CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester County Council met Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Cambridge, voting at Council President Jay Newcomb’s request to send letters to Maryland’s governor and federal legislators supporting the release of more H2B temporary worker visas.
Newcomb explained that last year all H2B visa needs for seasonal seafood and agriculture workers were met, but that the U.S. Department of Labor decided to return to a lottery system this year.
According to Newcomb, this means delays and labor shortfalls for seafood businesses throughout the county, problems he said will have a corresponding effect throughout Dorchester County’s economy.
U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md.-1st, expressed support for an expansion of the H2B visas for Dorchester business at a town hall meeting he held in Cambridge last month.
In a legislative session, the Council voted unanimously to move forward with a bill that would transfer the former Mace’s Lane school building and property to the non-profit community group Mace’s Lane Community Center, Inc., at no cost and with no reverter clause.
The Council agreed in December that the group had complied with every request and prerequisite, and that they should proceed with a bill that would remove any need for a reverter clause, which would give the Council ultimate control over the property but severely limit the financing the community center group would be eligible for.
Councilwoman Libby Handley Nagel reported to her fellow council members on behalf of the ad hoc animal control building search committee of which she is a part.
Nagel said that the committee identified two leading prospects, one of which is at the airport, and that committee is waiting on a response from the Federal Aviation Administration as to whether an animal control building is permissible there.
The council agreed to extend the search committee’s original deadline to accommodate the expected waiting period.
The council members also voted unanimously to open the roads at The Preserve at Wrights Wharf Subdivision. County Attorney Thomas Merryweather said that the developer completed the roads to the county’s specifications, and that it is the common practice for the county to open the roads and take over the maintenance for them after the developer deeds the land to the county.