MAYOR AND COUNCIL
OCTOBER 3, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:37 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 September 19, 2016. Ms. Gross moved to approve the minutes with a minor correction on page 3, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $935,057.99 and there was assigned funds for waterfront initiatives in the amount of $180,480.00 for total operating funds of $1,115,537.99.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like clarification on the $30,000.00 by the Town payment to the Utilities Commission. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the $30,000.00 was a grant from MDE for chemicals wired into a Town account instead of one for the Utilities Commission. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that someone cut a hole in the new chain link fence at the Middle School and said he would look into why the Town, and not the Middle School, was being charged to fix it.
Mr. Evan Miles was present on behalf of the Kent County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals. Mr. Miles stated that the Young Professionals were established last year and were focusing on activism and community engagement. He said that he, Mr. Sam Shoge and Mr. C.J. Price rounded out the members of the board.
Mr. Miles stated that at the end of 2015 they had over 300 “likes” on their Facebook Page. He said that they were holding monthly meetings and have created by-laws, a website, and had hosted several events at First Friday. He said that their organization also held a Wilmer Park shoreline clean-up and Sassafras River shoreline clean-up.
Mr. Miles stated that once the Young Professionals partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, doors were opened to partnering with other groups such as the Rotary, SCORE, Arts & Entertainment, and the Chester River Association.
Mr. Miles stated that the Young Professionals had broken into four (4) committees focusing on service, social, professional development, and advocacy.
Mr. Miles stated that as part of the social aspect of their group, the Young Professionals were hosting a “Beer Fest” at Wilmer Park on November 5, 2016 and were looking for a donation in the amount of $500.00 from the Town of Chestertown.
Mr. Miles stated that the Young Professionals were also looking to help with food drives, community clean-ups, job fairs, and any other activity that will help to benefit the community.
Mr. Miles stated that the Beer Fest will be a ticketed event and individual tickets can be purchased for $35.00 online. If tickets are available they will be sold at the door for $40.00 on the day of the event. Seven (7) breweries out of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia will be present their products at the festival.
Mr. Stetson stated that he was not clear how the $500.00 would be used and said that he did not think it was appropriate for the Council to give money to an organization to buy alcohol. Mr. Miles stated that basically the Young Professionals had no start-up funds available for the event, with the exception of a few sponsors. Ms. Gross stated that she thought it may be illegal to use government funds to purchase alcoholic beverages.
Mr. Shoge stated that what the Young Professionals was seeking from the Town was a $500.00 sponsorship for the group and said that he thought the requested donation from the Town would go toward insurance costs for the event, not alcohol.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Young Professionals would like to adopt the final leg of the Rail-Trail when it was built, so the Town and the Young Professionals would really be more of a partnership. He said that a cleanup has been sponsored by their organization at the Wilmer Park and they were trying to facilitate community service done.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Council could possibly waive the fee for the booking of the pavilion and suggested a $300.00 donation might be returned to the Town if the Beer Fest turned a profit.
Ms. Kuiper asked if the Young Professionals have asked the Chamber of Commerce for financial support. Mr. Shoge stated that the Chamber did not have any seed money available.
Ms. Gross asked what qualified a person to be a member of the Young Professionals. Mr. Miles stated that any full-time employee under the age of 50 was considered a Young Professional.
Mayor Cerino stated that this was a brand new event and a new organization in the community which made it difficult to find start-up money and sponsors. Mayor Cerino asked that the Young Professionals fill out a donation form and said the donation would be discussed at the next meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had amended Resolution 01-2016 Food Truck Pilot Program and outlined the amendments since the September 19th meeting. He said that the changes were for parking at the Park Row curb on the north side of the Fountain Park, Memorial Plaza in front of the Courthouse and for along Speer Road. There was a suggested $10.00 daily fee; $25.00 monthly fee; $100.00 bi-annual fee or $200.00 annual fee paid in advance in order to participate in the program. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was an exception to the use of the Courthouse side of Memorial Plaza on any day when a funeral is held Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Mr. Shoge asked what a $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy cost. Mr. Ingersoll stated that it was standard insurance amount for any business.
Mayor Cerino stated that he was concerned over the noise that the generators made on the food trucks. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town Noise Ordinance could not be violated and said that this was already written into the pilot resolution, noting that several generators used at once may make noise. Chief Baker stated that Noise Ordinance read that noise should not be heard from more than 50’ away. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town was the entity that heard complaints and he wanted to make sure that the rules were enforceable.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a representative from the Papa Smurf Food Truck was present and asked if requiring a quieter generator would cause a problem for their business. Ms. Miller stated that their generator was loud but they were upgrading in the very near future (as their generator required more than 10,000 watts).
Mayor Cerino stated that he was comfortable passing the resolution adding in language about not exceeding a certain decibel level and that the Police Department will acquire a decibel reader.
Ms. Kuiper moved to approve Resolution 01-2016 Food Truck Pilot Program, allowing food trucks on certain Town streets with the understanding that a decibel rating will be added to the Resolution, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried with three (3) in favor, Ms. Gross and Mr. Stetson opposed.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that also on the agenda was the possible introduction of Ordinance 03-2016, Amendment to Chapter 170 of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Ingersoll stated that that a public hearing was held by the Mayor and Council on August 1st regarding the rezoning requests and read the proposed Ordinance into the record.
Mr. Stetson stated that he would like to see the revised area maps once more before adopting the Ordinance, as he thought the Town might be allowing too much of the available Industrial zoning area to change. Ms. Gross noted that multi-family residential would add to the tax base. Mayor Cerino stated that he would be extremely concerned if this was the only industrial area but the Town just annexed 45 acres, some of which is zoned Industrial.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would ask Mr. de Mooy to present the specifics of the mapping at the next meeting. He said that the Council would need to make findings of fact in their motion to approve the changes in zoning.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the discussion of a donation request by Crossroads Community was next on the agenda. Mr. Ingersoll asked Mr. John Plaskon, who was representing Crossroads Community, if they have gone before the Kent County Commissioners to ask them for a donation. Mr. Plaskon stated that he intended to go before the Kent County Commissioners in the near future. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were more people served in Kent County than in the Town of Chestertown.
Mr. Plaskon stated that he wanted to clarify that the requested donation was not for their normal day-to-day operations but it was a unique pass-through to support a dental care program for the consumers they serve.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she could not support the donation request as Crossroads Community was a non-profit and received funding through the State. She said that people could make private donations and claim a tax deduction. Ms. Kuiper stated that if Crossroads Community found a grant that they would like to apply for, she would be happy to sign a letter of support.
Ms. Gross stated that she was sympathetic to the request but thought the amount was too large. She said that Crossroads Community’s head office is based in Centreville and their population served was greater in Queen Anne’s County which is why Centreville could justify a $2,000.00 allocation. Mr. Shoge stated that he thought this was an opportunity to help people in the community and said that he was in support of a donation request noting that the initial request was large. Mayor Cerino stated that he thought $500.00 was a suitable donation to Crossroads with the population being served in Chestertown.
Mr. Shoge moved to approve a $500.00 donation to support Crossroads Community dental program, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried with four (4) in favor, Ms. Kuiper opposed.
Mayor Cerino stated that a weather system sat over Chestertown last week and many people saw firsthand the amount of flooding that takes place by the marina. He said that the schedule for repairs this winter was to bid out work for the basin in the boat ramp area, replace and fix the bulk heading in that area, and build a new centered boat ramp. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a push for funding taking place and Mr. de Mooy was submitting a USDA grant request for $500,000.00 with a required 1.2% interest loan for $500,000.00. If the Town was put into the capital budget next winter all other issues can be addressed in a comprehensive matter including new docks, dredging the rest of the basin, fixing all of the bulk heading, and raising the overall grade.
Mr. Stetson stated that a new walkway and parking area had been installed at the Bailey Park.
Mr. Stetson stated that he received a phone call today from the editor of the Kent County News asking if he wanted to withdraw a letter to the editor that he submitted earlier in the day. Mr. Stetson read the letter he wrote into the record and said that he was unhappy with the stories and editorials that the paper printed regarding the Open Meetings Violation.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Young Professionals were making strides in getting the next generation involved civically. He said that it was taking time to foster and develop relationships in the community. Mr. Shoge added that there needed to be activities for the younger adults to enjoy and jobs to keep a younger population working.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she volunteered on the Tea Party Festival Committee and they were recruiting for volunteers. There will be a meeting on Wednesday, October 5th at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Visitors Center for anyone interested. She wondered if any Young Professionals would like to get involved with the Tea Party.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Harry Potter Festival was a huge success but said she was concerned about pedestrian safety as the Town was congested with people and vehicles. She suggested more street closures next year and possibly a shuttle for parking.
Ms. Kuiper stated that First Friday was scheduled for October 7th. Downrigging weekend was scheduled for the end of the month and the GAR building was planning several events.
Ms. Gross stated that Riverfest and Harry Potter were both wonderful events and said that the merchants seemed to profit from the festivals as well.
Ms. Kay MacIntosh stated that she applied for a $2,000.00 matching grant from the Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc. and Stories of the Chesapeake. She said that this would be for way-finding signage. She asked for a letter of support from the Town for this grant which will cover the costs of a consultant who would meet with stakeholders to develop a system for signage and develop a design schematic fitting the character of Chestertown.
Ms. Kuiper asked if this would overlap with the TAC (Tourist Area Corridor) Program. Ms. MacIntosh stated that this was separate from the TAC program and a consultant would help with the design scheme. A separate entity would make the signs and install them after the project was bid out.
Mayor Cerino stated that he had $2,500.00 in last year’s budget for directional signage which was never spent as the project was buried on the priority list. He said that he would like to see Ms. MacIntosh work on this project.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she did not think that the Town should pay for someone to consult on signage when Chestertown was not that large and the Town knew where they wanted visitors to go. Ms. MacIntosh stated that there was a science to knowing where to place signs and how many signs there should be in Town. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would also like Ms. MacIntosh to work with Ms. Bernadette Bowman in Tourism as there could be a lot of overlapping when it comes to signs.
Ms. Gross moved for a letter of support to the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area for way-finding signage in the amount of $2,000.00 was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor