Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 04/04/11

County Council Meeting Minutes


March 15, 2011

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

March 15, 2011

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on March 15,  2011 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; William V. Nichols, Vice President; Ricky Travers; Rick Price and Tom Bradshaw. Also present were E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney; Jane Baynard, County Manager and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive

Session 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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter;  and pursuant to § 10-508(A)(10)  to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: 

 (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and 

(ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans.           

 

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

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

At 5:35 p.m. the Council adjourned to regular session and Michael Spears, Finance Director, provided the Council with his concerns regarding the Board of Education staff’s offer to alleviate the Maintenance of Effort discussion. 

 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Councilman Travers led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.

 

CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA

 

The Council approved the addition of a travel request from the Economic Development Director to the agenda.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- MARCH 1, 2011

The Council approved the minutes of March 1, 2011.

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

The Council approved vouchers as presented.

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $5,498,790.31.

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on March 15, 2011 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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter; and pursuant to § 10-508(A)(10) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: 

 (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and 

(ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans.           

 

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) confirmed the hiring by the Circuit Court Judge of an individual to fill the vacant Jury Commissioner position by a 4 to 0 vote; 2) denied an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employee’s second request for a reclassification by a 3 to 1 vote with one abstention; 3) discussed legal counsel’s opinion regarding an EMS billing issue-requested additional legal clarification with direction to staff based on resolution of certain legal issues; 4) discussed with legal counsel recommendations regarding an EMS service area – 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.

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

 

REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST-WATER AND SEWER SERVICES-WEST VIENNA-TOWN OF VIENNA

 

The Council approved the request of the Town of Vienna Commissioners for reimbursement of water and sewer services for the West Vienna area from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010 of $12,299 from the FY 2011 Contingency Fund, which amount includes $3,800 for disconnected customers and $8,599 for delinquent accounts.  The Council acknowledged that the payment is being made in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the County and the Town of Vienna for residents of the unincorporated area of West Vienna who have not paid their water or wastewater bills.  The Council requested that during the FY12 budget process Mr. Spears set up a budget account specifically for the reimbursement of delinquent West Vienna water and sewer payments.

 

MOSQUITO CONTROL BUDGET REQUEST-MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

 

The Council approved the written request of Michael Cantwell, Program Manager, Mosquito Control Section, Maryland Department of Agriculture, for the County’s share of operating funds for mosquito control in the County during the 2011 season at $285,000 to be identified in its FY12 budget.

 

LETTER OF SUPPORT REQUEST-HOUSE BILL1224 FOREST CONSERVATION ACT-ALTERATIONS TO EXCEPTIONS-WORCESTER COUNTY

 

The Council deferred a request from the Worchester County Commissioners for a letter of support for House Bill 1224 entitled" Natural Resources- Forest Conservation Act- Alterations to Exceptions" to reverse several provisions of the Natural Resources-No Net Loss of Forest Policy-Forest Conservation Act which became effective on October 1, 2009 and requested that the Dorchester Forestry Board members be asked to provide its comments on this proposed legislation.  The Council recognized that the proposed legislation will restore exceptions which would allow cutting, clearing or grading of up to 40,000 square feet of forest, currently set at 20,000 square feet, and will also restore the intra-family transfers for grandchildren.   The Council acknowledged that Sandy Wright, Environmental Planner, has provided written recommendations that Council not support House Bill 1224 for the following reasons: 1) Dorchester County property owners, have not, as a group, opposed the current regulations; 2) property owners can work with the 20,000 square foot limit on removing forests provided there is a good site design; and 3) the proposed change will increase the number of eligible property owners who can circumvent the regulations and clear cut more forested area.

 

DECLARATION OF SURPLUS-REAL PROPERTY/EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE VEHICLES

 

The Council, based on the request of Michael Spears, Finance Director, agreed to declare the following six properties Council purchased as a result of foreclosures through the tax sale process as surplus to be advertised for sale by sealed bid with the right of refusal: 609 Washington Street, 817 Phillips Street, 734-746 High Street, 726-728 High Street, 609 Douglas Street and 206 Choptank Avenue.  The Council acknowledged that E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, clarified that the Council has the authority under the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland to declare the properties as surplus and to determine how to dispose of those properties. 

 

Additionally, the Council approved the request of Scott Wheatley, Interim Emergency Management Services Manager, and agreed to declare two inoperable ambulances, a 1991 Ford 350 with 109,331 miles and a 1995 Ford 350 with 110,783 miles, as surplus and to remove the radios and other medical valuables from those units.

  

UPPER SHORE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD APPOINTMENT

 

The Council deferred the written request of Daniel McDermott, Executive Director, Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board, to appoint an individual as a private sector representative to the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board due to the departure of Jim Krahn and requested that Mr. McDermott provide recommendations.   

 


REQUEST FOR LETTER OF SUPPORT-NAUSE-WAIWASH BAND OF INDIANS-DISPLAY-NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

 

Based on a request from Chief Sewell Fitzhugh of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians the Council agreed to send a letter of support to the National Museum of the American Indian Exhibit Board for the display of a photo and recording exhibit entitled “Catching Shadows: Tintype Portraits and Recorded Voices of 21st Century Native Americans Living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore” at the museum.

 

TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATION

 

Jane Baynard, County Manager, stated that in the interim between meetings the Council, by means of telephone poll, agreed to send a Letter of Opposition for House Bill 72 Entitled “Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2011”, specifically Section 13-1114 of the Financial Institutions Article Regarding Program Open Space,  in opposition to a proposal by the Department of Legislative Services that all transfer tax money generated for the propose of Program Open Space will go into the General Fund and be replaced with $50 million total per year for all programs from 2013-2016 by a 4 to 0 vote with 1 Council member being unable to reach.

 

LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

The Council adjourned into Legislative Session.

 

The Council introduced Bill No. 2011-2 AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE AND EMPOWER DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND, TO BORROW UP TO $2,200,000 IN THE AGGREGATE ON ITS FULL FAITH AND CREDIT, AND ISSUE AND SELL ITS BONDS IN ONE OR MORE SERIES FROM TIME TO TIME THEREFOR, TO BE USED TO FINANCE, REIMBURSE OR REFINANCE COSTS OF A CERTAIN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT PROVIDED FOR IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2009 AND 2011 CAPITAL BUDGETS AND COSTS OF ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE BY THE COUNTY FROM TIME TO TIME OF ONE OR MORE SERIES OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES IN AN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING $2,200,000 IN ORDER TO FINANCE, REIMBURSE OR REFINANCE PROJECT COSTS ON AN INTERIM BASIS; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE AND SALE BY THE COUNTY FROM TIME TO TIME OF ONE OR MORE SERIES OF GENERAL OBLIGATION REFUNDING BONDS IN ORDER TO REFUND OR ADVANCE REFUND ANY OF THE BONDS ISSUED PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT, PROVIDED THAT THE AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF EACH SUCH ISSUE OF REFUNDING BONDS DOES NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED THIRTY PERCENT (130%) OF THE AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF BONDS REFUNDED THEREFROM; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ONE OR MORE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTIONS PRIOR TO ISSUING ANY SUCH BONDS, BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES OR REFUNDING BONDS (THE “OBLIGATIONS”) IN ORDER TO FIX, PRESCRIBE, DETERMINE OR PROVIDE FOR THE DETAILS OF SUCH OBLIGATIONS AND THE ISSUANCE AND SALE THEREOF; EXEMPTING ANY SUCH BONDS OR REFUNDING BONDS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF ARTICLE 31 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY OF TAXES UPON THE ASSESSABLE PROPERTY WITHIN THE COUNTY SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE DEBT SERVICE ON SUCH OBLIGATIONS; AND GENERALLY PROVIDING FOR AND DETERMINING VARIOUS MATTERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE OBLIGATIONS AUTHORIZED HEREBY.

 

Mr. Merryweather noted that Bill No. 2011-2 will allow the County Council to borrow up to $2,200,000 on full faith and credit and issue and sell bonds in one or more series to reimburse costs for the Technology Park Infrastructure which was included in the Capital Budget for FY2009 and FY 2011.  Ms. Baynard noted that part of these funds meet the Council’s obligation for the 50/50 match for a $2 million Economic Development Administration loan for the Dorchester Regional Technology Park.

 

The Council agreed to proceed with publication of a public hearing on this matter.   

 

PUBLIC HEARING                                                                                                              

 

AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND, ACTING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 66B, SECTION 4.01 ET.SEQ., GENERAL DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AND ZONING, OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, TO REPEAL CHAPTER 155, SECTION 155-37 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE, FLOODPLAIN DISTRICT, AND TO REENACT CHAPTER 155, SECTION 155-37 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE, TO BE TITLED, FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT DISTRICT, TO ADD NEW SECTIONS “A” THROUGH “UU”, TO REQUIRE COMPREHENSIVE FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS FOR ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION OF RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES, AND SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENTS OF RESIDENTIAL AND NON-RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES, INCLUDING MANUFACTURED HOMES, LOCATED WITHIN THE FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT DISTRICT.

 

Mr.  Merryweather explained that a public hearing is being held on Bill No. 2011-1 which revises the County’s flood plain management ordinance to comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations and standards.  He said the changes are legislatively mandated and that the Council must enact the legislation by May 24, 2011 in order for continued participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.  He said the legislation includes a two foot freeboard requirement.

 

Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, noted that the current floodplain ordinance is over 29 years old and that there are new digital flood insurance maps available that are compatible with the County’s Geographical Information System (GIS) program.  He explained that the boundaries of the 100 year flood plain have been revised and based on that revision 250 properties have been added and 100 properties have been dropped to the flood plain maps.  He further explained that prior to this hearing the 250 property owners were mailed an invitation to attend a Federal Emergency Management workshop on March 10, 2011.  He said two workshops were held on that date and that residents were given the opportunity to purchase flood insurance at a reduced rate before the new maps become effective.  He advised that the new maps are not based on a new study on the tidal flood plain in the County and noted that 60% of the County is in the flood plain.  Mr. Dodd expressed his opinion that Council should consider implementing a freeboard requirement which will decrease insurance rates for property owners who elevate their homes and will make their properties less vulnerable if a future flood event were to occur.  He noted that Federal Emergency Management Agency staff is conducting a new flood mitigation study for the County which will be released within a year to 18 months.  Mr. Dodd said that once the study is conducted there is a possibility that more properties will be added to the flood plain maps and that base elevation requirements and flood insurance costs may increase.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, advised that although there were more than 20 property owners who attended the workshops signed, only those 20 signed the workshop sign-up sheets.  Mr. Dodd expressed his understanding that the majority of the homes added to the flood plain maps are not primary residences and that one-third of the properties added (88) were located in the City of Cambridge.  He explained that City of Cambridge staff notified those residents.

 

Mr. Banks provided a power point presentation on the proposed legislation and revised flood maps.  The presentation is attached.   

 

Glenn Payne, a Dorchester County resident, advised that although he lives on Green Point Road, he did not receive a letter and questioned which properties on that road are incorporated as part of the new flood plain maps.  Mr. Banks provided Mr. Payne a map of the area and encouraged him to contact him at his office to ask specific questions regarding his property.

 

In response to a question from Steve Whitten, a Dorchester County resident, Mr. Banks advised that there is a freeboard requirement for non-residential accessory structures over 900 square feet.  Mr. Whitten expressed his opinion that non-residential accessory structures should not be included in the two foot freeboard requirement.  Mr. Dodd noted that a property owner can request a variance for a non-residential structure from the freeboard requirement through the Board of Appeals. 

 

Marty Heiberger, President of the Neck District Fire Company, expressed concern about the freeboard requirement as it applies to local volunteer fire companies because it may be difficult to move fire engines into a raised facility.  He also expressed his opinion that the freeboard requirement is financially prohibitive for local fire companies.  Mr. Dodd said fire companies can request a variance through the Board of Appeals and expressed his belief that it is important to ensure that volunteer fire stations are accessible during an emergency.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Heiberger said no water entered into the Neck District Fire Company building during Hurricane Isabel.  Councilmen Newcomb noted that flooding occurred at the Taylors Island, Madison and Hoopers Island volunteer fire companies during that hurricane.

 

Edward Bacon, a Dorchester County resident who lives on Taylors Island, explained that he is a member of the Shoreline Erosion Group, and that the group members are in favor of the Council seeking participation in the Community Rating System (CRS) which will provide over 1,400 property owners in Dorchester County with insurance premium discounts from 5% to 45%.   He said it is his understanding those costs are increasing at the rate of 10% per year.  He said participation in CRS is dependent upon County flood mitigation and emergency preparedness activities and expressed his understanding that more activities need to be conducted within the County in order to meet system requirements.   Mr. Bacon expressed his belief that the freeboard requirement will affect the Taylors Island Volunteer Fire Company members as well as they may have a problem meeting a three foot freeboard requirement for emergency facilities.    He noted that the Shore Erosion Group members support the implementation of a freeboard requirement and said it is his understanding residents who elevate their homes will receive substantial discounts in flood insurance rates.

 

Ray Carbonetta, a Taylors Island resident, said he is in attendance to represent the Shoreline Erosion Group as the Chairman of Board of Directors and echoed Mr. Bacon’s comments regarding the members’ support of a freeboard requirement and County participation in CRS.  He said several months ago a mitigation outreach representative advised the group members that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is facing a $15 billion deficit and that the representative expressed his opinion that insurance premiums will be increased to offset that deficit.  Mr. Carbonetta expressed his concern that the increase will be an economic burden on residents who have flood insurance policies.  He also expressed his support for the adoption of the floodplain management ordinance with the inclusion of the two foot freeboard requirement, which is one of the criteria for local jurisdictions who want to participate in the Community Rating System. 

 

Valarie Parker, a Dorchester County resident,  said she and not her neighbors received the letter advising her that her property is included in the new flood maps and that she was advised her property can be grandfathered in.  She expressed concern about the possible raising of insurance premiums as it was her understanding that the quote of $300 she received from FEMA would not be increased.

 

Mr. Dodd stressed that it is FEMA staff, and not County staff,  that set flood insurance premium rates.  He said he will provide Ms. Parker with contact information for FEMA.  He expressed his understanding that Congress is considering the reformation of the National Flood Insurance Program through legislation and if the bill passes the maximum annual increase will raise from 10% to 20%.  Mr. Dodd noted that flood insurance is subsidized by federal taxpayers and that the implementation of the freeboard requirement and the County’s participation in the Community Rating System will provide financial relief to residents as they will be able to obtain flood insurance at a reduced cost.  

 

In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd said the proposed two foot freeboard requirement will be applicable to new construction projects and for substantial improvements made to a building of more than 50% of the existing value of that structure.  Councilman Travers expressed concern about having different portions of residences and businesses at different levels.  Mr. Dodd said residents have been required since 1981 to raise renovated homes or new additions pursuant to base flood elevation requirements for the area in which they own property.  Councilman Travers questioned whether accessory structures can be eliminated from the freeboard requirement based on his concerns about the increased cost to residents.  Mr. Dodd said individuals are currently required to raise accessory buildings over 900 square feet and that the two foot freeboard will increase that height limit.  He expressed his belief that pursuant to Federal law a flood ordinance with different standards for large accessory buildings versus primary residences and businesses cannot be adopted by a local jurisdiction.    He said Federal law is more restrictive in that accessory buildings over 600 square feet must be raised.   Mr. Dodd noted that a fire house is considered a critical facility and therefore is subject to a higher elevation standard than a residential home because they have to be operational during flood events. 

 

Councilman Travers expressed concern that the Critical Areas laws may prohibit some individuals from raising structures.  Mr. Dodd said that although fill cannot be used to elevate structures in the critical area buffer or in wetland areas there are no restrictions on using fill outside of those areas.  In response to an inquiry from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd advised that the State model flood plain ordinance contains a two foot freeboard requirement.

 

Councilman Travers expressed concern that if the flood plain ordinance is adopted fire companies may have to be elevated substantially which will cause a financial hardship and may not be feasible without limiting truck access to the buildings.  Based on a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd said fire company members can request a variance from the freeboard requirement from the Board of Appeals.    He explained that pursuant to Federal Law critical facilities, which include fire companies, are to be elevated one foot above base flood elevation.  He said it is his understanding that the Council may not adopt a flood plain ordinance without applying the freeboard requirement to all structures.   Mr. Merryweather concurred.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Dodd said that the revised flood plain ordinance must be in place by May 24, 2011.  Mr. Merryweather noted that there will be a 60 day enactment period.  He explained that the Council is federally mandated to adopt a flood plain ordinance by May 24th and suggested that Council adopt the legislation with the caveat that they ask Planning and Zoning staff to provide a review of the application of the new ordinance nine months to a year from the date of adoption and to provide any recommendations regarding possible amendments that may be appropriate.   He stressed that the Council can amend the freeboard requirement at that time, if necessary.

 

The roll call on the enactment of Bill No. 2011-1 was as follows subject to review by Planning and Zoning staff for any possible amendment within a one year period:  Newcomb-aye; Nichols-aye; Price-aye; Travers-aye; Bradshaw-aye.  The Council requested that Planning and Zoning staff provide a follow up report on the implementation of the revised and updated Flood Management Ordinance, including any recommendations to amend the ordinance, by April 1, 2012 for its review and consideration.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

MDE PHASE II IMPLEMENTATION PLAN LOCAL TEAM REPRESENTATION APPROVAL/TMDL PRESENTATION     

 

Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, explained that Maryland Department of Environment staff is working on a Phase II of a Water Implementation Plan to meet targets at County levels for reduction of nutrient and sediment loading to Chesapeake Bay in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved Phase I Water Implementation Plan for the State of Maryland.  He said he is asking the Council for its concurrence in County staff participating in the Phase II process, designation of the Public Works Department as the lead agency in the County relating to Phase II and the adoption of a local team.  Mr. Weber noted that the local team will meet on a monthly basis.     He introduced Rick Eskin from the Maryland Department of Environment and advised that he will be providing a brief overview of the Phase II effort. 

Mr. Eskin noted that local jurisdictions need to develop and meet water quality standards in order to limit pollution under the Federal Clean Water Act.  He said total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), which is the amount of pollutants that can be received by a water body and still meet standards, must be established and that MDE staff want to establish teams in local jurisdictions with representatives from entities that will affected by the implementation of the water quality plan to identify pollution reduction strategies including watershed implementation plans, two year implementation of milestones, and tracking and evaluating mechanisms to monitor environmental updates while reflecting local priorities, plans and visions.    Mr. Eskin advised that MDE staff are currently developing nutrient loan reductions for each County and allocating responsibility for load reductions management.  He explained that any entity that generates significant loads and has the authority or is required to control them will potentially have an allocation including local governments (wastewater, storm water and septic systems), agriculture, State highways and State and Federal facilities and other major facilities. 

 

Mr. Eskin explained that the Federal Clean Water Act consists of three phases with Phase III being the modification of TMDLs and allocations, if necessary and the identification of any changes that may be necessary in order to meet final target loads.  He said it is anticipated that Phase II will be completed by 2017.    Mr. Eskin noted that Phase II includes the development of allocations for wastewater, storm water, septic and agricultural.  He said that State staff is required to complete the Phase II draft plan by the spring of 2012 and that workshop meetings will be held to obtain local input into the development of plan through 2011,  including a second round of regional meetings between March and May of 2011.   He advised that current Maryland Department of Environment staff is working with the waste water, industrial, storm water and septic sectors while Department of Agricultural staff is working with Conservation District staff and the farming community.    Mr. Eskin recommended that the Council take the lead in organizing a local team of representatives that will be most affected by the TMDL reductions, including municipalities, so that input can be provided to the Maryland Department of Environment on the most effective methods specific to Dorchester County to achieve target pollutant reductions.    He said there will be a State liaison assigned to each local team who will be able obtain any technical information the team requires.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Eskin noted that there is no specific funding set aside for the County staff’s participation in the Phase II process although funds have been made available for pollution control initiatives including Bay Restoration Funds, a 2010 Storm Water Trust Fund and other grant programs relating to waste water, septic and agricultural purposes.   Based on a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Eskin said Phase I, II and II are scheduled to be completed by 2020.   Mr. Eskin explained that the Council can choose which plans to implement to achieve targeted TMDLs based on budget concerns once the plans are complete.

 

The Council approved the participation by County staff in the planning of Phase II of a Water Implementation Plan with Maryland Department of Environment staff, the designation of the County as the lead organization of the local team and the local team representation.  The Council acknowledged that the local team consists of the following individuals:  Keith Lackie, MDE Liaison from the Maryland Department of Planning; Mike Moulds, Civil Engineer;  Michael Bonsteel, Critical Area Planner; Greg LeBlanc, City of Cambridge; Jim Newcomb, Soil District; Bill Giese, Blackwater Refuge; William Layton/Bill Edwards, Dorchester County Farm Bureau;  Beth Lynch, Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth; Bill Forlifer, Health Department; Jennifer Dindinger, Choptank Tributary Team; and Russ Brinsfield, Mayor of the Town of Vienna.  The Council further acknowledged that Robert Tieder, President of the Sanitary Commission, will be an auxiliary member of the Local Team.  The Council recognized that by taking the lead and organizing a Local Team of representatives it will allow input to be provided to the Maryland Department of Environment on the most effective methods specific for Dorchester County on achieving target pollutant reductions and that without this representation, the Maryland Department of Environment staff will be forced to make general allocations for the County which may not be the most cost effective or implementable.

 

MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT WAIVER DISCUSSION               

 

Mr. Spears noted that at the Council’s March 1, 2011 meeting he suggested Council target a 5% reduction in Maintenance of Effort funding for the Board of Education which equals $869,477.    He noted that at that meeting Council agreed to meet with Board of Education members/staff in a budget work session on March 9, 2011.  Mr. Spears explained that at that budget work session Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools, and Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, suggested a possible fiscal solution which will provide additional funding without the necessity of pursuing a Maintenance of Effort Waiver.   He explained that the suggestion included using unused funds of $1,581,820 from lapsed capital budget appropriations, including funds from the North Dorchester Middle School and the Dorchester Career and Technology Center projects.    Mr. Spears explained that County Bond Counsel can develop supplemental legislation to identify that funding for new authorized projects for FY 2012 and FY 2013.    He said it is a viable proposal and that Council should consider it in weighing whether to proceed with a Maintenance of Effort waiver.   Councilman Newcomb noted that the deadline to file a request for Maintenance of Effort waiver to the State Maryland Board of Education is April 1, 2011.  Based on an inquiry from Mr. Spears, Mr. Wagner confirmed that the Board of Education members and staff are still willing to proceed as Mr. Spears explained and that they will continue to work with Council during the FY 2012 budget process. 

 

The Council agreed to not seek a Maintenance of Effort Waiver of Board of Education funding for FY 2012 and to use $1,581,820 in unused funds which were designated for the North Dorchester Middle School and Dorchester Career and Technology Center projects for: 1)  capital projects in FY 2012 including Highway projects,  $400,000;  911 FCC required projects, $15,000; 911 UPS backups, $18,000; Airport Paint Hangar Roof,  $ 70,000; Highways Water Well, $7,500 for a total of $510,500; 2) $871,320 for FY 2013 Highway capital projects; and 3) $200,000 to be re-appropriated for use in the FY 2012 Operation Fund.  The Council acknowledged that an amendment will be made to the bond bill for the funds for the Technology Park by authorizing the use of $1,381,820 of those funds from the 2010 bonds issue.   The Council further acknowledged that the $1,581,820 includes unused funds from the North Dorchester Middle School project from General Fund PAYGO-FY009 of $100,000 and the following funds from the Dorchester Career and Technology Center project:  General Fund PAYGO-FY 2007 of $100,000; FY2010 Bonds of $511,820; and construction contingency funds from FY 2010 bonds for $870,000.

 

Councilman Price noted that residents from the northern part of the County have questioned whether consideration can be given to providing transportation for students in that area for courses and athletic programs they partake in at the Cambridge South Dorchester High School.  Mr. Wagner explained that Councilman Price should advise those residents to contact Mr. McCabe with those inquires.

Donald Gray, a Dorchester County resident, expressed his understanding that parents in the northern Dorchester area are concerned about possible reductions in the availability of food for students at lunch.  Mr. Wagner asked Mr. Gray to provide him with this contact information so that he may call him to discuss those concerns.

 

Charlotte Hughes, a Dorchester County resident, said she has contacted Mr. Wagner in the past about several issues and concerns and he has been very accommodating.

 

In response to a question from Wendell Foxwell, a Dorchester County resident, Mr. Wagner advised that all schools are equipped with a defibrillator.

 

Mr.  Wagner expressed his appreciation to the Council members for their past and current working relationship with the Board of Education staff and members.

 

SIX PILLARS CENTURY 2011 BLACKWATER TOUR REQUEST-CHARACTER COUNTS                         

 

Based on a request made by Dr. Lois Narr, a Board Member, Treasurer and Coach for Character Counts! Midshore, the Council agreed to execute a Maryland State Highway Administration Special Events Permit for the Six Pillars Century 2011 Blackwater Bicycle Tour hosted by Character Counts! Midshore to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Council acknowledged that Character Counts! Midshore has provided a Certificate of Liability Insurance and recognized that no streets in the County will be blocked or closed during the event.  Additionally, the Council acknowledged that the tour will consist of four bicycle courses to include an 11-mile family ride, a 37-mile fun and fitness course, a 56-mile Eagleman Ironman 70.3 course and a 100-mile century course.

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

Councilman Newcomb noted that he failed to mention during the public hearing for the flood plain ordinance that Wanda Cole, a Dorchester County resident, provided the Council with a written statement regarding her support for the legislation and that her correspondence has been made a part of the official record.

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