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Board of County Commissioners

August 31, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Scott D. Livie and William W. Pickrum, presiding. Commissioner Crow was away serving as a delegate at the National Republican Convention in New York.

Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, was also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $1,915,527.00.

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.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and reported to the Commissioners the information which he received from the Environmental Health Department. Betterton Beach was closed by authorization of the Environmental Health Department on August 28 and 29 based upon the results of tests of the water of the Chesapeake Bay at Betterton Beach taken prior to that weekend.

The bacteria count far exceeded levels safe for swimming. A bacteria count that exceeds 70 parts per million is considered unsafe; the count just prior to August 28 was 32,000 parts per million and indicated evidence of human or animal waste.

The Board requested that Ms. Hayman convey their request to the Environmental Health Department that more frequent testing occur effective immediately to determine whether or not the results of this particular test was caused by an isolated incident, i.e. an anomaly.

If an isolated incident is not to blame, the Commissioners have requested a thorough investigation as to the source of the escalated levels of bacteria.


A Memorandum was received from Johnson Control advising that the cost for HV/AC service at the office of the Board of Election Supervisors, located on 135 Dixon Drive, Chestertown, will remain at $1,636 annually, as currently priced. The County Administrator accepted the renewal of this contract and a copy will be forwarded to KRM Development Corporation for their files.


A copy of correspondence was received from John A. Dillman, Executive Director, Upper Shore Regional Council, via electronic mail, directed to Ms. Hayman, with attached copy of a resolution prepared by the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

Mr. Dillman explained that the resolution is required to be passed by each of the nine counties in order for the three Eastern Shore regional councils to receive funding from DBED for a 50% grant (i.e. $25,000) which would pay for the Yankee Group Broadband Access Feasibility Study.

Mr. Dillman requested to present this resolution and the broadband project at a Commissioners' meeting. He indicated that the cost of the study is $50,000. By passage of the resolution, DBED would pay $25,000; $10,000 would be paid by the Maryland Technical Development Corporation (TEDCO). The remaining $15,000 is being paid by each of the three Eastern Shore Regional Councils. At a USRC meeting held during the MACo Summer Conference on August 20, it was voted to approve its share of $5,000 of the payment out of the Upper Shore Regional Council funds.

Ms. Hayman read the proposed Resolution.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum, and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the Resolution that the three Eastern Shore regional councils receive funding from DBED for a 50% grant (i.e. $25,000) which would pay for the Yankee Group Broadband Access Feasibility Study.

As Commissioner Pickrum indicated, broadband accessibility would bring a point of presence to the Eastern Shore. The Resolution will be prepared for signatures.


A meeting will be held this evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Board of Education building as it relates to the proposed community center project. Commissioner Livie and Ms. Hayman, County Administrator, will plan to attend.


The Commissioners approved and signed Agreement with the Walter B. Harris Trust granting the County exclusive right to purchase and mine gravel from the pit located on the Bloomingneck Farm in the Third Election District.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed State Aid Program Data Sheet seeking $138,400 to be used toward the FY05 Bituminous Surface Treatment Program for County roads.


The Commissioners approved the recommendations of Jim Wright, County Engineer, to award the contract for the interior painting of the Kent County Court House to the lowest bidder, Rivers Edge Painting, of Millington, at the bid amount $5,700.00.

The other two bids received were as follows: Everett Painting, of Chestertown, at $14,400.00; and S & T Painting, of Parkton, at $10,700.00.

The Commissioners approved the recommendations of Mr. Wright to award the contract for the exterior painting of the Court House and the County Government Center to the lowest bidder, Rivers Edge Painting at the bid amount $18,575.00 for the Court House, and $17,900.00 for the Government Center.

The other two bids received were as follows: Everett Painting - $18,620.00 (Court House) and $31,320.00 (Government Center); S & T Painting - $34,700.00 (Court House) and $38,700.00 (Government Center).


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

Worton Service Area - A Public Works Agreement was signed by the County and Charles D. Reed for two water and sewer allocations on Tax Map 20, Parcel #161.

Quaker Neck Service Area - A letter went forth to William Ingersoll, Town Manager, Chestertown, expressing Mr. Morris' appreciation for the meeting that took place on August 16 with Mayor Bailey, Mr. Ingersoll, Mr. Sipes, Chestertown Utilities Commission Manager, concerning the Quaker Neck Service Area. Mr. Morris cited the following directions and goals of the County and the Town which were clarified at the meeting:

- It was reconfirmed that the Town will be pumping sewerage from the recently annexed Chester River Landing area back through the Town's force main.

- The County will absorb the cost of upgrading the John Hanson Road pump station to meet the Maryland Department of the Environment's (MDE) requirements.

- The County will pay for the County's portion of the pump station upgrade and connection, including engineering costs associated therewith.

- A cooperative relationship will be maintained by and between the Town and the County for the provision of services to the parcels identified with failing septic systems and perhaps also other parcels.

- A feasibility study will be required to determine the most cost effective option to service these properties while controlling unwanted growth.

- The County will develop a proposal for service provision to the parcels with failing systems and will keep the Town advised of the County's progress.

Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris indicated that the Edesville Water Project will commence after Labor Day weekend and should be completed before Christmas 2004. Mr. Morris also reported that the leak in the existing Edesville line is under investigation, the results of which he will report to the Commissioners at their next meeting.

Spring Cove/Green Lane - The Commissioners approved the sewer allocation request made by Herman Hill for constructing a tenant house on the property located on Tax Map 51, Parcel # 75.

General Staffing Levels - As per a proposed organization chart prepared and presented to the Commissioners in the spring, Mr. Morris reiterated the need for additional staffing in the Department of Water and Wastewater Services, particularly concerning maintenance work. As an example, he cited his preference for a certified electrician on staff who could also interface with the projects of other County departments.

Responding to Commissioner Livie's question, Mr. Morris estimated that the salary requirement for a certified electrician would be at $18 to $20 per hour, or approximately $40,000 yearly.

Commissioner Pickrum requested that Ms. Hayman, Mr. Morris, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, prepare together a job specification and begin the factoring process for further consideration Mr. Morris also advised of the need for an additional utility technician position.

Draft-Reporting Forms - A letter went forth to Thomas C. Boone, Director, Compliance Program, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), in response to the MDE's request for input pertaining to its proposed draft capacity forms, Mr. Morris recommended that once Mr. Boone has gathered the input from all of the facilities/plants that do respond, a meeting be scheduled with representation of each jurisdiction to have interactive work sessions prior to the implementation of any new forms.

Mr. Morris expressed his opinion that most of the information requested on the proposed draft reports is readily available on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and Discharge Monitoring reports. He made several suggestions for an approach that would not subject plants/facilities not experiencing compliance and/or capacity issues to additional reporting requirements, as proposed in the draft.


Commissioner Pickrum acknowledged receipt of correspondence that was received from Mary Ann Saar, Secretary, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, dated August 23, which extended congratulations to the County and the Kent County Detention staff for attaining total compliance with State standards which was determined by a recent audit of the Detention Center conducted by the Commission on Correctional Standards staff and Duly Authorized Inspectors. The Detention Center was approved to receive the Recognition of Achievement award.


P.A.M. Schaller, Director, Economic Development, appeared and provided updates to the to the following:

- The Kent County Agricultural Economic Profile - final draft. Ms. Schaller reported that she has requested 2,500 copies of said brochure be printed to be shared among Chesapeake Fields Institute, Tourism Development, and Economic Development for their respective distribution. Commissioner Livie remarked about the increase in the growth of commercial nurseries, many of which have come from locations other than the Eastern Shore.

- CD ROM - a new version with expanded information about educational opportunities available in the County. Ms. Schaller reported that she has made an initial purchase of 200 of the CD ROM's, having already distributed some to the libraries in the County as well as to the Chamber of Commerce and the Chestertown Visitors' Center.

Commissioner Livie suggested that copies be sent to the marinas and other market represented by people who already have a familiarity with the County, as well as to anyone who has made a business inquiry with the office of Economic Development. He also requested that the CD ROM's be put on the County website for viewing by people who currently have access to broadband, i.e. people who have the capability of downloading the CD ROM from the County website.

- Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Statewide Marine Trade Survey - is in final draft form.


As requested by Robert Rust, Emergency Management Director, a letter went forth to Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. from Thomas N. Yeager, County Attorney, terminating the Professional Services Agreement of November 23, 2003 effective September 30, 2004.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Memorandum of Agreement between the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Kent County regarding FFY 2004 Homeland Security Grant Program whereby MEMA will award grant to Kent County in the amount of $541,558.44 for the following grant programs: State Homeland Security Program, Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program, Citizen Corps Program, and Planner Salary.


Mary Kate O'Donnell, Executive Director, appeared in follow up to correspondence submitted by Robert N. Cleaver, President for the Officers of the Board of Directors, The Historical Society of Kent County, Inc., to present their appeal to the County that it include in its next fiscal year budget funding for the Historical Society.

Others in attendance were Jane E. Hukill, Second Vice-President, Helen W. Fritz, Secretary, Bob Kestell, Treasurer and Susanne Fischer, Bill Brockschmidt, and Sheila Austrian, Members of the Board of Directors. Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, was also in attendance.

Mrs. O'Donnell reviewed the goals of the Historical Society as follows: (1) Assert a clear and compelling role within our community; (2) enlarge and diversify its educational programs; (3) involve community identity in the fabric of County history; (4) promote uses and accessibility of the Geddes-Piper House Museum; (5) seek and use new methods to expand its audience; (6) secure the society's resources with an eye to the future.

In addition, Mrs. O'Donnell noted that the goals include the representation of the history of all communities and Towns in the County and the establishment of an endowment program and the encouragement of participation in the Annual Giving.

The Historical Society also has acknowledged the need for a larger, disabled-accessible building to provide the space for its library and functions for larger groups of people, e.g. classes of school children on field trips to the County.

Of all the goals established, Mrs. O'Donnell emphasized the Historical Society's need for a larger endowment as the most important, representing the most immediate need. As the Historical Society applies for grants, its eligibility generally requires its ability to match grant funding.

The Historical Society is asking the County for its support in its next fiscal year budget in order for the Historical Society to be able to match the grant funding without depleting its endowment.

Mrs. Van Pelt praised the partnership between Tourism Development and the Historical Society, emphasizing the great assistance provided by the Historical Society to the County's Tourism Development projects.

Mrs. O'Donnell expressed her appreciation to the Commissioners for the opportunity to make the appeal for the Board's consideration, and the Board, in turn, thanked Ms. O'Donnell for her presentation.


A letter went forth to William J. Manahan, Senior Manager, Single Family Housing, Community Development Administration, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, indicating that, pursuant to Sections 13-801 through and including 13-807 of the Financial Institutions Article of the Maryland Annotated Code, Kent County irrevocably transfers to the Community Development Administration, for use in issuing housing bonds on behalf of the County, $269,948 of its total $539,896 tax-exempt housing bond allocation as set forth in 2004 allocation of the Maryland State Ceiling made by the Secretary of Business and Economic Development pursuant to the Article to the "Maryland Mortgage Program" and the remainder of its tax exempt housing bond allocation (i.e. $269,948) to the "Housing Development Program."


At the recommendation of Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administrator, the Commissioners approved to accept transfer three Irrevocable Letters of Credit from Peoples Bank of Kent County to the Centreville National Bank of Maryland for the account of Hunters Run, LLC effective July 9 for Hunters Run Subdivision, Phase B as follows: road construction - $180,000, sediment control and storm water management - $65,476.25 and landscaping - $45,102.50.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the Maryland Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Agreement outlining the requirements as a grantee as it relates to the grant award of $500,000 for the Kent Center.


On August 30, the County Administrator approved and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kent County Health Department granting the County a grant award of $6,105 to implement the proposed Cigarette Restitution Fund Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Program. The MOU is retroactive to July 1 and will end on June 30, 2005.


Correspondence was received from Jon C. Burrell, Executive Director, LGIT, with enclosure of a Certificate of Membership for Kent County for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. He stated that LGIT appreciates and values the County's membership.

A copy of correspondence, dated August 24, was received from the Board of County Commissioners of Calvert County and directed to Mr. Burrell, reporting that said Board voted unanimously to keep the separation of pools intact, and not to support the amendments proposed in the Eighth Amended LGIT Agreement. The Commissioners of Calvert County also indicated that, while they understand that the amendments proposed provide flexibility to the Board of Trustees of LGIT, they contradict the original intention of the financial management practices developed by the founders of the LGIT Trustees: that each pool should be financially independent and self-sufficient, and take exception with the proposal that Calvert County, as a member of the Primary Liability Pool, should cover a deficit in the Health Benefits Pool in which they have never participated or benefitted.

The Commissioners of Calvert County suggested that Mr. Burrell, should LGIT move forward with said proposal, to consider allocating future surpluses in the Primary Liability Pool first to those jurisdictions who were not participants in the Health Benefits Pool, but whose equity position was used to cover the deficit of that pool.


Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, appeared and, along with Ms. Hayman, updated the Commissioners about the need for revising the County's mooring buoy regulations. Responding to the Commissioners questions, Ms. Hayman noted that Kent County is one of only three jurisdictions in the country that has such regulations, the others being in Annapolis and one jurisdiction in Oregon; and Mr. Stanton indicated that the County registers licenses that entitle the owners of waterfront properties to one, free mooring. Additional licenses are registered at $50.00 for each permanent mooring.

Ms. Hayman also indicated that the County's regulations are specific to "mooring structures." The Commissioners requested the Global Positioning System (GPS) provisions be added to the law and that definitions be revised as needed.


The County Attorney provided the Board with a copy of Complaint for Injunctive Relief for Civil Action Case, the County Commissioners vs. Marilyn Black, Rita Philips and Phyllis Commodore as it relates to property located on Johnsontown Road, Chestertown. Court date has been scheduled for October 7.

Rex Kershaw, of Rock Hall, was in attendance and expressed his objections to the conditions of the Ashley property located in Rock Hall. He was advised by the Commissioners concerning the status of the progress of the clean-up of said property.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and, as per the his Memorandum dated August 29, recommended that the County purchase a 1995 school bus from Mary Lee Heinefield with 99,000 mileage at the price of $6,000. Mr. Troester explained that the County's current 1984 school bus has over 250,000 miles on it and, although it did pass inspection in the spring of 2004, the interior of the bus has deteriorated to the point at which the interior is not considered a safe environment. He expressed his belief that he will be able to purchase the school bus with funds in the 2005 Fiscal Year Budget.

A motion was made by Commissioner Livie, seconded by Commissioner Pickrum, and passed by the majority of the Board, to approve Mr. Troester's recommendation and purchase Mary Lee Heinefield's school bus for the price of $6,000 within the Parks and Recreation budget.


It was reported that a job specification has now been prepared for the Emergency Preparedness Planner position and it will be factored this week.

At 10:45 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Livie, 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)(i)(ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

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

The closed session adjourned at 11:25 a.m.


Commissioner Pickrum made note of the organization, "Rebuilding Together Kent County", describing it as part of a national network of the largest number of volunteers in the country that provides home rehabilitation services. Commissioner Pickrum will be the keynote speaker at a breakfast being sponsored by Rebuilding Together Kent County on September 14 at the Chestertown Presbyterian Church. Commissioners Crow and Livie will also be in attendance.


Correspondence was received dated August 27 from Pamela Metz Kasemeyer, Esq., of Schwartz and Metz Law Offices, Baltimore, representing her client, Synagro Mid-Atlantic, Inc. Ms. Kasemeyer requested the opportunity to meet with the Board, to propose to the Board the land application use of biosolids by farmers in Kent County.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Permission for Temporary Easement/Entry Agreement as it relates to placement of a historical marker as part of the Maryland Civil War Trails project on the Courtyard property subject to approval by the Chestertown Historical Commission. The Office of the Tourism Development will maintain the marker as long as it remains on county property and that the marker can be removed as any time as the County's discretion.


A copy of Memorandum was received from Jim Wright, Jr., County Engineer, and directed to Susie Hayman, County Administrator, reporting that the County has received two proposals for engineering consultant services to design the Turner's Creek Breakwater: (1) Andrews, Miller and Associates, Inc., quoting a fee of $23,000; and (2) George, Miles and Buhr, LLC, quoting a fee of $35,000.

The Commissioners approved Mr. Wright's recommendation to award the Turner's Creek Breakwater project to Andrews, Miller and Associates because they prepared the feasibility study for the project and because they quoted the lowest fee.

Mr. Wright also reported that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Program has approved the County's recommendation to award the work to Andrews, Miller and Associates.


In response to correspondence received from Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, USA, dated August 26, a letter went forth to Mr. Burke advising the Commissioners would be agreeable to having USA continue its current role in the administration of the Home Weatherization grant for Kent County through June 2005 and would be willing to sign a multi-jurisdictional agreement to this effect, with Kent County designated as lead jurisdiction for grant distribution purposes. Correspondence was received from Mr. Burke, dated August 27, with attached "Executive Summary" of Area Agency on Aging - USA's Area Plan Update, Fiscal 2005, in preparation for his meeting with the Commissioners on September 7 at which he will make his inquiry as indicated above.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, September 7, 2004.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

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