MAYOR AND COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:43 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 2, 2014. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting minutes as presented, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Minutes of the Marina Charrette were deferred to the October 6, 2014 meeting.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that cash on hand and in the banks was $1,335,416.04. Ms. Gross stated that the $200,000.00 from Washington College was not voted to be unrestricted; the designated use was changed for capital projects on the waterfront. Ms. Kuiper stated that the College asked that the money be used for master planning and infrastructure of the waterfront.
Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mr. de Mooy stated that a couple years ago, several neighbors came up with an idea for a children’s playground at Wilmer Park that led to a grant request through the National Endowment for the Arts. He said that River Arts was the partner group for the grant request and the funding received was $25,000.00 with a cash match from the Town of Chestertown. Mr. de Mooy stated that it was the hope that the Public Arts Master Plan would be adopted as part of the Chestertown Comprehensive Plan as a sub-area plan.
Mr. de Mooy stated that Ziger Snead, a nationally known architectural firm, helped with the design. Mr. Doug Botchner and Mr. Matt Rouse were present from Ziger Snead to present the plan.
Mr. Botchner stated that the Town of Chestertown had an incredible arts community and the grant was perfectly set up for the creation of a Public Arts Master Plan incorporating history and the environment to insure that public art would be integrated in a social and ecologic way in Chestertown. He said that the goals set forth in the project were to build community, create meaningful places, reinforce identity, and to stimulate the economy
Mr. Botchner stated that there was a public Charrette held in June where ideas were expressed and it was found that most people thought that Wilmer Park would be the ideal place for a playscape. He said that gateways into Town were also very important. He explained the map in detail and where public art could be integrated into Town.
Mr. Botchner stated that a public arts consortium could be created that would have representation from the existing arts organizations and that would be in charge of making sure the plan has adequate funds to move forward. It would write the proposals for artists. A public arts administrator could be hired in order to make sure that all of the work is performed. This consortium would nominate members for the Town Council to consider the Commission of Public Arts which would consist of seven (7) to nine (9) design professionals to curate the art for the next decade.
Ms. Lani Seikely of River Arts stated that the public arts master plan came out of input from a cross-section of the community. She said that a master plan would help when applying for grants and solicitation of donors. She said that displaying public art will share the Town’s history with residents and tourists alike.
Mr. Alex Castro, director of Washington College’s Sandbox, stated that Sandbox was an initiative aimed at creativity in the natural environment, which was in sync with the Public Arts Master Plan introduced this evening. He said that public art was being shown at the Stepne property was of a temporary nature but he was excited for the potential of the plan and exhibiting art in other areas. He said there were tourist and cultural benefits for communities that exhibit public art.
Ms. Carla Massoni stated that art, history and environment were all important issues to Chestertown. She said this plan presented an opportunity for this rural community to address these issues and to move forward while showing everyone what makes Chestertown special and welcoming. She said that the plan was flexible but could have an impact if it was incorporated.
Mayor Cerino stated that he was impressed with the plan and said that it was the best rendition of Stepne that he has seen. He said that he liked the walkway and how it was interconnected. He said the green space shown in the plan was a wonderful idea. Mayor Cerino stated that Washington College had to be on board with the project in order for implementation.
Mayor Cerino asked if there was any funding left over to install a playscape at the Wilmer Park. Mr. de Mooy stated that there is between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00 left of the total project cost to seed the playscape, adding that there was support for the project and donations could also be accepted. He said that an RFP could go out for the playscape. Mr. Stetson stated that it would be nice if something could be installed at the Wilmer Park this year.
Ms. Gross asked how this would mesh with the Comprehensive Plan. Mr. de Mooy stated that much of the plan is already in the Comprehensive Plan noting the walkways and the extension of Mill Street. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the actual plan created could be accepted and placed as an appendix in the Comprehensive Plan as a guide or reference.
Mr. Shoge asked about the entrances into Town from Galena and Millington. Mr. de Mooy stated that the grant had them focus on a particular area, but the plan could certainly grow out into other locations in Town.
Chief Baker presented the police report for August 2014. Chief Baker stated that Officer Speitz just completed field patrol so he can work independently.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that after studying the bids and having an attorney review the specific submittals, he recommended the solar bid be awarded to Solar City with $0.045 low bid for a PPA escalating at 0% over a 20-year period. He said this was by far the lowest bid and he would return with an approved contract from the attorney.
Mr. Stetson moved to accept the bid from Solar City at $0.045 for a PPA escalating at 0% over a 20-year period, pending approval of the contract, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a new crossing guard was hired for Garnett Elementary School. He said the gentleman lived across the street from the school and people at the school know him already.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that LED lighting was being installed at the Visitors Center through an MES grant which should lower lighting costs significantly.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ordinance 05-2014 Repeal and Replace Chapter 30: Recreation Commission and Amendments could be adopted at this meeting. Ms. Gross moved to adopt Ordinance 05-2014 Repeal and Replace Chapter 30: Recreation Commission and Amendments, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the grand opening of the Emergency Room at the Hospital was being held on Tuesday, September 16th at 5:00 p.m.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a request between meetings from Rebuilding Together Kent County that the sign a letter of support to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town has always helped Rebuilding Together Kent County by waiving building fees.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was a hearing scheduled for a beer, wine and liquor license for Luisa’s Cucina Italiana on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s hearing room. Mr. Stetson stated that when moving from location to another, approvals must be given to sell alcohol at the new location.
Mayor Cerino stated that Wednesday, September 17th at 6:30 p.m., there will be a public hearing of the Planning Commission on the Comprehensive Plan.
Mayor Cerino stated that two (2) public Charrettes have been held for comments on the Chestertown Marina. He said that McCrone, Inc. has developed a concept plan which was on the website, in the lobby of Town Hall, and was described in detail at the second Charrette. He said that he would like the Council for formally endorse the outline on the drawing in order to begin fundraising. Mayor Cerino reviewed the entire concept plan for the audience.
Ms. Gross stated that she would like the grade raised and have the words “at least the same height” added to the plan, or raise the sidewalks. She said nuisance flooding would become more frequent each year.
Ms. Gross stated that she would like to see this plan with the official plat for the Fish Whistle property superimposed on it. She said that it may be that the Town has to look at two (2) scenarios, one with the Fish Whistle on board in cost sharing for the parking lot and one without.
Ms. Gross moved to approve the conceptual plan in order to begin to get a figure for costs of rebuilding the marina and to apply for funding, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that at the end of the month he, Mr. Ingersoll, and the Engineer were going to take the plan through a joint compliance review by State and Federal agencies. He said that would give a sense as to whether or not the extension of the docks could be done.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there was a request for speed bumps on High Street in the vicinity of the Imperial Hotel and the Garfield Theater for the Arts. She said that children were running out from the theater into the street. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the businesses should be in agreement with the installation of speed bumps. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would contact the business owners.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there were now three (3) food trucks that would be coming to Chestertown and she would like to see them come to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. She asked if the parking could be reserved in front of the Nearly New Shop for the three (3) food trucks as an experiment. She said that the trucks would sell tacos, barbeque, and baked goods. Mayor Cerino stated that he would like Ms. Kuiper to speak to the business owners downtown before the Council gave any approvals. Ms. Kuiper agreed to survey the downtown business owners and return to the Council at the next meeting with her findings.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the widening of the brick sidewalk on the High Street side of Fountain Park has begun. He said that the extension would help accommodate artisans in the market and allowing the Town to install new sod in the park where the vendors were.
Mr. Stetson stated that at the last meeting he reported that there were three (3) new benches in the Dog Park. He said that the three (3) on order are for the walking trail.
Mr. Stetson stated that the new portion of the Rails-to-Trails looked nice and asked when signage would be forthcoming. Mayor Cerino stated that he met with a sub-committee regarding directional signage and there was a recommendation for the Gilchrest Trail. He said that he would like the signage to be done in a comprehensive fashion all through Town.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was still some trouble with the State Highway Administration concerning a 1951 drainage easement that went across the Mabel Mumford Gateway Park. He said the easement was terminated in 1984 when the trucking facility was using the site, but the Town has been “hog tied” by the SHA bureaucracy.
Ms. Barbara Reed was present to announce the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” on Saturday, October 4th beginning with registration at 9:00 a.m. This was a rain or shine event. She asked the Council’s permission to put signs on the Rails-to-Trails promoting the walk and if the Police could help with crossing at Cross Street, as the walk would be on the Rails-to-Trails. The Council agreed. Ms. Reed stated that she was trying to make this an annual walk.
Ms. Reed asked about the possibility of hanging a banner across High Street for next year’s event. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Shoge had discussed using the old train warning signal on High Street crossing of the Rails-to-Trails as a place to hang banners. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he asked the Maryland Transit Authority for permission and there were no objections.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she worked with a college student a couple years ago to have an Alzheimer’s Walk and it was difficult to get it off the ground. Ms. Reed stated that she had contacted that student and there were many other people in Town who were now on board for this event.
Ms. Nancy McGuire stated that she wanted to thank everyone who was a part of the Prelude to Caulk’s Field event. She said that the event ran seamlessly and was well-attended.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor