• Talbot County Council Meeting Highlights, September 28, 2021

  • For Immediate Release
    Easton, MD – September 29, 2021
    Contact: Clay B. Stamp
    County Manager
    cbstamp@talbotcountymd.gov
    410-770-8010
     
     
    Talbot County Council Meeting Highlights, September 28, 2021
     
    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).
     
    The Talbot County Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on September 28 with all Council members present. 
     
    Presentation of Proclamation to Captain Everett D. Murray, Talbot County Department of Corrections
    Council member Laura Price presented a proclamation on behalf of the Council to Captain Everett D. Murray, Talbot County Department of Corrections, to honor his 27 years of service to the Department of Corrections. Captain Murray served in specialized areas, spending many years managing Security Operations, most recently, Administrative Operations. During his career Captain Murray was instrumental in the development of Central Booking along with his assignment as administrator for criminal history checks of all new arrivals through transmittal of Live Scan fingerprints at the Talbot County Department of Corrections. He was also tasked with planning, scheduling and implementation of all in-service training requirements mandated by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission.
     
    “I am honored to be able to hand you this certificate. To spend your entire career with Talbot County is a testament to your service with us,” commented Council member Laura Price.
     
    Presentation of Proclamation for Suicide Prevention Month – October 2021
    Council member Pete Lesher presented Beth Anne Langrell, CEO, For All Seasons with a proclamation in honor of No Matter What…You Matter Suicide Prevention Month – October 2021.  The resolution recognized that in the United States, one person dies by suicide every 11 minutes and is the 10th leading cause of death overall. In Maryland, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for individuals ages 10 to 34 and the 4th leading cause of death for individuals ages 35 to 44. One Marylander dies by suicide every 13 hours. Rates of attempted suicide amongst Mid-Shore teens have risen 41 percent over the past decade.
     
    For All Seasons Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center served 2,783 clients in FY2021, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. To help support the increase, a total of 19 crisis appointments are now available weekly to clients in need, including same-day crisis appointments for people having suicidal thoughts. The agency created the Ask. Listen. Share. campaign, empowering all individuals to play a role in suicide prevention on the Eastern Shore
    ASK – “Are you okay?, LISTEN – without judgment, and SHARE – vital resources to promote an inclusive and mentally healthy community.
     
    Langrell reported that this year, as part of its campaign, For All Seasons and Easton Premier Cinemas partnered to offer Easton High School music and theater students the opportunity to see the film, “Dear Evan Hansen,” free of charge at the theater and to learn more about their role in helping to prevent suicides in our community. She thanked the Council for being a part of the collaborative efforts of our community to decrease suicide. Over 30 local businesses are coming on board to support the campaign.
     
    Council members shared their personal experiences with friends who had attempted or committed suicide.
     
    “It comes as no surprise that the need for emergency appointments has doubled with the stress that is on the community right now.  Things have been very difficult. Your organization has always been there for the community and we thank you for serving the communities on the Mid-Shore,” commented Council member Frank Divilio.
     
    Update to Board of Health – Maria Maguire, M.D., Talbot County Health Officer
     
    Health Officer Dr. Maria Maguire reported that the Delta variant now accounts for over 99% of cases in Maryland.  Here is a highlight of the statistics she shared:

    • This month, Talbot County had 346 cases with 114 cases this past week – 37% of the cases are in people under the age of 18.  Of the 12 hospitalizations in Talbot County in the past month, 90% were not vaccinated.  31% of these cases are in children under the age of 12 (who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated).
    • As of 9/28/21, the County’s transmission rate is 306 which is within the “Substantial” and “High” transmission rate and why the CDC is recommending mask wearing indoors.
    • Maryland is starting to see a plateau in some areas of the state and the Eastern Shore usually follows the rest of the state in 2 to 3 weeks. 
    • Talbot County is third in the state for the number of its population who are fully vaccinated. 
    • There is a high demand for testing which is challenging. No pharmacies in our area do testing.
    • Vaccinations have decreased over the past few weeks. About 400 doses of vaccine are administered each week.
    • Of Talbot County residents, 71% of the population has had one dose and 66% are fully vaccinated. 62% of 12 to 17-year-olds are vaccinated in MD, with over 50% of Talbot County teens vaccinated.
    • The Talbot County Health Department is moving its Vaccine Center to the former Hearthstone gym building located at 102 Marlboro Avenue in Easton.  Citizens will be able to receive their 1st, 2nd or 3rd doses of the vaccine at this location. Starting next week, the hours will be Monday thru Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • 3rd doses for immunocompromised people are available 28+ days after their second dose.
    • Persons over 65, persons 18+ with high-risk medical conditions and 18+ with a high risk of exposure can get the Pfizer booster dose six months after their second dose.
    • The TCHD is back to regular programming.
    • Regular flu vaccinations are available now. 
     
    Council Vice President Pete Lesher said, “Thank you Dr. Maguire for bringing solid data every day and keeping the community informed about this.”
     
    Presentation of Talbot County Public Schools FY23 Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) – Kevin Shafer, Director of Operations, Talbot County Public Schools
     
    Mr. Shafer reported that the newly opened Easton Elementary School has received accolades for its building design.  Completed in the spring of 2019, Easton Elementary School was designed by Tom King, AIA and his team from Noelker and Hull Associates, Inc. of Frederick, Maryland and has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Designation. Easton Elementary School has been selected to appear as an Outstanding Design in the 2021 American School & University Architectural Portfolio (premier showcase celebrating the best in education design) and is also the first school in MD to achieve the prestigious LEED Gold Designation for sustainable design.
     
    Mr. Shafer requested Council support of the Talbot County Public Schools’ FY23 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which is a 5-year tentative plan and to send a letter to the State of Maryland Interagency Commission (IAC) on School Construction in support of the FY23 CIP.  Talbot County Public Schools presents the CIP to the County on an annual basis for review and approval.  Projects include:
    • FY23 - completion of the roof replacement at Easton High School; the project is 50% completed ($841,000 needed to complete the project)
    • FY24 - Chapel District Elementary School roof replacement (total estimated cost $1.14 million)
    • FY25-FY26 - Chapel District Elementary School building renovation (total estimated cost $22 million)   
     
    Estimated County funds needed over a 5-year period would be $14,870,000 and State funds of $12,611,000, however, many factors could alter the CIP.  Mr. Shafer noted that funding for the CIP includes the State’s Built to Learn Act (BLA) which will be available on a revolving basis.  A feasibility study will be conducted for Chapel District Elementary School to see if full or limited renovation is recommended.  If full renovation is recommended, then the roof replacement would not be done.
     
    Following Council discussion on the FY23 CIP as presented, the Council voted 4-1 (with Ms. Price voting nay) to send the letter to the State in support of Talbot County Public Schools’ FY23 CIP with the caveat that the County Council’s approval of the CIP is subject to the availability of adequate County funding at the time each project is scheduled to be initiated.  Ms. Price expressed concern that this is the first Council is hearing about the proposed renovation of Chapel District Elementary School.
     
    Presentation of Request by Talbot County Public Schools for Fund Transfer for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) –Sarah Jones, Finance Officer, Talbot County Public Schools
     
    In an effort to partially fund its $137 million OPEB obligation liability, Talbot County Public Schools requested the Council’s approval for a categorical transfer of $500,000 from cost savings in its FY 2021 instructional salaries budget category to their FY 2021 fixed charges budget category.
     
    The Council voted unanimously to approve the transfer of funds.
     
    Ms. Jones noted that Talbot County Public Schools, as do many Maryland counties, uses a pay-go method to fund its OPEB obligation each year.  This past year’s cost was $1.6 million.
     
    Public Hearings:                                                                                                                                                                  
    Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) SFY22 Applications for:
     
    Mary Kay Verdery, Grants Administrator for Talbot County, requested approval to move three of the four CDBG applications forward with draft applications so the projects can be submitted to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by the October 8, 2021 deadline. No County funds will be involved with the projects. After a public hearing, the Council moved to finalize the applications. Foundation of Hope withdrew its letter of interest for this grant cycle.
     
    Polaris Village Ministries – 209 Port Street, Easton, MD 21601- requesting $500,000 for building revitalization to turn a historic church into a Pre-K 3 daycare center and community kitchen with free meals 7 days a week. Staff will explore the needs of guests over a meal to connect those in need to the necessary resources.  The three main objectives of the program are:  food program; childcare program; and parenting classes focused on improving quality of life in a predominantly low to the moderate-income area.
     
    Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (Ches MRC) – 331 East Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601 – requesting $128,750 to rehabilitate a building owned by Ches MRC located on Higgins Street behind 331 E. Dover Street.  The renovated structure will provide services to Talbot County’s immigrant and low to moderate-income community and will contain a community center with a commercial kitchen and an area for outreach and education.
     
    Mid-Shore Pro Bono – 8 South West Street, Easton, MD 21601 – requesting $50,000 to continue providing direct legal assistance to low to moderate-income people struggling with civil and legal matters.
     
    Introduction of Administrative Resolutions:
     
    ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) SFY22 APPLICATION FOR POLARIS VILLAGE MINISTRIES BUILDING REVITALIZATION, 209 PORT STREET, EASTON, MARYLAND 21601 – read into the record and approved by unanimous vote of the Council.
     
    ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) SFY22 APPLICATION FOR CHESAPEAKE MULTICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER, 331 EAST DOVER STREET, EASTON, MARYLAND FOR A BUILDING REHABILITATION OF THEIR PROPERTY LOCATED ON HIGGINS STREET, BEHIND 331 EASTON DOVER STREET, EASTON, MARYLAND 21601 – read into the record and approved by unanimous vote of the Council.
     
    ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) SFY22 APPLICATION FOR MID-SHORE PRO BONO (MSPB), 8 SOUTH WEST STREET, EASTON, MARYLAND 21601 TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE DIRECT LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO LOW-MODERATE INCOME RESIDENTS OF TALBOT COUNTY – read into the record and approved by unanimous vote of the Council.
     
     
    Presentation of Petition
    IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF LYNN LEONHARDT MIELKE, ET. AL. FOR RESCISSION OF THE UNNUMBERED ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF TALBOT COUNTY AUTHORIZING RELOCATION OF THE TALBOT BOYS STATUE WHICH WAS ADOPTED ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 (“THE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTION”).  The petition was read into the record by the Clerk and assigned as Petition No. 21-02.  Patrick Thomas, County Attorney, provided an explanation of the procedural process in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure.  Mr. Pack made a motion that the petition be denied.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Divilio.
     
    Council discussion ensued about the petition and procedural process.  Ms. Price inquired if she can introduce a numbered resolution.  Mr. Thomas noted in accordance with the Council’s Rules of Procedure, any Council member can direct the County Attorney to prepare legislation.
     
    Council approved the motion by a vote of 3-2 as follows: 
     
    Mr. Callahan – nay
    Mr. Divilio – aye
    Mr. Lesher – aye
    Ms. Price – nay
    Mr. Pack - aye
     
    Introduction of Numbered Resolution
     
    A RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE TALBOT COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE WATER AND SEWER PLAN TO RECLASSIFY AND REMAP CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 24108 MT. PLEASANT ROAD, ST. MICHAELS, MARYLAND 21663 AND SHOWN ON TAX MAP 32 AS PARCEL 85 FROM UNPROGRAMMED TO "S-1" IMMEDIATE PRIORITY STATUS was read into the record by the Clerk and introduced by Mr. Callahan, Mr. Divilio, Mr. Lesher, Mr. Pack and Ms. Price as Resolution No. 309.  A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room.  The purpose of Resolution No. 309 is to amend the County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan to reclassify and remap the property located at 24108 Mt. Pleasant Road, St. Michaels from unprogrammed to S-1 immediate priority status. 
     
     
    Introduction of Legislation:
     
    A BILL TO AUTHORIZE A CAPITAL PROJECT FOR THE ACQUISITION OF CERTAIN EQUIPMENT AND AN OFFICE TRAILER FOR THE REPURPOSING CENTER LOCATED AT 28128 ST. MICHAELS ROAD, EASTON, MARYLAND was read into the record by the Clerk and introduced by Mr. Callahan, Mr. Divilio, Mr. Lesher, Mr. Pack and Ms. Price as Bill No. 1494.  A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room.  The purpose of Bill No. 1494 is to create capital enabling legislation for the acquisition of equipment as well as an office trailer for the repurposing center located at 28128 St. Michaels Road, Easton
     
     
    Request for Abatement of Real County Property Taxes – Joye Nagle, Finance Director
     
    Ms. Nagle requested Council consideration to abate real County property taxes for FY22 for several non-profits in the County. 
     
    The non-profit organizations seeking the abatement are:
    Chesapeake Audubon Society, Inc. (Pickering Creek)
    Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage
    Town of St. Michaels
    Habitat for Humanity Choptank, Inc.
    Neighborhood Service Center
    Springfield Cemetery Association of Talbot County
    Talbot Agricultural Center, Inc.
    Talbot County Government
    Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association
    Waterfowl Festival, Inc.
     
    The nonprofits are asking for tax abatement for a total of 50 parcels in the amount of $55,369.69.  The Council unanimously approved abatement of the real County property taxes for the non-profits for FY22.
     
    County Manager’s Report:
     
    Request from Department of Parks and Recreation to Award Bid No. 21-05, ASPHALT PAVING – EASTON POINT LANDING, 1000 PORT STREET, EASTON, TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND.  Preston Peper, Director, Talbot County Parks and Recreation recommended Council award Bid No. 21-05 to the low bidder, Slayden’s Excavating & Hauling, LLC in the amount of $47,680.  A total of seven bids were received.  The cost of the project will be fully reimbursed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement fund.  The Council unanimously approved the bid award to Slayden’s Excavating & Hauling, LLC in the amount of $47,680.
     
     
    Request from Department of Public Works – Recommendation on Bid No. 15-23, ST. MICHAELS PHASE V SANITARY SEWER SYSTEM REPLACEMENT/REHABILITATION AND GRACE STREET PUMP STATION REPLACEMENT ENGINEERING SERVICES (Amendment No. 17) has been postponed for discussion and action until the Council’s October 12, 2021 meeting.
     
     
    Request from Department of Public Works – Recommendation on Bic No. 17-09, ST. MICHAELS PUMPING STATION #3 UPGRADE/REHABILITATION – TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND (Change Order No. 21) has been postponed for discussion and action until the Council’s October 12, 2021 meeting.         
     
       
    Announcement of Household Hazardous Waste Day – Maryland Environmental Service will be hosting a Household Hazardous Waste Day on Saturday, October 30, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (rain or shine) at the former Hobbs Road Landfill, 26375 Hobbs Road, Denton, Maryland.  The event is open to residents from Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties.  For further information please visit HHW Drop off Day Caroline Oct 30 2021.pdf (talbotcountymd.gov) or call 410-770-8170.
     
    The next legislative meeting of the County Council will be held on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.  The County Council will be meeting with elected officials from Easton, Oxford, Queen Anne, St. Michaels and Trappe on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Wye Oak Room, Talbot County Community Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway, Easton. The meeting is open to the public.


     Council member Laura Price presented a proclamation on behalf of the Council to Captain Everett D. Murray, Talbot County Department of Corrections, to honor his 27 years of service to the Department of Corrections.



    Council member Pete Lesher presented Beth Anne Langrell, CEO, For All Seasons with a proclamation in honor of No Matter What…You Matter Suicide Prevention Month – October 2021. 

     
     
     
    AMY STEWARD
    27871 Villa Road
    EASTON, MD 21601
    410-829-0436
    asteward@goeaston.net

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