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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

August 10, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met this evening at 6:00 p.m. with the following present: Roy W. Crow and William W. Pickrum, presiding.

Commissioner Scott Livie was away on vacation.

Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $1,226,926.00.

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.


AGRICULTURAL LAND PRESERVATION

Correspondence was received from John K. Bergen, Chair, Kent County Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board, reporting that the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation has decided to place a cap on the number of applications which will be appraised and that counties are limited to submitting the top 80% of applications for consideration. Applications were ranked using the County's Easement Prioritization Formula.

The Foundation requires the local governing body to approve the final list of properties. Mr. Bergen further reported that this year, 15 landowners submitted an application and he provided a list of the top 12. A letter went forth to James A. Conrad, Executive Director, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, indicating the Board's approval of the applications as recommended by the Agricultural Advisory Board to sell preservation easements to the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.


BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)

A Memorandum was received on August 9 from Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, providing an update on the progress on the Kent County High School renovations project and extended invitation to attend meetings beginning July 29.


BROADBAND

Correspondence was received from Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest, directed to the County Administrator, alerting the County government to a funding opportunity recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the availability of $9 Million in broadband grant funds for rural towns and communities where no broadband access exists.


BUILDING PERMIT FEE

The Commissioners approved the request submitted by Donald H. Usilton, Sr., Building Coordinator, Lynch Community Church, in Lynch, that their building permit fees be waived. Mr. Usilton indicated that the congregation intends to begin work on various building projects in order to improve the church building facilities and to meet present and future ministry needs. He added that with the waiver of fees, the congregation would be able to maximize the use of their funds for the building improvements.


CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE

Correspondence was received from Stuart M. Bounds, President, Chesapeake College, expressing appreciation to the Commissioners for the County's financial support of Chesapeake College's mission and Strategic Plan as reflected in the Fiscal Year 2005 Budget.

For the record, the Board of Commissioners approved, by the majority, at its July 6 meeting, the recommendation made by the Board of Trustees of Chesapeake College that $140,000 from various College projects in order to support additional enhancements to the Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the Mezzanine Project (which is being funded by the Chesapeake College Foundation).


CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL

Correspondence was received from A. Hussain Alhija, Chief, Design and Certification Division, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), with enclosure of a Sewage Sludge Utilization Permit Application submitted to the MDE to transport sewage sludge from the Chestertown Transfer Station to the Chestertown Lagoons in Kent County.

Ms. Hayman, County Administrator, indicated that she will obtain more information about the application and the transport of sewage sludge and report to the Commissioners.


CIRCUIT COURT

Ed Robinson, Purchasing Coordinator, advised that the Judge's Office recently received an additional $3,950 from the State to be used to purchase the following items for the Law Library: computer, printer, library step stools and shelving. The Commissioners authorized Mr. Robinson to proceed with purchasing the stools and shelving and Doug Sherman, Information Systems Manager, to obtain prices and order the computer and printer.


COMMUNITY CENTER

The County Administrator and the Commissioners attended a meeting about the proposed Community Center on August 3. Included in the discussion were the following topics: (1) the location of the Community Center; (2) identifying who would own and operate the Community Center; (3) identifying sources of funding.

Included among the accomplishments of the meeting were the following: the selection of members of a committee that will write a concept statement for the Community Center; consensus reached that the phases for the design, funding, and operations of the Community Center be defined as a process, not merely as concepts. The next meeting was scheduled to take place on August 31 at 5:30 p.m.


DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

Skinners Neck Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed Public Works Agreement for a sewer allocation for the following: Marc and Bernadette Bowman on Map 51, Parcel 450. Brian J. and Anne S. O'Connor on Map51, Parcel 284.

Bay Restoration Fund - An invitation was received from the Maryland Department of the Environment, representing the Bay Restoration Fund Fee Collection Outreach Meetings. For the record, on May 26, 2004, Governor Ehrlich signed into law Senate Bill 320 that established the Bay Restoration Fund (BRF). This legislation requires owners of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to collect $2.50 monthly per fee per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) for their users, effective January 1, 2005.

The legislation also requires WWTP owners (that provide drinking water) to collect the BRF fee from users on septic/holding tanks ($2.50 per month per septic/holding tank). The BRF fees collected are to be deposited with the State Comptroller by the 20th day after each calendar quarter.

For well and septic/holding tank users, the BRF fee of $30 per year will become effective October 1, 2005, and is to be collected by the County government where the septic/holding tanks are located (The BRF Advisory Committee will be providing Counties with additional guidance at a later date).

The purpose of the outreach meetings is to provide the WWTP Owners an overview of the BRF legislation and answer questions regarding the collecting and depositing of the fee.

The invitation will be forwarded to Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, and Roger Williams, Treasurer.


FIRE COMPANIES

Gregg Bird, Vice-President of the Kent County Chief's Association, responding to the invitation of the Commissioners, appeared and reviewed a Memorandum which he sent to Dr. Leland Spencer, County Health Officer, concerning the required hepatitis vaccine for the County Fire/EMS/Rescue personnel.

The following individuals were also in attendance: Chris Powell, President, Kent County Chiefs' Association and of the Galena Fire Company, Richard McIntyre, Chief, Millington Fire Company, James Price, Chief, and Buddy Campbell, Deputy Chief, both of Betterton Fire Company, David Turner, Chief, and William "Buster" Blackiston, both of Chestertown Fire Company, Derek Elliot, Chief, Rock Hall Fire Company, Bill Lobley, member of the Kent/Queen Anne's Counties Rescue Squad, and Robert Rust, Jr., Direct of Emergency Management Agency.

Mr. Bird advised that the total number of personnel in need of hepatitis shots is 318, although it is possible that some individuals represented in this total may opt not to receive the vaccine. He requested that the immunizations begin as soon as possible given the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) federal mandates that all employers have that opportunity with an occupational hazard of hepatitis exposure.

Ms. Hayman, County Administrator, and Chief Bird, referring to information provided by Dr. Spencer in a Memorandum received from him, 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 hepatitis vaccine consists of three individual doses per person over a six-month period. The cost of the series per person is $75.00 for a total of $23,850.00 for the vaccination of 318 personnel.

Responding to Commissioner Crow's question, Chief Bird reported that the 318 personnel requiring the vaccine have never had the inoculation before in their lifetime and began their County service since the last administration of the hepatitis vaccine, hence the immediacy of the current need for vaccination. The last administration of the hepatitis vaccine occurred in 1998; inoculations are effective for seven years.

For the record, in his Memorandum, Dr. Spencer reported that 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.

The Commissioners approved the expenditures for the required hepatitis inoculation to be funded out of the operating budget of the legislated appropriation to the Kent County Fire Companies.

Chief Bird advised that the need for the protection of personnel currently includes a vaccine for hepatitis B and A as well as testing for tuberculosis.

In response to the Commissioners' questions, Chief Bird expressed his opinion that a centralized program for the supervision and record maintenance of vaccine inoculations would be most effective, based on the information he obtained about the practices of other counties.

Ms. Hayman reported that Dr. Spencer would be able to provide staff to conduct the administration of vaccines a couple of nights a week.

Concurring with the opinions expressed by Commissioners Pickrum and Crow, Ms. Hayman indicated that a combined effort between the staff of the Health Department and members of the respective Fire Companies who are certified to administer inoculations, would be an effective team-approach to conduct the required inoculations.

To Commissioner Pickrum's inquiry, Mr. Rust expressed his opinion that the Emergency Management Agency would be able to maintain the records of the inoculations.

With a goal of one month determined, Chief Bird and Ms. Hayman agreed to make all of the necessary arrangements and contacts, inclusive of Dr. Spencer and each Fire Company, for the administration of the required inoculations.

Commissioner Pickrum asked Mr. Rust to prepare a separate line item in the Fiscal Year 2006 Emergency Management Agency budget for the administrative costs pertaining to the record-keeping.

Responding to Commissioner Crow, Ms. Hayman indicated that she, in cooperation with Chief Bird, will schedule a date and other pertinent arrangements for a conflict-resolution workshop to be conducted by a third-party facilitator, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners and the representatives of the Kent County Fire Chiefs' Association and representatives of the County Fire/EMS/Rescue personnel.


GAMING/RAFFLE PERMIT

The Commissioners approved a raffle, chance books, and other table gaming devices permit for St. John's Roman Catholic Church, Rock Hall, for its fund-raising event to take place on August 15, 2004 from 1 p.m. through 5 p.m.

The Commissioners approved a raffle-only permit for the Millington Lions' Club for its fund-raising event to take place from August 16, 2004 through and including December 22, 2004.


HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (HIP)

A Memorandum was received from Jack Canan, Coordinator of Housing and Community Development, concerning an HIP application relating to an unsafe home. The estimated cost to upgrade said house was approximately $100,000. Mr. Canan will keep the Board apprized of possible alternative solutions.


HURRICANE ISABEL

Correspondence was received, dated August 2, from Victor L. Hoskins, Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, providing an update on the status of the Hurricane Isabel Disaster Relief Act (HIDRA), which intended to assist hurricane victims with disaster relief by providing low cost loans to replace and/or repair a homeowner's principal residence.

Governor Ehrlich committed $7.5 Million in financial resources towards this important initiative. Mr. Hoskins' report included the following:

- Of the 411 applications received to date, half have been processed and $4.7 Million has been issued in loan commitments.

- Of the 411 applications submitted, 58 commitments have been issued, 17 loans settled and 160 applications are currently under review.

Attached to Mr. Hoskins' letter was a detailed summary of the applications received as of July 29. In addition, Mr. Hoskins reported that over 13,600 families received a letter of invitation to attend community workshops providing details about relief assistance programs.

The public is encouraged to contact the Hurricane Relief Hotline at 1-866-227-2497 and visit www.dhed.state.md.us to receive disaster relief assistance if their principal residence was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Isabel.


LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD

Judy Linn was appointed as a member of the Local Management Board for a three year term ending June 30, 2007.


MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES (MACo)

A copy of correspondence was received from James M. Harkins, President, MACo, and directed to Royden Powell, Office of Resource Conservation, Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), reporting the nomination of Commissioner Roy Crow for the Nutrient Advisory Committee Program.


PERSONNEL

Direct Deposit - A copy of Memorandum, dated August 4, was received from Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, and directed to all County employees, addressing concerns pertaining to some unforeseen technical difficulties in instituting new procedures for payroll check distribution as follows:

- The County continues to encourage direct deposit. The Direct Deposit program will not involve a Thursday mailing of paychecks to employees whose checks are mailed.

- Effective on August 4, the County resumed the same paycheck distribution schedule and procedure that existed previously.

On August 4, checks were distributed to the Department Heads (or his/her representative) at a Department Head meeting. Beginning with the August 19 payday, pay envelopes for all employees (those containing an actual check and those containing a direct deposit voucher) may be picked up at the Personnel Office beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 18.

Ms. Hayman requested, on her behalf and on behalf of Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, feedback from County employees about the paycheck distribution procedures as described in the above.

In consideration that Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the Commissioners approved a floating holiday to be observed by county employees either Thursday, December 23, or Monday, December 27. Department heads will be responsible for insuring sufficient staffing for their offices to remain open to serve the public on these two days.

At 5:10 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum and passed by the majority of the Board 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 6:00 p.m.


PRE-RELEASE UNIT WORK PROGRAM

As per the request of the Commissioners, William "Buster" Blackiston, Facility Administrator for the Eastern Pre-Release Facility, Division of Correction, MD Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, appeared and, referring to copies of a prepared draft of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which he distributed, outlined the State-sponsored program of the utilization of inmate crews. Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, was also in attendance.

Should the Commissioners approve of this proposed MOU, Mr. Blackiston explained that inmate labor crews would perform unskilled and semi-skilled labor for the County, including, for example, litter pick-up, hand-mowing, landscaping and building and grounds maintenance.

Mr. Blackiston, responding to the Commissioners' questions, stated that, given an approved MOU between the County and the Division of Correction (DOC), the DOC would continue to provide custodian supervised inmate labor crews to the County to establish the basis for the County's reimbursement to the DOC for those inmate crews provided, and would ensure the consistent supervision and control of those inmate labor crews while assigned as labor workers for the County.

Mr. Blackiston further responded to the Board's questions by indicating that the County's reimbursement for, as an example, a labor crew of inmates, the use of one van, and the supervision of one DOC officer would amount to $48.60 per hour for eight hours, totalling $388.80 per day; and $2.50 per inmate per eight-hour day with supervision provided by the County.

In summary, Mr. Blackiston indicated that, as per this proposed draft MOU, the participation of the DOC is represented solely in the provision of labor.

The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Mr. Blackiston for attending the meeting and for his informative review of the program, indicating that they would further review the terms and conditions of the draft of a proposed MOU and the arrangements between the County and the DOC proposed therein.


STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION (SHA) SIGNAGE

Correspondence was received from Judy Reveal, Executive Director, Kent County Chamber of Commerce, with enclosure of a letter sent to her from Calvin Sun, of Calvin Sun and Associates, of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Mr. Sun expressed his concern about what he described as "the confusing signage" in the County, and especially with regard to the Town of Chestertown.

Mr. Sun provided some specifics about the locations of signs and suggestions for improvements. Mr. Sun's correspondence will be forwarded to Richard Lindsay, District Engineer State Highway Administration, for review and response.


WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD

Lynn Cusimano was reappointed as a member of the Workforce Investment Board for a three year term ending June 30, 2007.


WORTON BUSINESS PARK

In consideration of conditions requested by CFF as it relates to the County's proposal for a joint storm water management project, the Commissioners agreed to withdraw it proposal. The Commissioners will now proceed with this project by constructing its own pond.

ZONING VIOLATION

Correspondence was received from someone identified only as "a concerned citizen in Edesville" requesting the assistance of the Commissioners to rectify what, in the correspondent's opinion, is the disgraceful appearance and state of a home in Edesville. This correspondence was forwarded to Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning.

In addition, Ms. Hayman forwarded this matter to the Kent County Health Department Environmental Health Office, for investigation about a possible nuisance abatement action.

A Memorandum was received from Amy G. Moredock, Environmental Planner, detailing the actions taken by the Planning and Zoning Administration and by the County Health Department as they relate to the nuisance ordinance violations at 25213 Porters Grove Road in Worton.

In addition to the involvement of the above, the Sheriff's Office and the Animal Control Division of the County Animal Humane Society also took action.

Ms. Moredock listed the chronology of events, beginning November 10, 2003 through August 2, 2004 and include such violations as untagged vehicles, an unauthorized dog kennel, junk and debris on the property.

According to Ms. Moredock, most, if not all, of the violations continue in effect. This matter has been forwarded to Mitchell Mowell, Attorney for the Planning Commission, for legal action.


ZONING TEXT AMENDMENTS (ZTA)

Correspondence was received from Clayton A. Mitchell of Hoon and Associates, LLC, of Chestertown, directed to the Executive Assistant to the County Commissioners, advising that said firm represents Jane E. Hukill, Jerry M. Smith, and Raymond L. Richards, all residents of Worton, with enclosure, submitted by the above, of their Application for Text Amendment to the Kent County Zoning Ordinance.

The application will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendations.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, August 17, 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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