MAYOR AND COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 9, 2015
Mayor Cerino called the public meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Cerino stated that the purpose of this meeting was to learn about the playscape planned for the Wilmer Park. Mr. David Hess, sculptor, was present to explain the design. Mr. de Mooy stated that this project was funded by a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant, noting that Chestertown was one of only two municipalities in the State of Maryland to receive the grant.
Mr. de Mooy stated that the money from the Our Town grant was used to create a Public Arts Master Plan for the Town, a map of which was in the meeting room for review. The remaining funds of $9,000.00 will be used as a deposit for the public art playscape or “play sculpture” called Broad Reach by David Hess. The sculpture will be located at Wilmer Park. Mr. de Mooy introduced Mr. Hess and gave a background of his work, much of which were public art projects located in Baltimore.
Mr. Hess stated that the concept for this project was a sculpture that invited interaction and was not really a playground. He said that Pierce’s Park at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore had similar interactive pieces that could be climbed on and walked through and even projected sound to and from the harbor. He said that the sculpture proposed for the Wilmer Park encompassed a wave and a sail, and it would be set in berms that children could climb.
Mr. Hess stated that the sculpture would be created with 3/8” thick stainless steel (alloy 316), with a matte finish, and brought on site in pieces that would be set over a concrete foundation and filled over with earth. He said that if there was ever any graffiti on the sculpture it would be easy to remove. The sculpture would be oriented so that the sail form faced north and the sculpture could provide some its own shadow to avoid it becoming too hot for play. Trees located to the south side of the sculpture would also give shade.
Mr. Hess showed a photo-shopped aerial view of the site to the audience in an effort to explain how the site would look once the sculpture was in place.
Mr. de Mooy stated that stormwater would be shed towards Queen Street where there was a stormdrain system that could be used for collecting water from the sculpture site.
Mr. Charles Lerner asked how large the sculpture would be. Mr. Hess stated that the sail would be about 16’ tall, 20’ deep and 10’ across. The wave was about 10’ in diameter and 9’ high. The berm would come up about 6’ in height total. Mr. Hess stated that the sculpture would be welded in pieces and said that seams would be ground out so that they disappeared.
Mr. Darrell Craig stated that the biggest concern he has as a neighbor was grading, as he thought it was not possible to get all of the water to Queen Street. He suggested the Town look at another inlet at the head of the Wilmer Park parking lot.
Mr. Jim Gatto stated that he thought the grass would have a durability problem if there were many children using the site. Mr. Gatto asked if this design met the standards for national playgrounds. Mr. Hess stated that play scape and sculpture was different than a playground. He said that he understood the issues of liability but said that it really was no different than any other liability issues that the Town faces on a daily basis. He said that some towns will put up signs, but to him it was a sculpture first and something to play on second.
Mr. Gatto brought up the issue of lighting. Mr. Hess stated that he would not be opposed to surface-mounted lighting. Mr. Lerner stated that there was a street light on site and the residents in the area did not care to have more light as the park hours were dawn to dusk.
Mr. Bill Arrowood asked the overall cost of the project and how much of the cost would be borne by the Town. Mr. de Mooy stated that the budget was $100,000.00 for this playscape and each bid that came in was at exactly $100,000.00. He said that the Town had $9,000.00 left from the Our Town Grant for a deposit. The rest will be raised by additional grant funding and donations. He said that the Town would likely match grant funding with in-kind donations such as installing the footings or achieving stormwater management.
Mr. de Mooy stated that the National Endowment for the Arts has two (2) grants for an Artworks Program that the Town would apply for and there was another Our Town Grant that would be applied for as new sources of funding.
Mayor Cerino thanked Mr. Hess for attending the meeting to discuss the project.
There being no further business, Mayor Cerino called the public meeting to a close at 7:30 p.m.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor