County Council Meeting Minutes
March 5, 2013
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
March 5, 2013
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on March 5, 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 was 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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; pursuant to §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(10)(ii) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including the development and implementation of emergency plans.
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.
Councilman Newcomb provided an update on the condition of Jane Baynard, County Manager, who is currently on medical leave.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to remove from the agenda a request for a letter of support for the expansion of a local business and to add a request regarding a grant opportunity from the Department of Business and Economic Development for funds for the construction of an incubator facility at the Dorchester Regional Technology Park.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- FEBURARY 19, 2013
The Council approved the minutes of February 19, 2013.
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 $10,278,603.96.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on March 5, 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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; pursuant to §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(10)(ii) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including the development and implementation of emergency plans.
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 following a budget work session on February 28, 2013 to discuss personnel items.
He also announced that the Council convened into an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on March 5, 2013 to discuss the following items: 1) discussed a matter relating to a proposal for a business/organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 2) discussed a grant opportunity for an economic development project-agreed to discuss in open session; 3) discussed an inquiry regarding the leasing of County owned property-agreed to pursue a lease arrangement and requested that legal counsel prepare documents; 4) approved the request of the Emergency Services Director to fill two vacant 911 Dispatcher positions at the 911 Communications Center by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) approved the request of the Emergency Services Director to hire the third recommended applicant on a list provided to the Council at its December 18, 2012 meeting to fill a vacant Basic Life Support position in Emergency Medical Services by a 5 to 0 vote; 6) discussed a public security matter relating to the development and implementation of emergency plan-agreed to schedule a public presentation for a future regular session meeting.
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 SIGNAGE-JEROME HARRIS
The Council agreed to refer the request of Jerome Harris, a Dorchester County resident, for the installation of two 12x60 inches metal green and white “West Vienna” signs, one to be placed on each side of the area designated as West Vienna, to the Traffic Safety Committee.
PUBLIC HEARING-COUNTY SCHEDULE OF FEES AMENDMENT
Per Councilman Newcomb’s request, Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, explained that the public hearing is being held in response to his February 5, 2013 request to amend the County Schedule of Fees to set a Board of Building Appeals Application fee of $500 per case pursuant to Chapter 65 4(H) of the County Code which provides that a local jurisdiction can set an appeal fee at a level necessary to cover direct and incidental costs for the appeal. He said an individual has expressed an interest in filing an appeal.
In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Dodd clarified that Middle Department Inspection Agency staff are responsible for enforcing the County’s building code, pursuant to an agreement between the Council and that agency, and that any appeal would be related to the interpretation of the building code.
Based on an inquiry from Councilman Bradshaw, Mr. Dodd advised that he based a proposed fee of $500 on the anticipated cost of an appeal which includes legal fees.
The Council agreed to establish a Board of Building Appeals Application fee of $500 with Councilman Price opposing.
Mr. Dodd noted that the Council previously agreed to include the buffer mitigation fee of $.40 per square foot instead of $1.50 per square foot in the County’s Schedule of Fees subject to Critical Area Commission approval as part of a text amendment to the County’s Zoning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations for refinements to the County’s Critical Area Program. He explained that the Critical Area Commission members denied the request to change the fee to $.40 per square foot and advised that they will not accept the reduction until County staff can demonstrate that vegetation has been planted on at least 25 acres of land and has survived at least two seasons. Councilman Bradshaw questioned Mr. Dodd’s progress in identifying a County owned property that may be utilized for this purpose. Mr. Dodd explained that he has spoken with Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, regarding the possibility of utilizing a County owned property on Maple Dam Road.
The Council accepted a resolution to amend the County Schedule of Fees to change the minimum buffer mitigation fee from $.40 square foot to $1.50 square foot and to add a Building Appeals Application Fee of $500.
The Council adjourned into Legislative Session.
BILL NO. 2013-1 - AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 25A, SECTION 5(S) OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND REPEALING AND REENACTING SECTION 65-6(A) OF ARTICLE IV, ENTITLED INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE OF CHAPTER 65, ENTITLED BUILDING CODE OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE PROVIDING FOR REGULATIONS FOR ACCESSORY STRUCTURES FROM 300 SQUARE FEET UP TO 500 SQUARE FEET.
At the request of Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Dodd explained that a public hearing is being held on Bill No. 2013-1 which repeals and reenacts Section 65-6(A) of Article IV, entitled “International Residential Code of Chapter 65,” entitled “Building Code of the Dorchester County Code” to provide for regulations for accessory structures from 300 square feet up to 500 square feet including foundation requirements. He said the County’s building code currently requires that all structures 300 square feet or larger must be built on foundations with a full footer, and a foundation wall or a concrete slab. He stated that the proposed legislation creates four different foundation options, including the use of a compacted gravel base, which the builder and/or property owner may choose from. He noted that prefabricated buildings will have to be anchored to the ground.
Robert Macdonald, who resides at 309 South Harrison Street in Easton, said he owns property located at 5227 Mount Holly Road, East New Market on which he would like to place a prefabricated structure. He expressed his support for the proposed regulations. However, he questioned how he can comply with the requirement outlined in the draft bill that all prefabricated buildings must be secured by approved anchor straps which shall encompass the entire width of the building since there are double doors in the middle of the structure he wishes to place on his property.
Mr. Dodd noted that Mr. Macdonald expressed the same concern to him and read into the record a statement of clarification he obtained from Michael Savage, Middle Department Inspection Agency, in which Mr. Savage explained that the intent of the proposed language is to require that anchor straps be placed on all corners of a prefabricated building in order to secure the structure. In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd said he will have to ask Mr. Savage if the proposed legislation can be amended to require that strap anchors are placed on the corners instead of the entire width of the structure.
Wendell Foxwell, resident, questioned whether any soil tests are conducted prior to construction of structures in Dorchester County in light of a recent sinkhole incident that occurred in the State of California. Mr. Dodd explained that the County’s Code Official has the authority to require that testing be performed if he/she believes an area may not be suitable to support a foundation.
The Council closed the public hearing and deferred consideration of Bill No. 2013-1 pending the receipt of clarification regarding the placement of the anchors straps on prefabricated buildings. The Council agreed to continue to accept comments on the legislation.
The Council adjourned into Regular Session.
MOSQUITO CONTROL BUDGET REQUEST-MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Council approved the written request of Michael A. Cantwell, Program Manager, Mosquito Control Division of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, for a commitment of $435,391 for mosquito spraying for the 2013 season from the County’s FY14 budget.
REQUEST TO SUBMIT UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GRANT-INCUBATOR FACILITY-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Council approved the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, to submit a grant application to the United States Department of Agriculture under the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program for $500,000 for the construction of the Dorchester County Eastern Shore Innovation Center (incubator facility) with no local match.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS-DUMPSTERS/PORTABLE TOILETS-MARINE FACILITIES-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to advertise a request for proposals for annual contracts for trash removal and portable toilet service for the County’s marine facilities. The Council acknowledged that funding has been secured through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for this calendar year boating season. The Council acknowledged that next years’ funding from DNR will be for portable toilet service only.
SECOND CHANCE ACT TECHNOLOGY CAREER TRAINING PROGRAM FY13 GRANT SUBMISSION REQUEST-DETENTION CENTER
The Council approved the request of Steve Mills, Warden, and Cindy Smith, Grant Monitor, to submit a FY13 Second Chance Act Technology Career Training Program for Incarcerated Adults and Juveniles Competitive Grant application for approximately $132,832 to assist inmates in the preparation for re-entry into the community thereby improving safety with no local match. The Council acknowledged that an in-kind match will be solicited from community associations and local businesses for project sustainability.
BID AWARD-FABRICATION AND INSTALLATION-HARRIET TUBMAN BYWAY MARKERS-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, on behalf of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Management Board, to award the bid for the fabrication and installation of 17 markers along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway to Allied Signage, the lowest bidder, at the cost of $100,750 and to award the bid to prepare the sites to Bridges Land Management, the lowest bidder, at the cost of $69,342.75. The Council acknowledged that the grant funds from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority and the State Highway Administration are being used to fund the entire project.
REQUEST FOR LETTER OF SUPPORT-SENATE BILL 745-PUBLIC SAFETY-911 EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SYSTEMS-PREPAID SERVICE-COLLECTION OF SURCHARGE
The Council approved the request of Jeremy Goldman, Emergency Services Director, to execute a letter of support for Senate Bill 745 entitled “Public Safety-911 Emergency Telephone Systems-Prepaid Service-Collection of Surcharge” which will establish a prepaid wireless 911 fee of 60 cents per retail transaction for prepaid cell phone cards. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Goldman said the fee, if established, will be collected at the time a prepaid cell phone card is purchased.
911 CENTER PARTNER
Mr. Goldman said the 911 Center Communications Division received a National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 911 Call Center Partner Program Award. He clarified that the 911 Division is the second agency in the State to receive the award. He commended staff for making the safety of the County’s children a priority.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Councilman Newcomb announced that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following actions: 1) approved, by a 4 to 0 vote, the request of the Economic Development Director to re-advertise a vacant Administrative Associate, Advanced position in-house and in a local news publication(s) simultaneously; 2) based on legal advice, agreed to reject all bids received in response to a request for proposals for a Design/Build Team for the Dorchester County Eastern Shore Innovation Center and agreed that the request for proposals can be re-advertised by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) agreed, by a 4 to 0 vote, to execute a Letter of Intent to participate in the Maryland Smart Energy Communities program with no local commitment; and 4) agreed to meet with the Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education in open session for a discussion regarding education in Dorchester County by a 4 to 0 vote.
GRANT OPPORTUNITY-DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – INCUBATOR FACILITY- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Council approved the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, to accept a Conditional Grant from the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund from the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) in an amount not to exceed $500,000 to finance a portion of the costs to construct an incubator, consisting of approximately 15,000 square feet of office space on 4.6 acres in the new Dorchester Regional Technology Park.
In response to a question from Len Pffeffer, a resident who lives at 3707 Fairfax Circle, East New Market, Councilman Newcomb clarified that while Council’s staff attempts to obtain answers from all Council members while conducting telephone polls occasionally they are unavailable. He explained that Council prefers to address items in open session, however, due to timing constraints, telephone polls are sometimes conducted.
Pete Macinta, a Dorchester County resident, thanked the Council for scheduling a public hearing on March 19, 2013 on the draft County Redistricting Plan prepared by the Redistricting Commission members. He expressed his belief that the proposed plan presents a very equitable solution to dividing the County into districts.
In response to an inquiry from Mr. Foxwell, Councilman Newcomb re-announced that the Council agreed to award the bid for the fabrication and installation of 17 markers along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway to Allied Signage, the lowest bidder, at the cost of $100,750 and to award the bid to prepare the sites to Bridges Land Management, the lowest bidder, at the cost of $69,342.75.
Councilman Price advised Mr. Moore that several residents expressed their appreciation for the ditching work Public Works staff recently performed in the northern part of the area and in particular on Palmer Mill Road.
Councilman Newcomb announced that a budget work session will be held on March 14, 2013 at 4:30 p.m. and that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for March 19, 2013.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned into executive at 7:10 p.m. for one personnel item.
ATTEST: DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:
Jane Baynard, County Manager Jay L. Newcomb, President
William V. Nichols, Vice President
Approved the ______day of _______________, 2013.