MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JANUARY 16, 2018
Mayor Cerino called the Mayor and Council meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Linda C. Kuiper, Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of January 2, 2018. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of January 2, 2018 as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,400,092.21. The Town received donations for the Broad Reach sculpture in the amount of $140,297.29 with expenses of $146,306.34 leaving a deficit of $6,009.05. The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $148,376.81 for Phase I of the Marina Interpretive Center.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Chief Baker presented the Police Report for December 2017. Chief Baker stated that there was a CIJS (Criminal Information Justice System) audit in December and the Department did very well. The only negative comment was that the Department was required to get fingerprint cards filed within 72 hours of an arrest and it cannot be manually done in that timeframe. The solution for this is a scanning system which was expensive and CIJS understood that issue, noting that he has been looking into grants for the system to no avail.
Chief Baker presented the Police Department’s Annual Report for 2017. He said that he compared the report to the last five (5) years and the numbers remained consistent overall. He said that the number of citations and warnings increased a bit in 2017, but Part I and Part II crimes were about the same. He said that the numbers reflected in 2013 were skewed as a result of the activities of three (3) or four (4) individuals.
Chief Baker stated that this year, Officer Reynolds Peele returned to Chestertown after a year of active duty military deployment and the Town hired its 14th officer, Bert Piasecki, bringing the department to full strength. He said that the Department is now performing regular patrols at the Middle School in an effort to protect and develop good relationships with the youth. All officers have received Narcan training, noting that in the ten (10) times that it has been used since the officers were trained, all (10) lives were saved. Chief Baker stated that this was the first full year in their new location at 601 High Street and said that it was a much more professional and secure setting.
Rev. Tolliver asked if there were any numbers to show the justification of the continued use of the cameras on Calvert Street. Chief Baker stated that he did not have any statistics or numbers on direct results but that the cameras were an asset overall, in his opinion. He said that he would like to expand the use of cameras to the other parts of Town. Chief Baker stated that the cameras in place currently were part of a previous “Hot Spots” grant program after an evaluation of crime statistics and frequency, noting that each camera costs approximately $4,500.00. An additional camera was added to the same area after the residents actually requested it.
Rev. Tolliver asked if there would be a push to include cameras in other wards. Chief Baker stated that he would like to have cameras in many other places, such as in the shopping centers, the downtown, and along the waterfront. Mr. Foster asked if the camera was still in place at High Street and Kent Street. Chief Baker stated that once that camera stopped working it had not been replaced due to costs.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a bid opening on December 29th for the three (3) replacement piers at the Marina. He said that Dissen & Juhn was the only bidder at $1,332,417.00. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Dissen & Juhn recently performed all the work along the College waterfront and were one of the best firms on the Eastern Shore. He said that this bid price included all three (3) piers, extended and with large Ts, along with water, sewer and electric. Mr. Ingersoll stated that at this time the Town would like to work on two (2) piers, the extension of the Cannon Street Pier, and the new floating fuel dock. The downriver pier may be done last. Mr. Ingersoll recommended awarding the bid to Dissen & Juhn as submitted. Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the bid as submitted to Dissen & Juhn for $1,332,417.00, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that dredging at the Marina will begin immediately, along with the work on the bulkhead as there were dredging deadlines mid-February.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were about ten 10 to 12 Commission and Committee members who were serving terms that have technically expired. He said that many volunteers are willing to serve additional terms, but asked if the newly elected officials might have new people in mind who wished to serve. He said that he would send the list of Commissions and Committees to the Council and would welcome resumes for new appointments. Mayor Cerino stated that there were also existing vacancies on some Commissions.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Maryland Department of State Planning was hosting listening sessions called “A Better Maryland” on Wednesday, January 30th beginning at 3:00 p.m. in Town Hall (for staff), 6:00 p.m. in the Kent County Commissioners Office (for officials), and a session for the public at Town Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that according to the Kent News the tower at the Courthouse is being removed, noting that there was a 90-day reprieve for removal of the Delmarva Wi-Fi equipment housed on that tower. He said that was also where the downtown Wi-Fi for Chestertown was located and there were no other options at this time. He said that he was disappointed that the Town did not hear directly about the tower being removed and found out about it by reading it in the paper. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Chestertown was not wired with fiber when the rest of the Network Maryland fiber was run in most other parts of the County. He said that the County instead offered the Town broadband width microwaved using the Kent County Public Library through the Sailor Network, which relayed from the top of the County buildings to the top of the courthouse.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received notice from the Hanover Insurance Company that FTS Fiber’s insurance was cancelled as of November 26, 2017. He said that he has just learned that FTS is no longer involved in the fiber installation and has been replaced with another company. He said that he will ask the replacement company to provide the same level of insurance for property damage and liability if and when working in Chestertown.
Mayor Cerino stated that he had been told that there would be repeaters on buildings using the fiber to enhance the downtown Wi-Fi. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was not sure if what the Mayor was talking about was an FTS or Think Big initiative and was not sure how that would work. He did say that the Town system was intended to be expanded to go to the waterfront to provide Wi-Fi to the Marina. He said that the Town had to have a discussion with the County about where their project stands now. Mayor Cerino agreed, noting that he was meeting with representatives of Think Big on the following Tuesday to try to get more information.
Mr. Foster asked who was drilling wells at the firehouse. Mr. Ingersoll stated that MDE (Maryland Department of the Environment) asked the Town to allow the installation of monitoring wells to investigate PCE (perchloroethylene) release from the old drycleaners, originally discovered in the early 1990s. There were previously four (4) wells on the 7-Eleven (former Bennett’s II) site, but they were allowed to be closed down by MDE after showing high readings of PCE in 2014. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Courthouse will also have two (2) sets of triple monitoring wells installed.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he sent a PIA (Public Information Act) request to MDE to get the results of MDE sponsored PCE testing from the drycleaner’s site, noting that he would provide copies to the Council when it was received.
Mayor Cerino stated that he received a letter from Chester Gras asking him to be the Grand Marshall and for the Council to judge the parade on Saturday, February 10th at 1:00 p.m.
Mayor Cerino stated that there will be a meeting on Thursday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the Chestertown Fire Hall hosted by the Kent County Conservation & Preservation Alliance regarding the Bay Bridge Crossing Study. He said that they were looking for public comment and said that the public was encouraged to attend.
Mayor Cerino asked for ward reports.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended the Comptroller’s Meeting in Annapolis for new office holders on January 8th. He said that the main take away from the presentation was Peter Franchot’s concern over the new federal tax law and the impact it will have on Maryland residents.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Historical Society and Tea Party were still looking for volunteers. There would be a Tea Party Committee Meeting on Wednesday, January 17th at 6:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Farmers Market is open every Saturday through the winter.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he has been in contact with Mr. de Mooy to review the grant proposal for the park at Washington Park.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he has also been making the rounds visiting the businesses in the Third Ward and was trying to start a Third Ward Business Council, similar to the Downtown Chestertown Association. He said that he checked out the Seed House, which was nice, and encouraged all to try it out for the coffee and cookies.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he wanted to publicly thank Ms. Janie Barrett for a heroic act. He said that she stepped in to help a man who had overdosed on heroin across the street from her house. He said that she had been trained in the use of Narcan.
Mr. Stetson stated that things were going well in the Fourth Ward and said that KRM was making steady building progress in the newly annexed area of Town.
There being no further business and no questions from the audience, Rev. Tolliver moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor