County Council Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2012
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
July 17, 2012
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on July 17, 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;
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; 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 Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Bradshaw led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to add to the agenda a request to advertise a vacant Maintenance position due to employee resignation and a request from the Public Works Director to advertise for bids for gasoline, diesel and heating fuel for various County facilities.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- JULY 3, 2012
The Council approved the minutes of July 3, 2012.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved the vouchers.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $3,494,683.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on July 17, 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; 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.
Councilman Newcomb announced that the Council convened into an Executive Session at 6:00 p.m. on July 9, 2012 to discuss a personnel matter.
He also announced that the Council convened into an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on July 17, 2012 to discuss the following items: 1) denied the request of the Maintenance Supervisor to re-hire a County employee by a 5 to 0 vote and agreed to consider advertising the vacant position in open session; 2) based on the recommendation of the County Manager, Human Resources Director and Assistant Finance Director, agreed to hire an individual to fill a vacant Grant Monitor position by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) pursuant to the recommendation of the County Manager, the Human Resources Director, the Soil Conservation Board President and the Eastern Shore Regional Coordinator for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, agreed to hire an individual to fill the vacant Soil Conservation Dorchester County District Manager by a 5 to 0 vote; 4) approved the request of the Warden to promote an individual to fill the vacancy of administrative Lieutenant and to fill resulting vacancies (Lieutenant, transfer of Sergeant/Shift Supervisor into Work Programs) and agreed to consider a request to advertise a vacant Sergeant/Shift Supervisor Position in open session by a 4 to 1 vote; 5) discussed long term rental options for a County department/agency; 6) discussed with legal counsel local authorities regarding the Excise Tax-requested additional information; 7) discussed public safety issues regarding County owned facilities-requested additional information.
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.
REQUEST FOR EXTENSION-COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT-HOUSING REHABILITATION-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES
The Council approved the request of Santo Grade, CEO/President, Delmarva Community Services, Inc., for a two month extension of the Community Development Block Grant for the county-wide housing rehabilitation program for Dorchester County from July 31, 2012 to September 30, 2012. The Council acknowledged that to-date 70% or $206,759 of those grant funds has been obligated with a remaining balance of $93,241. Additionally, the Council recognized that there are currently five projects in process that are anticipated to be covered by the balance of the grant funds.
NUISANCE CONTROL DISCUSSION
Jane Baynard, County Manager, noted that Roger Harrell, Health Officer, and William Forlifer, Environmental Officer, recently expressed concern that the County’s Nuisance Control Ordinance currently does not allow for cutting of high grass on residential lots over 40,000 square feet.
Councilman Bradshaw noted that he recently received a request from a resident to increase the lot size allowance in the ordinance to 2 acres.
In response to questions from Councilman Travers, Ms. Baynard and E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, clarified that the increase in the residential lot size will result in more properties being subject to the County’s Nuisance Ordinance and that additional costs could be incurred to mitigate larger parcels. Mr. Merryweather reminded Council that the cost incurred to mow a property will be placed as a lien on the property.
The Council requested that draft legislation be prepared for introduction to change the residential lot size under Chapter 116 "Nuisance Control", Section 116-3 "Definitions" from forty thousand (40,000) square feet or less per dwelling unit to two (2) acres per dwelling unit. The Council recognized its prior approval to single source with Bridges Land Management for contractor services to abate such nuisances in the County.
REQUEST TO REDIRECT FUNDING TO MINI GRANT PROGRAM TO SUPPORT HARRIET TUBMAN INITIATIVES-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to redirect $10,000 of unused funds currently allocated in the Tourism Grant fund for FY10 and FY11 to support the FY13 Mini Grant Program, and in particular projects for the commemoration of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The Council acknowledged that each year the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area awards a total of $20,000 to community organizations in support of various programs and projects.
Furthermore, the Council recognized that if $10,000 worth of viable grant requests for projects relating to Harriet Tubman are not received, unexpended funds will be returned to the Tourism Grant fund.
REQUEST TO HIRE CONSULTANT-HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BYWAY AUDIO GUIDE-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Ms. Fenstermaker to award the bid for the development of an audio guide for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway to Audessey Guides, the second lowest bidder, at the cost of $38,500, based on that company’s experience. The Council acknowledged that the audio guide project will be paid for with Maryland Heritage Area Authority grant and a Federal Highway Administration grant to the State through the America’s Byways program.
VERIZON LEASE EXTENSION-BUCKTOWN TOWER-INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Based on information provided by Don Keyes, Information Technology Director, and Chris Abbott, Communications Technology Specialist, the Council agreed to enter into a Second Amendment to the Tower Lease dated May 30, 1995 between the County and Cellco Partnership, a general partnership of the State of Delaware, doing business as Verizon Wireless, for certain space on the County owned tower located at 2946 Greenbriar Road, Cambridge, Maryland for a third five-year extension term. The Council acknowledged that Verizon Wireless will upgrade their existing equipment at the County's tower, at its cost, to include the addition of antennas and the necessary cabling and amplifiers to support the company's new 4G LTE cellular platform. Additionally, the Council recognized that there will be an increase in the monthly rate on the first day of the first calendar month after the upgrade is complete as follows: $18,270.30 for the remainder of the third extension term; $21,010.85 for the fourth extension term and $24,162.47 for the fifth extension term. Furthermore, the Council recognized that all other terms and conditions of the lease will remain the same.
REQUEST TO USE PARKING LOT/ELECTRICAL OUTLETS-CUBMOBILE DERBY-CUB SCOUTS
The Council approved the request of Michael O’Connor, Chair, on behalf of the Cub Scouts of Choptank District and Delmarva Council, to use the parking lot and electrical outlets at the County Office Building for parking, registration and concessions during its 10th Annual Cubmobile Derby on Sunday, October 7, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the understanding that they will be responsible for cleaning the area. The Council also acknowledged the placement of two sets of recreational bleachers on the front sidewalk at the County Office building during the race to be provided by Recreation and Parks. The Council requested that a certification of liability insurance for the event, which names the County as an additional insured, be provided.
FY13 GOVERNORS OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION GRANT AWARD-SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Council agreed to accept the FY13 Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Grant Award entitled “Monitoring Support” of $7,130 with no local match for the grant period of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 which will be used to offset the salary of the deputy assigned by the Sheriff to monitor sex offenders.
GYPSY MOTH SPRAYING COST ESTIMATES LETTER OF ACCEPTANCE-PARTICIPATION-MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Council approved the written request of Robert L. Tatman, Program Manager, Forest Pest Management, to participate in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Forest Pest Management Program for management of gypsy moth for Dorchester County and its citizens. The Council acknowledged that, based on information relating to gypsy moth populations and trends in the County, up to 75 surveys will be conducted at an estimated cost of $1,125 which represents a 50% cost share for surveys performed on non-State land. Ms. Baynard advised that the cost does not include additional funds that may be needed for aerial spraying.
SPECIAL EVENTS AGREEMENT-WINGS AND WHEELS EVENT-AIRPORT/PUBLIC WORKS
The Council agreed to enter into a Special Event Agreement with Ted Bryant, Committee member, to hold its Wings & Wheels 2012 event at the Cambridge Dorchester Airport, at no cost, on September 8, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a rain date of September 9, 2012. The Council requested that a certification of liability insurance for the event, which names the County as an additional insured, be provided.
AMENDED FIRST/SECOND QUARTER FY12/13 MEETING SCHEDULE TO HOLD ANNUAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The Council approved an amended First/Second Quarter FY12/13 Meeting Schedule which adds November 13, 2012 as an additional meeting date beginning at 6 p.m. for a meeting with the local representatives to the State legislature to discuss local priorities and concerns for the General Assembly in 2014 followed by a meeting with Maryland Department of Transportation officials to discuss the State’s Annual Transportation Plan at 7 p.m.
REQUEST TO EXPEND ADDITIONAL FUNDS-TRANSFER TAX-WINDOW SILLS-CIRCUIT COURT HOUSE-MAINTENANCE
The Council approved request of C.R. Newman, Maintenance Director, to expend additional Transfer Tax funds in the amount of $12,025 for the repair of an additional 21 window sills at the Circuit Courthouse and to waive bids and sole source with Cambridge Cabinet Company. Councilman Nichols opposed, citing his belief that requests for proposals should have been advertised for this work. The Council acknowledged its October 4, 2011 decision to waive bids and sole source with Cambridge Cabinet Company to replace lower sills on the original 50 windows at the Circuit Courthouse, based on that company’s experience with historic renovation.
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 provide a dedicated EMS unit for the 2012 Cambridge Classic scheduled for July 28 and July 29, 2012 by a 5 to 0 vote, at the request of Allen Nelson, on behalf of the Cambridge Power Boat Regatta; 2) designated Councilman Ricky Travers to sit on the Economic Development Advisory Council as the County Council representative.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-CUSTODIAN-MAINTENANCE
The Council agreed to advertise a vacant Custodian position for the Maintenance Department due to employee resignation.
REQUEST FROM THE PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR GASOLINE, DIESEL AND HEATING FUEL
The Council approved request from Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to advertise for bids for supplying gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil to the Department of Public Works, Highway Division, the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport and the Dorchester County Board of Education.
PUBLIC HEARING-WATER AND SEWER AMENDMENT-TOWN OF EAST NEW MARKET
Mr. Merryweather noted that a public hearing is being conducted on an amendment to Dorchester County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Town of East New Market to update current well and pump station information.
Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, advised Council that representatives of the Town of East New Market are seeking grant funding from the Maryland Department of Environment and in order to qualify for that funding an amendment needs to be made to the County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan. He said the Planning Commission approved the amendment request at its June 6, 2012 meeting and agreed to recommend that the Council also approve the request.
There were no public comments.
The Council approved a proposed amendment to the Dorchester County Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Town of East New Market to update current well and pump station information. The Council requested that a resolution be drafted for its review and consideration at its August 7, 2012 meeting.
Les Simering, resident, referenced his concerns relating to the State legislation that passed during the 2011 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session transferring regulatory authority of slot machines for certain nonprofit organizations to the State Comptroller. He expressed concern that as a result of that legislation regulations have been established by the State that prohibit certain fraternal organizations in the County, including the Elks Lodge, from disbursing funds to other organizations, such as the, as they have done in the past. He said it is his understanding that the Elks Lodge cannot disburse funds to the Boy Scout Troop No. 209 because the Elks sponsors the group. He encouraged the Council to review the regulations.
Les Simering noted that the speed limit had been reduced on Bucktown Road to 30 mph. Councilman Newcomb advised Mr. Simering that the road, up to the Dorchester Regional Technology Park, is within City limits.
PUBLIC HEARING-WATER AND SEWER AMENDMENT-TOWN OF SECRETARY
Mr. Merryweather said a public hearing is being held on the amendment to Dorchester County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Town of Secretary to allow for the installation of one new production well to supplement existing supply.
Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, advised Council that representatives of the Town of Secretary are also seeking grant funding from the Maryland Department of Environment and therefore an amendment is required to the County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan. He stated that the proposed amendment was reviewed by several agencies and that correspondence was received from the County Public Works’ Department noting no object to the request. Mr. Banks said the Planning Commission approved the amendment request at its June 6, 2012 meeting and agreed to recommend that the Council also approve the request.
Henry Short, Town of Secretary Mayor, asked the Council to approve the amendment.
The County approved the proposed amendment to Dorchester County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Town of Secretary to allow for the installation of one new production well to supplement existing supply. The Council requested that a resolution be drafted for its review and consideration at its August 7, 2012 meeting.
INVITATION-MARYLAND RURAL COUNTIES COALITION
Blaine R. Young, President of the Frederick County Commissioners, introduced Michael McKay, President of the Allegany County Commissioners, and Ragen Cherney, Ethics Compliance Administrator, Legislative- Constituent Services Coordinator. He extended an invitation to the Dorchester County Council to join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition. He noted that that the coalition currently consists of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick and Washington counties. President Young advised Council that he and Commissioner McKay have met with the Somerset County Commissioners and extended an invitation to them to join the coalition as well. He said the Cecil County Commissioners have agreed to join based on an earlier meeting. He explained that the purpose of the coalition is to represent the unique needs and perspectives of rural counties in the State of Maryland to balance the decision-making process in Annapolis, including voicing collective concerns about PlanMaryland, local land use autonomy, septic and Chesapeake Bay water issues. President Young explained that the coalition retains Bruce Bereano and William R. Mills as consultants. He noted that they have been instrumental in setting up meetings with Coalition members and politicians. He said they also provide weekly updates during the Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session including when hearings are being held on certain legislation that affects rural counties. He explained that members can then participate in those hearings and/or send written correspondence either in favor or in opposition of those initiatives.
Commissioner McKay said he is a first time County Commissioner in his County and noted that as a member of the Coalition he was provided the opportunity to meet with legislators during the 2012 legislative session. He said the Coalition members and Maryland Association of Counties representatives work side by side and explained that last years’ Coalition budget was $20,000 which was split between the four founding counties. He said this year’s budget is also $20,000. Commissioner McKay said the contribution amount can vary from county to county depending on availability of funding.
Commissioner Young explained that expenses during the last session included $10,000 to Mr. Bereano and $7,500 to William R. Mills. He said remaining funds were used to hold a reception for legislators in Annapolis on April 9, 2012 (Sine Die).
Commissioners Young and McKay thanked the Council for allowing them to present information on the coalition.
The Council agreed to join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition and requested that Ms. Baynard and Michael Spears, Finance Director, identify funds for Dorchester County’s contribution.
Councilman Price advised that he attended a special interim Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee meeting on July 11, 2012 and that discussions focused on legislation that passed during the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session relating to septic and local land use control, including the Watershed Implementation Plan and PlanMaryland. He said another major topic was the impact of the shifting of a portion of teachers’ pensions from the State had on local jurisdictions as a result of legislation that was passed during the Maryland General Assembly Special Session.
Councilman Bradshaw thanked the public for their kind words and condolences on the loss of his uncle.
In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Commissioners Young and McKay advised that the Somerset County Commissioners made no decision on whether to join the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition. Commissioner McKay expressed his understanding that the Commissioners will consider their request at their next meeting.
Councilman Newcomb noted that Mr. Grande has sent a response back to the Council’s correspondence regarding his request to expend a portion of the FY2013 appropriation the Council provided Delmarva Community Services for adult day programs with the remaining balance being used for transportation. He said because Mr. Grande could not attend this meeting, a continued discussion on his request will be held at the Council’s August 7, 2012 meeting.
Councilman Newcomb announced that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for August 7, 2012.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
ATTEST: DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:
William V. Nichols, Vice President
Approved the ___day of ________, 2012. Tom Bradshaw