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).
Suicide Prevention Month – October 2022 – The Council presented a proclamation to Beth Anne Langrell, Chief Executive Officer, For All Seasons and George King, Director of Practice Operations, For All Seasons declaring October 2022 as Suicide Prevention Month. The proclamation recognized that suicide is a significant public health risk and declared suicide prevention and mental health a priority, noting, that in 2020, 45,979 people in the United States, including 585 people in Maryland, died by suicide as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. The proclamation urged Talbot County citizens to support the development of accessible behavioral health services for all citizens of our county in an effort to reduce the risk of suicide and mental health challenges for people of all ages. Ms. Langrell briefed Council on the “No Matter What….You Matter” suicide prevention campaign and stated that crisis services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week regardless of ability to pay and noted their 24-hour crisis hotline (1-800-310-7273). Ms. Langrell invited the public to attend the upcoming event “Life is Better with you Here: a Community Conversation about Suicide Prevention” to be held on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at the Avalon Theater, 40 East Dover Street in Easton. The event will also be livestreamed.
Presentation of FY23 Senior Care Plan – Kate Stinton, RN, LCSW, Community Health Nurse Program Manager, Talbot County Health Department; Maria Maguire, M.D., MPP, FAAP, Talbot County Health Officer – Ms. Stinton and Dr. Maguire presented the FY23 Senior Care Plan to the Council for approval. The Senior Care Plan is funded through the Maryland Department of Aging with additional contributions from Talbot County and has been administered by the Talbot County Health Department since 1982, providing services and funds to people aged 65 and older who may be at risk of nursing home placement. Ms. Stinton explained that Talbot County and Alleghany County are the only counties in Maryland where the Health Department directly administers the program through the Adult Evaluation and Review Services (AERS) program which provides an assessment for functional, cognitive, and medical status and identifies potential health risks. There are four core services provided: screening for eligibility for all available supportive programs; comprehensive assessment of individual needs; case manager to secure and coordinate services; and a pool of “gapfilling” funds to purchase services for those that meet program eligibility. In FY23, Maryland Department of Aging awarded $120,000 for the Senior Care program with Talbot County contributing an additional $65,000. In 2022, 204 seniors were served with an average of $824 spent per senior on case management and often through “gapfilling” for direct services for seniors such as: chore services and transportation; personal emergency response systems; personal care services; medication co-pays; and medical supplies. The Council unanimously approved the FY23 Senior Care Plan and thanked Ms. Stinton and Dr. Maguire for managing this important program. For further information about the Senior Care program please contact the Health Department at 410-819-5600.
Request from Talbot County Public Schools for FY22 Categorical Budget Transfer – Sarah Jones, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, Talbot County Public Schools – Ms. Jones requested Council approval for a final amendment to the FY22 Talbot County Public Schools budget through a categorical budget transfer of $360,000 from Fixed Charges to Plant Operations. Ms. Jones noted that additional costs in Plant Operations include: annual property and casualty insurance premiums not included with previous estimate; replacement of aging maintenance vans from 2003 and 2005; grading work at White Marsh Elementary School to tie in the parking lot entrance to roadwork done by the Talbot County Roads Department on Lovers Lane; upgrades to the system controls at Easton High School and White Marsh Elementary School; aging HVAC replacements; and additional security access upgrades to network server rooms across the county. The Board of Education has reviewed the request and approved submitting it to the County Council for review. Council discussion ensued and Council member Price expressed her concern with the lateness of the request and noted that some of the items listed should be included in the FY23 budget. The categorical budget transfer of $360,000 from Fixed Charges to Plant Operations was approved upon motion by Council member Divilio, second by Vice President Lesher and a vote of 4-1 with Council member Price voting against the motion.
Presentation of Talbot County Public Schools FY24 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and Pass-Through Grant Funding from Interagency Commission on Public School Construction – Kevin Shafer, Director of Operations, Talbot County Public Schools – Mr. Shafer requested Council approval of the Talbot County Public Schools’ FY24 Capital Improvement Plan which includes the design for the renovation/replacement of the Chapel District Elementary School and the roof replacement at the White Marsh Elementary School. The design cost of the Chapel District Elementary School is estimated at $1.25 million with the construction costs estimated at $29.7 million ($13.7 million state funding; $16 million County funding). Mr. Shafer noted that he has submitted a waiver request to the State regarding the excess capacity formula. The estimated cost of the roof replacement at the White Marsh Elementary School is $1.87 million ($891,000 State funding; $987,600 County funding). Mr. Shafer noted that the State is revising its funding formula for public school construction which could impact State funding. Upon motion by Vice President Lesher, second by Council member Divilio, Council unanimously approved the FY24 CIP for TCPS based upon the availability of funding at the time each project is brought forward for funding. Additionally, Mr. Shafer requested Council approval to accept pass-through funding from the Interagency Commission on School Construction in the amount of $44,112 as a result of Senate Bill 291. The funds would be used to erect shade structures at playgrounds at Easton Elementary School, St. Michaels Elementary School and Tilghman Elementary School. Upon motion by Council member Price, second by Vice President Lesher, Council unanimously approved the acceptance and use of pass-through grant funding from the Interagency Commission on Public School Construction.
Introduction of Numbered Resolutions:
A RESOLUTION APPROVING THE SALE OF TWO CONTIGUOUS AND ADJACENT PARCELS OF UNIMPROVED REAL PROPERTY: 1) HAVING AN ADDRESS OF 112 S. MAIN STREET, TRAPPE, MARYLAND AND FURTHER DESCRIBED AS TAX MAP 301, PARCEL 1745, CONSISTING OF 4.318 ACRES OF LAND, MORE OR LESS; AND 2) HAVING AN ADDRESS OF MAIN STREET, TRAPPE, MARYLAND AND FURTHER DESCRIBED AS TAX MAP 301, PARCEL 1751, TO THE TOWN OF TRAPPE, A MARYLAND MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, FOR THE SUM OF ONE DOLLAR, SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS was read into the record. Resolution No. 337 was introduced by President Callahan, Vice President Lesher and Council member Divilio. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room. Council asked that the Trappe Commissioners be in attendance to discuss future plans for the property.
Upon motion by Council member Divilio, second by Vice President Lesher and unanimous consent by Council, Tuesday, October 18, 2022 was declared a Special Legislative Day to begin at 6:00 p.m.
Introduction of Legislation:
AN EMERGENCY BILL TO AUTHORIZE A CAPITAL PROJECT FOR THE REMOVAL AND REPLACEMENT OF THE ICE RINK FLOOR AT THE TALBOT COUNTY COMMUNITY CENTER AND TO AUTHORIZE AN INTER-PROJECT TRANSFER OF $950,000 FROM THE APPROPRIATION APPROVED BY BILL NO. 1171 FOR THE EXTENSION OF WATER AND SEWER LINES TO THE TALBOT COUNTY COMMUNITY CENTER TO THE CAPITAL PROJECT AUTHORIZED HEREUNDER was read into the record. Bill No. 1526 was introduced by President Callahan, Vice President Lesher and Council members Divilio, Pack and Price. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room. If approved by four-fifths of the Council, the legislation will take effect immediately as it is emergency legislation. Preston Peper, Director, Parks and Recreation briefed Council on the current status of the ice rink flooring which is over 30 years old and has failed due to leaks in the piping underneath the floor. The floor space is approximately 17,000 s.f. and has over 11 miles of piping underneath it. A total replacement of the floor is recommended. Mr. Peper has a quote from a vendor to begin the work immediately upon approval by Council and passage of the emergency legislation. Council member Divilio recommended the Council give Mr. Peper authority to begin disassembling walls which was approved by Council.
A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 11 OF THE TALBOT COUNTY CODE (ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES) REGARDING HOURS OF SALES ON SUNDAYS was read into the record. Bill No. 1527 was introduced by President Callahan, Vice President Lesher and Council members Divilio and Price. The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room. Mr. Thomas noted the legislation was drafted at the request of Council member Price and would eliminate the differentiation in hours of sales for all classes of licenses on Sundays making hours of sales for all classes of licenses uniform throughout the seven day week. Council member Pack noted he has asked both Talbot Family Network and the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (LDAAC) to review the legislation and provide a recommendation to Council.
Introduction of Amendment to Bill No. 1524, A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 190 OF THE TALBOT COUNTY CODE (ZONING, SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT) REGARDING SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS was brought forward for introduction. Vice President Lesher noted that he is the sponsor of the amendment which would add wording that “a parcel of agricultural land upon which a large scale SES engineered and designed to produce more than two megawatts (2 MW) of power is proposed to be sited shall be evaluated on the Talbot County Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) evaluation criteria. The Stewardship Practices in Section B.3 thereof shall be excluded from the final score. If the parcel’s final score exceeds 240, the large scale SES shall not be sited on the parcel, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary.” Amendment 3 was introduced by President Callahan, Vice President Lesher and Council member Pack. Council member Pack proposed an additional amendment for introduction which would add wording that “a parcel of agricultural land upon which a large scale SES engineered and designed to produce more than two megawatts (2 MW) of power is proposed to be sited shall be evaluated on the Talbot County Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) evaluation criteria. The Stewardship Practices in Section B.3 thereof shall be excluded from the final score. If the parcel’s final score exceeds 240, the large scale SES shall not be sited on the parcel, notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary. This subsection (b) shall not apply to any large scale SES that was the subject of a Department of Planning and Zoning staff pre-application meeting prior to June 1, 2022 and that does not exceed 375 acres enclosed by a fence or developed with photovoltaic panels.” Amendment 4 was introduced by President Callahan, Vice President Lesher and Council member Pack. Both Amendments 3 and 4 will be eligible for vote on October 11, 2022. The Planning Commission will review the amendments at their meeting on October 5, 2022 and make a recommendation to the Council.
Eligible for Vote:
Resolution No. 333, A RESOLUTION TO APPROVE AMENDED RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE TALBOT COUNTY BOARD OF APPEALS was brought forward for vote and unanimously approved by the Council.
Bill No. 1523, A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 190 OF THE TALBOT COUNTY CODE (ZONING, SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT) TO ADD A DEFINITION OF “COUNTRY CLUB” AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXPANSION AND MAJOR MODIFICATION OF A NONCONFORMING COUNTRY CLUB IN THE RESOURCE CONSERVATION (RC) DISTRICT was brought forward for vote. At Council member Divilio’s request, the vote on Bill No. 1523 will be scheduled for October 11, 2022.
Bill No. 1525, A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 190 OF THE TALBOT COUNTY CODE (ZONING, SUBDIVISION AND LAND DEVELOPMENT) REGARDING THE EXPANSION OF STRUCTURES UTILIZED FOR NONCONFORMING USES, SUBJECT TO CERTAIN CONDITIONS was brought forward for vote and approved by a vote of 4-1 with Vice President Lesher voting against the bill.
Request from Talbot County Free Library for Letter of Support for Application to Literary Landmarks Association for Literary Landmark Designation for Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe – Dana Newman, Director, Talbot County Free Library (TCFL) – Ms. Newman and Robert Forloney, Vice President, Talbot County Free Library Board of Trustees, presented a Powerpoint presentation outlining their request for a letter of support from the Council for a Literary Landmark Designation for the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe. If approved, this would be only the second literary landmark in the State of Maryland; the first being the Edgar Allen Poe house and museum in Baltimore. Nationally, there are more than 120 literary landmarks. The benefits to having a literary landmark are increased visibility of the literary achievements of Frederick Douglass, increased literary tourism to Talbot County as well as increased visibility of the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe. Ms. Newman noted that both Talbot County Parks and Recreation and Economic Development and Tourism are supportive of the request and grant application. Upon motion by Vice President Lesher, second by Council member Divilio, Council unanimously approved the letter of support for TCFL’s application to the Literary Landmarks Association for a literary landmark designation for the Frederick Douglass Park on the Tuckahoe.
Request for Abatement of FY23 Real County Property Taxes – Martha Sparks, Finance Director – Ms. Sparks requested Council support for the abatement of FY23 Real County Property Taxes in the amount of $58,367.55 from the following owners for various properties: Chesapeake Audubon Society, Inc. (Pickering Creek); Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage; Commissioners of St. Michaels; Habitat for Humanity Choptank, Inc.; Neighborhood Service Center, Inc.; Talbot County, Maryland; Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association; and Waterfowl Festival Inc. Council unanimously approved the FY23 Real County Property Taxes abatement upon motion by Council member Divilio and second by Council member Price.
County Manager’s Report:
- Request from Roads Department to Utilize FY23 Budgeted Funds to Purchase a John Deere 5105M Utility Tractor with Alamo Machete 3 Boom and Alamo Battle Axe Mower – Council unanimously approved the request from the Roads Department to purchase a John Deere Boom Mower in the amount of $174,722.81 from Atlantic Tractor utilizing the State of Maryland’s contract. There are sufficient funds in the FY23 budget for this purchase.
- Request from Easton Airport to Apply for and Accept Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) Special Grant Funding for Replacement of the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at Easton Airport – Council unanimously approved the request from Easton Airport to apply for and accept a special grant from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) for the replacement of the Airport’s automated weather observing system (AWOS). The grant application totals $465,444 which includes both the construction ($428,700) and construction phase services ($36,744). If awarded, MAA would contribute $321,525 towards the AWOS replacement project and Easton Airport would contribute $143,919.
- Request from Easton Airport to Accept AECOM’s Price Proposal for AWOS Replacement Project – Professional Engineering and Construction Phase Services – Council unanimously approved the request from Easton Airport to accept AECOM’s price proposal in the amount of $36,744 for professional engineering and construction phase services for the AWOS project.
- Request from Easton Airport to Award Bid No. 22-13, AUTOMATED WEATHER OBSERVING SYSTEM (AWOS) REPLACEMENT EASTON/NEWNAM FIELD AIRPORT (ESN) – TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND – Council unanimously approved the request from Easton Airport to award Bid No. 22-13 to the sole bidder, Glenelg Construction, Inc. in the amount of $428,700. The bid has been thoroughly reviewed and deemed to be a responsive bid.
- Request from Easton Airport to Award Bid No. 22-14, REQUEST FOR FARMLAND RENTAL PROPOSALS – EASTON AIRPORT – TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND – Council unanimously approved the request from Easton Airport to award Bid No. 22-14 to the highest bidder, Edward Roe, in the sum of $14,525 per crop season for each year of 2023, 2024 and 2025. A total of two bids were received.
- Mr. Risher provided an update on the 13th annual Easton Airport Day event which will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. For more information please visit www.eastonairportday.com.
- Ms. Morris announced Council will be meeting with representatives from the Maryland Department of Transportation on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. in the Wye Oak Room, Talbot County Community Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway, Easton for the annual Consolidated Transportation Plan meeting. The public is invited to attend.
The Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room. The County Council will be meeting with representatives from Maryland Department of Transportation on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. for the annual Consolidated Transportation Plan meeting. 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 8:45 p.m.