MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 1, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, 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 July 18, 2016. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $566,058.65 and there were assigned funds for waterfront initiatives in the amount of $180,480.00. Mayor Cerino stated that this was on the low end of operating funds but there was a lot of work being done with grant funded projects and the Town was waiting on reimbursements from the State. He said if the reimbursements had been included in this report the total operating funds would be $838,541.12.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that $100,000.00 of expected income tax has not been received. He said he called the Comptroller’s Office and it was explained that there were more income tax extensions granted, but the funds of that sort would be received by October. He said that the Marina capital debt was an investment of sorts but there was money going into it. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Middle School project was on fast track pace in order to have the project completed when school opens and the large reimbursements should be in soon.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the County Commissioners should be approached about a tax differential as none of the Towns in the County are being funded and those people are paying some taxes twice.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he sent an updated list of street addresses to the Comptroller’s Office to make sure that all income taxes owed the Town are making it to Chestertown’s coffers. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Council has not raised taxes in many years and State assessments have gone down.
Ms. Kuiper asked for clarification on all the Delmarva Payments. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the charges were distribution costs and he was still working on getting the solar billing straight with Delmarva Power.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Brandt Troup, Chairman of the Recreation Commission, was present to give an update on the progress of the Commission. He said that Jennifer Hicks has resigned from the Commission to move to Maine but the Commission would continue their work based on her outline. He said that Ms. Emily Welsh was interested in serving on the Recreation Commission. Mayor Cerino stated that he knew Ms. Welsh and would like to nominate her to the Recreation Commission and asked that she submit a resume before the next meeting.
Mr. Troup stated that a long-term project the Recreation Commission was working on was the Bailey Park Playground, but a short-term project was the AJAX Park which was coming along nicely. He said that he would like to see fencing, signage, a trash can, a bike rack and benches installed at the AJAX park. A swing set has been installed and the play equipment from 601 High Street was moved to the site and it being used. Mr. Troup stated that the blacktop needed to be repaved.
Mr. Troup stated that a 4’ fence would accommodate the site nicely as it would make the play equipment visible. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town could install fencing if the Recreation Commission would price it out. Mayor Cerino stated that a priority would be fencing to delineate the court from the parking area on the parking lot side of the curb.
Mayor Cerino stated that he and Mr. Ingersoll met with the Garden Club last week and enough money has been raised for 6 replacement benches in the Fountain Park. The existing painted benches in the Fountain Park will be repurposed at the Ajax Pocket Park and Washington Park. Mayor Cerino stated that he hoped to have the new benches installed by the end of October 2016.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would like to meet with Mr. Troup at the Ajax Park to go over what is going to be required for paving. Mr. Troup stated that the total paved length was 47’ which was half a regulation basketball court, but he would like to use the paved area for basketball and other activities such as four-square or hopscotch and would like to have the court painted to include all of the activities.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town would plant shade trees by the AJAX Park in the fall. He said that there may be an extra bike rack that could be placed at the park as well.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Recreation Commission was doing a nice job and congratulated them for their efforts.
Mr. Troup stated that Kent County Youth Soccer was looking to play at Bailey Park in the fall, noting that they have received goals for Bailey Park through a grant. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the parking lot may not be finished in time for the fall season, but there was plenty of parking on nearby Schauber Road.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that in previous years applications have been submitted for Waterway Improvement Grants for the Marina at $200,000.00 (which required a match). He asked if the Council would like to request another matching grant from this funding source. Ms. Gross moved to submit a request for $200,000.00 in matching funds to the Waterway Improvement Grant and authorized Mayor Cerino to sign all documents to go along with the grant, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that if the USDA grant came through it would set the stage for a major overhaul of the Marina.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the football team at Kent County High School was asking for donations. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did not think as a group the Mayor and Council would necessarily make a donation, but donations could be made individually.
Mayor Cerino stated that the project at the Kent County Middle School looked great and said that it should be finished by the start of the school year. He said that it was a huge improvement for the campus, but also for the community. Mr. Stetson stated that many people were using the exercise stations on the trail already.
Mayor Cerino stated that he received an email from Ken Kozel requesting a letter of support for their Certificate of Need for the proposed new hospital in Easton. Mayor Cerino stated that he was concerned for Chestertown as it could supersede Chestertown’s needs as a community for our local hospital. Mayor Cerino stated that he wanted to see Shore Health succeed and thrive while running our hospital at the same time and said he was cautious about signing a support letter. He said that he felt he was being put in a unique position to support Easton while struggling to save Chestertown’s hospital.
Mr. Stetson again requested that the 40 mph speed limit on MD20 be removed across from the Gateway Park.
Mr. Shoge stated that the MOU for cellular and Wi-Fi was discussed at the last meeting and said that questions were being answered and the MOU was being finalized. He said that as soon as the MOU is finished, it will be presented to the Council.
Mr. Shoge stated that Mayor Cerino donated photos to the marketing committee for promotion and marketing purposes.
Ms. Kuiper asked when the meter bags would arrive. Mr. Ingersoll stated that they have been ordered and that he would request a tracking of the order.
Ms. Kuiper stated that on Friday, August 5th, the “Red, White and Blue First Friday” that was canceled in July due to storms would be held.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the July 30th Music in the Park was rained out and is rescheduled for August 27th.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she wanted to send thoughts and prayers to the residents and businesses in Ellicott City.
Ms. Gross stated that there was an article in the Kent County News last week about the July School Board meeting and the improvements at the Middle School. She said that the Town was barely mentioned in the article yet obtained the funding, designed and are managing the project, and footing the bills until the grant funds come in. She said that some credit should have come to the Town of Chestertown.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.
Mr. Gatto stated that it was critical in the letter of support for Easton’s Certificate of Need to emphasize that Chestertown supports Easton in their endeavors but do not want to lose our Hospital. He said the letters of support go to the State of Maryland so Chestertown’s position should be clear.
Mr. Gatto stated that the improvements to the Middle School were outstanding.
Mr. Joe Holt stated that he learned earlier in the day that the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners endorsed the notion of a second Chester River Bridge crossing.
Mr. Dan Menefee asked if there was any movement on the Food Trucks ability to park downtown. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would bring a draft resolution to the September meeting.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor