Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 06/20/12

County Council Meeting Minutes

June 5, 2012

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

June 5, 2012


The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on June 5, 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, County Attorney; Jane Baynard, County Manager and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.



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)(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. 



Councilman Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance. 


The Council approved the removal of a request to close Asquith Island and Cannon Road and agreed to add to the agenda FY 12 Budget Transfers requests and a request of Jean Del Sordo, Library Director, for a letter of support for a grant application for the Dorchester County Public Library.  


The Council approved the minutes May 29, 2012. 


The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining for payments made to Simmons Center Market.


The Council approved the following FY12 Budget Transfers: 1) the request of Becky Dennis, Human Resources Director, to transfer $6,000 from advertising to contractual services to cover unexpected legal fees; 2) the request of Michael Faith, Emergency Services Director, to transfer $29,000 from revenue funds collected from Emergency Medical Services billing to new vehicles and/or equipment to purchase an ambulance from the Church Creek Volunteer Fire Department; 3) the request of Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, to transfer $500 from meeting registration and $610 from lodging and meals to pay the copier lease for the remainder of the fiscal year; and 4) the request of Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, to transfer $600 from telephone, $900 from employee uniforms, $1,200 from ball park electric and $300 from ball park maintenance and repairs to the following: equipment rental, $2,000; trash removal $500; and recreation and program supplies, $500, to offset needed expenses that occurred during the fiscal year.  


Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $4,328,894.23. 


The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on June 5, 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; 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)(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) discussed a personnel matter relating to the Emergency Medical Director-instructed staff to gather more information; 2) approved the request of the State's Attorney to hire an individual to fill a vacant Administrative Associate Advanced position by a 4 to 0 vote; 3) approved the request of the Public Works Director to hire an individual to fill a vacant Motor Equipment Operator III position in the Landfill Division by a 4 to 0 vote; 4) based on the request of the Warden to promote an individual to a vacant Lieutenant position, agreed to advertise in-house by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) discussed matters relating to a possible economic development project; 6) discussed information regarding the Dorchester Regional Technology Park; and 7) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to a possible economic development project. 

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. 



Holly R. Ireland, Executive Director, Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc., provided the Council with an overview of the Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems' Community Mental Health Plan in regards to county specific data, Health Care Reform, and Behavioral Health Integration and its' impact.  She explained that Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems provides services for Caroline County, Dorchester County, Kent County, Queen Anne's County and Talbot County.    She noted that core funding for Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. is received from the State which is level funded for the current fiscal year.  She said Federal government grant funds are also used to cover costs for housing and homeless management programs.   Ms. Ireland provided the Council data regarding the number of individuals served by Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. and the amount of funds expended for programs in Dorchester County.  She explained that as part of Health Care Reform mental health and additional programs will be unified at a local level into a behavior health program and that the integration process is being facilitated by Chuck Milligan, Deputy Secretary of Health Care Finance, Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.  She explained that Mr. Milligan's target date to provide a recommendation to the State legislators regarding behavior health integration is September 30, 2012 with potential implementation by January 1, 2014.  Ms. Ireland explained another challenge her agency is facing in FY 2013 is a Statewide $10 million reduction in the fee for services for inpatient hospitalization for Medicaid patients, which calculates to an estimated $262,000 reduction for the Mid Shore and may affect the admittance of an estimated 21 patients. 

At Ms. Ireland's request, the Council agreed to execute the Fiscal Year 2013 Letter of Agreement with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. to act as the agent in oversight, planning and development of the public mental health system in Dorchester County.  


Pete Macinta, Chair, Redistricting Commission, introduced Mike Detmer, Member.  Mr. Detmer presented a draft County redistricting plan, attached.  

In response to an inquiry from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Detmer clarified that the Commission members used the population figures, which include children, from the United States 2010 Census to prepare the proposed maps.  He explained that two of the members' priorities were to keep municipal areas intact and to make the districts as even as possible with little disruption.    Mr. Macinta advised the Council that the maps were unanimously approved by all Commission members.  

The Council requested that more detailed maps including road and street name detail be provided for its review.   The Council members agreed to individually provide any comments they have on the preliminary plan for the Commission members consideration, based on their understanding that the plan is still a work in progress.  The Council recognized that the Commission members meet on June 20, 2012 and that draft maps will also be provided to Election's Office staff to review.   



Pursuant to the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, the Council accepted Resolution No. 521 to establish an Economic Development Advisory Council for the purpose of sharing ideas, solutions and creative approaches to economic development concerns and issues facing Dorchester County businesses, based on its May 8, 2012 approval of the formation of this Advisory Council.  Councilmen Bradshaw and Nichols opposed.  The Council reiterated its May 8th directive that a poultry industry representative be included on the membership list and asked Ms. Haythe to contact Robert Murphy, resident and poultry farmer, to determine if he has an interest in serving as that representative.  The Council acknowledged that some of the members are listed as "to be determined" because Ms. Haythe is in the process of contacting individuals in the utilities and agriculture industries as well as an ex officio member of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce to gauge their interest in serving on this Advisory Council.  Additionally, the Council recognized that once Ms. Haythe has indentified individuals to fill these industry representative appointments she will provide a request to amend the resolution for review and consideration.  


The Council deferred the request of the Council of Nause Waiwash Band of Indians, Inc. for the waiver of landfill tipping fees to dispose of refuse collected during a Fall of 2012 Community Clean Up program from old local cemeteries that have not been maintained to provide Councilman Bradshaw the opportunity to contact  Chief Sewell Winterhawk Fitzhugh to ascertain how much waste will be generated and if there is a possibility that a controlled burn by the local volunteer fire company can be used to dispose of weeds and grass.  


The Council denied the request of Robert Tieder, Chair, Dorchester County Sanitary Commission, for an adjustment of landfill tipping fee costs for the disposal of contaminated dirt, due to a fuel oil spill at the Sanitary District's Jacktown pump station.  The Council acknowledged its understanding that there is certain material that can be decontaminated and then used for cover at the Landfill for which a tipping fee is not charged.  The Council recognized that County staff did not receive prior notification that the material was being transported to the landfill for disposal and noted that because there was no opportunity to discuss the possible decontamination of the material staff disposed of the dirt as waste in a lined cell.   The Council requested that Mr. Tieder contact Tom Moore, Public Works Director, in the future, if such need arises to dispose of contaminated material, to inquire as to whether it can be decontaminated prior to the material being transported to the landfill for disposal.  Councilman Travers requested additional information, including if a company was used to haul the material and if the company representatives were aware that certain material can be decontaminated.  


The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to award the bid for the design of a centennial edition of a driving tour brochure of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway to C & G Partners, the lowest bidder, at the cost of $29,000 to be paid for by a Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant and a State Highway Administration grant. 


Boat Slip Rental Rates

The Council approved the recommendation of Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, based on an prior analysis of the boat slip rental rates currently being paid at each facility conducted by Finance Staff, to maintain the current boat slip rent rates for FY13 as follows: 1) Elliott’s Island slips 16-35 $300 per year, slips 6-15 $325 per year, slips 1-5 $375 per year; 2) Ragged Point slips 19-21 $450 per year, slips 24-34 $450 per year, slips 1-1 8 $500 per year, slips 22-23 $500 per year; 3) Taylor's Island slips 1-4 $425 per year; 4) Tyler's Cove slips 1-26 $425 per year; 5) Trenton Street slips 1-26 $600 per year; 6) Back Creek slips 1-22 $350 per year. 

Boat Lease Agreement Amendments 

Ms. Baynard noted that based on conversations between staff and legal counsel in the last few months specific to enforcement of boat leases and issues at County docks, the boat slip lease has been revised for Council's review and consideration.   She clarified that the amendments include: 1) automatic renewals of slip leases unless one or both of the parties chose to terminate; 2) provisions regarding the removal of sunken vessels; 3) requirement that all lessees complete and furnish a Slip Rent Information Sheet; 4) prohibition for the storage of tools and supplies on the properties as well as a requirement to keep bulkheads clear and unobstructed;  and 5) requirement that a boat slip permit be affixed to each boat in a readily visible location.  She said the color of the permit will vary each year.   Ms. Baynard suggested Council members have discussed in the past amending the lease agreement to allow a charge to be assessed for disposal of personal property left by a Lessee by the Public Works staff or Sheriff's Office personnel.  

Councilman Newcomb noted that the provision regarding sunken vessels sunk at a County facility that has been added to the agreement states that the owner of a sunken vessel has five days to notify the County Council that the vessel has sunk.  He expressed his opinion that the five day period is too long based on his belief that the owner should advise the Council immediately, particularly since there may be oil or other material emanating from the vessel that may leak into the water.   He also noted that the agreement has been revised to include that no person shall utilize the electrical services of the County for the purpose of operating any heating or air conditioning system.  He expressed his understanding that not all boat owners can use the electricity at the same time, noting that several of individuals have advised him that other owners have unplugged their bilge pumps without their permission.  Mr. Moore noted that the County's Ordinance regarding boat slips specifically states that there shall be no use of electrical services except by written consent of the County Council.  

The Council approved the revised Dorchester County Slip Rental Lease contingent upon the agreement being amended to state that the use of electrical services and the provisions regarding the removal of sunken vessels be pursuant to the County's Ordinance and to provide that the cost of any removal of personal property by the County staff or Sheriff's Office personnel will be borne by the lessee.  


 The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to continue the current Intergovernmental Agreement between the Council and Maryland Environmental Services to provide management services at the landfill for fiscal year 2013 with a monthly cost of $6,999 based on an estimated 34 hour work week.  The Council acknowledged that funding for this position has been included in the requested Public Works budget specific to the Landfill Enterprise Fund within the supervisory salary line items that will remain unfilled and that Maryland Environmental Services is responsible for paying for Workers' Compensation coverage for the Landfill Manager under that contract.  Additionally, the Council recognized that the contract can be terminated by the County without cause upon 30 days notice.    


The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to award the bid for the replacement of the roof of the County owned building at 903 Woods Road, Cambridge that is being leased to Interstate Container to RBCI Corporation, to the lowest bidder, at the cost of $725,000 with funding being provided through a 50/50 matching grant with the Economic Development Administration (EDA).  The Council acknowledged that the 50% local match is being provided from Interstate Container Cambridge, LLC and its corporate parent Interstate Resources, Inc.  The Council recognized that the EDA grant project total is $1,215,000 and includes the Roll Room Floor Modification contract which is significantly complete at a cost of $233,972.  The Council further acknowledged that the hauling and disposal of the roof material to be removed is currently not included in the roof replacement contract, but as a result of the favorable bids received on both the floor and replacement projects, those costs are now within the EDA Grant award and that staff anticipate negotiating a Change Order with the low bidder to provides these services.  The Council requested that Mr. Moore work with E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, to prepare a modified lease agreement to include the grant conditions.  


The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to award the bid for road line striping for 2012 to Alpha Space Control Company, the lowest bidder, at the company's submitted proposal amount of $32,147.50, contingent upon the cost above the $25,000 allocated in the 2011-2012 Public Works Line Striping Budget to be paid from other unexpended funds in the current FY12 Public Works Budget. 


The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore and Michael Moulds, Engineer, to make the draft Dorchester County Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan available for public comment until the first County Council meeting in July at the following locations:  the County Office Building, Library, Town, City and Public Works offices as well as the County's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) website. Council further agreed to schedule a public hearing on that date.  


 The Council agreed to the submission of a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant application for a project entitled "Live Scan Fingerprint Purchase" by the Sheriff's Office for funds in the amount of $31,650 with a $5,000 in kind match, to be provided by staff in the Sheriff's Office.  The Council acknowledged that the funds will be used to purchase up-to-date live fingerprint scan equipment, to improve the quality of fingerprint records and increase the number of identifications based on fingerprint techniques.  


 Ms. Baynard reminded Council that Dr. Barbara Viniar, President, on behalf of the Chesapeake College, reiterated her previous request to use of $686,559 from the College's FY 2011 Unrestricted Fund Balance appropriation for the local share of the design costs for the Center for Allied Health and Athletics along with a commitment to fund construction of the project in FY 2014 at the first public hearing on the proposed FY 2013 budget.  Ms. Baynard advised that the anticipated cost for the construction of the project to Dorchester County is $1. 5 million. She said it is her understanding that the Queen Anne's County Commissioners expressed support for this request at a budget work session and the Kent County Commissioners have given their preliminary approval while Caroline County Commissioners agreed not to support the request.    The Council denied the request of Dr. Viniar, to use the College's FY 2012 Unrestricted Fund Balance appropriation for the local share of the design cost for the Center for Allied Health and Athletics and for a commitment to fund construction of the project in FY 2014, citing concerns about the limited availability of funding for capital projects in the County and the financial outlook for FY 2014.  


The Council deferred consideration of the First and Second Quarter FY12/FY13 County Council Meeting schedule.  The Council acknowledged that the schedule as proposed will result in meetings being held on the first and third Tuesdays with the exception of November due to Elections Day, Tuesday, November 6th being a holiday.  The Council recognized that the proposed schedule includes a third meeting to be held on October 30th and only one meeting in November on the 20th.   


The Council, based on the suggestion of Councilman Nichols, agreed to consider a FY13 Holiday Schedule for Dorchester County which includes December 24, 2012 and December 31, 2012 as additional holidays for fiscal year 2013, based on the fact that these two dates fall on the Monday before a County holiday.   The Council requested that clarification be obtained as to whether the addition of these two holidays will have a significant impact on 24/7 public safety operations.  


The Council approved the request of Brett Wilson, Circuit Court Judge, to sole source with CourtSmart to disconnect and then reconnect the Digital Recording System at the cost of $1,575 in order to complete the flooring in Court Room 1, with funds to be provided from the Transfer Tax Fund. 


Council's Correspondence 

 Ms. Baynard noted that in the interim between meetings, Council agreed to send the following correspondence: a letter in support of the Hooper's Island Hosier United Methodist Church's grant application to Preservation Maryland in the amount of $5,000 for the restoration of the Church's exterior to its original condition by a 5 to 0 vote. 

Telephone Poll Confirmations 

 Ms. Baynard also noted that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following action:  voted for all four (4) candidates (John Miller, David E. Carey, Gregan T. Crawford and John "Sonny" Bloxom) for nomination to serve as members of the Local Government Insurance Trust Board of Trustees for a three year term beginning July 1, 2012 by a 5 to 0 vote. 


The Council approved the request of Jean Del Sordo, Library Director, to execute a letter in support of the Dorchester County Public Library's application for a County Public Library Capital Projects grant in the amount of $330,450 to replace the Central Branch Library's HVAC system.  The Council acknowledged that the Dorchester County Public Library Board of Trustees is providing the 50% match ($165,225 from its development fund).  The Council acknowledged that the County cannot provide funding including a local match nor serve as the applicant for the grant and that funding will be provided directly to the Dorchester County Public Library.  


Mr. Macinta reiterated that the Commission on Redistricting will meet on June 20, 2012.  


At the recommendation of Councilman Nichols, the Council agreed to send a letter to Senators Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin for seeking amendments to United States Postal Service Reform legislation during the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session which halted the closing of the mail processing facility in Easton, Maryland. 

Councilman Travers noted that the Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathlon will be held on June 10, 2012. 

Councilman Price said based on calls from several residents he spoke to State Highway Administration officials regarding tall grass along State roadways, particularly those which intersect with County roads.  He said he was advised that State Highway Administration staff will start cutting grass along State roads this week and that they made special note of the intersections residents expressed concern about.   

Councilman Price questioned whether a tire amnesty day will be scheduled in the near future.   Councilman Newcomb noted that in the past the Maryland Department of Environment has sponsored and funded tire amnesty days for local jurisdictions.  The Council asked Mr. Moore to contact the Maryland Department of Environment to determine if funding is available to hold a tire amnesty day in Dorchester County.  

Councilman Newcomb announced that the Council will meet with legal counsel in an Executive Session to discuss proposed Charter amendments on Thursday, June 7th at 4:30 p.m. immediately followed by an Open Session meeting at 5:30 p.m. regarding proposed Charter amendments.  He noted that the next County Council meeting will be held on June 19, 2012 at 6 p.m.  

With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned. 

ATTEST:                                                         DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:

 ______________________________            ____________________________________

Jane Baynard, County Manager                     Jay L. Newcomb, President


                                                                        William V. Nichols, Vice President 


                                                                        Ricky Travers 


                                                                        Rick Price 


                                                                        Tom Bradshaw 

Approved the ______day of _______________, 2012.