County Council Meeting Minutes
September 7, 2010
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
September 7, 2010
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on September 7, 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,
The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive Session pursuant to State Government Article, §10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; §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 §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.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilmen Price led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved the removal of a request for approval of municipal zoning for the annexation of property in the Town of Vienna from the agenda. The Council also approved the addition of the following: 1) grant award acceptance for the obstruction removal project at the Cambridge Dorchester Airport; 2) request to enter into two short term leases for hangar space; and 3) request to advertise a vacant custodian position in the Maintenance Department.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- AUGUST 24, 2010
The Council approved the minutes of August 24, 2010.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining for payments made to Simmons Center Market.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $2,146,118.40.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on September 7, 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)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; §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 §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.
Councilman Newcomb noted that after its August 24, 2010 Regular Session meeting, the Council re-adjourned into Executive Session to discuss the following items: 1) continued discussions regarding Emergency Services Director position-agreed to continue discussions at September 7, 2010 meeting.; and 2) continued discussion on filling two unfunded Correctional Officer positions-requested additional information and agreed to continue discussions at September 7, 2010 meeting.
Councilman Newcomb advised that the County Council convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on September 7, 2010 to discuss the following items:1) received an update from staff on the Dorchester County Technology Park-took no action; 2) discussed with legal counsel an Ethics Commission opinion regarding the Local Management Board’s partnership on committees and boards- requested additional information; 3) discussed with legal counsel County response for patient care information and agreed by a 4 to 1 vote not to provide the information contingent upon further clarification being obtained; 4) discussed with legal counsel public information allowances for advanced life support services-agreed to meet with local volunteer fire company in open session; 5) discussed with legal counsel short term leases for hangar space at the Cambridge Dorchester Airport-agreed to discuss in open session; 6) agreed to re-fund two Correctional Officer positions in the FY2011 budget with the understanding that no additional vacancies will be addressed in that department pending further information from the Warden on federal per diem rates by a 4 to 1 vote; 7) approved a request from Public Works Director to fill a vacant MEO III position by transferring an existing County employee to that position by a 4 to 1 vote; 8) denied establishment of a policy relating to occasional or sporadic employment and the twenty percent limitation on nonexempt work; 9) discussed a request from Maintenance Director to advertise a vacant Custodian position – agreed to discuss in open session; 10) continued discussions regarding Emergency Services Director position-requested additional information.
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 -VETERANS RECOGNITION DAY
The Council presented a proclamation declaring September 11, 2010 as the 12th Annual Veterans Recognition Day. George Ames from the Veterans Recognition Committee, and Carlton Bryan representing Post 87 of the American Legion, accepted the proclamation.
COMMENDATION-JAY MERANCHIK-THE NATIONAL K-9 WORKING DOG, INC.
The Council presented a commendation to Jay Meranchik for his valuable contributions to Dorchester County and continuous efforts to ensure that every working K-9 is provided the opportunity to receive a healthy and comfortable retirement. Mr. Meranchik accepted the commendation.
BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB UPDATE-PATRICK REED/WILLIAM MCDONNELL
William McDonnell, Social Services Director, introduced Patrick Reed, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club, and advised Mr. Reed will provide an update on the non-profit organization. He noted that the Boys and Girls program started in February 2009.
Mr. Reed thanked the Council for its previous support for requests to the Department of Housing and Community Development for Community Development Block Grant funding for the program submitted to the Council by the Local Management Board. He said there are 78 youths registered for the program with the majority of those youth being middle school aged. He explained that they are currently leasing a portion of the Souls Harbor Church gymnasium which can accommodate 150 to 200 youth but that more funding is needed to hire staff before the membership can be increased. Mr. Reed noted that the average daily attendance is 20 to 30 youth and that they provide recreational opportunities for the participants Monday through Friday. He said in addition to the gym the Boys and Girls Club has use of a teen room which has foosball, ping pong, air hockey table games as well as a Wii and Game cube system. Mr. Reed explained that the organization recently held a ten week program on bullying and substance abuse prevention which was attended by ten youth and funded through the Dorchester County Health Department. He noted that in addition to the CDBG funding, funding for the Boys & Girls Club has been received from the Foundation for Wishes, the George P. Todd Fund as well as several donations from residents and out of County individuals. Mr. Reed explained that future plans for the program include the establishment of a Computer Learning Center.
The Council thanked Mr. McDonnell and Mr. Reed for providing an update on the Boys and Girls Club.
The Council adjourned into Legislative Session.
BILL NO. 2010-16 – AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF SECTION 15-803 OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT ARTICLE OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND TO ADD NEW SECTION 88-5.1 TO CHAPTER 88 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE TO PROVIDE COUNTY EMPLOYEES SHALL NOT SUPERVISE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS TO AVOID CONFLICT OF INTERESTS.
E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, explained that a public hearing is being held on Bill No. 2010-16 to add a new Section 88-5.1 to Chapter 88 of the Dorchester County Code to provide that the County shall not have more than one Department Head position filled by immediate family members to avoid conflict of interests.
In response to questions from Les Simering, a
In response to a question from Charlotte Hughes, a
Ms. Hughes expressed concern about the proposed amendment to the County’s Ethics Ordinance and expressed her opinion that the entire ordinance should be rewritten. Mr. Merryweather explained that the County’s Ethics Ordinance is based on a model ordinance prepared by the State of Maryland and that the proposed amendments to the ordinance have been approved by the State Ethics Commission.
Portia Johnson Ennals, a
The role call on the enactment of Bill No. 2010-16 was as follows: Newcomb-aye, Elzey-aye, Nichols-aye, Price-aye, Travers-aye.
The Council introduced Bill No. 2010-18 AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND FOR THE PURPOSE OF CLARIFYING THE APPLICABILITY OF THE BUILDING EXCISE TAX TO ADDITIONAL CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL AND NONRESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES IN DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND BY AMENDING CHAPTER 144 (TAXATION), ARTICLE X (BUILDING EXCISE TAX), SECTION 144-30 (DEFINITIONS) TO MODIFY THE TERM “ADDITION CONSTRUCTION” AND ADD THE TERM “DWELLING UNIT”.
Mr. Merryweather noted that the legislation to amend Chapter 144 “Taxation”, Article X “Building Excise Tax”, Section 144-30, “Definition” to modify the terms “addition construction” and “dwelling unit” was being reintroduced because the bill that was previously scheduled for public hearing was not voted on by the Council within 65 days after introduction as required by the County Charter.
The Council agreed to proceed with publication of a public hearing on this matter.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNUAL REPORT
Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, provided the Council with a summary of the FY 2010 Economic Development Annual Report, which is attached. She read the executive summary and the goals and priorities of the Economic Development Department. Ms. Haythe noted that the report includes: population and unemployment trends, details regarding the construction of
John Mason, Business Attraction and Expansion Manager, said County staff is receiving leads from existing businesses and residents on individuals who are looking to locate their business in the County. He encouraged them to continue to provide staff with those leads.
Ms. Haythe advised that copies of the report are available at the Economic Development Office. Councilman Travers asked Ms. Haythe to provide him with copies of the report so that he may forward them to representatives of the County’s Sister County, Duren County, Germany.
The Council thanked Ms. Haythe and her staff for their hard work in preparing the FY 2010 Economic Development Annual Report.
Nick Lyons, Codes Administrator, stated that effective January 1, 2011, pursuant to an amendment made to the Maryland Building Performance Standards Code, all new single family homes will be required to have automatic sprinkler systems. He said the Council can adopt legislation that Dorchester County be exempt from this requirement. He explained that pursuant to statistics provided by the State of Maryland the average cost for the installation of a sprinkler system in a single family residence is $1,600 but, depending on the size of the structure, could exceed $10,000. He said that he believes this estimate was based on the installation of the system in homes that have access to municipal water systems. He noted that 75% of properties in the County are not connected to a municipal water system and that, based on the research he conducted, the estimated cost for the installation of a sprinkler system in those homes is from $3,500 to $12,000. Mr. Lyons expressed concern that the implementation of this requirement will place a financial burden on residents and will adversely impact the construction industry in the County. He explained that the majority of sprinkler systems only provide three to five minutes of pressurized water spray which, in his opinion, is not enough water to put out a fire.
Councilwoman Elzey questioned the availability of flame retardant materials and whether there has been an increase or decrease in fires within the County. Mr. Lyons said that the majority of building materials on the market are now flame retardant. Councilman Newcomb expressed his understanding that there has been a decrease in fires within the County. Mr. Lyons said he believed there are adequate warning systems today that can alert individuals if a fire is in process, including updated smoke detectors.
In response to a question from Mr. Weber, Mr. Lyons said that the requirement will not pertain to existing homes.
Based on a question from Ms. Ennals, Mr. Lyons said that municipalities will not be affected if the Council elects to opt out of the sprinkler system requirement, because the legislative body of an incorporated area is responsible for making the decision on whether to exempt the municipality from the amendment.
In response to a question from Wendell Foxwell, a
The Council agreed to proceed with legislation to seek to exempt Dorchester County from the Maryland Building Performance Standards Code amendment that sprinkler systems be installed in all new single family homes. The Council acknowledged that Mr. Dodd and Mr. Lyons will work with Mr. Merryweather to prepare draft legislation. The Council acknowledged that pursuant to Section 302 of the County Charter, because it is an election year, the Council cannot enact legislation during the month of November. The Council also acknowledged that Mr. Lyons will contact the appropriate parties to notify them of its decision to exempt Dorchester County from the amendment in light of his statement that a waiver can be obtained without the passage of legislation as long as the legislative process has begun.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT-BOND ALLOCATION
The Council approved the written request of Tonna Phelps, Director of Single Family Housing, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), to transfer Dorchester County’s tax-exempt housing bond allocation of $1,019,724 as set forth in the 2010 allocation of the Maryland State Ceiling made by the Secretary of Business and Economic Development to DHCD’s Community Development Association. The Council acknowledged that the funds will be used for the CDA Maryland Mortgage Program.
AIRPORT FUEL PRICING
The Council approved the recommendation of Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, and Bob Tenanty, Airport Manager, to purchase 200 gallons of #2 fuel oil for the Cambridge Dorchester Airport from Aero Energy/Wise Oil at the cost of $2.183 per gallon. The Council acknowledged its August 24, 2010 decision to allow the Airport Manager to negotiate with local suppliers for diesel fuel for grass cutters at the Airport due to the small quantity of fuel that was needed. The Council further acknowledged that Aero Energy provided the lowest quote.
CONTINUED DISCUSSION-REQUEST TO CONSIDER REPLACEMENT OF MAIN DRAIN POOL PIPE
The Council reconsidered the request of Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, to sole source with a company to install a new main drain line at the Dorchester County Pool. The Council recognized that pursuant to its August 24, 2010 meeting directive, Mr. Eberspacher obtained a second quote, which was higher than the one previously received.
The Council approved Mr. Eberspacher’s request to sole source with Clearwater Pool & Spa in the amount of $49,870.00 for the replacement of the main drain line at the pool and acknowledged that the cost will be paid by using a portion of the unobligated Program Open Space fund balance for the cancelled McCarter Park Tennis Court project of $77,400. The Council acknowledged that there is a 10% local match with $3,000 of that match being provided from the FY 2011 Recreation & Parks budget and $2,000 from the FY 2011 Contingency Fund. Councilman Price opposed. The Council recognized that there is a possibility that the cost of the replacement of the drain line will exceed the quoted price and instructed Mr. Eberspacher to provide the Council with any additional costs, if incurred, because additional funds will need to be identified for the local match.
ROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT AMENDMENT-NIELSEN LAND VENTURE, LLC
The Council approved the request of Mr. Dodd and agreed to execute a third amendment to the Public Road Construction Agreement between the County Council and Nielsen Land Venture, LLC. for the Marshyhope Branch Subdivision to extend the agreement to June 30, 2011.
Based on a request from Mr. Weber, the Council accepted a grant award from the Federal Aviation Administration in the amount of $44,745 which represents 95% of the $47,100 total project cost for the runway obstruction removal project. The Council acknowledged that the local share of 2.5% ($1,178) has been identified in the FY 2011 Capital Budget under the Runway Extension project and that the remaining 2.5% will come from a Maryland Aviation Administration grant.
ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION PHASE SERVICES PROPOSAL-RUNWAY OBSTRUCTION REMOVAL PROJECT-AIRPORT
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to sole source and enter into a contract with URS Corporation for Engineering and Construction Phase Services in conjunction with the runway obstruction removal project at the County Airport in an amount not to exceed $42,100. The Council acknowledged the proposal is fully eligible for reimbursement of 95% from the Federal Aviation Administration and 2.5% from the Maryland Aviation Administration with the remaining being a local match which is identified in the County’s FY 2011 Capital Budget.
The Council agreed that Halloween will be observed by County residents on Saturday, October 30, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for children ages 12 and under. The Council acknowledged that this policy will not supersede prescheduled times and dates set by municipalities.
SENIOR CARE ANNUAL PLAN APPROVAL REQUEST-SOCIAL SERVICES
The Council approved the request of Mr. McDonnell to continue the Senior Care Program with Maryland Department of Aging funding in the amount of $109,846 for the period of July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 with no local match. The Council acknowledged that the Dorchester County Department of Social Services is the lead agency for the Senior Care Program and is partnering with the Maryland Department of Aging, the Dorchester County Health Department, the Department of Social Services and the Dorchester County Council. The Council acknowledged that the funding will provide services for individuals over 65 years of age who are moderately to severely disabled who may be at risk of nursing home placement.
REQUEST TO USE PARKING LOT/ELECTRICAL OUTLETS-HEALTH FREEDOM CELEBRATION WEEK-HEALTH FREEDOM, INC.
The Council approved the request of William Jarmon, Co-Organizer, Health Freedom, Inc., to use the County parking lot on Saturday, October 16, 2010 from 7:00 am until 1:00 pm to include use of the outdoor electrical unit, picnic tables, the patio area facing the Cambridge Creek and the public trash receptacles for the Health Freedom Celebration Walk. The Council acknowledged that the parking lot will be used for parking purposes and for non-profit vendors. The Council further acknowledged that a portable toilet will be placed in a designated area and asked Mr. Jarmon to coordinate the placement with C.R. Newman, Maintenance Director. The Council requested that a certification of liability insurance naming the County as an additional insured be provided for the event.
FY11 GRANT AWARD-WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM-LMB
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, and agreed to execute the First Amendment to the Department of Housing and Community Development American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Subgrantee Agreement which amends the FY 2011 Weatherization Assistance Program Grant Award to the County. Council acknowledged that the funding is for local community services to assist low-income, elderly and persons with disabilities to conserve energy by weatherizing their homes is increased under the Regional Green House Gas Initiative by $40,000 and $20,000 under the Maryland Energy Assistance Grant by acceptance of this amendment. The Council acknowledged that the total funds available for FY 2011 weatherization services is $686,279, which includes administration and training funds.
The Council acknowledged its April 27, 2010 decision to widen the Steeles Neck Road/Elliott Island Road intersection at a cost of $1,757.83 provided William Outten, the individual requesting the work to be completed, is required to pay for the cost of the pipes in the amount of $508.94. The Council further acknowledged that the work has not commenced to date. Mr. Weber stated that Mr. Outten has asked whether the Council will reconsider its decision to require him to pay for the pipe to complete the project. The Council deferred the widening of the intersection based on the fact that Mr. Outten has not agreed to pay for the pipe and took no further action.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard noted that in the interim between meetings the Council, by means of telephone poll, took the following actions: 1) approved the submission of a Federal Aviation Administration application seeking funding in the amount of $120,000 for an obstruction removal project at the
OLD PAINT HANAGER-SHORT TERM LEASES-AIRPORT
The Council agreed to enter into a lease agreement with Lady Edith Hawker Flight Company, Inc. for the storage of a Hawker Siddeley, DH125-400A Aircraft in a 3,750 square foot portion of the paint hangar at the Cambridge Dorchester County Airport for $1,600 a month on a month-to-month basis. The Council also agreed to enter into a lease agreement with Charles Clark for the storage of a Cessna 180 Aircraft in a 1,500 square foot portion of the paint hangar at the Airport for $200 a month on a month-to-month basis. The Council authorized Bob Tenanty, as Airport Manager, to execute the lease agreements. The Council further acknowledged that B& B Sport Aviation staff has verbally expressed an interest in leasing the entire paint hangar on a long term basis and recognized that if a decision is made to enter into a lease with that company, these leases will be terminated pursuant to the individual lease terms.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-CUSTODIAN-MAINTAINENCE
The Council approved the request of CR Newman, Maintenance Director, to advertise a vacant Custodian position in the Maintenance Department pursuant to County policy.