MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 18, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:55 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 August 4, 2014. Mr. Stetson moved to approve approve the Mayor and Council meeting minutes with a correction on page 2, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that cash on hand and in the banks for unrestricted use was $1,195,881.33, with a restricted use fund from the Washington College donation $196,750.00, for a total funds on hand of $1,392,631.33.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Chief Baker swore in new Officer Eli Perper to the Chestertown Police Department.
Chief Baker gave the police report for July 2014. Chief Baker stated that there was a large amount of overtime to shift coverage as the department was five (5) officers down, due to vacancies, injuries and an officer on paternity leave.
Chief Baker requested an executive session regarding a real estate matter. Ms. Kuiper moved for an executive session directly following the Mayor and Council meeting under Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of the State of Maryland to discuss a real estate matter, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Ms. Kuiper asked how to prevent people from parking along Park Row on Saturday mornings. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the free parking bags could be marked with “No Parking Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.” He said that those bags could just be left in place. Chief Baker stated that he would hang paper signs until more durable signs could be made.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the evaluation of the solar array bids by Mr. Forlini was going well. He said that Mr. Forlini’s review of all the bids contained general comments on the bids with recommendations to the provisions needed in the ultimate contract.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was in receipt of the first soil test performed by the Delaware Department of Agriculture for the Fountain Park samples, along with recommendations on how to proceed. He said that he sent a second test for areas of the park where there was no grass growth at all and was expecting those results shortly.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Eat, Drink & Buy Art invoice presented to the Town was reviewed and there did not seem to be a history for this payment by the Town. Ms. Kuiper stated that if the Town paid the bill all of the shopkeepers should be able to participate. She said there are many shops not listed and thought that it could be because they were paying for it out-of-pocket. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would see if he could get an answer as to why some were participating and why some were not. Ms. Gross stated that she read that funding was, in part, through the State of Maryland Heritage Areas. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would investigate the invoice further and try to move it along.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received an aerial photograph taken by Tyler Campbell which showed the roundabout, phase III of the Rail-Trail and the Mabel Mumford Gateway Park. He said that the entire area is undergoing a change and is really beginning to come together.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the foliage on the Rail-Trail was being cut back by two (2) local contractors. He said that there were substantial sub-base issues on the western end of the trail which were undercut and filled. All licenses were in place for the work and paving should begin in about a month.
Mr. Shoge asked when Phase IV of the Trail crossing Morgnec Road and heading towards the water tower would proceed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town did not have the lease on the railroad land from the MTA yet, as they had to complete the storm drain project before the land was released.
Mayor Cerino stated that the first Mayor and Council meeting in September will be held on Tuesday, September 2nd due to the Labor Day Holiday.
Mayor Cerino stated that a public meeting would be held on Thursday, August 21st at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss the Mabel Mumford Gateway Park. He said that he was looking forward to discussing the project.
Mayor Cerino stated that the second Marina Charrette was scheduled for next Wednesday, August 27th at the large green shed in the Chestertown Marina. He said that McCrone was presenting their “first blush” of what a newly renovated marina could look like incorporating ideas from the public at the first Charrette. He said he hoped to have a draft in the foyer by Monday and to have it online in advance of the Charrette.
Mayor Cerino stated that after this Charrette, the Mayor and Council had to make decisions so that the Town could pursue funding.
Mayor Cerino stated Winterfest Weekend would be held the first weekend in December, beginning with the First Friday in December. Mayor Cerino stated that decorations downtown needed a “pick-me-up”. He said that he was asking for donations to help make this feasible because it would be about $20,000.00 to make the Town a regional attraction for visitors. He said that he met with Curb Appeal, the DCA and Mr. Ingersoll to come up with ideas for what it would take to decorate for the entire month of December. Mayor Cerino stated that this would be a nice thing for Chestertown if they could make it happen. He said that anyone could make a donation to Town Hall and mark it for “decorations”.
Mayor Cerino stated that individual business owners could also help by decorating their own buildings, perhaps turning it into a competition. He said that he was going to look for creative ways to get funding through grants, but suggested including line items for the next couple years in the budget to make investments in decorations that would have staying power. Ms. Kuiper suggested that any increase in the Hotel Tax from the reenactment at Caulk’s Field should be appropriated to the decorations.
Mayor Cerino stated that Ms. Ashley Herr had changed her location for the food truck to Cannon Street. He said that she was requesting approval for that site so she could move forward with approvals from the Planning Commission. Ms. Kuiper moved to amend the site location for Ashley Herr to Cannon Street (Twilley Lane) to accommodate a food truck for a 90-day probationary period once all other approvals are given, at a total cost of $150.00, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town of Chestertown submitted a grant request to Community Parks and Playground for the Kent County Middle School renovations in the amount of $230,000.00. He said that he thought the Town would find out if the grant was received in May 2015.
Ms. Gross stated that the draft ordinance for the Recreation Commission was not on the website. Ms. Mulligan stated that she would double check with the webmaster to insure that it was placed online.
Ms. Gross stated that a resident expressed concern over the new fire truck and whether or not it could safely cross the bridge to Byford Court. Ms. Kuiper stated that she had a similar question from a resident regarding the Chester River Bridge. Ms. Gross said that she would call the fire department to try to get the specifics on the new truck.
Ms. Kuiper asked if there was any type of warning system in place if there was ever an imminent catastrophe. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the 911 center had a reverse calling system. Mr. Holt stated that the College had a siren on campus that would sound a tornado warning.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she had complaints of people skateboarding on Queen Street and High Street.
Ms. Kuiper asked if the flagpole could be painted before the War of 1812 events were held. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was looking into having the flagpole painted.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Maryland Public Television would be in Town for the reenactment of the War of 1812.
Mr. Shoge stated that Charlie Graves Day had a great turn-out and said he wanted to thank the C.V. Starr Center, the Historical Society, Yerkes Construction, and all the other sponsors of the event. He said that it was a fun day and would like to see it become an annual event.
Mr. Shoge stated that the residents of Washington Park asked for another meeting to discuss concerns in their neighborhood. He said that he would update the Council after he met with the residents.
Mr. Shoge stated that the basketball net at Washington Park needed to be refurbished.
Mr. Stetson stated that the storm that came through Town hit most everyone in his ward, noting that he took almost 100 gallons of water in his basement. He said that all Town Crews were out working during the storm.
Mr. Shoge stated that the 400 Block Kids went to Six Flags and said that he thought the donation would have resonating effects on the children. He said that the kids were going to continue their work through the year. There would be a celebratory picnic for the children on Saturday afternoon, August 23rd.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Six Flags donation was a nice gift to the children as motivation to continue to clean-up the neighborhood. He said that this program got the children invested in their community, and the Six Flags trip was a small price to pay to get all of the children involved.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor