County Council Meeting Minutes
October 18, 2011
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
October 18, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on October 18, 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 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)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; 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.
Councilman Travers led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
The Council agreed to add to the agenda two requests to advertise vacant positions including one position for the Highway Division of the Public Works Department and one position for the Dorchester County Detention Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- OCTOBER 4, 2011
The Council approved the minutes of October 4, 2011.
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 $7,952,307.32.
CAPITAL PAYMENT AUTHORIZATIONS-BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Council deferred the Capital Payment Authorization requests from Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools in the amount of $1,052,047.53
The Council requested additional clarification regarding the following specific to the Dorchester Career and Technology Center: Xerox Corporation for a down payment for new Xerox copiers in the amount of $35,000; Cambridge Technologies for hospital beds in the amount of $41,317; BDK, Inc. for desk top all in one computer in the amount of $128,425; and Data Networks for Dell laptops and towers in the amount of $252, 750.54 for the Dorchester Career and Technology Center. The Council also requested additional clarification regarding the following checks issued for items for the new North Dorchester Middle School: Rain Maker Irrigation for materials and installation of irrigation at soccer and softball fields of $14,250; Gipe Associates for electrical engineering services for a pump project of $1,217.73; and Shannahan Artesean Well for materials and installation of a four foot irrigation well of $3,764.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on October 18, 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)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; 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 a telephone poll that was conducted in the interim between meetings; 2) met with Warden Mills to discuss personnel matters-agreed to consider a request to advertise a vacant position at the Detention Center in open session; 3) discussed a personnel matter with Sanitary Commission members; 4) approved the Highway Division Manager’s request to fill a vacant Motor Equipment Operator III (MEO III) position by a 3 to 0 vote-agreed to consider a request to advertise the position in open session; 5) agreed to hire an individual as an on call Interim Emergency Medical Services Manager by a 4 to 0 vote; 6) discussed a matter relating to personnel policy-took no action; 7) discussed a lease amendment for County owned property-agreed to move forward with lease amendment contingent upon County staff review; 8) deferred a discussion regarding two existing long term rental options for County departments/agencies; 9) deferred seeking legal advice regarding a pending legislative issue; 10) discussed with legal counsel a matter regarding enforcement of nuisance control issues-requested additional information; 11) deferred a matter relating to public safety.
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.
COMMENDATION-DORCHESTER SKIPJACK COMMITTEE-2011 SKIPJACK RACE
The Council presented a commendation to the Dorchester Skipjack Committee for organizing the 2011 Choptank Heritage Skipjack Race. Ed Nabb and Lou Hyman of the Skipjack Committee accepted the commendation.
Board Appointment- Social Services
The Council approved the request of William McDonnell, Social Services Director, to appoint Jessica Dukes to serve on the Social Services Board to replace Verna Asplen, whose term expired on June 30, 2010. The Council acknowledged that Ms. Dukes’ term will expire on June 30, 2013.
Board Appointments- Redistricting
Pursuant to Section 213 of the County’s Charter, the Council appointed William Tyndall as the District 4 representative on the Commission on Redistricting, based on the nomination of Mr. Tyndall by the Republican Central Committee, to replace Susan Dukes, who resigned. The Council acknowledged the resignation of Barbara “Bobbi” Hall, from the Commission as the At-large Member, based on an opinion obtained from Deputy Administrator Ross Goldstein, State Board of Elections, that serving as a member of the Commission is a conflict with her employment at the Dorchester County Elections Office. The Council further acknowledged that in addition to being appointed as the at-large member, Ms. Hall also served as the Committee’s Chairman and noted that both appointments are the responsibility of the County Council. The Council deferred making an appointment to replace Ms. Hall and to select a Chairman. The Council requested that the Redistricting Commission suspend meetings until a decision is made regarding this appointment at its November 1, 2011 meeting.
The Council adjourned into legislative session.
BILL NO. 2011-7 – AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY MARYLAND TO AMEND CHAPTER 155, ENTITLED ZONING ORDINANCE, SECTION 155-50, LL, SUPPLEMENTAL USE REGULATIONS, SECTION 155-13, TERMS DEFINED, AND SECTION 155 ATTACHMENT 1, TABLE OF PERMITTED USES OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE TO ADD SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE AS A SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE IN THE AC, AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION, AC-RCA, AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION-RESOURCE CONSERVATION AREA, RC, RESOURCE CONSERVATION, B-2, GENERAL BUSINESS, I-1, LIGHT INDUSTRIAL AND THE I-2, HEAVY INDUSTRIAL ZONING DISTRICTS, ADD THE DEFINITIONS OF SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE AND SOLAR ARRAY, AND INCLUDE SUPPLEMENTARY USE REGULATIONS FOR SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE.
E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, noted that a public hearing is being held on Bill No. 2011-7 which is a text amendment to Chapter 155 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the County Code to add solar energy systems, utility scale as a special exception use in the Agricultural Conservation (AC), Agricultural Conservation-Resource Conservation Area (AC-RCA), Resource Conservation (RC), General Business (B-2), Light Industrial (I-1) and Heavy Industrial (I-2) zoning districts; to add definitions of solar energy scales, utility scale and solar array; and to include supplemental use regulations.
Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, explained that the legislation amends the County’s Zoning Ordinance to permit the development of large scale, commercial type solar energy systems in the County provided a special exception is granted. He noted that the Planning Commission has held numerous meetings regarding the proposed changes, received input from residents and individuals in the solar energy field, and reviewed ordinances that were implemented in other counties in the State of Maryland as well as ordinances adopted in Massachusetts and Arizona.
Mr. Banks advised that the legislation includes a minimum lot/parcel size of 25 acres, a screening requirement and requires that an annual report be submitted that includes contact information and whether there has been a change in ownership or management. He explained that the legislation requires that solar energy collective devices, associated buildings and accessory structures meet the principal structure minimum setbacks for the district in which the system will be installed. He said the Planning Commission is recommending that the Council approve the legislation.
In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Mr. Banks stated that he spoke to Jim Newcomb, Soil Conservation Director, regarding his concerns with the continued reduction of productive farmland in the County and how the run-off will be managed. Mr. Banks noted that he told Mr. Newcomb that if there is a disturbance of more than 5,000 feet, a storm water management permit from the Public Works Department will need to be obtained.
Based on a question from Councilman Travers regarding the designation of a special exception, Mr. Banks explained that a public hearing is required as part of the special exception process. He further explained that a solar energy system is considered a special use in Caroline County, Charles County, Wicomico County and Talbot County. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Banks said some of the public’s requests expressed during the Planning Commission’s review were incorporated into the legislation.
Richard Lalka, a Dorchester County resident, recommended that public hearings be held each time a request is submitted for a special exception for the development and installation of a solar farm.
Scott Hawkin advised that he is a Project Manager with Element Power, a national developer of renewable wind and solar projects for utility scale and commercial use with locations throughout the United States. He expressed his support for the legislation because, in his opinion, it will benefit the County and its residents. He also expressed his belief that the legislation is well written and reasonable from both a County and a solar company standpoint.
Bob Dyer, an employee with Asset Advantage, thanked planning staff, Mr. Dodd and Mr. Banks for their efforts in developing the ordinance. He explained that he is currently involved with permitting several solar sites in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Mr. Dyer expressed his belief that the legislation as drafted protects residents while at the same time opens the door to this high technology industry. He encouraged the passage of the legislation.
In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Mr. Banks confirmed his earlier statement that the public hearing requirement Mr. Lalka referenced is included in the legislation. The enactment of Bill No. 2011-7 was as follows: Newcomb-aye, Nichols-aye, Price-aye, Travers-aye, Bradshaw –aye.
The Council adjourned into regular session.
Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, provided a presentation on the Community Rating System program and the feasibility of Dorchester County participating in the program based on his recent attendance at the Emergency Management Institute training. He explained the Community Rating System (CRS) is a program for those communities which participate in the National Flood Plain Insurance Program. Mr. Dodd said Dorchester County has been a participant since 1981. He explained that if Dorchester County participates in the program, approximately 1,419 flood insurance policy holders in the County who pay an estimated $1.2 million collectively may be eligible to receive a savings on their insurance costs. Mr. Dodd noted that the process required of the County to participate in the program includes filing an application and providing documentation regarding the County’s floodplain and emergency management programs to the National Flood Insurance Program. He said County staff will be required to map repetitive loss areas within the County and perform an outreach project to all property owners within those areas in order to be eligible for Community Rating System participation. He explained that a repetitive loss area is an area in which a resident files two or more claims on their flood insurance policy annually and noted that there are 38 properties in the County that need to be included in this repetitive loss map. He said a Community Assistant Visit must then be conducted by Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) staff who will determine eligibility and will assign points to the County that reflect the impact of the County’s activities regarding reducing flood losses and promoting the awareness of flood insurance, to determine the amount a resident may save in flood insurance costs. He noted that some of the activities for which points are awarded require minimal time and cost, such as updating the County’s website to include information on obtaining flood insurance information, while other activities are cost-prohibitive due to current budget and staffing capacities. Mr. Dodd advised that Congress is currently debating the National Insurance Reform Act of 2011 which may increase the cap for flood insurance rates from 10% per year to 20% per year and noted that participation in the system may offset some of that additional cost to residents.
The Council approved Mr. Dodd’s request to seek the County’s participation in the Community Rating System.
FY 12 CAPITAL GRANT AWARD-MARYLAND TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES
The Council approved the request of Santo Grande, President/CEO, Delmarva Community Services, and agreed to accept an FY 12 Capital Grant Award from the Maryland Transit Administration in the amount of $236,860 which includes federal and state funding in the amount of $213,174 and a local match contribution requirement in the amount of $23,686 to be paid by Delmarva Community Services. The Council acknowledged that the funds are for one small bus replacement of $54,934; one medium duty replacement bus of $140,346; and transportation services for units with radios and software licenses of $42,580. Additionally, the Council recognized that no County funding commitment is required.
TRAFFIC SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
Jane Baynard, County Manager, presented the Council with recommendations from the Traffic Safety Committee members based on items discussed at a September 20, 2011 meeting. She noted that Sheriff James Phillips submitted a request to the Committee for no parking signs on Hip Roof Road. She advised that the Committee did not recommend the installation of those signs citing the possible precedence of the signs when similar parking takes place on other County roadways and in belief that there is ample room on this road to park due to the prior widening of the roadway. Ms. Baynard noted that Council received photos of that road earlier in the day from Grady Wilson, resident.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Suzanne Baird, Blackwater Wildlife Refuge Manager, noted that Refuge staff encourage hunters to park on the side of Hip Roof Road to facilitate access to Refuge property, primarily for deer hunting. She expressed her opinion that the shoulders are wide enough on the roadway to allow parking and noted that parking is limited in the Refuge due to low lying land. She explained that the primary reason they suggest that hunters park on the side of the road near an identified hunting location is to spread them throughout the Refuge to increase public safety. Ms. Baird said that those individuals who hunt on the Refuge are informed that they must comply with both Refuge and County regulations and laws. She expressed her support for allowing parking on Hip Roof Road to continue and noted that there is also a private hunting club along that roadway that may be affected if parking is prohibited.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Sheriff Phillips expressed concern about allowing parking on the roadway as he feels it is a public safety hazard. Councilman Newcomb noted that several roads in the County are utilized as parking areas for hunters and expressed concern about setting precedence. Sheriff Phillips expressed concern that even if vehicles are parked beyond the travel lane side, the vehicle’s side mirrors may encroach into the road which is a potential safety hazard. In response to an inquiry from Councilman Travers, Sheriff Phillips noted that there are several other roads in the County, including North Tara Road and Wesley Road, on which hunters park. He said he has had success in asking individuals not to park on certain roads by visiting private hunting clubs and informing their members. Based on a question from Councilman Newcomb, Sheriff Phillips said he and his deputies, even without signage, have the legal authority to ask individuals to remove their vehicles if they are blocking County roadways if there appears to be a public safety risk. Councilman Price expressed concern that if signage is installed on Hip Roof Road it will set precedence and may bring about unintended consequences including impacting churches, whose members often park on the side of County roads, as well as local farmers.
The Council denied the request for signage on Hip Roof Road with Councilman Travers opposing.
Based on a recommendation from the Committee, the Council denied a request presented by Councilman Bradshaw to tar and chip Kelly Road, which is currently a dirt road, because it is cost-prohibitive and no houses are located on the roadway. The Council requested that the Highway Department conduct a traffic study of Kelly Road to determine the number of vehicles that use the road daily.
Ms. Baynard noted that, based on concerns expressed by Reverend Sandra Moore-Brown at the Council’s June 21, 2011 meeting regarding traffic congestion at the intersections of Cordtown Road, Aireys Road and Aireys Road Spur due to parking for patrons of a local establishment, the Committee sought a legal opinion from Mr. Merryweather. She explained that he advised that there may be issues with liability and recommended that an opinion be obtained from the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), the County’s insurer, regarding the County’s exposure due to concerns with poor visibility along a County road. She stated that Local Government Insurance Trust had advised that the Highway Division ensure all steps have been taken to ensure appropriate visibility. The Council approved the installation of “Dangerous Intersection” signs to be placed at the Cordtown Aireys Intersection and on Aireys Road and on Old Route 50 for a total of four signs. The Council acknowledged that Mr. Merryweather concurs with the Committee’s recommendation.
At the Committee’s suggestion, the Council approved the installation of four additional speed limit signs in the Town of Galestown, within the existing enforcement area, based on the request of Mayor Ron James provided the signs are installed at the Town’s expense and with the understanding that if any of the new signs are damaged or stolen the Town will replace those signs solely at their cost.
GRANT AWARD-UPGRADE TECHNOLOGY-GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION-SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Council accepted a Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Grant Award entitled “Upgrade Technology” for the Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $36,000 with no local match for the purchase of ten portable radios to assist the Sheriff’s Office with security enhancement, investigative abilities and communications. The Council acknowledged that the grant period is October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012.
LETTER OF SUPPORT REQUEST-COMMUNITY LEGACY GRANT FUNDING-DORCHESTER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
The Council approved the request of Mickey Love, Executive Director of Dorchester Center of the Arts, and agreed to execute a letter of support for a grant application in collaboration with the City of Cambridge for Community Legacy Grant funding in the amount of $285,000 to complete the Arts Performance Hall with no County funding.
PUBLIC ROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT-SECOND AMENDMENT-DELMARVA REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT GROUP
The Council approved the request of Mr. Dodd to execute a Second Amendment to the Public Road Construction Agreement between Delmarva Real Estate Management Group, LLC and the Dorchester County Council to extend the completion date of public roads serving Phase I of the Pine Top Village subdivision to May 4, 2017. The Council acknowledged that the owner has requested the extension on the basis of a soft housing market. The Council further acknowledged that the amendment to the agreement prohibits the Owner from selling or offering for sale any lots in the subdivision until the roads are completed, inspected and accepted into the County road system.
FISCAL POLICIES-MOTOR FUELS
Ms. Baynard noted that after a bid was advertised for consolidation of fuel purchases and a central dispensing area for County vehicles, the Council requested that Finance staff provide a motor fuels policy to implement that central dispensary site for its review and consideration. She explained that after reviewing the policy at its October 4, 2011 meeting, the Council directed that it be distributed to Department Heads and Elected Officials for their review and comment. She said no comments have been received from Department Heads but noted that Sheriff Phillips is present to provide his comments regarding the proposed policy as it relates to the management of his office. Ms. Baynard noted that the Council, as part of the consideration of a motor fuels policy, also requested staff provide information and prices regarding upgrades at the Highway Division’s existing fueling equipment as it will be the central dispensing site for motor fuels, both gasoline and diesel. Ms. Baynard noted that Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, and Chuck Brooks, Fleet Manager, have provided information regarding various upgrades for Council’s consideration.
Sheriff Phillips expressed his belief that the anticipated savings of $28,000 was calculated incorrectly, particularly since the per gallon savings estimates includes eliminating federal tax while the comparison per gallon cost included that cost. He said it is his understanding that the County is seeking reimbursement of federal tax on prior years purchases for his office. He questioned whether there will also be a reimbursement of taxes from the State. Sheriff Phillips expressed concern that the deputies who patrol in the southern and northern ends of the County will have to travel out of their first due area and incur additional mileage and time to access the central dispensing site which will possibly increase response times in an emergency. He said the Sheriff’s Office receives 35,000 calls per year and expressed his belief that the Council should defer taking any action on the policy in order to obtain an accurate calculation of the savings that will be achieved and to consider the ramifications that policy may have on public safety. Sheriff Phillips requested that the Sheriff’s Office be excluded from the policy if the Council does implement it in order to maintain the integrity of patrol areas.
In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Willey explained that each fuel bidder was asked to quote a price for fuel on a specific date which is tied to the Oil Price Information System (OPIS) price plus delivery charges. He explained that his bid tabulation calculated the difference in the retail gas prices paid by a County employee on that day compared to the specific per gallon bid price. Based on an inquiry from Ms. Baynard, Mr. Willey said the anticipated savings is 47 cents per gallon, of which 18 cents is federal tax. Mr. Willey advised Council that he was assisted in the bid tabulation by Mr. Bill Wise who volunteered to provide his services to the County for this purpose. Mr. Wise, a resident, noted his experience in the fuel industry and clarified that he has no affiliation with any fuel company having retired and said he offered his help as a constituent of the County. In response to an earlier question from the Sheriff regarding State tax reimbursement, Mr. Wise said that the State offers no exemption from State gasoline tax for any entity.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Michael Spears, Finance Director, explained that although staff were advised to set up a federal exempt fuel account, the Sheriff’s Office’s account was not exempt, and therefore staff has submitted a request for the reimbursement of the federal tax is paid. He noted that the reimbursement has not been received to date and is still under consideration by the Vendor. In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Spears noted it became apparent during the bid tabulations that the account was not tax exempt. Mr. Wise clarified that the bill does not indicate taxes are paid and staff would have no way of recognizing that charge.
Based on questions from Councilman Travers, Mr. Willey said Emergency Medical Services staff currently obtain fuel at local volunteer fire companies or use Commercial Fleet Network cards. Mr. Wise noted that these cards are tax exempt.
In response to a question from Ms. Baynard, Mr. Willey estimated that the savings, if calculated without federal tax, is 27 cents per gallon.
Mr. Lalka expressed concern about the length of time deputies and Emergency Medical Services staff will take to fuel up which may impact residents’ safety. He said he is especially concerned about ambulance response times. Councilman Newcomb noted that County ambulance units have 60 gallon fuel tanks and should always have ample gasoline in the unit. In response to a question from Mr. Lalka, Councilman Newcomb said the motor fuels policy includes all County Departments but allows special exceptions to ensure that vehicles have opportunity to get fuel in emergency situations.
Mr. Wise clarified that he suggested that the Council consider a single fueling dispensary system as a part of the recent bid based on his belief that it will result in a savings in fuel costs.
In response to questions from Councilman Travers, Sheriff Phillips said there are gas stations in the northern part of the County, but not in the southern end and that the Highway Division is approximately 14 to 15 miles from the first due area of deputies who patrol in the north. Councilman Travers expressed his opinion that it may not be feasible for deputies in the northern end of the County to travel out of their first due area to obtain gas and another option may be needed to allow them to purchase fuel in their patrol area.
In response to questions from Councilman Newcomb, Sheriff Phillips noted that the two deputies who live in Preston and Delmar have take home vehicle use and that most deputies use a tank of gas each shift.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Spears advised that Aero Energy, the company that was awarded the bid for fuel, has not responded as to whether a purchasing card program can also be established to achieve the same per gallon savings that is garnered by using a single dispensary system at other station locations.
Mr. Willey noted that in the last fiscal year 75% of the in-County fuel purchases by the Sheriff’s Office were purchased in Cambridge with the remaining 25% being purchased at a location away from Cambridge.
Councilman Nichols questioned how many deputies are on each shift and the difference between a deputy in southern part of County traveling to Cambridge to fuel versus a deputy traveling from the northern end. Sheriff Phillips advised that typically three deputies are on each shift and that more calls are received for incidents in the north. Councilman Nichols noted that Caroline County has a centralized fueling location which is utilized by its Sheriff’s Office staff. He requested that information be obtained regarding which counties on the Eastern Shore, including Alleghany County, Washington County and Garrett County, have a centralized location for dispensing fuel.
Sheriff Phillips said he is willing to work with Council and is amicable to Sheriff’s Office staff utilizing the single fuel dispensary as much as possible with the understanding that he needs an alternative fueling source for those deputies who are unable to travel to Cambridge. Councilman Bradshaw questioned whether the County can obtain fleet purchasing cards at a lower per gallon rate than the current purchasing cards. Mr. Wise expressed his belief that using fleet cards may not achieve a substantial savings because the price per gallon typically includes a fee that is provided to independent gas station owners for the use of their facilities.
Mr. Willey noted that the motor fuels policy gives Department Heads authority to authorize the purchase of fuel at other locations under emergency situations or special circumstances. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Willey said deputies and County employees will then be allowed to use County purchasing cards. Sheriff Phillips suggested that the Council defer a decision on the motor fuels policy and allow the Sheriff’s Office staff the ability to use their Exxon Mobil cards, after changing the account to tax exempt, to fuel their vehicles when they are unable to travel to Cambridge.
A motion to defer the implementation of a fuel policy for further information failed with Councilmen Newcomb, Price and Nichols opposing.
Mr. Lalka expressed concern that by using a centralized fueling location, public safety may be negatively impacted. Councilman Newcomb expressed his opinion that pursuant to the policy deputies can use their purchasing cards when they are not able to travel to Cambridge for fuel purchases.
The Council agreed to implement the motor fuel policy which states that the County will contract for all its motor fuels through a bid process conducted annually which is to be delivered to, stored in and dispensed from the County fueling station(s), currently located at the Highway Division Office at 5435 Handley Road, with Councilman Travers opposing.
Ms. Baynard noted that Council was provided information from Mr. Willey and Mr. Brooks regarding possible fuel enhancements at the Highway Division. She noted that the first priority identified by Mr. Willey is to provide access to the fuel dispensary system at the Highway Division 24 hours a day seven days a week by purchasing a security gate and controller. She said the second priority listed by Mr. Willey is to purchase an additional pump. Roy Mills, Highway Division Manager, explained that currently there is only one gas pump with a single nozzle at the Highway Division. He suggested that a dispensary pump with two nozzles be installed. In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Mills said installation of a submersible pump in the existing fuel tank will eliminate the current vapor lock problem and Mr. Willey noted that the cost includes that pump. Mr. Willey said the third priority is the reporting and monitoring of fueling activities. He noted that Mr. Brooks has indicated the cost for fuel collars for vehicles is cost prohibitive and instead he recommends the Council consider installation of a video camera at the fueling station. Mr. Willey advised that in addition to receiving quotes from vendors he has asked Information Technology staff to provide an estimate on the in-house installation of a video camera.
The Council agreed to waive bids and contract with Anderson Fence for the installation of a security gate for the Highway Division in the amount of $9,372 and to waive bids and contract with Trak for the installation of a gate controller in the amount of $6,672. The Council requested that a maintenance agreement for the fence and gate controller be included. Additionally, the Council agreed to waive bids and purchase a second fuel pump from Oil Repair & Installation in the amount of $15,936 and requested that prices be obtained from Information Technology staff on the possible in-house installation of a camera at the Highway Division near the fueling station. Furthermore, the Council requested that Finance staff identify a source of funding for these purchases with the understanding that a budget transfer will then be prepared for Council’s review and consideration. Council acknowledged that the previously approved fuel policy will be implemented after the approved upgrades are complete.
TREE TRIMMING SERVICES-PUBLIC WORKS
Ms. Baynard noted that based on Council’s October 4, 2011 directive, Ms. Mills has obtained prices to possibly contract with a company that provides tree cutting/trimming services to cut or trim trees and tree limbs that may be encroaching on the County’s roadways or in County right-of-ways.
Councilman Travers expressed concern that funding for this work has not been identified. Councilman Bradshaw noted that the Highway Division does not have the appropriate equipment to perform tree trimming services. A motion made by Councilman Price to obtain prices to possibly purchase of a bucket truck was withdrawn based on concerns regarding funding. The Council agreed that Mr. Mills can use local companies in an emergency situation for tree trimming services and requested that he also establish a policy regarding the use of those services on an emergency basis for consistent implementation for its review and consideration with Councilman Price opposing.