CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING
FEBRUARY 21, 2023
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz, Jose Medrano and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, and guests.
Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $2,344,295.37.
Councilman Herz made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously. Councilwoman Efland was not present for this vote.
Chief Dixon Annual Police report
Chief Dixon presented the annual police report. He reported that overtime was slightly more than usual due to training and a departure in December. He noted that once February’s training was complete, the department would be at 100 percent once again.
Chief Dixon noted that he attended the following events:
- Adult and Child Multi-disciplinary meeting with Kent County Social Services.
- Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties Rescue Squad: Installation of Officers Banquet;
- The Hoyas Fredrick Douglas “Day of Acknowledgment” Celebration;
- The local Drug and Alcohol Council meeting where he gave a presentation on The Legalization of Marijuana and some of the changes to look for.
- Chief Dixon and Corporal Schwink attended the 40-hour basic Sex Offender Interview Specialist course with a world-renowned psychologist from Great Britain; and
- Chief Dixon and Amanda Miller attended a Gem Electronic Vehicles demonstration at Washington College with Enterprise Leasing.
Chief Dixon reported that the department has completed the 2022 census survey of state and local law enforcement agencies.
Chief Dixon participated in the Department of Justice webinar on grant funding opportunities. There are two (2) grants that the department will hopefully be able to use: the bullet proof vest grant that pays 50 percent and the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for use for equipment and programs.
Chief Dixon reported that the department has received $33,203 in grant fund for the reimbursement of the body cameras and received an email that there are additional funds from that grant that he can apply for.
Town Manager’s Report
Mr. Ingersoll reported that he met with Kelly Benson of Fin regarding the location of the kayak rentals trailer at the Wilmer Park so that the contract could be signed.
Mr. Ingersoll read aloud the following permits received:
- United Way of Kent County for 1st annual Bocce Tournament fundraiser for the United Way on April 1
- Mainstreet Cars on High Street on Thursday evenings from April through October
- Mainstreet Second Annual Carnival on High Street on July 1
- Annual Chestertown Car Show on October 7
- Private wedding with 45 guests at Fountain Park on Saturday, August 5
- Chestertown Garden Club at Memorial Plaza for May Mart on Friday, May 5
- Shore Rivers Solstice Celebration at Wilmer Park on June 24
Councilman O’Brien made a motion to approve the seven (7) town permits as read by the town manager for the upcoming events. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and passed unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll reviewed a request for a grant support letter from Kent Attainable, Inc. for funds earmarked for affordable housing designated by Senator Van Hollen. Councilwoman Efland made a motion to approve to support the request for the grant from Kent Attainable, Inc. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and passed unanimously.
Mayor Foster read and signed a Proclamation for the Chestertown Lions Club, “Vison and Diabetes Days.”
Mr. Foster noted that one of the County Commissioners contacted him to discuss Tax Differential and the Council agreed to hold a workshop on Thursday February 23rd to discuss the topic further.
Mr. Foster reported that Washington College would like to study the possibility of creating a business incubator at the former Dixon Value property on 800 High Street.
Mr. Foster reported that an application has been submitted to SHA to install one (1) speed feedback camera on the first block of Maple Avenue.
Mr. O’Brien asked about the extensiveness of the outreach for the Town Manager job announcement.
Mr. O’Brien noted that 98 Cannon was up for sale and was concerned with the condition of the property with a large hole in the roof. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the building was currently a blighting influence and could be considered as unfit for human occupancy by the Town. There has been no progress on the resolution of the destruction after an entire year and Mr. Ingersoll understood that the insurance company for the owner had already settled the damage claim.
Mr. O’Brien noted that he has received reports from citizens about the irregular trash pickup times. Mr. Ingersoll said the best thing for residents to do is put the trashcans out the night before or well before 7 am. He said that if the trash was put in that manner and then not picked up, the property owner should call the office.
Mr. O’Brien discussed an issue with a new sign that had been placed at Bennett’s on Maple Avenue where their fuel sign had been. He referred to a letter received from the Bennett’s attorney by Mr. DeMooy and asked that Mr. Ingersoll review it.
Mr. O’Brien reported that he attended the Planning Commission and that the Maryland Department of Planning has a new mandate on the study of Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) by local jurisdictions.
Mr. O’Brien noted that he attended the Hoyas Fredrick Douglas “Day of Acknowledgment” Celebration.
Mr. O’Brien reported that the Homeless Shelter is ending for this season. He said that Ms. Carol Neimand reported that over $200,000 has been spent and that they were able to rehouse everyone in the program but one (1) person. Mr. Herz noted the although the program was shutting down for the season, anyone interested in volunteering should contact him.
Mr. Herz attended the Council of Governments (COG) where it was discussed to have members bring forward potential State legislative items that the COG could advocate for on their behalf.
Tom Herz gave an update on the ARPA Task Force allocation process and requested a special Mayor and Council meeting to review the applicants/projects.
Mr. Medrano reported that Harold Summerville of the Washington Park Citizens Committee had told him that there were things their committee would like to do in their park and community and would like to be part of the discussions with the Recreation Commission and be more aware of what the other community parks were doing.
Ms. Efland noted that she attended the Hoyas Fredrick Douglas “Day of Acknowledgment” Celebration and congratulated the Bayside Hoyas for their ten (10) year anniversary. She also congratulated Leon Frison, LaMonte Cooke and Ruth Shoge, for being Fredrick Douglas Achievement Award recipients and for their contributions to the community.
Ms. Efland noted that Thomas Hayman (head of the Chestertown Tea Party Festival Committee and a local middle school history teacher involved in the upcoming Upper Shore Regional History Day program), is looking for judges.
Ms. Efland reported that the Chestertown mammography equipment is no longer functioning, and the Hospital Center will be upgrading to the most state-of-the-art equipment. However, until then all patients will be rescheduled to other area either Easton, Denton, or Queenstown.
There being no further business, Councilwoman Efland moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:13 pm. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk David Foster, Mayor