Council members Callahan, Haythe, Mielke and Stepp were in attendance. Council member Lesher was absent.
Update by Maryland Environmental Service – Tim Ford, Managing Director, Environmental Operations, Maryland Environmental Service; Gary Lasako, Project Manager, Maryland Environmental Service – Mr. Ford and Mr. Lasako provided an overview of Maryland Environmental Services (MES), a not-for-profit business unit of the State of Maryland, as well as the history of the Mid-Shore solid waste agreement. In the early 1980s, Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties identified the need for a waste disposal solution. Mid-Shore I landfill was constructed in Talbot County in 1990, Mid-Shore II landfill was constructed in Caroline County in 2010 and Mid-Shore III landfill is scheduled to open in Queen Anne’s County in 2031. MES has submitted a draft Phase I Refuse Disposal Permit application for the proposed Mid-Shore III Regional Solid Waste Facility near Centreville, MD to Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and it is anticipated MDE will take action on the application by March 2023. Since 2012, MES has provided operation of the Mid-Shore Regional Recycling Program. The Homeowner Drop-Off (HODO) and Transfer Station is still operated at Mid-Shore I in Talbot County at 7341 Barkers Landing Road, Easton. Mid-Shore I Transfer Station, from January 2022 – December 2022 collected 40,328 tons of solid waste, 3,689 tons of yard waste and had 35,632 scale house transactions. Mid-Shore II Regional Solid Waste Facility, from January 2022 – December 2022, collected 142,896 tons of billable trash, 8,064 tons of brush, 26 tons of scrap tires, and recycled 36 tons of mattresses. Mr. Lasako noted that MES continues to collect and control landfill gas at Mid-Shore I, manages leachate, and maintains the exposed geo-membrane cap in accordance with post-closure care plan. Mr. Lasako briefed Council on a pilot renewable energy project in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration using a Qnergy Stirling Engine which was commissioned on August 18, 2022 and to date has generated 2,875 hours by combusting methane gas generated by the landfill. Mr. Lasako invited the public to attend the next Household Hazardous Waste Day which will be held on April 15, 2023 in Kent County (HHW-Drop-off-Day-April-2023.pdf (menv.com).
Update by Talbot Humane – Patty Crankshaw-Quimby, Executive Director, Talbot Humane – Ms. Crankshaw-Quimby noted that over the past year, 977 animals have entered direct care through Talbot Humane, 794 animals were adopted, relocated or reunited with their owners or transferred to other rescue groups, 1,264 animals were spayed or neutered, 1,200 animals were microchipped, 327 animals were fostered in the community and over 9 tons of pet food were distributed. Ms. Crankshaw-Quimby highlighted the work of volunteers who donated over 8,000 hours. Talbot Humane has 15 staff members and relies heavily on the support of the volunteers. Animal Control responded to 315 calls for service in 2022 and Ms. Crankshaw-Quimby thanked Animal Control Officer Gonzalez who will be celebrating 20 years of service with Talbot Humane in May. Talbot Humane has received a grant from Maryland Department of Agriculture in the amount of $43,595 for their spay-neuter program. Ms. Crankshaw-Quimby noted that Talbot Humane has an internship program for high school seniors in animal science and encouraged interested students to contact Talbot Humane. Ms. Crankshaw-Quimby invited the Council to tour the Talbot Humane facility located on Ocean Gateway in Easton and noted they are working on plans for a new facility.
Presentation by Talbot County Agricultural Community – Shawn Smith, District Manager, Talbot Soil Conservation District; John Swaine, III, Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Talbot Soil Conservation District and Vice President of Talbot County Farm Bureau; John Barga, County Executive Director, USDA Farm Service Agency; Shannon Dill, Extension Educator – AgFS, University of Maryland Extension – Talbot County – Each of the agricultural agencies provided an update on their particular area of expertise with Ms. Dill noting the overall mission being that farms are profitable and environmentally sustainable. The Cooperative Extension Office provides research and education through 4-H youth development, agriculture and natural resources and horticulture and nutrition. The USDA Farm Service Agency provides implementation and funding through federal programs, farm loans and farm support. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation provides technical assistance of federal programs through conservation planning, soil surveys and financial assistance. The Department of Agriculture provides leadership and support through regulatory development, marketing and conservation efforts. Since 1958, the Talbot Soil Conservation District has been providing technical planning and support of State programs through conservation planning, erosion and sediment controls and land stewardship. The Farm Bureau provides representation and lobbying support. Ms. Dill announced the Talbot County Ag Fair will be held from July 13 – 15, 2023 and invited the Council to coordinate a farm tour either this summer or fall.
Introduction of Numbered Resolution:
A RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE TALBOT COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE WATER AND SEWER PLAN (CWSP) FOR CONSISTENCY WITH DISCHARGE PERMIT NO. 19-DP-3460, ISSUED BY THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT ON OCTOBER 27, 2022 AND TO REQUIRE THAT ANY FUTURE EXPANSION OF THE NEW LAKESIDE WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT SHALL REQUIRE AN AMENDMENT TO THE CWSP was introduced by Council Member Lynn Mielke as Resolution No. 338. County Attorney Patrick Thomas briefed Council on the purpose of the legislation which would incorporate provisions of MDE Discharge Permit 19-DP-3460 into the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan for the Lakeside project. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room located in the Talbot County Courthouse, South Wing, 11 North Washington Street, Easton.
Discussion of General Assembly Legislation:
HB235 – Property Tax – Deadline Extension for Homeowners to Redeem Property Involved in a Tax Sale https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/HB0235. The purpose of the legislation is to extend the amount of time that has to pass after a tax sale before the holder of a certificate of sale of the property may be reimbursed for certain expenses when the property is redeemed.
SB303/HB700 Talbot County – Speed Monitoring Systems – Intersection of Maryland Route 333 (Oxford Road) and Bonfield Avenue https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0303. The purpose of the legislation is to authorize the placement and use of a speed monitoring system at the intersection of Maryland Route 333 (Oxford Road) and Bonfield Avenue in Talbot County, subject to placement and signage requirements.
SB498/HB497 Rural Health Collaborative Pilot Repeal and Mid-Shore Health Improvement Coalition Funding https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/SB0498. The purpose of the legislation is to repeal the provisions of law establishing and governing the Rural Health Collaborative Pilot; requiring the Governor to provide an appropriation in the State budget in certain fiscal years to fund the operations of the Mid Shore Health Improvement Coalition; and generally relating to the Rural Health Collaborative Pilot and the Mid Shore Health Improvement Coalition.
SB777/HB1118 Middle Shore Counties – Sunday Hunting – Repeal of Time Restrictions
https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2023RS/bills/sb/sb0777F.pdf. The purpose of the legislation is to repeal the time restrictions that apply to Sunday hunting in Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot and Wicomico counties.
Each of the bills was read into the record. Council requested more information on the bills prior to taking any action.
County Manager’s Report –
- Board and Committee Appointments
o Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board – Mr. Stamp requested the reappointment of Robert Saathoff, Sr., to the Agricultural Land Preservation Advisory Board. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
o Animal Control Board – Mr. Stamp requested the appointment of Cassandra Vanhooser to represent the agricultural community on the Animal Control Board. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
o Weed Control Committee – Mr. Stamp requested the reappointment of Michael Weaver and the appointment of Lloyd Pahlman to the Weed Control Committee. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
- Request from Eastern Shore Land Conservancy for a Letter in Support of the FY24 Mid-Shore Rural Legacy Applications – Council unanimously approved the request from Eastern Shore Land Conservancy (ESLC), as presented by Anne Roane, Planner III, Talbot County Planning & Zoning, for a letter in support of ESLC’s FY24 Mid-Shore Rural Legacy Applications. No County funds are required. In Talbot County, the Rural Legacy Program area includes the Eastern Shore Heartland Rural Legacy Area southeast of Trappe and the Tuckahoe Rural Legacy Area.
- Request from Department of Parks & Recreation – Recommendation to Award Bid No. 23-02, Grass Cutting Services – Parks, Ball Fields and Landings – Talbot County, Maryland – Council unanimously approved the request from Parks & Recreation to award Bid No. 23-03 to the sole bidder, Riverside Lawn Service, in the amount of $44,994 for the 2023 season. Three potential bidders picked up packets, but only one bidder submitted.
- Request from Department of Parks & Recreation – Recommendation to Award Bid No. 23-03, Portable Sanitary Chemical Toilet Service – Talbot County, Maryland – Council unanimously approved the request from Parks & Recreation to award Bid No. 23-03 to the sole bidder, Pierson Comfort Group, LLC, in the amount of $32,917.50 for the 2023 season. Six potential bidders picked up packets, but only one bidder submitted.
- Request from Department of Parks & Recreation to Enter Into Pool Management Contract Renewal for the 2023 Season – Council unanimously approved the renewal of the pool management contract with Coastline Pool Services for the operation and maintenance of the George Murphy and Bay Hundred pools for the 2023 season in the total sum of $270,000.
- Request from Easton Utilities for a Letter in Support of Federal Funding for Upgrades to the Town of Easton’s Water Treatment System – Council unanimously approved sending letters of support for Easton Utilities’ application for FY24 Congressionally Directed Spending for the upgrade of the Town of Easton’s water supply and treatment system. No County funds are required.
The County Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14th beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Council will be holding budget presentations from County departments and agencies on Tuesday, March 7 at 4:00 p.m. and Wednesday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. The budget presentations will be held in the Bradley Meeting Room and are open to the public.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Letters to Editor
Brice Gamber says
Cudos to Lynn Mielke. She listened to the Public… how refreshing