County Council Meeting Minutes
January 8, 2013
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
January 8, 2013
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on January 8, 2013 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.
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 Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved the following additions to the agenda: a discussion regarding FY13 Weatherization Assistance Program funding, the selection of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Executive Committee County representative and a matter relating to a feasibility study for County facilities.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- DECEMBER 18, 2012
The Council approved the minutes of December 18, 2012.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved the 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 $14,058,776.73.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on January 8, 2013 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.
Action taken at the closed session:1) discussed customer service concerns relating to a County Department and Agency; 2) approved the request of the Emergency Services Director to rehire an individual to fill a vacant 911 Dispatcher position in the 911 Communications Center by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) discussed a matter relating to a County Board; 4) discussed a grant opportunity relating to County owned facilities-agreed to discuss in open session; 5) discussed funding for a proposed economic development project; 6) discussed a request to support a grant opportunity relating to an economic development project; 7) discussed with legal counsel a matter regarding the Circuit Court House; 8) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to a current lease for County owned property; 9) discussed an issue relating to Emergency Medical Services billing.
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.
INTRODUCTION-EMERGENCY SERVICES DIRECTOR-JEREMY GOLDMAN
Councilman Newcomb introduced Jeremy Goldman, the newly appointed Emergency Services Director for Dorchester County, and explained that he will be in charge of the following divisions: Emergency Management, the 911 Communications Center and Emergency Medical Services.
EASTERN SHORE WATERSHED FINANCE CIRCUIT RIDER PROPOSAL-EASTERN SHORE LAND CONSERVANCY
Amy Owsley, Deputy Director, on behalf of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, presented a proposal to pool resources with the Dorchester County Council, Caroline County Commissioners, Cecil County Board of Commissioners, the Kent County Board of Commissioners, the Queen Anne’s County Board of County Commissioners and the Talbot County Council, to hire a watershed finance expert or firm to serve as a regional resource for those local governments at a cost not to exceed $150,000 for a first year pilot program. She explained that some of the responsibilities for the expert or firm hired could include reviewing the Watershed Implementation Plans in the Eastern Shore region to determine shared needs and strengths and researching existing and new funding sources. She recognized that the cost to implement the draft Dorchester County Phase I Watershed Implementation Plan is substantial.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Ms. Owsley explained that it is not mandatory that the Dorchester County Council and other local government jurisdictions provide funding for the position as it is her intention to pursue private and public funding. She said a private entity has agreed to match any funds received for the pilot program.
Ms. Owsley thanked the Council for the opportunity to present her proposal.
Councilman Newcomb noted that Jane Baynard, County Manager, is still on sick leave and that her return date is unknown.
UPDATE-CAMBRIDGE MARINE TERMINAL WATERFRONT PROPERTY
Doug Smith, Jerome J. Parks Companies, provided an update on the Cambridge Marine Terminal Waterfront Property project. He explained that representatives from the City of Cambridge, Jerome J. Parks Companies and Maryland Department of Transportation are participating in 30 minute bi-weekly conference calls during which project updates are provided. He extended an invitation for the County Council to designate a County representative to take part in those conference calls, noting that the Maryland Port Authority staff has also agreed to participate. He said Senator Richard Colburn, Delegate Adelaide Eckardt and Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio have expressed their willingness to assist with the project. He noted that Senator Colburn recently held a meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay with several stakeholders in the project, including the Department of Business and Economic Development, the Department of Natural Resources, the Stadium Authority, the Maryland Department of Planning and the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Mr. Smith explained that engineering studies are being conducted for the replacement of the wharf. He said the updated estimate for that replacement is $5 million and that he is working with Maryland Department of Transportation officials and other agencies to identify funding for the replacement project.
He explained that a community engagement strategy will be undertaken to establish open lines of communication with local business and community service organizations, local fraternal and religious organizations, local City, County and State Education institutions, local environmental organizations, cultural and historic preservation organizations, local philanthropic organizations and general public. He advised that public meetings will be held on the proposed Cambridge Marine Terminal Waterfront Property project, noting that the first meeting will be held on January 17, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Dorchester Career and Technology Center.
Mr. Smith encouraged the Council to submit a letter of support for the grant application which has been submitted by Sailwinds Park, Inc. to the Department of Housing and Community Development through the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund, for $750,000 to enable Sailwinds to acquire vacant properties along Route 50 which will be converted into a Welcoming Gateway entrance to the City. He expressed his belief that the gateway will encourage motorists to explore downtown Cambridge and the Sailwinds Park area. He said it is his understanding that the City of Cambridge Council has agreed to contribute an additional $250,000 to this project.
In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Mr. Smith said proposed drawings and plans for the gateway project have not been developed. He said the grant opportunity was unexpected noting that the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund is a new program being implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development and that there was a short application deadline. He further explained that if funds are approved for the project plans will be developed and provided to the County Council for approval. He said it is his understanding that State, City and County representatives will also be invited to a meeting to discuss the proposed project. Mr. Smith said he is hopeful a response will be received by the end of January 2013.
The Council agreed that in the absence of the County Manager, Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, or Tom Moore, Public Works Director, will participate in the bi-weekly telephone conferences as the County’s representative. The Council instructed Ms. Haythe and Mr. Moore to provide periodic updates.
FY13 MARKETING GRANT AGREEMENT-MARYLAND OFFICE OF TOURISM-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to accept a FY 2013 County Cooperative Marketing Grant Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism in the amount of $47,798 for the period of July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 to fund marketing efforts. The Council acknowledged that the grant cash match is being provided through the FY13 Tourism Department Operating Budget.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS-HARRIET TUBMAN BYWAY MARKER SYSTEM FABRICATION AND INSTALLATION-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Ms. Fenstermaker to advertise separate requests for proposals for the fabrication and installation of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway markers. The Council acknowledged that Ms. Fenstermaker recently advertised these projects together and received no bids. The Council recognized that the project is funded through a Federal Highway Administration grant that was provided to the State, at no cost to the County.
REQUEST TO SOLE SOURCE FOR REPLACEMENT OF SHORELINES FOR RESERVE EMS UNITS-EMS/EMERGENCY SERVICES
The Council approved the request of Jeremy Goldman, Emergency Services Director, to sole source with John Tieder, Inc. the lowest bidder, to replace the shorelines at the 911 Communications Center for the Reserve Emergency Medical Service units that are stored at that location at the estimated cost of $3,635 to be paid from the FY13 Emergency Medical Services budget.
EMERGENCY GENERATOR REPLACEMENT CONTRACT AWARD-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to award the bid to replace the emergency generator at the Department of Public Works to John Tieder, Inc., the lowest bidder, at the cost of $58,700 with 100% of the funding for the replacement being provided through the Federal Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Grant that was awarded to Dorchester County.
APPLICATION FOR CAPITAL PROJECT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE-OLD BEULAH LANDFILL CAPPING PROJECT-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to submit an application to the Maryland Department of Environment for Federal Fiscal Year 2013/State Fiscal Year 2015 Capital Project Financial Assistance under the Clean Water Act for funds in the amount of $8,434,000 to cap the Old Beulah Landfill. The Council acknowledged that if the application is approved assistance will be in the form of a low interest loan and that the County will most likely be eligible for a loan forgiveness of $1 million to $1.5 million under this program.
ABL MANAGEMENT INC. FOOD SERVICES CONTRACT REQUEST FOR CONSUMER PRICE INCREASE- DETENTION CENTER
The Council approved the request submitted by Warden Steve Mills to renew the Food Service Agreement between the County Council and ABL Management, Inc. to include a 2.7% Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase based on the terms of the original contract, for a renewal period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.
CONMED HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT MEDICAL SERVICES CONTRACT REQUEST-CONSUMER PRICE INCREASE/ADDITIONAL FUNDING-DETENTION CENTER
The Council approved the request submitted by Warden Mills to renew the contract between the County Council and ConMed Healthcare Management, the current medical services provider for the Detention Center, to include a 2.5% Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase based on the terms of the original contract for a renewal period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. The Council denied the request of Larry Doll, Senior Vice President, on behalf of ConMed, for funding in the amount of $17,484 for a part time administrative assistant position.
FY2013 WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM APPLICATION-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
Based on the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, the Council
agreed to notify the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) that Dorchester County is no longer interested in administering the Weatherization Assistance Program. The Council acknowledged that the Department of Housing and Community Development will seek a provider for services through their statewide procurement process. The Council acknowledged that the funding must be used in Dorchester County; that the grant will be provided directly to the provider who is selected to administer the program; and that there will be no County involvement in administering the grant.
SELECTION OF TOTAL MAXIMUM DAILY LOAD (TMDL) COALITION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE
The Council selected Councilman Bradshaw to represent Dorchester County on the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Coalition Executive Committee. The Council acknowledged that the first Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at Chesapeake College at 10 a.m. The Council also selected Michael Moulds, Engineer, as the County’s representative on the TMDL Coalition’s Technical Committee.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE – INCUBATOR MANAGER
The Council agreed to advertise a five month contractual Incubator Manager position in the Economic Development Department.
COUNCIL’S CORRESPONDENCE/TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Councilman Newcomb announced that the Council agreed to send a letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski congratulating her on her recent appointment as Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 4 to 1 (no answer) vote.
Telephone Poll Confirmation
He further announced that in the interim between meetings, by means of a poll, the Council, by a 4 to 1 (no answer) vote, agreed to accept a Local Government Insurance Trust training grant award of $2,099.20 for Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, to attend the 2013 National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans from March 25 through March 28, 2013 with no local match and acknowledged that these funds will cover the entire cost for the conference.
FEASIBILITY STUDY-COUNTY FACILITIES
The Council agreed to accept a proposal from Crosby & Associates to conduct a feasibility study to determine the needs for new and/or renovated facilities for the Sheriff’s Office, the 911 Communications Center, the Emergency Management Office, the Emergency Medical Services Center and facilities for Dog Control at the cost of $4,750. The Council acknowledged that unused funds for the Grants Monitor position will be utilized to cover this cost and if any additional funds are needed, Finance staff will identify an additional funding source.
Richard Loeffler, Board Member, encouraged the Council to provide a letter of support for Sailwinds Park’s application to the Department of Housing and Community Development for the Welcoming Gateway project that Mr. Doug Smith referenced earlier in the meeting. Councilman Newcomb advised Mr. Loeffler that the Council would like to view more information on the proposed project, including drawings and plans, prior to making a decision on whether to execute a letter of support.
Ms. Owsley explained that Eastern Shore Land Conservancy staff is working with City of Cambridge representatives to gather citizen input on signage and the proposed design of the intersection by the area to be developed as a Welcoming Gateway. In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Ms. Owsley said plans have not been developed for that phase of the project and that once she has additional information she will provide it to the Council.
Councilman Price noted that during the Maryland Association of Counties Winter Conference in January 2013 representatives from several counties in Maryland expressed concern about the tier map requirements set forth in Senate Bill 236, the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act (adopted during the 2012 legislative session) noting that only 12 out of 23 counties and only 49 out of 61 municipalities have adopted Tier Maps.
He said county representatives also expressed concern about the continued passage of unfunded State and Federal mandates, including the Total Maximum Daily Load requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency. He expressed his understanding, based on information provided by State representatives at the MACo conference, that some of the items to be discussed during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly legislative session include a possible proposal to increase fuel tax, pension system obligations and Medicaid waivers.
Councilman Price noted that properties in the northern area have been reassessed and that assessment notices are being sent to those residents who expressed concern about possible tax increases.
Councilman Bradshaw echoed Councilman Price’s comments regarding the Maryland
Association of Counties Winter Conference. He referenced a January 3, 2013 Star Democrat article for which Delegate Jay A. Jacobs was interviewed. He said in that article it is noted that Delegate Jacobs expressed his understanding that Governor Martin O’Malley is more focused on using State Transportation Funds to fund new capital projects for Metro lines in urban areas than in returning to the historic practice of distributing a portion of fuel tax revenues to local jurisdictions. Councilman Bradshaw also referenced an article in the Sunday News, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania publication, regarding the September 2011 storms (Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee) which created record flood levels along the Susquehanna River during which large amounts of sediment were released into that waterway and travelled to the Chesapeake Bay. He noted that as a result of those storms dead zones were formed in that river.
Councilman Newcomb showed the Council and the public a NASA photograph from the Terra satellite depicting the Eastern Shore and more specifically the flow of sediment from the Susquehanna River to the Chesapeake Bay which was taken on September 13, 2011, a few days after Tropical Storm Lee.
He announced that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for January 22, 2013.
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
Approved the ______day of _______________, 2013.