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Board of County Commissioners

October 5, 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 $4,640,969.00.

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.


Correspondence was received from Jeanine Marsey, a representative of Really Great Cats Rescue, Inc., of Rock Hall, with attachment about “Trap-Neuter-Return” which is a world-wide successful management program of feral, abandoned and stray felines. Ms. Marsey offered this information to assist the Commissioners with their deliberations concerning the problem about the proliferation of feral cats in County communities, such as Worton and Chestertown.

Ms. Hayman will research related laws in the surrounding jurisdictions.


Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Schools, Frances Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, and Tony Cucina, Supervisor of Environmental Services, appeared and requested the Commissioners’ approval of the BOE’s Fiscal Year 2005 Capital Improvement Plan/Budget Adjustment and the Fiscal Year 2004 Financial Audit from the auditors. Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, was also in attendance.

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), Fiscal Year 2006

Ms. Miller reported that Phase I of CIP is going very well. The plan for Phase II is for construction to begin in the summer of 2005 and to be completed by the summer of 2006.

Commissioner Pickrum commented that this plan is an ambitious one given the time-line.

Ms. Miller reported the following construction costs of Phase II, which consists of a number of building infrastructure, security/safety, support areas and health systemic renovations, as well as limited renovated spaces (e.g. two new technology labs, new health and guidance suites, renovated public/student restrooms and new teacher planning rooms):

Local Capital Funds.................................. $4,456,000
State Funds .............................................. $4,456,000 Total $8,912,000

The County has committed a total of $1,555,000 for construction management and architect/engineering costs and Phase I of the construction for Fiscal Year 2005.

For 2006, the County will need to commit funding for the local share in the amount of $4,456,000. It was a noted that there is a possibility that the County will also be asked to front the State’s portion of $2,228,000 for Fiscal Year 2006.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum’s question, Dr. Ward indicated that provision has been made for the possible increase of building materials, supplies, etc., and other expenses that might be affected by inflation, in the funding that will be provided by the State.

A letter of support will go forth from the Commissioners to the Executive Director of the Maryland Public School Construction Program on behalf of the BOE’s application for the State’s funding of the CIP Phase II which the BOE will present to the State on October 21.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum’s question, Ms. Miller indicated that a task force has been formed, representing the BOE to re-evaluate with the State the current 50:50 ratio (representing the amount of funding for the County school system from the State and from the local government) and to explore the possibility of increasing the State’s portion of funding in Kent County. Commissioner Pickrum encouraged that this re-evaluation take place.

Commissioner Livie initiated discussion about the provision and funding of stadium lighting in the County high school athletic field.

Dr. Ward reported that the BOE will sponsor a public works meeting on October 19, at 7:00 p.m. which will include discussion about lighting. She also affirmed that the proposal for the Community Center complements the proposed stadium lighting project. With a well-lighted stadium, more citizens would attend athletic games and, therefore, more citizens would come to the high school campus which, in turn, would provide incentives for greater involvement and interest on the part of citizens in the events sponsored by the school system.

Commissioner Crow concurred, expressing his belief that as the high school becomes more involved with the County’s citizens, citizens will, in turn, be more supportive of and more interested in the activities of the school system, County projects, and the partnership between the two.

Commissioner Pickrum also concurred, emphasizing the importance of the interfacing of programs between the school system and the County, not only for students, but for all of the citizens.

Ms. Miller gave assurance that the issues that needed to be addressed have now been resolved.

Commissioners Crow and Livie also indicated that they were pleased that the high school is now supportive of and that it has hosted the Pop Warner Football games that tour the towns and municipalities throughout the Eastern Shore.

Ms. Miller distributed copies of the BOE’s Management letter, dated August 18, from Beatty, Satchell & Company LLC, Certified Public Accountants, as well as the audit of the financial statements of the BOE for the year ended June 30, 2004.

Ms. Miller and Dr. Ward stated that the auditors’ comments concerning ways for improving internal controls and operating efficiency represented minor issues and are being addressed.

Budget Adjustment - The two budget amendments submitted by the BOE were reviewed in detail. Ms. Miller responded to concerns that were raised by Mrs. Merritt in her letter sent to Ms. Miller, dated September 22, concerning the BOE’s Budget Adjustment # 1.

Commissioner Pickrum praised the BOE’s success with finding sources of grant funding, as well as its excellent utilization of the grant funding.

A letter will go forth to Ms. Miller advising the BOE of the following action taken today: Budget Amendment No. #1 requested in letter dated September 16:

Adjustment No. 1 - Approved use of $650 from the Regional Staff Development Center revenue to fund staff development at Galena Middle School

Adjustment No. 2 - Approved use of $5,000 received from the estate of Dorothy Startt Myers to replace student furniture.

Adjustment No.3 - (a) Approved transfer of $40,000 from contract services-instruction other to instructional salaries. (b) Approval was not given to use $73,630 of fund balance resources to meet salary requirements in the area of instruction, pupil services and special education.

The Commissioners requested that this cost be absorbed within budget at this time.

They agreed to revisit this request in January, 2005 to allow time to evaluate whether or not these expenses could be absorbed within the existing FY05 budget or if the FY 05 budget must be increased by this amount utilizing fund balance resources as the revenue source.

Restricted Fund -
Adjustment (a) - Approval was given in its entirety. Budget Amendment No. # 2 requested in letter dated September 16:

Unrestricted Fund

Adjustment No. 1 - Approval was given for use of $20,000 from FY04 Unreserved Fund Balance to cover costs for roof inspections of public schools.

Adjustment No. 2 - Approval was not given to use $25,063 of fund balance resources to increase instructional salaries and fixed charges to provide an additional .5 kindergarten teacher at the Rock Hall Elementary School.

The Commissioners requested that this cost be absorbed within budget at this time. They agreed to revisit this request in January, 2005 to allow time to evaluate whether or not these expenses could be absorbed within FY 05 budget or if the FY05 budget must be increased by this amount utilizing fund balance resources as the revenue source.

Ms. Miller indicated that she will re-submit the revised budget adjustments to reflect the decisions listed above to the Commissioners as well as to the BOE.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and presented a proposal for the creation of a new staff position within the Department of Parks and Recreation, Character Counts Coordinator. Dick Goodall, President of KRM, Inc., of Chestertown, was also in attendance.

Mr. Troester reported that he was approached by Mr. Goodall and Dick Allen, Regional Executive Director of Character Counts, and informed that Sue Mishaw, Kent County Character Counts Coordinator, resigned from her position. They also suggested that the position could be re-created as a more professionally attractive entry level position within Parks and Recreation. Caroline County has a similar Character Counts position in the Caroline County Parks and Recreation Department.

Mr. Troester proposed an additional entry level Recreation Program Coordinator position at Grade 7, Step A at a starting salary of $26,354. The majority of the salary for this position would be funded through Character Counts with an annual allocation of $20,000.

Mr. Troester requested that an additional $6,354 plus benefits from the County to make this position, as he described it, a full time and more professionally attractive one.

Mr. Troester also expressed his opinion that, aside from the benefits of promoting Character Counts in all of the County programs, this position would serve in an advisory manner and support other agencies and programs, including the County youth sports leagues. Additionally, he indicated that Parks and Recreation would benefit from this proposed position by alleviating some of the long hours of the Parks and Recreation staff, who are currently logging-in over 447 hours of compensatory time annually.

Mr. Troester also suggested that this proposed position could assist with the development and expansion of programs of interest to Parks and Recreation, such as those in the areas of wellness, fitness and adult programming.

In response to Commissioner Crow’s question, Mr. Goodall reported that the position of the coordinator of the Character Counts program was funded entirely through donations and not through grants.

Mr. Goodall indicated that the program has had a long-term commitment to Kent County.

In response to Commissioner Pickrum’s question, Mr. Goodall stated that the proposed coordinator job description could include a sharing of the respective employee with other programs in the County. He also stated that in some jurisdictions, the program is funded through the Local Management Board.

The entire Board concurred that this proposal would represent a “win-win” situation for the County.

Ms. Hayman and Mr. Troester will develop the job description and related personnel requirements and report back to the Commissioners for further discussion.


Ms. Hayman updated the Commissioners concerning information reported by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) on September 27, which indicated that the MDE sampled the monitoring wells on the County-owned property in Massey on September 24. Carter G. Stanton, Director, Public Works, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, were also in attendance.

Until 1985, said property was occupied by the State Highway Administration (SHA). Referring to her Memorandum sent to the Commissioners dated October 4,

Ms. Hayman explained that SHA’s underground fuel storage tanks were removed in 1991 and about that time, the two monitoring wells were installed as part of a petroleum contamination monitoring protocol.

Ms. Hayman reported that the County and Health Department met in response to the MDE’s report on October 1. Those in attendance were Dr. Leland Spencer, Health Officer, Ed Birkmire, Director, and Nony Howell, Sanitarian Supervisor, both of Environmental Health, Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, Jim Wright, County Engineer, and Ms. Hayman. They were joined by MDE staff Brown Roe (MDE Oil Control Program) and Dr. Fred Keer (MDE Regional Geologist).

The following are pertinent issues concerning the situation on the County-owned property in Massey:

- There are 33 total dwelling/businesses within a quarter mile radius of the site, 17 of which are occupied. By October 1, the Health Department obtained water samples from 11 residential properties within this radius. More samples were taken on October 4.

- Water test results may take approximately 10 days and it is hoped that the results will be helpful in addressing any fears that there may be gasoline contaminants in the drinking water. One of the MDE representatives indicated that he is fairly confident that the contamination is contained to the former SHA site..

- Mr. Stanton reported that the staff of the Department of Public Works has been instructed how and when to hand-bail the two monitoring wells for water testing purposes. Instruction information was provided by MDE at the meeting on October 1 and by the Environmental Health staff which took place on the site. The Public Works staff will be bailing the wells three times per week as per MDE’s directive. These procedures include regular testing by Environmental Health staff persons and submission of the results of the same to MDE.

- Ms. Hayman reported that the County has asked two firms to give proposals for a hydrogeological study and work plan to determine more fully the vertical and horizontal extent of any subsurface contamination and to recommend appropriate remediation. MDE has asked the County to provide them with the proposals within 30 days of September 27, 2004.

- Environmental matters are excluded from the County’s coverage with the Local Government Insurance Trust; and the County does not have insurance coverage for matters such as this.

- At least one of the wells had a faulty seal. The wells are currently properly sealed and extended above ground level to eliminate seepage that would interfere with the intended monitoring.

Ms. Hayman concluded her report by indicating that upon receiving the September 27 MDE report the County has acted very aggressively and very carefully with all of the appropriate measures taken as directed by the MDE, and that the County should be better informed next week.

A copy of a notice, dated September 29, was received.

This notice was issued and distributed by the Health Department to some of the residents of the Massey Area. The notice reported that the MDE recently tested and confirmed that two monitoring wells in the Massey area are contaminated with gasoline, and that an extensive analysis would soon be conducted to confirm the source and extent of this contamination. The notice reported that at the present time there was no evidence that this contamination spread to surrounding wells.

The notice was delivered to residents within a 1/4 mile radius of the contaminated wells, and reported that Health Department staff will be in the Massey area starting on September 30.

The permission of property-owners was requested to perform a water analysis on their drinking water to assess for contamination. The notice also indicated that it would be necessary for the staff to enter property owners’ homes in order to perform the testing. If no one is home, the staff will return to make another attempt to sample on October 4. Property owners were encouraged to contact Nony Howell, Sanitarian Supervisor, or Ed Birkmire, Director, both of Environmental Health, at 410-778-1362 if they have any questions or concerns.


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

MDE/Loan Compliance - Correspondence was received, dated September 28, from Kay G. Bee, Chief, Grants and Loan Division, Water Quality Infrastructure Program, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), with information about the processing of the County’s application for financial assistance under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) in order to comply with the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Minority/Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) requirements. For the CWSRF/DWSRF loans in which federal capitalization funds are used, the current M/WBE goal is 20% of the loan amount, which is applicable to procurement for construction, equipment, service and supplies.

Ms. Bee indicated that the County, as a loan applicant, will be required to submit supporting documentation showing how the required, affirmative steps were applied and the resulting M/WBE utilization. She also reported that failure to meet M/WBE goal does not preclude the use of the State Revolving Funds as long as the applicant has established a process that includes the required, affirmative steps and provides MDE with the supporting documentation.

MDE/Allens Lane - A copy of correspondence was received, dated September 27, from Teresa T. Ernest, Loan Officer, Grants and Loan Division, Water Management Administration, Maryland Department of the Environment, directed to Wayne Morris, reporting information pertaining to the compliance of the County for its loan application for the Allens Lane Low Pressure System Installation project. This project and the loan amount of $859,750 have been identified for funding in the Federal Fiscal Year 2004 Clean Water Intended Use Plan through the Maryland Water Quality Financing Administration’s (MWQFA) State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) Program.

Millington Service Area

Correspondence was received from Tina Cummings, of Millington, issuing her objections about the connection that is to be made from her home to the new Millington Water System.

A bid opening took place at 9:45 a.m. at the Commissioners’ Hearing Room, 400 High Street, Chestertown, for a tax-exempt general obligation bond anticipation note for the purposes of financing on an interim basis expenditures for all or a portion of the costs of the Millington Water Service Project.

The bids received were as follows:

Banks Rates/Bids

Chesapeake Bank and Trust 2.790% Fixed; 2.850% Floating; Prime - 1.90;

Mercantile Eastern Shore No Fixed Rate Bid; 3.5000% Floating; Prime - 1.25;

Peoples Bank of Kent County 3.500% Fixed; 2.800% Floating; 59% of Prime;

BB & T Governmental Finance No Fixed Rate Bid; 2.120% Floating; 3 months Libor + 19.

Bank of America 2.590% Fixed*; 2.310% Floating; 30 Day Libor + .30 * Rate guaranteed through October 1, 2004. Additional cost associated with not having a location in Kent County.

Centreville National 3.480% Fixed; 3.088% Floating; 65% of Prime

SunTrust Bank No Fixed Rate Bid; 1.680% Floating**

** Additional Fees: $250.00 upfront costs. 12% of unused line of credit penalty paid quarterly.

Roger Williams, County Treasurer, explained that the lowest fixed rate is 2.59% from Bank of America and 2.79% from Chesapeake Bank and Trust, and the lowest floating rate is 1.68% from SunTrust Bank but additional cost could be very large.

The Commissioners approved Mr. Williams’ recommendation that, with interest rates on the rise, that the fixed rate of 2.79% from Chesapeake Bank and Trust with quarterly interest payments and principal paid at any time prior to but not later than February 21, 2006.

The Commissioners approved an additional water and sewer allocation as requested by Kirk and Janice Hassel for a subdivision of their property located at 32155 River Road, Tax Map 32, Parcel # 76.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum’s question, Mr. Morris expressed his opinion that the County’s current policy of “first come, first served” regarding the granting of allocations is the most just approach, with the condition that those who have received allocations apply them diligently and in a timely fashion.

Mr. Morris added that, if allocations are not acted upon, the Commissioners have the authority to rescind the allocations.

Responding to Commissioner Crow’s question pertaining to the proposed housing development in Kennedyville, Mr. Morris affirmed that it is the responsibility of the developer to install and to pay for the necessary infrastructure, such as water and sewer services. The entire Board concurred with Mr. Morris.

Mr. Morris also reported that, with the upgrading of the water system in Kennedyville, the system will have the capacity to handle the water and sewer needs of the approximately 125 units of the new development. He added that the allocation fees, paid by the developer generally, should be able to cover any anticipated costs related to the capacity of the system.

Mr. Morris assured the Board that he will be negotiating further with the developer in Kennedyville and that the developer has flexibility in these negotiations.

Commissioner Pickrum indicated that the pace and extent of housing growth in the County can be monitored and controlled by the County through its zoning plans and through the availability, or lack of, water and sewer services. He added that the Board does not want to prohibit housing growth altogether; rather, it is the interest of the Board to be able to monitor and control growth.

Responding to Commissioner Livie’s question, Mr. Morris reported that the new sewer system in Kennedyville will begin in the early spring of 2005 and will be constructed in phases.

Piney Neck Service Area - The Commissioners approved the request for one sewer allocation for the property located at 5336 Crosby Road, in Rock Hall, Tax Map 51, Parcel # 141 made by Joan S. Elburn of Rock Hall.

Worton Service Area - The Commissioners approved the request of Bruce E. Wright, of Bruce E. Wright and Company, Consulting Engineers, of Chestertown, on behalf of Alger Oil, Inc. for an additional water and sewer allocation for Lot 1 of the Worton Project.


The Commissioners approved a raffle permit for the Chester River Hospital Center for its fund-raising event scheduled to take place on October 9 and 10, 2004 at the Sgt. John Newnam Armory in Chestertown, and a raffle and gaming permit for the Betterton Volunteer Fire Company for its fund-raising event to take place on October 16, 2004 at the Betterton Fire Hall..


A copy of correspondence, dated September 29, received via electronic mail, from Brian S. Bailey, of Baltimore, MD, and directed to Governor Ehrlich, requests that the Governor appoint a student/or students, (e.g., a recent alumnus of Maryland’s public education system and a college student) to serve on the Governor’s Commission on Quality Education.

For the record, Governor Ehrlich created this Commission on Quality Education on September 27, 2004 for the purpose of ensuring that the finances and resources set aside for education are utilized sensibly.


Sheriff John Price appeared and requested the Board’s support for proposed legislation to increase the salary of the Sheriff. It was noted any change in the legislated salary would not be effective until the next term of office (2006). Sheriff Price provided a copy of survey comparing the sheriff’s salary in Maryland.

The Commissioners advised they would support legislation providing the Kent County Sheriff with an annual salary of $65,000.

Sheriff Price advised that he will be requesting a meeting with Delegate Walkup and Senator Pipkin to seek their support in introducing this proposed legislation in the 2005 General Assembly.


Emergency Management - A paramedic salary comparison was provided the Commissioners for their information and consideration.

At 11:25 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) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Those in attendance were Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, and Sheriff John Price.

The closed session adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

At 12:20 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 1:00 p.m.


In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Commissioner Pickrum read a Proclamation which reported that domestic violence is a serious crime that affects people of all races, ages, income levels, and sexes; that patterns of violent behavior are passed from on generation to the next and an estimated 30% of those who witness violence in their homes become perpetrators of violence; and that domestic violence costs the nation between $5 Million and $10 Million annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters, sick leave, absenteeism, and the loss of productivity.

The Commissioners urged all citizens to participate actively in the scheduled events and programs to work toward the elimination of domestic violence.

Jody Kennedy, representing Jeanne Yeager, Executive Director of the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence, (who was unable to attend), and Cynthia Saunders, a social worker for Kent County Social Services, and Paula Gish, Assistant Director of Kent County Social Services, both of whom are agency representatives for the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence Coordinating Council, were also in attendance.

Ms. Kennedy reported that the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence will be sponsoring a memorial service for victims of domestic violence on October 23, at 2:00 p.m. in Fountain Park, Chestertown.


Marty Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Inspector, appeared and distributed to the Commissioners copies of “Accept the Challenge: Become an Investigative Aid.” Mr. Stetson explained that the document, which serves as a parental/guardian permission slip, lists the general requirements of a Cooperating Underage Witness (CUW) who would work for the County as a paid contract employee. This employee, working along with the Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Inspector, would visit businesses that retail tobacco products and attempt to make a purchase. If an employee of the tested location makes a sale to the CUW, the employee and possibly the management of the retail business would be issued a citation. It may be necessary for the CUW to testify at a later date in a court procedure.


In follow up to concerns raised by the Public Works Department as it relates to extended use of the firing range at the Tolchester Site, Sheriff John Price reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have regulations for lead abatement. He further advised that there are Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations as to use of the firing range that would require compliance by those agencies using this facility. He agreed to follow-up on required regulations and report back to the Board. He reported that the range is used in compliance with all OSHA regulations. He also agreed to meet with all agencies involved for further discussion.


Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and reported that a proposal was made for the restoration of the Granary at Turners Creek by Bridget Cordesman whose expertise is in the area of matching people, projects, philanthropists and grants to restore small, historic buildings that otherwise would not be eligible for restoration funding.

Mr. Troester explained that Ms. Cordesman would donate her time under the 501(c)(3) non profit standing of the Kent Museum and raise money for this restoration project. She would require housing for the duration of this project (She currently lives in northern Virginia.) Mr. Troester suggested that the upstairs area in the building at Bayside Landing Park as one option for suitable housing for Ms. Cordesman and requested the Commissioners’ consideration of this proposal.

For the record, on September 28, the Executive Board of Kent Museum, Inc. approved the proposal, thereby authorizing Ms. Cordesman’s work under the auspices of Kent Museum, Inc.

The Commissioners agreed to take Mr. Troester’s proposal under further advisement.


Correspondence was received, dated October 1, via electronic mail, from Linda Gagliano, a resident of Kent County, issuing her objections to the comments as reported in the Kent News which were made at the Commissioners’ meeting on September 28 pertaining to the variety of homes located in Tolchester. She also expressed her concerns as to what she described as widespread problems in planning throughout the County, such as the disregard for some citizens for zoning restrictions.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, October 12, 2004, at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

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