Council Highlights for October 10, 2023
Category: County Council
The Talbot County Council held their regular meeting on October 10, 2023 at 6 p.m.; all Council members were present.
Council Commendation: Election Board Open House and Voter Information
Tammy Stafford, Election Director, and Susan MacKinnon, President, Talbot County Board of Elections, received a Council Commendation in recognition of their continued work to provide voter education and transparency in the election process.
“I want to thank you for all that you do. I was an election judge from 2016 until the year I ran for this office,” said Council Member Lynn Mielke. “It was one of the most rewarding volunteer positions that I have undertaken…I urge everybody to try and volunteer your time, and consider being an election judge, because it is so rewarding and so educational to get to know this county and its people.”
The Election Board will host an Open House on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at their offices located at 215 Bay Street, Suite 7, Easton, Maryland.
For more information on the Election Board and serving as an election judge, visit: talbotcountymd.gov/election_board
Oxford Conservation Park
Originally constructed in 2016, the Oxford Conservation Park is an 87-acre County-owned park located in Oxford, Maryland. Due to limited funds, only about two thirds of the park space has been converted into a conservation park to date.
Representatives from Washington College’s Natural Lands Project and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy attended the Council meeting to propose a partnership with Talbot County to apply for a grant through the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund to convert what is currently tilled land into a grassland wildlife habitat area. The Friends of Oxford Park have expressed support for the project.
Dan Small, Natural Lands Project Coordinator, Center for Environment and Society, Washington College, and Larisa Prezioso, Enhanced Stewardship Manager, Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, provided a detailed update on the project proposal, as well as guidelines on the grant that would support the initiative. If the grant is awarded, all costs associated with the habitat establishment will be covered for the first three years.
The Department of Parks and Recreation requested a Letter of Intent to be included in the grant request; the Council unanimously approved the request.
Senior Care Plan
Carrie Ottey, RN, BSN, Community Health Nurse Supervisor, Talbot County Health Department, and Maria Maguire, M.D., Talbot County Health Officer, provided a comprehensive update on the FY24 Senior Care Plan.
The Senior Care program is funded by the Maryland Department of Aging and partners with the Area Agency on Aging (Upper Shore Aging), the Talbot County Department of Social Services and Talbot County Government. Talbot County is one of only two counties in the state in which the local Health Department directly administers the Senior Care program through their Adult Evaluation and Review Services (AERS) program, a Medicaid program which provides services and funds for people 65 years and older who may be at risk of nursing home placement.
County residents who are aged 65 or older, have a moderate or severe functional disability, and meet the Maryland Department of Aging Guidelines financial eligibility requirements may qualify for the program.
In FY23, gap filling funds were used to provide chore services, personal care services, personal emergency response systems (emergency buttons), prescription co-pays, medical supplies, and transportation for those seniors enrolled in the program. In FY23, the Senior Care Program served 74% females and 26% males with 53% of clients reporting as white, 46% identifying as black or African American
During the presentation, Ottey and Maguire provided statistical information about the program and its participants. The Council commended Ms. Ottey and Dr. Maguire on the success of the program.
To learn more about the Senior Care Program please contact the Talbot County Health Department at (410) 819-5600 or visit Supportive Home Based Services | Talbot County Health Department (talbothealth.org)
To watch the entire presentation, start the Council meeting at 20-minute mark: https://talbot-md.granicus.com/player/clip/857?meta_id=91252
- The Council discussed proposed amendments to the Education Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland regarding the filling of vacancies on the Talbot County Board of Education. Under current law, vacancies are filled by the Governor. Council Member Stepp proposed that the decision be left up to local authority, through the Council and the Board of Education. Council Member Mielke proposed that the decision should be left up to local authority, but also included specific language on the process, including public interviews with each candidate. After review and discussion of the proposals, the Council voted 3-2 to move forward with Council Member Stepp’s proposal, with an emphasis on having a work session with the Board of Education to discuss prior to pre-filing legislation with the local delegation for the 2024 Legislative Session.
- Bill 1549, introduced by Council, amends Bill No. 1244 and 1479 to add the replacement of the roof of the North Wing of the County Courthouse. There is no additional capital cost, the bill was presented as an emergency bill in hopes of completing work before winter weather disrupts construction services.
- A public hearing was held for Resolution No. 345 which would amend the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan (CWSP) to add a $12 million capital project to replace or rehabilitate the Town of Easton’s sewer collection system to mitigate inflow and infiltration. No County funds are required. Council unanimously approved the Resolution .
- A public hearing was held for Resolution No. 346 which would amend the CWSP to add an $8 million capital project to replace or rehabilitate the Region V (Tilghman) sewer collection system to mitigate inflow and infiltration. Council unanimously approved the Resolution.
- A public hearing was held for Resolution No. 349 which requests to change the name of “Lincoln Road” and “Shellmill Avenue” in Bellevue (both “paper streets”), to “Bellevue School Road” and “Turner Avenue”, respectively. The Resolution was unanimously approved.
- A public hearing was held for Bill No. 1548. The bill would authorize Talbot County to borrow not more than $880,000 to fund improvements to wastewater facilities in the county through the consolidation, refinancing, and sales of general bonds. The Finance Department has been working with the County’s bond counsel and USDA on all steps of the loan process. This bill serves as the final step to move forward in the loan process. Bill 1548 is eligible for vote at the Tuesday, October 24, 2023 Council meeting.
- The Council discussed the status of the public hearings on Resolution Nos. 338, 347, and 348, following the Planning Commission’s discussions last week. Council Member Mielke proposed that before the Council reconsiders the resolutions, that they have a work session with the Planning Commission and Maryland Department of Environment. The Council agreed to postpone the public hearings of the resolutions until further discussion with interested parties has taken place.
- Mike Mertaugh, Assistant County Engineer, provided an update on the Goldsborough Neck Road/Glebe Road Culvert Replacement Project. The project will replace the failing corrugated metal culvert with a reinforced concrete culvert, widening Goldsborough Neck Road by 350 feet to accommodate a left turn lane for southbound traffic from Goldsborough Neck onto Glebe Road, and a modest 2foot shoulder on either side of the road. To complete the project, the road will require complete closure of Goldsborough Neck Road for potentially up to 30 days.
- Mr. Mertaugh requested approval for the closure of Goldsborough Neck Road for approximately 30 days beginning around the second week of November, pending delivery of construction materials and final approvals. The Council approved the request to close the road for approximately 30 days.
- Anne Roane, Department of Planning and Zoning, requested a Letter of Acceptance of Maryland Department of Natural Resources Resiliency through Restoration Initiative Funding in the sum of $433,363 for the Tilghman on the Chesapeake Community Association’s Resilient Shoreline Project. The Council unanimously approved the request. No County funds are required.
- The Department of Corrections requested approval to award a contract for replacement of approximately 200 sprinkler heads to the low bidder, VSC Fire and Security, in the sum of $45,616.71. Funds for this project were included in the FY24 Capital Budget. The Council unanimously approved the request.
- Cassandra Vanhooser, Director, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, requested support to award a sole source procurement contract to WHC of Baltimore to provide two training cohorts for minority businesses located in Talbot County. The Department was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Rural Economic Development Fund to cover the cost of the program; no County funds are required. The Council unanimously approved the request.
- Easton Airport Day, scheduled for Saturday, October 14th has been cancelled due to impending inclement weather and will not be rescheduled in 2023.
The Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on October 24, 2023 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room located in the South Wing, Talbot County Courthouse, 11 North Washington Street, Easton. The meeting open to the public.Return
Page last modified Friday, May 26, 2023 11:22:37 AM