MAYOR AND COUNCIL
MAY 7, 2018
Mayor Cerino called the Mayor and Council meeting to order at 7:37 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 April 16, 2018, the budget workshop of April 24, 2018 and the bid opening for Marina work of April 27, 2018. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of April 16, 2018, budget workshop of April 24, 2018 and bid opening for the Marina of April 27, 2018 as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $705,138.26. A total of $79,672.83 in bills has been paid for construction work at the Marina which the Town was waiting to be reimbursed through grants, bringing the total to $784,811.09.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino called forward Ms. Heather Guerieri, Executive Director of Compass Regional Hospice forward for her presentation. Ms. Guerieri stated that Compass Regional Health began offering hospice and grief services in Kent County in 2014. In March of 2018, Compass Regional Hospice opened a facility on the third floor of the Hospital in Chestertown. She said that this was the former pediatric floor of the Hospital and provided room for four (4) beds in private rooms with kitchen areas and family room for the patients and their families. Ms. Guerieri stated that thirty (30) patients have been served at the Hospital location since opening in March.
Ms. Guerieri stated that this was a need in the area and it was good for Kent County residents to stay in Kent County if they require a hospice facility (as they had to go to Centreville or Denton before this facility was opened).
Ms. Guerieri stated that it cost about $500,000.00 per year to lease and staff the space at the Hospital and they fundraise approximately $350,000.00. She said that a one-third of their annual budget was funded by fundraising events.
Ms. Guerieri stated that Compass Regional Hospice provides hospice care in all of the local nursing homes in Kent County as well as smaller assisted living facilities in Kent County. Grief counseling for anyone in the community who has experienced a loss is available free of charge.
Mayor Cerino called forward Mr. John Plaskon of Crossroads Community who said that last year Chestertown donated $500.00 for dental services for the Crossroads Clients in Kent County. Mr. Plaskon explained that their clients had medical assistance but it did not pay for dental coverage. Mr. Plaskon stated that Crossroads Community submitted a request for $2,000.00 in this upcoming budget and he submitted a letter from Dr. Neil Brayton, who was the primary provider. He said that out-of-pockets expenses for all of the clients combined is typically about $20,000.00 per year.
Mr. Stetson asked how funds are raised for the dental program. Mr. Plaskon stated that they request donations from other jurisdictions where services are provided and through private donations.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Crossroads Community programs are fully funded by taxpayer dollars, dependent on Medicare and Medicaid. She said that Crossroads can sign up under MCOs (Managed Care Organizations) under Medicaid and there are three (3) participating dentists (Dr. Wyman being the closest) for Kent County. Mr. Plaskon stated that this seemed similar to what Dr. Brayton was doing for the Crossroads Community. She said that Dr. Brayton was not a listed dentist in the program, but if he was a participating provider with a managed care organization he would have to go in under the provider regulations.
Mr. Plaskon stated that he was aware of legislation this year about medical assistance coverage for dental services for adults but it did not pass, although there was an offer for a pilot program.
Mayor Cerino called Mr. Grant Samms of Washington College forward for a presentation on EV Cars on behalf of the Chestertown Environmental Committee. Mr. Samms introduced Ms. Caleigh Belcoff, staff member at Washington College, who performed the research that was presented.
Ms. Belcoff gave the Council information, resources, and recommendations regarding installation of electric vehicle chargers in Town. She said that EV sales have grown by 47% in the US in just the last year, presenting small towns like Chestertown with an opportunity for new economic and environmental benefits.
Ms. Belcoff stated that the amount of tourist traffic will put Chestertown on the map with people who travel with EV cars, increasing tourism to the surrounding areas from the more affluent owners associated with EV ownership.
Ms. Belcoff stated that EV cars are good for the environment with a 60% savings in emissions over a petrol car. She said that EV cars also promote sustainability as a public relations tool as a destination for EV car owners. She said that the Town’s historical roots and installation of EV chargers will show the Chestertown is also progressive which will attract visitors.
Ms. Belcoff stated that EV chargers should be placed where there is easy access to shops and restaurants, suggesting the Cannon Street parking lot, Town Hall/Visitors Center, or new Marina development. The electrical systems would need to be checked to see if it can support the infrastructure.
Ms. Belcoff stated that there are options for obtaining the EV stations as follows: municipality owns and operates on their property; a sponsoring partner (i.e. shopping center or major employer) funds the purchase and installation at a location for public use, or; a third party owns and operates the station. She said that ChargePoint, SemaConnect and EV Solutions are three companies offering the chargers and installation.
Ms. Belcoff stated that there were federal and state opportunities for funding for EV charging stations. Federal funding programs were through the National Highway Performance Program and the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Initiative, and Clean Cities Program. State programs include the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Rebate Program. There is also the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit which supplies income tax credits up to $30,000.00 per property to install alternative fuel systems.
Mayor Cerino asked how people pay for a charge. Ms. Belcoff stated that there were options where some apply fees and others do not. She said that a non-network charger is the best option because paying for the membership fees provides no financial benefit to the municipality. The breakeven point at this time is not equal to or greater than the fees. Mr. Samms stated that as EV cars become more popular there will be a breakeven point.
Mr. Foster asked how many cars could be charged during an 8 hour workday. Ms. Belcoff stated that each charger has 2 ports and each car takes 4 to 5 hours to charge.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he has spoken to commercial property owners about the installation of EV chargers and there was interest because of the programs available for installation. He said that he did not think that a municipality should necessarily be providing this service, or giving away free electricity, especially to affluent car owners. He said that the private sector should be providing this service for a fee but the Town could help in guiding businesses to the funding available.
Mayor Cerino asked if Washington College was a proponent of EV charging stations. Mr. Samms stated that Washington College would soon be installing five (5) units for students, staff and college visitors beginning in different locations throughout the campus. It would be free of charge at this time. Mr. Samms stated that he thought in the next 10 to 20 years it would be mandatory to offer charging units to the student body. The College would be installing units that can accept credit cards for the future.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would report back to the Council the findings of the commercial private sector for installing EV charging stations.
Mayor Cerino called forward Ms. Sabine Harvey to review the goings on of this year’s Chestertown Tea Party Festival. Ms. Harvey stated that some things are still in flux due to the fact that the Budweiser Clydesdales were coming to the festival. She said that she still does not know exactly what the horses will require but Water Street may have to be closed to parking from High Street to the Wilmer Park in order to allow for clearance after the parade.
Ms. Harvey stated that there would be Light Dragoons from the First Virginia Regime in the parade and stationed at the Colonial Village this year, offering saber and lancing demonstrations. The Colonial Village will also have a grocer this year who will demonstrate how to make chocolate from scratch, a blacksmith, and some members of the War of 1812 with a display.
Ms. Harvey stated that the Mayor and Council have been asked to judge the Tea Party Parade and will be joined at the Judge’s Stand by the Commanding General at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, noting that he wants to participate in the Festival and sit with the Council.
Ms. Harvey stated that there were 37 new vendors this year in addition to the regular vendors. She said that because of all the additional interest she was trying to find additional parking and has reached out to Washington College for help. Mr. Frank Hogans has offered the lot he owns on Washington Avenue for parking. There will be two (2) school busses running the entire day offering rides to festival goers for remote lots.
Ms. Harvey stated that she was concerned about food this year as two (2) non-profit vendors did not have enough volunteers to return to the Festival this year. She said that if any non-profits would like to enter the Festival to contact her. Main Street will sell beer. She said if non-profits don’t come forward they will have to go to commercial vendors for more food sources. Food trucks will attend the Friday night opening at the Foot of Cannon Street, hosted by the Young Professionals.
Ms. Harvey stated that Sunday will include the raft race and was hoping for additional interest as entries have gone down over the year. She said that there was work taking place at the boathouse and they will be without electricity there so she was looking for a solution to that for announcing the race and for the beer truck.
Ms. Harvey stated that the Street Superintendent asked that streets be closed for an additional half hour after the festival to allow for the safe clean-up of the streets.
Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the Tea Party Festival Permit as presented with the changes of no parking on Water Street from High Street to the Wilmer Park to accommodate the girth of the Clydesdales and streets to remain closed until 7:30 p.m. for cleanup, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Council approved the bid minutes of April 27th for site work at the Marina earlier in the meeting where three (3) bids were received as follows: 1) Reybold Construction bid at $2,320,000; 2) Lindstrom Construction at $1,354,600.00 and; 3) David A. Bramble at $1,117,000.00 (apparent low bidder). Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Kevin Shearon of DMS & Associates analyzed the bids and recommended the bid be awarded to David A. Bramble, Inc. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he agreed with Mr. Shearon’s recommendation. Ms. Kuiper moved to award the bid for raising the grade of the Marina property to David A. Bramble, Inc. in the amount of $1,117,000.00, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Marina Interpretive Center was coming along nicely. Unfortunately, the boat ramp did not meet with DNR’s approval for Waterway Improvement funds due to its launch depth at extreme low tides. He said that the ramp must be added to in order to allow for launching or boat removal. Other parts of Phase 1 still pended completion due to the ramp issue. The new docks are beginning to be installed with a separate contractor who was recently awarded the bid for this work. Due to the fact that the land-side site work is starting and will raise the level of the land by two feet at the new bulkhead, this same contractor may also do the bulk heading along the front of the Fish Whistle where the piers will attach to land. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town can no longer afford delays and having the same contractor perform the dock work and bulkheading would insure coordination of the project.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town of Chestertown was awarded a grant from Community Parks and Playground for the Luisa D’Andelot Carpenter Park improvements in the amount of $138,400.00, which was the total amount requested. He thanked Mr. de Mooy for his work on the grant.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Asplundh was removing three (3) large dead London Plane trees on High Street (at no cost to the Town) on Wednesday, May 9th. He said that the work had been arranged to take place earlier today but it turned out the cruise liner was scheduled to arrive their passengers would be walking around the downtown.
Mayor Cerino stated that to fill the vacancy on the Historic District Commission he would like to nominate Mr. Jeffrey Coomer to the Historic District Commission.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to nominate Mr. James Bogden to the Recreation Commission.
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward Reports.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Council of Government meeting on April 18th and said that Mr. Fithian indicated that a tax differential was under consideration.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Arbor Day festivities at the Courthouse on April 24th. Mr. Stetson stated that on First Friday, May 4th, he attended three (3) ribbon cuttings downtown; Photographs & Memories, Barn Primitives, Kaleidoscope Studios, and then the opening of the remodeled bar area at the Kitchen at the Imperial.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he attended a non-profit workshop on the second floor of Town Hall. He said that he also met with the people at Radcliffe Property Management who oversee the Homeowner’s Association at Coventry Farms. Rev. Tolliver stated that Rev. Fisher held a Community Day and while he was there he received training for administering Narcan. Rev. Tolliver stated that he has also been active with Your Voice Your Vote.
Rev. Tolliver asked if there was some way to see that the shoes hanging over electric lines are removed. Chief Baker stated that if he knows the locations he will see that they are removed.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he was thrilled about the grant for the Washington Park playground area. He said that there were many improvements included that the children will appreciate.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she received an email late Friday about the State Highway Funds and asked if the budget was updated. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town had the numbers in the budget already.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Chestertown Rotary Club was installing the “Flags for Heroes” over Memorial Day weekend. For donations to the event you can email www.chestertownrotaryflags4heroes.com.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Pip’s Liquors reopened on Friday.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the next Save the Hospital meeting will take place on Thursday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there was a large shortage of volunteers for events this year. She said that the Historical Society was turning over Legacy Day to Sumner Hall due to a lack of volunteers. T-shirts were being sold at $15.00 per piece to help defray costs of the event and had to be purchased by May 9th.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Mr. McCoy, Farmers Market Manager, had a stroke and will hopefully have a full recovery. In the interim, his daughters are managing the market.
Mr. Foster stated that it was nice to see the cruise ship in Chestertown.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended the Council of Governments meeting and said that the issue of trash is standard for other towns in the county as well.
Mr. Foster stated that Heron Point asked him to give a talk on Thursday regarding the state of the First Ward and Chestertown at large. He said that he was looking forward to meeting with them.
There being no further business and no questions from the audience, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor