County Council addresses issues



CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County Council began the Sept. 1 meeting with a proclamation for Veterans and Homeland Security Recognition Day, and thanked all veterans and homeland security officials for the work they have done and continue to do to ensure the safety of this country.

Next was a public hearing for a Community Development Block Grant application request. The county Grant Monitor had received an invitation to apply for a grant to cover the cost of making the County Office Building fully ADA compliant, and a public hearing was the first step. The ADA compliance would include repairing or replacing the wheelchair ramp at the parking lot for the building, plus add a ramp to the front of the building. No one from the public signed up to speak on the matter, and the decision to move forward with the grant application was quickly approved.

A FY16 Budget Transfer Request submitted by the Board of Education was first to be deliberated and approved. Budget transfers are the act of moving money from one allotted intent to another, and they have no overall impact on the budget numbers — just moving money around from where it isn’t need to where it is needed.

The Shoal Creek Dredging Project request by the City of Cambridge was next up for discussion. The city has asked for and received help in the past from the county in this small dredging project, and it was approved again by Council. A FY16 School Based Health Center Continuation Grant submitted by the Local Management Board was also voted and approved.

The 2015 Dorchester County Highway Priorities list was again up for discussion next. As reported in the last meeting this is a list of road repair/repave projects that the state would like to have priorities set on. With an extreme lack of funding in the county after Dorchester’s highway funds were taken away in past years, this is a sore point with Council. Discussion of the list, containing all repair desires, proceeded with a vote taken to accept the list and create an amended list with high priority projects highlighted.
Change Order No. 2 for the capping of Old Beulah Landfill, a modification of procedures that will save the county more than $12,000 was approved.

Next was a proposed special events recycling program submitted by Public Works. This is a new state law that takes effect on Oct. 1, 2015, wherein an event organizer who holds an event on public property that is expected to attracted more than 200 people, and will serve food and drinks, must provide recycling containers alongside every trash can. Containers must be provided for glass, metal, plastic and paper (paper plates and napkins are not recyclable), and if food waste recycling/composting is available it must also be provided. President Travers led the outrage that followed, especially after his work organizing and orchestrating the Seafood Feast-I-Val in Cambridge. President Travers believes this new law places an undue burden on the usually nonprofit organizers of said events. Organizers would be required to:

• Provide for any labor or equipment necessary to carry out recycling at the event.
• Provide a recycle bin adjacent to each trash can at the event.
• Ensure that recycling and trash containers are easily distinguished by color and/or signage.
• Ensure that the collected recyclable materials are processed for recycling.
• Pay any costs associated with recycling at the event.

Council voted to put the matter on the agenda to discuss the issue at the upcoming meeting with legislators in October.
Council next voted to accept a FY16 Community Development block grant award for facilities repair at Delmarva Community Services. A relocation request for a Harriet Tubman Interpretive Sign submitted by the Tourism Board was approved, and also for Tourism a letter of support request for a Maryland Historical Trust Hazard Mitigation grant submission was approved.

A request to modify a grant budget program open space project by Recreation and Parks was approved, and Adult Public Guardianship Review Board member appointments submitted by Social Services was approved.
Telephone poll confirmations to advertise for correctional officers was approved, also a Governors Grant for $90,000 to support after-school programs was approved, and finally a poll to accept a $10,000 grant from Xcelon Corp. for upgrades at the Emergency Operations Center was also approved.

With no other issues to come before the board the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be Sept. 15 in Room 110 of the County Office Building in Cambridge.

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