The Honorable Board of County Commissioners
met this evening at 6:00 p.m. at the Betterton Fire Hall 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
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $10,454,579.00.
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.
THE TOWN OF BETTERTON
Don Sutton, a member of the Town Council of Betterton, welcomed the Commissioners
to Betterton on behalf of Mayor Candi Sorge who was not able to be present.
There were approximately 12 interested persons as well as a member of
the media also in attendance.
Margo Turner, a resident of Betterton, affirmed and praised the effective
response of the County Sheriff’s Deputies with their intervention and
apprehension of thieves in a recent series of residential burglaries in
Betterton. She also affirmed the support of the Sheriff’s Office demonstrated
by the County in its budget for Fiscal Year 2005.
Nancy Grahamer, a member of the Betterton Fire Company, expressed her
concern about the difficulty experienced by the County with recruiting
and maintaining the employment of paramedics.
Responding to her question, Commissioner Pickrum indicated that paramedics
are highly sought after throughout the nation, and assured Mrs.Grahamer
that the salary schedule for Kent County paramedics represents the middle
range of paramedic salaries as they exist throughout the Eastern Shore.
He added that the County is currently advertising employment positions
for full- and part-time paramedics, and that the County would be willing
to include tuition payment towards paramedic certification courses as
Commissioner Crow concurred, further stating that should a highly-qualified
person express an interest in a paramedic position with the County, the
County would be willing to negotiate an appropriate and an attractive
salary within the parameters of the budget.
Ms. Hayman noted that the salary advertised represents a starting salary
range for a paramedic, as opposed to a salary range that would represent
the tenure and experience of an entire career.
Arthur Hock, Manager of the Rigbie Bluff Condominium Association of Betterton,
expressed to the Commissioners the appreciation of the Association for
the attention given to its concerns by the Board regarding the proposed
installation of pilings at the Betterton pier (cit. “Minutes,” County
Commissioners’ Meeting October 12, 2004).
Support for the State’s “Amnesty Day” program (i.e. a recycling program
for tires sponsored by the State on a designated day and location)was
expressed by several people.
Commissioner Pickrum noted that “Amnesty Day” was made possible this year
due to the funding replenished by the State in its Transportation Trust
Fund this year.
Commissioner Pickrum emphasized that the Board is sensitive to the concerns
of the residents of Betterton regarding growth and development-related
Mr. Sutton, on behalf of the Town Council, expressed his appreciation
to the County’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for its review of proposals
Commissioner Livie, sharing the opinion of the entire Board, acknowledged
the pressure from developers to build residential communities currently
being experienced by many of the County’s incorporated towns.
Commissioner Crow indicated that there are two, primary types of buyers
in the residential housing development market: people planning to retire
and live in the County, and people who want to live in the County and
commute to jobs elsewhere. He noted that these prospective residents are
not generally available to serve as emergency medical/response volunteers.
Therefore, the County must have the capability of meeting the emergency
needs of these prospective residents while, at the same time, meet the
challenge of supporting the existing infrastructure of emergency medical
and response services.
Commissioner Pickrum emphasized that all of the current volunteers are
doing an excellent job.
Ann Morrison Gay, a resident of Betterton, inquired as to whether or not
the County has any decision-making authority concerning the proposed construction
of a fly-in community in Betterton.
Commissioner Pickrum responded that the County has no authority concerning
land within the jurisdiction of an incorporated town, such as Betterton;
and, in terms of air space, he indicated that only the federal government
has authority concerning flight zoning and air space regulations
Responding to Mr. Sutton’s request that there be more lifeguards at the
Betterton Beach during its summer season, Commissioner Pickrum stated
that the challenge of having more lifeguards is not for lack of County
funding, but lack of the public response and interest in this seasonal
The Commissioners extended their appreciation to the Betterton Fire Department
for its hospitality as hosts for the meeting and thanked everyone for
their attendance and discussion.
Correspondence was received from Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, State
Highway Administration (SHA), dated October 1, responding to the Board’s
concerns and questions pertaining to the proposed Chestertown bypass which
it expressed at the September Conference of the Maryland Association of
Counties in September. He reported that the planning directors of both
Queen Anne’s and Kent Counties will be meeting with SHA staff to begin
the effort to reach agreement on the master plan alignments for a proposed
Chestertown bypass on October 28.
He indicated that it is hope that the effort will result in the project
being included in both local master plans and eventually the Highway Needs
Inventory, the SHA’s long-range planning document. These actions would
be important in order to preserve the right-of-way for the corridor.
Commenting on the discussion about the proposed Chestertown bypass that
ensued at the October 12 Commissioners’ meeting, Craig O’Donnell of the
Kent County News, indicated that he recently researched a Chester River
Bridge Traffic County survey conducted by the State Highway Administration
in 2002. With this information, he estimated that as many as 35 vehicles
cross the bridge every five minutes, 10% of which are trucks.
The Commissioners thanked Mr. O’Donnell for his report.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT MINORITY/WOMEN’S BUSINESS PLAN
A Memorandum was received from Jack Canan, Coordinator of Housing and
Community Development, dated October 15, requesting the Commissioners’
review and approval of his draft of a Minority/Women’s Business Plan to
be submitted to the Department of Housing and Community Development as
per its request.
Mr. Canan indicated that the draft is inclusive of principles which he
believes to have been utilized by the County since the inception of the
Housing Improvement Program (HIP) nine years ago. He cited the following
results of HIP’s solicitation of bids from minority and female-owned businesses/contractors:
a Port Deposit-based minority contractor in conjunction with the federal
Rural Development Agency, to undertake the rehabilitation work on several
of the County’s HIP Project-improved homes; and a female-owned business
which is doing the lead-based paint testing within the homes being rehabilitated
during Phase Four of the HIP project. This draft document will be further
reviewed next week.
COUNTY ROADS DIVISION
A copy of the revised Fiscal Year 2005 County Roads Surface Treatment
Schedule was received from the County Roads Division. The following County
roads were surface-treated during October 4 through October 12, 2004 (the
rest of the roads will be treated in the spring 2005): Big Stone Road,
from MD Route 291 to MD Route 330; Big Woods Road, from MD Route 213 to
MD Route 561; Comegys Road, from Kennedyville Road to Road End; Hanesville
Road, from MD Route 514 to MD Route 298.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING DEVELOPMENT CAPACITY TASK FORCE
Correspondence was received from Audrey E. Scott, Secretary and Chair
of the Development Capacity Task Force, dated October 7, providing the
final report of the Task Force initiated via the Governor’s Priority Places
Executive Order last October. Ms. Scott explained that the issue of development
capacity analysis (i.e. buildout or buildable lot inventory) has been
one of the top planning issues in the State for a long time. These achievements
demonstrate the utility of gathering stakeholders for tough policy issues
and working with them to develop useful and workable solutions.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Millington Service Area - Bond closing documents were signed by Commissioner
Pickrum, et.al. as it relates to the Water System Improvement Bond Anticipation
Note of 2004 for the Millington Water Project.
DRUG ALCOHOL ABUSE COUNCIL
A Memorandum was received from Ms. Hayman, dated October 14, with attachment
of list of services currently provided along the continuum of addictions
care through the County Health Department in the areas of prevention,
and outpatient and inpatient care.
Ms. Hayman also summarized the key interest areas identified at the initial
Council meeting which took place on October 4:
- Criminal justice population: a halfway house program for people currently
in jail that could be better served with long-term treatment options;
stronger services to the jail-based population; stronger diversion services
to those involved with the criminal justice system.
-Intervention with children and adolescents:
school-based; children/adolescents experiencing substance abuse in the
home; children/adolescents using substances.
-Family involvement in treatment experience.
KENT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The County Administrator reported on phone call received from Dr. Leland
Spencer, Health Officer, advising that Kent County received 620 flu vaccines
which are to be allocated for those patients under long term care and
diagnosed at high risk.
At 5:40 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 legal matters in accordance with State Government Article,
Section 10.508 (a)(4)(7) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Items of discussion included proposed land purchase and subdivision issues
relating to the Worton Business Center.
The closed session adjourned at 5:55 p.m.
Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, presented a revised proposal from
Collins Consulting Services for conducting a comprehensive classification
and pay plan study for Kent County employees at a cost of $48,585.
No decision was made on this proposal at this time.
At 5:00 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 l0.508 (a)(i)(ii) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.
The closed session adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
PUBLIC WORKS COMPLEX
At the recommendation of Jim Wright, County Engineer, the Commissioners
approved to table the roof repair for the Public Works Complex due to
weather concerns. Therefore no action will be taken on the bids opened
on October 12 and the project will be rebid in the Spring. Mr. Wright
will notify the bidders as to the change of plans.
Correspondence dated October 16 was received from Stuart Elsberg, Member
of the Board of Directors, Rebuilding Together Kent County, MD, requesting
a permanent waiver of permit filing fees and of tipping fees for the disposal
of Rebuilding Together’s construction waste at the County dump. He also
extended the appreciation of Rebuilding Together for the Commissioners’
support shown by their attendance at its kick-off breakfast in September
and for the waiver of County building permit fees thus far.
Rebuilding Together, Kent County, MD is a not-for-profit organization
that assists eligible homeowners in the County with donations of needed
home repair supplies and volunteer repair workers.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve a permanent waiver
of building permit fees for Rebuilding Together Kent County, MD, under
the condition that the organization continue to abide by the permit application
process for each permit required.
The Board will postpone its decision concerning the organization’s request
for a permanent waiver of tipping fees until further discussion takes
place with Ms. Hayman and Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works.
As submitted by the Sheriff’s Office, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner
Pickrum signed the Federal Annual Certification Report.
WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
A Memorandum was received from the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board
Members, Errol Alexander, Beverly Churchill, and Lynn Cusimano, received
on October 13, providing the following updates about their activities:
Upper Shore Labor Market Information - An attachment of commuting pattern
maps show the inflow and outflow of workers to Kent County. The Investment
Board reported that a new tool has become available that will allow the
Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board to definitely determine the local
labor markets and commuting patterns.
Youth Leadership - The Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board’s Mobile
Learning Center is the focal point for youth services. A total of 220
youth were served from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, including 23
youth from Kent County.
The Youth Leadership Program provides pre-employment skills, including
job search, job keeping and budgeting skills.
The Mobile Learning Center is equipped with computer software that challenges
youth to develop the skills to get and keep a job.
National Emergency Grant Monitoring - The Upper Shore Workforce Investment
Board received $1.5 Million to assist the 1,276 workers laid-off when
Black and Decker closed its Easton facility. The Investment Board’s implementation
and outcomes of the grant were monitored by the U.S. Department of Labor
and received a favorable review. Since the termination of operations of
ConAgra in Queenstown, the Investment Board assisted those workers in
finding new jobs and with re-training for new careers.
The Maryland Workforce Development Association - The annual conference
was held in June at which the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board made
presentation pertaining to the challenges and opportunities of their responses
to the Black and Decker closing.
Maryland Business Works - allows the Upper Shore Workforce Investment
Board to assist employers by paying for one-half of certain training programs
for incumbent workers, enabling it to train 321 employees. The Investment
Board, with the smallest labor force in the State, has more employer contracts
than any of the other areas of the State.
Shore Leadership Award - recognized the Upper Shore Workforce Investment
Board on September 23, 2004 for the leadership it displayed in the design
and implementation of the Black and Decker response.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’
Hearing Room, Chestertown.
THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Janice F. Fletcher
Approved: William W. Pickrum, President