Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 05/12/10

County Council Meeting Minutes


April 27, 2010

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

April 27, 2010

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on April 27, 2010 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; Effie M. Elzey Vice President; William V. Nichols; Ricky Travers; and Rick Price. Also present were E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney; Jane Baynard, County Manager and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive Session pursuant to State Government Article §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)(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 present Council members.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Councilman Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.

 

CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA

 

The Council approved the addition of a recovery zone bond allocation transfer to the agenda.

 

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

The Council approved the vouchers as presented.

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $7,829,738.66.


EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30  p.m. on April 27, 2010 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article §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)(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.

 

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) met with Maryland Department of Transportation representatives regarding rail lines in the County – took no action; 2) discussed a request by a local government for use of the County’s recovery zone facility bond allocation-agreed to discuss in open session; 3) discussed the transfer of EMS assets to the County; 4) agreed to fill a vacant position in Economic Development by a 4 to 1 vote; 5) discussed concerns of Department Head regarding possible elimination of contractual position in the FY 2011 budget and agreed to schedule to phase out those contractual services by a 4 to 1 vote; 6) agreed to a staff reduction based on loss of grant funding; 7) discussed staff impact due to grant reductions from State for Local Management Board-agreed to transfer an individual to the Economic Development Department to fill an administrative association position by a 3 to 2 vote; 8) after reconsideration, approved a request to fill a vacant Airport Position by a 4 to 1 vote; 9) discussed with legal counsel the proposed re-appropriation of funds from a prior year’s budget to the FY 2011 budget-took no action; 10) agreed to seek an ethics opinion relating to Department Heads serving on Boards and Committees 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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

COMMENDATIONS-HURLOCK WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT EPA AWARD

 

The Council presented a commendation to Eric Barnhart, Robert Harvey and Adam Todd, Town of Hurlock employees, for receiving the Mid-Atlantic Operations and Maintenance Award for operation and maintenance of the Hurlock Wastewater Treatment facility.  Mr. Barnhart, Mr. Harvey and Mr. Todd accepted the commendations.

 


PROCLAMATION-CELEBRATE SENIOR CITIZENS MONTH

 

The Council presented a proclamation declaring May 2010 as Senior Citizens Month.

 

Tom Wilson, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Dorchester County Commission on the Aging, Inc., accepted the proclamation.

 

PROCLAMATION-OLDER AMERICANS MONTH

 

The Council presented a proclamation declaring May 2010 Older Americans Month

 

Mary Handley and Terry Cornish of Delmarva Community Services accepted the proclamation.

 

PROCLAMATION-CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WEEK

 

The Council presented a proclamation declaring May 2 through May 8, 2010 as Correctional Officers Week. Warden Don Satterfield accepted the proclamation.

 

PROCLAMATION-HERITAGE MONTH-MAY 2010

 

The Council presented a proclamation declaring May 2010 Heritage Month

Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, on behalf of the Chesapeake Country Heritage Area and Bill Jarmon on behalf of the Museums and Attractions Coalition

accepted the proclamation.

INTRODUCTION-TOWN OF HURLOCK MAYOR AND COUNCIL                                                                            

Mayor Joyce Spratt, Council Member Mike Nordstrom and Council Member and President Charles Cephas, President, of the Town of Hurlock, introduced themselves to Council and the public.  Mr. Cephas, on behalf of the Mayor and Town Council, invited the County Council to attend a future Town meeting.  He said that they met on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

 

The County Council members welcomed Mayor Spratt, Councilman Nordstrom and Councilman Cephas and asked that their staff to contact the Council’s Office staff to arrange the date and time Council will attend a Town Council meeting.

 

Councilman Nichols left meeting.

 

CITIZEN SURVEY UPDATE-FINANCE

Michael Spears, Finance Director, provided the Council with an update on the citizen survey conducted from May 4, 2010 to April 2, 2010.  He explained that the purpose of the survey was to obtain information from residents in order to assist the Council in preparing future budgets, particularly in light of the recent economic decline and State aid reductions.

 

He noted that there were 636 survey responses which represent 2% of population with 90% of them being answered through the website “surveymonkey.com” and 10% being paper submissions.   Mr. Spears advised that 36% of the survey participants indicated they lived in the City of Cambridge while 54.7% said they have lived in Dorchester County for more than 20 years.  He said that most of the respondents said that Dorchester County was a good place to live, raise children and retire and were concerned about employment opportunities within the County.  He noted that 39.9% of the participants were satisfied with the current level of taxes and services.  

 

Mr. Spears explained that respondents ranked the following services in the County as good:  fire services, 911 emergency communications, ambulances or emergency medical services, the Cambridge Chesapeake College Center and the Public Library.  He noted that the responded noted that the following needed improvements: employment opportunities (84.3%), education (67.5%), conditions of roads and streets (52.9%), level of taxation (51.8%).  

 

Mr. Spears noted that the Business and Technology Park and the Dorchester Career and Technology Center projects are underway which will assist in job creation.

 

He said he will post the survey results on the County’s website. 

 

Based on a request from Mr. Spears, the Council agreed to hold a work session after the FY 2011 budget process to discuss job creation incentives, environmental initiatives and to address responses to citizens concerns derived from the survey.

 

The Council thanked Mr. Spears for conducting for the survey and for his presentation.

 

Councilman Nichols rejoined the meeting.

ROADS BOARD

INTERSECTION WIDENING REQUEST

 

Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, advised that William Outten, a farmer in the Elliotts Island Road and Steele’s Neck Road area, has requested that the existing intersection be widened in order to allow him to turn his tractor trailer while traveling from farm to farm.  He noted that Mr. Outten recently purchased a farm on Steele’s Neck Road.   Mr. Weber explained in addition to widening the intersection, a 20 foot section of pipe will have to be installed and because it will connect to an existing pipe a “T” connection will be installed.  He said that the estimated cost of the project is $1,757.83 and that there is sufficient right-of-way width to complete the project.  Mr. Weber advised that the cost does not include blacktopping which would be added at a later date and noted that Mr. Outten has not offered to pay for the widening of that intersection. 

The Council agreed that Mr. Weber can proceed with widening the existing intersection at Elliotts Island Road and Steele’s Neck Road contingent upon Mr. Outten paying for the pipe to be installed, which will amount to approximately half of the cost of the project.  The Council acknowledged that labor and equipment costs will be borne by the County.

 

HARPER ROAD DRAINAGE

 

Mr. Weber said he has been working with County staff and staff at the Dorchester County Soil Conservation office regarding solutions to alleviate flooding on Palmer Mill Road.    He said Soil Conservation staff has prepared a topographic survey along Harper Road and down Palmer Mill Road.  He said that during extreme rain events the water drains down Harper Road toward that roadway and deposits sand on the road which causes flooding.    Mr. Weber noted that since the first part of December 2009 flooding has occurred three times. 

 

He explained that they have looked at three options to address the problem.  He noted that the first option is to install catch basins at the Palmer Mill and Harper Roads intersection and install 1,000 feet of closed storm drainage down to the drainage crossing under Palmer Mill Road, which will cost approximately $110,000.  He said that a wetland permit may need to be obtained in order to tie into the stream in that area and that the project will cause disruption to the traffic on Palmer Mill Road and the adjoining property owners.  Mr. Weber advised that this option will only address the flooding onto Palmer Mill Road and not address drainage along Harper Road, on which no residences have been constructed.  He explained that the second option is to re-establish drainage ditches or swales on both sides of Palmer Mill Road from Harper Road to the drainage crossing for approximately 1,000 feet which will require the excavation of shoulders and slopes along the front of properties on both sides of that roadway and will require the removal of trees while leaving the potential for erosion.  H said the estimated cost is $60,000.  Mr. Weber said that the third option is to construct a new drainage ditch from Harper Road behind residential properties toward the drainage stream that travels under Palmer Mill Road for $15,000 which includes $5,000 in materials and $10,000 in labor and equipment costs.  He said that this option may result in potential impacts to adjoining properties and potential erosion. 

 

The Council acknowledged that Mr. Weber will continue to research possible solutions to address the flooding on Palmers Mill Road and will present the Council with final recommendations on how to address the problem, including cost estimates, at a later date. 

 

HIGHWAY STIMULUS FUNDS-MATERIAL TESTING

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to execute a Cost Sharing Agreement between Dorchester County and the State Highway Administration allowing SHA to perform materials testing and inspection for pavement marking projects at various locations throughout the County for an estimated cost of $787 not to exceed that amount by more than 15% without prior notification and agreement.

The Council also approve the request of Mr. Weber to execute a Cost Sharing Agreement between Dorchester County and the State Highway Administration allowing SHA to perform materials testing and inspection for resurfacing and widening at various locations throughout the County for an estimated cost of $6,411 not to exceed that amount by more than 15% without prior notification and agreement.

 

The Council acknowledged that funding for the materials testing and inspection for the pavement marking projects and resurfacing and widening projects will be paid from the County’s allocation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Highway funding.

 

The Council authorized Mr. Weber to sign both Cost Sharing Agreements.

 

HIGHWAY STIMULUS FUNDS-INSPECTION SERVICES

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to execute a Cost Sharing Agreement between Dorchester County and the State Highway Administration allowing SHA to perform inspection services for resurfacing and widening projects at various locations throughout the County for an estimated cost of $77,600 not to exceed that amount by more than 15% without prior notification and agreement.

 

The Council also approved the request of Mr. Weber to execute a Cost Sharing Agreement between Dorchester County and SHA allowing SHA to perform inspection services for a pavement marking projects at various locations through the County for an estimated cost of $9,700, not to exceed that amount by more than 15% without prior notification and agreement.

 

The Council acknowledged that funding for inspection services for the pavement marking projects and resurfacing and widening projects will be paid from the County’s allocation from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Highway funding.

The Council authorized Mr. Weber to sign both Cost Sharing Agreements.

 

OTHER

Bruce Coulson, a Dorchester County resident, noted that there is a truck tire in the ditch on Bay Shore Road that needs to be removed.  He offered to assist in lifting the tire, if the County will provide a truck to remove the tire.

 

Councilman Travers asked Mr. Weber to have staff review Bay View and Riverside Drive regarding erosion on property owned by the County. 

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

REQUEST TO TRANSFER HAZMAT BILLING-CITY OF CAMBRIDGE

 

The Council approved the written request of Ed Kinnamon, City of Cambridge Clerk/Treasurer, for transfer of the responsibility of billing for all HAZMAT calls from the County Council to the City of Cambridge.

 

CHANGE ORDER REQUEST-TIME EXTENSION-GALESTOWN DAM FISH LADDER CONSTRUCTION-PUBLIC WORKS

 

Based on a request presented by Mr. Weber on behalf of George and Lynch, Inc., contractor, the Council approved a second Change Order between the County and George & Lynch, Inc. for the Galestown Dam Fish Ladder construction project for another time extension of 30 days with a completion date of April 30, 2010.  The Council acknowledged that the change order is necessary because of recent weather and additional fabrication of stop gates.   The Council further acknowledged that the fish ladder installation and weir adjustments were completed by April 15, 2010 with the exception of the fabrication of one of the stop gates and padlocks for preventing operation of the ladder by persons other than the Department of Natural Resources.

 

EARNED  RE-INVESTMENT REQUEST –LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD 

 

The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, to submit the following proposals to the Governor’s Office for Children for funding for summer programs for a total of $75,366: Dorchester Boys & Girls Club, $37,506; Page Turners, $27,860; and Camp Agape, $10,000.

 

The Council denied Ms. Shockley’s request to submit a proposal from Habitat for Humanity to the Governor’s Office for Children for $25,000 which is to be used to fund a portion of a salary and for an advertising campaign.  Councilman Nichols expressed concern that some of the funds were to be used to advertise Habitat for Humanity, which, in his opinion, is widely known.   

 

The Council members acknowledged that on January 19, 2010, they approved a request from Ms. Shockley on behalf of the Local Management Board (LMB) Finance Committee to advertise a Request for Proposals for community based programs ($118,887) and that after approving the submission of these proposals to GOC, there is a balance of $18,521. 

 

Councilman Nichols advised that several individuals from organizations that serve youth and families in the community commented to him that they were not aware that the request for proposals for summer programs had been advertised.

 

Portia Johnson-Ennals, a Dorchester County resident, said she nor other individuals she spoke of were aware that a request for proposals had been advertised before the submission period had ended and noted that the Daily Banner newspapers are only distributed twice weekly in the County.  She explained that several years ago Local Management Board staff emailed organizations in the County that deal with children and families when the funds were available and questioned whether that practice can be reinstituted. 

 

Ms. Baynard said it is her understanding that the request for proposals was advertised in the Star Democrat and the Daily Banner.

 

The Council approved Ms. Shockley’s request to advertise for proposals for this balance of $18,521 for use for summer programs.  The Council requested that she seek alternative methods of distribution in addition to advertising in local news publications including sending emails to those organizations in the County that deal with children and families.   The Council also requested that Jim Newcomb, Soil Conservation Director, be advised of the availability of this funding opportunity because he holds a summer camp for youth in the County annually.

 

Ms. Baynard noted that at the advice of E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, the Council agreed to seek an ethics opinion on whether the Local Management Board Director can sit on the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children and Families as a nonvoting member.

 

TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATION          

Ms. Baynard advised that in the interim between meetings the Council, by means of telephone poll selected the name “Dorchester Regional Technology Park” for the proposed Technology Park by a 3 to 2 vote.

 

RECOVERY ZONE BOND TRANSFER

The Council approved the request of Daniel Thompson, Somerset County Economic Development Director, to transfer Dorchester County’s Facility Bond Allocation of $2,021,000 to Somerset County and accepted a Resolution transferring that allocation       

PUBLIC COMMENTS

In response to a question from Wendell Foxwell, a Dorchester County resident, Councilman Newcomb explained that as part of the proposed FY 2011 budget is the creation of an Emergency Services Director to oversee the Emergency Medical Services, 911 Center and Emergency Management Department by redirecting funds from vacant positions for the salary.   He noted that the FY 2011 budget has not been adopted. 

 

Mr. Coulson noted that Mr. Spears presented the citizen survey results to members of the Dorchester County Shore Erosion Group and out of the 30 members who were present only one individual participated in the survey.  He said the majority of the members were unaware the survey was being conducted.  

 

The Council agreed to reissue the citizen survey and to send it along with County real property tax bills.

 

The Council denied the verbal request of Adam Tolley, President, East New Market Fire Department, to reconsider its January 5, 2010 decision not to waive fees associated with the construction of a new facility for the East New Market Volunteer Fire Department.

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS/ADJOURNMENT

Councilman Price asked Mr. Weber to provide an estimated cost to hold a tire amnesty day within the County.

 

The Council members agreed that they and County staff are the only individuals that can visit the Georgetown, Delaware Landfill on Thursday, April 29, 2010 to inspect an exposed membrane cap as a possible alternative to capping or relocating waste in the “Old Beulah” Landfill.  Councilman Price opposed.

 

With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.

 

 

ATTEST:                                                         DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:

 

______________________________            ____________________________________

Jane Baynard, County Manager                       Jay L. Newcomb, President

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Effie M. Elzey, Vice President

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        William V. Nichols

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Ricky Travers

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Rick Price

 

Approved the ______day of ____________, 2010.