MAYOR AND COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
Mayor Chris Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:48 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 meeting of August 21, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting of August 21, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $550,039.26. The donations for the Broadreach sculpture have a balance of $6,434.57. The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $10,216.60.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Former Mayor Margo G. Bailey was present on behalf of the Chestertown Environmental Commission. She gave a PowerPoint presentation on the use of single-use products that could be recycled but were instead going in landfills. Slides were shown of trash that has collected in the oceans, in California waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. She said that at this rate by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than there are fish. Sea creatures are caught in the plastic and/or eat it leading to injuries, and death.
Ms. Bailey stated that in the United States over 500 million straws are used daily (enough to circle the earth 2½ times) and straws are not recycled. Styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose, cannot be recycled and creates methane as it decomposes becoming more toxic than carbon dioxide.
Ms. Bailey stated that another waste of plastic is single-use water bottles. She said that companies are making money using municipal tap water and selling it.
Mayor Bailey stated that the United States should be able to grow hemp as it can be used in many ways that was good for the environment. She said that corn-based plastic was a good product that is underutilized. Mayor Bailey stated that local establishments currently using environmentally friendly products were Smoke, Rattle & Roll and Milano’s Pizza.
Ms. Bailey stated that she would like to draft a letter from the Town to all the restaurant owners asking that their servers ask patrons if they want a straw, Styrofoam box, or plastic bag while encouraging the use of boxes that can be recycled for leftovers. She said that she would send the draft letter to the Town Council for approval.
Mr. Ingersoll called Ms. Rosie Granillo of the Local Management Board to discuss Bridges out of Poverty. Mayor Cerino stated that this was a partnership between the Good Samaritan Group, United Way and Local Management Board. Ms. Granillo stated that Bridges out of Poverty was trying to break the cycle of poverty in our community. There would be a workshop session on September 7th and 8th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Stepne Station for community stakeholders. Ms. Granillo stated that Bridges out of Poverty is an internationally recognized model for helping communities, agencies and organizations understand generational poverty and pull together toward solutions.
The second part of the Bridges out of Poverty process is working with the families who are directly impacted in the community. They hoped to provide a Getting Ahead workshop with some of the families who require services from the Winter Shelter in Chestertown.
Mayor Cerino stated that he did not think people realized just how much poverty there is in Chestertown because visitors mainly come to see the waterfront and Historic District. Ms. Granillo stated that families with children are struggling with poverty and that almost 50% of children are living in poverty in Chestertown and Kent County.
Mayor Cerino asked for the Town Manager’s report.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the ramp design for the Marina has been completed by Andrews, Miller and approved by Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement Division. The change order was signed with Kingfisher and materials are being ordered. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the goal was to have the boat ramp complete by Downrigging Weekend. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the design includes a 60’concrete ramp with a 6’ floating pedestrian ramp and 15’ of drivable width.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Marina Interpretive Center was under redesign and now will not include a second story. He said that in some ways he thought it looked better. He said that he will bring the revised renderings to the next meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that USDA is poised to give Chestertown the loans and local bank was assisting with interim financing. He said that the key to the project was having the financing in order. Mr. Ingersoll stated that large projects would be taking place over the winter, such a removal and rebuilding of piers. Bids need to go out in the near future.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this has been a healthy year for building permits which was a good indicator of the recession being in the past. He noted that the office has already exceeded the number of permits from this time last year. Improvements are being made in almost every ward. He said that KRM is beginning construction on the warehouse in the newly annexed area of Town. The Town submitted grant requests to help KRM with the infrastructure of this very large development.
Mayor Cerino stated that Mr. Ingersoll covered most of what he wanted to say, but he wanted to add that the State of Maryland told Chestertown that they had to spend the grants already in place for the Marina. He said that he did not think people realized the amount of work that went on behind the scenes and said by the end of spring everyone should be able to see the change in the infrastructure. Fundraising was ongoing to complete the project. Mayor Cerino stated that to date most of the work has been done in the Town Hall in preparation of the physical work.
Ms. Gross stated that Mr. Ingersoll forwarded a video to the Council from 2012 called “Visiting Chestertown and Cruising the Chester River” which was on YouTube. She said that when the Marina project was finished the gentleman who created it should be hired to do an updated version as it would promote the new Marina to those in the boating community.
Ms. Gross stated that Amberley Park was looking better and wanted to thank Mr. Ingersoll for his help in working with their manager to see that it was cleaned up to the extent it was.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she was pleased to see Highway User Funds put to use in Chestertown. She said that Rt. 213 was currently being repaved during the nighttime hours.
Ms. Kuiper stated that a Tea Party Festival meeting would be held on Wednesday, September 6th at 6:30 in the Visitors Center meeting room on the 2nd floor. Anyone wanting to join the festival committee was welcome.
Mr. Shoge stated that he wanted to thank the Washington Park park committee for advocating for a recreational area in that neighborhood. He said that Mr. de Mooy submitted a grant application to Program Open Space to fund a new recreational area in Washington Park. Grants would be awarded in late spring of 2018. Mr. Shoge stated that to date a refurbished swing set was placed in the park and horseshoe pits were added. If awarded, the Program Open Space funds will provide a pavilion, walking path and landscaping to be installed.
Mayor Cerino stated that Gateway Park was a success with many children and adults using it on a daily basis.
Mr. Stetson stated that the Town would have a Bocce Team this fall and would begin playing on Thursday, September 7th.
Ms. Kay MacIntosh stated that the first Cars on High held on the 3rd Thursday of August was a success with 34 cars coming into Town for the event. She said that she would like to build on that success in September and October by closing High Street along the Fountain Park to give it more of a special event feeling and integrate the event into the downtown just a little more. The Council approved the idea and suggested amending the existing permit to incorporate the changes.
Mr. Warren Beaven, resident of Chestertown, stated that he was present to support Ms. Granillo of the Local Management Board and Bridges out of Poverty program. He said that he chaired the Good Neighbor Fund and said that each year about 195-210 households in Kent County benefit from the programs. Mr. Beaven stated that 55% of those using the programs are in situational poverty due to an illness or injury. However, the other 45% were the same people each year in recurring poverty. He said that these “hidden poor” of the community were who Bridges out of Poverty would reach out to in order to help them to become financially stable. Mr. Beaven stated that he anticipated approximately 15 households in Kent County would be helped through the Bridges out of Poverty program.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:33 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor