Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – December 3, 2018

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

DECEMBER 3, 2018

Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:31 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 Public Hearing for Ordinance 06-2018 Amendment to Chapter 170 Zoning – Text Change Amendments and the Mayor and Council Meeting of November 19, 2018. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

 Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,586,081.42. There were also restricted funds for the Marina project totaling $254,553.53.

 Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Ms. Lauren Frick, Secretary of the Enactus Club at Washington College gave a presentation on a proposed electric vehicle ride share project. Ms. Frick stated that Enactus is a global student service organization aimed at implementing the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of entrepreneurship; action for others, and; creating a better world for all.

Ms. Frick stated that Enactus’ latest project was a partnership with Greenspot for an electric vehicle ride sharing program in Chestertown. She said that the grant application is through the Maryland Department of Energy and part of the Volkswagen Mitigation Plan. If the grant is received, Greenspot will install two charging stations and provide two 2018 Chevy Volts that residents or visitors will be able to reserve at an hourly rate through an app on their cell phone. Greenspot collects the payment, insures the cars, and pays for maintenance. Ms. Frick state that ride shares are becoming more popular and are available through Greenspot in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Washington D.C. She said that the ride share program helps with sustainable development goals, improves mobility, is environmentally sustainable and can be used as a tourist attraction.

Ms. Frick stated that the charging stations are for public use, but the funding is at 100% if it is on public land; 80% if on private land. The grant deadline is March 15, 2019 and she said that Enactus was seeking a letter of support from the Town of Chestertown to go with the application, with the understanding that the letter was not a commitment. Ms. Frick stated that if the grant application is approved, they will then determine where the charging stations will be installed after a survey of the residents is performed to see who would benefit most from the rideshare. She said that the research she has compiled so far indicates that the Third Ward would be a good area for placement. Mayor Cerino stated that the Marina might be a good location for visiting boaters who need transportation once they dock in Chestertown.

Ms. Frick stated that residents who would also benefit from ride share are those who do not own personal vehicles and need rides to doctors’ appointments or stores.

Mayor Cerino asked what would happen if the car was not returned. Ms. Frick stated that Greenspot insures and are responsible for the car. Mayor Cerino asked other funding responsibility the College would need, other than land. Ms. Frick stated that the land was all they needed as Greenspot insures for liability and maintenance of the cars and the charging stations.

Ms. Kuiper asked where the College wanted to put it. Ms. Frick stated that they would want to install the ride share somewhere easily accessible to the public, saying that Fountain Park would be a good spot or somewhere in Ward Three, as there were many residents in that area who do not have a personal vehicle. She said that the College is open to other suggestions but was hoping to use public land for the install. Ms. Frick stated that one of their grant goals, and the reason they would perform a survey, is to find their target audience.

Mr. Stetson asked if this was done anywhere else in Maryland. Ms. Frick stated that they were not in Maryland yet, but the hope was that in time Ride Shares would be in many different locations in the State. She said that in addition to public places where there are installations, there were private apartment complexes that had ride shares for the residents in those complexes to use.

Ms. Kuiper stated that a business in the Third Ward just installed electric chargers and she thought that this might be a conflict for them as they used their own funding for the project. Mr. Ingersoll said that for economic developments, he favored extending the program to entrepreneur’s rather than relying on the public sector to provide the land.

Mayor Cerino likened Ride Share to Bikeshare (which has taken off in many cities across the country), in that the cars could be rented in one place and dropped at a location near the user’s destination. Another vehicle would be rented for the user’s return trip. Ms. Frick stated that she thought that would be the end goal for the program as Ride Share is continuing to grow.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that one thing that worried him was whether the people the grant targeted would necessarily have the technology needed or the experience with apps to use the program. He reiterated that an entrepreneur at 80% of the costs may be the way to go at this point because it puts someone in charge of the operation.

Mayor Cerino asked if the Council would be interested in writing a letter of the support for the grant. Mr. Foster moved for a letter of support for Enactus for the Ride Share Program Grant and giving Mayor Cerino authorization to sign the letter on behalf of the Council, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Ms. Frick stated that a survey will be completed once funding is decided.

Mr. Ingersoll called Chief Baker forward noting that Chief Baker had asked earlier in the day to be put on the agenda. Chief Baker stated that an offer was made to two (2) certified officers after advertising in the paper and on the internet. He said that they both candidates rejected the offer and have accepted positions outside of Chestertown.

Chief Baker stated that as a by-product of the request for officers, there were many applications for the position from people interested in the job, but they were not certified. Chief Baker stated that he would like to send two (2) of those applicants to the Police Academy and was requesting the resources to do so.  The next academy classes begin on January 4, 2019 but there were many steps for a recruit to go through before making someone an offer.   In addition, the department would be short two (2) officers for 6-months. Chief Baker stated that costs for the Academy are approximately $20,000.00 plus a $4,000.00 enrollment fee. A main cost is lodging at approximately $8,000.00. Chief Baker stated that another agency offered to house the recruits gratis, which meant total costs would be approximately $25,000.00.

Mayor Cerino asked how long the officers would be committed to Chestertown. Chief Baker stated that the officers would be committed for 3 years or the Town would recover the costs for their Academy training.

Mayor Cerino asked if the vacated positions would be covered by overtime or is that where the money would be pulled from for the Academy. Chief Baker stated that the vacant position budget funds could be used for some of the overtime, but that there may be a “burn-out” factor with the existing officers during the long training time.

Mr. Foster asked how many officers the Town has sent through the Academy. Chief Baker stated that he thought one-third of the force had gone through the Academy with Chestertown paying the costs. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town needed officers who would stay. He said that when the officers started this way, they tended to stay in Chestertown longer.

The Council agreed to recruiting two (2) officers to begin the Police Academy on January 4, 2019 at the approximate cost of $25,000.00.

Mr. Stetson asked if there have been problems with packages delivered by UPS going missing this holiday season. Chief Baker stated that there have not been any reports to the police department to date.

Mr. Ingersoll read Resolution 04-2018 Town of Chestertown Real Property Tax Credit into the record. He said that Chestertown approved the designation of an Enterprise Zone in 2016 and KRM’s new headquarters building will cost approximately $11,000,000.00 and qualified for the real property tax credits against the increase in County and Town taxes continuing for nine (9) consecutive years, with the first 5 years at 80% and there after reducing 10% for each of the remaining four (4) years. Mr. Stetson moved to approve Resolution 04-2018 Real Property Credit as submitted was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Ms. Kay MacIntosh stated that she was busy preparing for the upcoming Dickens of a Christmas this weekend. She said that it is going be a wonderful weekend in Chestertown and the weather was supposed to cooperate. The festivities began on Friday, December 7th with First Friday in Chestertown.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the lights downtown looked fantastic and the addition of the Fountain Park tree was beautiful. He commended Mr. Tom Sappington and the Street Crew for decorating in addition to their other duties in Town. He also complemented the other volunteers (Curbside, DCA, Garden Club) who have contributed to the beauty.

Mayor Cerino read a proclamation declaring January 22, 2019 as a National Day of Racial Healing in Chestertown and across the Country.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Annual Christmas Decorating Contest would be decided at the first meeting in January 2019.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Town requested the speed limit to be lowered along Quaker Neck Road and he received a response from the State Highway Administration denying the request. He said that this issue will need to be revisited once the Seamans-Griswald Environmental Building is built. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was disappointed how quickly the Town was denied. He recommended inviting the new SHA District Engineer to a Town meeting to start out on a good foot for past and future projects in Town. He noted that the SHA Washington Avenue study had fizzled as had the Flatland Road study. Mr. Foster agreed, stating that he was also disappointed as the Washington Avenue Neighborhood Association spent time working with the SHA for improvements along Rt. 213 and to date the SHA has done nothing in the way of those improvements.

Mr. Stetson asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of George W. Bush, Sr., noting that this was a great loss for the Country.

Mayor Cerino asked for ward reports.

Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Tree lighting and said that Chestertown looked fabulous. He said that he also judged the Christmas Parade, which was something that he really enjoyed. Mr. Stetson stated that he was looking forward to the Dickens Weekend and hoped it was well-attended.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he wanted to thank Greenscape Landscaping for their work cleaning up the plantings at the traffic circle.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he attended a community outreach Bethel A.M.E. for the veterans where they celebrated with food and gifts.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he also attended the Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony and enjoyed both. He reminded members of the Third ward to get out and decorate for the holidays.

Ms. Kuiper stated that Sumner Hall was holding a concert on Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. with Daryl Davis and Boogie Woogie.

Ms. Kuiper state that the Historical Society was offering wassel and cookies on First Friday.

Ms. Kuiper reminded people to be on alert and to lock their doors and windows. She said that people take for granted the nice area in which we live, but there is crime and she wanted people to be safe.

Ms. Kuiper offered condolences to the family of Donna Hickman, a potter in the Artisan Market who passed away last week.

Mr. Foster stated that he was aware of the preparations taking place for the Dickens of a Christmas and he said that Fountain Park looks great. He said that he thought the Dickens festival would be terrific.

Mr. Foster stated that he attended the swearing in of the new Kent County Commissioners this morning at the courthouse.

Mayor Cerino stated that Ms. Dolly Baker asked to be on the agenda this evening and called her forward. Ms. Baker stated that she would like to be allowed to sell her prints as they were “value added agriculture”. She said that she grew her produce and painted the prints herself. The prints were of vegetables and printed locally. She said that she has been a farmer in the market for years and began selling the notecards 2 years ago, alongside her produce. Ms. Baker said she was being told by the Farmers Market managers that she can’t sell them as they “didn’t fall under what is allowed at the Farmers Market and weren’t allowed for sale”. She said that the managers said that she was welcome to two (2) tables (one in the Artisans park and one in the Farmers Market) but she was a small one-person vendor and did not think that was necessary. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the vendor painted cards were secondary to what Ms. Baker was growing and selling and said that he did not know why there was even an issue. He recommended that the Council allow Ms. Baker to continue selling her own painted cards. Mr. Foster moved that Ms. Baker’s watercolors are secondary to her produce sales and are to be permitted for sale in the Farmers Market, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.  

There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Foster moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

 Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                                 Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                            Mayor

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