Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – April 18, 2016

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MAYOR AND COUNCIL

APRIL 18, 2016

 

Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper 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 4, 2016. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes of April 4, 2016 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that operating funds on hand for unrestricted use was $1,499,292.37 with assigned funds from the Washington College Armory was $180,480.00, for total funds on hand of $1,679,772.37.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously. 

Chief Baker gave the Police Report for March 2016.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Coastguard Representatives had postponed their presentation on Safe Boating Week to the next meeting.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. de Mooy sent an email to the Council outlining the bids received for architectural services relating to the Chestertown Marina Interpretive Center. Mr. de Mooy recommended that the bid be awarded to SM+P (Schamu, Machowski and Patterson). The breakdown of how the bids were analyzed and compared was included in the email. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Walter Schamu has done work locally, including the Kent County Visitors Center, and buildings at Washington College. Ms. Gross moved to award the design of the Marina Interpretive Center bid to SM+P (Schamu, Machowski & Patterson) as recommended, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the introduction of Annexation Resolution 1 was almost finished, with the exception of some mapping and the Outline for the Extension of Services. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the introduction of the Resolution was postponed to the next meeting. The petitioners were going to the Planning Commission to discuss their plans for the area, which would be located in the Fourth Ward. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the annexation process requires a public hearing and four (4) advertisements.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would recommend annexing Gateway Park and the Lagoon Property as Annexation Resolution 2, noting that the Lagoon property would be in the Second Ward and the Gateway Park would be in the Third Ward. Mr. Ingersoll stated that both annexation resolutions could be held at one public hearing.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that at the last meeting, the Council introduced Ordinance No. 1-2016 adding food trucks to the Peddling and Soliciting Ordinance. Mr. Ingersoll stated that if the Ordinance was adopted at this meeting, it would become law in 21 days.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the only question that has come up was in regard to hours of operation and whether or not they should be listed. Fees for food trucks and any pilot project for food trucks on public streets would be handled as a resolution, not an ordinance. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Council should consider adding penalties for property owners who allowed unlicensed food trucks to operate on their property.

Ms. Gross moved to adopt Ordinance No. 1-2016 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll passed out a preliminary budget schedule. After discussion, the only change would be to the time of the Budget Workshop scheduled for Monday, May 9th. The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. rather than 5:00 p.m.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he needed to request an executive session to discuss a legal matter with an attorney present. Mr. Stetson moved for an executive session directly following the meeting under statutory authority general provisions article, §3-306(b)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that there was a permit request from the Knights of Columbus for their annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30th. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the permit as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to appoint Ms. Barbara Jorgenson to the Historic District Commission. Ms. Kuiper moved to appoint Ms. Barbara Jorgenson to the Historic District Commission, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that at the last meeting the Council formally introduced the concept of installing a small pocket park along the Rail-Trail at the Ajax Site. He said that there was discussion of using leftover recreation funds to buy a swing set and Stoltzfus Outdoor Living was going to have it installed on April 22nd. After the installation, the layout will be reassessed and a decision will be made as to where the playground equipment from the Police Department will be placed.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Chestertown Garden Club was interested in switching out the existing benches at the Fountain Park for more traditional benches. The existing benches will be repurposed at another Town park. The Garden Club will solicit donations from their members to have individual benches purchased in memory of a loved one.

Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Legislative Wrap-Up at Heron Point, hosted by the League of Women Voters and coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce. He said that Senator Hershey, Delegates Arentz, Jacobs and Ghrist were in attendance. Mr. Stetson stated that while Hospital Bill SB12 did not pass its companion Bill in the House did with an amendment that the Hospital cannot be fast-tracked and will remain in full effect for at least 4 years. Mr. Stetson stated that a group was also formed to study rural care. He said that there was much discussion on how largely populated counties are taking the bulk of funding and making it difficult for small counties to keep up with services.

Mr. Stetson asked if the Chief could give his report at the first meeting of the month. The Council agreed.

Mr. Stetson stated that he thought it was time to change the name of the Chestertown Marina. He said that millions are granted to Program Open Space funding and thought there would be a better chance if the Marina was considered a park that also included docking. Mr. Stetson stated that the intent was to have the area open to the public and there are fees to dock and launch at all of the State Parks. Mayor Cerino stated that if that was an approach that the Town wanted to take they would likely have to collaborate with the Kent County Commissioners. Mr. Stetson stated that any improvements to the Marina would benefit the County as well.

Mr. Ingersoll noted that earlier in the day the Corp of Engineers permit was finally received for the Marina, which included permission for everything requested from finishing the dredging, pier extensions, bulkheads and ground raising. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town was waiting on this permit for almost 2 years and it was difficult to get funding when permits were not in hand and a project was not shovel-ready. Mayor Cerino stated that once the architectural renderings for the interpretive center were received, the Town would be as shovel-ready as possible and all that was needed then was funders.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Delegation at the Legislative Wrap-Up said that Open Space money was 100% funded in the State budget.

Ms. Kuiper stated that any non-profits coming to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings have to get a permit from the Town. Each non-profit will have to display the new permit from the Town to be in the park on Saturday mornings. Ms. Kuiper stated that the park map that was distributed in Town should be changed.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Mutt Strutt and Earth Day would be held this weekend. She said that Monday, April 25th was being celebrated as Arbor Day.

Ms. Gross stated that she attended the listening session at the High School regarding the Hospital and said that there were many in attendance. She said that she also spoke at the session in a personal capacity.

Ms. Kuiper stated that a new rack card was being distributed for the Tea Party Festival, noting that it was not too late to volunteer. She said that this year marked the 40th anniversary of the Tea Party.

Mr. Menefee asked if the Council heard of any progress being made on a Consent Order between the Hospital and MDE. Mayor Cerino stated that the Consent Order was being worked on by the two parties but that was the extent of his knowledge.

Mr. Menefee stated that he heard that there was a tentative agreement with the Town and the Hospital regarding the oil spill and asked if there was any progress made on that agreement. Mayor Cerino stated that there was an agreement in the works but he had no other information.

Mr. Menefee stated that the Council discussed a PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes) and asked if that was moving forward. Mayor Cerino stated that he thought the Council stated their position on the issues, but ultimately a decision had to come from the College as it is a voluntary payment. He said that he was not going to continue to press the issue if it would cause more damage than progress. Mr. Stetson stated that he may discuss the issue with the President of the College as even a dollar a student would be worthwhile.

Mr. Mark Mumford, Kent County Clerk of Court, stated that he wanted to discuss Traders License fees as it had been a recent topic of discussion. He said that the Clerk’s Office for each County in Maryland, on behalf of the Comptroller’s Office, issues business and traders licenses.

Mr. Mumford stated that food trucks, such as Papa Smurf’s, pay a $300.00 Hawkers and Peddler’s License fee, 92% of which goes to the Town in the business license fees if the owner resides in the Town limits of Chestertown. The State keeps 5% and the County gets 3% of those fees. Mr. Mumford stated that the woman who owns the Black Burro has her license in Queen Anne’s County and the fees go back to Queen Anne’s County.

Mr. Mumford stated that he collected $22,546.00 last year in business license fees from Chestertown businesses and said that the County had 256 individual licenses issued last year for a total of $29,047.00. Mr. Mumford stated that there was a fluctuation in the amount collected from each business as fees were based on inventory and a sliding scale issued by the State was followed to determine those fees.

Mr. Ingersoll asked if Kent County had an inventory tax. Mr. Mumford stated that the license amount was based on the inventory maintained in the business, which was the same in the Town and was mandated by the State. Mr. Ingersoll asked who estimates the value of the inventory of businesses for the licensing. Mr. Mumford said that businesses themselves provided the estimates.

Mr. Mumford stated that turning to the Tea Party Festival, he said that to his knowledge food trucks were not invited as the Festival is a Kent County Non-Profit Organization and all of the food vendors at the Festival are local non-profits and most of their annual fundraising is done at the Tea Party Event.

Ms. Barbara Jorgenson was present and stated that an ice cream truck did contact the Downtown Chestertown Association requesting permission to sell ice cream on First Friday. Ms. Jorgenson stated that there was no DCA policy in place and asked how to proceed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that when the DCA has an event they were allowed to do most of what they chose to do. Therefore, if the DCA wanted to have food or ice cream trucks at an event that was under their aegis. Mr. Ingersoll stated that if the DCA wanted an ice cream truck at their First Friday event there was a provision in the Food Truck ordinance for special events which allows food trucks, noting that licensing would be required, including a background check and approval from the Health Department.

There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                     Mayor

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