MAYOR AND COUNCIL
MARCH 7, 2016
Acting Mayor Stetson called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper and Samuel T. Shoge, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Acting Mayor Stetson asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of February 16, 2016. Ms. Gross moved to approve the minutes of Febuary16, 2016 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Acting Mayor Stetson stated that operating funds on hand was $1,597,392.82 and the funds from Washington College for the transfer of the Armory in the amount of $180,480.00, for a total of $1,777,872.82.
Acting Mayor Stetson asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Shoge moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Ms. Jane Welsh, Director of the Humane Society of Kent County was present to promote the annual Mutt Strut which will be held from April 22, 2016 through April 24, 2016 with a cocktail party, music, games and a 5k run/walk.
Mr. Stetson suggested to Ms. Welsh that reminder notices be sent by the Humane Society when dog licenses are about to expire, noting that a friendly reminder may bring in revenue.
Ms. Kay MacIntosh and Ms. Jamie Williams were present to discuss the Chestertown Enterprise Zone Designation. Ms. Williams stated that the request this evening was to approve the date of the joint public hearing with Kent County as both were included in the Enterprise Zone. The Council was in receipt of the draft application and maps, noting that some additions would be made to the maps. She asked if that any other suggested changes be brought to her attention as she would like to make changes to the maps before the April 15th deadline. Ms. Williams stated that the joint Public Hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, March 29th at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Shoge asked if the Enterprise Zone would be retroactive or only apply to new business. Ms. Williams stated that the incentives were based on improvements made so only a business making improvements after the designation was given could benefit. Mr. Shoge stated that the Enterprise District would overlap with the Arts & Entertainment District and asked if the benefits stacked. Ms. Williams stated that she thought property owners would be able to take advantage of one program or the other, whichever would benefit them best.
Mr. Shoge asked if there were only a certain number of designations to be awarded. Ms. Williams stated that the State of Maryland can issue six (6) Enterprise Zones per year, two (2) per jurisdiction.
Mr. Taylor Frey, Washington College SGA President, stated that his presentation was about Washington College service projects in the area. He said that last semester there were 9,003 service hours from students, which at $8.25 per hour (minimum wage) totaled a $74,275.00 investment in the community and across the county.
Mr. Frey stated that the Wayne Gilchrest Trail clean-up held in the Fall of 2015 had 162 volunteers present broken down to 145 Washington College students, 10 members of local boy scouts and cub scouts, 7 Washington College staff and community members, and former Congressman Gilchrest. He said that over 10 SGA clubs were represented in this particular service project.
Mr. Frey stated that just this past weekend, the service project was a cleanup of the Chestertown Armory. There were 112 students present, 16 Washington College faculty, 5 people from Heron Point and President Sheila Bair and her family. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the organization at the Armory cleanup was a tremendous effort and there was a great change in the overall appearance as well.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if there was going to be a Trail clean-up this spring. Mr. Frey stated that the last clean-up was part of the “I-Serve” initiative on campus and said that he would like to do a trail clean up or some other project at the request of the Town. Mr. Frey stated that he could be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr. Frank Hurst was present to discuss the Chestertown Bocce League. He said that Mr. Bill Arrowood had retired from the league and he was working with the Recreation Commission in an effort to begin the Spring season. He said that the league would like to begin play the week of April 26th on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. He requested a waiver of the open container law at those times. Mr. Hurst stated that there were over 200 people playing in the bocce league.
Mr. Hurst said that the league was informed that there were funds in the budget (leftover bocce dues) to help maintain courts and other incidentals for the league. Mr. Hurst stated that the captains of the league were present this evening asking for approval to run the league independent of the Recreation Commission. He said that if the Council was willing, the funds that were on hand for bocce could be deposited to the league’s bank account once it was established and the league would then be self-sustaining.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he liked the idea of the league being run independently, and the fact that the league wanted to continue to use Wilmer Park. He said that bocce was a great use of the waterfront park.
Ms. Gross stated that the proposal for bocce included a request for an annual commitment and said that she would like to see a financial report of the league of revenues and expenses.
Ms. Gross moved to waive the open container regulation for the Spring bocce season (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Wilmer Park) was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Mr. Hurst stated that a “Bocce Ball” would be held at the end of the Spring season, sometime in June, and invited the Council to attend.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was an Earth Day Festival permit request for April 23rd which requested barricades, the stage, trash and recycling cans and to close Memorial Plaza to traffic. The Council agreed to the request.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a request to hold Washington Park Day on Saturday, September 3rd from noon to 8:00 p.m. There will be crafts, food, games, music, a moon bounce, tent, tables and chairs. Mr. Somerville asked the Town to mow the grass before the event and supply trash and recycling cans and bags. The Council agreed to the request.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was in receipt of a permit request from Bonnie Brady of Kent Center, Inc. for the Best Buddies 5-k Walk/Run on Saturday, April 2, 2016, which was mostly held on Washington College’s campus and the Rail-Trail. The Council agreed to the request.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a permit request to hold the Mutt Strut on Saturday, April 23rd as discussed earlier in the meeting, with a 5k Walk/Run and vendors, food trucks, games and activities, along with a dog parade and adoptable animals. The Council agreed to the request.
Mr. Stetson stated that there would be a discussion on food trucks at the March 21st meeting of the Mayor and Council. Ms. Gross stated that some of the business owners wanted time to express their opinions on the matter.
Mr. Stetson stated that a letter was received from the Department of Housing and Community Development notifying the Town that they were closing out the grant for the GAR building. Mr. Ingersoll stated that it was a milestone when such a grant was closed out and this was a great project.
Mr. Stetson stated that he toured the new police building and said that it definitely provided more than enough room for the officers.
Mr. Stetson stated that he went to Annapolis in support of Senate Bill 12 and said that there were at least 50 residents from Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties to support the Bill. He said that he and many others took a bus that left from Chestertown for those who wished to show support but did not wish to drive.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Community Breakfast Group on Thursday, March 3rd where he listened to a speaker from APEX regarding the solar installation at the north end of the County. He said most are in favor of the solar field (over windmills) but the problem that some saw was that prime farmland is being lost to solar panels.
Mr. Stetson stated that an osprey platform was installed in Bailey Park. Mr. Ingersoll stated that an osprey platform was also installed on Horsey Lane and that Chesapeake Wildlife donated one of the stands. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Tree Committee pushed for the stands that they are a welcome addition.
Mr. Shoge stated that he was on WCTR’s “Talk of the Town” with Keith Thompson on Friday, March 4th to discuss Kent County, Chestertown and the Third Ward.
Mr. Shoge stated that he would testify in front of the House of Delegates on Thursday, March 10th on behalf of the young professionals in Chestertown regarding the Hospital.
Mr. Shoge stated that he sat on the Renewable Energy Task Force and a topic of discussion was about the solar projects and ensuring that there were enough rules in place to prevent too much farmland being covered in solar panels.
Ms. Gross stated that she also attended the Senate hearing in Annapolis relating to the Hospital and said that she thought an impact was made. She said she would be attending the House hearing on Thursday to give similar testimony.
Ms. Gross asked that whoever is dropping large amounts of feed at the water front to stop as it is creating a mess at the foot of High Street and the excess feed will draw rats. She said that excess feeding of ducks several years ago created a rat problem and signs were installed at that time alerting the public not to feed the animals. Mr. Ingersoll stated that signs were good to have and could reinstalled, however, there should be a law to back up any prohibition of dumping feed on the ground.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the foot of High Street is a Kent County Public Landing. He called Mr. Marty Holden at Kent County and was told that there was no law in place against feeding animals at public landings but the County did not object to the Town taking steps to stop such acts as it creates a public health issue.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Governor Hogan restored $2-billion to the Highway User Funds last week and said that it would be great if Chestertown would see some of those funds.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the “No Parking” signs for the Farmers Market went missing and people were parking in a farmer’s space on Saturday. Because the signs were not posted, the police could not ticket. Ms. Gross asked if permanent signs could be installed. Mr. Ingersoll suggested new bags with “No Parking During Farmers Market” signs already printed on them.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor