The project is located at 12511 Massey Road, one mile north of Massey, Kent County.


The Commissioners accepted the invitation received from Dick Meyers, General Manager, Radio Station WCTR, Chestertown, to sponsor 6 radio spots, at five minutes each, for a cost of $137.50. Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism, will write the scripts for the radio spots.


The Commissioners approved and signed Stormwater Management Easement Agreement with KRM Development Corporation whereby the County grants to KRM an easement to install the necessary berms and slopes needed to maintain a stormwater management pond on the KRM property with location beginning at a point on the division line between Lot 2. The stormwater management pond shall be constructed at the cost of KRM as well as to be responsible for all costs and expense of any repair and maintenance.

A bill in the amount of $125 was approved for Michael A. Scott, Inc. for the preparation of the legal description and easement on the subject property.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Grant Agreement between the Department of Agriculture and Kent County for the control and eradication of noxious weeds (Johnsongrass, Shattercane, Thistles and Multiflora Rose) whereby the State will provide the county with a grant up to 50% of its net anticipated expenditures (not to exceed $6,500) for the program for period beginning July 1 and ending May 31, 2005.


Correspondence was received, from Clayton A. Mitchell, Esq., providing Notice of Appearance of Counsel of Mr. Clayton and Hoon & Associates, LLC as the attorneys of record for Jerry Smith, et. al. (including various residents of Coopers Lane, Worton) in the matter regarding the proposed revisions and text amendments to the County Zoning Ordinance (as per the Minutes of the June 15, 2004 Commissioners' Meeting).

Mr. Mitchell also requested that notice of the Commissioners' meetings or public hearings pertaining to any proposed zoning text amendments or revisions be forwarded to his office.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, July 20, 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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