Talbot County Council Meeting Highlights, June 27, 2023


Category: County Manager’s Office County Council

The Talbot County Council held their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 5 p.m.; all Council members were present.

Providing Advanced Training and Workforce Placement

The Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board (USWIB) serves Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne, and Talbot Counties under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). They administer Title One workforce training services to eligible residents including, but not limited to, career information, resume help, interview practice, job training, employer connections, and job search support.

Daniel Schneckenburger, Executive Director, informed the Council that through requirements of WIOA, they are required to update their MOU and Local Plan, and seek approval of the plans by Council. Local plans were required to go through public comment, and there is no fiscal note associated with any of the plans.

Council Vice President Pete Lesher asked how the Board assists Talbot County Public Schools (TCPS) to implement parts of the Maryland Blueprint for Education.

Schneckenburger indicated that USWIB has a signed agreement with the school system and Chesapeake College to coordinate and build curriculum for Career Technical Education (CTE) Programs, Pillar 3.4 of the Blueprint. As part of this, TCPS is actively recruiting for three career coach positions; Chesapeake College will assist with program coordination and administration. The group aims to launch the new program in early Fall 2023.

The Council unanimously approved both plans.   

Grants Program for Agricultural Land Preservation

Anne Roane, Long Range Planner for Talbot County, came before the Council to request support to forward approved applications for easement purchase consideration for the FY24 Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) to the state-level application process.  Both the Talbot County Agricultural Preservation Advisory Board and the Planning Commission reviewed the request and made favorable recommendations.  The request was approved unanimously by Council.

“Thank you for coordinating this program, I know how important this is to our agricultural community, how this brings needed funds to farmers, and brings that public benefit of permanently preserved farm land for agricultural purposes. It’s important to all of us” said Council Vice President Pete Lesher. “Thank you for making sure we can take advantage of this opportunity.”

Budget Transfers to Prepare for FY2024

With the 2024 Budget set to become effective on July 1st, Finance Director Martha Sparks joined Council to seek approval for 4th quarter budget transfers for Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

As stated in the Talbot County Charter, transfers between agencies of the county government and within the same fund of the current expense budget may only be made during the last quarter of the fiscal year, and only by recommendation of the County Manager and approval of Council.

“We’ve had a lot of good news on the revenue front this year; it’s nice to able to adjust this budget in this direction,” said Lesher as he moved to approve the request. The transfer request was unanimously approved.

Other Business

  • A bill to amend Chapter 20 of the Talbot County Code was introduced by Council as Bill No. 1545. The amendments requested are at the recommendation of the Board of Appeals after internal review of their rules and procedures. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
  • A bill to authorize a feasibility study for, and possible construction of, a Talbot County Visitors Center was introduced by Council as Bill No. 1546. The Department of Economic Development and Tourism received funding to complete the feasibility study through the Rural Economic Development Fund. The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
  • The County Manager presented several board and committee nominations for the Council’s consideration:
    • Commission on Aging – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Kate Stinton as a private citizen.
    • Ethics Commission – Council unanimously approved the reappointment of Gugy Irving, III and Sharon Harrington.
    • Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board – Council unanimously approved submitting the names of Dan Billingsley and John Murray to the
    • Governor’s Office for consideration of appointment and reappointment, respectively.
  • Talbot Family Network – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Chief Anthony Smith as a private sector representative with his impending retirement from the Town of St. Michaels, Victoria Billings, Choptank Community Health Systems, Jennifer Villacorta, Chesapeake Multi-Cultural Resource Center, and Lauren Weber, For All Seasons as representatives of the private sector.
    Linda Webb, Director of Talbot County Department of Social Services, and Ben Pittsley, Assistant Director for Administration, provided a brief summary of legal services provided by the Department of Social Services to vulnerable populations through Child Welfare Legal Services, Adult Services, and Child Support Legal Services.  Council unanimously approved an inter-governmental agreement with Talbot County Department of Social Services for FY24 to procure legal services through Braden, Thompson, Poltrak, Mundy and McQueeney, LLP. 
  • The Department of Public Works asked to apply for and accept U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 3 Solid Waste Infrastructure Grant Funding. This funding, if received, would allow the County to move forward with plans to relocate recycling containers located at the Perry Cabin Ball Field parking lot and Graul’s parking lot to a new location at the intersection of Royal Oak Road (Route 329) and St. Michaels Road (Route 33) near Oak Creek Landing. The request was unanimously approved.
  • Request from Department of Public Works - Recommendation to Award Change Order No. 1 for Bid No. 19-10, ENGINEERING SERVICES (PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING REPORT) ENHANCED NUTRIENT REMOVAL (ENR) UPGRADE – REGION V (TILGHMAN) WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT (WWTP) - TALBOT COUNTY, MARYLAND – Council unanimously approved the request from the Department of Public Works to award Change Order No. 1 to Rummel Klepper & Kahl in the amount of $27,520 to complete the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) accommodate revised wastewater flows from 125 gpd to 250 gpd as required by Maryland Department of the Environment and additional evaluation for sea level rise. There are sufficient funds in the capital project.
  • Request from Department of Public Works – Bid No. 22-08, OPEN-ENDED ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING SERVICES – Recommendation to Award Architectural and Engineering Services for the Sheriff’s Office, EMS Garage and Storage Facility Located on Marys Court in Easton. Council unanimously approved the request from the Department of Public Works to award Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. a contract to complete the architectural design and engineering services for the Sheriff’s Office, EMS Garage and Storage facility in the sum of $184,750.  There are sufficient funds in the capital budget.
  • Request from Department of Public Works – Recommendation to Award Bid No. 22-19, PHASE 2 – “RESOLUTION 235” – REGION II SEWER SYSTEM EXTENSION OF SEWER – FORCE MAIN INSTALLATION. Council unanimously approved the Department of Public Works request to award Bid No. 22-19 to the sole bidder, Schummer, Inc. in the amount of $2,622,496, upon the condition that the Maryland Department of the Environment approves of the bid.  Several contractors picked up bid packages, but only one contractor submitted a bid.  The project is in two project areas:  Project 1 includes extension of sewer to lots along Glebe Road, Unionville Road, North Bend Road, Doncaster Road and Kemp Road in the amount of $1,151,359; Project 2 includes extension of sewer to lots in the communities of Aveley Farm, Arcadia Shores, lots along Thanksgiving Road, Sawyers Lane, Pendleton Farm Road, Royal Oak Road, Blueberry Acres Road and Rolles Range Road in the amount of $1,471,137.
  • Council unanimously approved the request by the Finance Director to extend the contract with SB & Company for financial auditing services for FY23 at a cost of $47,490.  The County has worked with SB & Company under contract since 2018 through a bid procurement.

The Talbot County Council next meeting is Tuesday, July 11, 2023 beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room located in the South Wing, Talbot County Courthouse, 11 North Washington Street, Easton.  The meeting is open to the public.

 See previous Meeting Highlights on the Talbot County Website here: Talbot County Council Meeting Highlights - Talbot County, Maryland (talbotcountymd.gov)


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