MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JULY 6, 2021
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 7:51 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Tom Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Budget Meeting and Mayor and Council Meeting of June 21, 2021. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the minutes of the meetings of June 21, 2021, as presented, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that operating funds on hand amount was $1,677,017.62.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Ms. Efland moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll read a letter that the Town from the Kent County Board of Education thanking the Mayor and Council for the use of the Town Stage for their graduation ceremony.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Jon Slocum was present to discuss the Chestertown Car Show scheduled for October 2, 2021 (with a rain date of October 3, 2021). Mr. Slocum stated that the first show was almost at capacity and they would like to expand a bit this year moving further down High Street (using the same footprint as the Farmers Market). He said that he was hoping to have between 80 and 100 cars participate this year. He said that he would like to close Memorial Row to traffic to allow for parking areas for the antique cars. Mr. Slocum stated that he had been working with Sgt. Lozar on parking and street closures. Mr. Herz asked that Mr. Slocum reach out to the Garden Club for help with the cars planned to be parked in the Fountain Park for the event. Ms. Efland moved to approve the Chestertown Car Show as submitted for October 2, 2021, with a rain date of October 3, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Watershed Restaurant at 337 High Street submitted a request for outdoor dining. He said that outdoor dining approvals were always on a probationary basis. As long as there were no problems the street dining could continue. Mr. Herz moved to approve outdoor dining at the Watershed, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received a letter offering a donation of the easement area for the one-way alley from South Water to Queen Street as well as the parts of a previous parcel that were left. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this was an easy fix for the donor who had been paying taxes on the full parcel even though the rerouting of MD 289 by the SHA had seriously reduced the original parcel size in 1985. The Council agreed to accept the donation.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. David Holman has been volunteering at the Dog Park for quite some time and he stepped forward to become a member of the Board and was made President of the Stetson Dog Park.
Mayor Foster stated that he attended the Maryland Municipal League Conference last week and said that there were interesting sessions on water and sewer issues, infrastructure and police body cameras. Mayor Foster stated that the Kent County Sheriff’s Office would be getting body cameras soon. Chief Dolgos stated that every officer had to have body camera by 2025, but there was a good amount involved in getting them from funding to software. He said that he would begin looking into grant funding opportunities.
Mayor Foster stated that there were no sessions on a tax differential at the conference this year, but Jake Day (Mayor of Salisbury) has been elected as President of the Maryland Municipal League this year and invited him to Salisbury to discuss the issue. He said that he hoped to work with other towns on this issue as well. Mayor Foster stated that aging infrastructure was an issue in all local municipalities and they were encouraged to begin planning for the replacement of infrastructure .
Mayor Foster asked for Ward Reports.
Ms. Efland stated that she and Mr. Herz toured the YMCA facility and said that it was well-designed with the goal being to make this accessible to anyone who wants to use it. Ms. Efland stated that Chestertown was fortunate to have this as a resource in the community and the facility should be open by early 2022. She said that membership was based on a sliding scale so there were opportunities for anyone wanting a membership to get one. She added that all sixth-grade students are given a free membership for that year of school.
Ms. Efland stated that the movie theatre should reopen sometime later this month.
Ms. Efland stated that she met with Michael Harvey (Interim Provost and Dead) who said that Washington College would be taking over the old Dixon Valve building and using the gym facilities as an overflow facility for athletes at the College.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he has been working with members of the Coventry Farms HOA in the last couple weeks and that he would like for those residents to become more involved in the local political process.
Mr. Herz stated that he has been working with Owen Bailey on a demonstration project at Water Street and High Street. He said that he would like to do something there with informal meetings being held and entertaining questions from interested residents on ways to slow traffic and increase safety for pedestrians. Mr. Herz stated that he and Mr. Bailey would be at the site on Wednesday, July 7th at 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, July 10th at 11:00 a.m. to discuss the matter.
Mr. Herz asked the status of the ARPA funds. Mr. Ingersoll stated that everything required has been submitted to the State of Maryland, but they have not been given a disbursement amount or date as yet.
Mr. Herz stated that he would like to work further on the issue of Commissions, Committees and Task Forces. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the Resolution should become a detailed Ordinance with clear rules of operation. Rev. Tolliver suggested that each group could have an ex-officio member of the Council.
Mr. Herz stated that Ms. Efland and Rev. Tolliver are going through resumes for the Police Chief position and asked if there could be a review by a committee, or someone with law enforcement expertise, to also vet the applications and provide recommendations. Rev. Tolliver stated that he and Ms. Efland were going to discuss the applications together first and then he would like to see where they were with the applications and who should be interviewed. He said that if there were questions they did not think they could work through, they could then decide on how to move forward.
Mayor Foster stated that there were no requests to be on the agenda and asked if there were any comments from the audience.
Mr. Jim Bogden (Chair of the Recreation Commission) stated that he sent information regarding playground design of the Parks which he sent to the Council earlier in the day. He asked if the Council had any questions before releasing the designs. The Council agreed that the document seemed fine to send out as is. Mr. Ingersoll agreed, adding that he sent an email to Mr. Bogden earlier in the day regarding the document.
Mayor Foster introduced Ms. Nina Fleegle, the new Main Street Manager.
Mr. Frank Hurst was present and stated that he would like to discuss resuming bocce in the Fall and asked if it would be permissible to resume the Tuesday after Labor Day. He said that he thought most bocce players have been vaccinated. Mr. Hurst stated that he was going to refresh the waiver and have all players sign new this year. The Council agreed to resuming bocce the day after the Labor Day Holiday.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:40 p.m. was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor