Permit fee, planning commission membership bills introduced
DENTON — The Caroline County commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, Oct. 9, introduced two new bills, one to make public landing permit fees the same for in-state and outof-state users, and one to clarify and change membership requirements for the Caroline County Planning Commission.
A public hearing on both bills has been scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, during the commissioners’ regular meeting in the Caroline County Circuit Courthouse, 109 Market St., Denton.
Acting Caroline County Administrator Sara Visintainer said the bill to eliminate the differential in permit fees for in-state and out-of-state users will allow the county to qualify for federal grant money, to make improvements to public waterways.
“There’s a significant federal funding source available for local governments, but since it’s federal money, they require we treat different state users the same,” Visintainer said.
Specifically, there is a $350,000 project that needs to be completed at the Choptank Marina, Visintainer said, that could be paid for with the grant money.
Eliminating the up-charge for outof-state permits would only result in a loss of about $3,000 in revenue, Visintainer said.
“It’s a good return,” she said. The bill would have to be enacted by the end of the year so the county could apply for the federal grant when it becomes available in 2019, Visintainer said.
Currently, an annual permit for a boat or trailer registered in Maryland is $20; one for a boat or trailer registered in any other state is $50.
The other proposed bill would not change the number of members of the seven-seat planning commission, but it would make a few small changes to composition requirements.
As is currently the case, one county commissioner will be serve as an ex officio member of the planning commission, but the new language states in the event that commissioner cannot attend a meeting, either of the other two commissioners can serve as alternates.
Of the other six planning commission members, only one can be a res- ident of an incorporated town, at least one shall be a developer or builder and at least three should have agriculture expertise, either through education or work experience.
Those requirements are the same as in the current language.
However, the new bill would add that elected officials at the state, county or municipal level are not eligible to serve on the planning commission, to avoid a situation in which one person has dual responsibilities, or a conflict of interest, Visintainer said.
Terms shall remain at five years.