MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 6, 2018
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Linda C. Kuiper, Ellsworth Tolliver and Marty 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 July 16, 2018. Mr. Foster moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of July 16, 2018, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $218,148.00. A total of $61,851.92 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 $280,000.46. Private Donations received for the Marina project were $865,034.63 with a balance of $333,608.57 which will be used for one to one matches as the Marina project progresses.
Mr. Stetson stated that the he was unhappy to see funds so low. Mayor Cerino agreed, stating that he was concerned the Town would not be able to fund payroll. Mr. Ingersoll stated that early checks for real estate taxes will come in sometime in mid-August, noting that last August the Town received $125,000.00. Mr. Ingersoll stated that payroll is approximately $80,000.00 and will certainly be met. He said the largest amounts of revenue for the Town are received in September and October and the accounts will stabilize. A line of credit is available if necessary. Mr. Stetson asked if the Town could borrow funds from the Utilities Commission. Mr. Ingersoll stated that has been done in the distant (1970’s) past but the auditor at the time asked that funds not be transferred from one entity to the other.
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.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a TEFRA Bond hearing before the meeting regarding Resolution 03-2018 Town of Chestertown Bond Issuance on behalf of Heron Point. He asked Lindsey Rader, Esq. (the Town’s bond counsel) to explain the need for the resolution.
Ms. Rader stated that Heron Point pays all the fees for the transaction and the Resolution indicates that the bond transfer will take place before December 31, 2018. Ms. Rader stated that she is paid by Heron Point to represent the Town as their legal bond counsel. The Town is indemnified from responsibility on this debt. Ms. Rader stated that the bond issue was not to exceed $26,500,000.00 and the Resolution authorized the Mayor or Town Manager to sign the documents and bonds moving forward.
Ms. Rader stated that this bond issue was a refinance of the 2013 TEFRA bond issue. She said that the 2013 refinance included refinancing of the current structures and new construction at Heron Point.
Mr. Stetson stated that the Town acted as a conduit issuer for Washington College in the past and once received a fee for doing so. Ms. Rader stated that in her experience with these types of bonds, issuer’s fees to a municipality are not the normally charged, although she has heard of fees for financing outside of a jurisdiction.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town did just raise taxes, which Heron Point residents pay, and although Mr. Stetson raised a good point for having a fee, he did not think that this was the time to initiate one. He said that fees could be discussed before any paperwork is finished in future requests. Mr. Foster agreed, stating that a policy should be put in place if the town expects a fee in future conduit bond issuances.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this bond issue is at no cost to the Town and it was something the Town could do to be a good neighbor. He said that Heron Point could go to the Kent County Commissioners to have them act as a conduit and they would gladly do it for the good will.
Mr. Foster moved to support Resolution 03-2018 Town of Chestertown Bond Issuance on behalf of Heron Point, with the understanding that Chestertown will establish a policy in the future for bond issue fees, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town of Chestertown submitted a BUILD grant to the federal government for road improvements for 13.4 miles of road. The grant request also included safety features, signage, crosswalks, pavement markings, handicap ramps and storm drain improvements from High Street to the south end of Cross Street. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the total grant request was for $4.5 million. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he wanted to thank Ms. Linda Kohler of Chesapeake Charities who aided the Town in writing the grant and secured support letters from the entire Delegation to accompany the request. He said that Mr. Dick Goodall of Dixon Valve was instrumental in enlisting Chesapeake Charities’ services to help with the grant writing.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was optimistic about the BUILD Grant. He said it was the first ever round of funding and not all jurisdictions were aware enough to apply. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town will be competing with other municipalities and counties in the State and around the Country for grant funding.
Mr. Foster stated that the Maryland Municipal League Bulletin has information in reference to water and sewer funds available for different projects. He said that he will forward the information to Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Sipes.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had a request for an Overdose Awareness Day Candlelight Vigil in the Fountain Park on Friday, August 31st from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Ms. Rani Gutting is the contact for the event and is requesting a temporary memorial, either luminaries or an artificial tree to hang photos of those lost to opioids.
Mayor Cerino asked Chief Baker to give an update the shooting that took place over the weekend. Chief Baker stated that there were two non-life threatening injuries at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Sunday morning at the intersection of Calvert and Lynchburg Streets. He said that this was an intentional shooting and it was an ongoing investigation.
Mayor Cerino stated that the residents should take a look at the progress at the Marina. He said that the docks are coming along and the last retaining wall was just poured. He said that in a short time the grade will be raised.
Mayor Cerino asked for ward reports.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended a radio broadcast at Sumner Hall on Tuesday, July 31st where there were several interviews with a broad spectrum of topics discussed.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended a Save the Hospital meeting on Thursday, August 2nd in Town Hall and that Ms. Margie Elsberg has a good piece on the Chestertown Spy about the Hospital. Mr. Foster stated that UMMS Regional Health and Save the Hospital both agree that the hospital should remain open. He said that whether or not to keep an intensive care unit was still an issue and the hospital would go down to 15 beds. Mr. Ken Kozel was present at the meeting and said that he wanted to dispel rumors the hospital was closing and if misinformation was being given to the public he would take action to correct the matter.
Mr. Kuiper stated that UMMS is committing the $7 million in funding raised from the sale of their nursing home on Morgnec Road to health related services in Chestertown through the foundation.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she attended a ribbon cutting for Movement Mortgage at 205 South Cross Street on Friday, August 3rd at noon.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she attended a funeral for the Farmers Market Manager, Owen McCoy, on Saturday. She said that Mr. McCoy’s daughters, Danya Benton and Kailee McCoy, would like to manage the market in their Father’s stead. Ms. Kuiper stated that Ms. Benton and Ms. McCoy did manage the market after Mr. McCoy took ill. Mr. Foster moved that Ms. Danya Benton and Ms. Kailee McCoy manage the Farmers Market to the end of the calendar year and split the fee received by the Market Manager, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Ms. Kuiper asked if there was any news from Chesapeake Movies on when the theatre will open. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he visited the theatre last week and was disappointed with the progress. He said that he sent an email to Michael Klein who told him that the HVAC was still not replaced by the owner of Washington Square Shopping Center. Ms. Macintosh stated that she was hoping to meet with Mr. Klein this week to see the theatre and to ask for a new timeline with an opening date. Mayor Cerino asked if the County has made the loan yet to the theatre owners. Ms. Macintosh stated that she would inquire as to whether or not the loan transaction took place. The Mayor said that this was a disappointing delay and he was starting to wonder about the project.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he wanted to congratulate Chestertown Garage as they finished their changeover to NAPA. He said that the building looked nice with the new signage and painting.
Rev. Tolliver stated that the Seed House was expanding their business to include delivery service. Germaine’s was going to expand their business hours into the evening.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he has received some complaints from residents of Coventry Farms that trash is not being picked up when it is supposed to be and sometimes it was missed altogether.
Rev. Tolliver stated that Washington Park Day would be held on Saturday, August 11th. He asked who he could contact to see about spraying for mosquitos. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the State and County control the spraying so he should check with them to see if there a schedule.
Rev. Tolliver stated that this was the 5th Annual Legacy Day and he would like to have a proclamation from the Mayor and Council in celebration. He also said that there will be a celebration remembering Wade Brown on Calvert Street that same day.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he was concerned over the incident that took place at Calvert and Lynchburg Streets over the weekend. He encouraged residents to find more productive ways to solve conflict.
Rev. Tolliver reminded residents that it was their responsibility to keep their lawns mown and to clear brush and clean up trash.
Mr. Stetson stated that he met with Amy Meeks of the Recreation Commission and Tom Sappington of the Street crew to lay out the placement of the new playground equipment Bailey Park. He said that he also ordered metal signs for the Dog Park. He said that he had laminated signs in the past but they needed to be replaced too often.
Mr. Stetson stated that August’s First Friday was a great time until the rains came and Saturday’s Music in the Park was also great.
Mr. Stetson stated that he was having a hard time with the billing department at Atlantic Broadband, spending long times on hold and not receiving callbacks or return emails. He said that he hoped to see an improvement in their customer service.
Mayor Cerino stated that Ms. Connie Hickman had asked to address discuss homeless issues in Chestertown. Ms. Hickman asked if the Mayor and Council could do anything to help with this problem in Chestertown as many people are sleeping on the streets. Ms. Hickman stated that the she had an apartment at Chestertown Landing but was evicted when her brother, who is homeless and has cancer, was found to be staying with her.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town supports the Samaritan Group which does have a shelter but is only open during winter months. Ms. Hickman stated that all of the housing projects in the area have a waiting list and there were several people who were completely homeless waiting to find a place to live. Ms. Hickman stated that she is a disabled widow receiving social security disability and only has about $750.00 per month.
Ms. Kuiper asked if Ms. Hickman has been to Kent County Social Services. Ms. Hickman stated that she has been but they are not much help. She said that she has a HUD voucher but does not know if she will be chosen for housing or not. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town has participated in the building or sponsoring of many low income housing projects in Town, but the Town did not oversee the day to day activities of those housing developments. Ms. Hickman stated that the waiting lists seem to be long and the best that Social Services will do is to put them up in a hotel for a night.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.
Ms. Emily Moseman, resident of the 400 block of High Street, stated that the house on the corner of High Street and South Kent Street is again becoming a hangout for people and she thought that there were drug deals taking place. She said that the apartment building is mostly rented to college students who are not in residence during the summer months and the people hanging out there are not visiting anyone in the apartment building. Ms. Moseman said that she called the police but they can’t really do anything to help without making a formal complaint. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he will contact the owner of the building because if the owner is making the complaint the police will be able to help. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this problem may solve itself once the students return for the fall semester.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor