Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – June 6, 2017

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

JUNE 6, 2017

Mr. David Turner said he was here to present the Kent County Cup to the Mayor and Council for a permanent display at Town Hall. This award was given each year to an individual who selflessly promotes equestrian activities in Kent County. Ms. Casey Turner and Ms. Sarah Hofstetter, members of the 4H Bits sand Bridles Riding Club, presented the cup to Mayor Cerino.

Mr. Jon Hanley was present on behalf of the Chestertown Environmental Committee. Mr. Hanley stated that on June 17, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Chestertown Natural Food Store would collect batteries, CFLs and #5 plastics for recycling.

Mr. Hanley stated that he also wanted to discuss the Baywise Program, a program that has been in effect since 2000. Maryland Master Gardeners were running the program, headed by Sabine Harvey, and he distributed pamphlets to the Council. He said that points were given for each effort put forth on a homeowner’s property to reduce runoff. Things like rain barrels, rain gardens, bird baths and planting native species all helped with water runoff. He said that environmentally sound insecticides and pesticides were also discussed as part of the program. Mr. Hanley stated that normally the Environmental Committee takes a break in July and August but they would continue to meet this year to develop an educational program to help the Master Gardeners get the word out and to get people involved in the Baywise Program.

Mr. Hanley stated that the Kent County Middle School Vegetable Garden, Eastern Neck Island Butterfly Garden, Heron Point Retirement Community and approximately 25 private residences have already been certified Baywise in Kent County.

Ms. Gross stated that if larger institutions could be influenced to take part in the program there would be a bigger impact in the community.

Mayor Cerino called the Mayor and Council meeting to order at 7:44 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross 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 May 15, 2017. Ms. Gross moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of May 15, 2017, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,040,117.32. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a separate fund for the Broad Reach sculpture donations in the amount of $1,509.67.

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 carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll asked if there was a motion to adopt Ordinance 01-2017 Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18. Mr. Stetson moved to adopt Ordinance 01-2017 was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously. Mayor Cerino stated that he received emails from Ms. Kuiper and Mr. Shoge indicated their proxy to vote in favor of the budget.

Mr. Ingersoll reviewed Resolution 04-2017 Strategic Demolition Fund Authorization which endorsed a grant application for the KRM infrastructure development project which requested financial assistance for up to $3.5 million. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this resolution would be part of an application by KRM to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Ms. Gross moved to approve Resolution 04-2017 Strategic Demolition Fund Authorization and authorizing Mayor Cerino to sign all relevant documents pertaining to the application, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.    

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Resolution 05-2017 Support for Main Street Historic Chestertown’s Application to Community Legacy Funding for Façade Improvements. This resolution was to be included as part of Main Street’s $70,000.00 grant application for façade improvement programs which would offer matching grants to building owners or their commercial tenants through DHCD. Ms. MacIntosh stated that approved projects would be given up to 60% (with a cap of $20,000.00) in the first year of the program. Ms. Gross moved to approve Resolution 05-2017 Support for Main Street Historic Chestertown’s Application to Community Legacy Funding for Façade Improvements, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that an issue recently arose regarding fees for transient tie-ups at the Marina. Mr. Ingersoll stated that over the weekend the Marina was basically empty and boaters going to the Fish Whistle were being charged $20.00 to tie up for 2 to 3 hours. He said that some local boaters complained about this fee. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the idea of having a fee was important because on crowded weekends there may not be space. After speaking to Mayor Cerino, he was decided to drop the fee to $10.00 (for boats up to 35’ docking up to 3 hours) if they presented the marina a voucher or receipt from a local shop or restaurant.

Mayor Cerino stated that after the work is complete at the Marina the Town may want to look at space for people who want to dock for a short amount of time to eat at the Fish Whistle. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Fish Whistle could also rent a slip or slips to use for docking all summer. Mr. Ingersoll stated that it was no longer permissible to tie up at the foot of High Street which is owned by Kent County.   Mr. Ingersoll stated that docking was always free at Wilmer Park.

Mayor Cerino stated that he, along with other members of the Council, attended a meeting of the Kent County Commissioners to request the return of the tax rebate that used to be given to Chestertown for duplication of services. He said that there were 23 counties in the State of Maryland, 2 of which do not have municipalities. Out of the remaining 21 counties, 18 provide their municipalities with either a tax rebate or a lower county tax to offset the tax burden imposed by the municipality. Mayor Cerino stated that the Commissioners seemed amenable to a rebating, noting that this was something that up until 2014 the County did provide, but because revenues were flat after the recession the funding ended. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town of Chestertown pays for road maintenance and policing in Town limits which in Kent County accounts for a quarter of the residents and is the most traveled part of the County. Mayor Cerino stated that when the Town presented before the Commissioners they had already struck their budget, but it was promising that the County was hopeful the revenues would go up in future years and the Council would return to the County to discuss the matter further in the near future.

Ms. Gross stated that the National Music Festival was in full swing and running well. Music would be provided all throughout Town and there were over 230 rehearsals during the two week festival which were free and open to the public. The rehearsal schedule was on the website at www.nationalmusic.us.

Mr. Stetson stated that he received word on Monday that the pavilion for the small dog park would not be installed for 6 to 8 weeks. He said that he originally thought the pavilion would be installed by the 4th of July but was now hoping for Labor Day.

Mayor Cerino stated that the work at the Marina was coming along and said that he was looking to finish Phase I (bulk heads, boardwalks and ramp in the marina basin area) by the 4th of July. Once that work was finished the finger piers will go out.

Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.

Mr. David Turner stated that he was sorry to see the movie theater in Washington Square had closed. Mayor Cerino agreed stating that he was a patron of that theater but it was a private business and the Mayor and Council had no control over this particular situation. Ms. MacIntosh stated that Economic Development was going to look investigate options for a theatre in the future.

There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                     Mayor

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