Worcester County seal

(April 12, 2019) The Worcester County Commissioners approved several items during a meeting last Tuesday:

Payment agreement 

The commissioners unanimously agreed to pay half of the last installment owned to Bishopville contractor Allen Myers for work at the county’s central landfill facility.

Public Works Director John Tustin recommended the commissioners “agree to the withholding of $12,500 for this project in lieu of attempting to legally collect the $25,000 in liquidated damages, which [Allan Myers] would challenge.”

Tustin discussed the matter with Darl Kolar, project manager of EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc., PBC, an environmental consulting firm in reference to the project’s timeline.

The Worcester County Cell Five project was expected to be completed on Dec. 3, 2018, but it wasn’t actually finished until January 11, according to a letter Kolar sent to Tustin.

Tustin and Kolar agreed on the recent and significant rainfall plaguing the county, which reportedly delayed construction efforts.

Kolar also noted Allen Myers requested to work seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in an attempt finish in a timely manner.

“It is in EA’s opinion that Allan Myers made a viable effort to maximize effort to complete the project on schedule,” Kolar said in the letter. 

Commissioner Joseph Mitrecic moved to go with Tustin and EA Engineering’s recommendation, which Commissioner Jim Bunting seconded.  

Matching funds

The county commissioners voted to approve participation in environmental program funding.

Department of Environmental Programs Director Robert Mitchell recommended the county commit to match $550,000 in funding for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. 

The matching would be part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Estuary grant funding program from Oct 1 to Sept. 30, 2020, according to the proposal. 

Mitchell said the organization is expected to receive $600,000 in annual funding from the federal government. He added the county has to “provide an equivalent match from other non-federal sources.”

There would be $50,000 in Department of Natural Resources Resiliency Grant Funds, as well as a minimum of $500,000 from the state in Rural Legacy Area funding for fiscal year 2019, according to the proposal. Both are available during the aforementioned timeframe.

Mitrecic moved to approve the matching request and Commissioner Joshua Nordstrom seconded the motion. The vote was 6-1, with Commissioner Ted Elder dissenting.

Mosquito control budget

The Worcester County Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of a proposed 2019 mosquito control budget.

Tustin said they weren’t “planning to make major changes” to the budget, and added the “proposed budget is identical to last year’s.”

The proposed county seasonal funding was $83,940, with $65 collected from each residential household, according to a proposal. 

Commissioner Bud Church moved to approve the fiscal year 2019 budget, and Commissioner Bertino seconded it.

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