MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 19, 2019
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Linda C. Kuiper, Ellsworth Tolliver 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 August 5, 2019. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of August 5, 2019 as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating funds on hand for unrestricted use was $144,325.16. Restricted funds for the Marina were set aside in the amount of $21,054.52.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ken Fender, State Highway Administration District Engineer, was present and brought along Mr. Richard Baker (Assistant District Engineer for Traffic), Mr. John Lancaster (Assistant District Engineer for Maintenance Operations), Mr. Bobby Tucker (Assistant District Engineer for Construction) and Mr. Tom Revelle (Head of Project Design and Development). Mr. Fender said that he wanted to introduce his staff to the Mayor and Council and to let the Council know that they were available for them and to answer any questions.
Mr. Stetson stated that there was a crosswalk activator button on the south side of Campus Avenue and Rt. 213 on the side of the street that does not have a sidewalk. He said that he thought this was dangerous as the College and middle school students use it daily as the Kent County Middle School was located on Campus Avenue. Mr. Fender stated that he would look at the location and see if they could help to remedy that issue.
Mr. Fender stated that his District covered Cecil, Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne and Talbot Counties with over 2,000 land miles and 213 bridges. He said that other districts might have more road miles, but his district was very large geographically.
Ms. Kuiper asked if he was seeing any increase in Highway User Funds in this District. Mr. Fender stated that each District gets their own funding dollars and they were on a downslide with less funding for strategic planning. Mr. Revelle stated that just 2 years ago the District was given $28 million but it was at $16 million this year and it was going to be $16 million again this upcoming year. He said that was more in keeping with the funding of 10 years ago.
Ms. Kuiper asked if Mr. Fender was involved in the study for the third Bay Bridge. Mr. Fender stated that MDTA does the Bay Bridge Crossing Studies and he was not involved in any of the process or decision making for a third Bay Bridge.
Rev. Tolliver asked if his department has faced any great challenges since he has been with the SHA. Mr. Fender stated that everything came back to budget and keeping the level of service that is expected with the funds that they are given. Mr. Fender stated that he was happy to help the Mayor and Council with any future issues.
Mr. Foster stated that he discussed the intersection problems at Cross Street and Rt. 213 and said that that they were going to discuss the options available to fix it. Mr. Fender stated that pedestrian safety was the most important to all at the SHA and they would try to address that issue in the short and long term.
Mayor Cerino thanked the SHA for getting the speed limit lowered by Chester River Landing and the Armory on Quaker Neck Road as there would soon be a good deal more pedestrian traffic with the new Washington College Environmental Building opening.
Mr. Sam Shoge was present on behalf of the Kent County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals to discuss a Brewfest being planned for Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Plaza. He said that they changed the time and location with the hope that those who attend the Farmers Market will remain in Town to enjoy the festival. Mr. Shoge stated that instead of holding the event in Wilmer Park, they were requesting the event take place on Memorial Plaza. He said that Kelly Distributors will provide the beer and there will be wine on sold by the glass. There will be live music and food provided by the Walker Family Food Truck.
Mr. Shoge stated that he would like to request trash cans for the event, a waiver of the open container regulations for the duration of the festival, signage over the Rail-Trail and the road closure at Memorial Plaza from Friday evening through Saturday evening to allow for set-up and break down of the event. He said that he would also request the police to place no parking signs along Memorial Plaza. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Jon Hanley was the only person who hangs the signs over the trail and there is a $50.00 charge to do so. He also said that the Young Professionals should contact the Emmanuel Church to let them know their plans for blocking the street so that no wedding or funeral activities were planned at the church that day.
Mr. Stetson asked about tickets for the event. Mr. Shoge stated that they were still looking into whether to sell event tickets or if they would forego an admission charge and sell tickets by the drink.
Rev. Tolliver asked how many people he anticipated at the event. Mr. Shoge stated that there were approximately 250 people their first year, and if the weather cooperated, he anticipated between 200 and 300 people. All revenues of the Brewfest subsidize events for the Young Professionals.
Ms. Kuiper stated that it was the event committee’s responsibility to contract with a recycling company, but the Town could provide trash cans. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town had barrels, but they did not have adequate recycling containers.
Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the Young Professionals Brewfest on Saturday October 26th from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with the requests discussed in the meeting, including waiver of the open container regulations for the duration of the event, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Corporal Michele Guerriero presented the police report for July 2019. Corporal Guerriero stated that there were extra calls for service showing on the report as that is how they log in speed patrol and other increased patrol checks.
Mr. Foster stated that he heard there was a burglary today in broad daylight and asked if there was information available about it. Corporal Guerriero stated that there was a burglary this afternoon on Washington Avenue which was reported at just about 2:30 p.m. She said that evidence was left on the scene which would be sent to the crime lab in the hopes of finding the person or persons responsible.
Rev. Tolliver asked what Corporal Guerriero thought about the use of body cameras. Corporal Guerriero thought it would be beneficial for the officers to have them.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Main Street was present to discuss additional details for the Fall Cars on High Event scheduled for Saturday, September 14th from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (with a rain date of Sunday, September 15th). Ms. MacIntosh stated that the layout was changed for the cars which would now be parked on Park Row and High Street, with a select few cars in the Fountain Park. The requested a small platform in the Fountain Park for announcements. Mr. Slocum said it is difficult to know how many cars would be coming to the show as it was usually based on the weather. He said that registration went live online last week, and 10 cars have registered to date. He said that they were planning on 100 cars this year. Mr. Slocum stated that they were still looking for a food vendor for the event and there will be activities for children throughout the day. Ms. MacIntosh stated that this was also the same day as the Jazz Festival, and they were trying to cross-promote the events.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there were non-profits in Town that prepared food for the Tea Party and she had a list that she would provide to them.
Mr. Nivek Johnson was present on behalf of Janes Church and said that they were asking to hold a block party on Wednesday, August 28th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to give away school supplies and they were requesting use of the Town-owned parking lot on Cannon Street behind the AJAX Park for the party. He said that they would have food, music and some carnival games as well.
Mr. Ingersoll asked what would be done with the cars already parked in the lot. They could be difficult to move, and he also said the Town does not own the first 110’ of the lot. He asked if this event had been discussed with the owners of the first part of the lot. Mr. Johnson stated that he did not think the owners had been approached and said that he did not know why the first portion of Cannon Street by the church was not pursued for the Block Party. He said that this partial street closure was done in previous years when they had this event and asked if it was too late to be an option. Mr. Ingersoll stated that closing a portion of Cannon Street worked fine in the past, but the Church should get permission from Chestertown Natural Foods and Casa Carmen to close that portion of the street. Mr. Johnson stated that he thought this arrangement would work better as he would like to be closer to the Church. Mayor Cerino recommended that the Council approve the partial closure of lower Cannon Street in front of the Janes Church with the condition that the neighbors approved.
Ms. Kuiper moved to conditionally approve the partial closure of Cannon Street from Cross Street to the parking lot behind Chestertown Natural Foods on Wednesday, August 28th from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. for Janes Church Young Adults, noting that the Street Department will be asked to put up the barricades, with Janes Church to receive approvals from Casa Carmen and the Chestertown Natural Food Store, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll read over the Election Schedule for the 2nd and 4th Wards which will be held on November 5, 2019. The last day to register to vote or to file for candidacy is Friday, October 4th. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this year a private vendor will be used to help with the election as the State has withdrawn use of their voting equipment by municipalities.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Waterfront Study Team which included the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Town of Chestertown and Washington College staff have a preliminary plan weaving in the brick sidewalk system, the Rail-Trail, and the proposed waterfront walkway prepared by DMS & Associates. It showed proposed extensions of the Rail-Trail along Rt. 289 and the Waterfront Trail all the way to the Armory and beyond. An MOU has been drafted by the College for the portion of land fronting the water. Mr. Ingersoll stated that easements will be drafted once the MOU is agreed to by all parties.
Mayor Cerino stated that C’Town Liquors and Deli has a request in for a beer, wine, liquor and tastings permit for their premises at 601 Washington Avenue. The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, September 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in the County Commissioners Office.
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward reports.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended the opening for Special Olympics and was quite impressed by the entire event.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended Legacy Day this past Saturday and it was well attended.
Mr. Foster stated that he has been receiving complaints from residents that some stores in Chestertown are not complying with the plastic bag ordinance. Mayor Cerino stated that there are some places that are allowed the use of plastic bags. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would send the entire Ordinance to Mr. Foster.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she received some additional information from Owen McCoy’s daughters regarding the plaque that was to be made for Fountain Park. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would make a mock-up of the plaque and send it to Ms. Kuiper to pass along to Mr. McCoy’s daughters.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Tea Party needed volunteers.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the last scheduled Music in the Park was cancelled because of inclement weather. The next Music in the Park will be held on Saturday, September 7th.
Ms. Kuiper thanked Mr. Ingersoll for fixing the leak at the Fountain Park and the pothole on Park Row.
Rev. Tolliver stated that met with Lainey Seikely and Jonathon Chase about their affordable housing plans and they were targeting at least 3 families that will be attending a workshop on Wednesday, August 21st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the yellow building at the library.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he hosted a session for 14 disabled veterans who were not receiving all benefits to which they are entitled, to help them refile their claim in the hopes of getting the full benefit they are due.
Mr. Stetson stated that he wanted to thank the Council for their nice comments regarding his time on the Town Council. He said that it was nice to hear good things from people and that his service was appreciated.
Mr. Foster asked when the Council would receive a budget update. Mr. Ingersoll stated that an update would be provided at the end of the quarter.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor