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Board of County Commissioners

December 14, 2004

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met 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 $9,423,545.00.

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.


A copy of correspondence directed to the Public Works Director was received from Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, regarding the status of the Bayside Park projects. Mr. Troester reported that a Program Open Space application will be submitted to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources within the next couple of weeks for funds for the renovation of the restrooms. Mr. Troester also provided an update on the tree planting project which was required as part of the critical areas mitigation, the final Program Open Space reimbursement request was just submitted. Both projects are intended to be completed before the summer season.


Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent, and Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, both of Kent County Public Schools, appeared and reviewed and presented the BOE's request for the Commissioners' approval of a budget amendment for both the unrestricted #4 and restricted #3 Fiscal Year 2005 budgets, and to provide the Commissioners with an update on the Kent County High School (KCHS) Renovation Project.

Dr. Ward initiated the discussion by expressing her gratitude to Commissioner Pickrum for attending Dr. Siemen's retirement celebration. She then continued by reviewing history and updates for the final contract information for the Project Manager and the Architect/Engineer as it pertains to the High School Renovation Project. Beginning in Spring 2003, the KCHS renovation was planned for $11Million for construction Phases I, II, and III ($10 Million of which anticipated from the State and County governments combined) and $1 Million for project manager/architect/engineer services committed by the County. On November 12, the BOE received the recommendations for planning and funding approval for Fiscal Year 2006 School Construction which included approval for the KCHS renovation for Phase II and Phase III. It indicated that the funding from the State for the project for Fiscal Year 2006 would in fact be $2 Million and not the $2.228 Million as requested by the BOE.

In addition, Dr. Ward reported that the State requested that the schematic design documents for Phase II and Phase III be prepared immediately and submitted by the end of December 2004. The firm of Becker Morgan requested reaffirmation of the contract in a letter from the BOE that authorized it to proceed with the Basic Services portion ($658,250 plus $20,000 reimburseables) and confirmed the change in the schematics design fee ($10,000 less) in order that the BOE can meet the State's deadline. Dr. Ward reported that the BOE recommended that Becker Morgan receive affirmation of the contract in a letter from the BOE that authorizes them to proceed with the Basic Services portion as indicated above, and confirmed the change in the schematics design fee, as indicated above, so that the BOE can proceed to meet the State's deadline. The BOE also recommended that Whiting Turner (construction company) receive a letter from the BOE indicating its acceptance of Whiting Turner's revised fee schedule ($679,160).

Commissioner Crow requested that clarification be made in the BOE's report that the $1,386,922.00 approved by the Commissioners represents funding for the construction phases of the renovation project and not the for project manager/architect/engineering services. Dr. Ward and Ms. Miller concurred that Commissioner Crow's point was well taken and assured the Board that they will keep the Commissioners well-informed of all the details and progress of the project.

Commissioner Pickrum requested that the BOE convey to the Board of Public Works that Kent County would like to be treated as equitably as all of the other counties in the State concerning its funding designations and that the Commissioners would be interested in learning more about the rationale behind the funding criteria utilized by the Board of Public Works. Dr. Ward offered to schedule a meeting among representatives of the BOE, the Board of Public Works, and the Commissioners if that would be in the interest of the Commissioners. The Commissioners did not accept her offer at this time due to plans to discuss this issue as a legislative initiative with the local delegation on January 4, 2005.

Ms. Miller then proceeded to present the BOE's budget amendment requests as follows:

Unrestricted Fund # 4 Amendment

The BOE entered into a lease agreement with Head Start at Garnett Elementary School and will receive $10,802 in rent with the intention of using this money to hire an additional .5 custodian. The BOE requested approval for the use of rental fees received from Head Start to support the additional .5 custodian.

The second part of the amendment request recognized $7,067 received from an estate which the BOE would like to use to purchase additional classroom furniture.

To questions posed by the Commissioners, Ms. Miller indicated the following:

- that prior to the move of Head Start into Garnett Elementary School, it contracted out its custodial services;

- the furniture purchased for the school is not budgeted as a capital expense;

- that the BOE is reimbursed by Head Start for the costs of its food and rent and that the BOE charges Head Start for its utilities' expenses by the square footage of the space it utilizes as per State law;

- that the two alternative education classrooms located in the BOE's building on Washington Avenue are still being utilized and continue to be available for educational purposes.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the budget amendment as presented.

Restricted Fund # 3 Amendment

The BOE requested approval to accept eleven additional grants and an adjustment to the #16 Title I C/O grant to permit the addition of a teacher at Chestertown Middle School (CMS) to reduce the student to teacher ratio effective January 1, 2005. Ms. Miller reported that the school system received notification that eleven grants were awarded to the BOE for programs for the approximate amount of $65,000 for various programs including funding to support special education instructional salaries, funding for instructional materials, and funding for a .5 teaching position.

Responding to the Commissioners' questions, the preferable ratio of students to teachers is 24:1; this fall, CMS received a higher enrollment of students, specific to its sixth grade, of more than 24 students. To Commissioner Livie's question as to whether or not any grant funding was received from Chesapeake College's "Lead the Way" program, Ms. Miller answered in the affirmative and praised "Lead the Way" as a very helpful support, funding needs such as the development of staff and teachers, and equipment.

A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie, and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve restricted budget amendment # 3 as presented.


The Commissioners approved and signed correspondence directed to Secretary Aris Melissaratos, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development advising of the Board's endorsement of the Chesapeake Fields Institute/Chesapeake Fields Farmers, LLC collaborative effort to build a business campus in the Millington area and requested the State's continued support for financial assistance on this endeavor.


Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and reported about the Comprehensive Plan Workshop held on December 1 at Washington College, at which approximately 55 Kent County citizens participated. The workshop focused on the Economy, Countryside, and Environment Section of the Plan. Attached to her Memorandum dated December 10 directed to the Commissioners were the workshop agenda and a summary of comments received, inclusive of the following:

Countryside - encourage more dialogue between the Tourism Development Office and the agricultural community and develop guidelines for the 20 to 30 acre rural character zone;

Environment - study management of mineral resources in the County, wind energy should be encouraged as a strategy;

Economy - encourage the retirement community and opportunities that meet the needs of retirees; provide affordable housing for a variety of employees.


The Commissioners decided not to conduct a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of County Commissioners during the week of December 26, 2004.


A bid opening took place on December 10 for the sale of two County-owned vehicles in as is condition, a 1994 Dodge pick-up truck, with mileage 145,879, used by the Sheriff's Office (vehicle # 1) and a 1991 Ford Explorer, with mileage 132,023, used by the Planning Office (vehicle # 2). The bids received were as follows:

Marty Davidson - Vehicle # 1 - $125.00; Vehicle # 2 - 125.00.

Catherine M. Kelmartin - Vehicle # 1 - No Bid; Vehicle # 2 - $300.00.

The Commissioners awarded the sale of Vehicle # 1 to Marty Davidson and Vehicle # 2 to Catherine Kelmartin, the highest bidders.

It was noted that this was the second time these vehicles were advertised as for sale.


The Commissioners approved the request received from J. Edward Spray, Superintendent of County Roads, to purchase a used tire changer for $5,500 to be funded out of their Fiscal Year 2005 Reserve Account. The current tire changer does not allow County Roads to change all the tires for the different types of equipment and the department will recognize a large cost savings by purchasing a used machine.


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

Tolchester Service Area - The Commissioners approved and signed a Public Works Agreement with Janet H. Higgins of Kent County for the property known as Tax Map 34, Parcel # 1, Lot 17 in the Tolchester Heights.

Worton Service Area - The Commissioners approved the request made by James M. Wright, Jr., County Engineer, for four water and sewer allocations for the Kent County Business Park at Worton. Mr. Wright indicated in his request, dated December 10, that the project will consist of four industrial zoned lots, and that the purchaser may require additional allocation for their particular use.

Piney Neck Service Area - The Commissioners approved a request made by Charles R. Hudson of Rock Hall for one sewer allocation for the property known as Tax Map 55, Parcel # 82 currently owned by Mr. Hudson and Susanne Kelly Hudson.

Fairlee Service Area - A letter dated December 10 went forth to Congressman Wayne Gilchrest responding to the questions posed by his constituent, Margot Kindig, regarding the increase in water and sewer rates.


The Kent County Emergency Operations Plan was approved by the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and presented at a Public Information Meeting on December 7. The purpose of the plan is to: 1) identify the roles and responsibilities of County and local agencies for emergencies or major disasters, either natural or man-made, 2) to describe the policies and procedures for the response and recovery phases of all emergency activities and 3) to assign functional responsibilities to County and local agencies. In follow up to that meeting, the Commissioners endorsed and signed the Kent County Emergency Operations Plan Promulgation Statement declaring this document as the official Emergency Operations Plan for Kent County, superseding all previous emergency and disaster plans.


Correspondence dated November 30 was received from Dr. Richard L. Alcorta, Medical Director for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) advised that he and John Barto, MIEMSS, Region IV Office, will accept the Commissioners' request to participate in the Kent County EMS SWOT Analysis.


Correspondence dated December 7 was received from Mayor Harry J. Pisapia and the Council of Galena requesting the Board's consideration of Program Open Space (POS) funding for the purpose of establishing a Town Park in Galena. Two years ago, the Mayor and Council applied for POS funding from the County and was granted approval of $7,000.00. Mayor Pisapia reported that no funding has as yet been received, pending approval of the Board of Public Works, and that the Town has spent $45,000.00 for playground equipment and at least $10,000 in preparation and labor in kind for the upkeep and maintenance of the park.

Ms. Hayman will meet with the Parks and Recreation Director to obtain further information on this request.


The Commissioners approved a raffle permit for Camp Discovery for its fund-raising activity to take place throughout Chestertown from December 2004 through March 2005.


Correspondence dated December 10 was received from Mark L. Mumford, Clerk of Court, advising that the Grand Jury for Kent County will convene and be sworn-in by the Honorable J. Frederick Price on January 10, 2005, the proceedings to begin at 9:00 a.m.


At the recommendation of Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning Administration, the Board approved to accept replacement Irrevocable Letters of Credit from the Centreville National Bank for the account of Hunters Run Roads, LLC to guarantee compliance to county ordinances and regulations for the following projects involved in Phase B of Hunters Run Subdivision: Landscaping - $45,102.50; Road Construction - $180,000.00 and Sediment Control and Storm water Management - $65,476.25 . The termination date of the irrevocable letters of credit is November 30, 2007. These documents replace irrevocable letters of credit dated July 9 for the account of Hunters Run, LLC with termination date of July 9, 2007.


At 8:20 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 legal matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 (7)(8) of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

Items of discussion included local legislation and Kent Museum Lease Agreement.

The closed session adjourned at 8:30 p.m.


Correspondence dated December 7 was received from the Queen Anne's County Commissioners soliciting the support of Kent County for the proposed State-wide legislation to apply County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) actions to municipalities. Their concern is the impotence of the APFO when municipalities annex new land for development. While respecting the sovereignty of the municipalities, the Queen Anne's County Board expressed its concern that the municipalities meet their respective county's requirements for education, affordable housing, roads, emergency services, etc., noting the shortage of almost 300,000 affordable homes and the need for more new schools and more emergency services in the State.

The Commissioners reviewed this correspondence with Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning. She stated that counties have legal recourse to delay sub-division development for a long time; however, they cannot absolutely prevent the construction of the same. She added that when counties attempt to inhibit sub-division development, they may inadvertently be encouraging that type of development into the countryside.

A letter will go forth from Mrs. Owings to the Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners indicating that the Board will consider its request to support the proposed State-wide legislation to apply County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) actions to municipalities after the Kent County Board of Commissioners has solicited and received the opinions of its municipalities about the proposed legislation.


The Commissioners appointed Ed Robinson, Human Resources Director, as the alternate member to the Local Management Board of Children and Family's Services (LMB) to represent the Board of Commissioners in the absence of Commissioner Pickrum.


Herschell Claggett of Worton appeared and presented two requests to the Commissioners regarding mooring regulations. Carter G. Stanton, Director of Public Works, was also in attendance.

Mr. Claggett briefly reviewed the history of mooring regulations in the County and of past legal issues that he pursued (cit. "In the Matter of Renewal of Mooring Buoy Permit for Worton Creek Marina, Inc. V. Herschell B. Claggett, Petitioner" - Public Hearing minutes dated April 30, 2002; and "Administrative Hearing - Mooring Buoys" - Public Hearing minutes dated July 22, 2003.). Mr. Claggett stated that the purpose of his appearance tonight is to request the following amendments in the Kent County Mooring Regulations: (1) to define "mooring" as any permanently or semi-permanently anchored boat (over 10 days) whether anchored or moored; and (2) that the Commissioners consider recanting all of the County's regulations pertaining to nonconforming moorings without permission of the landowner and to allow all marinas to moor boats outside their water space with the permission of the adjacent landowner.

A significant amount of discussion took place raising topics such as riparian rights, the determination of the terms, anchor and mooring, mooring regulations prior to and during waterfowl hunting season, etc. Mr. Stanton reported that he and Ms. Hayman are currently preparing a definition for mooring and are drafting proposed amendments to the Mooring Regulations. Commissioner Pickrum noted that it is his understanding that the term anchoring is understood as denoting something temporary, and the term mooring is understood as denoting something that may be permanent.

Commissioner Livie concurred with Mr. Claggett that there are many "grey areas" in the discussion that took place and he expressed his appreciation to Mr. Claggett for raising important and helpful points for the Board's consideration.

No further action was taken at this time.


Correspondence dated December 6 was received via electronic mail from Beverly Fabri, expressing her objection to the fact that no officials representing the government, school board, or police were in attendance at the "welcome home" celebration that was held for Sgt. Travis Manning at the American Legion in Chestertown earlier this month. She suggested that in January, when the Chestertown National Guard soldiers return home, that a celebration, inclusive of citizens representing all of the above be in attendance to show their support and to thank the soldiers for defending the United States.

A letter will go forth to Mrs. Fabri indicating that the Commissioners were not made aware of the welcome home celebration, however, and that they look forward to receiving the details of the welcome home event for the Chestertown National Guard members returning home in January 2005.


A Memorandum was received Jeffrey J. Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, advising that Sam Johnston has resigned as a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board due to other commitments. The Commissioners approved to appointed Melissa Taylor Cannon as a member of this Board to fill the unexpired term ending December 31, 2005.

Mr. Troester also advised that Jay Sawyer was not interested in reappointment to this Board due to other commitments, however, has expressed interest in remaining actively involved with the KCHS stadium lighting project. The Commissioners approved reappointment of J. Michael Otwell and Joyce B. Moody and appointment of Joe Mulford as members of this Board for a four year term ending December 31, 2008.


At 5:10 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 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 6:05 p.m.


Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and reviewed the decisions made at the meeting of the Planning Commission which took place on December 2. Discussion was initiated by Commissioner Crow concerning the cleaning up of derelict buildings owned by absentee landlords. In response to Commissioner Crow's questions, Mrs. Owings indicated that she would look into the incentives utilized and disincentives which exist throughout the State, and will inquire, as per the suggestion made by Commissioner Pickrum, with the National Association of Counties.

Mrs. Owings outlined the decisions made by the Planning Commission which included the following:

- a conditional preliminary site plan for the proposed Drayton Conference Center and Spa was approved. In response to Commissioner Pickrum's request. Mrs. Owings will inquire with the Fire Chiefs' Association about the possibility of providing a fire department sub-station for the Town of Worton given the inherent increased need for fire prevention and protection of the proposed conference center.

- a conditional preliminary site plan for "Kennedyville Village" development was approved;

- a 14-lot sub-division in the Georgetown section of Fairlee was approved;

- final approval was given to Alger Oil, contingent upon its receipt of a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment.


Concerning the Bayside Public Landing Tree Planting Project, which was completed on November 20, Amy Moredock, Environmental Planner, Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, Teri Batchelor, Department of Natural Resources Forester, and approximately 25 Scouts of Troop # 130, as well as Scout Master Art Elliott, Assistant Scout Masters Ted Batchelor, Bob Ramsey, Mark Blyman, Rose Wallace, and Jeff Green and other interested persons were present for the Commissioners' recognition of the following:

Ira J. Green - The Commissioners read a Proclamation recognizing Ira J. Green, of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop # 130, Kent County, for having satisfied Eagle Scout goals by displaying his leadership of Troop # 130 in its contribution toward the Bayside Public Landing Planting Project.

Boy Scouts of America - Troop #130 - The Commissioners read a Proclamation recognizing that The Boy Scouts of America, Troop # 130, Kent County, competently satisfied Boy Scout goals by displaying leadership with their contribution towards the Bayside Public Landing Tree Planting Project, and that Troop #130 displayed their dedication both to Kent County and services to the health, habitat, and water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.


The Commissioners approved four water and sewer allocations for the Worton Business Center for four industrial zoned lots. It was noted that future purchasers may require additional allocation for their particular use.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, December 21, 2004, at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing Room, 400 High Street, Chestertown.


Janice F. Fletcher
Executive Assistant

Approved: William W. Pickrum, President

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