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 $6,213,999.00.
Commissioner Pickrum requested a moment of silence to remember the men
and women in uniform around the world who have died in defense of the
United States’ freedom and America’s way of life.
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND
A copy of a news release was received from Aberdeen
Proving Ground, dated September 23, giving notice of its plan to conduct
two large detonations. The detonations are scheduled to take place between
September 29 and October 1. These detonations are likely to generate sound
and/or vibrations outside the installation boundaries. Should the weather
conditions not be favorable, the testing will be rescheduled.
Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, appeared and requested the
consideration of the Commissioners concerning the bulkhead replacement
at Bayside Landing, Rock Hall. Mr. Stanton noted that the actual bid estimate
for the replacement of the 520 linear feet of bulkhead ($230,480.00) is
much lower than what was originally estimated (between $400,000 and $500,000).
The original plan was to spread the project over two years, with two $100,000
In Fiscal Year 2005, with the County’s budgeted $100,000 to match the
Water Improvement grant, the balance is $30,480. Mr. Stanton reported
that he spoke with a representative of the Waterway Improvement Division
who expressed his confidence that the County could use funds from another
grant dedicated to Bayside Landing Park in the amount of $15,240 which
would have to matched by the County.
The County would benefit from this approach in two ways: (1) by completing
the project in one phase, the contractor would mobilize and purchase all
the materials only one time, saving the County considerable money; (2)
the County would not have to budget this project for Fiscal Year 2006.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve $15,240 to be taken
out of the contingency fund to be matched by funding from the State for
the purpose of completing the bulkhead replacement at Bayside Landing,
BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)
Commissioner Livie initiated discussion about the importance of providing
adequate lighting to the Kent County High School athletic playing field,
especially as lighting would serve to encourage spectators’ attendance
at school games taking place at night. He noted that Kent County is the
only county on the Eastern Shore that does not have lighting on its high
school football field and that it has been difficult for the Kent County
High School to accommodate the request of the Pop Warner Football teams
to play their games on the high school field. They have instead been playing
at the field in Worton Park.
Commissioner Livie also noted that the number of players on the high school’s
own football team is down to 14 players, which may threaten the ability
of the team to complete its season. He expressed his hope that a group
of citizens of the County will investigate this concern. In the meanwhile,
he reported that the Board is doing everything that it can to have lighting
installed and in use at the Kent County High School athletic field.
BUTLERTOWN STREET LIGHTS
Commissioner Pickrum advised that he met with
residents of Butlertown and it was consensus of opinion to request the
installation of two additional street lights along Maryland Route 298
in the community of Butlertown. The County Administrator will follow up
on this request with representatives of the State Highway Administration.
At 10:00 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with John Hall, Extension Director, and representing Chesapeake
Fields to discuss a proposal for business to locate in the County in accordance
with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (a)(4) of the Annotated
Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 10:20 a.m.
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS
At 10:20 a.m., a motion was made by a motion was made by Commissioner
Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner
Pickrum to go into closed session in accordance with State Government
Article, Section (a) (ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Mrs. Mary Ellen Williams, out-going Chair of the Human Relations Commission,
and Dr. Ann Hennessy, in-coming Chair, were in attendance.
The closed session adjourned at 10:55 a.m.
Correspondence was received, dated September 20, from Kenneth H. Smith,
Director of Administration and Finance, Office of the Maryland Comptroller,
extending congratulations upon the County’s receipt of its Fiscal Year
2004 grant for the construction of the Kent County Recreation and Community
Complex, and inviting the County Administrator to a Capital Projects Seminar
which will provide information necessary for the processing of payments
of the State’s share for the County’s project. The seminar is scheduled
to take place on October 13 at Anne Arundel Community College.
COUNTY OWNED PROPERTY
The County Administrator advised that she received a copy of a report
late in the day on September 27, dated September 27, received by Carter
Stanton, Public Works Director, from the Department of the Environment
(MDE). The reported stated that inspection was made by MDE on September
24 and found contamination of gasoline in two monitoring wells on the
county owned property (formerly occupied by the State Highway Administration)
located in Massey.
An analysis will be conducted to confirm the source and extent of this
contamination. In the meantime, Ms. Hayman gave assurance to the Commissioners
that she will follow up on this report by meeting with representatives
of the Health Department, MDE, and Public Works Department and will report
her findings to the Board.
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT(DBED)
Correspondence was received from Aris Melissaratos, Secretary, DBED, requesting
that, if Kent County has an acceptable Minority Business Enterprises (MBE’s)
procurement program, to forward the details of the County’s MBE procurement
policies to the DBED’s Director of Fair Practices and Procurement, Everett
Ross, by September 17.
The Commissioners requested that review be made
as to the County’s current procurement policy to confirm its conformance
with State law funding eligibility requirements.
For the record, legislation was enacted by the Maryland General Assembly
in its 2004 Session that aims to increase the procurement of goods and
services from MBE’s in projects that receive financial assistance from
the State’s Economic Development Opportunities Program Fund (a.k.a. Sunny
Day Fund) and the Maryland Economic Development Financing Assistance Authority
and Fund (MEDAAF).
The objective of this new law is to expand economic opportunities for
vendors and contractors who have the capacity to supply goods or services
to the recipients of State financial assistance, but who may be under-represented
in those procurements. When this new law becomes effective in January
1, 2005, the law will apply to financial assistance exceeding $100,000
under MEDAAF or the Sunny Day Fund. The law will not apply to financial
assistance used solely to acquire real property or structures on real
When the financial assistance is to a local government, such as Kent County,
if that local government has a program for promoting procurement opportunities
among MBE’s that is acceptable to this Department, the local government
must apply the requirements of that program to the procurement of goods
or services made with proceeds of the MEDAAF or Sunny Day financial assistance.
(The definition of an “MBE” under the new law is the same as the definition
of the State’s MBE procurement law.)
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT)
Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, was present and referred
to correspondence that was received from Marsha J. Kaiser, Director, Office
of Planning and Capital Programming, Maryland DOT, with attachment of
the proposed Rural Consultation Procedures, and requesting comments from
rural elected officials as required by federal regulations.
In response to Mrs. Owings’ request for a list of the County’s priority
transportation needs, the Commissioners included the following: (1) Chestertown
Bypass, (2) the installation of a light on MD Route 291 at the Rescue
Squad headquarters (Chestertown), (3) the construction of a “round about”
at the intersection of MD Route 291 and High Street (Chestertown), (4)
the installation of a stop sign and/or a speed zone sign in the community
of Massey and Sassafras, (5) opposition to any plan concerning an additional
Bay bridge crossing involving Kent County, and (6) the installation of
two additional street lights on MD Route 291 in the community of Butlertown.
Later in the day, the Commissioners requested that the matter involving
contamination of monitoring wells on the county owned property (formerly
occupied by the State Highway Administration) in Massey also be discussed
with State Highway Administration officials..
Mrs. Owings reported that she sent letters to the County’s incorporated
towns requesting their list of priorities and indicated that she will
follow-up with contact made to the mayors.
For the record, the prioritizing of transportation needs is in preparation
for the DOT’s annual tour of the County that is scheduled to take place
on Thursday, October 12, at 9:30 a.m.
In Ms. Kaiser’s correspondence, the key proposed revisions for rural consultation
- Formalizing the role of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo)
and the Maryland Municipal League by annually sending a cover letter with
the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) requesting comments and,
every three years, including the revised Maryland Transportation Plan
(MTP) for review.
- Ensuring that the rural elected officials have an opportunity to comment
on the draft CTP and MTP by specifically requesting comments in the submission
The Commissioners were asked to submit their comments, if any, by November
16. Rural Counties have been asked to review their Secondary Priority
letters and to update them, if necessary, to reflect their current policies
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services,
appeared and reported about the following:
Tolchester Service Area - As per the Commissioners’
decision made at their last meeting to conduct a community meeting for
residents of Tolchester and those who own properties related to the 50
allocations located within the delineated development area, Mr. Morris
confirmed that the meeting will take place on Saturday, October 23, at
10:00 a.m. at the Kent County Agriculture Center in Tolchester, and he
reported that letters have already been sent to all the individuals whose
allocations were held in moratorium and that he made contact with the
Tolchester Homeowners’ Association about the meeting.
For the record, it is was of the Commissioners’ desire to host a community
meeting in order to provide an opportunity for these individuals to raise
questions and concerns about the allocations and the assignments of allocations
prior to finalization of the plan.
Millington Service Area - Mr. Morris reported that approximately
60 to 70 residents and property owners attended an informational meeting
led by Bearing Construction, Inc. on September 22 at 6:00 p.m. at the
Millington Elementary School for the purpose of learning about how the
new water system project will be conducted, inclusive of issues pertaining
to the project’s impact on traffic patterns and the safety of school age
children in the area.
Appointments were scheduled for the required preconstruction meetings
which must take place at each property for the purpose of locating the
water meter on the property, video taping the property, and coordinating
the written approval of the property owner, a representative of the contractor,
and the engineer (McCrone, Inc.) on the location.
Mr. Morris indicated that, although a few residents were not in favor
of the adherent changes required, the information about the project and
the necessary changes were well received by most of the residents who
attended the meeting.
Notice was forwarded to lending institutions from W. Roger Williams, Treasurer,
advising of proposals being sought for issuing a tax-exempt general obligation
bond anticipation note for the purpose of financing on an interim basis
as it relates to the Millington Water Project.
Proposals will be opened by the County Commissioners on October 5 at 9:45
Correspondence was received, dated September 24, from C. Daniel Saunders,
Esq., requesting that the matter of Growth Allocation be entertained by
the Board as it pertains to the proposed development of Drayton Manor
spa and conference center any time after October 11, 2004. The Board noted
that there are pending legal proceedings that may render this matter moot,
and deferred scheduling this matter for hearing at this time.
Joey Vansant, a resident of Queen Anne’s County and husband of one of
the persons named trustee in the estate of Edna Cornelius, appeared and,
reading a prepared statement, issued his objections about what he believes
to be the concerted effort of some of the residents of Old Worton Road
to tarnish the reputation of the late Miss Cornelius, formerly a resident
in a home on Old Worton Road, Worton.
The purpose of his meeting today was to refute statements that have been
made as to the proliferation of cats with alleged feline diseases.
Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, was in attendance. Others
in attendance were Douglas Crites, Director, The Humane Society of Kent
County, Dr. William Tubman, a resident of Old Worton Road and Joanne Libersky
Mr. Vansant, describing Miss Cornelius as having been a law-abiding citizen
and conscientious pet owner who provided for the spaying and vaccinating
of her many cats, cited what in his opinion are many falsehoods in a petition
of objections written by “Residents of Old Worton Road, Worton” (cit.
“Minutes,” Commissioners’ Meeting, September 21, 2004).
Included among his objections are the following: the petition over-estimated
the number of cats owned by Miss Cornelius; the petition indicated without
confirmation that some of Miss Cornelius’ cats are infected with feline
HIV; and that the signatures on the petition do not, in fact, represent
actual residents on Old Worton Road.
Mrs. Owings, reported that she followed up on the Commissioners’ request
to coordinate an effort to rectify the situation related to the Cornelius
estate and the cats.
Mrs. Owings indicated that she contacted both the Health Department and
the Humane Society concerning said situation.
According to the Health Department, it has conducted three inspections
of the Cornelius house and did not find a violation of the County Nuisance
or Health Department regulations. The cats have been reportedly spayed
or neutered and have had their vaccinations.
Mrs. Owings also reported that, although the Humane Society, as she has
learned, does not trap cats, it has loaned traps to the neighbors. However,
she has learned that unless the cats have microchips from the Humane Society,
a determination would have to be made as to whether the cats belonged
in fact to Miss Cornelius or not. Once a cat is delivered to the Humane
Society, the Humane Society calls the trustees of the Cornelius’ estate
and together, to confirm ownership when, in fact, the cats belonged to
Miss Cornelius, assists with the placement of cats in new homes.
Mrs. Owings also reported that Patricia Unruh, one of the Cornelius Estate
trustees, has cleaned the Cornelius house and, along with other trustees,
is trying to find homes for the cats.
Dr. Tubman, identified himself as the author of the petition to the Governor.
According to Dr. Tubman, Miss Cornelius was not in good health prior to
her death, and was not able to properly supervise the care of her cats.
He made the following requests of the Commissioners: (1) that the Board
authorize the cleaning up of the house or raze it; and (2) that the Board
begin the process of providing the County with an ordinance that will
address feral cats and limit the number of cats an individual can own.
Correspondence dated September 23 sent by George Lenher, President of
the Humane Society, was received with attached copy of a report submitted
by Bruce Nelson, Animal Control Officer, and information pertinent to
the environmental health concerns raised related to the orphaned cats.
Mr. Crites stated what he believes to have been the proliferation of feral
cats in Worton prior to the current concern about Mrs. Cornelius’ cats.
He also believes there is a feral cat problem in other towns and municipalities
in the County.
Commissioner Livie, affirming Mr. Vansant’s praise of Miss Cornelius and
his advocacy of her reputation, indicated that, nevertheless, it is incumbent
upon citizens to appropriately supervise their pets. He expressed his
opinion that the current responsibility for the supervision and care of
Miss Cornelius’ cats and house is too great a burden upon Patricia and
Commissioner Livie also affirmed Dr. Tubman’s point that Kent County does
need a reasonable ordinance pertaining to cats and pet ownership of cats
that would serve to protect the rights of both pet owners and their neighbors
Mr. Vansant indicated his belief that, should an ordinance pertaining
to the ownership of cats be established, it will require the creation
of an enforcement mechanism.
Commissioner Pickrum thanked everyone for their contributions to the discussion
and indicated that their opinions will be taken under advisement.
Commissioner Crow extended his apology to the Humane Society for an alleged
remark reported in the September 23 issue of the Kent News.
At 11:00 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 matter relating to public security in accordance with State
Government Article, Section 10.508 (a) (10) in accordance with State Government
Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Those in attendance were Sheriff John Price, John L. Wright, Chairman,
George Parsons, and Lola G. Price, representing the Board of Election
Supervisors, and Florence L. Sutton, Election Director.
The closed session adjourned at 11:55 a.m.
Correspondence was received, dated September 15, from Audrey E. Scott,
Secretary of Planning, Maryland Department of Planning (MDP), with attached
copy of “Lessons Learned from Tropical Storm Isabel: Improving Disaster
Management in Maryland” report. The information contained in said publication
focuses on interdepartmental disaster planning, identified recovery gaps
in programs and corrective action plans for future disaster preparedness
and recovery efforts.
Commissioner Pickrum, referring to a copy of correspondence received from
Hearne and Bailey, Esq., representing Shore Up, Inc., directed to Stewart
Barroll, Esq., representing the Town of Chestertown, relating to Shore
Up’s interest to purchase the parcel of land owned by Andrew Bradley for
the purpose of constructing a Head Start facility.
Ms. Hayman reported that this request was discussed at the last regular
meeting of the Chestertown Planning Commission on September 15.
Later in the day, P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, appeared
and presented a copy of proposal submitted by ZHA, Inc. relating to development
of the LaMotte Property and preparation of the RFP (Request For Proposal)
at a cost of $7,500 to be completed by October 11.
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Contract with
ZHA, Inc. as amended by the Board. Other additional costs involved may
include ZHA’s participation in the pre-bid conference as well as review
of proposals received. She anticipates that it may take a year after the
contract is signed before development of this property begins.
MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST
Correspondence was received from Nick Williams, Acting Director, Maryland
Environmental Trust, dated September 20, reporting that Chip and Katharine
Levengood have submitted an application to donate a conservation easement
on their 34-acre property in the County to the MET and the Eastern Shore
Land Conservancy, Inc.
At 11:55 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) (i)(ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, Robert B. Rust, Jr., Emergency
Management Director, were in attendance.
The closed session adjourned at 1:00 p.m.
At 1:50 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 (a)(ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The closed session adjourned at 2:25 p.m.
At the request of the Maryland Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, the Commissioners
approved and signed Proclamation proclaiming the week of October 4 as
Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week in Kent County.
Correspondence was received from Connie Watkins, Chair, Project Outreach,
Chester River Chapter, providing information on this volunteer program
that challenges students to see their talents, skills, and creativity
to make the world a better home.
QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY APPEALS BOARD
Correspondence was received, dated September 17, from Elizabeth L. Gibbs,
of Kennedyville, conveying her concern about a proposed concentrated chicken
feeding operation in Millington (Queen Anne’s County), and reporting that
a Zoning Appeals meeting is scheduled to take place on September 23. A
letter will go forth to Mrs. Gibbs thanking her for the contribution of
In follow up to discussion held on September 21 relating to acceptance
of stock offered by a Kent County resident to be used toward expenses
incurred for police training, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner
Pickrum signed Corporate Resolution for Prime Vest Finance Services through
the Chesapeake Bank & Trust Company in order to process this matter.
Discussion took place concerning the Memorandum received from Lee Myers,
Risk Management Coordinator, with attached copy of the County’s risk management
guidelines regarding holding harmless agreements, and the recommendations
made by the Local Government Insurance Trust as a result of the inspection
of the Nike Base Rifle Range site in Tolchester conducted in 2000.
Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, was in attendance. According
to Ms. Myers, it would be beneficial for the County to consider the concerns
noted prior to preparing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which would
authorize the availability of the firing range to the Maryland State Police
and Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Department.
In response to Commissioner Pickrum’s question, Ms. Hayman reported that
the recommendation she received from the Local Government Insurance Trust
(LGIT) is two-fold: to include an hold-harmless and indemnification provisions
in the Memorandum of Understanding and to provide certain safety requirements,
including sufficient berm or “baffling” (bafflement) at the site of the
Commissioner Pickrum advised that a provision be included in the MOU requiring
the presence of a range safety officer to be designated by the agency
during the time its personnel is utilizing the firing range.
Jack Newell, a resident of the County who was present, noted that it is
his belief that the federal government uses machinery that functions specifically
for the purpose of lead retrieval. He suggested that, should the County
acquire such machinery, the payment for the cost of this machinery be
shared by all of the respective agencies.
The Commissioners agreed to inquire as to federal regulations concerning
lead retrieval, and they affirmed that a new MOU must be written and signed
prior to the authorization of any use of the firing range.
Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, and Amy Moredock, Environmental
Planner, appeared and referred to correspondence that was received from
Bruce Mertz, Co-Chair, Upper Eastern Shore Tributary Team, with attached
copy of Maryland’s recently developed Tributary Strategy.
In his correspondence, Mr. Mertz described the Tributary Strategy as a
roadmap that citizens can use to achieve the goals of the Chesapeake 2000
Agreement and requested the participation of the County. This strategy
includes specific nutrient and sediment control actions necessary to reduce
nutrient pollution from every source, including agricultural fields, urban
and suburban lands, and waste water treatment plants.
Commissioner Livie expressed his concern that the County is being asked
by the State to establish regulations for nutrient and sediment control
without any provision for funding. He also noted that County citizens
are being asked to upgrade their septic systems at the cost to them of
$30.00 per year without having any information provided to them as to
exactly how the State intends to use this money.
Commissioner Pickrum indicated that he does not see any evidence that
the State has evaluated the economic impact of the costs related to this
strategy on the homeowner.
In response to suggestions made by Commissioners Livie and Crow that the
State provide more thorough information to the public about designs and
alternatives for adapting and upgrading septic systems, e.g. using a brochure,
Ms. Moredock reported that sub-committees will produce and distribute
brochures about the same, and she indicated that the County’s future “Septic
Forums” will provide this kind of education for the public that will be
encouragement for citizens to voluntarily upgrade their septic system
at a reasonable fee. She also noted that there will be more information
from the State about how it intends to implement this strategy forthcoming
WATER AND SEWER PLAN UPDATE
A copy of correspondence dated September 17 was received from Terry Willis,
Septic System Subcommittee Chair, Upper Eastern Shore Tributary Strategies
Team, directed to James M. Wright, Jr., County Engineer, encouraging the
County to amend the Kent County Water and Sewer Plan to include language
requiring nitrogen reduction septic systems on new construction (and retrofits
of existing systems as needed) in Kent County’s critical areas surrounding
the County’s waterways.
Mr. Willis also requested that the requirement be extended to government
facilities and to commercial establishments having average daily flows
of 1500 gallons or more. This request is consistent with similar action
taken by other counties, including other Eastern Shore counties.
To this end, Mr. Willis reported that the Upper Eastern Shore Tributary
Team has been working with the County Health Department and the Planning
and Zoning Administration to become familiar with existing regulations
and potential for additional support for nitrogen reduction septic systems
within those regulations.
WATER MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION
Notice was received from Wayne Thieme concerning an application filed
with the Maryland Water Management Administration for a permit for farm
irrigation on his property located on the Galena-Sassafras Road, First
WORTON BUSINESS CENTER
The Commissioners requested P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director,
to obtain cost estimate for the storm water management pond needed at
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, October 5, 2004.
THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Janice F. Fletcher
Approved: William W. Pickrum, President