MAYOR AND COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 2, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 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 18, 2014, the Executive Session of the same date and the Public Hearing on the Mabel Mumford Gateway Park of August 21, 2014. Mr. Stetson moved to approve approve the Mayor and Council meeting minutes as presented, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Owen Bailey was present to discuss the Chestertown Book Festival, which would be held in downtown Chestertown beginning September 19, 2014. He said that Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post would be speaking at the Bookplate on Cross Street at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 19th. On Saturday, September 20th the Book Festival will team up with the new Chestertown Harry Potter Festival to host the Harry Potter Read-A-Thon at 7:00 a.m., and encouraged participants to sign up by September 12th by calling the Bookplate or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Bailey stated that to help kick-off the Harry Potter Festival beginning September 26th there will be a lecture from Washington College Professor, Janet Sorentino, to discuss Harry Potter and the power of magic that helped J.K. Rowling create the world of Harry Potter at 4:30 p.m. at the Bookplate.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the grand opening of the emergency room was scheduled for Tuesday, September 16th at 5:00 p.m. The Council was invited to attend.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that at the September 15th meeting the Council could decide the Solar Bid award. He said that he did not find any reason why the low bidder should not receive the award, subject to contract approval.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received an email from the owner of the building where Social Services currently rents on High Street, asking for a letter of support for his bid to the State Department of General Services. The Council decided to support any application that would keep businesses and employees working in the Town of Chestertown, noting that there may be additional requests for a letter of support concerning this particular bid to the General Services Administration.
Mr. Ingersoll thanked Mr. Judge Anthony for his help in painting the flag pole before the 1812 events that were held in Town this past weekend.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Marina Charrette, which was held on August 27th, was a successful event. He said that he thought, in general, people were amenable to the concept of the three (3) dock model with modest extensions to the length and number of slips. He said that the last step in the public vetting of the concept, before turning it over to the engineers, was to have the engineer present and go over the plan as it is currently situated and Council endorsement. He said that this would be scheduled for the meeting on September 15th.
Mayor Cerino stated that Winterfest Weekend would be held the first weekend in December in Chestertown. He said that he met with groups who were already hosting winter events and tailored the dates for one large weekend in town. He said that the itinerary was being firmed up and he wanted to make the Town look nice. He said that Curb Appeal and DCA were looking at buying some new holiday decorations.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the DCA had committed $2,000.00 to a faux garland to ensure that they would be able to get it this year for Chestertown. Mr. Shoge asked where the décor would be stored. Mayor Cerino stated that he thought the decorations would be stored centrally and distributed each year to the shops.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Town will have a community candle lighting ceremony on the First Friday in December and luminaries would be lit through Town.
Mayor Cerino stated that he wanted to thank all of the volunteers who worked on the War of 1812 weekend. He said that it was a wonderful event and enjoyed by all. Ms. Kuiper stated that the Town Crew did a fantastic job, noting that there were so many volunteers that if she began to name them, she would surely leave someone out. The parade on Saturday was a success and there were many people in Town. Ms. Kuiper stated that Sunday at Caulk’s Field was just as successful.
Mayor Cerino stated that he was in receipt of an email from a parent at Garnett Elementary School who is upset that there is no crossing guard this year. Mayor Cerino stated that this was one of the consequences of not filling the meter monitor position. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the subject was being brought up at the PTA meeting at Garnett this evening, noting that the school had no budget for a crossing guard and could explain why the Town and County Government have historically paid for it. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he and Chief Baker were monitoring the situation.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the PTA was querying the parents as to whether any parents would be willing to cross the children two (2) times and day and be paid by the County and Town. He said that it was a perfect job for a parent who was taking a child to and from school anyway. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he also mentioned that it would be better to drop the children off behind the school, where they could line up and get on the sidewalk from the passenger side of the road but it was not considered due to buses being back there.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this job would take about two (2) hours a day and the costs could be split with the County, as has been done in the past.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Planning Commission has the draft revised Comprehensive Plan online at www.chestertown.com. There would be a public hearing on Wednesday, September 17th at 6:30 p.m.
Mr. Stetson stated that three (3) new benches were installed in the Dog Park and three (3) were on order.
Mr. Shoge stated that he had a preliminary look of the new Chestertown website and it was coming together nicely. He said that there would be a presentation in front of the Council at a future meeting and thought the website would go live either late November or early December 2014.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like to request that the Marina Charrettes and costs of revitalizing the Marina be offset by the donation from Washington College. She said that when Washington College gave the gift to the Town of Chestertown to acquire the Armory, President Reiss noted in a press release that the Board wanted the College to make a significant contribution to advance Chestertown’s vision of the Chester River Waterfront. Ms. Kuiper suggested that the funds be moved from the Rails-to-Trails and go back into the revitalization of the Marina and the waterfront.
Mr. Stetson stated that the College gave the Town a gift and then wanted to tell the Town how to spend it from the beginning. He said that the College received a very nice piece of property for about $200,000.00. He said that he did not object to some of the money going there, but he thought all of that money should not be spent in the Second Ward.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she did not want the money for her ward, she wanted it for the Marina because it was the largest debt that the Town had.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town had a $200,000.00 Waterway Improvement Grant from DNR which will require a match. He said that shortly the Town would find out how much it was going to cost to repair the bulkhead, which was critical. He said that what Ms. Kuiper suggested was a good idea, especially since Rail-Trail funds were paid by Bikeways grants for Phase III.
Mayor Cerino stated that he agreed that the funds should be taken out of a restricted use, but also thought that options should be left open on how the funds were spent.
Ms. Gross stated that she strongly objected to any reference of the $200,000.00 being a gift. She said that she also did not want to see those funds go into the operating budget for the Marina, but be restricted for capital projects.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Ms. Barbara MacBeth of the Garden Club was present to show a design for market bags. She said that there was an artisan in the park who did printing and was putting pictures from the Farmer’s Market on the bags. She asked for $200.00 from the Farmer’s Market revenue to be paid to the printer for the cost of the bags and the printing. The printer will print one hundred (100) bags which will be sold by the Chestertown Garden Club for $5.00 to raise money to revitalize the park. Ms. Gross moved for $200.00, from Farmer’s Market revenue, to print one hundred (100) bags for the Chestertown Garden Club to sell in order to raise funds to revitalize the Fountain Park, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Ms. Gross stated that she attended the ceremony for the 400 Block Kids and said it was a nice event.
Ms. Gross stated that she had comments from the 100 block residents of North Queen Street that there were problems with the new street sweeper. She said that sweeper goes down Church Alley and only sweeps a small portion of Queen Street.
Ms. Gross stated that the Fire Department was working on information regarding the weight limit on the small bridge on Byford.
Ms. Gross asked if parking was to be limited to 2-hours when the meters were bagged. Mr. Ingersoll stated that right now it is free parking downtown with no time limit. Ms. Gross stated that some people are parking their vehicles and leaving them all day.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was a request from Kevin and Cynthia Miller to be on the agenda to discuss a food truck. Mr. and Mrs. Miller were present. Mr. Miller stated that he was renovating a food truck and received permission from East Coast Storage to sell from their location at the intersection of High Street and Morgnec Road. He said that he and his wife were both cooks in the Army. Mr. Miller stated that he was looking for the same permission that was granted to Ms. Herr at a previous meeting. The Council agreed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. and Mrs. Miller should submit their site plan to the Planning Commission.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor