MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JULY 15, 2019
Acting Mayor Kuiper called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Ellsworth Tolliver and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Acting Mayor Kuiper asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of July 1, 2019. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of July 1, 2019 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Acting Mayor Kuiper stated that total operating funds on hand for unrestricted use was $331,573.32. Restricted funds for the Marina were set aside in the amount of $21,054.52.
Acting Mayor Kuiper asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Ms. MacIntosh stated that Main Street was looking for a way to streamline the efficiency of showing parking bans in the downtown area during festivals and parties. She said that Main Street received a grant from the Maryland States Arts Council in the amount of $2,464.00 which will cover the costs of embossed or printed bags (canvas or vinyl) that will have an additional display area where temporary signage can be placed for any event and then taken down afterwards. The bags were designed by Barbara Slocum. She said that they were waiting on a prototype bag for the police to test as the police department usually wrote up the signs for street closures. Chief Baker stated that he thought the meter bags would be a good addition.
Ms. MacIntosh stated that there will be a fall “Cars on High” event on Saturday, September 14th, starting after the Farmers Market. The set up for the event will occur no earlier than 1 p.m. and there will be cars parked on both sides of the 300 block of High Street, around and on the Fountain Park and along Memorial Plaza. There will be several special antique cars parked in Fountain Park that day. There will also be food vendors and beer and wine sales. Prizes will be awarded for different categories.
Ms. Kuiper stated that if the Car Show begins at 1 p.m. the Farmers Market is breaking down at approximately the same time. Ms. MacIntosh stated that she spoke with Ms. Harvey who said that setup can begin at 1 p.m. The actual car show will begin at 2 p.m.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was working on a project with the Garden Club on the compaction of ground at the Fountain Park. This fall, after the Cars on High event, the Park will be punched, aerated and reseeded. He said that when parking the antique cars in the Park they needed to be careful not to crush the irrigation lines or heads.
Ms. MacIntosh stated that the Touch a Truck event would be held on Thursday, July 18th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Chief Baker presented the report for June 2019. He asked for questions from the Council.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if there was any update on the reimbursement from the officer who recently left the Town for another agency as soon as he graduated from the Police Academy. Chief Baker stated that he did have a reimbursement in the form of a personal check from the officer for most of the tuition and the rest of the money for the polygraph and other testing will come from the Town for which he is now working. Chief Baker stated that the second cadet to go through the Academy and will complete field training in early August. He said he thought he was going to be a terrific officer.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if the Police were contacted before the recent planned DP&L outage. Chief Baker stated that he was not notified but it would have been helpful.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were many complaints over the lack of 4th of July fireworks, with one over-the-top complaint that was reported to the police. Mr. Ingersoll stated that that it may be a good time to request donations for a show for next year. Mr. Stetson stated that he thought an organization should take over the fireworks show like the Fire Department does in Rock Hall. Ms. MacIntosh stated that her Main Street organization had discussed heading up fundraising for the event. Ms. Kuiper stated that she had someone mention to her about heading up fireworks as well. She asked how far in advance the fireworks permit had to be filed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the permits from the State Bomb Squad and the Coast Guard usually took up to 3 months to receive. Mr. Foster stated that there were many people who approached him about fireworks and were upset as well. Mr. Foster stated that he asked the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Department if they would be interested in taking over the fireworks show and said that he was asked to send a letter or attend one of the Fire Department meetings for discussion. Rev. Tolliver stated that he also had people who wanted to contribute to a fireworks show.
Acting Mayor Kuiper asked for ward reports.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended the “Lights for Liberty” event in Memorial Park on Friday night and said that it was a moving event and well-attended.
Mr. Foster stated that he has been asked if there was room for bike and kayak rentals at the Marina. Mr. Ingersoll stated that both have been discussed with staff, but they were getting their “feet wet” right now just running the new Marina. He said that if someone else would do a rental business onsite then State property taxes would have to be paid on part of the property. He said that there were kayak launches at the Marina and the Wilmer Park. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the State of Maryland was not satisfied with the dredging performed 2 years ago and are funding a second dredging in areas where their infrared imaging showed the water was not as deep as required. Such activities made the area unsafe presently for kayak or paddleboards. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there is also an issue lately with people expecting to dock for free if they are going to eat at the restaurant.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the MML Convention and was happy and proud to carry the Chestertown flag in the Parade of Flags. He said that he attended a few sessions but found them repetitive after years of attending.
Mr. Stetson stated that the MML Convention also held sessions on medium-sized towns and Chestertown was the only town there that did not receive aid from their County or financial help from a College located in their town (using Frostburg as an example).
Mr. Stetson stated that the town crew trimmed and pruned the trees in the Dog Park and it looked great. He said that the playground equipment at the Bailey Park had been vandalized which was disappointing. Mr. Stetson stated that it was difficult to police that area at night and thought there should be discussion about the placement of the equipment.
Rev. Tolliver stated that the Third Ward was quiet. He said that he wanted to commend his constituents for keeping their yards nice and commended Greenscape’s for their volunteer work on the round-a-bout.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he would like for the community to remain vigilant on the opioid crisis in Town as it was still a problem and it affected everyone in the community.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz was in Town last week and Ms. Jamie Williams of Economic Development arranged a luncheon that he attended at the new Dixon Valve Warehouse. Ms. Williams stated that the Mayors, business leaders and some State officials were present and they shared the projects that they were working on and areas they thought needed continued support. Ms. Williams stated that Mayor Morales discussed the emergency service providers and the hospital healthcare issue, touching on the additional travel time it takes to transport patients another hospital. The other large issue discussed was public education and how to maintain a good school system with a declining enrollment. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the College president also said at the meeting that some of their excess property was sold off that will go back on the tax rolls to the tune of about $12 million.
Mr. Foster stated that he attended a meeting of the County Economic Development Commission and asked/reminded those in attendance that they were looking for someone to assist with an audit on the tax differential/tax rebate issue.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Ms. Harvey started a “Go Fund Me” page for matching money for the Maryland Market Money for low income families.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Legacy Day was going to be held on August 17th.
Ms. Kuiper asked if there was any progress on the grant for a new stage. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the Schuman Foundation donated $35,000.00 in matching funds and they were waiting to hear from another agency as to whether it will be funded entirely.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Kent County 4-H Fair begins on Thursday and runs through Saturday.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the 2020 Kent County Humane Society Calendar Contest raised over $31,000.00. Ms. Kuiper stated that she and her dog, Sara, came in 3rd place overall.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor