Environmental Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes|

Chestertown Environmental Committee
Minutes
In Person and Virtual
January 9, 2024  

In Attendance:  Laura Chamberlin (Washington College), Secethia Davis,  Brad Hollomon, Margie Lance, Carole Trippe, Jenny Freebery, Tim O’Brian, Thomas Dietz, Andy Goddard, Liz Peterson, Wendy Wander, Jon Hanley, Megan Efland (Town Council)

 Overview/Miscellaneous

  • The town is looking for budget requests and is interested in mapping the town for possible grow back areas (e.g., wildflowers, decorative grasses , etc.).
  • We are in a moment for invigorating the town with new council leadership.
  • An ordinance has been adopted and is out for comment to permit the planting of wild grasses.
  • Laura Chamberlin, Associate Director of Civic Engagement at Washington College, told the CEC that there are opportunities for college interns to participate in CEC projects and associated monies earmarked for this and other projects joint with the college.
  • SNAP is coming back to the farmer’s market. Volunteers to work on the project are being sought after. There will be a meeting on the subject in February.
  • A PLANT CLINIC will be held on January 20th at the library.
  • Shore Soils Tour at 1:00 on February 10th (Ryan is coming to our booth in the morning, then we will go with him afterwards to see his operation in QA). 
  • To find Town Ordinances go to: TOWN OF CHESTERTOWN, MARYLAND CODE OF ORDINANCES (amlegal.com)

Agenda

  • Agenda Items CEC 11/9/23
  • Approve November minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Plastic Bag Ban- Meghan 
  • Renders bags
  • Marketing campaign for reusable
  • Maryland Climate Pollution Reduction Plan- Tom
  • Solar, energy, efficiency etc update- Tom
  • Composting support- Jenny
  • Recycling update- Ford (see below)
  • Map of EV charging stations in Chestertown-Jon
  • Report of Recycling Booth- Wendy
  • Budget for 2024- report to Mayor and Town Council
  • Earth Day- April 20th-Jenny
  • Library Plant Clinic- January 20th- Secethia
  • SNAP at farmers market- Jon
  • Approve October minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report

Plastic Bag Ban– Meghan Efland (Details from November Meeting, are in Italics)

  • Chestertown 2011 ordinance CHAPTER 133: PLASTIC BAG REDUCTION (amlegal.com)
  • Centreville proposed ordinance https://www.townofcentreville.org/sites/default/files/fileattachments/ordinance/3097/ord-02-2023-plastic_bags-approved.pdf 
  • Scheduled for April. There will be a few months grace period before it is enforced
  • Council is looking for communication opportunities and feedback
  • Town seeks an 85% compliance rate
  • Ways to encourage reusable vs plastic, PR and outreach
    • Copy/Edit an existing online advertisement to promote reuse

Treasury Report: There were no changes to the report this month

Booth Recycling: Wendy Wander

Wendy reported we are now collecting hair stuff, e.g., curling irons, blow dryers, etc.

Earth Day Festival: Jenny Freebery

  • Will take place on April 20th
  • There will be a planning meeting on the 16th of this month
  • Format same as last year

Energy Committee:  Tom Deitz and Jon Hanley

Jon Hanley will write something outlining our new position on collecting pens and markers.

EV Charging Sites:

  • 13 sites in town, with 27 connections
  • 25 % are out of service with mechanical issues
  • We need a new supplier: Current one is unresponsive
  • Jon suggests we engage ChargePoint or EV-Go
  • Federal and State money is available to us to help us accomplish our EV projects

The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) is a very large pot of Federal grant money (multiple Billions for the State of Maryland) that has been authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act. Check out the following links. Tom Has been assigned by the Town Council to be the point of contact with MDE’s support program that assists certain rural regional areas with various CPRG MSA planning grant preparation. The town is most interested in the following three submission ideas:

1) the construction of a 2.6 MW solar array on 5 – 7 acres at the John Hanson Road site (at the Water Treatment Plant to supply electric to the Town operations.

2) the replacement of all current HVAC systems (propane heat and old inefficient AC systems with modern high efficiency heat pumps

3) Demolition and reconstruction of old inefficient town maintenance and water treatment plant builds with new energy efficient buildings. 

https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/air/ClimateChange/CLIMATE%20POLLUTION%20GRANTS/CPRG%20Information%20and%20Q%26A%20Virtual%20Session_December%2012%202023.pptx.pdf

https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/air/ClimateChange/Maryland%20Climate%20Reduction%20Plan/Maryland%27s%20Climate%20Pollution%20Reduction%20Plan%20-%20Final%20-%20Dec%2028%202023.pdfby%202045.%C2%A0%C2%A0

Farmers Market Report

Pens and Markers will no longer be collected at the farmers market

Ford Schuman/David Sobers(by way of Jenny)- On Recycling

The Town Council is interested in partnering with other towns to negotiate a better deal and attract a recycler.

  • Composting efforts are suffering from a lack of a place to drop off compost. The wastewater treatment plant was recommended as a good location.
  • CEC will investigate creating and distributing a letter of support for Shore Soils of Stevensville

Ford’s Report (Edited for conciseness)

Conversations with Mr. Henry

  • Once per week trash pickup was discussed, followed by recycling on another day.
  • Henry would have to negotiate his contract with Chestertown.
    • Travel distance is an issue, and no crossing of state lines,
    • Collection of paper one week, containers another was proposed,
    • Paper would go to CreaFill in Worton, containers to a roll off on Nickerson Road,
    • Glass would still need to be dropped off separately at a recycling station,
    • These and other issues need to be discussed with the town manager.

 

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