Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 12/19/12

County Council Meeting Minutes


December 4, 2012

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

December 4, 2012

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on December 4, 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 and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

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 advice on a legal matter.

 

Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Councilman Price led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.

 

CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA

 

There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- NOVEMBER 13, 2012-NOVEMBER 20, 2012

The Council approved the minutes of November 13, 2012 and the minutes of November 20, 2012.

 

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

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


FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $16,877,401.79.

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30  p.m. on December 4, 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 advice on a legal matter.

 

Motion made, seconded and carried to conduct a closed session pursuant to the above.  All members of the Council voted in the affirmative to conduct the closed session for the purposes stated above and to discuss the topics listed above. 

Action taken at the closed session:1) approved the request of the Warden to hire two individuals to fill vacant Correctional Officer positions at the Detention Center by a 3 to 0 vote; 2) approved the request of the Finance Director to hire an individual to fill a vacant Fiscal Clerk, Advanced position by a 3 to 0 vote; 3) approved a request submitted by Human Resources Director on behalf of Emergency Medical Services Manager to post in-house two vacant Emergency Medical Technician positions by a 3 to 0 vote; 4) discussed the Emergency Services Director vacancy; 5) discussed information regarding Community Development block grant funding that was provided to a local business; 6) discussed with legal counsel and staff a matter relating to a State program; 7) discussed with legal counsel a matter regarding a Seafood Reconciliation Committee decision-legal counsel to prepare response; and 8) discussed with special legal counsel a matter relating to a State mandate.    

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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

COMMENDATION-RETIREMENT-JEAN DEL SORDO                                                                                          

The Council presented a commendation to Jean Del Sordo on her retirement and recognizing her 27 years of dedicated service to Dorchester County.

COMMENDATION-RETIREMENT-JEFFREY BISKACH 

The Council presented a commendation to Jeffrey Biskach on his retirement and recognizing his 26 years of dedicated service to Dorchester County. 

MICHENER BYWAY PRESENTATION-TOURISM  

 

Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, introduced Jim Klein of Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects, Consultant, noting that he will speak regarding the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway, which passes through the following counties:  Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Caroline and Talbot.   Ms. Fenstermaker advised Council that the State Highway Administration is offering a workshop at the Chesapeake College Cambridge Center on December 5, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Recreation Trails Program and available funding sources for tourism projects, for which 15 individuals have registered.

 

Mr. Klein provided a power point presentation regarding the new Corridor Management Plan for the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway noting that the purpose of the plan is to protect and promote the natural and cultural resources found throughout the Byway corridor and to implement strategies for sustainable tourism development based on that heritage.  A copy of presentation is attached.

 

He asked the Council to consider executing a resolution of support for the plan and the inclusion of the plan in the County’s Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Councilman Price requested examples of the physical changes that will occur along the Byway once the plan is implemented.  Mr.  Klein said the most noticeable change will be the replacement of signage.   

 

Ms. Fenstermaker advised Council that there will be an opportunity for smaller local community heritage organizations to request inclusion in the Corridor Plan which will provide them access to additional funding sources.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Klein advised that Smartphone applications will not be added to the signage promoting the byway and tourism that are being installed by the State Highway Administration.  Based on an inquiry from Councilman Travers, Ms. Fenstermaker said Smartphone applications may be added to signs installed at specific locations throughout the Byway once funding has been received and the plan has been implemented.

 

The Council agreed to execute a resolution in support of the Corridor Management Plan for the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway and requested that Tourism staff provide a proposed resolution for Council’s review and consideration.  The Council also agreed to consider the inclusion of the Corridor Management Plan in the County’s Comprehensive Plan and requested that Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, be asked to provide his input on the matter.

 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS                                                                                                                                                              

The Council to elect the following Officers by majority: 

President                 Jay L. Newcomb                                                                    

Vice President                         William V. Nichols 

The ballots were counted and verified by E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist. 

REQUEST TO PLANT LIVING MEMORIAL-DORCHESTER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT                      

The Council approved the request of Roger Harrell, Health Officer, to plant a Magnolia tree on the grounds of the Dorchester County Health Department at 3 Cedar Street as a Living Memorial in the memory of Evelyn Taylor, an employee who passed away on April 25, 2012.   The Council acknowledged that the tree will be planted to the left of the main entrance of the building, entering the parking lot from Dorchester Avenue and that Mr. Harrell will contact Miss Utility prior to the planting.   The Council recognized that the City of Cambridge donated two trees to the Health Department, which were subsequently planted on the Cedar Street property. 

DORCHESTER PREPARATORY PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL-WILLIAM AKRIDGE

William Akridge, Maryland Eastern Shore Charter Alliance Founder, noted that he spoke to the Council at its November 20, 2012 meeting regarding his efforts to start the Dorchester Preparatory Public Charter School in Cambridge.  He said he subsequently provided Council additional information relating to the proposed school.  He explained that while he is currently not seeking Council’s support for these efforts, he may do so in the future.  

He stated that since he last spoke to Council he has received grant funding in the amount of $105,000 from the Todd Fund which is managed by the Mid Shore Community Foundation.  He explained that the award is contingent upon the Dorchester County Board of Education’s approval of his application for the charter school.  

 

In response to questions from Councilman Travers, Mr. Akridge said funding for the proposed charter school will be on a per pupil basis with an anticipated enrollment of 52 students per grade (Grades 6 through 8) and will be provided through the Dorchester County Board of Education.   He advised that he will not ask for any additional funds from the Council and expressed his understanding that the inclusion of the charter school under the local school system will not increase Maintenance of Effort funding requirements.   

 

Based on an inquiry from Councilman Travers, Mr. Akridge explained that capital costs, including construction costs for the facility, will be paid out of the per pupil funding.  He further explained that there will be a limited administrative staff.

 

Councilman Travers questioned whether the charter school will be held under the same accountability and standards as the local school system; if transportation will be provided and what efforts will be made to ensure financial stability.    Mr. Akridge expressed his understanding that the charter school’s accountability will be equal or greater than the local school system.  He explained that the Charter application is essentially a contract with the Board of Education and that the Board can pull the charter if the terms of the agreement are not followed.   He noted that there is a Charter School Advisory Board and that its members will address transportation.   He said while he is in favor of providing transportation to all students, it may not be financially feasible.  Mr. Akridge stated that the founding members will continue to seek grant funds for the charter school and noted that 20% of the operating budget for the proposed facility equals the grant funds obtained through the Todd Fund.  He further explained that they will also seek funds from the private and public sector.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Mr. Akridge said if more than 52 students apply for each grade a lottery will be held.  He explained the lottery process noting that each student will place a numbered ball into a bingo hooper, and that a third party will select the balls.  He noted his understanding that this process is used throughout the State.

 

Based on a question from Councilman Nichols, Mr. Akridge said the proposed charter school will be open to all students, even those who are currently in an alternative school setting, unless there is a student safety issue involved.    

 

Councilman Newcomb recognized that Lorenzo Hughes, the Board of Education’s Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, is present.   

 

Based on a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Hughes said the State Board of Education has given the Dorchester County Board of Education the authority to authorize the charter school and that he has been designated as the Board’s representative.  He explained that at least one meeting will be held with Mr. Akridge on his charter application and that a committee will score his application.  Mr. Hughes further explained that he will then provide a recommendation to Dr. Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools, which will be forwarded to the Board members, who will make the final decision.

                             

Mr. Hughes advised that Mr. Akridge is scheduled to meet with the Board on the charter application on December 12, 2012 and that a second meeting may be held if any clarification is needed.  He said Mr. Akridge will be advised of the Board’s decision on December 20, 2012.

 

The Council thanked Mr. Akridge for providing information regarding his efforts to start a charter school in Dorchester County. 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

LEGISLATIVE REQUESTS-2013 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE SESSION-BOARD OF LICENSE COMMISSIONERS

 

The Council reviewed legislative amendments to Article 2 B, “Alcoholic Beverages,” which the Board of License Commissioners discussed at their November 19, 2012 meeting, and provided for Council’s review and consideration for possible submission during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.   

 

The Council agreed to pursue the amendment of Section 8-210 of Article 2B, “Alcoholic Beverages,” to remove the word “Reserved” and to add language to establish a refillable container license to allow establishments the ability to sell growlers (refillable containers) which consumers can return to the businesses they purchased the container from for a refill of draft beer only, to become effective June 1, 2013.  Councilman Newcomb abstained. The Council acknowledged that the amendment was submitted to the Board of License Commissioners by Travis Todd of Ocean Odyssey and supported by JT Merryweather.  Councilman Travers noted that those individuals are present.

 

Additionally, the Council also agreed to submit to the local delegation a request to amend Section 2-208 (b)(3) to add a new paragraph (iv) and to amend (f)(1) to add new paragraph (iii) to establish a micro brewery license to allow a license holder to open a micro brewery without being required to also sell food, to become effective July 1, 2013.  Councilman Newcomb abstained.   The Council acknowledged that Mr. JT Merryweather and Chris Brohawn requested this amendment because they wish to open a micro brewery-plan in Cambridge and due to a limited budget are unable to add kitchen facilities at this time.    Councilman Travers clarified that Mr. JT Merryweather and Mr. Brohawn have been working with Economic Development staff, who are in favor of the amendment.

 

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS-PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PROJECT

 

The Council agreed to advertise for proposals for a firm or firms interested in negotiating a Solar Photovoltaic System Power Purchase Agreement with the County to design, finance, permit, construct, interconnect, operate and maintain a photovoltaic solar array on County property for the term of 20 years. 

 

REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR PROPOSALS-CRUSHED STONE-PUBLIC WORKS                                            

 

The Council approved the request of Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to advertise a request for proposals for supplying crushed stone used in tar and chip and for other stone requirements to the Highway Division of the Department of Public Works, for the period of January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.  The Council acknowledged that the stone will be purchased with funds from the existing Highway Division budget.    


2012-2013 SNOW REMOVAL PLAN-PUBLIC WORKS 

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to accept the Snow Removal Plan for 2012-2013 utilizing Highway Division staff, Landfill personnel and retirees.   The Council acknowledged that the plan of operations may vary or change, based on equipment availability, type of snowfall and wind conditions and that in the event of heavy snowfall or high wind conditions all County owned and operated equipment, including reserve trucks, will be committed.  The Council further acknowledged that under severe conditions, outside contractors owning heavy construction type equipment and local farmers may be called to assist with snow removal.

 

REQUEST TO REPAIR LANDFILL EXCAVATOR-PUBLIC WORKS                                                                         

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to sole source with State Line Machine, Inc. to repair an oil leak, driveshaft and pins and bushings on the Landfill John Deere 270CLC Excavator at the cost of $16,893.56.  The Council acknowledged that funds under the Repairs and Maintenance line item in the Landfill Enterprise Fund will be used to cover this cost.  The Council recognized that the excavator is used to dig cover material, separate recyclables, repair leachate seeps and to remove metal materials from the working face.  Additionally, the Council acknowledged that Public Works staff will pursue pricing on a possible used Excavator, in anticipation of the need to replace the existing piece of equipment in the future.

 

BAYVIEW AVENUE SHORELINE DISCUSSION-PUBLIC WORKS                                                                                          

 

The Council discussed with Mr. Moore the information he provided, at its request, regarding potential repairs to the Bayview Avenue shoreline at the point where the County right of way extends beyond Riverside Drive to the banks of the Choptank River.

 

The Council acknowledged that staff spoke to Phillips Spedden of Spedden Marine, Inc. who expressed concern that due to shallow water and a sandy bottom it may be problematic to transport stone to the area by barge and therefore the material may have to be lowered from the bank and installed by an excavator.  

 

The Council approved the recommendation of Mr. Moore for staff to continue to speak with Mr. Spedden and/or other marine contractors that will do work in area this summer and then provide additional details as they become available including possible repair scenarios and costs for restoration work at the Bayview Avenue shoreline.  The Council acknowledged that a permit was obtained in December 2010 for repairs to this area and that it runs through December 2013. 

 

REQUEST TO RECONSTRUCT USED OIL RECYCLING FACILITY-GOLDENHILL TRANSFER STATION-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to reconstruct the used oil recycling facility at the Goldenhill Transfer Station, which will consist of the installation of a new double wall oil tank by Maryland Environmental Services, the purchase of a secondary containment platform ($500), the acquisition of a pre-manufactured shed ($1,500) to house the tank and the use of County labor to remove the old building and install the new building ($500).  The Council acknowledged that the total cost of the project is $2,500 which is 100% reimbursable through a Maryland Used Oil Collection Program grant.    

REQUEST TO SEEK QUOTES-REPLACEMENT OF CROSSPIPES-MAPLE DAM ROAD-PUBLIC WORKS 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to seek quotes for the replacement of crosspipes and the associated repair of Maple Dam Road, which was damaged during Hurricance Sandy.   The Council acknowledged that the damage was recorded in the initial FEMA assessment which was performed shortly after the storm and that Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, believes that the repair of this damage through the replacement of these pipes will be eligible for 75% reimbursement through the FEMA Public Assistance Program for Presidential Disaster Declaration.  The Council recognized that the remaining 25% will be covered through Public Works’ existing budget.   

 

REQUEST FOR RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT-NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION INITIATIVE GRANT-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES/HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CHOPTANK

 

Councilman Newcomb noted that a request has been submitted by Cindy Smith, Grants Monitor, on behalf of Delmarva Community Services and Habitat for Humanity Choptank, for a resolution of support for their joint application for funding under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Neighborhood Conservation Initiative.  Ms. Smith said Katie Clendaniel, Delmarva Community Services, and Nancy Andrew, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Choptank are present.  She explained that at its November 20, 2012 the Council accepted a resolution of support for Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s application under the same program for funds for acquisition and rehabilitation of houses for resale to eligible individuals and for redevelopment of blighted or abandoned properties to be used for new housing.    She further explained that Habitat is withdrawing its application and has agreed to file a joint application with Delmarva Community Services seeking funds for the same priority area, Cambridge (prioritizing the City’s Maple Street District).

 

Councilman Nichols expressed his understanding that Ms. Andrew recently attended a City of Cambridge Council meeting regarding Habitat’s application for funding.  In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Ms. Andrew, explained that she did not seek the City of Cambridge Commissioners’ approval for a resolution of support but instead joined City staff in asking them if they would like to become a sub applicant to request funds for demolition.  She said the Commissioners decided not to join as a sub applicant at that time.

 

Ms. Smith clarified that the grant funds being sought are for projects in Dorchester County only.  In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Ms. Clendaniel advised that the request is for $700,000 for Habitat and $800,000 for Delmarva Community Services.  Councilman Nichols questioned how the funding will be used by Delmarva Community Services.  Ms. Clendaniel said the funds will be used for different housing projects within the same area.

 

In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Ms. Clendaniel clarified that the funds will be used to build on the property that was formerly occupied by Dorchester Community Development Center that was recently destroyed by fire.  She said the funds will be used for land acquisition, site development and construction.

 

The Council approved the request Cindy Smith, Grants Monitor, submitted on behalf of Delmarva Community Services and Habitat for Humanity Choptank to execute a Resolution of Support for the submission of the joint application.   Additionally, the Council recognized that the County is not the applicant nor responsible for the administration of the grant and that there is no County financial commitment required. 

 

REQUEST TO SOLE SOURCE TO PURCHASE REPEATER SYSTEM FOR RADIOS-DETENTION CENTER

 

The Council approved the request of Warden Steve Mills to sole source with Teltronic to replace the Repeater System for the radios at the Detention Center at the cost of $3,661 which will be paid from the Building Maintenance line item of the Detention Center’s budget.

 

TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS          

Councilman Newcomb announced that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, Council took the following actions: 1) agreed to accept an offer to settle an overdue Landfill account by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) approved the request of the Local Management Board Director to submit a grant application for $3,000, with no local match, to establish an Early Childhood Advisory Council to review current data specific to early childhood education and identify opportunities and barriers to collaboration and coordination among early childhood education programs, parents and local agencies by a 5 to 0 vote. 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Pete Macinta, Redistricting Commission Chair, noted that the Commission is scheduled to provide a revised redistricting plan to the Council at its January 8, 2013 meeting.  He expressed his understanding that appointments were recently made to the Redistricting Commission but noted that he has not received confirmation of those appointments, nor does he believe the individuals appointed have been advised.  Mr. Macinta said he is planning to hold a meeting on December 19, 2012.  Councilman Newcomb said he will ensure that the proper notification has been made.

 Mr. Akridge extended an invitation to the Council, on behalf of the Maryland Eastern Shore School Alliance, to attend a luncheon on December 15, 2012 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Empowerment Center during which a film will be shown regarding charter schools.

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS/ADJOURNMENT

Based on information Councilman Price provided regarding possible potholes on Wanex Road, Mr. Moore said he will have staff view and repair if necessary.   Councilman Price advised that several constituents have expressed concern about the possible lack of deceleration lanes for some of the crossovers on Route 50 from Aireys Road to Mount Holly Road and questioned whether a request can be made to the State Highway Administration regarding the possible placement of no left turn signs in those areas.   The Council requested that Mr. Moore view the crossovers on Route 50 from Aireys Road to Mount Holly to determine which of those crossovers do not have deceleration lanes and to provide that information for Council’s review.

 

Councilman Price explained that on behalf of Council he attended a Queen Anne’s County Commissioners meeting with the Caroline County Commissioners on November 27, 2012 regarding legislative requests relating to Chesapeake College which include a request to require a super majority vote for any Chesapeake College capital project requiring long term debt service; and to provide the support counties the opportunity to submit nominations for the Board of Trustees for their respective jurisdictions.  He said the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners expressed their understanding that both the Caroline County Commissioners and the Dorchester County Council are facing financial constraints.   He noted that they suggested that the legislative proposal regarding the Board of Trustees be modified in order to allow both the support counties and the Governor to submit names for nominations.   He said no official vote was taken by the Queen Anne Commissioners on either legislative proposal and that they expressed their hope that they can discuss these proposals with the support counties at the Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference.

 

The Council agreed to release the November 23, 2012 voucher submitted by the Sheriff’s Office for Criswell Chevrolet for the purchase of a 2013 Chevy Tahoe in the amount of $26,449, which was previously held in order to obtain additional clarification.

 

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