Allegany County County Commissioners met October 4.
Allegany County County Commissioners met Oct. 4.
Here is the minutes provided by the commissioners:
The regular meeting of the County Commissioners of Allegany County was held in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room, Allegany Room 100, 701 Kelly Road, Cumberland, at 5:00 p.m. on the above date. The following were present: Commissioner Jacob C. Shade; Commissioner William R. Valentine; County Administrator Brandon S. Butler; and County Attorney William M. Rudd. The following business was transacted:
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bryan Gowans.
There were no additions or deletions to the Agenda.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Valentine, seconded by Commissioner Shade, and Motion carried, the Commissioners approved the Minutes of the September 27, 2018, public business meeting.
Before proceeding with the meeting, Commissioner Shade mentioned that Commissioner Brodie, not present at this evening’s meeting, was at the White House, participating in a conference along with Sheriff Robertson and some other local officials.
Item 1 – Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2018 – Sarah Kaiser, Executive Director, and Jessica Nolan, Lead Counselor, Family Crisis Resource Center Inc. Ms. Sarah Kaiser, Executive Director of the Family Crisis Resource Center Inc., provided some information regarding Domestic Violence Awareness Month, including statistics concerning this issue in Allegany County and also suggestions on how to prevent domestic violence. Ms. Kaiser thanked the Commissioners for their support. She also introduced Ms. Jessica Nolan, Lead Counselor at Family Crisis Resource Center, and Ms. Crystal Rowan, a Counseling Intern at Family Crisis
Commissioner Shade read and presented Ms. Kaiser, Ms. Nolan and Ms. Rowan with an official Proclamation of October 2018 as Domestic Violence Prevention Month in Allegany County. This was followed with a round of applause.
Item 2 – Allegany College of Maryland Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship Update –
Dr. Cynthia S. Bambara, President, Allegany College of Maryland, David R. Jones, Vice President of Advancement and Community Relations & Executive Director of the ACM Foundation, and Dr. Audie G. Klingler, President, Allegany College of Maryland Foundation. Dr. Cynthia Bambara, President of Allegany College of Maryland, thanked the Commissioners for their support on behalf of the ACM Board of Trustees, the ACM Foundation Board of Directors, and ACM’s faculty, staff and students. Dr. Bambara remarked that the Commissioners’ investment in the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship Program has greatly increased economic opportunities for both citizens and communities.
Next, Mr. David Jones, Vice President of Advancement and Community Relations as well as Executive Director of the ACM Foundation, came forward to provide an update and report on the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship Program at Allegany College of Maryland. A copy of the report presented by Mr. Jones is attached to and made a part of these Minutes. Mr. Jones also acknowledged and thanked Mr. Carl “Buck” Belt and Mr. Peter Halmos of the ACM Foundation Board, also present at this meeting.
Following his presentation, Mr. Jones called the Commissioners’ attention to the bound packet of thank you letters from ACM students who have received Opportunity Scholarships, and then called forward a few of the students present at this meeting. Ms. Samantha Vega, Mr. Noah Loar, Mr. Chandler Sagel, and one additional student all offered brief remarks and expressed their thanks, and presented plaques to County Administrator Brandon Butler, County Attorney Bill Rudd, County Commissioner Bill Valentine, and County Commissioner Jake Shade.
Mr. Belt spoke then of the benefits of the Allegany County Opportunity Scholarship Program and the impact of ACM on the community. He thanked the Commissioners for their support.
Item 3 – Commissioners’ Fellows Capstone Project – Samantha Vega and Carter Imes presented the project they worked on this summer while interns in the Allegany County Commissioners Office. They prepared a pitch book and presented it onscreen to those present at the meeting.
Mr. Imes and Ms. Vega expressed their appreciation for County Administrator Brandon Butler and what he is doing for Allegany County, and also expressed thanks for the opportunity to work with Allegany County over the summer. They acknowledged the kindness and helpfulness extended to them by County staff during the summer.
County Administrator Butler noted that Allegany County is the only County in Maryland to have a pitch book. He commented that Ms. Vega and Mr. Imes were a fantastic addition to County Government and left an impact with their pitch book. Commissioners Shade and Valentine also thanked Ms. Vega and Mr. Imes for their work.
Commissioner Shade then read and presented Ms. Vega and Mr. Imes each with an official Citation, followed by a round of applause.
Item 4 – Code Home Rule Bill 5-18 – Public Hearing – Possible Action – “Public Improvement Bonds of 2018” – Jason M. Bennett, CPA, Director of Finance, announced that this evening was the scheduled public hearing on Code Home Rule Bill 5-18 – “Public Improvement Bonds of 2018”, and told the Commissioners that if no comment was received during this hearing, he would request they take action on Code Home Rule Bill 5-18 this evening as well. Mr. Bennett briefly reviewed the details of this Bond Bill, which were presented at the previous public business meeting.
Commissioner Shade read into the record the dollar amounts of the projects covered by this Bond Bill:
ACM Technology Building, $2,700,000
ACM Roof Projects, $450,000
County Buildings, $250,000
County Bridges, $2,500,000
Roads Garage and Waste Site, $850,000
Roads Heavy Equipment, $525,000
EMS CAD and Ambulances, $3,000,000
LaVale Library Renovation, $400,000
Bond closing costs, $230,000
Commissioner Shade added that the borrowing covered by this Bond Bill will be over the next four or five years, and that there will not be another bond issuance.
Commissioner Shade then opened the Hearing to public comments. There were none. Hearing closed.
Mr. Bennett pointed out that this meeting date was advertised as a Legislative Day, so the Commissioners could take action on Code Home Rule Bill 5-18.
Commissioner Valentine moved that the Board of County Commissioners adopt Code Home Rule Bill 5-18 – “Public Improvement Bonds of 2018”. Commissioner Shade seconded the Motion. Motion carried to adopt Code Home Rule Bill 5-18.
Item 5 – State of Maryland Rural Legacy Program – Board of County Commissioners to sign an Agreement of Sale and a Deed of Easement pertaining to a 91.971-acre property in Election District 29. State funds associated with this grant will be used to acquire a development rights easement in the Mountain Ridge Rural Legacy Area – Siera N. Wigfield, Transportation Planner, asked the Commissioners to approve and sign an Agreement of Sale and Deed of Easement for a property located in the Mountain Ridge Rural Legacy Area, and presented information regarding this property. The information presented by Mrs. Wigfield is set forth on her staff report dated
September 24, 2018, a copy of which is attached to and made a part of these Minutes.
Upon Motion by Commissioner Valentine, seconded by Commissioner Shade, and duly carried, the Board of County Commissioners approved and agreed to sign an Agreement of Sale and a Deed of Easement pertaining to a 91.971-acre property in Election District 29. State funds associated with this grant will be used to acquire a development rights easement in the Mountain Ridge Rural Legacy Area.
Item 6 – Resolution 18-30 – 2017 Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan Amendment– Board of County Commissioners to approve the 2017 Allegany County Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan Amendment and forward it to the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources – Siera N. Wigfield, Planner, presented background and information regarding the Amended 2017 Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan. The information presented by Mrs. Wigfield is set forth on her staff report dated October 1, 2018, a copy of which is attached to and made a part of these Minutes.
Upon Motion made by Commissioner Shade, and seconded by Commissioner Valentine, the Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution 18-30 and approved and adopted the 2017 Allegany County Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan Amendment and approved its forwarding to the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
As recommended by the County Administrator
Upon Motion by Commissioner Valentine, seconded by Commissioner Shade, and Motion carried, the Consent Agenda as recommended by the County Administrator is adopted.
Item 7 – Allegany County Mental Health Advisory Board Appointments – Board of County Commissioners approved two appointments to the Allegany County Mental Health Advisory Board. Ginger Duykers will serve a three-year term expiring June 30, 2021, and Steve Haptonstahl, who is filling the vacant position of Donna Ray. His term will expire June 30, 2020.
Item 8 – Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals Appointment – Board of County Commissioners approved the re-appointment of John Brant as an alternate member of the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals. His term will expire on September 25, 2021.
Item 9 – 2018 (2018-2019) Emergency Management Performance Grant Acceptance – Board of County Commissioners authorized the President to sign the Grant Adjustment Notice received from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency for the 2018 Emergency Management Performance Grant.
Item 10 – Frostburg State University Homecoming 2018 Grant – Board of County Commissioners authorized the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office to accept funding from Frostburg State University funded by the FSU Foundation, in the amount of $1,290. Funds will be used primarily for community policing during the FSU Homecoming 2018. This is a 100% grant with no cost to the County.
Item 11 – Resolution 18-31 – Housing Authority for Allegany County Transfer – Board of County Commissioners approved the transfer of the Housing Authority for Allegany County to the Housing Authority for the City of Cumberland.
Constituents – In order of sign-up sheet –
Mr. Edward W. Taylor, Jr., 400 South Allegany Street, Cumberland, said that he was speaking on behalf of the Cumberland Historic Cemetery Organization (CHCO), as its President. He called the Commissioners’ attention to a notice he distributed at the meeting, regarding an event to be held by the CHCO on November 2, 2018, at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Cemetery at Fairview and Furnace Streets in Cumberland. Mr. Taylor explained that this will be the unveiling of a monument for WWI veteran Lester Umstot, who was killed in action in 1918. He also provided some details about the monument to be unveiled.
Mr. Taylor also followed up on an issue he had discussed at a public business meeting in early summer 2018, that of preserving monuments already in place in Allegany County. He asked County Attorney Bill Rudd if his office has come up with any kind of solution to protect the Ten Commandments Monument well into the future. Mr. Taylor recalled that Dr. Jeffrey Davis has attempted to have this monument removed multiple times.
Attorney Rudd explained that the County was successful in the last lawsuit filed by Dr. Davis, and added that Dr. Davis actually abandoned that lawsuit because of a recent Supreme Court case that rendered it moot. Attorney Rudd went on to explain that the County had volunteer counsel from Texas to defend the lawsuit. He pointed out a complication to removal of the monument, that the entire grounds of the Allegany County Courthouse are subject to a lien by the Maryland Historical Trust.
Mr. Kenneth Wilmont, Fort Avenue, Cumberland, offered remarks on the Animal Shelter and the issue of feral cats.
Reminders/Upcoming Meetings -
Next Public Business Meeting – Thursday, October 18, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come to the attention of the Board, the meeting was
adjourned at 5:45 p.m.