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

CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:19 p.m.  In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz (6:55 pm), 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 January 16, 2024.  Councilman O’Brien moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of January 16, 2024. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and carried unanimously.

Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $3,056,723.16. Councilwoman Efland made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Consent Calendar

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to appoint Paul Saywell to the Tree Committee, approved the Planning Commission Report and approved around Town events. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day Celebration

Mr. Peter Sweetser presented the National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day Celebration planned for March 29 from 4 to 7 pm in Memorial Park to thank and welcome the Vietnam veteran’s home, 50 years late.  He stated that the commemoration identifies those people as anyone that served in uniform from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.

Mr. Sweetser stated that for the last two (2) years it has been an all-volunteer effort by organizations in the Town of Chestertown. He noted that in the past, there has been limited advertising which has been privately funded and asked for a donation of $1000 to help pay for the better advertising of this year’s event.

Mr. Sweetser presented the Mayor a certificate signed by the Secretary of Defense as a commemorative partner.

Redevelopment Presentation

Mr. Don Urgo, Urgo Hotels and Resorts presented and proposed a Waterfront Restaurant and Inn. He currently has the 98 Cannon property under contract and is looking to demolish the building to develop a waterfront restaurant and a forty (40) room inn.

Mr. Joe Philips, Phillips & Donovan Architects, LLC reviewed the 98 Cannon building, lot, and surrounding area. He reviewed an outline of a potential structure’s footprint on the property. There currently are no site plans for available.

Councilman Tom Herz arrived (6:55 pm) at this point in the meeting.

Town Managers Report

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Boards/Commissions/Committees’ activity report, the Certified  Local Governments annual report, the Maryland Heritage Trust grant award, and the Route 213 sidewalk improvement project.

Mayors Report

Mr. Foster reviewed several legislative bills:

  • A bill that would require State Highway Administration (SHA) to be responsible for sidewalks along state highways.
  • A bill entitled Vision Zero to reduce traffic fatalities to zero.
  • Red speed camera bill, that would allow a non-police officer take the training and do the paperwork.

Mr. Foster stated they are moving forward in getting the school zones certified as school zones to meet the requirements to have additional cameras in those areas.

Mr. Foster stated he would be meeting with the Governor’s staff to discuss tax differential.

Old Business

Christopher Drummond, Esquire, Town Attorney, reviewed the various text amendments in the process of being updated, Trees, Ethics, Front Yard Meadows, and Plastic Bags.

Mr. Drummond noted the Ethics Ordinance changes being made are required by the State of Maryland to be incompliance with State Law.

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Cerino Center Build-out and Shore Rivers Lease.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to accept staff recommendation to have the Town Manager and Town Attorney negotiate a five (5) year lease as stated in the managers’ report and include future discussion of a build-out. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. Herz gave an update on the MD250 Commission to prepare for the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence that will be celebrated in Historical towns through Maryland. He asked Mayor and Council and members of the public to  forward suggestions to him. 

Mr. O’Brien suggested a time capsule.

Ms. Efland suggested that there needs to be description/charge/commitment of what they expect the group to accomplish.

Mr. Medrano suggested to include the African American community to contribute their accomplishments to history.

New Business

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Visitor Center vacancy and the Chamber lease.

Councilman Herz made a motion to vacate the existing lease for the Kent County Chamber of Commerce and authorize a new lease at $250 a month. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Main Street MOU/Lease.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to accept the DHCD/Main Street MOU and to develop a lease as stated in the Town Managers report, to allow them to occupy the Visitor’s Center at no cost as part of the MOU agreement, in-kind contribution. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and passed unanimously.

Mr. O’Brien stated that the Tree Committee has a proposed draft MOU with Washington College to do a GIS project to map all the trees in town and noted they are requesting $1000 from the Town to support their MOU agreement that would allow a comprehensive tree plan to move forward. 

Ward Reports

Mr. O’Brien reported:

  • Thanked the Public Works staff for their hard work during the snow storm.
  • Thanked the Mayor for signing the MOU with ShoreRivers.
  • Has not been able to get into contact with the hospital representative regarding Bailey Park.
  • Thanked the Town Manager for his pre-meeting support.
  • Tom Sappington’s retirement and appointment of Paul Wilson as Street Manager.

Mr. Herz reported:

  • The Chestertown Heritage Trail update.
  • Thanked the Public Works staff for their hard work.

Mr. Medrano reported:

  • Thanked the Public Works staff for their hard work during the snow storm.
  • Received an email from a member of the Chestertown Garden Club objecting to the placement of the Head sculpture in Fountain Park.  They would like the placement to be postponed.  

Mr. Ben Tilghman spoke on the placement and objections of the sculptures for Fountain Park and noted that the comments have been equal, for or against.

Ms. Efland reported:

  • State Delegates will be presenting HB0365, School Construction Local Cost Share Alterations bill.  This bill could increase the State cost share for the Kent County Middle School by 50 percent to as much as 80 percent.

There being no further business, Councilman Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:22 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

FEBRUARY 5, 2024

 

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.

UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING

  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Minutes of previous Utilities Commission meetings
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Mr. Sipes report
  6. Questions or comments
  7. Adjourn

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

  1. Call meeting to Order
  2. Approval of January 16, 2024, Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Consent Calendar
    1. Appoint Paul Saywell to the Tree Committee
    2. Planning Commission Report
    3. Around Town Events
  6. Presentations
    1. Peter Sweetser – National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day Celebration
    2. Redevelopment Presentation – Waterfront Restaurant and Inn
  7. Town Manager’s report
    1. Town boards, commissions, committees’ activity report
    2. Certified Local Government Annual Report
    3. Maryland Heritage Trust Grant Award
    4. Town Hall Fire Compliance
    5. Route 213 Sidewalk Improvement Project
  8. Mayor’s Report
  9. Old Business
    1. Text Amendments
    2. Cerino Build-out and Shore Rivers Lease
    3. MD 250 Commission
  10. New Business
    1. Visitor Center Vacancy/Chamber Lease
    2. Main Street MOU/Lease
  11. Ward Reports
  12. Requests from the public to be on the agenda:
  13. Questions or comments
  14. 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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