County Council Meeting Minutes
January 22, 2008
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
January 22, 2008
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on January 22, 2008 with the following members present: Present were William V. Nichols, President; Jay Newcomb, Vice President; Effie M. Elzey; Ricky Travers; Rick Price. Also present were;
The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive
Session pursuant to §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; pursuant to §10-508(a)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; pursuant to §10-508(a)(5) to consider the investment of public funds; pursuant to §10-508(a)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter; and pursuant to §10-508(a)(14) before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Nichols led the invocation and Councilman Travers led the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
At Ms. Baynard’s request the Maryland Aviation Administration grant award for the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport was removed from the open session agenda as it had been previously approved.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES-JANUARY 8, 2008
The Council approved the minutes for January 8, 2008.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining for Simmons Center Market.
FINANCIAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Nichols reported total cash and investments as $4,471,470.36.
PAYMENT AUTHORIZATION-BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Council approved the following Payment Authorizations at the request of Dr. Frederic Hildenbrand, Superintendent of Schools: 1) in the amount of $20,650 from FY08 General Funds/PAYGO for the purchase of a diesel truck; 2) in the amount of $137,692.50 from FY08 Excise Fund/PAYGO for the School of Technology replacement ($132,900) and the North Dorchester Middle School replacement ($4,792.50); 3) in the amount of $39,344.44 from FY07 General Fund/PAYGO for the North Dorchester Middle School replacement ($25,077.24), the South Dorchester School building envelope ($4,209) and planning and designing fees for the School of Technology ($10,058.20); and 4) in the amount of $36,960.33 from FY08 Transfer Tax Fund/PAYGO for two portable classroom units at South Dorchester K-8 ($24,659), master clock system for Cambridge South Dorchester High School ($3,162), and sidewalk replacements at Sandy Hill Elementary, South Dorchester K-8 and Warwick Elementary ($9,139.33).
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 5:00 p.m. on January 22, 2008 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article pursuant to §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; pursuant to §10-508(a)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; pursuant to §10-508(a)(5) to consider the investment of public funds; pursuant to §10-508(a)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter; and pursuant to §10-508(a)(14) before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
Motion made, seconded and carried to conduct a closed session pursuant to the above. All members of the Council voted in the affirmative to conduct the closed session for the purposes stated above and to discuss the topics listed above.
Action taken at the closed session: 1) discussed with legal counsel with reference to County liability regarding construction of a temporary boat ramp on Key Wallace and took no action other than to allow continued use by Blackwater Wildlife Refuge; 2) Received update from Lonnie Heflin, Bay Organics, regarding a proposal for Council to publicly consider a lease extension at Beulah for this composting facility and by a 5 to 0 voted to submit the item to the Landfill Advisory Committee for consideration for future discussion; and 3) approved a request by State’s Attorney to reclassify a full position as a part time position by a 5 to 0 vote.
The above information is being provided to the public pursuant to and in compliance with Section 10-509(b) and (c) of the State Government Article.
PROCLAMATION-MENTORING MONTH-MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE AND STATE MENTORING RESOURCE CENTER
The Council acknowledged the execution of a proclamation declaring January 2008 Mentoring Month at the request of Robin Neely, of the Maryland Eastern Shore and State Mentoring Resource Center, who was unable to attend the meeting to accept the proclamation.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW BLACKWATER WILDLIFE REFUGE MANAGER-SUZANNE BAIRD
Suzanne Baird introduced herself as the new manager for the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and shared with the Council her previous experience. She stated that she was looking forward to working with the Council.
The Council welcomed Ms. Baird as the new Blackwater Wildlife Refuge Manager.
The Council introduced an ACT TO AMEND THE CAPITAL BUDGET WITHIN 2007-2008 ANNUAL BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE OF DORCHESTER COUNTY.
The Council reviewed proposed legislation to amend the FY2008 budget to redirect certain costs from current year closed capital projects to a fiber optic project to connect all County buildings via a partnership with Bay Country Communications.
E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, explained that pursuant to the County Charter, an amendment to the 2007-2008 annual budget and appropriation ordinance of Dorchester County was needed in order to reallocate closed capital project funds from the current 2007-2008 budget to be utilized for the implementation of a fiber optic network for all County offices.
The Council agreed to proceed with publication of the public hearing on this matter.
PUBLIC HEARING-REQUEST TO AMEND WATER AND SEWER COMP PLAN-BEAVER RUN
E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, explained that a public hearing was being held to consider a request from Beaver Run MD LLC for a text amendment to the Dorchester County Comprehensive Water and Sewer plan by changing the sewer designation for its property located at Tax Map 43, block 9 and Parcels 197, 198 and 201 from no planned service to S-1 (service existing or planned within two years) in order to allow Beaver Run MD LLC to upgrade the sewerage treatment method for phases 3-5 of the Beaver Run Mobile Home Park, which includes 32 existing manufactured homes. Barry Ebersall with McCrone advised the Council that he was present on behalf of Beaver Run MD LLC.
Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, stated that the Planning Commission was notified and reviewed the application and found it to be consistent with the County’s current comprehensive plan. He said that the County Public Works Department and the Health Department were notified. Mr. Dodd stated that the Public Works Department had no comment and that although no comments were received from the Health Department, he did speak to Bill Forelifer, Environmental Health Officer, who advised him that the reason that amendment was needed was that a permit was needed for the sewerage system as the ground discharge exceed 10,000 per day and that the Maryland Department of Environment would not approve the permit until the sewer designation was changed.
Mr. Ebersall advised the Council that the text amendment would not change the amount of homes in the park but would allow Beaver Run MD LLC to obtain the proper permit from the Maryland Department of Environment.
There was no additional public comment.
The Council approved the request from Beaver Run MD LLC to change the sewer designation for the aforementioned property from no planned service to S-1 (service existing or planned within two years) and requested that Mr. Dodd and E. Thomas Merryweather prepare a resolution for the Council’s acceptance.
REQUEST TO WAIVE BIDS-2008 PICKUPS
The Council approved the request of Bob Tenanty, Public Works Director, to waive bids and purchase a 2008 ¾ ton Chevrolet Silverado 2500 pickup truck with a 7’ snow plow and towing package under the State of Maryland contract for a total of $22,341 which includes the cost of the truck ($16,223), the four wheel drive package ($2,300), a towing package ($190) and the snow plow ($3,628) from the FY08 Solid Waste Capital Budget.
The Council denied Mr. Tenanty’s request for the purchase of a Ford Ranger pickup truck and agreed to consider a request for the purchase of this vehicle as a part of the FY09 budget process.
AUTHORIZATION TO SEEK BIDS FOR ASPHALT OIL
The Council approved the request of Mr. Tenanty for authorization to seek bids for the annual contract for asphalt oil for the 2008 paving season which includes hot mix oil, tar and chip oil and cold patch oil.
BID AWARD-BREAK ROOM/PARTS STORAGE BUILDING REPLACEMENT
The Council approved the request of Mr. Tenanty to award a bid for the replacement of the break room/parts storage building at the Highway Department to Federvel Sales, the lowest bidder who agreed to provide performance bond, at the cost of $99,000 to be paid from the Public Works Capital Budget.
BID AWARD-PALMERS MILL RECONSTRUCTION
The Council approved the request of Mr. Tenanty to award a bid for the reconstruction of Palmers Mill Road to David Bramble, the low bidder, at a cost of $406,800, and acknowledged that 75% of that cost is reimbursable by Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In response to a request from Councilwoman Elzey for an update of the reconstruction of Galestown Millpond, Mr. Tenanty explained that the contractor is on site, that the work is ongoing and that as long as the weather cooperated the work would continue.
Mr. Tenanty advised the Council that he issued an intent to proceed to the contractors for the reconstruction of River Road, Whiteley Road, and Palmers Mill Road and that although no actual equipment was on either site the box culverts had been ordered. He explained that once the culverts are received the reconstruction should proceed in a fairly quickly manner.
Pursuant to a request from Councilman Price on an update on the meeting held at the Hurlock Elementary School regarding County permit applications, Mr. Tenanty noted that a public informational meeting was held on January 8, 2008 to discuss the County’s two permit applications for the expansion of the Beulah Landfill and that there were 10 to 12 individuals present at that meeting.
In response to an inquiry from Councilman Price on the status of the reconstruction of the Back Landing Bridge, Mr. Tenanty stated that he had corresponded with two engineering firms and that he would be requesting design proposals from one of those firms within the next thirty days. He noted that the funds for the reconstruction of the bridge are not in the current Public Works Budget but would be in his FY09 requested Capital Budget.
Wendell Foxwell, a resident of Dorchester County, noted that Dodge provides a lifetime guarantee on the power train of vehicles which includes the motor, rear and transmission, with five year check ups at no charge and suggested that the Council consider the purchase of a Dodge for the Solid Waste Division instead of the Chevy as approved by Council.
BLACKWATER WILDLIFE REFUGE BULKHEAD PROJECT-MATERIAL PURCHASE APPROVAL-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council agreed to waive bids and approved the request of Mr. Tenanty to purchase
sheeting in the amount of $115,020.53 from Atlantic Wood and hardware from Seaport at the cost of $16,233.77 for a total of $131,254.30, to rebuild the causeway leading to the wildlife drive at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge and install bulkhead using County labor. The Council acknowledged that Blackwater Wildlife Refuge will reimburse the County for all labor and materials and that Mr. Tenanty will also charge the refuge for the use of County equipment and for fuel costs.
BEULAH LANDFILL LATERAL EXPANSION-CELL 5-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved a request of Mr. Tenanty to expend additional funds in the amount of $65,550 from the FY08 Landfill Enterprise Capital budget to complete design and permitting for the lateral expansion of Cell 5 at the Beulah Landfill.
REQUEST FOR LETTER OF SUPPORT-CHESAPEAKE HELPS-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of
STATEMENT OF CONCURRENCE-UPPER SHORE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Dan McDermott, Executive Director of the Upper shore Workforce Investment Board, to execute a Statement of Concurrence to support the Board’s request for additional funding in the amount of $75,000 from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to provide occupations; skills retraining for those residents who lost their jobs due to the closing of the following businesses: Icelandic USA, Hi-Tech Plastics, Maryland Plastics and Pulse Technitrol. The Council acknowledged that the majority of the funds will used to help train Icelandic workers for new jobs.
BID AWARD-INMATE SHOWERS-DETENTION CENTER
The Council agreed to waive bids and approved the request of Steve Williams, Warden, to contract with Prime Coat to repair and upgrade 18 inmate showers at the Detention Center contingent upon Mr. Williams staying within the budgeted amount of $60,000 for this project, which is in the FY08 Detention Center Capital budget.
REQUEST TO PURCHASE PRINTER-GIS MAPPING-PUBLIC SAFETY
The Council approved the request of Mr. Williams to purchase a HP Design jet printer for the Emergency Management Division and the 911 Center to be used to print GIS maps at the cost of $4,595 from the FY06 Local Emergency Planning Committee grant. The Council acknowledged that there will be no local match for the use of these funds.
GRANT AWARD-CAMBRIDGE-DORCHESTER AIRPORT-MARYLAND AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
The Council removed the Maryland Aviation Administration grant ward for the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport as it has previously been approved.
CRITICAL AREAS COMMISSION APPOINTMENT-DORCHESTER COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE
Ms. Baynard explained that Dorchester County and Talbot County are paired together on the Critical Areas Commission in that one county must appoint an elected/appointed official to the Commission and the other must appoint a citizen. She noted that since Talbot county has appointed a citizen to the Board the Dorchester County representative must be an elected/appointed official.
The Council agreed that
FY09 RURAL LEGACY APPLICATION APPROVAL REQUEST-PLANNING AND ZONING
The Council approved the request of Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, to submit the FY09 Rural Legacy application for preservation funds, allocated through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Council acknowledged that the application will identify both the Marshyhope and Nanticoke Rural Legacy areas but will prioritize the Marshyhope Rural Legacy area.
BID WAIVER REQUEST-FENCING-DORCHESTER COUNTY POOL-RECREATION AND PARKS
The Council approved the request of
FY08 MARYLAND HERITAGE AREA AUTHORITY OPERATING ASSISTANCE GRANT –TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director,
to accept the FY08 Operating Assistance grant award from Maryland Heritage Area Authority in the amount of $81,426 and agreed to adjust the in-kind match from $10,000 to $12,707 in programming and operating expenses in order to provide the needed 1 to 1 match. The Council acknowledged that in addition to the in-kind match, there is a cash match in the amount of $65,000 of which $50,000 will be paid from the FY08 Tourism Operating Budget and $10,000 will be paid with private/public monies.
PROPOSED LETTER OF SUPPORT-GALESTOWN BOND BILL-GALESTOWN COMMUNITY CENTER
The Council approved the execution of a letter of support to be submitted to the local delegation on behalf of the request of the Town of Galestown for a bond bill in the amount of $150,000 for repairs to the Galestown Community Center.
Ms. Baynard confirmed that the following actions were agreed upon by the Council by means of telephone polls in the interim between meetings: 1) The Council agreed to send a letter to Dr. Frederic Hildenbrand, Superintendent of Schools, asking him to review the Board of Education’s existing approved FY08 capital project list to determine if the projects are of a critical need or could be redirected to FY09; 2) The Council agreed not to hire a legislative liaison for the FY09 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session by a vote of 4 to one; 3) The Council agreed by a four to one vote to remove the requirement that 50% of an individual’s income should be derived from the water in order to meet the designation of working waterman in order to receive preference on the slip renters’ waiting list for the Trenton Street Marina as long as the individual provides a valid waterman license and appropriate crabbing and fishing reports by a four to one vote.
Jay Meredith, a resident of Dorchester County and an owner of an outfitting business in the County, expressed his concern about the recent closure of water access at Key Wallace Drive to the Little Blackwater River by closing two boat landing sites. He stated that closure would greatly impact his business and tourism and asked the County to reconsider the closing of the access or to find an alternate location that can be used by the public.
Mr. Merryweather stated that the first boat landing was on property owned by Charles Hughes and that Mr. Hughes had closed the landing himself when he was advised by his legal counsel that he would be liable for any accidents or injuries occurring at the location. He explained that the second boat landing was roped off by County staff as based on concerns that public use of the landing was a potential liability due to unloading of larger boats that require the boat and trailer to be perpendicular to the roadway and oncoming traffic. He also noted that there was no place to park vehicles or trailers on either side of the road of the landing.
Mr. Merryweather stated that the Council has an agreement with Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to police the newly created landing to ensure official use only by Wildlife officers and noted that the Council was making every effort to obtain an alternate boat landing site for that waterway.
Allen Willey, a Dorchester County resident, advised the Council that he used the boat landing frequently and expressed his concern that the public has been allowed access to that landing site for over 40 years without interruption until now.
Charles Todd, a Dorchester County resident, stated that he worked on Key Wallace for 14 to 15 years and that he did not believe the boat landing was a road hazard.
Bill Geise of the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, advised the Council that there may be an access point to the Little Blackwater, along the area designated as a Conservation Easement (CREP) facility on property acquired by the County with Program Open Space funds on Maple Dam Road.
Ms. Baird advised that access by Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to Little Blackwater River using the second boat landing on Key Wallace was needed for refuge management purposes as well to help with ongoing research in that part of the river. She advised the County that her staff was committed to ensure the safety of all residents when Blackwater staff is utilizing the boat landing including the use of flaggers to control traffic and explained that they would not park on the side of the street but would keep their boats and trailers on Refuge property. Ms. Baird stated that Blackwater Wildlife Refuge law enforcement officers would police the use of the boat landing. She advised the Council that she was currently working with staff to develop ideas on other alternative boat landings.
Russell Lindsey, a Dorchester County resident, expressed his concern that the boat landing had been available to the public for over 40 years and was now closed.
Mr. Meredith suggested that the Council ask Mr. Hughes to allow the public temporary access until an alternate site is located. Councilman Newcomb noted that Mr. Hughes blocked off his landing himself but that he would contact him to see if he was willing to provide temporary access.
A motion by Councilman Travers to allow temporary access to the second boat landing by removing the rope and the current signage and placing “Use at Own Risk” signs at the landing and failed by a 4 to 1 vote in opposition.
The Council agreed that the temporary boat landing at Key Wallace will remain provided it is used by authorized Blackwater personnel only, the landing is roped off, and signs are posted that note that there is no public access and reserving use exclusively for Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. The Council acknowledged that Blackwater Wildlife Refuge will be policing the landing to ensure compliance. The Council requested that Mr. Tenanty provide to the Council a report on the issues and/or costs associated with locating a temporary boat launch on the County owned property on Maple Dam Road purchased with Program Open Space Funds and to work with Scott Eberspacher as he was familiar with Program Open Space property use restrictions.
At the request of Councilman Price, the Council appointed Leolin Dockins as the district four appointment to the Planning and Commission Board, which appointment will begin in June 2008 to replace Frank Bittner.
A motion by Councilman Travers to provide a letter of support to the Main Street Committee to obtain grant funding by using the County as a conduit died for lack of majority.
The Council denied the request of the City of Cambridge to provide disaster relief funding for the two businesses that recently suffered losses due to fire. Councilman Nichols noted that there were no funds available as the Council had previously agreed to freeze the County’s Contingency fund.
Councilman Nichols noted that the entire meeting was being televised by Bay Country Communications on Channel 75 and that all future regular session Council meetings will be televised.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
ATTEST: DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:
Jane Baynard, County Manager William V. Nichols, President
Jay Newcomb, Vice President
Effie M. Elzey