Agendas, 2024, Mayor and Council, Town Agendas & Minutes|

CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

APRIL 15, 2024

 

Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz, Jose Medrano, and Meghan Efland. Also in attendance were Larry DiRe (Town Manager), Lynda Thomas (Town Clerk) and guests.

Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Mayor and Council minutes of April 1, 2024, and April 10, 2024.  Councilman Herz moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of April 1, 2024, and April 10, 2024, as submitted. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and carried unanimously.

Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $2,996,151.68. Councilwoman Efland made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to open the public hearing. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

A Public Hearing was held to hear public comment for Ordinance 04-2024 – Plastic Bags.  The Ordinance would update the restrictions of the use and supply of plastic bags at retail establishments.

The following gave public comment:

  1. Jenny Freebery – in favor

Councilwoman Efland made a motion to adjourn the public hearing. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and passed unanimously.

Police Report                                                       

Chief Ron Dixon presented the Chestertown Police Department’s (CPD) March monthly report. He noted that the duel red speed cameras generated 518 citations. The overtime was dedicated toward getting Officers Eric Nunez up to speed with his field training. He noted that Officer Nunez has completed his comparative compliance and 160 hours of field training.

Chief Dixon reviewed various functions he attended since his last presentation:

            Special Olympics law enforcement torch run kick off meeting

            Budget workshop with department heads and town manager

            Empowering Train the Trainer

            Partnered with Mid-Shore Behavioral Health

            Department of Emergency Services Leadership Training

Vietnam Memorial Ceremony

County Commissioner’s meeting for Child Abuse Awareness Proclamation

Local Drug & Alcohol Council meeting

Local Overdose Fatality review meeting

Washington College concert

            In the line of duty death training       

            Tea Party Safety meeting

            Farewell gathering for library administrator

            Maryland Municipal League Police executive association conference

Chief Dixon reviewed the Police department budget. He noted that $20,000 in grant money would be received in FY2025, along with a projected increase of $50,000 from the two (2) red speed cameras. He noted that they were able to save money on the security cameras, data processing, and repair and maintenance on vehicles. He stated he asked for a new line item for the speed sign software maintenance and a new line item for information technology support. He also noted that a couple new police cars may be a possibility for FY2025.

Small Business Administration

Ms. Vanessa Santiago presented the assistance opportunities offered by Small Business Administration (SBA). Many businesses were affected economically by the collapse of the Key Bridge. SBA encouraged businesses to apply for the Economic Injury Loss Loan.  By applying for this loan now can make funds available when their business needs it, now or in the near future. Businesses have up to one (1) year to start paying the loan back and up to thirty (30) years to pay the loan back.   

Town Manager’s Report

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the following:

  • Boards/Commissions/Committees
  • Solar
  • MDOT/SHA
  • Fiber Internet Update

Mr. Foster noted that the State Highway Administration (SHA) had granted the town the option of placing historical markers in the verge area, between the sidewalk and curb, as long as the marker does not block drivers’ line of sight. This provides the Mayor and Council with another option to consider for the placement of the James Taylor sign in front of the court house.

Mr. Foster encouraged people to read “On the Courthouse Lawn” by Sherrilyn Ifill.

Mr. Foster noted the postponement of the Armory presentation at the April HDC meeting due to the sudden death of the town attorney.  He reported that there are now two (2) new attorneys to represent the town and HDC during this process.

Mayors Report

Mr. Foster reviewed the meeting between Kent County and the municipalities where the tax differential study performed by the University of Maryland was presented. He noted that two (2) of the Commissioners had promised to support the tax differential study but would not pay for the study. He noted there was no discussion during the meeting about the study. He reported that the citizens of Chestertown are over taxed 10 to 15% each year and the money is being used to subsidize people that make 75% more, per household, in non-municipal households in the county.  

Old Business

Councilwoman Efland moved to adopt Ordinance 04-2024 Plastic Bags.  The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and carried unanimously. The Plastic Bag ordinance would become effective May 9, 2024.

Mr. DiRe reviewed the Memorial Park Renovation Plan. It was noted that the town would pay for the removal of the trees and Shore Rivers would be donating the replacement trees.

Councilman Herz moved to approve the Memorial Park Renovation Plan.  The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and carried unanimously.

Mr. O’Brien reviewed the Washington College and ShoreRivers agreement regarding the grass restoration/solar expansion at the wastewater treatment plant.

Councilman O’Brien moved to adopt the proposed contract with Washington College and ShoreRivers for meadow restoration.  The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and carried unanimously.

Mr. DiRe reviewed the Interim Town Attorney – Ordinances and Leases.

Mr. Foster noted that he already reported on the April 9th Town/County Joint Budget Work Session Update during Mayors report. He added that Mr. O’Brien had provided a list of town needs and assistance. 

New Business

Mr. O’Brien reported that he had been approached to help organize a youth summit. He asked if he could use the meeting room to allow the youth to see how the Town Mayor and Council conduct a meeting. There were no objections to the use of the meeting room.  

Ward Reports

Ms. Efland reported:

  • Reviewed various events and activities happening around town:
    • Kent County Public Schools (KCPS) to host a Title 1 Parent and Family Engagement Meeting at Garnett Elementary School with a discussion focused on:
      • Learning more about Title I schools and how funding is received and used.
      • A family’s role in Title I and involvement opportunities
      • KCPS’s Family Engagement Plan and School-Family Compact
      • Open discussion/questions with parents and families
    • Earth Day and A&E Spring Art walk
    • RiverArts hosting the annual Paint the Town and wet paint sale.
    • Innovation Hub feasibility assessment presentations from the Stakeholder Engagement Course – 800 High Street property, now owned by the college, previously the Dixon Valve building.

Mr. Medrano reported:

  • Uncle Charlies Bistro closed.
  • Subway to reopen.

Mr. Herz reported:

  • He and Nina submitted a grant for the Maryland Heritage Areas for $100,000 for the Chester River Trail. He had submitted a budget request for $65,000 from the capital fund to improve the first phase of the Chestertown Heritage Trail to improve the failing bulkhead walkway.
  • Ben Tilghman submitted an art proposal for funding a piece of artwork at the customs house property on the college side of the property.
  • Downtown cameras have been installed. Internet and power access are still needed.
  • Recognized Ms. Efland for her nomination on the 2024 Women to Watch list.

Mr. O’Brien reported:

  • JJ’s deli closing.
  • Would be focusing on a plan for Bailey Park.

The following persons gave public testimony:

  1. Karen Mack – Fountain Park – not in favor of the sculpture
  2. Elaine Bowman – Fountain Park – not in favor of the sculpture
  3. Bodet Perry – Fountain Park – not in favor of the sculpture
  4. Jim Bogden – Fountain Park – in favor of the sculpture
  5. Ben Tilghman – placement of Head (sculpture)

Mayor and Council had a final discussion on the placement of the Head sculpture and the James Taylor memorial plaque in Fountain Park.

There being no further business, Councilman Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:51 pm. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:

Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk                                       David Foster, Mayor

 

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CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

AGENDA

APRIL 15, 2024

Work in progress. Check back as we add the documents to the agenda throughout the week. 

The Mayor and Council meetings are held in Town Hall, 118 N. Cross Street.  The livestream feed is available at www.townofchestertown.com.

If you would like to make a presentation to the Mayor and Council, contact the Town Clerk, office@chestertown.com, no later than noon the Wednesday prior to a scheduled meeting. Regularly scheduled meetings are held the first and third Mondays of the month, unless Monday is a holiday, then the meeting will be held the following Tuesday, unless otherwise announced. Presentations are to be no longer than ten (10) minutes in length.

 

6:00 p.m.

MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Approval of April 1, 2024, and April 10, 2024, Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Consent Calendar
  6. Public Hearing
    1. Ordinance 04-2024 Plastic Bags
  7. Chief Ron Dixon police report and Budget
  8. Timothy Watson – Small Business Administration (SBA)
  9. Town Manager’s report
    1. Town boards, commissions, committees’ activity report
    2. Solar Project Update
    3. MDOT/SHA
    4. Fiber Internet Update
  10. Mayor’s Report
  11. Old Business
    1. Vote on Ordinance 04-2024 Plastic Bags
    2. Vote on Memorial Park Renovation Plan
    3. Vote on Washington College and ShoreRivers regarding the grass restoration/solar expansion at the wastewater treatment plant
    4. Interim Town Attorney On-Going Projects – Ordinances and Leases  
    5. April 9th Town-County Joint Budget Session Update  
      1. Kent County Tax Set Offs NCSG Report 3-22-24
      2. Median Household Incomes in Kent Chart 
  12. New Business
  13. Ward Reports
  14. Requests from the public to be on the agenda:
  15. Questions or comments
  16. Adjourn

(Meetings are conducted in Open Session unless otherwise indicated. All or part of Mayor and Council meetings can be held in closed session under the authority of the Maryland Open Meetings Law by vote of the Commissioners. Please note that the order of agenda items may change as time dictates or allows. Meetings are subject to audio and video recordings.)

 

 

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