SECRETARY — Secretary knows how to make a deal. At the April 21 town meeting Mayor Susan Dukes reported on the search for new computer equipment. With out of date software and aging hardware, the town’s computer is ready for replacement. After seeking proposals, Mayor Susan Dukes and Town Clerk Yvonne Pritchett received an estimate of $1,670 for a computer, new software, and data transfer. Determined to find a better price, the pair plus Public Works Manager B.J. Gullion trekked to Salisbury. After some wheeling and dealing, they wound up with a 2TB computer, monitor, thumb drive, USB cable outlet extender, and software for a grand total of $935.
The old computer and monitor will be donated to the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company.
Bay Country Security installed cameras at the marina. Bay Country Communications will shortly connect the installed fiber optic wires to the cameras. At that point the boat ramp will be linked to the town office monitor and an app is available for cell phones to monitor in real time as well.
Mayor Dukes said, “The budget we’ve been working on makes no changes to either real or personal property tax rates from last year. I don’t think people today can afford an increase so we did a lot of cutting on our draft which we hope to introduce next month. We have one of the lowest tax rates in Maryland and we try very hard to maintain that.” Real property taxes are 32¢ per $100 of assessed value; personal property taxes are 80¢ per $100.
For FY2016 the quote from Maryland Environmental Services (MES) to provide state-mandated environmental monitoring of water and wastewater quality is $12,926. The cost is down from the previous year because Mr. Gullion has assistance in “doing some of the work” that MES was providing. The commission approved the budget for the year.
The Partnership for Drug-free Dorchester offered two no-smoking signs to post in public areas. One makes no-smoking voluntary; the other mandates it a no-smoking area. The Commissioners agreed an ordinance designating no-smoking areas would require monitoring. The Commissioners voted unanimously to post the sign requesting voluntary cooperation.
State regulations “are so strong now that if (boat owners) do any work at the marina we could get in trouble and they could get in trouble. We need a sign stating that, ‘due to state regulations, no work can be done on this property.’” Ms. Dukes noted that large marinas who must also meet state regulations will spend a “fortune” upgrading their businesses and purchasing appropriate equipment.
The town election is slated for May 4, from 1-7 p.m. in the town office. Running for re-election are Commissioners Henry Short and Jennifer Rebert. Entering the race as well is former Commissioner Patrick Reed.