MAYOR AND COUNCIL
DECEMBER 5, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge 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 November 21, 2016. Ms. Gross moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of November 21, 2016 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $2,050,454.53 and there were assigned funds for waterfront initiatives in the amount of $180,480.00 included in those funds. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a separate fund for the Broad Reach sculpture donations in the amount of $80,456.69.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Ms. Aliesha Scarlett of Lindsey & Associates, LLC presented the audit for year end June 30, 2016. Ms. Scarlett stated that the Town received a clean, unqualified opinion with no issues found. Ms. Scarlett answered questions from the Council, mostly about the WYNNE Case and State pension actuarial assumptions, costs, noting that if any further matters needed addressing that Lindsey & Associates could be reached at any time for clarification.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Scarlett was a pleasure to work with. He said that he also wanted to recognize Ms. Amanda Miller, the Town’s accounting clerk, for her work in general and on the audit, noting that she was taking government accounting courses and said that her initiative was impressive.
Ms. Nina Fleegle was present on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals to give an update on the Brew Fest, which would now be their annual fundraiser. Ms. Fleegle stated that after expenses the Young Professionals made a little over $6,000.00 on their event, half of which would be used as seed money for 2017’s Brew Fest and the other half would go to this year’s programming costs. She said that next year’s event will be held on November 4, 2017. There was a total of 12 sponsors represented at the Brew Fest and said that she appreciated their support.
Ms. Fleegle stated that the Young Professionals was a good way to network and socialize with people ages 21 to 45 in the area and said that they have about 75 active members at present, with 350 members overall. At this time, there was no charge to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.
Mr. Shoge stated that he wanted to thank Mr. Ingersoll and Ms. Mulligan for their help with the permit process for the Brew Fest.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town replaced the 20-ton AC/heat unit, using the services of Service Today for a cost of $22,700.00. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the high bid on the project came out at $48,000.00 and said that he thought that Service Today did a great job.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a bid opening was scheduled for the Marina for basin bulk heading and ramp replacement on Friday, December 16th.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Christmas Decorating Contest was quickly approaching. It was decided that the Council would report on the winners at the January 3, 2017 meeting.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town sent out bid documents for repairs at the marina using the $200,000.00 Waterway Improvement Fund Grant from DNR from FY2015’s budget as permits were just received in June 2016. This grant required a one-to-one match and the money received for the purchase of the Armory will be used for the work. The work will mainly take place in the boat ramp basin, with the removal and replacement of the bulkhead, building of finger piers and relocation and buildout of a new boat ramp. Bids are due December 16th and the Town would like to begin work quickly as there were only certain times some of the work could take place before February 15th.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town requested $1.5million from the miscellaneous projects portion of the Governor’s Capital Budget for this fiscal year. There was a letter writing campaign organized by the Chestertown Waterfront Coalition with over 400 letters collected. The Governor made a site visit and representatives from several different agencies operating within the budget were in Chestertown to see how they could help as well. A lobbyist was hired by the Chestertown Waterfront Coalition who indicated that the Marina project was “on the fence” and now was the time to make noise in support of the project. Mayor Cerino stated that the lobbyist indicated that decisions were being made in the next 7 to 10 days. Mayor Cerino urged everyone in favor of the project to resubmit their letter of support or make a call to the Governor’s Office.
Mayor Cerino stated that if the Governor can’t fund the money through the miscellaneous projects category there were additional ways that the request can be funded in the budget. He said that projects for the budget should have cultural, historical, economic development and revitalization significance and he said that the Chestertown project has all of those attributes.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would not disparage any political parties or individuals, but he felt it was necessary to say that the past Presidential Election was challenging with statements made by others that were discriminatory and unlike any election he has seen in his lifetime. He said that as long as he was the Mayor of Chestertown, everyone was welcome regardless of color, creed, gender or sexual orientation. He said that Chestertown was an open democracy and would remain as such. Mayor Cerino stated that the negativity of the past Election will not spill over to our Town.
Ms. Gross stated that a letter was in each of the Council’s mailboxes on behalf of Heron Point. She said that over 2 years ago the Town granted a permit to erect a small building at the entrance of Heron Point to monitor the contractors coming and going during a large renovation on the campus. Ms. Gross stated that this permit expired in October 2016 and the building was still in place (on the Campus Avenue right-of-way). Ms. Gross stated that Mr. Garrett Falcone, Executive Director of Heron Point, has requested that Heron Point be permitted to continue to use the building as a manned welcome booth, with security monitors to be installed for night for use when not manned. Ms. Gross stated that at the time the permit was submitted to the Town there was some fear that it may turn Heron Point into a gated community, but that is not intent.
Ms. Gross stated that the request before the Mayor and Council was to permit the use of a shed which will be manned during daytime hours to help people with directions or other issues upon entering Heron Point. Ms. Gross stated that ACTs (management company for Heron Point) will provide the Town with liability insurance coverage for any incidents relating to this building. Ms. Gross stated that the residents of Heron Point are in favor of the building remaining in place.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did not foresee a problem by extending the permit for a couple years and if Heron Point would like a permanent easement at some time after successful use of the property, that was something that could be discussed as well.
Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the extension of the permit/privilege allowing the retention of the welcome booth at Heron Point on the corner of Campus Avenue and Sassafras Drive, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried with four (4) in favor, Ms. Gross abstained.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like to move forward with the County Commissioners to apply to the State of Maryland for tastings at the Farmers Market, noting that the farmers and/or vendors providing the tastings would bear all expenses, including the Health Department inspections and monitoring. Ms. Kuiper stated that she was hoping to begin tastings in April and said that she was against any person cooking in the Park. The Council agreed that there should be no cooking in the Park.
Ms. Kuiper moved to approve for a representative of the Kent County Health Department to seek approval and support from the County Commissioners in regards to having the Commissioners obtain permits through the State of Maryland which are required to allow free tastings at the Farmers Market to begin April 1, 2017, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Ms. Kuiper stated that all of the holiday festivities in Town have been wonderful and are great for the Town.
Mr. Stetson asked if the Town heard from the SHA regarding the removal of the 40 mph sign just before Rt. 514. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was not quite finished with back and forth negotiations and would report back at the next meeting.
Mr. Stetson stated that he would again like the Council to consider changing the name of the Chestertown Marina to the Chestertown Waterfront Park. He said that he thought funding was more likely to go to parks and this was not a working marina where the Town would be making profit from repairing or maintaining boats.
Mr. Stetson stated that he drove around his ward and all roads were in need of repair. He said that when the budget comes up again there had to be money set aside to have all streets in Town repaved.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor