These highlights only reflect the business items covered from the Council’s approved agenda. To view the complete County Council meeting, please visit: Talbot County Meeting Videos – Talbot County, Maryland (www.talbotcountymd.gov).
Proclamation – National Human Trafficking Prevention Month – January 2023 – The Council presented a proclamation to Julie Crain, President, Harriett’s House, for National Human Trafficking Prevention Month – January 2023. The proclamation noted that the Eastern Shore Human Trafficking Task Force is engaged in anti-human trafficking activities by encouraging and promoting awareness of the issue of human trafficking and the factors that contribute to same, including the overuse of the internet and social media, involvement with pornography, poverty and drug abuse, a lack of awareness, and changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the work being done to prevent this crime. The Council urged all citizens to actively work toward the prevention of human trafficking, prosecution of its perpetrators, and support of the survivors of this horrendous crime.
Proclamation – Dr. Martin Luther King., Jr. Day – January 16, 2023 – The Council presented a proclamation to Corey Pack and Sgt. Tim Larrimore, Easton Police Department, in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 16, 2023. The proclamation noted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy as a passionate leader in the Civil Rights movement who tirelessly promoted his teachings and philosophy of love, tolerance and nonviolence, dedicating his life to advancing social justice, equality and freedom for all people across the United States and whose life and legacy continue to inspire us to pursue a move just society and to stand up against discrimination, injustice and violence. The Council urged all citizens to embody Dr. King’s ideals to lift one another up regardless of race, gender, creed or religion, rising to the principles first enshrined in the documents of our Founding Fathers. Mr. Pack and Sgt. Larrimore briefed the Council on the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Basketball Classic that will be held at the Easton Middle School and YMCA of the Chesapeake – Easton Branch on Monday, January 16, 2023 beginning at 8:00 a.m. for boys and girls in grades 5-8, and invited the public to attend.
Presentation by Delmarva Community Services, Inc. on Transportation Development Plan for Caroline, Kent and Talbot Counties – Santo Grande, Director and Keith Adkins, Deputy Director, Delmarva Community Services – Mr. Grande and Mr. Adkins briefed Council on the Transportation Development Plan developed by KFH Group Inc. for Caroline, Kent and Talbot Counties. In developing the Plan, discussions were held regarding expanded services, improved bus stop amenities, employer based programs and future development in each of the counties. An advisory committee was formed with representatives from Caroline, Kent and Talbot counties with additional input being sought from economic development in each county, the University of Maryland, United Way of Kent County, Chesapeake College and Chesapeake Center. Data was gathered through rider, community and employer surveys. Rider survey reflected 65% of the respondents use Delmarva Community Transit (DCT) for work, 15% for social and recreational trips, with most respondents using the bus service 5-6 times per week. 35% of respondents indicated that without access to DCT, they would have had to ask family or friends to take them. 34% indicated that without access to DCT they would have no transportation access. 77% asked for additional service on Saturdays, 36% asked for service on Sundays and 26% asked for evening service. 89% of all riders do not have access to a vehicle and 70% responded they do not hold a valid driver’s license. Mr. Grande and Mr. Adkins thanked Talbot County for being the lead grant agency on behalf of Caroline and Kent counties and noted that Talbot County has the first Mobility on Demand service for the upper shore. Council will take action on the Transportation Development Plan at their next meeting on January 24, 2023.
Presentation by Talbot County Free Library – Dana Newman, Director, Talbot County Free Library –Dana Newman and Susan Sherman, President, Talbot County Free Library Board of Trustees updated the Council on the 2023-2025 Strategic Plan for the Talbot County Free Library and plans to expand and renovate the St. Michaels branch. Ms. Newman noted that through a strategic planning process, the library has an updated vision statement, “The Talbot County Free Library is an integral part of the community, fostering a spirit of exploration and discovery. We cultivate lifelong learning, creativity, and enrichment.” Ms. Newman also provided the following statistics for 2022: 27,916 card holders, 285,971 items circulated, 90,977 e-resources used, 84,608 total library visits, 3,506 volunteer hours, 21,683 computer uses, 405 library events with 16,831 attendees. The Strategic Plan highlighted the need to expand and renovate the St. Michaels library branch with Ms. Newman noting that the project has been included in the County’s capital project list since 2018. A feasibility study was completed in 2019 with the project slated for design in FY2022-2023 and construction in FY2025. Ms. Newman provided an overview of funding for the project (anticipated to cost approximately $5.5 million) which will include County funds, capital grant funding from the State of Maryland, other grants, federal earmarks and a capital fundraising campaign. Benefits of the St. Michaels Library expansion project include: additional space, improved ADA accessibility, improved interior spaces to meet current needs of library users, improved safety, accessibility, security, and energy efficiencies.
County Manager’s Report –
- Board and Committee Appointments
o Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council – Mr. Stamp requested the appointment of Lynn Mielke as Council’s liaison to the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
o Animal Control Board – Mr. Stamp requested the appointment of Karla Wieland-Cherry to the Animal Control Board. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
o Tourism Board – Mr. Stamp requested the reappointment of Michael Hoffman, Harold Klinger and Jessica Bellis to the Tourism Board. The request was unanimously approved by the Council.
- Request from Roads Department – Recommendation to Award Bid No. 22-18, FURNISHING AND DELIVERY OF AASHTO M43, SIZE NO. 8 & NO. 7 TRIPLE WASHED AGGREGATE – Council unanimously approved the award of Bid No. 22-18 to the sole bidder, Vulcan Construction Materials, Inc. for the unit price of $37.50/ton with a total bid amount of $112,500. All stone will be received by May 1, 2023 in time for resurfacing. The Roads Department has worked with Vulcan Construction Materials, Inc. previously and is confident in their work product. There are sufficient funds in the FY23 budget.
- Request from Department of Public Works – Recommendation to Award Bid No. 21-15, REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES – THE PRESERVE AT WYE MILLS REPLACEMENT WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT – TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND – Council unanimously approved the award of Bid No. 21-15 to the low bidder, RAUCH, Inc. in the amount of $83,121 conditioned upon Maryland Department of the Environment concurring with the bid award. A total of three bids were received. All costs will be paid for by the users of the Preserve at Wye Mills wastewater treatment plant.
- Request from Department of Public Works – Request to Submit Projects for Earmarked Funding to Senators Cardin and Van Hollen – Council unanimously approved the submittal of three projects for consideration of earmarked funding to Senators Cardin and VanHollen’s office. The projects are: Resolution No. 250 – Phase 1 – Septic Elimination Project (Bozman & Neavitt) – $12 million; Fairbank and Bar Neck Septic System Elimination Project – Tilghman – $2.19 million; New North Emergency Medical Services Station on MD Route 309 – $3 million
- Request from Department of Public Works – Request to Submit Projects for Grant and Loan Packages Through the Maryland Water Infrastructure Financing Administration – Council unanimously approved the submittal of four projects to the Maryland Water Infrastructure Financing Administration for consideration of grant and loan packages. The projects are: Bar Neck and Fairbank Septic System Elimination Program for 110-148 properties ($2.19 million); Replacement of the Martingham Water and Wastewater Emergency Generator – $360,000; Region I Unionville, Tunis Mills and Copperville and Region II Royal Oak, Newcomb and Bellevue Force Main Pressure Sensors and Region II Martingham Vacuum Collection System Sensors – $800,000; Region I – Unionville, Tunis Mills and Copperville – E-1 Grinder Pump Replacement – $800,000
- Request from Department of Public Works – Bid No. 22-08, Open-Ended Architectural/Engineering Services – Recommendation to Award Architectural Design for St. Michaels Library Expansion Project to Davis, Bowen and Friedel, Inc. – Council unanimously approved the award of architectural design services for the St. Michaels Library Expansion project to Davis, Bowen & Friedel in the sum of $306,200. The architectural design services will be paid for through a combination of County funds, grants and possible earmarks. Additional funding will be sought in the FY24 budget.
- Request from Department of Public Works – Recommendation to Approve Amendment No. 2 to Intergovernmental Agreement for Services Between Maryland Environmental Service (MES) and Talbot County, Maryland MES ID Contract No. 2-21-4-05 – Council unanimously approved a contract amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement with Maryland Environmental Service not to exceed $33,326. The Department of Public Works will budget sufficient funds in FY24 to cover the amendment.
- Request from Department of Public Works – Bid No. 17-08, Open-Ended Engineering Services – Recommendation to Approve the following Change Orders with Lane Engineering – Council unanimously approved the award of the following change orders for the Royal Oak Pump Station and Sewer Extension to lots included in Resolution No. 235 as follows:
*Change Order No. 1 – Additional Project Scope (Resolution No. 235 Sewer Extension Project) – $57,245
*Change Order No. 2 – Royal Oak Pump Station No. 1 Replacement Design (Resolution No. 235 Sewer Extension Project) – $99,672
*Change Order No. 3 – Royal Oak Pump Station No. 1 Reconstruction – Construction Administration Services (Resolution No. 235 Sewer Extension Project) – not to exceed $152,500
*Change Order No. 4 – Force Main Installation – Construction Administration Services (Resolution No. 235 Sewer Extension Project) – not to exceed $127,500
Total cost is $436,897. All engineering work will be included in the Maryland Department of the Environment Water Quality Financing Administration Loan and Loan Forgiveness closing.
- Request from Finance Office – Recommendation to Upgrade MUNIS Software Contract – Council unanimously approved the appropriation of FY23 budgeted funds to migrate the County’s MUNIS software to cloud based hosting at an annual cost of $172,651 for the next three years.
The Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room. The County Council will be meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. with the Board of Education. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the Wye Oak Room, Talbot County Community Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway, Easton.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
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