Attending: Bill Arrowood (chair), Carol Mylander, Sally Harding, Armond Fletcher, Hope Clark, Tim O’Brien, Caren Saunders.
Meeting began with introductions by the group of their time in Chestertown and hopes for recreation facilities and programming in Chestertown. Additionally, the Town requires that committees consist of a total of seven members. This group at current has 14 people involved and committed. We will pair down to 7 official members attempting to offer a mixed group of long term, new residents representing various Wards, with the rest serving as advisory to the group, working through specific project. The membership can change at any time should a member be no longer available to serve.
The group that I would like to offer as official is as follows:
Bill Arrowood – Chair. High Street, Ward 2, 38. Years in Chestertown – 38 (while working in Philadelphia for the last 13). Active in Tea Party, WIN, Garfield Center, runs a baseball program in Philadelphia, location manager for film and TV.
Sally Harding – Campus Avenue (College Heights), Ward 2 (bordering on Wards 1 and 3). Age – 61. Years in Chestertown – 60. Degree in Early Childhood education, retired Pre-k teacher and center director (30 years). Volunteer programs, past PTA president for HHGES. Raised 2 children in Chestertown.
Tim O’Brien – Kent Street, Ward 2. Age – 42. Years in Chestertown – 3. Business owner (Cafetin Roasting Company). 2 children attending Radcliffe School.
Caren Saunders – Kent Street, Ward 2. Age -38. Years in Chestertown – 12. Occupation: public school teacher with 4 children in the school system.
Nivek Johnson – Lincoln Drive (Washington Park), Ward 3, Age – 19. Years in Chestertown – 19. Queen Anne’s County Partnering for Youth Afterschool Program, NAACP, Janes United Methodist Church Outreach/Programs Group, Samaritan Group, ran for School Board in 2012 (at age 18)
M. Brandt Troup – Devon Drive (Coventry Farms), Ward 3. Age – 34. Years in Chestertown – 4. Kent County Babe Ruth Baseball, Kent County Youth Soccer Association, KAWC Indoor Soccer,. 3 children with 2 in KCPS.
Jenn Hicks – School Road. Ward -4. Age -40. Years in Chestertown – 8. Colchester Farm CSA, Kent County Diversity Dialogue Group, two children ages 4 & 8.
Rounding out the team: Hope Clark (Cliffs City), Armond Fletcher (Cannon Street), Carol Mylander (Washington Avenue), Milford Murray (Pondtown), Chirstine Betley (Coventry Farms), George Best (Calvert Street), Jeff Goodman (Crestview).
Unfortunately, we have no one from Ward 1, Caren and Tim sit on the border so they will play to both Wards and Sally may as well be in 1, 2 or 4. Honestly, the majority live within a block of one another. We also don’t have anyone from Foxley Manor, so I would like someone to be a liaison out there. The rest will be advisory and have the full input of any of the official members, but for approval purposes, these were chosen (again, mostly because of location to appease the Council).
Bill Arrowood followed with a review of the state of facilities and land that may be available for use.
Gateway Park (aka Nicholson property) – located at the intersection of Rt. 20 (High St) and Flatland Road. Land is owned by the Town, but not yet within Town limits, which is a process that will begin in the next few months as its use comes into focus. Property has been earmarked as park space, but its specifics are still up for debate. It will be a connector to the rails to trails program and Radcliffe Creek. Its most often suggested use is as a new basketball court. This property is likely as least a six months to a year from seeing any change as it will be impacted by the State Highway Administration’s installation of a traffic roundabout located at High Street and Morgnec Road. The SHA project is expected to begin this autumn. In order to make use of this property the town would also need to build sidewalks to the facility, crossing Radcliffe Creek.
Rolling Road Park – Located between Rolling Road and Morgnec Road behind the Amy Ferris Center. Currently has a small gravel lot and no signage. Councilman Stetson has been working on installing a dog park, but without any real design or timetable. It offers no shade or absorbing surfaces for waste. The property is massive by town standards and could be used for a number of other uses. Chief amongst the issues with this property is accessibility and visibility.
HHGES: Bill Arrowood drafted a letter, later edited by Mayor and Council, to be sent to the KC School District to create a use agreement for upcoming endeavors and projects. Hope Clark made a brief presentation about a possible State Grant that could be used to impact HHGES’s playground equipment and its urgency to get the paperwork together to be able to move forward next year. Caren Saunders has prepared a presentation of the facilities to all KC Elementary Schools showing that HHGES is lagging behind in what it offers, though is services more children than any other in the county. She will show this presentation to the CRC and we will work to create a multipoint presentation to the County with solutions as well as showing the need for improvement.
KCMS – Bill Arrowood had a brief meeting with Assistant Principal Lisa Orem about the possibility of restoring the school’s baseball fields. The school is amenable, pending a proposal and details to be worked out with the school district.
Wilmer Park – For the first time in recent memory, Mayor and Council are entertaining the idea of adding a recreational or play area to the passive use park. This is in the initial planning stages and will likely be a very small element so as to not take space away from event based usage, for which Wilmer Park is best known. The Town has applied for a new pending grant which would impact the entire waterfront area, some of the funds could be used for a “playscape” concept that would incorporate the natural setting, education and equipment for children.
Ajax Basketball Court – A brief history of Ajax was recounted, it was built by the Town in the early 1980s and was put in an unused and at that time, non-desirable property location. The real estate boom caused this land over time to become more desirable and 1/2 of the court was sold to the adjacent property owner. The court offers no lights, fencing or seating, and is maintained at the minimum level by the Town. Alternate locations for a new court were discussed, largely looking at privately owned properties.
Former Board of Education – Philosopher’s Terrace and Campus Avenue. Owned by the College, will eventually be demolished and new building with parking in tis place, as well as a passive use park (approximately 3-4 year plan).
Discussion concerning the overall state of affairs and players to involve considered briefly resolving that we must take the long view to accomplish things in the community. The meeting concluded with a request for members to come to the next meeting with at least 3-5 ideas (doable projects) they would like to prioritize in the short term and long term.