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Board of County Commissioners

August 3, 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 $1,113,567.00.

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


Correspondence will go forth to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation requesting approval to participate in the Fiscal Year 2005 Easement Acquisition Program.


Correspondence was received from Peter J. Connell, of Rock Hall, requesting that the Commissioners bring to the attention of youth counselors, ministers, educators and guidance counselors his desire to offer his services as an instructor of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, to the African-American community in the County.

The Commissioners requested that a copy of Mr. Connell's offering be sent to the Chester Valley Minister's Association, Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, the Board of Education, and Concerned Men of Kent County.


Correspondence was received via electronic mail from Margot Kindig, resident of Bayshore Road, Fairlee, directed to Sheriff John Price, reporting that, in her opinion, the vehicular traffic continues to exceed speed limits on Bayshore Road, and requesting that the Sheriff's Office provide a patrol car on the road with radar. Along with the installation of rumble strips on the road, Mrs. Kindig expressed her belief that police enforcement of the speed limit will curb the repetitive problem of excessive speeding of traffic.


Correspondence was received from Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, extending her appreciation for the opportunity to discuss with the Commissioners several financial issues at their meeting on July 20. Concerning the calendar of electronic transfer payment schedule for Fiscal Year 2005, Dr. Ward indicated that, on the recommendation of the BOE auditor, the BOE has adjusted the electronic transfer schedule, basing it on actual financial needs. Dr. Ward attached the adjusted schedule for Fiscal Year 2005 for the Commissioners' approval.

The Commissioners approved the BOE's adjustment of the electronic transfer schedule as stated by Dr. Ward. Concerning restricted grant funding, Dr. Ward requested Frances Miller, Superintendent of Administrative Services, Kent County Public Schools, to review the BOE's accounting of restricted grants with the BOE's auditors. Following that review, the auditors and Mrs. Miller will meet with Pat Merritt, the County's Director of Budget and Accounting, to discuss any needed changes. Dr. Ward also indicated that future reports will display these changes.


Hotel Rental Tax

The first reading of Code Home Rule Bill No. 2-2004 took place. Commissioner Pickrum read the Bill into the record as follows:

An Act to repeal and re-enact with Amendments Section 152-16 of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, Maryland, concerning the imposition of a Hotel Rental Tax and the rate thereof, and empowering the Board of County Commissioners for Kent County to impose by resolution a tax on a transient charge paid to a hotel located in Kent County, Maryland consistent with the provisions and authority of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Article 24, Title 9 (Revenue and Taxes), Subtitle 3 (Hotel Rental Tax), Part I (Definitions; General Provisions).

A Public Hearing on this proposed bill has been scheduled to take place on August 24 at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room.

Zoning Text Amendments

The first reading of Code Home Rule Bill 03-2004 took place. Commissioner Pickrum read the Bill into the record as follows:

Code Home Rule No. 3-2004 is an Act to repeal and re-enact with amendments Article V, Section 2.4B;Article IX, Section 2.2.5;Article XI, Section 2.98, Article XII, Section 4.5 of the Kent County Zoning Ordinance, and to add new Article IX, Sections 2.23H. and 2.2.3J; Article XI, Section 2;and Note #4 to Article V, Section 2.5 of the Kent County Land Use Ordinance; complying with changes in the policies and criteria of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program approved by the Maryland General Assembly in 2004;revising provisions governing "accessory uses" in the Resource Conservation District;adding provisions applicable to variance and waiver decisions and orders; adding a definition of "dwelling unit" within the Critical Area;revising penalties for violations of Critical Area provisions; adding considerations related to Critical Area variance requests;defining "unwarranted hardship" within the Critical Area;and making certain technical changes.

A Public Hearing on this proposed bill has been scheduled to take place on August 24 at 10:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room.


Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, appeared and responded to the Commissioners' request for required minimum construction standards for roads to be accepted into the County road system.

Discussion ensued with reference made to a Memorandum sent by Mr. Wright with attached copy of the existing subdivision Road Design and Construction Standards and proposed amendments for consideration. The Standards are as follows:

- The 3-inch bituminous concrete pavement requirement is in question on existing O.P. (Other People's) Roads. Mr. Wright indicated that he discussed this issue with Edward Spray, Roads Superintendent, and noted that Mr. Spray is amenable to reducing the pavement requirement to a triple surface treatment pavement section (tar and chip) with additional base material to offset the reduced structural capacity of the pavement. Mr. Wright added that he and Mr. Spray will discuss the base requirements for new roads in more detail.

- Mr. Wright agreed with Commissioner Crow's opinion that roads in a project such as the one proposed in Kennedyville should have bituminous concrete (blacktop) paving. Mr. Wright recommended that subdivisions with small lots have curb and gutter with on street parking if lots do not provide adequate space for parking. Mr. Wright would classify a small lot as less than three quarters of an acre or less, and further advised that one acre lots would be suitable for the open section roadway with triple surface treatment.

- Mr. Wright advised that existing O.P. roads must be evaluated individually before being considered for acceptance into the County road system, adding that adequate base, drainage, pavement, vertical and horizontal alignment must be taken into consideration.

Commissioner Livie expressed his opinion that a tar and chip road surface would appear to be the more logical surface material standard for County roads. In those places where the road base requirement had to be raised, rather than dismantle the road, an increment of tar could be added to the road's surface for compliance to standards.

Commissioner Pickrum initiated discussion as to the need for a County policy to govern requests made by communities to bring existing O.P. Roads up to County standards, as well as a policy to govern the road standards for brand new developments.

Commissioner Livie requested that Mr. Wright report on the road standards utilized by other counties.

Mr. Wright indicated that he would also check with Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning.


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

Rock Hall Water System/Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris, Commissioner Crow, and Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, attended a meeting on August 2 with the Mayor and Town Council of Rock Hall for further discussion pertaining to correspondence received by the County from the Town of Rock Hall (dated May 7, 2004) regarding the Town's request that a feasibility study be conducted prior to any further negotiations concerning the County's interest in a connection to the Rock Hall water line by the Edesville Service Area.

The Town of Rock Hall requested the study in order to determine if its water supply can cover domestic supply, e.g. for the Edesville Service Area and projected developments in Rock Hall, instead of just an emergency supply.

Mr. Morris reported that he proposed that McCrone's, Inc. (Engineering) conduct the feasibility study at the cost of $10,000, and that the study would be comprehensive and, thereby, providing to the Town and to the County the specific information of interest to each.

Mr. Morris suggested that building developers interested in taking advantage of the proposed water line reimburse a portion of the cost of the feasibility study.

Commissioner Crow concurred with Mr. Morris' suggestion, proposing that the Town of Rock Hall be responsible for the administration of the reimbursement of the feasibility study cost.

Commissioner Pickrum stated that the priority of the proposed water agreement with Rock Hall for the County is to provide water service to the Edesville Service Area.

Commissioner Crow and Mr. Morris concurred that it would appear that the connection of the Edesville Service Area to the Rock Hall water line would be the most cost effective of options for providing water to Edesville.

Mr. Morris expressed his opinion that the centralization of a water system proves to be the most economical scenario in the long run. Mr. Morris advised that the feasibility study would identify most or all of the associated costs involved with the water line installation.

Commissioner Pickrum requested that all of these associated issues and costs be delineated in the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County and the Town of Rock Hall.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to authorize a feasibility study to be conducted by McCrone's, Inc. (Engineering) at a cost not to exceed $10,000 within the Fiscal Year 2005 Budget.

Millington Water System - The Commissioners approved and signed Contract Change Order #1 with the Town of Millington and Bearing Construction, Inc. to reflect the increase in contract price in the amount of $139,401.94; the total amount of the contract would therefore be $3,110,065.68.

The justification for this change order was due to removal of an elevated storage tank from Contract B of the water system. Larger pipe sizes were needed to provide the required fire flow to the entire system. One of the elevated storage tanks was removed from the system in order to reduce the total cost of the project. Asphalt repair details were modified in order to reduce the cost of repair and repaving of Town and County roads. State Highway repair details were left unchanged.

Town and County agencies were consulted prior to modification of the paving section.

Tolchester Service Area/Tolchester Estates - Mr. Morris reported that on August 4 he will meet with Barry Ebersole, District Manager, McCrone's, Inc. (Engineering) and representatives of the Maryland Department of the Environment for further discussion pertaining to Tolchester Estates and the results of McCrone's feasibility study conducted in the spring 2004.

For the record, Mr. Ebersole, reported his opinion, based on his study, that 11 pumps can connect to the 2-inch collection main in Maryland Parkway, but not one more unless the collection main in MD Route 21 is upgraded.

Worton Service Area - A "Notice of Applications Received for State Permits and Opportunity for Hearing" was received from the Maryland Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, indicating that the Water Management Administration is reviewing the County's application to appropriate and use an annual average of 71,000 gallons of ground water per day (gpd) and an average of 112,000 gpd in the month of maximum use.

The water is withdrawn from one well in the Magothy aquifer and will serve as a supplemental community water supply for the Town of Worton. This project is located on the northeast corner of the junction of MD Route 297 and Porters Grove Road, in Worton.


The Commissioners approved a raffle-only permit for the Chestertown High School Alumni Association for their fund-raising event to take place at the Kent Agricultural Center in Tolchester on August 8.


Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, and Doug Sherman, IT Specialist, appeared and reviewed correspondence, dated July 30, that was received from Grant Harbin, Director of Implementation Services, SunGard HTE Inc., who responded to the following concerns that were brought up at the Commissioners' meeting on July 27, about implementing SunGard HTE's Application Service Provider (ASP) solution:

- The stability of SunGard HTE : with SunGard's acquisition of HTE, SunGard HTE has access to potential funding for future product line expansions and other improvements, and has increased the focus on customers and the direction of its products.

- Access to Data: the implementation of standard industry back-up procedures, including secure offsite storage rotations; a disaster recovery contract; SunGard's willingness to provide the County with agreeable tape rotate schedule.

- SunGard HTE would also be willing to permit to the County ownership of the data. According to Commissioner Pickrum, his main two concerns about a proposed agreement with SunGard HTE which would implement its ASP solution are that the County's data remain the property of the County, and that the County have effective and efficient access to the data 24/7.

Therefore, as per the assurances written by SunGard HTE, Commissioner Pickrum affirmed the decision of the Board at its meeting on July 27 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.

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


Correspondence was received from Nancy Palmer, Director, Office of Programs and Regional Development, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) extending congratulations on the County's recent Maryland Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) award.

Ms. Palmer reported that, because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has not yet executed grant agreement to the State for Fiscal Year 2005 CDGB funds, DHCD is unable to issue a grant agreement to Kent County until the HUD agreement is finalized. Ms. Palmer listed interim steps that should be taken by the County regarding the implications of this issue.


Bill Susen, of Chestertown, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Chestertown Wildlife Exhibition and Sale, appeared. Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation and Chair of the LaMotte Property Study Committee, was also in attendance. Mr. Susen reviewed the history of contributions made by the Wildlife Habitat from the proceeds it received that were generated by the Chestertown Wildlife Festival, such as the preservation/restoration efforts made to the wetlands surrounding Radcliffe Creek

Mr. Susen stated that groups such as Wildlife Habitat and Ducks Unlimited would be able to apply for funding with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the installation of a permanent water control program for the 3 acre pond on the LaMotte property. With a water depth control regimen, the County would be able to impound the water in the pond, thereby attracting more geese and ducks.

There is a stipulation that public ownership of the pond would be a requirement for eligibility of this particular funding.

For the record, ownership of the pond is represented by three parties, each owning one portion of it: the County, the LaMotte Chemical Products Company, and Andrew Bradley, a resident of Chestertown. Mr. Susen advised that if the two private owners would deed their respective portion of the pond to the County, the pond and its wetlands would be an eligible applicant for DNR funding.

Commissioner Livie stated that the attraction to the pond by waterfowl would be an inclusive interest, not an exclusive interest, of the County's plans for the LaMotte property, and he emphasized that it is the desire of the Board to support the presence of green space and natural aesthetic interest on the LaMotte property. He reported that the Board had envisioned the involvement of Ducks Unlimited, Chestertown Wildlife Festival, and Soil Conservationist, Nancy Metcalf.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum's question, Mr. Susen indicated that the current size of the pond is larger than its original size. Given that the pond and its environs constitute wetlands, Mr. Susen advised that there is no use of the pond and wetlands to anybody, except for waterfowl and for aesthetic purposes.

Mr. Troester reported that stormwater management is the County's first priority for the pond. He also advised, as per the report of the LaMotte Property Study Committee, if the County became the sole owner of the pond and became the recipient of DNR funding, the County would then be responsible for the maintenance of the pond for 20 to 25 years.

Both he and Commissioner Pickrum concurred that it would be important to define ownership and determine the responsible party for the maintenance of the pond among the following, for example, the Town of Chestertown, the County, or the developers of the LaMotte Property. Mr. Susen advised that maintenance of the pond and its wetlands would not be difficult.

Mr. Troester stated that another issue to be addressed concerning the pond and wetlands is the fact that the Town of Chestertown has a right of way on the property.

The Commissioners authorized the County Administrator to proceed with the subdivision plat to be submitted to the Chestertown Planning Commission. They also requested that RFP (Request for Proposal) be prepared by October 1.

The Commissioners approved payment of the LaMotte Park property tax bill in the amount of $6,797.04 out of the contingency fund.


At 10:15 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into closed session Thomas N Yeager, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (a)(7)(8) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Items of discussion included tax sale properties, nuisance ordinance violation, and storm water management project.

The closed session adjourned at 10:40 a.m.


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 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. Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.

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


Correspondence was received from John A. Dillman, III, Executive Director, Upper Shore Regional Council, directed to Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, extended the gratitude of the USRC to Doug Sherman, IT Specialist, for his expertise and time with the purchase and installation of computers, copier, and FAX machine, and for enabling the Council's office staff to utilize the same.

Mr. Dillman described Mr. Sherman as an extremely talented and dedicated employee as well as "someone who reflects the values and attitudes we all hope to find in our associates in the workplace."


Discussion took place in reference to a copy of correspondence that was received from Sue E. Leager, Director, Queen Anne's County Department of Aging, referring to a letter, dated July 20, sent by Carl Burke, Executive Director of Upper Shore Aging, Inc. (USA), and directed to the Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) in which he stated that USA will not be applying for funding for public transit services for Talbot, Caroline, and Kent Counties for Fiscal Year 2006. Jack Canan, Coordinator of Housing and Community Development, was also in attendance.

Ms. Leager referred also to her correspondence directed to the County Administrator, dated June 14, in which Ms. Leager suggested a possible coordinated approach between Kent and Queen Anne's Counties to improve public transportation service to their respective citizens.

She noted that the application process for funding from MTA for Fiscal Year 2005 would begin soon, with a meeting scheduled July 29.

Ms. Leager inquired whether or not the Commissioners would be interested in supporting an application for funding for Kent County's transportation programs by Queen Anne's County.

Ms. Hayman reported that she and Mr. Canan had a meeting to discuss the feasibility of coordinated approaches to public transportation, such as one between Kent and Queen Anne's Counties, and the system used in Dorchester County.

Ms. Hayman also reported that she intends to discuss the feasibility of a public transportation system with Talbot County at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) conference scheduled for August 18, 19, and 20.

Mr. Canan and Commissioner Pickrum concurred that it would be their preference that Talbot, Kent, Queen Anne's, Caroline, and Dorchester Counties participate in one public transportation system.

Mr. Canan stated that at the present time, there is one provider serving four of the five counties, and one provider serving only Queen Anne's County. Mr. Canan suggested that the Board learn what the Queen Anne's County system is able to assume and then make the necessary improvements.

Ms. Hayman will report her findings from the MACo Conference to the Board.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 10, 2004, at 6:00 p.m.


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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