County Council commemorates John Creighton

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CAMBRIDGE — Dorchester County Council commemorated John Creighton’s life at the recent County Council meeting, with a proclamation presented at the start of the June 16 meeting. Mr. Creighton was a local resident and avid historian. His passion was researching the life of Harriet Tubman and generously sharing his research with anyone similarly interested. His passing is a great loss to Dorchester County.

In other business, the council approved a fiscal year 2016 Categorical Budget Request for the Board of Education, and agreed to provide a letter of support request concerning the Maryland Sea Grant from the University of Maryland Horn Point lab.

Allen Nelson from the Cambridge Power Boat Regatta submitted a request to waive fees for ambulance services at the event this year, which was approved, as was a request to use the county office building parking lot, the courthouse grounds and electrical outlets submitted by the Dorchester Center for the Arts for this year’s Dorchester Showcase.

A Senior Services funding request submitted by Delmarva Community Services received the most discussion and concern. The funding requested would be used to support the Meals on Wheels services by DCS, said funding being cut from the 2016 budget by the county originally, and DCS’s request for adding $30,000 to the budget to help cover the shortfall. The Meals on Wheels funding had been cut in 2015, and an additional cut would put the service in serious jeopardy. Council voted to approve the request, and also to send letters to state and federal agencies to ask for grant money to help support the program in the future. In discussion the Council also found surplus funds in the current year budget so that no other funding item in the FY16 budget had to be starved to cover it.

A release of road construction agreement and right of easement for the Walker Branch Subdivision was approved for Planning and Zoning in which an unused cul de sac would be reverted to private property, and also for Planning and Zoning a Planning Commission review of utility scale solar ordinance recommended leaving the solar ordinance alone, which was agreed on by the council.

A declaration of official intent to reimburse from bond proceeds monies spent on planning for a new North Dorchester High School was approved, as was a request to advertise for requests for proposals for a new emergency generator. Said expenses would be covered with grant monies.

A request to contract for an independent fee estimate for the airport apron project was approved for Public Works, as was a request from the Elections Office to change dates to use lobby/room 110 of the county office building for the 2016 presidential election.

A transfer of funds request for replacement of furniture in the County Council’s office and meeting room was approved, in anticipation of a new County Manager coming aboard eventually. Said County Manager would then have a new desk sized and suitable for computer use.

A renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding for housing of advanced life support units was approved for Emergency Services, as was a request to transfer funds for purchase of a new inventory software program to keep track of consumables.

A letter of acceptance of gypsy moth spraying cost estimates and county participation was approved for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. A board appointment for the Social Services Board was approved, and a record retention policy resolution pertaining to unneeded archives was approved.

Also from Emergency Services was a request to purchase a radio component as a backup item that would ensure function of the county radio system if there was a failure. It is a critical piece of equipment — price tag, $47,500 — that will not be available in 11 months, and if needed it would preserve the use of the radio system for two years, at which point the entire radio system will be unsupported by Motorola and need to be replaced. Discussion followed, with the request being denied by a three to two vote.

Requests to advertise for a part-time Incubator Manager position by DCED was approved, also for an on-call Visitor Center clerk. There was also a request for application for funding for two police officers for the Sheriff’s Department, of which Commissioners Nichols and Price were opposed.

Also, it was decided to start the ball rolling on preparing a request to dredge the channel at Barren Island to improve access to the area in case of an emergency, to look into a meeting with DNR officials. Finally, a request from an un-named Reality TV show to use the airport facility was denied, a move showing Council has a great interest in improving the quality of TV viewing by making ignorant television shows more difficult to create. Hopefully this will turn into a national trend.

The next County Council meeting will be held on July 7.

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