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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

October 26, 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 $9,607,059.00.

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.


AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMISSION

The Commissioners appointed W. Frank Barnes, Jr., Herman E. Hill, Jr., and Craig McSparran as members of the Agricultural Advisory Commission for a three year term ending September 18, 2007.


AUDIT

Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, appeared and presented the preliminary Fiscal Year 2004 Financial Update in preparation for the audit of the County’s financial records scheduled for November 14.


BAY BROADBAND COMMUNICATIONS

Verbal request was received from Timm Keefe, representing Bay Broadband Communications, to lease tower in the communities of Fairlee and Kennedyville at $100 per month per tower, or $50 per month plus broadband service at that location. The Commissioners authorized the County Administrator to prepare agreements for approval and signatures.


BAYSIDE PUBLIC LANDING

The Commissioners approved and signed Contract between Dissen and Juhn Corporation relating to the bulkhead and pier installation at a cost of $230,480; 50% of this amount will be funded by the Waterway Improvement Division grant.


BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)

Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Kent County Public Schools, Frances Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, appeared as per the request of the BOE to appeal the Commissioners’ denial of two recent budget adjustments using the Fiscal Year 2004 fund balance. Dr. James Siemen, President, Dr. Allen Hanifee, Vice-President, Lamonte Cooke and John Larrimore, members, all of the BOE, and Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting were also in attendance.

Commissioner Pickrum initiated discussion by conveying the concerns expressed to him by some citizens as to the recent incident of a shot gun discovered in the vehicle of a high school student, as well as concerns about school performance, and concerns expressed about the need to have more teachers of color employed by the Kent County Public Schools. He added that there is a significant number of students of color in the public school system.

Dr. Siemen indicated that he would like to respond to these concerns following the presentation of the BOE’s appeal. He expressed the appreciation of the BOE to meet with the Commissioners today. As per the correspondence sent to the Commissioners, dated October 21, by Dr. Ward, both Dr. Siemen and Dr. Ward reiterated that the approval of the two budget adjustments does not impact the Commissioners’ required maintenance of effort for Fiscal Year 2006 since the adjustments are not a new allocation by the County Government but simply a reallocation of use of BOE funds. In their opinion, the adjustments do not impact the Fiscal Year 2006 budget because the BOE always uses a zero-based budgeting process based on projected student enrollment.

In addition, Drs. Ward and Siemen based the BOE’s appeal on the requirements of the State law for education budgets as well as the new Maryland law requiring school superintendents to file a financial statement with the State Superintendent and the County governing body for the periods ending November 30 and March 31 of each fiscal year.

According to these requirements, the Superintendent of the Kent County Public Schools must state whether or not there are any issues or problems associated with the school system’s ability to operate within its budgeted resources to avoid a deficit situation at the end of the year unless (1) the budgeted adjustments are approved or (2) staff lay-offs occur. Dr. Ward also explained that there are currently a total of five employment positions that will have to be eliminated without the proposed budgeted adjustments: one .5 Kindergarten teacher at Rock Hall Elementary School (to be hired later in the current academic year), and one pupil personnel worker, one school psychologist, and two special education aides, all of which are positions currently filled.

Commissioner Pickrum stated that the main point of disagreement between the BOE and the Board of Commissioners is that the Commissioners believe it is poor policy of the BOE to be using non-recurring funds to pay for the salaries of recurring employment positions.

Dr. Ward responded by indicating that the BOE has always followed this procedure as a way to compensate for changes in budgetary needs experienced when the amount of grant funding received fluctuates.

Commissioner Livie concurred that such changes must be anticipated, given the inherent nature of grants; however, he emphasized that using non-recurring funds for a recurring employment position is not a good practice. He and the other members of the Board of Commissioners recommended to the BOE that they take the budgeted funds that are not immediately needed and were not spent for the salaries of vacant positions from the previous fiscal year fund balance and apply them to their salary needs.

In other words, from the $98,000 requested to be transferred, the Commissioners recommended that, pertaining to the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the BOE subtract the figure of unused dollars to pay for the salaried positions, and for the balance of salaries yet needed, the BOE should request the same from the Commissioners.

Commissioner Crow added that unused funds may represent vacant administrative positions as well as vacant teacher positions.

Dr. Ward requested that the representatives of the BOE meet with the Commissioners later in the day to allow time to determine the amount of needed County appropriations. The Commissioners agreed.

Dr. Hanifee, raising Commissioner Pickrum’s earlier question, inquired of Dr. Ward as to whether or not the BOE has budgeted funding for recruitment of teachers.

Dr. Ward responded by stating that there is a budgeted amount to cover the expenses of the Human Resource Director of the BOE to recruit teachers, but not over large distances, e.g. to other states, to traditionally African-American colleges and universities. She reported that there is a crisis of a lack of African-American teachers throughout the country, and that young African-American adults are seeking better paying jobs.

To Commissioner Pickrum’s response that he recognizes that current trend, Dr. Ward indicated that the BOE does not have budgeted the amount of money needed to recruit at job fairs in other states, and instead, utilizes the job fair websites.

Dr. Siemen assured the Commissioners that the BOE is working very hard to recruit teaches of color, that the employment of teachers of color is on the BOE’s agenda, and that Kent County is challenged in this area by its competition with other counties which are able to offer larger salaries. He added that the BOE would be happy to discuss this need further with the Commissioners at a future date.

Responding to the concern about the recent incident in which a County high school student was discovered in possession of a shot gun, Dr. Ward reported that she sent a letter to all public school staff with information that she was able to convey, that the shot gun was not loaded, that it was discovered inside the vehicle being utilized by the student, and that the parents of the student were immediately notified. She explained that through a “tip hotline”, another parent reported a rumor of the possibility of a shot gun on the high school premises and that a fight might be expected to take place at the high school. This tip was immediately investigated and the information confirmed. The student has been suspended pending the results of the investigation.

Dr. Ward also reported that a letter has also been sent home with students directed to their parents about the incident. She expressed her regret that she failed to remember to notify the Commissioners immediately as well, indicating that, from now on, she would communicated with the Commissioners more immediately when crises occur.

Regarding the Commissioners’ concern about school performance issues, Dr. Ward indicated that she would be happy to schedule a special briefing about the same with the Commissioners at any time.

Commissioners Crow reported the comments he often receives from County school teachers who express their frustration with the amount of paperwork they complete which they feel interferes with the quality and extent of their actual class instruction time.

Dr. Ward explained that said paperwork is required by both the State and Federal government regulations.

Commissioner Pickrum added that the Board does recognize that the County has the best school system in the State.

Dr. Ward shared the information provided by the Maryland Department of Education which indicates improvement in school performance, which was documented later in the day when Mr. Larrimore distributed copies of a press release dated October 25 issued by the Maryland Department of Education.
The press release reports that, given the results of the 2004 Maryland School Assessments (MSA), 15 of the State’s school systems made all of their annual achievement targets of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and the remainder made solid strides over last year. When results were compiled in 2003, not a single school system in the State was making their AYP. Maryland state, school and system performance data is required by the “No Child Left Behind Act” which, in turn, requires that school systems be able to show that students are making AYP in reading, math, and one other measure.

The Maryland School Assessment (MSA) scores recorded in June 2004 showed improvement over last year, and also showed a steady improvement in the performance of State racial and eithnic groups, and students receiving services.

Dr. Ward reported that Kent County was one of the eight counties, plus Baltimore City, that did not make the 2004 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Dr. Ward expressed her dismay in consideration that Kent County missed meeting the standards of AYP by one in math and three in reading (one student failed the same test three times). As a result of the report, a new master plan will need to be completed.

Commissioner Pickrum advised of interest to meet with the local delegation to seek revision to State standards. Dr. Ward will also be invited to attend.

The Commissioners expressed their appreciation to the members of the BOE for their input and discussion.

At 1:00 p.m., and in follow up to request made by the Commissioners earlier today, Dr. Ward, Superintendent of Schools, and Ms. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, appeared. Jon Baker, Community Relations Coordinator, BOE, was also in attendance.

Dr. Ward reported determination has been made as to salary savings from unfilled positions to date and a new budget adjustment was prepared that includes these salary savings and the revenue needed from the fund balance for the salaried positions from Budget Adjustments #1 ($73,630) and #2 ($25,063) totaling $98,693. The revised amount in Budget Adjustment #3 is $75,320.00 to be used from the fund balance.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve Budget Adjustment #3 as submitted.

Commissioner Pickrum asked how the Board of Commissioners could assist the school system in its student performance.

Dr. Ward suggested a joint session between the Commissioners and Board of Education to discuss needs and viewpoints. The Commissioners agreed.

A letter will go forth to Governor Ehrlich requesting serious consideration be given to funding the additional annual $150 Million capital expenditure needed to support the recommendations of the Task Force to Study Public School Facilities by using available capital debt capacity.

High School Stadium Lighting - Commissioner Livie initiated discussion about the proposed stadium lighting at the high school athletic field. The Commissioners agreed to schedule a meeting with the Chester Bridge Foundation, Jim Wright, County Engineer, Ms. Hayman, and Tony Cucina, Supervisor of Environmental Services, in the near future to prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP).


DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Correspondence dated October 19 was received from Robert L. Flanagan, Secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation, with attachment providing information about a new approach to helping address traffic congestion, improving customer service, and to be in a better position to compete for federal funds.

Representing the joint effort of DOT, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), and the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the new approach is entitled “Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and is being considered as part of a solution to attract new riders, encourage transit-oriented development, be cost effective, and provide greater operating flexibility than rail transit and better service than conventional bus systems.

The following are ongoing studies with BRT alternatives: Bi-County Transitway, Red Line in Baltimore, Green Line in Baltimore, 1-270/US 15 Corridor. The Commissioners were invited to contact Secretary Flanagan to discuss this new concept in terms of Kent County applications.


DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

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

Worton Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed a Public Works Agreement (PWA) with Charles D. Reed for a water and sewer allocation as it pertains to the property located on Tax Map 20, Parcel #161.

Spring Cove/Green Lane Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed a PWA with Catherine Hill for a sewer allocation as it pertains to the property located on Tax Map 51, Parcel # 75 and shown as Lot 1.

Piney Neck/Skinners Neck/Wesley Chapel Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed a PWA with Rosalind Hill and Rebecca Marshall for a sewer allocation for property located on Tax Map 51, Parcel # 141.

The Commissioners approved the request received from William R. Marshall for a sewer allocation for property located on Tax Map 55, Parcel #96.

Correspondence dated October 13 was received from Mr. And Mrs. John H. Shertzer, residents of Rock Hall, issuing their objections to the increase in water and sewer rates that went into effective in January 2004. They indicated that, because of their fixed income, the increased rates will represent a financial hardship for them.

Millington Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed a PWA with Janice McClintic and Kirk E. Hassell for four water allocations and four sewer allocations for property located on Tax Map 32, Parcel #76.

Tolchester Service Area - The Commissioners hosted a public information meeting on Saturday, October 23, at the Kent Ag. Center for the purpose to answer questions and solicit comments regarding the revised Growth Management Policy for the Tolchester Service Area. Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, and Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, were in attendance as well as approximately fifty interested persons.

Commissioner Livie conveyed a number of concerns expressed at the meeting, which were as follows: that some property owners are reconstructing their garages and, having received allocations, are renting them, and allocations that have been granted to the owners of vacant lots.

Mr. Morris agreed to look into this concern and will report his findings at the next meeting of the Board. Mr. Morris also indicated that the Board will have to review the outstanding allocations and make decisions pertaining to them.

Commissioner Livie also raised a concern about the Brambles Marina located in Tolchester.

Mr. Morris responded by indicating that Brambles Marina is hooked up to the sewer system and is utilizing a grinder pump to handle its wastewater.

Mr. Morris reported that, if approved by the Commissioners, there are 13 additional allocations remaining in the Tolchester Service Area, of which more than 18 allocations have already been requested.

The Commissioners and Mr. Morris concurred that the Tolchester meeting was helpful, providing residents representing varying opinions the opportunity to express their concerns and receive answers to their questions.

Allens Lane Service Area - Referring to correspondence dated September 27 received from the Maryland Department of the Environment, concerning the Allens Lane Low Pressure System installation, Mr. Morris reported that the County’s request for the estimated State Revolving Fund loan amount of $859,750 was approved. Mr. Morris reported that an environmental assessment, an up-to-date cost assessment, and an engineering agreement are pending. The Board confirmed its desire to move forward with this project. Commissioner Pickrum noted that the Board is still receiving correspondence from citizens which is indicative of their confusion as to how the rate structure for sewer and water services operates.

Craig O’Donnell of the Kent County News indicated his intention to write an article with a detailed and clear explanation for the rate structure.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, appeared and presented the updates of the Economic Development Department as follows:

Kent County Business Park at Worton - It was determined at the Technical Advisory Commission (TAC) meeting held on October 21 that the original Request for Proposal (RFP) was not acceptable, specific to concerns about the stormwater management. Mike Whitehill, engineering representative of McCrone, Inc. offered to submit a new RFP in ten days from October 21.

Responding to Commissioner Pickrum and Commissioner Livie’s questions, Ms. Schaller indicated that the new plan will not eliminate access to the rail line, and that she will be able to report the actual number of lots that will be available after the preliminary site plan has been determined at the next TAC meeting in November.


Kent County Incubator Business - Ms. Schaller reported about the Chesapeake Entrepreneur Center (Leveraging Resources), the first Kent County Incubator Business, which is located on Dixon Drive in Chestertown. The current tenants are the Chester Bridge Foundation and the Community Development Foundation, and the site will also serve as the location for training programs for the Chesapeake Marine Trades Career School, based in Rock Hall. She described the development stage of the Incubator as inclusive of the following: fee-based workstations, access to computer and telephones, bookkeeping services, triage phones, business assistance through SCORE, etc.

Commissioner Livie recommended that Ms. Schaller spear head a plan for greater public recognition for this Incubator Business.


LaMotte Property - Ms. Schaller reported that she is coordinating a meeting with Aris Melissaratos, Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), and the Commissioners on November 1 to talk about the progress concerning LaMotte Property and the Business Park at Worton RFP’s.

The Commissioners and Ms. Schaller agreed that, in addition to a pre-bid conference, that a pre-pre-bid conference take place concerning the LaMotte Property to include Jim Wright, County Engineer, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, Sarah Woodworth, consultant with ZHA, Inc., and Marsha Fritz, member of the Chestertown Planning Commission and LaMotte Park Study Committee, Ms. Schaller, Ms. Hayman, and Gary Ventry, Marketing Executive, DBED. The purpose of this pre-pre-bid conference would be to prepare for the questions and concerns of prospective developers, and also to agree as to the County’s parameters for the RFP.


At 1:10 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 proposed economic development projects in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (a)(4) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director, Tom Beckett, Chairman, and Jon Baker, Member, Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB), were in attendance.

The closed session adjourned at 2:25 p.m.


EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (EMA)

A copy of a Memorandum dated October 20 was received from Robert B. Rust, Jr., Director, Emergency Management Agency, and directed to Gordon Deans, Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB) Training Coordinator, Maryland Emergency Number Systems Board, with attachment of Kent County’s ENSB Project Funding Request Three Year Survey.


FIRE CHIEFS’ ASSOCIATION (FCA)

A Memorandum dated September 30 was received from Robert B. Rust, Jr., Director, Emergency Management Agency (EMA), listing the concerns to be discussed with the FCA and the Commissioners at a meeting scheduled to take place on October 27 at 7:00 p.m. Margie Elsberg will serve as the facilitator.

Included among the nine concerns listed are the following: recruitment and retention of Fire/Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) volunteers; e.g. start a program in the High School; the request for an explanation for the reason why the idea for acquiring additional funding to Fire and EMS through impact fees was rejected by the County; the request that the Emergency Planner work with Fire/EMS departments in areas of that position’s responsibilities; the request that the Fire Chiefs be involved in the hiring process for dispatchers and paramedics; and the request that a committee composed of representatives of the FCA and the Board be formed to discuss ways of finding additional funding for Fire/EMS in the County.

Commissioner Pickrum explained that the purpose of this work session is to build rapport and offer clarification about concerns shared in common with the Board and the FCA, and he added that some of the members of the FCA may have a misconception of the County’s function.


HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM

As prepared by Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, the Commissioners approved and adopted a Minority/Woman’s Business Plan for Kent County.


HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION (HRC)

Correspondence was received from Carmen E. Pratt, tendering her resignation as a member of the County Human Relations Commission effective immediately.


MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES (MACo)

Commissioner William Pickrum will serve as the 2005 MACo Legislative Committee member and Commissioner Roy Crow will serve as the alternate member.

MARYLAND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

As a result of the review of the nominations received, the “Maryland You Are Beautiful” Program Local Committee, consisting of Mayor Dennis Hager, Margaret Briscoe and Rosalie Kuechler, selected Dr. Thomas F. McHugh as Kent County’s Most Outstanding Volunteer for 2004 as part of the “Maryland You Are Beautiful” Program.

The Commissioners invited all nominees to be formally recognized as follows: Joyce Hemminger nominated by Mary Beth Gardner; Jean Leverage nominated by Cynthia McCann; Gwynne Mason nominated by Mary Beth Gardner; Pat McDonald nominated by Connie Watkins; Bettye Tiemeyer nominated by Mary K. Merriken; William “Bill” Taylor nominated by Elizabeth (Sis) Williams. Sis Williams represented Mr. Taylor who was not able to be present.

The nominees were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation, a County Volunteer Mug, a County pin, and a long-stemmed rose. Dr. McHugh was congratulated as the 2004 Winner in recognition of his years of outstanding contributions to the community and years of volunteer service and dedication to help others and his community in many activities including the local School Improvement Team, music education programs for children, seniors and special needs citizens, and additionally founding “The Mainstay”, an entertainment venue highlighting local talent located in Rock Hall. Nominated by the Rock Hall Town Council, Dr. McHugh was thanked by the Commissioners, on behalf of Kent County citizens, for demonstrating leadership, concern for the community, love of the arts, and practicing an interest in the well being of others.

Dr. McHugh was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation, Volunteer Mug, County pin, and a reference book about rhythm and blues to be donated by the Commissioners to the Washington College Miller Library, with a book plate noting Dr. McHugh’s recognition as Kent County’s “Most Outstanding Volunteer,” as part of the 2004 “Maryland You Are Beautiful” Program.

Janice Fletcher, Local Coordinator, Judith Hymes, representing Washington College, as well as many friends and families of nominees were also in attendance.

The Commissioners congratulated all of the nominees for their volunteer contributions to Kent County, with special recognition given to Dr. Thomas McHugh. The Commissioners will be escorting Dr. McHugh to the Governor’s MYAB ceremony scheduled for November 10th in Annapolis.


MID-SHORE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS

Correspondence dated October 19 was received from Nancy T. Zinn, Executive Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., with attachment of a copy of the final Internal Audit for Fiscal Year 2004 for Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., requesting a review by the Commissioners.


NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

Correspondence dated October 12 was received from Peter E. Kurtze, Administrator, Evaluation and Registration, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and directed to Cornelis K. deMooy, Preservation Incorporated, of Chestertown, indicating that the Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic, of Kent County, was considered by the Governor’s Consulting Committee for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, and that the Committee recommends nomination of the property.

Mr. Kurtze reported that the next process involves the preparation of the application materials by the Trust for submission to the National Register office in Washington, DC.


PERSONNEL

In follow up to October 19 meeting, further discussion was held on proposal submitted by Collins Consulting Services for the Comprehensive Classification and Pay Plan Study. The Commissioners approved to accept the proposal as submitted with expenditure of $10,000 as budgeted and the balance ($38,585) to be included in the FY06 budget.


At 11:45 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, was also in attendance.

The closed session adjourned at 12:50 p.m.


PROCLAMATION

Margaret C. Munyon - The Commissioners recognized Margaret C. Munyon on the occasion of her 103rd birthday to take place on October 31, proclaiming October 31, 2004 as “Margaret C. Munyon Day” in honor of this extraordinary birthday anniversary.


REBUILDING TOGETHER

Further discussion took place, which began at the October 19 meeting, about correspondence received from Rebuilding Together Kent County, MD concerning the organization’s request for a permanent waiver of the tipping fees that are acquired with the disposal of construction waste associated with the rehabilitation of homes.

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.

Ms. Hayman reported that the disposal cost is $52.00 per ton of waste; a container holds approximately 7 to 10 tons and involves an approximately 44 to 88 mile transport. Given these costs involved, the Commissioners denied the request for a permanent waiver of the tipping fees.


REGIONAL DETENTION CENTER

Lamonte E. Cooke, Warden, Queen Anne’s County, appeared and conducted a presentation of a proposal for a regional correctional facility to include Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Cecil Counties. Warden Ron Howell, Kent County, John Scarborough, Civil Engineer, and David Remaniak, Civil Engineer III, Paul Comfort, County Administrator, all of Queen Anne’s County, John Dillman, Executive Director of the Upper Shore Regional Council, and Joe Cupani, member of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners, were also in attendance.

Wardens Cooke and Howell distributed copies of the draft of “Request for Proposal, Regional Detention Center, Facility Programs I and II”. Warden Cooke commenced the presentation by indicating that Cecil, Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties are experiencing various levels of inmate housing shortages in their respective local detention centers. Reviewing the “Request for Proposal” (RFP), he stated that the Wardens of these detention centers ( Major Jeff Clewer, Director, Community Corrections, Cecil County, was not able to be present) recognize the advantages of utilizing a regional detention center to enhance the individual county and collective incarceration programs.

The executive level of government of all three counties have committed resources towards the planning, programming, and enabling process that will result in a Regional Detention Center approach as a solution to the Counties’ incarceration needs.

Warden Cooke explained that, in order to facilitate this process, he and Warden Howell, and Director Clewer are soliciting proposals from interested, qualified, experienced and available firms to guide the three Counties through this regional detention documentation required for the Facility Program Parts I and II, in accordance with the State of Maryland, Local Jails Capital Improvement Policy and Procedures Manual.

The draft of the RFP further explains the parameters of the work required for the Facility Program deliverables (i.e. “Facility Program Part I - Needs and Feasibility”, “Facility Program Part II - Architectural Program”,documents required by the State, etc.) and assistance required to assist the three Counties in enabling a Regional Detention Authority. Warden Cooke noted the research which he has conducted, citing counties in Maine and in Virginia who, having reported successful results through a regional corrections facility approach, recommended the same for the consideration of Kent, Queen Anne’s and Cecil Counties.

He noted that there are many benefits possible for all three counties, citing the issues and challenges all three are faced with, such as the medical and mental health issues and related costs which all three counties are experiencing (given the State’s shift of the responsibility for these costs to the local government level), transportation, the incarceration of female inmates, minimum security issues, and the benefits derived from the projected elimination of duplicated efforts.

Mr. Remaniak reviewed the information provided in the copies of the RFP in detail with the Commissioners, noting that some of the costs pertaining to the first phase, i.e. the feasibility and needs studies, may not be included because counties have already conducted the same and have the needed information. He also reviewed the schedule and the timeline of deliverables.

He explained the job description of the Detention Center Consultant (DCC) as described in the RFP, as the following: “[the DCC] shall perform all necessary on-site interviews and meetings with the three individual local jurisdiction Detention Centers and other authorities having jurisdiction that are necessary to complete the deliverables on time.

The DCC shall inspect each of the existing local detention centers and shall jointly meet with the three Counties’ staff members as necessary to complete the deliverables on time.” He also explained that the Counties would be bound by the contract with the DCC through Phase I.

Mr. Remaniak reported that the projected year for the opening of the proposed regional correction facility is 2011.

Commissioner Pickrum and Warden Cooke discussed the necessary legislation that would be required for the regional facility, such as legislation to govern the transfer of inmates from the respective local detention centers to the regional facility.

Mr. Remaniak stated that the Counties should have a budget ready by Fiscal Year 2008, and that the Wardens are shooting for at least 50% of the construction costs to be funded by the State. He also noted that the concept of a regional correctional facility would be new to the State.

Mr. Comfort further noted that, on many levels, the proposed regional concept should be attractive to the State, citing as examples the saving of State funding in corrections.

Commissioner Pickrum requested that text be added to the RFP providing dispute resolution procedures which might be needed should a dispute arise between the contractor and one of the respective counties, for example. He also noted that the proposal for the regional facility would provide an opportunity for the three counties to discuss with the State the challenges of inmate medical and mental health related costs being faced presently by the three counties.

Warden Howell concurred, noting that the State itself is being faced with an increase in the number of inmates who are mentally ill.

Mr. Comfort requested the approval of the Board for the RFP as presented. The Board gave its approval to the RFP, with the added text concerning dispute resolution, and based on their review following an on-site tour made by each participating Board of Commissioners at the regional detention center located in Virginia in the spring 2005.

Mr. Comfort also noted that the cost to each participating county would be approximately $25,000 for each phase of the proposal. He offered a loan from Queen Anne’s County if needed.

Mr. Dillman expressed his appreciation to Queen Anne’s County for taking the leadership with the proposal for a regional corrections facility and expressed his belief that the proposal would benefit all three counties in significant ways.


TOLCHESTER SITE

A Memorandum of Agreement was approved by the Commissioners and signed by Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, between the County Commissioners, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners and the Queen Anne’s Sheriff’s Office relating to use of the firearms firing range located at the Tolchester Site (former Nike Base)


UPPER SHORE AGING (USA)
U-STAR TRANSPORTATION

Correspondence dated October 20 was received from Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, USA, Inc., with attachment of a copy of the capital and operating grant documents relating to USA’s provision of public transit services in Kent, Caroline, and Talbot Counties for the current fiscal year, and requesting the approval and signatures of the Commissioners.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed the following Department of Transportation grants:

Section 3037 Job Access and Reverse Commute Grant - Regional Fixed Route Service

Federal Share - $139,675
State Share - $ 4,675
Participating Counties’ Share - $135,000


Fiscal Year 2005 Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (SSTAP) Operating Assistance Grant - Provision of transportation services to elderly persons and/or persons with disabilities in Kent County -

State Share - $360,652
Local Share - $120,217


Fiscal Year 2005 Rural and Community Based Operating Assistance Grant to provide continuation of Easton to Federalsburg Route -

State Share - $30,000
Local Share - $10,000


Fiscal Year 2005 5311 Rural Public Transportation Operating Grant - Operating assistance for rural area public transportation for Kent County

Federal Share - $ 63,190
State Share - $ 76,180
Local Share - $46,457


Section 5311 Capital Grant Agreement - Purchase of 2 small buses with lifts

Federal Share - $ 94,800
State Share - $ 11,850
Local Share - $11,850


ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT

Correspondence dated October 21 was received from Clayton A. Mitchell, Esq., of Hoon and Associates, LLC, of Chestertown, advising that Hoon and Associates represents Jerry Smith, Jane Hukill, and Raymond Richards, all resident property owners in Worton.

Mr. Mitchell also advised that, after reviewing the Planning Commission’s comments at the hearing on October 7 pertaining to the proposed text amendments as presented by his clients, the latter have elected to voluntarily withdraw their August 4 proposed text amendments.

Mr. Mitchell also advised that Messrs. Smith and Richards and Ms. Hukill have proposed new text amendments for the purpose of clarifying regulations concerning retreats, conference centers, and resorts while addressing the Planning Commission’s concerns of uniformity throughout the County Land Use Ordinance, as well as place limits on the permitted expansion of these uses within the Agricultural Zoning Districts (AZD), Resource Conservation Districts, (RCD), and Marine Districts. In the newly proposed text amendments, the limits of permissible expansion under the AZD, RCD, and Marine Districts are equivalent to that which is otherwise permitted under the Special Exceptions section of the County Land Use Ordinance.

A copy of this application will be forwarded to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendations.


There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room.

There will be no regularly scheduled meeting of the Commissioners during the week of Election Day, November 2, 2004.


THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President




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