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

CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

MARCH 4, 2024

 

Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:22 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 February 20, 2024.  Councilwoman Efland moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of February 20, 2024. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and carried unanimously.

Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $3,244,641.06. Councilman Herz made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Consent Calendar

  • To allow the Historical Society to use an upstairs closet of Town Hall to store boxes.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to approve the consent calendar. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

A Public Hearing was held to hear public comment for Ordinance 02-2024 – Ethics.  The Ordinance would be to repeal the current code in its entirety and re-adopt new language to reflect changes made by the State of Maryland.

Councilman Herz made a motion to adjourn the public hearing. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Presentations

Mr. Foster reviewed and signed the Proclamation for Endometriosis Awareness Month.

Mr. Thomas Dietz presented the Solar and HVAC Upgrades.

Ms. Hope Clark presented a Congressionally Directed Spending application letter of support request for improved homelessness services for Chester Valley Ministers Association.

Town Manager’s Report

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Town boards/commissions/committees, grant funding application, and Fountain Park Exclusion.

Mayors Report

Mr. Foster nominated Natalie Hagan to the IT Study group.

Councilman Herz made a motion to appoint Natalie Hagan to the IT Study Group. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. Foster reviewed three (3) letters of support:

  • Historical Society of Kent County for Discovering Upper Shore History Project.
  • Congressionally Directed Spending application letter of support to improve housing affordability & promote scalable development in Kent County.
  • Washington College – Maryland Heritages Areas Authority Grant Applicant

Mr. Foster gave an update on the tax differential and noted that he received a request to attend a meeting with the Kent County Commissioners. He noted that there are three (3) Eastern Shore Counties that do not participate in the tax differential.

Old Business

Councilman Herz made a motion to adopt Ordinance 02-2024 (Ethics). The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Website RFP. He recommended entering into a three-year agreement with CivicPlus, at an annual cost of $6,006.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to adopt the Website RFP as recommended by the Town Manager. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. Foster reviewed the James Taylor Memorial Marker decision.  He noted that the Town is still waiting for the State Highway Administration (SHA) to respond to the placement of the marker along Cross Street . He noted that all comments received were in support of having a marker placed but where it should be placed has not been determined. Mr. Herz stated that a lot of people feel the appropriate location for the marker should be placed on the courthouse lawn which would be for the County Commissioners to decide.

The following gave public testimony regarding the James Taylor Memorial Marker:

  1. Jim Bogden
  2. Diane Coulter
  3. Karen Mack
  4. Phillip Dutton
  5. Susan Coomer

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Short-term Rental (STR) Ordinance.

New Business

Mr. O’Brien reviewed 03-2024 – Meadow’s ordinance. He noted that the state has regulations that supersede the Town’s current ordinance regarding meadows. He asked to table until new language could be clarified with the Town Attorney.

Ms. Efland reviewed 04-2024 – Plastic Bags ordinance. She noted that the Environmental Committee gave a strong list of what they wanted to change.

Ms. Jamie Williams, Kent County Economic and Tourism Development, gave an overview of the new Short-term Rental (STR) Identification Software and MOU. She stated that STR’s have been an issue for awhile and not in line with the state’s legislation. All STR’s, hotels, motels, bed-n-breakfast, and Inn’s should be treated the same and pay the lodging tax. The system would help to identify STR properties, reach out to the owners, enforce the law, and collect the taxes.  She stated that the new system would allow everything to be done online and would report monthly.  She noted this system would allow the county to align with the state code and towns would get their funding monthly instead of quarterly and would increase revenues.

Ms. Williams stated that she is not looking at enforcement at this time.  The first step is to strictly look at identification, monitoring, tax collecting, and making sure that the towns receive the information they need.

Ms. Williams stated that if somebody does not pay their taxes, the software will send a letter to STR owners to make them aware of the issue and each letter after that would be a little more aggressive.

Ms. Williams noted that she would like to see the county and all the towns have the same ordinance so that they could work together.

The following gave public testimony regarding STR’s:

  1. Ellen Hurst
  2. Nancy McGuire

Councilman Herz made a motion to sign the Short-term Rental MOU. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. O’Brien reviewed a proposed site for a public restroom located off Cannon Street on town property behind Bad Alfreds. He noted that this location is just an option.

Mr. DiRe gave an update on the Tree Removal Review & Recommendation Policy.

Ward Reports

Mr. O’Brien reported:

  • Update on the Volunteer Fire Company commercial kitchen.
  • Working with ShoreRivers regarding the Ag lands.
  • Has the information regarding Bailey Park.
  • Someone busted up the concrete tables at the old Subway.

Mr. Herz reported:

  • Presented to the MD Technical assistance program on the ARPA Community Awards and Taskforce. He believes that Chestertown is the only community of this size that has done anything community oriented with the money.
  • Got a call from Tamika Smith, Aunt Sara’s granddaughter (Aunt Sara’s Playground). She asked to use the playground for an event at Wilmer Park to host an Easter Egg hunt.

Mr. Medrano reported:

  • A lot of people have been using Gateway Park and expressed the need for lighting at the cross walk.
  • Potholes at Roosevelt Drive and Talbot Boulevard.
  • Noticed that a large amount of litter is scattered along Flatland Road.  

Ms. Efland reported:

  • Resident reported an issue with the drain on Greenwood Ave, close to the alley that runs behind Truist and UPS. 
  • Reminded everyone of Daylight. National Fire Protection Association has a long-term slogan “Change your clocks, Change your batteries” on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown (Chestertown Hospital) is offering Community CPR Courses, along with smoking cessation, diabetes prevention, and medication safety classes.
  • Thanked the representatives from the Environmental, Recreation and Tree Committees who met with the Mayor and Council Saturday afternoon to review upcoming plans and budget requests and thanked them for their ongoing service to the town.

There being no further business, Councilwoman Efland moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:56 pm. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:

Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk                                       David Foster, Mayor

 

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CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

AGENDA

MARCH 4, 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. Proposed Site for Public Restroom
  7. Questions or comments
  8. Adjourn

 

MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING

  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Approval of February 20, 2024, Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Consent Calendar
    1. Kent County Historical Society Space Request
  6. Public Hearing – Ordinance 02-2024 – Ethics
  7. Presentations
    1. Endometriosis Awareness Month Proclamation
    2. Thomas Dietz – Solar and HVAC Upgrades
    3. Congressionally Directed Spending application letter of support request for improved homelessness services
  8. Town Manager’s report
    1. Town boards, commissions, committees’ activity report
    2. Grant Funding Application
    3. Fountain Park Exclusion
  9. Mayor’s Report
    1. Nomination – Natalie Hagan to the IT Study group
  10. Old Business
    1. Ordinance 02-2024 – Ethics – vote
    2. Website RFP decision – AgreementCivicPlus 2024 Proposal
    3. James Taylor Memorial Marker decision
    4. Short-Term Rental OrdinanceGuidebook
  11. New Business
    1. Introduce New Ordinances
      1. 03-2024 – Meadow’s introduction
      2. 04-2024 – Plastic Bags
    2. Town and County – ReportShort-term Rental MOU
    3. Tree Removal Review & Recommendation PolicyDraft Tree Application
  12. Ward Reports
  13. Requests from the public to be on the agenda:
  14. Questions or comments
  15. 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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