MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JULY 17, 2017
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. 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 July 10, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meetings of July 10, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $736,701.47. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a separate fund for the Broad Reach sculpture donations in the amount of $1,500.67. Mayor Cerino stated that this was the time of year where cash flow is low because the taxes have not come in yet. He said that there were outstanding grant reimbursement requests from the Waterway Improvement Fund for $43,400.00 and an engineering grant for the Marina for $8,215.00. If those reimbursements were factored in the balance would be $780,316.47, which was quite a bit more than was available this time last year.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Chief Baker presented the police report for June 2017. Chief Baker stated that he would be speaking with Mr. Ingersoll in the next couple days with reference to a potential new hire which will bring the department to full strength at fourteen (14) officers.
Mr. John Schratweiser, co-director of the Kent County Arts Council, stated that he wanted to discuss the plans for the future of the Kent County Arts Council. He said that the Arts Council purchased the building on Spring Street, formerly known as the “Town Arts Building” and there are plans to renovate, noting that the Historic District Commission has already approved a permit for a new roof.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that the Kent County Arts Council was a 501(C3), independent organization created in 1977 and was one of the oldest county art councils in the State of Maryland. All 24 jurisdictions in Maryland have an arts council. All receive a block grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, which was a piece of the general fund appropriation from the Governor and the General Assembly each year.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that the goal was to “game up” the arts organizations in Chestertown and Kent County and help with grant writing, marketing, social media and audience building, and continue to award grants. He said that in Fiscal Year 2017 there were 48 grants totaling $63,400.00 to organizations in Kent County.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that the new building would provide gallery space for local and visiting artists. He said that the Kent County Arts Council would do their best to serve the citizens of the entire county. There would be workshops, retreats and artists-in-residency as well. He said there will be a recording studio in the section of the building that was once used as a print shop. Meeting rooms will also be available.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that building renovations will take place in three (3) phases: 1) roof replacement; 2) windows, walls and floors, and; 3) cosmetic overhaul of the building. He said that after renovations he would proceed with artist residences on the second floor of the building.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that the goal of the Kent County Arts Council was to raise the arts economy in Chestertown and Kent County. Ms. Kuiper stated that she hoped to see more public art projects.
Ms. Gross asked if the building would be ADA accessible. Mr. Schratweiser stated that he could not move forward without ADA accessibility, noting that he works with the Alliance for Artist’s Communities which will guide them in meeting ADA requirements.
Mr. Schratweiser stated that the directors and board chairs for all grant recipients were having a meeting on Monday, July 24th to discuss the Art Council’s needs and services they provide.
Mr. Shoge suggested that the Kent County Arts Council look into PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). Their funds could be used to finance energy efficient projects such as lighting, HVAC, etc. Ms. Gross stated that tax credits were also available through the A&E District.
Mr. John Slocum was present and asked the Council to consider a car show on High Street by the Fountain Park in Chestertown. He said that he had looked into “Cars and Coffee”, which was typically held on Saturday or Sunday mornings in other Towns. He said that Saturday mornings are when Chestertown is busiest, and suggested the third Wednesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mr. Slocum stated that the event is very informal and involved classic or sports cars parked on the road where people can view them and ask general questions. He said that he would make a Facebook page (outlining some general rules) and flyers, inviting car people to attend. Mr. Slocum stated that he mentioned the idea to Chief Baker, who said that the police would not have any issues with it.
Mr. Slocum stated that he would like to host the first show on Wednesday, August16th. Mr. Ingersoll stated that if the event was successful it could also extend to the 200 block of High Street and around Memorial Park. Ms. MacIntosh stated that they would plan the car shows for August, September and October of 2017 as a start, and then make any changes as necessary. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought this could be managed with signs on the meters around Fountain Park (including the Hospital Auxiliary). Chief Baker agreed. The Council approved the event.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a Beer and Wine License hearing was scheduled for Smoke, Rattle & Roll on Tuesday, August 1st at 6:00 p.m. at the Kent County Commissioner’s Office, 400 High Street. The Council had no objections to the license.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Sultana Education Foundation had a slight change to the plans for Downrigging Weekend. Mr. Drew McMullen stated that there were two additions to the festival, both of which were parades down High Street. He said that the first parade would be lighted boats and trailers and would take place on Friday, October 27th from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. The second parade was a Ferrari Club arriving on Saturday, October 28th and would directly follow the Halloween Parade (approximately 11:00 a.m.). The cars would then be on display at the foot of High Street. The Council agreed to the additions to the permit for Downrigging Weekend.
Mr. McMullen thanked Mr. Ingersoll for his work on the marina repairs and upgrades.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Kent County Historical Society had asked for a change in their Legacy Day event scheduled for Saturday, August 19th. They wished to close High Street at 2 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m. Mr. Ingersoll stated that it was important to know that the merchants on that block were in favor of the time change. The Council would defer to Chief Baker to decide the street closure time.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was also a request for Town staff to provide trash removal. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this was an evening event when staff does not usually work, which would require overtime pay. He suggested leaving trash bags and a trailer where the trash can be loaded by those running the event. The employees will then remove the trash during work hours. Ms. Kuiper stated that the event was responsible for recycling.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he appreciated Mr. McMullen’s remarks on the Marina and said that he wanted to compliment Mr. Tom Sappington for all his work repairing the docks and walkways to make sure they are safe until they are removed during the next phase of construction.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Williams Building (40’ x 50’) was slated for removal to allow room for the Interpretive Center. He said that the contractor working at the marina was originally going to take the building but that plan fell through. Mr. Ingersoll stated that after attempts to have others remove the structure he placed an advertisement on the website and by the next day there were 12 offers to remove it. He said that the building will be removed at no cost, possibly as soon as this week. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the larger metal building would be sold.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Waterway Improvement Grants were due in August and suggested that the Council apply for $300,000.00 this year. He said that the Town has received $200,000.00 a year for the past 4 years and the grants require a Town match. The Council agreed.
Mayor Cerino asked for approval of a letter of support for KRM, who was applying for an infrastructure assistance grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Stetson moved to approve submittal of a letter of support on behalf of the Council for KRM’s infrastructure assistance grant to the Department of Housing and Community Development, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to nominate Ms. Amy Meeks as the new Chair of the Chestertown Recreation Commission noting that Mr. Troup, who was stepping down as Chairman, recommended her for the position. He said that the Council will vote on the nomination at the next meeting. Mayor Cerino stated that Ms. Meeks will poll other members of the Commission to see if they are still interested in serving on the Commission (as several members have not been attending meetings).
Mayor Cerino introduced Mr. Kurt Landgraf, President of Washington College. Mr. Landgraf thanked the Council for allowing him to speak and said that he would be moving to the community in the very near future. He said that he was committed to enhancing and rebuilding the relationship between the Town and the College. Mr. Landgraf stated that the first thing he did was change the date of commencement from Saturday to Sunday, as he understood that the loss of business was an issue for local businesses and had been discussed at a recent Council meeting. Mayor Cerino stated that he was happy to have a president who understood the importance of the connection between the institution and the community.
Mr. Landgraf stated that there would be a groundbreaking for the waterfront campus on September 8th followed by the groundbreaking for the Boathouse on September 14th.
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward reports.
Ms. Gross stated that all was well in the Ward One.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Verizon store in Washington Square will be giving away 200 backpacks on Sunday, July 23rd. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Mr. Shoge stated that all was well in the Third Ward.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended a recent Community Breakfast meeting where the speakers were from Upper Shore Community Mediation. They helped to mediate conflict between friends, neighbors and businesses in the area. The service was free.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any comments from the audience. Mr. Slocum asked for an update on the boat ramp. Mr. Ingersoll stated that they were waiting on stamped engineering plans for the ramp and everyone was concerned at how long the process was taking. He said that he hoped the ramp would be installed in 6 weeks but made no guarantees.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:29 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor