Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – November 20, 2017

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

NOVEMBER 20, 2017

Mayor Chris Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. 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 Public Hearing of November 6, 2017, Mayor and Council Meeting of November 6, 2017 or the Board of Supervisors of Elections minutes of November 8, 2017. Ms. Gross moved to approve the Mayor and Council Public Hearing minutes of November 6, 2017, Mayor and Council minutes of November 6, 2017 and the Board of Supervisors of Elections minutes of November 8, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,507,561.10. The donations for the Broadreach sculpture have a balance of

$-25,674.65 (pending receipt of pledged donations). The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $85,597.00 for marina work.

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.

Mayor Cerino called forward Mr. Jerry Roderick of Washington College Campus Safety for a presentation. Mr. Roderick stated that a student was struck by a car at the intersection of Campus Avenue and Washington Avenue a few weeks ago and this was not the first incident. He said that a similar incident occurred in March 2015.

Mr. Roderick stated that staff, students and parents have expressed concern over the safety at this intersection and said that there are 225 staff and students who cross Washington Avenue on a daily basis to go to the new Cromwell Hall building. He showed photos of the intersection from several directions.

Mr. Roderick stated that the College would like to see separate signaled arrows for left hand turns, the installation of “No Right On Red” signs, and an extended red light for pedestrian crossing when no vehicular movements would take place.

Ms. Gross stated that Washington Avenue was a State road and the Council could not make changes to it, although she agreed with Mr. Roderick’s remarks. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he Mayor and Council was chosen to be the forum to get SHA’s attention, noting that this area was supposedly already studied by the SHA Task Force for pedestrian safety. Ms. Kuiper stated that this issue was brought up at the Task Force meeting with SHA, along with the deteriorating sidewalks on Washington Avenue.

Mayor Cerino stated that he would like for Washington College to address a letter to the Mayor and Council with a list of recommended improvements addressing the safety concerns. The Mayor and Council would then forward the College’s letter with a letter of their own requesting changes to the intersection. Mr. Ingersoll asked for a copy of the PowerPoint to include with the letters.

Chief Baker presented the Police Report for October 2017. Chief Baker stated that there were no problems to report over Halloween. Downrigging Weekend was also a success with no reported problems.

Mr. Stetson stated that a driver has to yield to a person in the crosswalk and no charges were pressed against the individual who struck the pedestrian at Washington College. He said that a citation should have been issued. Ms. Gross agreed stating that drivers are not paying attention, noting issues at the Farmers Market on Saturdays and also at the Post Office on Spring Street.

Mr. Ingersoll gave his report. He stated that the Charter required that he record the votes of the Election into the record. He said that the Election took place on November 7th and read the minutes of the Chestertown Board of Supervisors of Elections into the record with the results as follows:

Mayor:            Chris Cerino: 344 votes and 20 absentee ballot votes for a total of 364;

First Ward:     Owen Bailey: 104 votes and 8 absentee ballot votes for a total of 112;

John David Foster: 135 votes and 8 absentee ballot votes for a total of 143;

Bob Miller: 38 votes and 4 absentee ballot votes for a total of 42.

Third Ward:   Ellsworth Tolliver: 27 votes.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he wanted to compliment the Board of Election Supervisors, Kent County Board of Elections, volunteers, election workers and Ms. Mulligan for coordinating the election. He said that in the last two elections there were minor incidents that had to be endured and people will not continue to serve if they are not respected. He said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but when people include incidents and what they perceive as wrong-doing on blog sites and single out individuals by name, it crosses a line.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the Town needed to again look into moving elections to the Gubernatorial and Presidential election cycles. He said that he thought there would have to be a State Bill introduced and approved in the legislature in order to allow this to happen, and that the Town would have to amend its Charter.

Mayor Cerino stated that Santa will arrive on Friday, November 24th on High Street at 6 p.m. Mayor Cerino stated that the Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, November 25th at 10 a.m.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Dickens of a Christmas festival begins on First Friday, December 1st and continues through Sunday, December 3rd.

Mayor Cerino gave a powerpoint presentation on the direction of the Marina renovations for the next calendar year. He gave an overview of the Phase I work which has already been completed. He said that Mr. Shoge used his drone to film the area. He said that Kingfisher Construction was hired and drove new pilings at 55’, installed thick vinyl sheeting, created new walkways, backfilled behind the boardwalk and built a new, wider boat ramp.

Mayor Cerino stated that the bulk heading in Phase I was addressed, along with the raising of the walkways on the Scotts Point side of the Marina (which had been flooding). He said exterior pilings were able to be used on that side and the boardwalk was replaced. New interior pilings and stringers were installed.

Mayor Cerino stated that Phase I was paid for by a $200,000.00 grant from the State’s Waterway Improvement Fund through DNR, and matched by $200,000.00 that the College gave the Town in the transfer of the Armory. Mayor Cerino stated that Phase I will include the installation of 3 floating finger piers and a 100’ floating dock by the boat ramp. The floating pier was scheduled to be delivered after Thanksgiving.

Mayor Cerino stated that a private citizen has given a legacy gift to the project in the amount of $100,000.00. Mayor Cerino stated that Mr. Michael Lawrence lives outside of town at Grassy Meade Farms on Comegys Bight and his health is deteriorating. Mayor Cerino stated that Mr. Lawrence wanted to leave a legacy to the Town and thought this an important project. Mayor Cerino stated that he spoke to Mr. Lawrence about naming an area or a pier in his honor and Mr. Lawrence said that whichever area he chooses, he would like to name it “Grassy Meade Plaza”.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Williams Marine shed will be removed and replaced with the Chestertown Marina Interpretive Center. He showed renderings of the proposed building. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town has been awarded $480,000.00 ($400,000.00 from the Department of Housing and Community Development and $80,000.00 from the Maryland Area Heritage Areas), neither of which require a match. He said that the Marina Interpretive Center was a $1 million dollar building and he hoped that the $480,000.00 would pay for the shell. He said that there was more fundraising to be done.

Mayor Cerino stated that the entire bulkhead in front of the Fish Whistle restaurant will be rebuilt and a new walkway installed. The existing Marina building and oil tank will be removed during this phase and an open space plaza will remain where the marina building was located. A new fuel tank will be moved to higher ground. Mayor Cerino stated that the two (2) docks in front of the Fish Whistle restaurant need to be demolished so that area can be dredged. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town had the funding to remove the two (2) docks in front of the Fish Whistle and to run a new fuel dock and extension to the Sultana Pier.

Mr. Stetson asked if the Marina would sell fuel after the renovation. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there would be a new fuel dock and the tank will be moved to higher ground, closer to the Interpretive Center. Mayor Cerino state that this work will take place before improvements to the land side of the property are finished.

Mayor Cerino stated that the projects he described fall within $350,000.00 to $450,000.00. The Town has a $998,000.00 grant-loan from USDA and there have been discussions as to whether or not Waterway Improvement Funds can be used to match State funds and vice versa. He said that both agencies were willing to pay half of the project, noting that Waterway Improvement Funds cannot be used to match or pay for any work on land.

Mayor Cerino stated that the work he described would begin in December 2017.

Mayor Cerino stated that he hoped to pay for the new docks in front of the Fish Whistle from the proceeds of the Capital funds that were received in 2017.

Mayor Cerino stated that the landside portion of the marina project will have the grade raised 1.5’ to 2’ in order to relieve nuisance tidal flooding. He said that this work will be phased in order to accommodate the businesses that rely on the area.

Mayor Cerino stated that some funding requires matching and the Town may have to make a push from private donors for those purposes. He said that the Town will be receiving bids on all three (3) proposed new piers.

Mr. Shoge asked when economic development should become involved. Mayor Cerino stated that the new interpretive center should serve as a waterfront Visitors Center with rack cards and signage directing people into the downtown area. He said that the area had to be marketed. Ms. Gross stated that Mr. Ingersoll forwarded a video not too long ago and having a video of that for Chestertown when upgrades are made would be fabulous.

Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the dinner and show at Washington College on Veterans Day and said that it was a nice event and included a card thanking him for his service.

Mr. Stetson stated that he represented Chestertown at the Council of Governments (COG) meeting on November 15th in Rock Hall. He said that all the Towns seem to be doing well.

Mr. Stetson stated that he attended a ribbon cutting at the Cottage on Kent on Saturday, November 18th , noting that the owners did a beautiful job renovating the cottage which would be used for short term rentals.

Mr. Stetson wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Mr. Shoge stated that all was well in the Third Ward and said he wanted to congratulate Reverend Ellsworth Tolliver on his election win. Mr. Shoge stated that he was already working with the Garnet Elementary School as some parents have expressed concerns over a drop-off problem occurring in the mornings.

Ms. Kuiper stated that Saturday, November 25th and December 2nd were Small Business Saturdays in Chestertown. Customers can get a passport from the information booth to be stamped in each store they visit and prizes will be awarded based upon the stamps.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Bordley History Center had over 2,000 visitors from February 2017 to October 2017, which did not include those attending the First Friday lectures. One hundred sixty (160) people attended the Historic House Tour. She said that the Bordley Center will extend hours from December 6th – 16th (Wednesdays through Saturday) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be open from noon to 7 p.m. on December 20th – 23rd and on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ms. Kuiper stated that an Ethics Training will be held on Friday, December 8th from 10 a.m. to noon at Town Hall. The training was free and open to the public.

Ms. Gross reminded everyone to remember to rake their leaves but not to put them in the gutters. If left close to the curb the Town Crew will pick them up after the resident calls in the address.

There being no further business, Mr. Shoge moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 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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