Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 08/18/09

County Council Meeting Minutes

July 28, 2009

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

July 28, 2009


The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on July 28, 2009 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; William V. Nichols, Vice President; Effie M. Elzey; Ricky Travers; and Rick Price. Also present were E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney; Jane Baynard, County Manager and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.





The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive Session pursuant to pursuant to the State Government Article §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 and  pursuant to §10-508(A)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter.


Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.





Councilman Nichols led a moment of silence for Kathy Hachemeister, a County employee, who recently passed away and the pledge of allegiance.




The Council agreed to move consideration of a Resolution and Memorandum regarding the establishment of a new sanitary district as part of the Madison-Woolford sewer extension project from Manager’s Comments to after the update from the Sanitary Commission on the project.




The Council approved the minutes for July 14, 2009 as presented.



The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining from payments made to Simmons Center Market.




Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $1,558,782.73.



The Council approved the budget transfer request for the Board of License Commissioners to transfer $13,500 from contractual services to legal counsel to account for the full cost of legal fees for FY 2009 for the Board.



The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:00  p.m. on July 28, 2009 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article


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 a recommendation from Human Resources regarding the hiring of non-critical, non-Public Safety positions and took no action; 2) approved the request of the Maintenance Director to hire an individual to fill a vacant custodial/maintenance position for the County Office Building by a 3 to 1 vote with one Council member excusing themselves from the meeting due to a conflict; 3) deferred the request of the Economic Development Director to hire an individual to fill a vacant Administrative Association position; 4) approved the correction of a decision for the extension of earned leave for two employees in the Public Works Department by a 4 to 1 vote; 5) deferred an amended job description for Assistant Tourism Director and requested additional information by a 5 to 0 vote; 6) issued a final disposition of grievance for a Public Work employee pertinent to a recent personnel hearing; 7) discussed with the Finance Director information regarding a recent direct deposit failure and referred the issue to open session-took no action; 8) acknowledged personnel actions may be anticipated in the Local Management Board Department based on reductions in State grant funds; 9) discussed with legal counsel funding policies regarding volunteer fire companies and took no action but agreed to refer discussion to open session; 10) discussed with legal counsel the assessment of an Internal Revenue Service penalty-took no action; 11) received an update from special legal counsel on the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway project Public Service Commission filing and a legal matter concerning contract settlement regarding the old compost site-took no action.


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.






The Council presented a commendation to John Carkuff commending him for his 16 years of service to Dorchester County and congratulating him on his retirement.    Warden Don Satterfield presented Mr. Carkuff a plaque from the staff of the Dorchester County Department of Corrections.  Mr. Carkuff accepted the commendation and plaque.


PROCLAMATION-CHILD SUPPORT AWARENESS MONTH-AUGUST 2009                                                                         

The Council presented a proclamation declaring the month of August 2009 Child Support Awareness Month.  Carmen Pratt, Assistant Director of Child Support in Dorchester County, accepted the proclamation. She introduced the following members of the Child Support staff: Donette English, Lori Marshall, Val Stagg, Dena Wanex, Cynthia Sturgis, Ruth Jones, Diana Corbin, Ericca Stanley, attorney Mike Geleta, Ella Stanley, and Loretta Tyler.  She invited Council to attend the Child Support Awareness Month kickoff event on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 from 11:30 to 1 p.m.


UPDATE-WOOLFORD MADISON SEWER EXTENSION-SANITARY DISTRICT                                                                  


Robert Tieder, President, Dorchester County Sanitary Commission, provided the Council with an update on the Madison Woolford sewer extension project.  He advised that they are in the process of acquiring a site for the pumping station to be located in the Deep Point area and are working to obtain easements and agreements from property owners.  He explained that they have received the Maryland Department of Environment waste water construction permit and funding approval from United States Department of Agriculture.    Mr. Tieder stated that they will be advertising bids for the project on July 29, 2009 in the Daily Times, the Banner and the Baltimore Sun with a pre-bid meeting on August 12, 2009 and a bid opening on September 9, 2009 which will both be held in Room 110, the Council’s meeting room.  He said that based on that timeline construction should commence no later than December 31, 2009. 

The Council thanked Mr. Tieder for his update.



Based on a request from Mr. Tieder on behalf of the Sanitary Commission, the Council agreed to execute the Resolution and the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a new Madison-Woolford-Susquehanna Point Sanitary District.  The Council acknowledged that the City of Cambridge Council approved their execution of these documents at its July 27, 2009 meeting.




Dr. Frederic Hildebrand, Superintendent of Schools, introduced Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, who will be providing the Council with information regarding the construction of a new Dorchester Career and Technology Center and Chris Hauge, School Facilities Engineer, to provide information on the alternates for the school.


Mr. McCabe provided the Council with a report on the funding project which totals $36,898,198 of which $14,938,040 is State funding and $21,960,158 is county funding.  He said that the guaranteed project price of $29,040,560 included seven alternates.  Mr. Hauge said that seven alternates were built into the bid documents in case bids came in lower than anticipated and there were sufficient funds to fund these alternates.  He explained that pursuant to the funding requirements of the Interagency Committee (IAC) of Public School Construction alternates can be added at the beginning of the bid process but not after a request for bids is advertised. 


Mr. Hauge explained seven alternates in detail.  Mr. McCabe stated that the alternates were not essential but were opportunities to increase the long term maintainability of the school.  He acknowledged that, Mr. Hauge and other Board of Education staff met with Mr. Weber, at Council’s direction, concerning the alternates. 


In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Hauge explained that the Contractor’s Contingency of $811,411.73 and Owner’s Contingency of $729,000 included in the project will be used, if needed, for changes beyond the scope of work of the project.  He clarified that any funding not used in the Contractor’s Contingency will be shared with the Contractor (30%) and Board of Education (70%) at the conclusion of the project.


Councilman Travers questioned if the contingency funds were not utilized they could be used to offset costs for furnishings for the school.


Mr. McCabe noted that because all of the State funding will not be available before the project is complete they may need to ask Council for additional cash flow for the project which will be reimbursed once State funds are received.


Councilman Nichols and Councilman Newcomb both expressed concern that the Council was not told about the alternates before the public was made aware of them.  

Mr. Hauge noted that the alternates were discussed at a public Board of Education meeting three weeks ago and apologized that the Council was not provided with advance notice of those alternates.


In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. McCabe advised that the construction contract between the Board of Education and Whiting Turner has not been executed. 

Based on a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Weber stated that while each of the alternates add value to the project, the Council’s decision must be based on affordability.  In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Weber stated that the same companies selected for the construction of the Dorchester Career and Technology Center including the steel fabricator, electrician, light supplier, painter, roofer and roof manufacturer will be used to add the alternate items.


Councilman Newcomb questioned whether the canopy can be added to the school at a later date, after construction.  Greg Ritter, Whiting Turner, Dorchester Career and Technology Center Project Manager, advised that the sidewalk will have to be removed and re-laid because the foundation for the canopy lies in the center of the sidewalk so that there are two sides for opposing traffic.


Mr. Spears expressed his belief that it was not fiscally responsible to pay for a 5 year elevator maintenance agreement over fifteen years, which will be the length of the County’s debt service.


A motion to proceed with the construction of a canopy connecting the Dorchester Career and Technology Center to the existing Cambridge South Dorchester High School in the amount of $167,734 failed with Councilman Price, Councilman Newcomb and Councilman Nichols opposing.


The Council agreed to fund the following five alternates with Councilman Nichols and Councilman Price opposing: 1) increasing amount of ceramic tile being used in bathrooms ($6,300); 2) installation of Terrazzo Flooring in the main lobby areas ($177,055); 3) using Belden Brick for the outside exterior ($35,000); 4) upgrading the roof to the comprehensive Garland Roof System ($171,600); and 5) installing an addressable security system ($9,808).  The Council requested that the total project cost be redefined by the Board of Education.


A motion to fund a five year elevator maintenance contract as part of the Dorchester Career and Technology Center project failed due to lack of majority.  The Council asked that the elevator be placed on an existing maintenance contract.


Dr. Hildenbrand, Mr. McCabe and Dr. Henry Wagner, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, thanked the Council. 


ROADS BOARD                   




Based on a request of Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, the Council agreed to execute a Third Amendment to the Public Road Construction Agreement between the County Council and DMS Hurlock, LLC for the construction of two public roads, Jayar Way and Bens Lane, in Section I of The Preserve at Wright’s Wharf subdivision which will expire December 31, 2010 or upon the issuance of the 35th final occupancy permit for any combination of Lots 1 through 45, whichever occurs first. 


The Council also approved Mr. Weber’s request to execute a First Amendment to Public Road Construction Agreement between the County Council and DMS Hurlock, LLC for the construction of three public roads, Jayar Way, Karli Court and Bens Lane in Section II of The Preserve at Wright’s Wharf subdivision which will expire December 6, 2010 or upon the issuance of the 18th final occupancy permit for any combination of Lots 46 through 70 whichever occurs first.  The Council acknowledged that this agreement also allows the sale of lots and issuance of building permits after the completion of road improvements in Section 2 with the exception of a final wearing course of paving. 




The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to proceed with phase 2 of the County roads asset inventory which will document an additional 230 miles of roads and when complete will provide data for approximately two-thirds of the County road work.   Additionally, the Council agreed to sole source with Enterprise Information Solutions at the cost of $40,000 to perform the inventory, to be paid with funds from the FY09 and FY10 Engineering Capital budgets.




Pursuant to requests from Councilman Newcomb and Councilman Price, the Council requested that Mr. Weber view, and if necessary, repair the pothole on Ravenwood Road

and to consider placing the paving of Shiloh Camp Road in a future paving program because of increased truck traffic due to the business located on that road.








The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to award the bid for six replacement thirty yard roll off containers for the Department of Public Works Solid Waste Division to Mid Atlantic Waste Systems in the amount of $20,808 to be paid with funds from the FY09 and FY10 Solid Waste Capital Budget.  The Council acknowledged that Mid Atlantic Waste Systems was the third lowest bidder but was chosen because the top two lowest bidders did not meet all the specifications set forth in the request for proposals.




The Council approved the request of Mr. Spears for the release of funds in the amount of $17,225.98, to pay a penalty assessed against Dorchester County by the Department of Treasury for the failure to pay payroll taxes by the specified IRS deadline for one quarter in late 2007.  The Council instructed Mr. Spear to note that the funds are being sent "with protest" and to request a waiver of the penalty.  




Based on a request from Mr. Spears, the Council accepted a Resolution to adopt fiscal policies and procedures for the balancing of the County’s Operating Budget. 


The Council deferred the request of Mr. Spears for the acceptance of a resolution to establish a Fraud, Waste and Abuse policy until its August 11, 2009 meeting.  The Council requested that the Resolution be revised to state that the County Manager and Finance Director will be “dual Compliance Officers” charged with investigation of any allegations of Fraud, Waste or Abuse and that the hotline is to be a function of the County Manager.




Mr. Spears advised that there was a recent failure in transferring funds for direct deposit of County employees on Friday, July 17, 2009 in the Finance Office and that a new policy has been implemented to prevent such failure from occurring in the future.  He said that the policy includes the provision that if the failure occurs in the future checks will be issued immediately to ensure that County employees are able to have those payments credited to their account on that business day.  




The Council approved the request of Wayne Robinson, Emergency Management Director, to use funds in the amount of $7,762.25 from the Emergency Management Performance Program Supplement FY07 Grant to purchase 37 chairs for the Emergency Operations Center by sole sourcing with Douron Corporate Furniture.   The Council acknowledged that Mr. Robinson also received authorization for the purchase from Gary Harrity of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency which provided the grant funds.




The Council deferred written requests from Madeline Moore, Youth Services Director, to advertise a vacant Counselor II position and from Warden Don Satterfield to advertise a vacant Civilian Records Officer until after the State of Maryland announces further budget reductions.   Councilman Nichols and Councilwoman Elzey opposed.




The Council approved the request of Warden Satterfield to convene the promotional board to fill a vacant Correctional Supervisor Sergeant position due to the retirement of an employee effective September 1, 2009.




The Council agreed to provide $100 from the Council’s Office FY 2010 budget to Resource Conservation and Development for the 2009 summer natural resources camp.



Based on a request from Sheriff Phillips, the Council accepted the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention New/Replacement Body Armor grant award in the amount of $19,184, for the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, of which $9,592 is a cash match required by the County.  The Council agreed to provide the $9,592 cash match from the FY10 Contingency Fund.  Additionally the Council agreed to use remaining federal grant funds from the Department of Justice totaling $22,788.09 ($9,930 from FY09 grants and $12,858.09 from FY05-FY08) toward the program which will require an additional $6,549.91 from the FY 2010 Contingency Fund as a match.  The Council acknowledged that the total amount approved from the FY 2010 Contingency Fund toward the purchase of these vests is $16,141.91.


The Council, also at the request of Sheriff Phillips, accepted the Governor’s Office of Crime Control Prevention Initiative Against Underage Drinking grant award in the amount of $14,875 with no local match for the period of July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.




The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, for a one year extension of the Tour Provider Training Program grant from the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom from September 30, 2009 to September 30, 2010 in order to give staff time to lay the groundwork for the training program and to suspend training until more aspects of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway are established.




At the request of Councilman Travers, the Council reappointed Wendell Foxwell to the Social Services Board.  The Council acknowledged that Mr. Foxwell’s term will expire on June 30, 2012.  Additionally, the Council, at the request of Councilwoman Elzey, appointed David Wooten to replace Shirley Moore on the Social Services Board.  The Council acknowledged that Mr. Wooten’s term will expire on July 28, 2012.




Ms. Baynard stated that in the interim between meetings the Council approved the following by means of telephone poll:  1) approved obtaining an excavator with attachments from Richard Barnett by reducing the debt owed by RJR Real Estate Holdings, Inc. to the County’s Highway Division by $56,000 by a 5 to 0 vote; and 2) approved the submission of a letter to that the Maryland Department of Planning in response to a declaration of excess property for the property known as Governor’s Hall noting the Council’s desire to have that property remain available for public use and regarding the need to continue dredging the deep water port by a 4 to 1 vote.




Mr. Weber, on behalf of representatives of the Hoopers Island Volunteer Fire Company  Island, asked the Council member if they are willing to pay for the cost to spray for noxious weeds that are growing on the fire company property.  No motion was made.

There were no other public comments.




At the request of Councilman Price, the Council agreed to send letters to the supervisors of Donnie Cheeseman and David Wielgoz, paramedics, who provided assistance to a Tri City player who fell and broke her shoulder during a game.


Councilman Newcomb advised that there will be an open house at the County’s Economic Development Office on Friday, July 31, 2009.  He noted that the Council will meet for a budget work session on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 and that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for August 11, 2009.


With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.


ATTEST:                                                         DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:


______________________________            ____________________________________

Jane Baynard, County Manager                       Jay L. Newcomb, President



                                                                        William V. Nichols, Vice President



                                                                        Effie M. Elzey



                                                                        Ricky Travers



                                                                        Rick Price


Approved the ______day of  ­­­­­­­­­­________________, 2009.