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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

July 27, 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 $1,203,427.82.

Commissioner Pickrum requested a moment of silence to remember the men and women in uniform around the world who are defending the United States' freedom and America's way of life.


BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)

The Commissioners advised of interest to attend the September 7 meeting of the Board of Education to discuss their desires to see project move forward as it relates to lighting of the KCHS athletic field.


CIRCUIT COURT

Judge Fred Price, Circuit Court, submitted a bill in the amount of $9,603 from Allen Construction and Restoration, Inc. for the replacement of the High Street entrance doors at the Court House. On April 7, the amount of $7,000 was approved for this project. The Commissioners approved the expenditure of $2,603 out of the Fiscal Year 2004 contingency fund to cover this overage.


COMMUNITY CENTER

A meeting has been scheduled with the Board of County Commissioners, Board of Education and Local Management Board on August 3 at 5:00 p.m. at the Board of Education Building for discussion of the proposed Community Center project.


DETENTION CENTER

A Memorandum was received from Warden Ronnie Howell, Detention Center, advising of two quotes obtained from Overhead Door Company of DelMar, Inc. for the repair and/or replacement of a 17 year old door located at the rear of the Detention Center in the vehicle yard. The subject door was installed at the time of construction and has been the object of many repairs. In reviewing the quotes received, Warden Howell recommended the replacement of the door at the following cost:

$1762.00 Door and installation (electric/remote control)

$ 175.00 Safety reversing device

$ 245.00 Labor (first trip)

$2182.00 Total


Warden Howell reported that the quote for the repair of the door is $1523.00, which includes the installation of the safety reversing device. Even though it is a $659 difference, Warden Howell feels the replacement would be a better investment. He also noted that Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, has indicated that this expense would be within the budget for this type of repair to the Detention Center building.

The Commissioners approved Warden Howell's recommendation.


EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

The Commissioners discussed the Public Information Meeting held on July 22, regarding the 350' emergency communications tower which the State has proposed to build at its Chestertown Maintenance Facility located on 615 Morgnec Road, Chestertown. The proposed tower would provide radio communication for some State agencies and a portion of the tower would be offered to the local government, i.e. Kent County, for the attachment of its own antennae.

Commissioner Pickrum and Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, attended.

Commissioner Pickrum reported that space on the tower could be leased to private agencies, potentially minimizing the need for the erection of cellular towers.

Bob Rust, Emergency Management Director reported it did not appear the State would succeed in its plans for placing the tower on its property due to compliance issues to regulations under State law for historic areas subject to Maryland Historic Trust Authority.


FIRE COMPANIES

Memorandum was received via FAX from Gregg Bird, Vice President, Kent County Chief's Association, directed to Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer for Kent County, advising that the total number of personnel in need of hepatitus shots is 318. He requested that the immunizations begin as soon as possible given the Occupational Health and Safety Act federal mandates that all employers have that opportunity with an occupational hazard of hepatitus exposure. Chief Bird provided the total personnel per company.

A copy of Memorandum was received from Leland D. Spencer, M.D., Kent County Health Officer, directed to Mr. Bird and responding to his request for a hepatitus vaccine for the County Fire/EMS/Rescue personnel. Dr. Spencer reported that the cost of the vaccine fluctuates (depending on supply and demand) from $23.00 to $33.00 per dose, and at present is $25.00 per dose.

The hepatitus vaccine consists of three individual doses per person which at present would cost $75.00 per person for a total of $23,850.00 to vaccinate 318 personnel indicated in Mr. Bird's request. The Health Department does not have the funds in its budget to meet this request.

Dr. Spencer indicated that his staff checked with the surrounding Counties and has determined that either the County governments provide the funding for the vaccine or the individual fire companies are billed for the cost of the vaccine. In Kent County, since at least 1998, fire companies have paid for the vaccination of their personnel.


Memorandum was received from the County Administrator reporting her receipt of, via electronic mail dated July 26, a letter from Gregg Bird, Vice-President, Kent County Fire Chief's Association, requesting assurance and funding for hepatitus immunization on behalf of the members of the Fire Chief's Association and the Kent County Emergency Medical Services Council.

The Commissioners requested that additional information be obtained for further discussion.

GAMING/RAFFLE PERMIT

The Commissioners approved a raffle permit for the Party on the Bay Committee for their fund-rasing activity to take place on August 21, 2004, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the County Landing and Park in Rock Hall.


HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (HIP)

Correspondence was received from Victor L. Hoskins, Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, indicating that the application submitted by the County for housing rehabilitation was not approved for funding for this fiscal year.


HTE PAYROLL SOFTWARE

Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, Roger Williams, Treasurer, and Doug Sherman, IT Specialist, presented to the Commissioners their evaluations and recommendations concerning the County government's AS400 hardware and HTE software needs.

Mrs. Merritt began the discussion by stating that the County's current payroll software was purchased in 1996 and the IBM operating software is four versions behind and the current HTE software applications are three versions behind. The current system is not capable of handling the upgraded version.

Mrs. Merritt and Mr. Sherman recommended that the County upgrade its hardware to run the current software applications that are supported by IBM and HTE. In order to accomplish this, they presented two options for consideration:

- purchase another AS400 capable of running the required software;

- have HTE host the County's software on their computers and access the software over the internet.

Mrs. Merritt reviewed the cost analysis of recurring costs and one time costs.

The total recurring costs pertaining to the purchase of AS400 hardware would be $73,920.92; the total for HTE hosting would be $89,899.92. The total one time costs pertaining to the purchase of AS400 hardware would be $174,520.92; the total for HTE hosting would be $118,688.92.

It is Mr. Sherman's recommendation that the County choose the HTE hosting option for reasons including the following:

- HTE always runs the most recent hardware and software versions; therefore, the County's applications using HTE machines would automatically be upgraded at no charge.

- HTE includes a built-in recovery plan.

- HTE has built-in power redundancy.

- Should a power outage occur affecting the County Government Center computers on the weekend (as has happened), it would not be necessary to reboot the AS400, for example, on Mondays.

- The County would not have to worry about the physical safety of the equipment.

- Less County employee time would be required to monitor the system, etc.

- The County's software applications would be monitored 24/7 by HTE staff. Mr. Williams reported that his main concerns pertaining to the proposed HTE payroll information purchase are service oriented, i.e. that the system would not shut-down.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum and Livie's questions, Mr. Sherman indicated that for the most part, the County's current Legacy software system would be perceived as obsolete and, therefore, not cost-effective to potential buyers; it would not be easy to sell or re-cycle, and requires significant funding to maintain.

The Commissioners also inquired as to the possibility of partnering with the Board of Education with the purchase of the new HTE software to benefit the computer programs of both the Board of Education and the County Government Center. Questions were also raised, inquiring about the software programs used by other Counties.

Commissioner Livie expressed his opinion that other Counties, like Kent, must be faced with similar challenges and costs, noting that computer systems and programs require frequent and expensive upgrading.

Mrs. Merritt reported that, with the purchase of the HTE software, the County would be approximately $5,500 over-budget in Fiscal Year 2005.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Crow, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to enter into agreement with HTE authorizing it to host the County's software on its computers and, thereby, enabling the County to access its software via the Internet.

Funding for this agreement/upgrade will be within budget with the exception of $5,500 which would come out of the contingency fund.

Ms. Hayman reported that Mr. Sherman has invested extended hours on-the-job since his employment with the County began and, noting that his salary is not competitive with his counterparts in other Counties, reported that the County has already benefitted significantly from Mr. Sherman's level of expertise, and that personnel considerations (e.g. the need for additional staff) are factors to be considered.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Mr. Sherman for the investment of his time and effort as the County IT Specialist.

KENT CENTER

Correspondence was received from Victor L. Hoskins, Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), indicating that the County's request for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in the amount of $500,000 was approved. The CDBG Program is administered by DHCD through the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization.


LAMOTTE PROPERTY

Memorandum was received via electronic mail from P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, indicating that a special meeting of the Economic Development Advisory Committee regarding the LaMotte property will take place on August 11 at 9:00 a.m.

William Ingersoll, Town Manager and Marcia Fritz, member of the LaMotte Property Study Committee and member of the Chestertown Planning Commission, will be invited to this meeting.

The Commissioners approved the text of the Executive Summary (with revisions) of the report prepared by Sarah Woodworth, Vice-President, ZHA, Inc. (consultants), Retail and Office Market Analysis, submitted for their approval as appropriate text for the Economic Development/Kent County website.

Excerpts of the Executive Summary are as follows: ZHA, Inc. was retained to identify and analyze viable development opportunities for 15,187 prime acres of property located on the northwest corner of Route 213 and 291 known as the LaMotte Property. The Kent County Commissioners purchased it, with this important caveat: recoup the purchase price of the property;intentionally create meaningful jobs for Kent County citizens; generate tax revenue for the Town of Chestertown; preserve the beauty and character of the site recognizing that as "owner of the land, the County can require that certain criteria be satisfied as a condition of a sale to a third party."

The final report by ZHA Vice-president, Sarah Woodworth states, "Chestertown's existing zoning allows industrial and office development of the site ... Existing zoning prohibits retail except as an accessory land use ... Access and management of the pond and non-tidal wetlands will add cost to the project." ... Retail and Office Market Analysis covers site, location, zoning, economic framework, socio-economic and employment rends deduced from 1998-2001 statistical sources.


The description of "land use" states there is scarcity of land in highly visible locations in Kent County which "makes the Subject Site with its central location a unique real estate opportunity." However, there is "not much market strength or ‘velocity' in the office or retail marketplace."


LAND USE ORDINANCE

Commissioner Pickrum noted the copies of newspaper articles sent to the Board by Congressman Wayne Gilchrest which highlight the aerial tour of the Delmarva Peninsula which the Congressman conducted with State and federal government representatives. The text of the articles indicated the efforts of the Congressman to emphasize the importance of agriculture in this area.

Commissioner Pickrum underscored the importance of the County's serious consideration and deliberations which it gives to Zoning Text Amendments, Critical Areas, zoning ordinances, etc. He further stated that the growth of development that does and will continue to occur in the County must be compatible with the quality of life that the Board would like to maintain.


LEGAL COUNSEL

At 11:50 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into closed session with Tom Yeager, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (a)(1)(4)(7)(8) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Items of discussion included Nuisance Ordinance violations, tax sale properties and the proposed stormwater management agreement for the Worton Business Center property.

The closed session adjourned at 11:55 a.m.


NUISANCE ORDINANCE

The Commissioners discussed the correspondence received from Phyllis K. Wallace, of Kennedyville, requesting that they address the issue of a derelict property at 12810 Augustine Highway in Kennedyville which she described as a health and safety hazard.

Ms. Hayman reported that the alleged nuisance ordinance violation is currently being processed in the County Circuit Court.


PERSONNEL

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 closed session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (a)(1)(i)(ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The closed session adjourned at 11:05 a.m.


PUBLIC LIBRARY

Correspondence was received from Helen D. Guastavino, President, Chestertown Library, Inc., with enclosure of a check in the amount of $2,650.00 payable to the Commissioners for the construction of a brick walk from the front of the Chestertown Library, Inc. building on Calvert Street to the side entrance of the building.

The Woman's Literary Club of Chestertown is planning to sell engraved memorial bricks for the walk as part of a fund-raising project for the Kent County Public Library.


Mrs. Guastavino expressed the appreciation of the Chestertown Library, Inc. to the Commissioners for their help with the completion of the building.


A copy of correspondence, directed to Gloria Urban, Director, Kent County Public Library, was sent from Mrs. Guastavino, with enclosures of checks payable to the Kent County Public Library, Inc. as follows:

- $7,326.37 from the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Inc. This amount represents a grant from the Chestertown Library Preservation Foundation to be used specifically as seed money to create a Foundation for the Kent County Public Library.

Mrs. Guastavino requested that, once the foundation is established, one member of the Chestertown Library, Inc. Board be designated in the Kent County Public Library's By-laws as a member of said Foundation's Board.

Further, Mrs. Guastavino requested that these funds be expended before June 30, 2005, and requested receipt of a report on the use of said grant funds before June 30, 2005.


- $657.82 from the Mid Shore Community Foundation, Inc.. This amount represents a grant from the Chestertown Library Preservation Foundation to be used specifically for large print books for the Library.

Mrs. Guastavino requested that acknowledgment be displayed on the books, such as "A Gift from the Chestertown Library, Inc."

Further, Mrs. Guastavino requested that these funds be expended before June 30, 2005, and requested receipt of a report on the use of said grant funds before June 30, 2005.


- $15,850.00 from the Chestertown Library, Inc, to be used specifically as follows:

- $5,000.00 to be used for the purchase of CD's.

An acknowledgment displayed on each CD was requested, such as "A Gift from the Chestertown Library, Inc."

- $850.00 to be used for the purchase of benches for the outside area of the Chestertown Library, Inc. building.

A small plaque was requested to be displayed on each bench to read, "A Gift from the Chestertown Library, Inc."


- $10,000 to be used as seed money for the creation of a Foundation for the Kent County Public Library.

Once the foundation is established, the request was made to have one member of the Chestertown Library, Inc. Board designated in the By-laws as a member of the Foundation's Board.

Further, Mrs. Guastavino requested that these funds be expended before June 30, 2005, and requested receipt of a report on the use of said grant funds before June 30, 2005.


Commissioner Livie stated that the Board is encouraged by these fund-raising efforts and by the prospect of a Foundation for the Kent County Public Library, and noted that the Board had promised to the Kent County Public Library that it would match, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000, the money raised by the Kent County Public Library.


RECOGNITION

The Commissioners recognized County employee, Charles Miller, on the occasion of his retirement from public service after serving the County 20 years and 10 months. Jack Canan, Coordinator, Robin Spielman, Administrative Aide, and Judy Hickman, Secretary III, all of Housing and Community Development, and Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, were also in attendance.

The Commissioners presented Mr. Miller with a plaque and a cake in recognition of his service. During his tenure with the County, Mr. Miller was employed as a maintenance worker at the Court House and other County facilities.

SOCIAL SERVICES

The Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors of Kent County Department of Social Services to appoint Doug Walters, of Galena, to fill an unexpired term ending June 30, 2007.


STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION

In response to a request made at the Board's meeting on January 7, 2003, a letter went forth to Richard Lindsay, District Engineer, State Highway Administration, expressing the County's appreciation for posting a sign to restrict truck traffic in the community of Sassafras.


UPPER SHORE AGING, INC. (USA)
U-STAR

Correspondence was received from Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, USA, directed to Leonard Howard, Chief of Regional Planning, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), serving notice that USA, Inc. will not make application for any MTA grants to fund public transit services in Talbot, Caroline or Kent Counties for Fiscal Year 2006.

Mr. Burke also indicated that USA will continue administering all the MTA grants it currently receives on behalf of Talbot, Caroline and Kent Counties through June 30, 2005, per all executed grant agreements. Mr. Burke added that USA will continue to work with its Maryland Upper Shore Transit (MUST) partners in support of an effective system of public transit for the mid-Shore region, as USA has done, according to Mr. Burke, for the past four years.

Further, USA will work effectively with the local governments that it serves as well as the MTA to ensure the smoothest possible transition during USA's exit from publically funded transportation in Talbot, Caroline and Kent Counties after June 30, 2005.


WASTE MANAGEMENT

Memorandum was received from Marty T. Holden, Waste Management Coordinator, advising of the recommendation of Joe Gsell (County Roads) and Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems that the malfunctioning rear container on the 1996 International recycling truck be replaced.

The estimate received from Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems for the replacement of the container is $8,780.00 which would be within the Fiscal Year 2005 budget.


ZONING TEXT AMENDMENTS (ZTA)

Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, and Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, appeared. In response to questions raised by the Commissioners, Mrs. Owings clarified the Zoning Text Amendments recommendations submitted, including the clarification of "structure" vs. "building" as these terms relate to the proposed development of Drayton Manor, and amendments required by the Critical Areas Commission.

The first reading for the proposed Zoning Text Amendments is tentatively scheduled for August 3. Drayton Manor Correspondence was received from Philip W. Hoon, Esq., of Hoon and Associates, LLC, dated July 23, indicating that his firm was retained by Jerry Smith and others in connection with their concerns about the proposed development of Drayton Manor.

Pertaining to legislation that was presented to the County that proposed changes to the Land Use Ordinance, including some that relate to the Critical Areas and others that do not (collectively referred to as the "Proposed Amendments"), Mr. Hoon conveyed the following comments and requests:

- Given that the County Board of Appeals issued a decision relating to the Drayton Manor project and whether it is a "retreat" under the Land Use Ordinance, Hoon and Associates will be filing an appeal of that action to the County Circuit Court next week.

- Some of the Proposed Amendments relating to Critical Areas matters are mandatory; others are not. Among the latter are proposed amendments relating to the development of "retreats" in the County (the "Retreat Legislation").

This Retreat Legislation will possibly have a direct impact on the Drayton Manor project.

Mr. Hoon requested that the Retreat Legislation be seperated from the other proposed amendments, that it be considered in a public hearing, and by a separate decision made apart from the other Proposed Amendments.

Mr. Hoon requested that the County postpone any decision on the Retreat Legislation for two reasons: (1) In the near future, Mr. Hoon's clients will be submitting alternative proposed amendments to address retreats. According to Mr. Hoon, the County's review of the pending Retreat Legislation and that which would also be postponed, would be more fair and efficient if they were considered simultaneously; and (2) Mr. Hoon expressed his belief that the County should not consider the Retreat Legislation until the Circuit Court rendered its decision in the appeal noted in the above.

Mr. Hoon also expressed his belief that there are numerous precedent situations in which the Commissioners deferred an action that was related to a pending judicial action as is the case concerning Drayton Manor.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 3, 2004.


THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant


Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.




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