MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JANUARY 19, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:58 p.m. In attendance were Council members Linda Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge 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 January 4, 2016. Mr. Stetson moved to adopt the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that operating funds on hand for unrestricted use is $1,880,668.77 and restricted funds for waterfront initiatives was $192,740.00 for a grand total of $2,073,408.77.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay the bills. Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like to see the vendors listed under the “Business Cards” in the payment of the bills.
Chief Baker presented the police report for December 2015. He said that he was planning to move the Police Department on February 2, 2016. Chief Baker stated that he was preparing for the forecasted snow event this upcoming weekend.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he wanted to thank Chief Baker for his help in District Court earlier in the week regarding an abandoned boat at the Marina and in the Chester River in front of the Marina.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had distributed two different versions of an Ordinance revision for food trucks to the Council. He said that he would recommend deferring the introduction of the Ordinance until Ms. Gross was in attendance. He asked that the Mayor and Council review the drafts and discuss details when it is introduced.
Mayor Cerino stated that some of the restaurant owners would like a chance to have their opinions heard before changes were made to the Ordinance. Mr. Paul Hanley, Blue Heron Café owner, stated that some of the restaurant owners want to be included in the process of updating the Ordinance and asked for an extension on the matter. A discussion ensued regarding cost factors and other issues that go into running a brick and mortar restaurant as opposed to a food truck on wheels. Mr. Hanley said he had a problem with his real estate taxes paving the roads where the food trucks want to park. Mr. Kevin Miller, owner of Papa Smurf BBQ, discussed the costs that are attached to operating a food truck. Mayor Cerino stated that the food truck issue will be discussed again on Monday, March 21st and the other restaurant owners in Chestertown could be heard regarding the Ordinance.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a revision of the Energy Conservation Ordinance would simply take out an earlier reference to the BOCA code and use the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code). He said that he would bring it to the next meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a community planning meeting would be held by the Recreation Commission on Monday, January 25th at 6 pm. It regarded the Bailey Park and possible locations for a children’s playground.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that dredging was getting underway at the Marina. A barge was delivered in pieces on Friday and has been launched by the travel lift. The actual excavation was scheduled to begin the next morning. The State recommended that Hi-Tide Construction of Ocean City, MD be awarded the bid as they had the lowest overall bid. Their references were checked and were good. He said that weather permitting, they were hoping to finish dredging in 10 working days and would stay in a local hotel until the work was done.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he met with Delmarva Power regarding the marine cable project and said that the Town had a $200,000.00 bond in place for street repairs. It would not be released until after the road had time to settle and the asphalt plant would reopen.
Mayor Cerino stated that tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. there would be a public hearing on a proposed C-3 Zoning Text Amendment and w precede the normal Planning Commission Meeting.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was a community meeting at the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company about the current status of the Hospital and what direction the facility was heading. Mayor Cerino stated that he had hoped for a good turnout and there were 300 in attendance inside, with approximately 200 people outside who were turned away due to capacity issues. He said that a follow-up meeting was scheduled for Thursday, January 21st at 7:00 p.m. on the second floor of Town Hall. He said that the meetings were run by the physicians although he would be in attendance.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was a resignation on the Historic District Commission and said that he was looking for nominations to fill the vacancy.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was a nationwide competition called “Small Business Revolution” that Ms. MacIntosh would like to pursue. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the Deluxe company was moving into small business services and were marketing towards small towns. The competition was open to any town nationwide with fewer than 50,000 residents across the country. Chestertown could be nominated and if chosen would win $500,000.00 in consulting fees and other investments in the downtown. She said that it was worth submitting an official nomination and if Chestertown made it to the finals it would be excellent marketing for the Town. Nominations for the contests, including an essay, were due on January 28th. The Council agreed to enter the competition.
Mr. Stetson stated that he missed the last legislative breakfast due to jury duty, but said he read that more of the fuel tax may be given back to small towns. Mr. Stetson stated that the roads were suffering and he hoped the Town could recapture that money for paving.
Mr. Stetson stated a person visiting the Dog Park was bitten by a dog, noting that this was the first incident of this nature since the park opened. Mr. Stetson stated that the young lady who brought the dog left the park before the person who was bitten had a chance to get the information on the dog’s shots. He asked that woman to come forward and divulge that information.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the funeral of Alex Rasin, Esquire and said that he would be missed in the community.
Mr. Shoge stated that Gateway Park was being utilized even before its official dedication. Mayor Cerino stated that he was planning the ribbon cutting for Saturday, May 7th. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the park furniture was delivered to the Town yard and would be installed in the near future.
Ms. Kuiper asked if Ms. MacIntosh would be meeting with Ms. Bernadette Bowman regarding the bridge closing. Ms. MacIntosh stated that she was working with Ms. Bowman on ways to market the bridge closing.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Historical Society is hosting a “Brown Bag at the Bordley” every third Wednesday at noon.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Chamber of Commerce was hosting the 2016 Excellence in Business Awards Gala at the Garfield on January 29th from 6 pm to 9 pm.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Chester Gras was scheduled for February 6th on High Street beside the Peoples Bank.
Mr. John Massey, a resident of East Campus Avenue, stated that when the school children were evacuated from Kent County Middle School they had to walk in the road on Philosopher’s Terrace because there are no sidewalks. He asked if there was any way a sidewalk could be created for pedestrian safety.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would ask Washington College for additional easements along their property for a sidewalk, noting that this was not a new issue and has been discussed with the College (and the County before) in the past. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Heron Point may be a possibility for a safe haven and would be a safer, more direct route. Ms. Trish McGee, member of the Kent County School Board, stated that there was a concern that Heron Point was the first option but there was a worry that Heron Point would also receive a bomb threat.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:04 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor