MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JANUARY 4, 2016
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Cerino swore in Linda C. Kuiper as Second Ward Councilperson.
Mayor Cerino swore in Mauritz Stetson as Fourth Ward Councilperson.
Mayor Cerino read the State of the Town Address into the record (attached).
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of December 21, 2015 or the bid opening of December 30, 2015. Mr. Stetson moved to adopt the minutes as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay the bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Council had discussed food trucks at the December meeting and asked that possible amendments to Ordinance 130 be drafted. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had sent drafts to the Council as a starting point for discussion. Mr. Ingersoll said that fees were not addressed as part of the ordinance because they should be passed by resolution to allow changes in the future without going through the formal ordinance process.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Section 130 (Peddling and Soliciting) was where food trucks should be inserted into the ordinance and Ms. Gross stated that she believed that food trucks should be in that chapter but not under the “exempted” section, but rather under the licensing section.
Ms. Kuiper noted the liability insurance provision in the draft ordinances and asked if the Town was eliminated from liability if food trucks were on private property. She also stated that health department licenses and other inspections were necessary and asked if the Town could be liable if there were any problems. Mr. Ingersoll stated that food trucks have only been permitted on private property thus far, and that the fact that the Town did not require liability insurance under those circumstances would indicate less liability.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that if a food truck was operating on a town street he thought the Town would be open to a liability suit if there were any incidents. He said that all of the details for allowing someone to conduct business on Town streets would be important to work out, including hours of operation and exact locations, adding that if the parking meters were in use food trucks would actually be taking revenue away from the Town.
Ms. Gross stated that she did not think that the word “exemption from licensing” should be used as food trucks would, in fact, have to be licensed. Mr. Ingersoll suggested using the word “exception” rather than “exemption”.
Ms. Gross stated that Section G noted a monthly fee and said that payments should be either quarterly or annually.
Mr. Stetson stated that he felt food trucks were unfair to restaurants paying taxes and employing workers and would, in fact, impact their businesses in a negative manner. He also said that fees, if the ordinance is passed, should be much larger fee than is now charged.
Mr. Shoge stated that he was in favor of allowing food trucks in Chestertown, but said that there should be a level playing field between food trucks and brick and mortar buildings when it came to costs.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she did have complaints about the MVA taking up too many spaces on High Street once a month. She said that she would like to hear from restaurant owners in her ward as to how they felt about food trucks.
Mayor Cerino suggested taking some additional time to review the subject and try to firm up a draft ordinance for the next meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the bid opening for marina dredging was successful with five (5) bids received. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Maryland Board of Public Works permit was awaiting one additional signature. He said that he also talked with the Corp. of Engineers in an effort to get the project started. He read the bids into the record.
Ms. Gross moved to award the dredging bid to Hi Tide Marine Construction provisional upon the contract including the language that their bid is fixed at $245,403.00 if the cubic yardage goes over 5,364 cubic yards, or the award shall go to Deckelman’s Pile Driving as long as they can assure that dredging is completed by February 15, 2016, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that on Sunday, January 10th at 2:00 p.m. a meeting will be held at the Fire Hall regarding the community’s vision for retention of services at the Hospital. He said that Senator Hershey will be in attendance and there will be a set list of speakers. Public input would be welcome.
Mayor Cerino stated that there would be a public hearing on a zoning text amendment dealing with the number of gas pumps permitted on large lots within C-3 Zoning on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall.
Mr. Stetson stated that a letter was received from Governor Hogan’s office acknowledging receipt of the request for Marina funding.
Mr. Stetson stated that on December 28th he met with Mayor Cerino, Kees de Mooy and Jenn Hicks at Bailey Park to discuss the possible location of a proposed playground.
Mr. Stetson stated that Luisa’s restaurant donated 25% of their New Year’s Eve proceeds to the family that lost their house to a fire on Baker’s Lane a couple days after Christmas. He said that there were many residents that went to dine at the restaurant knowing that the proceeds were going to help the family.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Marketing Committee was going to meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. He said that Benchworks was working on branding ideas and he was looking forward to seeing the end product.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Farmers Market would be operating all winter.
Ms. Kuiper stated that DCA was hosting “Second Friday” on January 8th since the “First Friday” was on January 1st.
Mayor Cerino stated that the next Recreation Commission meeting would be held on Monday, January 25th at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Jeffrey Carroll of the Fish Whistle stated that he was opposed to food trucks because those who operate them don’t have to follow the same regulations that a brick and mortar restaurant does. He said that they do not have to pay overhead, taxes, and should not be able to set up on a town street. He said he thought that they should at least have to be located on private property.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:50 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor