NEWS AUGUST 4 - AUGUST 16
Public Input Encouraged On Rock Hall Council Proposals
The Rock Hall mayor and town council will be discussing four proposals at their next meeting this Thursday evening, Aug. 14, and they are inviting the public to voice their opinions. The first proposal would eliminate credits for second and third water meters on commercial properties and authorization of the utilities board to grant relief from sewer charges. This would help with a $100,000 shortfall in the current fiscal year budget. The second measure would increase the quarterly water and sewer fees by 20%. The third would rezone the 5693 Main Street property from R-1 low density residential to C-3, town center commercial a .proposal that failed to receive a favorable recommendation from the town’s planning commission. Finally, there is a proposal to allow the council to set a fee schedule for the public to get copies of documents from town hall making it easier for the town to change fees by resolution rather than a code amendment. Written comments in advance can be submitted until noon Thursday.
Teens Arrested In Burglary At Betterton Post Office
Five teenagers were arrested by Maryland State Police over burglary and trespassing charges at the Betterton Post Office. On Thursday, Aug. 7, 18-year-old Tyler Lawrence Ford was arrested and charged with fourth-degree burglary and trespassing on government property charges after police were dispatched to a burglary in process call at 10:39pm. A Maryland State trooper caught Ford and two 15 year olds on the property while a Kent County deputy caught a 14 and 16 year old walking from the building. The four juveniles have been referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.
Environmental Group Request For Nutrient Management Records Denied
A court appeal by an environmental group seeking nutrient management plans for Eastern Shore farms has been rejected. The Waterkeepers Alliance filed an appeal with the Maryland Court Of Appeals over a 2011 Circuit Court order that denied them access to nutrient management records with the court saying that neither they nor the Court of Special Appeals has jurisdiction because the 2011 order is not a final judgment so the case was sent back to the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. In 2007, the Waterkeeper Alliance requested that the MDA provide them information on the nutrient management plans of several Eastern Shore farms. The request was denied with the MDA explaining that Maryland law requires the department to protect the identity of those filing the three year plans. The Alliance, joined by eight other environmental groups claimed that the law was unconstitutional and two more requests were made with the third one granted until the Maryland Farm Bureau and anonymous farmers successfully challenged it.
Police Investigate Rock Hall Vehicle Crash
Police are continuing to investigate a single vehicle crash on Sunday, Aug. 3, that left a Rock Hall man with incapacitating injuries. According to a Maryland State Police news release, 59-year-old Garry Lee Schwalbauch was severely injured and transported to the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore after a crash around 1:30 Sunday afternoon. According to police, he was driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander east bound on Rt. 20 near Reeses Corner Road when the truck left the road and struck two telephone poles before crossing the road and striking another telephone pole on the westbound side. .
Speeding The Main Topic Of Galena Town Meeting
Speeding was the main focus of the latest Galena town council meeting. A resident read a letter outlining his concerns about speeding in town and urging a stepped up effort by county and state police to issue citations rather than warnings. Also, contractors doing corrosion control for the town requested payment for the second year of the contract, but the town appears to favor not paying since it appears no work was done by the contractor in their first year and to find a new contractor. There were also grant proposals for new water meters and bathrooms in the park. The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 2 because of Labor Day on Monday.
Chestertown Studies Bids On Solar Installations
At the latest Chestertown mayor and council meeting, the council received updates on bids for the proposed solar energy installation at the town’s wastewater plant. Town manager Bill Ingersoll told the mayor and council that the submissions, announced in July, were thick documents from major corporations requiring careful scrutiny. The bids were broken into two groups, one to build the solar installation that the town would operate and the other for a power purchase agreement from a company built plant that would sell power to the town at a predetermined rate. Ingersoll believes the second option is the better deal and believes the town can get a 20 year deal at 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour which is lower than the current three year electric contract at 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour. Mayor Chris Cerino said the deal is a no-brainer if the bids are legitimate. Town councilwoman Linda Kuiper suggested the town talk to the county commissioners about their experience with solar power. Ingersoll said the county’s experience is different since they share their agreement with the Board of Education and that the county pays 7 cents per kilowatt hour.
Worton Elementary Gets New Principal
Worton Elementary School is getting a new principal as Tina Washburn will take over from Gina Jachimowicz. Washburn, who moved to Kent County from York County, Virginia three years ago and has been working in the school system’s central office as a grant coordinator. She was an assistant principal at an elementary school in York County, Virginia. She has a twenty year career in education and has a master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. Jachimowicz, who is the Supervisor of Elementary Education was asked to temporarily take on the role of Worton Elementary School principal last year during the school system’s reorganization under superintendent Karen Couch. The school will hold an open house on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 1 to 2pm to introduce the new principal.
Queenstown Annexation Of Wheatlands Property Sought
A petition has been submitted that seeks to have the Wheatlands property annexed by the town of Queenstown. The petition, submitted by the Waterman Family Partnership, consists of 148.2 acres of land and comes after an earlier petition was withdrawn due to a revision in plans due to changes in the town’s comprehensive and zoning plans. At the most recent Queenstown town meeting, the commissioners approved a resolution to set the procedures for the annexation. At the request of the developer, the town introduced an ordinance that the land be zoned “Planned Regional Commercial” which would allow for mixed use. A public hearing will be held Thursday Sept. 25, 7pm at the Calvary United Methodist Church Hall in Queenstown. The property is located across Rt. 50 from the Queenstown Premium Outlets and is bordered by Rt. 50, the Wye River, and marsh and woodlands. No one lives on the property.
Washington College Working On Major Summer And Fall Construction Projects
Washington College is working on three major projects this summer and fall. The first will involve Larrabee Arts Center which will see some interior remodeling as well as office space for the career services department formerly housed in the Caroline House. The second project will be an addition to the Casey Swim Center with two team locker rooms to accommodate 25 students plus lounge space and a stretching room. The addition will be on the south side of the building. Also, there will be improvements to the pool area with repainting of the hanging superstructure, office and lobby; plus replacement of floor tiles and glass. Also, locker rooms for visiting teams will be added. Finally, the college will finish the admission visitor’s center at the Casey Academic Center which got some renovation work last November. The outside of the front of the building will be freshened up since the visitor’s circle has been sparse with only grass planted there. The landscapers—Hord, Caplan, and Macht of Baltimore, came up with the idea for a Washington College logo sign with George Washington’s signature in raised lettering which will be on a lighted marble base.