County Council Meeting Minutes
March 29, 2011
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
March 29, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on March 29, 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,
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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Bradshaw led the invocation and Kadence Robinson, Little Miss Outdoors 2011; Daniel Hessen, Little Mr. Outdoors 2011; and Amanda Robinson, Miss Outdoors 2011, led the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to amend the agenda to allow two individuals to provide comments regarding economic development.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- MARCH 15, 2011
The Council approved the minutes of March 15, 2011.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $5,030,312.08.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on March 29, 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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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) approved a request from the Warden to fill three vacant Correctional Officer positions at the Detention Center by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) discussed information pertaining to personnel issue specific to budget– agreed to request additional information; 3) discussed a possible personnel related investigation with legal counsel; 4) approved a request from the Interim Emergency Medical Services Manager to hire the next applicant to fill an Emergency Medical Technician I position due to the resignation of an individual by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) received an update from staff on the Dorchester County Technology Park including a proposed marketing plan-took no action; 6) discussed with legal counsel a proposal from a business regarding a potential economic development project at the Cambridge Dorchester Airport-decided not to proceed.
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.
COMMENDATIONS-LITTLE MISS OUTDOORS, LITTLE MR. OUTDOORS AND MISS OUTDOORS 2011
The Council presented commendations to Kadence Robinson for being selected as Little Miss Outdoors 2011, Daniel Hessen for being selected as Little Mr. Outdoors 2011 and Amanda Robinson for being selected as Miss Outdoors 2011. Ms. Robinson, Ms. Robinson and Mr. Hessen accepted the commendations.
MARK HILL – HILL’S ELECTRIC MOTORS
Mark Hill of Hill’s Electric Motors stressed the importance of continued funding and support for the County’s Economic Development Department. He explained that during the process of obtaining a site plan for a new building for the business he ran into obstacles, including unexpected nontidal wetland and forest conservation issues. He expressed frustration with the County’s site approval plan process which took over a year to complete. Mr. Hill also expressed his appreciation for Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, and John Mason, Business Attraction and Expansion Manager, who assisted him during that process. He explained that he contacted Ms. Haythe recently regarding an employee’s daughter who moved back to the County after obtaining a culinary degree and that Ms. Haythe provided her with contact information which resulted in her obtaining a job at the Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Regency. In response to questions from Councilmen Bradshaw and Price, Mr. Hill said weather permitting the new building will be built and in service by midsummer and that it is his hope that within a year a half an additional ten employees will be hired. Councilman Travers noted that due to recent State mandates the site approval plan process is now more complex.
The Council thanked Mr. Hill for his comments relating to economic development in the County.
DR. CLAUDE ANDERSON-CEO/PRESIDENT OF WATERLAND FISHERIES
Dr. Claude Anderson, CEO/President of Waterland Fisheries, expressed his support of the County’s Economic Development Department and staff. He also expressed concern about the potential loss of the seafood industry in the County due to overregulation, pollution and overfishing. He said that one of the reasons he picked Dorchester County to farm raise shrimp is the water quality. Dr. Anderson expressed concern about the amount of governmental regulations that businesses must follow and advised that he will have to expend $700,000 to $800,000 in order to meet new Environment Protection Agency regulations by June 2011. He asked the Council to continue to fund economic development and expressed his appreciation of the assistance Ms. Haythe has provided him. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Dr. Anderson noted that it is his intention to expand his business within the scope of his resources in the future by raising tilapia, bass, bivalves, clams and vegetation out of waste water and that he anticipates he will hire 60 to 80 more employees once that expansion is complete.
DORCHESTER SEAFOOD HARVESTERS ASSOCIATION-AQUACULTURE PRESENTATION
Roy Meredith, President, Dorchester Seafood Harvesters Association, expressed concern about the State’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development plan that was implemented in 2010 as the result of the passage of legislation during the 2009 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session which increased the State’s network of oyster sanctuaries from 9% to 24% and increased areas open to leasing for oyster aquaculture. He also expressed concern about House Bill 208 which is being considered by legislators during the current legislative session regarding oyster sanctuaries and private bottom leasing. Mr. Meredith expressed his opinion that the legislation will further impair the seafood industry in Dorchester County and will adversely affect the local economy particularly if more public bottom is designated as oyster sanctuaries in compensation for leased sanctuary space, which will remove those areas from seafood production. He said in additional to the Dorchester County Seafood Harvester’s Association members, the Talbot County Waterman’s Association members, are opposed to the legislation. He noted that the President of that Association, Buddy Chance, is present. Councilman Newcomb noted that the Council, by correspondence dated January 28, 2009 to Department of Natural Resources John R. Griffin, expressed opposition to the State’s proposed Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Plan and the corresponding legislation and that even though local legislators were copied on that letter, the House and Senate representatives unanimously approved the legislation in support of that plan. In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Meredith said he was not aware that the Council had sent a letter. Councilman Newcomb provided him with a copy of that correspondence.
Mr. Chance asked the Council to support the seafood industry in Dorchester County and noted that the Talbot County Waterman’s Association has filed suit against the State regarding the oyster restoration and aquaculture plan. He expressed his understanding that current proposals are to increase the amount of public bottom to be leased to private individuals and entities.
Mr. Meredith said that the majority of Little Choptank as well as a section of the Nanticoke River is already in an oyster sanctuary and that current proposals are to lease portions of the following oyster bars which are located in the Fishing Bay: Beacon Rock, Bees Nest, and Evans Shoal. He asked the Council for their support in making the industry stronger and more viable by sending a letter opposing House Bill 208 and any proposals regarding leasing additional public bottom for private interest.
Mr. Wylie Abbott expressed concern about that individuals who have public bottom leases can harvest seed and shell from oyster sanctuaries to use to grow oysters.
In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Meredith said he and other members of the Dorchester County Seafood Harvesters Association will be contacting the Eastern Shore delegation shortly to garner their support in keeping the seafood industry in the County viable.
Councilmen Price said he spoke to elected officials from the Eastern Shore and southern Maryland at the 2010 Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference regarding his concerns relating to the oyster restoration and aquaculture plan. Councilman Nichols noted that he and several elected officials from the Eastern Shore including representatives from Kent County and Somerset County met the Chairman of the Maryland Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review about their concerns about the proposed plan without success.
Councilman Bradshaw provided Mr. Meredith his business card and he said he will provide any assistance he can to the Dorchester County Seafood Harvesters’ Association to keep the seafood industry viable.
In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Chance said he has spoke to the Talbot County Council regarding his association’s opposition to the proposed legislation and that last year over 300 watermen protested against the oyster restoration and aquaculture plan in Annapolis to no avail. He said Cecil County Commissioner Jim Mullins is Chairman of the Maryland Oysterman’s Association and is working with his organization against the plan.
Councilman Newcomb said as of 2009 the Council had contributed $153,000 in taxpayer dollars for oyster recovery.
Mr. Chance expressed concern that the Department of Natural Resources staff can now issue regulations regarding the seafood industry without going through the State legislative process.
In response to a question from Councilman Bradshaw, Mr. Meredith said it is his understanding that oyster harvesting in the Fishing Bay and in the Little Choptank has increased substantially.
The Council agreed to send a letter to Department of Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin with copies to Governor Martin O’Malley, Eastern Shore legislators, surrounding counties and various seafood commissions and associations opposing any increase to the amount of prime public bottom being leased for aquaculture purposes and additional public bottom being placed in oyster sanctuaries.
MEETING WITH MUNICIPALITIES-TAX DIFFERENTIAL/REBATE
Ms. Baynard stated that pursuant to Section 6-306 of the Tax-Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Council is required to meet annually with municipal representatives to discuss any tax differential or rebate to be established in the County’s proposed budget prior to being adopted. She noted that the Council also historically uses the annual meeting to discuss with representatives of the municipalities various issues concerning their municipalities.
The following municipal representatives joined the meeting: Victoria Jackson-Stanley, Mayor of the City of Cambridge; Gage Thomas, City of Cambridge Commissioner; Robert Herbert, Mayor of the Town of Church Creek; Joyce Spratt, Mayor of the Town of
Mayor Herbert expressed his appreciation for Council’s past support of the Town of Church Creek and that it is his understanding based on a joint resolution between Dorchester County and the Town, the Town will adopt the floodplain management ordinance recently approved by the Council and that County staff will continue to enforce that ordinance within Town limits. He explained that Town staff has applied for grant funds from the Department of Natural Resources to place a gazebo band stand and pavilion at the Town Park and that staff is in the process of updating the Town’s comprehensive plan.
Mayor Stanley commended Ms. Haythe for her efforts in promoting economic development within the County and stressed the importance of business retention. Commissioner Thomas said City Council members recently approved a comprehensive plan for the City of Cambridge.
Mayor Short said Town staff is working on the enhancement of the Town of Secretary’s Veterans Park using Program Open Space funds and that Erin Hill, Highway Safety and Injury Prevention Project Coordinator at the Dorchester County Health Department, is working towards the installation of sidewalk in the Town with funding from the Safe Routes for Schools program.
Mayor James noted that several of the Council members attend Town of Galestown meetings and thanked them for their support. He also expressed his appreciation to Councilman Bradshaw for his assistance with having some road work performed. He expressed concern about the response time of Deputy Sheriffs to calls for assistance in Galestown. Councilman Newcomb noted that Council will pass along those concerns to Sheriff James Phillips.
Mayor Spratt expressed her appreciation for Ms. Haythe’s assistance in helping new and existing business owners within the Town including Dr. Anderson. She asked the Council to not reduce the Sheriff’s Office budget. Mayor Spratt noted that there is currently a lease between the Town of Hurlock and the County Council for the old library building within Town limits provided that it is used as a community center. She said the building is in need of extensive repair and is rarely used and asked Council to consider future uses for that building. She advised that a Town resident has suggested Council consider giving the building to the Girl Scouts. In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mayor Spratt said that the Town Council has made no formal decision to return the building to the County.
Based on a question from Councilman Price, Mayor Spratt noted that two Enterprise zones have been designated within the Town in the past year. She expressed concern about the condition of Nealson Street within the Town limits and noted that because State highway user revenues were drastically reduced there are no funds available to pave that street.
Commissioner Shimek expressed concern that boaters cannot crab or anchor on private bottom that has been leased through the State. In response to a question from Mr. Shimek, Councilman Newcomb advised that Town staff will have to apply to the Department of Natural Resources for funding to place a dumpster at the Secretary Boat Ramp as it is located within that municipality.
Commissioner Reed thanked the Council members for the assistance they provide to the Town of Secretary.
Commissioner Cook noted that it is the intention of the Galestown Town Council to stabilize parking at the Town’s community center and questioned who they should speak to about permeable standards for parking in critical areas. Councilman Newcomb noted that they should speak to Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, or Michael Bonsteel, Critical Area Planner.
Mayor Herbert asked the Council to continue to provide funding to the Circuit Rider Program and for providing a tipping fee credit for community clean up.
Councilman Newcomb noted that the Council has not yet discussed the implementation of a tax differential and/or tax rebate for municipalities during its FY 2012 budget process. In response to a question from Commissioner Thomas, Michael Spears, Finance Director, advised that the tax differential is designed to lessen the tax burden on municipal residents who live in municipalities that provide duplicative services to County funded sources in order to avoid double taxing those residents. He said in FY 2011 a tax differential was provided to the residents of the Town of Hurlock and City of Cambridge of 4.2 cents which was based on the County’s cost of services for the Sheriff’s Office, Planning and Zoning and administrative functions in Human Resources, Information Technology and the Finance Department. Based on a question from Commissioner Thomas, Mr. Spears stated that the two largest components used in calculating a tax differential are assessed values and revenues that are derived from property taxes. He explained that the reason the Council elected to provide a tax differential to residents in the City of Cambridge and the Town of Hurlock instead of a rebate to the City is that the taxpayers receive a larger savings.
The Council thanked the municipal representatives for attending the meeting and providing their comments.
PUBLIC HEARING-ENTERPRISE ZONE EXPANSION APPLICATION-CITY OF
Mr. Merryweather said a public hearing is being held on the submission of an application to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development by the City of Cambridge Council to designate 499 acres within the City limits, with the exception of residential properties, as an Enterprise Zone.
Ms. Haythe explained that the designation of the property as an Enterprise Zone in will allow business owners the opportunity to utilize that designation to obtain tax credits when expanding their business and creating capital investment and new jobs. She noted that the proposed Enterprise Zone includes properties located around the Dorchester General Hospital and industrial properties along
Ms. Haythe advised that the City Council discussed the proposed application at its March 28, 2011 meeting and deferred that discussion until April 11, 2011. She encouraged the Council to move forward with approving the application and explained that if it is not submitted by April 15th, the next date it can be provided to the Maryland Department of Economic Development is in October 2011. She further explained that the completion date of the infrastructure in the Technology Park is August 2011 and any submission after that date may adversely impact the selling of lots in that Park.
Commissioner Thomas said the City Council members received the application late and understand its benefits. He advised that he fully expects that the City Council members will vote in favor of submitting the application at its April 11th meeting.
There was no other public comment.
The Council agreed to execute a Resolution consenting to and making application for 499 acres within the City of Cambridge to be designated as an Enterprise Zone by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and authorized Councilman Newcomb to sign the Enterprise Zone Application cover sheet which will be forwarded to Mayor Stanley for her signature and then forwarded to the Maryland Department of Economic Development.
COUNTY HIGHWAY NEEDS INVENTORY-STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council accepted the State Highway Administration’s Needs Inventory for Dorchester County as proposed with no additions or deletions. The Council acknowledged that the Primary System Highway Needs Inventory consists of US Route 50, Ocean Gateway, MD Route 16 north to Old Ocean Gateway, $63,000, and that the Secondary system Highway Needs Inventory consists of 1) Maryland Route 14, Rhodesdale Eldorado Road, Maryland Route 331 at Rhodesdale to Maryland Route 313, $16,000; 2) Maryland Route 16, East New Market Road, US Route 50 to Maryland Route 392 at East New Market, $83,900; and 3) Maryland Route 16, East New Market Ellwood Road, North limits of East New Market to 0.7 mile south of Maryland Route 331, $15,300. The Council noted that the second need identified in the Secondary System Highway Needs Inventory submitted by the State Highway Administration needs to be changed from Church Creek Road to East New Market Road.
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber, on behalf of Environmental Concern, Inc., Contractor, to execute Change Order Request #3 for the Elliotts Island Wetland Restoration project to make adjustments to the final section of wetland restoration to account for a shortfall in suitable sand from the dredge material placement site and to provide sill protection due to advancing erosion around peninsula and tidal channel locations. The Council acknowledged that with the additional clean sand fill, longer rock sill and deductions for reduced plantings and goose exclusion fencing the change order will increase the contract cost by $72,415 with funding to be provided from the project contingency leaving the Maryland Department of Environment allowed maximum of $50,000 as a set aside for any future road repair requests due to damage from haul vehicles. The Council acknowledged that the Changer Order will be forwarded to the Maryland Department of Environment, the funding agency for the project, for approval.
SEASONAL GRASSCUTTERS DISCUSSION
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to hire four individuals through the Manpower Temporary Employment Agency in Salisbury, Maryland to fill four seasonal grass cutter positions from April 1 to July 1, 2011. The Council acknowledged that they will be employees of the temporary employment agency but will use County equipment.
CONTINUED DISCUSSION-LETTER OF SUPPORT-
Ms. Baynard noted that at its March 1, 2011 meeting, 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 provide their comments on this proposed legislation. She explained 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. Ms. Baynard advised that Elizabeth Hill, Chair, has advised that the Dorchester County Forestry Board members are in favor of supporting House Bill 1224. A motion to send a letter in support of House Bill 1224 died due to lack of majority with Councilmen Travers, Nichols and Newcomb opposing.
AMENDMENT TO CLEAN AND LIEN AGREEMENT-J NEAL TRANSPORT, INC.-PLANNING AND ZONING-ONCE NEAL SIGNATURE OBTAINED
The Council approved the request of Mr. Dodd to amend the Clean and Lien agreement with J. Neal Transport and Excavation, Inc. to legally recognize the change of the company name to J. Neal Transport, LLC. The Council acknowledged that all other terms and conditions will remain the same. The Council acknowledged that on July 6, 2010 Council agreed to waive bids and extend a contract with J. Neal Transport and Excavation, Inc. to conduct property clean up under the County’s Clean and Lien Program for one year, commencing July 2, 2010 and ending July 2, 2011. The Council requested that staff ensure that a new insurance certificate with the name change be provided to County staff.
GRANT EXTENSION REQUEST-MARYLAND HERITAGE AREA AUTHORITY-HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BYWAY
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to execute a Statement of Concurrence for an extension of the Maryland Heritage Area Authority Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway grant to develop an Interpretive Plan, Driving Tour and Website for the byway from February 28, 2011 to December 31, 2011 so that work may continue on the development of the website. The Council acknowledged that the interpretive plan and the driving tour items are complete. The Council acknowledged that the delay on the website is due to the Federal procurement process that was required by the matching grant. The Council further acknowledged that work has begun on the website with completion expected by September 2011. The Council also recognized that the Maryland Heritage Area Authority has approved the amendment to the original timetable and extension of the project completion date.
GRANT APPLICATION REQUESTS-MARYLAND HERITAGE AREA AUTHORITY-FY12 MANAGEMENT GRANT AND HERITAGE TRAILS DRIVING TOURS-TOURISM
The Council approved the request Ms. Fenstermaker to submit a Maryland Management Grant Application to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority (MHAA) in the amount of $100,000 for FY 2012 operating assistance to support management and activities of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. The Council acknowledged that the MHAA grant will be matched through a cash match from the proposed FY 2012 Tourism Operating Budget ($62,045); the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byway Program ($7,011); the private sector ($10,000); and in-kind services match of $21,285.
The Council also approved Ms. Fenstermaker’s request to submit a Maryland Management Grant Application to the MHAA in the amount of $10,000 to fund the design and printing of three brochures for the Heritage Trails Driving Tours to lead visitors on thematic tours through the County and to introduce them to sites and activities that represent County’s heritage area. The Council further acknowledged the MHAA grant will be matched through a cash match from the proposed FY 2012 Tourism Budget ($7,500) and in-kind services ($10,000).
PARAMEDIC UNIT STRETCHER-SERVICE CONTRACT REQUEST-EMS
The Council approved the request of Scott Wheatley, Interim Emergency Medical Services Director, to enter into a service contract with Medpro to maintain Paramedic unit stretchers including stair chairs and mechanical equipment for a twenty four month period, beginning on March 1, 2011, at $3,860 annually. The Council acknowledged that either party can cancel in writing with thirty days notice in advance of any renewal date. The Council further acknowledged that the cost for the service contract is under the County’s bid limit. Additionally, the Council recognized that Mr. Wheatley chose Medpro based on the recommendation of the manufacturer of the stretchers, because it was the closest facility to the area to ensure prompt response time and because the contract offers affordable coverage.
APPLICATION COSTS-MOSQUITO CONTROL
The Council, based on the recommendation of Mr. Spears, agreed to set the per spray application for the 2011 mosquito season from May to September at $16 per application, if performed during a normal workday schedule. The Council acknowledged that the cost is being raised from $13 to $16 to account for escalating costs, including fuel costs. The Council further acknowledged that spraying outside of the normal workday will be $45.00 per application which is set by Department of Agriculture to cover overtime costs for special spraying requests, such as for a wedding or family reunion, over a holiday or weekend.
GRANT APPLICATION-ENFORCING UNDERAGE DRINKING LAWS-SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Council approved the request of Sheriff Phillips to submit a grant application for funds from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention “Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws” Program of $24,100 to cover overtime costs and for public announcements to target enforcement of underage drinking laws in Maryland with no local cash match for the grant period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
Ms. Baynard noted that at its March 1, 2011 meeting, Council deferred the appointment of an individual to the Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board as a private sector representative for
DISCUSSION-PRIOR YEAR ALS FEES BILLED BY SECRETARY VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
Ms. Baynard noted that in the past the Council has had discussions with Sam Yockey, President of the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company, regarding that fire company entering into an agreement for Emergency Medical Services billing relating to advanced life support services provided by County staff and that, to-date, no agreement has been reached. She explained that an ALS Intercept Agreement between the County and the fire company expired in 2005 and that company members continued to bill and collect funds for the ALS services provided by County employees riding on the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company ambulance during the expiration of that agreement without providing reimbursement to the Council. The Council agreed to bill Secretary Volunteer Fire Company for those services based on the total number of transports involving ALS services and based on the full ALS reimbursement rate. Councilman Price opposed and expressed his opinion that the fire company members should be required to return the funds based on the original terms of the ALS Intercept Agreement which include a flat fee of $80 per call and for only those calls for which funds were collected. The Council acknowledged that Secretary Volunteer Fire Company members provided basic life support services for those calls and is entitled to retain all reimbursement for those services.
EXECUTION OF SANITARY DISTRICT BONDS-WOOLFORD SUSQUEHANNA POINT SANITARY DISTRICT PROJECT
The Council confirmed its 5 to 0 telephone poll decision to authorize Councilman Newcomb to execute two Sanitary District Bonds, a $1,754,000 bond and a $290,000, respectively, to the United State Department of Agriculture and a General Certificate of the County for the Woolford-Susquehanna Point Sanitary District project to guarantee the payment of interest when due and the payment of principal at maturity. The Council acknowledged that this action was taken by telephone poll in order to meet bank obligations. The Council further acknowledged that Bill No. 2009-12 was passed on October 20, 2009 which approved the issuance by the Dorchester County Sanitary District of a bond anticipation note of $2,044,000 and two series of bonds in the amount of $1,754,000 bond and $290,000, respectively, for interim financing of the Woolford-Susquehanna Point Sanitary District project with principal and interest on the note and the bonds being guaranteed by Dorchester County provided that they are issued upon the full faith and credit of the County until Sanitary District can sell bonds to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Ms. Baynard noted that, based on Council’s decision during FY 2012 budget discussions to consider advertising requests for proposals for services at the Dorchester Detention Center, Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, has submitted two requests for proposals, one for food services and one for health care for inmates. In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Willey said that Warden Don Satterfield did review the proposal for health care services. He said there is a 90 day termination clause in the current contracts with vendors for inmate food service and health care.
The Council agreed to advertise for Request for Proposals for food and medical services for inmates at the Detention Center contingent upon Warden Satterfield’s review of the final draft of the proposals prior to publication. The Council acknowledged that Warden Satterfield will review all bids received before a recommendation is provided to Council.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard advised that the Council took the following actions in the interim between meetings, by phone poll: 1) agreed to declare April 12, 2011 a Special Legislative Day in order to hold a public hearing on the Bond Bill that was introduced at the Council’s March 15, 2011 meeting by a 5 to 0 vote; and 2) agreed to withdraw its request to be on the Somerset County Commissioners March 29, 2011 meeting agenda to present a presentation on the proposed Mid Atlantic Power Pathway project by a 5 to 0 vote.
Les Simering, a Dorchester County resident, advised that a County resident asked him to inquire as to each Council member’s position regarding the proposed Mid Atlantic Power Pathway project. Councilman Bradshaw stated that he is opposed to the proposed project as currently planned as it will affect the environment and expressed his opinion that the high voltage transmission lines should be installed underground. Councilman Price said he is also opposed to the project as proposed as it will adversely impact farmers and watermen and that he is not convinced that there is a need for additional electrical service. Councilman Newcomb noted his opposition to the proposed MAPP project as designed. Councilman Travers expressed his opposition to the project currently being proposed as it will affect farmers and said it is his opinion that the lines should be installed underground. Councilman Nichols also expressed his opposition to the project with the overhead lines.
Mr. Simering expressed his opinion that Dorchester County needs to be promoted as a business friendly community and noted that three businesses including Tom’s Fire Equipment, Great Slates and Wendy’s closed in the past week. Councilman Travers expressed his understanding that Great Slates will reopen on April 1, 2011 under new management. Mr. Simering said he is sending out 15 emails a week to encourage businesses to locate to Dorchester County and will pass any leads he may garner to the County’s Economic Development staff to pursue. He provided the Council with information regarding funding for volunteer fire companies and said he wants to speak at Council’s next budget work session on March 31, 2011 regarding proposed cuts to that funding.
In response to questions from Wendell Foxwell, a