County Council Meeting Minutes
January 3, 2012
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
January 3, 2012
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on January 3, 2012 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 and pursuant to §10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all present Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Price led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
Councilman Newcomb introduced Thomas Moore, the new Public Works Director, and advised that the Council has hired Michael Faith as the Emergency Services Director.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to add to the agenda a request to advertise a vacant Motor Equipment Operator III position in the Landfill Division of Public Works due to a recent transfer to fill an Motor Equipment Operator position in the Highway Division that was vacated based on a resignation.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- DECEMBER 13, 2011
The Council approved the December 13, 2011 minutes.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining for payments made to Simmons Center Market. The Council requested that information be obtained about grass cutting for County owned property adjacent to the Visitor’s Center to achieve a savings.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $3,264,548.52.
CATEGORICAL BUDGET AMENDMENT REQUEST-BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Council approved the request of Dr. Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools, to amend the Board of Education’s FY 2012 Operating Budget to increase “Miscellaneous Revenue” by $90,000 to recognize a Federal government reimbursement related to the Board’s Medicare Part D reimbursement program and to use those funds to increase the categorical budget for “Other Instructional Costs” to begin the process of replacing and upgrading aging network servers and data storage systems and to support compliance with State and Federal data requests associated with the Federal Race to the Top requirements.
Based on a question from Councilman Travers, Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, explained that the federal reimbursement is part of the Federal Health Care Plan and there is no guarantee the funds will be available in future years. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Dr. Wagner said the replacement of the servers and data storage systems is a critical need.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on January 3, 2012 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 and pursuant to §10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto.
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) based on the recommendation of the Highway Division Manager agreed to transfer an existing Landfill Division employee to a Mechanic II position at the Highway Division and agreed to consider a request to advertise the resulting vacancy in open session by a 3 to 0 vote; 2) discussed information pertaining to a personnel issue-acknowledged that legal counsel is preparing documentation for Council’s review; 3) met with the Public Works Director and Emergency Services Director separately to discuss certain personnel issues-took no action; 4) discussed a matter relating to properties offered at tax sale-agreed to accept legal counsel’s recommendation.
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.
PUBLIC HEARING-WATER AND SEWER PLAN AMENDMENT-TOWN OF SECRETARY
Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, at the request of E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, introduced a public hearing on the County Water and Sewer Plan amendment filed by Mayor Henry Short on behalf of the Town of Secretary to reflect the replacement of the existing wastewater treatment lagoon with a new Enhanced Nutrient Removal Treatment Plant at the same location on Green Point Road.
He further explained that the project includes the replacement of the existing 0.281 MGD (millions of gallons per day) facility with a new 0.40 MGD capacity plant which will cost approximately $8,000,000. He said the Town has submitted a grant application to the Maryland Department of Environment and advised that, in order for the Town to qualify for funding, the project must be listed in the County’s Water and Sewer Plan.
Mr. Banks also noted that the County Planning Commission has reviewed the project and finds it consistent with the County’s Comprehensive Plan and that both the Dorchester County Health Department and Public Works Department staff have offered their support for the upgrade and expansion of the plant.
There were no public comments.
The Council approved the Town of Secretary’s amendment as presented to reflect the replacement of its existing wastewater treatment plant with a new Enhanced Nutrient Removal Treatment Plant.
REQUEST TO WAIVE BIDS-DOZER UNDERCARRIAGE REPAIR-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Perry Hall, Landfill Foreman, and agreed to waive bids and select the lowest quote by Diesel Dan, LLC of $18,819.40 to repair the undercarriage of a Komatsu Dozer with funds from the 2012 Enterprise Fund’s budget.
POSSIBLE USE OF HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT FUNDS-GENERATOR PURCHASE-PUBLIC WORKS/EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The Council recognized its December 6, 2011 directive to staff to determine whether Homeland Security Grant funding is available to purchase a generator for the Public Works Department. Ms. Baynard stated that, based on information provided by Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, he believes sufficient funding is available from the FY 2010 Homeland Security Grant to acquire the generator. Council approved advertising a request for proposals for that equipment. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that William Wise, a resident with experience in the fuel industry, has volunteered to provide staff assistance in developing specifications for bid documents.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard advised that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following actions: 1) agreed to instruct Department Heads to submit level funded operating budget requests for FY 2013 with any new projects to be clearly defined in attached budget narratives by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) agreed to advertise an Environmental Planner position in the Planning and Zoning Department due to an employee resignation understanding that the phone poll was conducted in order to consolidate advertising costs by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) in order to meet grant submission deadlines, accepted a grant award from the Department of Housing and Community Development in the amount of $36,000 for 2011 Emergency Shelter Grant funding acknowledging that the cash match will be provided through Delmarva Community Services and that the grant period is October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013 and agreed to designate Michelle Nichols, Delmarva Community Services, as the FY 2011 Emergency Shelter Grant Grantee contact by a 5 to 0 vote; 4) due to grant deadlines, accepted a grant award for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Enforcement funding from the Maryland State Highway Administration in the amount of $13,572 acknowledging that the in-kind match of $5,429 will be covered by supervisors’ wages and that the grant period is October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 and agreed to exempt the DUI Enforcement Grant from the 171 hours overtime threshold by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) agreed to send letters in support of State funding the Mid Shore Regional Council and five rural regional councils each to the historically legislative intended level of $200,000 and to provide State funds for the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund at the $4 million funding level noted in the 2006 legislation by a 5 to 0 vote.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE –MEO III POSITION-LANDFILL
The Council agreed to advertise a vacant Motor Equipment Operator III position in the Landfill Division.
CLARIFICATION STATEMENT- VOLUNTEERS
Councilman Newcomb read a statement clarifying that the Council has not adopted any policies in the Emergency Medical Services Division relating to employees serving the community as a volunteer and stated that staff is working with labor counsel to ensure the Emergency Medical Services Division’s compliance with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
Susan Dukes, a Dorchester County resident, questioned whether there are separate definitions for an individual when acting as an employee or as a volunteer. Councilman Newcomb again advised that Council is seeking legal advice.
In response to an inquiry from Maureen Harper, a resident, Councilman Newcomb said the $90,000 Board of Education budget adjustment approved earlier in the meeting allowed the Board of Education to utilize the unbudgeted revenue for capital needs. Based on a question from Les Simering, resident, Councilmen Newcomb and Nichols explained that any unused funds in the FY12 Board of Education budget will be included in its year end fund balance and explained that any requests to transfer funds within the Board of Education budget must be approved by Council.
In response to a question from Ms. Harper, Councilman Newcomb noted that no formal action was taken by the Council to implement the E-Verify program as an employee screening tool.
PUBLIC HEARING-COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AMENDMENT-MUNICIPAL GROWTH MAPS
Mr. Banks recognized a public hearing regarding an amendment to the County’s Comprehensive Plan to update the Land Use Chapter to add maps identifying future growth areas for the Towns of Hurlock, East New Market, Secretary, Vienna, Church Creek and the City of Cambridge. He explained that the maps were revised as mandated by State statute as part of the Municipal Growth Element and that at its December 7, 2011 meeting the Planning Commission reviewed and unanimously agreed to submit a favorable recommendation for the amendment to the Council. Mr. Banks noted that the amendment has been forwarded to the Maryland Department of Planning, to the cities and towns referenced in the amendment and to Caroline, Talbot and Wicomico Counties for review. He said comments have been received from the Maryland Department of Planning and Wicomico County to-date.
There were no public comments.
The Council approved the County Comprehensive Plan amendment to update the Land Use Chapter and add maps identifying future growth areas for the Towns of Hurlock, East New Market, Secretary, Vienna, Church Creek and the City of Cambridge.
In response to a question from Mr. Simering, Councilman Newcomb confirmed that a member of the Redistricting Commission cannot serve as an elected member of another board, such as the Republican Central Committee.
At the request of Councilman Travers, the Council agreed to send a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the State Highway Administration expressing concern about the removal of lighting poles on the Nanticoke River Bridge and the Frederick C. Malkus, Jr. Bridge at a cost of $26,000 versus a $2,000 per year anticipated savings instead of using LED lighting or staggering the use of lights.
Councilman Newcomb stated that members of Council will be attending the Maryland Association of Counties Conference this week and that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for January 17, 2012 at 6 p.m.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
William V. Nichols, Vice President
Approved the ______day of January, 2012. Tom Bradshaw