MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 3, 2015
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 asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting with MDE of July 14, 2015, the Bid Opening for police station equipment of July 17, 2015 and the Mayor and Council meeting of July 20, 2015. Ms. Gross moved to adopt the minutes as presented, with a change to the July 20th minutes on page 6 as follows: “Ms. Gross stated that she would like the Town to work with members of the Center for the American Experience (CV Starr Center) to focus on the history as an industrial port and the African American community that lived and worked in the area”, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Shoge moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Mark Williams of Earth Data and Mr. Stewart Bruce of Washington College’s GIS Lab were present to discuss the possibility of submitting a grant application on behalf of the Town to do a storm water inventory and develop a storm water planning document. He said that the grant was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and that applications were due on September 17th. He said that there was also discussion of a tree canopy study and impervious surfaces. The result of the storm water planning document would be a tool that the Town could use to implement best management practices. Mr. Williams stated that there would be no cost associated for the Town, but they would like a letter of support indicating that the grant was being submitted on the Town’s behalf. Mr. Stetson moved to approve a letter of support for a grant submission in the name of the Town of Chestertown to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for a storm water management planning document, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Mark Hampton was present on behalf of Washington College to ask if the Town would consider serving as the issuer of 2015 series of bonds for Washington College Debt Financing. Mr. Hampton said that the College was in the process of building the new Academic Center on the 200 block of Washington Avenue and a new dorm for the growing student population and to house the existing students while renovating existing residence halls. He stated that the Washington College Board of Trustees had authorized moving forward with the issuance of debt of up to $20 million dollars. The issuance was also approved by Washington College’s current bondholders and issuers.
Mr. Hampton stated that construction of the new dorm resulted in water and sewer fees to the Town in the amount approaching $250,000.00. He said that the new academic building on the 200 block of Washington Avenue would be an asset for the entire Town as it removed a vacant building and provided open space for the community on Philosophers Terrace.
Mayor Cerino asked the timeframe for the construction of Corsica Hall. Mr. Hampton stated that both Corsica Hall and the new academic building will be completed in July 2016. He said that the Board has discussed enlarging enrollment to 1750 students, noting that the present student population was at a little over 1,400. He said that he thought the campus could realistically hold between 1,600 and 1,650 students.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the College would also pay for the Town’s bond counsel who would review the bond documents and that there would be no financial liability to the Town.
Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the bond request by Washington College as submitted for $20-million dollars, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried with four (4) in favor, Mr. Shoge recused himself as he was an employee of Washington College.
Ms. Mulligan reviewed the election schedule for the Second and Fourth Wards, noting that advertisements will begin on August 27th and the election will take place on November 3rd from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Ms. Mulligan runs the election with help from the Kent County Board of Elections Supervisors. Ms. Kuiper asked about absentee ballots. Ms. Mulligan stated that all details of the election would be spelled out in the advertisements and would also be put on the Town’s website.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the County Commissioners were supposed to here this evening to discuss the MOU for the Sanitary District but had asked to reschedule to August 17th a meeting that he could not attend. The Council asked to reschedule the meeting to Tuesday, September 8th. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like Mr. Sipes to attend the meeting and suggested inviting the other Towns in the County to attend as well.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received a petition for speed bumps on Haacke Drive from residents of Oak Hollow and Conley Drive. Chief Baker stated that he had not been alerted to a problem with speed on Haacke Drive and said that he would put the speed board on Haacke to record the speeds for a couple weeks. Mr. Ingersoll stated that they would table the request pending the results of the speed board study.
Chief Baker stated that the minutes of the bid for the police station equipment were approved at the beginning of the meeting. He said that he reviewed the bids with Mr. de Mooy and would recommend that the bid be awarded to Professional Multi-Media Integration of Bridgeville, DE for $111,868.00. He said that the figure represented in the bid from CTS did not include a generator. Ms. Gross moved to award the police equipment bid for telephone and power security systems to Professional Multi-Media Integration for $111,868.00, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Chief Baker reminded everyone to lock their windows and doors as there were two (2) burglaries the previous Thursday evening in Town. He said that a screen was sliced open in one case and the residence was entered. Chief Baker stated that light and noise deterred burglars as it would give them second thoughts as to whether or not to enter a property.
Mayor Cerino read a proclamation recognizing the Social Security Administration for their 80th anniversary.
Mayor Cerino stated that he received an email from a person who attempted to be part of the Farmers Market. He asked Ms. Kuiper to describe the process for being in the Market and products that were currently permitted for sale.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Farmers Market sold vegetables, herbs, trees, flowers, plants and meat, with all goods raised by the farmer and there was no reselling of products. On-site inspections of growing operations were part of the approval process. The first step in the process is to call the Farmers Market Manager to see if there was space availability and whether or not a product met the criteria for the market. The applicant had to show proof of insurance, have each product labeled to comply with the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene’s Office of Food Protection and Consumer Health Services, pay the fees and sign a contract. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like to add rules for conflict resolution in the contract.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Artisans Market also had a contract and had a meeting in the beginning of the season. The dates that each vendor intended to be present were spelled out and there were rules and regulations clearly written.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she believed there was an incident because a comment was made to a local business owner that they should be part of the Farmers Market. The owner of this particular business came into the market and set up without any approvals whatsoever. Further, the individual was not selling produce, nor was the product labeled.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Farmers Market has become so popular that it was now viewed as potential advertising attraction for retail stores elsewhere in Town.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Mr. Owen McCoy was in the Farmers Market manager and Ms. Wanda Gorman was the Artisans Market manager.
Ms. Gross stated that the burglaries were in the First Ward and one did not have a robbery because the resident had music playing and it scared them off. The second robbery was on Queen Street and there was an attempted break-in on Campus Avenue. She said that residents had to be aware that this was a recurring problem and to take precautions.
Ms. Gross stated that there were handicap parking spaces outside of Stam’s Drug Store on High Street that were inappropriate with objects hindering passengers from exiting or entering a vehicle. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would like to walk the area with Ms. Gross and try to find a better location for handicapped parking.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Chestertown was featured in the Maryland Gazette (an Annapolis paper) on July 27, 2015.
Ms. Kuiper stated that this Friday was First Friday in Chestertown.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Legacy Day was scheduled for August 15th on the 300 block of High Street.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there was a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, August 5th, at 4:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room at Town Hall with the Washington Avenue Neighbors Association to discuss the students arriving back on Washington College’s campus.
Mr. Shoge stated that he attended the SHA Task Force meeting last week and said that the conversation went back and forth between Washington Avenue and Flatland Road. He said that he hoped there would be a good plan put in place and the funds that SHA referred to in the meetings will be used to fund the projects.
Mr. Shoge asked about the round-a-bout landscaping and why it has not been maintained. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he contacted SHA in May because the majority of what was planted was either dead or not leafed out. He said that SHA had to cure the landscaping issues, which should be under guarantee, before the Town would agree to maintain it.
Mr. Stetson stated that while on vacation he saw Dragon Boat races and it drew a large crowd. He said that Chestertown should look in to hosting something like it as it would draw a big crowd to Chestertown.
Mr. Stetson stated that he was still not sure if he was going to run for reelection and would likely not make a decision until just before the deadline.
Mr. John Wright was present and stated that he was still having a problem with noise the freezer behind J.R.’s pub was creating, noting that it was now in place for three (3) weeks. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he began working with Mr. Alfree the day after the last meeting, suggesting different locations for the truck at night and other sources of refrigeration. He said that Chief Baker has been asked to analyze the noise and take action if necessary. Chief Baker stated that he did visit the site on several occasions but had not heard the truck cycle on and off.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the best solution would be for an electric (other than diesel) refrigeration unit. He said that the other problems were things that the Town could not cure.
Mr. Wright stated that the Town should alert the bank and Mr. Alfree that the existing situation was unacceptable. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had asked the police to measure the noise level, noting that Mr. Alfree could not stay in business without a refrigerator.
Chief Baker stated that he would go straight to the site after the meeting. Mayor Cerino stated that if the Town was going to get involved, it needed to help solve the problem, rather than fining Mr. Alfree for noise. He said that Mr. Alfree employs many people in the community and the Town should do everything that they can to help him through this situation.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the refrigeration unit is not the only issue as the Health Department visited the property and kitchen floors have to be replaced. He said that he has called the Health Department to encourage them to do whatever they could to help keep the business open. It was decided that Ms. Kuiper and Mr. Ingersoll would visit Mr. Alfree again to see how the Town could help the situation.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor