January 2015  

WHEATLANDS UPDATE
During their first Commissioner's meeting on December 5th, the incoming Commissioner's voted 4 to 1 (Moran being the only opposed) to rescind the 5 year zoning waiver that was granted by the previous board. They cited that they felt the previous board acted hastily in granting the waiver. As this project has been in the works for over 15 years, it's hard to believe that anything about this process could be labeled as hasty.

Commissioner Buckey expressed he was concerned that there wasn't a plan for the development. It is our understanding that he will be meeting with Mareen Waterman to be brought up to speed on this development and have his questions answered. Commissioner Buckey has not yet scheduled that meeting.

It seems that part of the new Commission's concerns have to do with the fact that the APFO (Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance) does not apply to municipalities. As the APFO relates to residential impact, specifically the impact on schools, Mr. Waterman has expressed that he is not opposed to commercial development only for this project.

The legality of the new Commissioner's rescinding the prior approved waiver is in question, and the Courts may be asked to determine that.
NEW COMMISSIONER'S ACTIONS
After their December 23rd meeting, Commissioner Paul Comfort cited the following as their Top 10 actions for that meeting:

10. CC voted unanimously to create a county Finance Committee made up of local residents with expertise in government finance to advise the Commissioners on county finances. Motion by CC Steve Wilson.

 

9. CC voted to approve a new County Employee Wellness Program that rewards county employees (from the health insurance fund) for participating in wellness programs that could improve their health and reduce cost for the county's (self-insured) health insurance program.

 

8. CC voted to hire Gerard Evans as county lobbyist replacing David Bliden.

 

7. CC received an update on Tourism Events including the upcoming "Fireball Run" coming to QAC next year. This event is a Tourism Destination online televised contest (similar to the "Amazing Race") featuring 40 teams (including astronauts and CEO's). http://www.fireballrun.com 

 

6. Commissioners reviewed FY 16 Budget projections and guidelines showing an increase in county revenues this year and a projected increase next year of $4+ million.

 

5. Commissioners unanimously agreed to keep the 4 part time Park Rangers to patrol our Beaches but paid for from the General Fund, since the Beach Permit Fee was killed at our first meeting.

 

4. Commissioners unanimously agreed to re-hire a Roads Crew and a Parks Crew that were cut by the previous Board in tighter financial times. The Commissioners reiterated their desire to catch up on local road paving and parks and grounds maintenance. They also authorized the hiring of a full time county Risk Manager to oversee safety and workers compensation management, where the new Commissioners feel there is much room for cost savings.

 

3. A split Commission approved a motion made by Commissioner Buckey to rescind its earlier appointment (last week) of 2 Planning Commission members, including Chairman Barry Waterman. The Board will now interview top candidates for the two openings that begin in January. Vote was Buckey, Wilson and Anderson in favor of rescinding the appointments and Comfort and Moran against.

 

2. The Commissioners on my motion authorized the creation of a new Cable Franchise Fee Fund - allowing the franchise fees collected from local cable television to underwrite QAC TV operations. This moves the county's TV operations out of the general fund (tax dollars) and creates a fund paid for by cable TV subscribers and advertisers. I campaigned on this move and was happy to see it unanimously adopted.

 

1. The Commissioners unanimously approved a motion to draft a new MOU with the YMCA that would allow the Y to build on the site designated for them by the previous Board (in the Public Works Agreement signed with the Town of Centreville) but with no county tax dollars provided for construction cost. Commissioners Buckey and Moran led negotiations over the past two weeks that finished yesterday with the YMCA agreeing in principle to raise the money themselves to fund the entire construction of a new YMCA with no county dollars pledged. The new Commission had voted at its first meeting to rescind the previous MOU which committed the county to at least $4 million toward construction.  

 

Regarding the Planning Commission appointments, BQA looks forward to the Commissioners making balanced appointments that are in the best interest of all the citizens! 


CLEAN WATER COALITION NEWS

On November 18, 2014, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued a public notice of the Proposed Relicensing of the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project Application for Water Quality Certification. The purpose of the notice was to solicit comments from the public and to announce the scheduling of a public hearing.

 

However, the following is a follow up Press Release that went out from MDE on December 8, 2014:

Water Quality Certification application for proposed Conowingo Dam relicensing withdrawn, January 7 Water Quality Certification public hearing canceled, Exelon agrees to fund additional study

 

Exelon agrees to provide up to $3.5 million for additional study of effects of Conowingo Dam on Chesapeake Bay water quality; previously scheduled public hearing on company's application canceled, company says it must refile application within 90 days

 

BALTIMORE, MD (December 8, 2014) -  

 

Recognizing the Maryland Department of the Environment's position that more information on the effects of the Conowingo Dam is needed before it can be determined whether the facility complies with State water quality standards, Exelon Corporation has withdrawn its application for the Water Quality Certification that is required as part of the relicensing process for the dam and has agreed to fund additional study of the issue.

 

MDE had stated its intention to deny the Proposed Relicensing of the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project Application for Water Quality Certification application due to insufficient information provided by the applicant. The company said it will work with MDE to coordinate the refiling of its application within 90 days. It has also agreed to provide up to $3.5 million to study the effects of sediment related to the Dam on water quality in the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

 

MDE had scheduled a public hearing on Exelon's application for Water Quality Certification for Jan. 7, 2015, at the Department's Baltimore headquarters. Due to the withdrawal of the application by Exelon, the hearing on the application is canceled. This action does not affect the scheduled public meeting on the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment draft report. The public meeting on that draft report will still be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 9, at Harford Community College.

 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has issued a one-year extension of the current license for the operation of the Conowingo Dam. Under federal law and as part of FERC's relicensing process, Exelon is required to obtain a Clean Water Act, Section 401 Water Quality Certification from MDE for the continued operation of the facility. Issuance of a Water Quality Certification is contingent upon the applicant demonstrating to MDE that the project will comply with State water quality standards. In issuing notice of the application, solicitation of public comments and scheduling of a public hearing, MDE stated the Department's intent to deny the application due to insufficient information provided by the applicant regarding the impacts of the activity on State water quality standards

 

The insufficiency of information is reflected in the draft Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment report. The draft report found that the loss of long-term sediment trapping capacity at the Conowingo Dam is causing impacts to the health of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. It also found that additional nutrient pollution associated with these changed conditions in the lower Susquehanna River system could result in Maryland not being able to meet Chesapeake Bay water quality standards, even with full implementation of Watershed Implementation Plans by 2025, in some of the Bay's deeper northern waters. The draft report recommends additional study to quantify the full impact on Bay water quality caused by conditions at the Conowingo Dam.

 

Exelon has agreed to provide up to $3.5 million for additional study. A study plan has been prepared with input by MDE, Exelon, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Enhanced monitoring is planned over the next two years.

 

Exelon cited its understanding of FERC policy requiring that an applicant resubmit its request for Water Quality Certification within 90 days of date of withdrawal in stating its intention to refile an application within that time period. It is possible that a refiled application or applications might also be withdrawn, followed by the resubmission of applications.

 

If it is ultimately determined that the project cannot comply with State water quality standards, the applicant could be required to mitigate the impacts to water quality through, for example, actions taken at the facility or by offsetting the facility's impacts with pollution reduction activities at other locations in the watershed. 

    
BQA MEMBERSHIP & AD SPONSORSHIP
WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN BUSINESS QUEEN ANNE'S?

BUSINESS Queen Anne's is not like any other business advocacy group in Queen Anne's County. When an issue that affects business arises in Queen Anne's County, we don't have to be neutral or careful to not step on toes! That can make some a little leery, but if your business needs someone to stand up and support you, then you'll be glad to have BQA there for you!

BQA has been vocal in the past on issues such as:

Four Seasons on Kent Island
FASTC Project
Wye Mills/Chesapeake College Expansion
Conowingo Dam
Minimum Wage Legislature
KI Sewer
Sunday Hunting in QAC
Slippery Hill Community
Adequate Public Facility Ordinance

We support property rights, balanced business growth, an adequate commercial tax base; we support having businesses that allow residents to work and live here in Queen Anne's County!

BQA board members are VOLUNTEER Business owners, Operators or Employee's in Queen Anne's County businesses working hard to make this County a Better place to Live, Work & Play!

Also, the board of BQA has interviewed the local candidates and report to the members their positions so members can easily choose a candidate that is aligned with their views on the issues at hand.

If you like what Business Queen Anne's does, but have concern as to customer reaction or backlash, we have a solution... Companies or individuals can become anonymous BQA members or sponsorship supporters!
 
If you know a business that would be a great asset as a member, please contact our Membership Chair, Jack Ashley at jackashley@mris.com

You can also contact administrator@businessqueenannes.com for a copy of the following application!


BUSINESS Queen Anne's


A Coalition for Economic Development and Responsible Government


The mission of BUSINESS Queen Anne's is to actively advocate sound economic growth; review all proposed state and local legislation and regulations; provide an objective assessment of proposed development in Queen Anne's County and its incorporated towns; endorse and support countywide growth that is well managed and consistent with adopted state and local planning and regulatory guidelines, comprehensive plans, and state and local initiatives; create positive and "business friendly" attitudes on the part of Queen Anne's County elected and appointed officials; and support business activity that promotes and encourages a vibrant economy, development of an adequate labor pool, a fiscally responsible and accountable county government, and a continued unique quality of life in Queen Anne's County.
  

You can find BQA on Facebook! Make sure to "Like" us!

 

 

In This Issue

 

Your BQA Board!

 

Steve Donovan, President

Title One & Associates, Inc.

410-758-1831

smd@annapolis.net

 

Mareen Waterman, Vice President

Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty

410-643-5005

mareenwaterman@mris.com 

 

Nick Deoudes

Deoudes-Magafan Realty, Inc.

410-827-5441

ndeoudes@atlanticbb.net 

 

Mike Dahle

Bay Carpets Flooring America

410-820-7288

mdahle@baycarpets.com 

 

Tim Champion

Champion Improvements Inc.

410-643-4886

 improve@atlanticbb.net 

 

Bob Wilson

Mears Point Marina

410-827-8888

bobwilson@mearspoint.com 

 

Cheryl Russell

Delmarva Power

410-758-4127

cheryl.russell@delmarva.com 

  

Gary Hofmann

QAC Sheriff's Department

410-758-0770

sheriff@qac.org 

  

George O'Donnell

ASTECH SECURITY

410-490-7400 

george@astechsecurity.com 

 

Jack Ashley

410-310-0800

jackashley@mris.com

  

Sandra Early 

Administrator  

410-643-6288  

sandra.early@verizon.net 

  

 

 

Mark Your Calendar...

 

County Commissioner's Meeting

Second and Fourth

Tuesday of the month!

Click here for published agendas! 

107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
  
Planning Commission Meetings
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
  
  
 
 
QUEENSTOWN PREMIUM OUTLETS! 

Military Appreciation

Members of the military, veterans and their families can show their IDs at the on-site Information Center all year long to receive a free VIP Coupon Book.


 

50 Plus Shopper Perks
Join us on Tuesdays for the 50 Plus Shopper Perks.


If you are at least 50 years of age you can take advantage of an added 10% savings on Tuesdays by simply presenting a photo identification with your proof of age to the cashier at participating stores. View a list of participating stores.

Stores for the 50 Plus Shopper Perks continue to grow, so please stop by the Information Center to view our most current list. 

 

MEMBER ASSISTANCE NEEDED!

 

 

BQA is looking for members to sign up to attend Commissioner's Meetings and/or Planning Commission Meetings!

 

If you are interested, please contact Administrator, Sandra Early at

administrator@businessqueenannes.com 

 

Click the logo above for the latest QAC Financial Status Update!! 

 

 

 

BUSINESS Queen Anne's c/o Sandra's Office Support | 405 Victoria Way | Stevensville | MD | 21666