MAYOR AND COUNCIL
MARCH 6, 2017
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. 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 of February 21, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of February 21, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,543,418.75 and assigned funds for waterfront initiatives in the amount of $180,480.00 were included in those funds. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a separate fund for the Broad Reach sculpture donations in the amount of $37,531.24.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. David Startt was scheduled to attend the meeting this evening to discuss a bronze plaque for the victims of Kent County in the Vietnam War. He said that he wanted Mr. Startt to present it to the Council and would see if he could make it to the next meeting.
Mayor Cerino stated that the report from the Environmental Committee would be postponed to the April 3rd meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a request from Kent County High School for a post-prom party donation in the amount of $100.00. Mr. Stetson moved to approve $100.00 for a donation to the Kent County Post-Prom Party, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was another request for a budget line item from the Family and Community Partnerships of Kent County for a literacy program that had been defunded by the County. There were 56 beneficiaries residing in the Town of Chestertown. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would send copies of the request to the Council to be discussed at the March 20th meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he gave each member of the Council a copy of Resolution 2017-01 – Reimbursing from Proceeds of a Future Borrowing Project Expenditures Made in Connection with Stormwater Management System Improvements and Other Infrastructure Improvements that Comprise a Portion of the Chestertown Marina Phase II Project. Mr. Ingersoll stated that this Resolution would launch the bond program with USDA for the Marina, providing a $598,000.00 loan program matched with a grant program. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would ask that this Resolution be acted on at the March 20th meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that test piles were driven this morning at the Marina and they were working on the bulkhead near the ramp.
Mayor Cerino stated that he received a letter from Molly Judge at Radcliffe Creek School requesting a crosswalk on Talbot Boulevard to connect the school campus to their athletic fields. He said that Ms. Judge’s letter indicates that the road is much busier and a crosswalk would alert people to the fact that pedestrians are crossing the road in that area. The Council agreed to have Mr. Ingersoll have the crosswalk markings installed.
Mayor Cerino stated that he was invited to speak with the Washington College SGA and sat through a meeting, nothing that he was impressed with the way their meetings were run. Mayor Cerino stated that he talked with the SGA about how the Town budget was set up and initiatives that have been undertaken in the last couple years.
Mayor Cerino stated that the 2nd Mayor’s Business Forum would be held on Thursday, March 9th in Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. for the C-2 Downtown Commercial Area. He said that this meeting will be held in conjunction with Main Street. The public was welcome to attend. The Council was invited also but not required to attend.
Mayor Cerino asked for ward reports.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended a ribbon-cutting for the new Verizon Store in Washington Square on Friday, February 24, 2017.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended Chester Gras on Saturday, February 25th and said the event was well-attended and on an unseasonably warm day. The Council judged the Chester Gras Parade.
Mr. Stetson stated that on Friday, March 3rd Washington College hosted Cokie Roberts and Senator Barbara Mikulski for a presentation in Decker Hall. He said the event drew a standing room only crowd with informative speeches. Ms. Gross stated that she also attended the event as Ms. Roberts and Senator Mikulski were heroines to her and said that the event was well-done and a great contribution to the community by Washington College. This was a debut lecture on the centennial of the women’s right to vote.
Mr. Stetson stated that there was also a short time period when College Heights was out of power due to a car accident.
Mr. Shoge stated that Mr. Sipes addressed his concerns earlier in the night by saying that the road patching will take place on the roads in the near future.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there were three new businesses open in her ward, they being Tiny Tots, Welcome Home, and Figgs Ordinary. Ms. Kuiper stated that she also attended a ribbon-cutting for the new driveway at the Mylander Property on Saturday, February 25th.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she was still looking for volunteers for the Historical Society, Sumner Hall’s Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit and the Tea Party Festival. She said that she was happy to report that several volunteers had come forward already.
Ms. Gross stated that on Tuesday, March 7th Wayne Gilchrest was giving a lecture at Heron Point at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Howard Sacks Lecture Series.
Mr. Shoge asked if the money saved by not salting the roads could be used for paving. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the snow plowing funds could be put toward paving expenses, noting that he was about to write the contract for bid specs. He cautioned that winter might not be over.
Ms. Gross asked if there was a schedule for the budget yet. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would present a budget schedule at the next meeting.
Mayor Cerino asked for questions or comments from the audience.
Mr. Drew McMullen stated that he sent a letter on February 27th outlining Downrigging Weekend. Mr. McMullen stated that in addition to the permit requests there was an additional request regarding the docks. He said that the Sultana was getting to the point in the process for Downrigging where they need to put out non-refundable deposits, some of which were due by March 31st. He asked if the Town would commit to seeking a third-party professional to look at the piers and make sure that they are safe for the number of people who will be using them on Downrigging Weekend. Ms. Gross stated that this request was already approved. Mr. Ingersoll agreed. Mr. McMullen stated that the inspection has not been completed to date. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the work is beginning at the Marina and the process has begun.
Mr. McMullen asked if the repair work cost of a large sum of money, using $50,000.00 as an example, would the Town would move forward. He said that if the piers were not safe he could not hold the festival and did not want to put deposits out that could not be refunded. Ms. Kuiper stated that the work should be done before the Tea Party.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he already said publicly that the Town would fix the piers so they are safe. He added that the process began this morning with Tom Sappington, the Street Superintendent, who built the Byford Court Bridge, and Kingfisher, who is the third party contractor working at the Marina now on Phase I of the rebuilding project.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that if repairs were estimated to be $50,000.00 the Town was not going to move forward with that expense, but he did not see the repairs costing that much if done in-house. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Sultana does not mandate what the Town is doing and the matter of piers being fixed was already decided at a previous Council meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the piers had to be safe for everyone, every day. He said that they would be fixed but at Downrigging was when there was a high number of people on the piers at one time. Mayor Cerino stated that the plan as he understood it was that Mr. Sappington and the masonry crew would work with Kingfisher to sure up the piers.
Mr. McMullen stated that what he was hearing was that if the bill for repairs came in at $50,000.00 it was unlikely that the work would be done. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the work would not cost that much and it was already in the beginning stages.
Mr. McMullen stated that he had concerns over the safety of the dock and did not want to see anything happen that would cause someone harm. He said if the dock falls in the water both the Town and the Sultana will be sued.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if Sultana could control the number and rate at which people were going on the docks during Downrigging. Mr. McMullen stated that if given specific instructions they could.
Mayor Cerino stated that once the work was completed he would like an opinion from Kingfisher that the piers were okay for use.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that is morning he met with Kingfisher, the engineer from Hynes and Mr. Sappington. He said that weather (early spring) was also on their side and the docks will be fixed so that they are safe until they can be replaced, noting that the real problem was the large number of people on the docks at one time. Mayor Cerino stated that he did not think that the costs of repair should go over $10,000.00. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the money will come out of the Marina budget. Mr. McMullen stated that he looked forward to updates.
Mr. Jeff Carroll of the Fish Whistle state that he also wanted to add that Downrigging Weekend was the best weekend out of the year for his restaurant and an economic boom for the rest of the Town. He said that the Tea Party combined with other festivals did not come close to the amount of business in Town during Downrigging Weekend.
Mr. Carroll stated that he wanted to thank the police department for their patrols of the parking lot at the Fish Whistle after the recent robbery and assault on one of his waitresses. He said that although they do patrol the area on a regular basis, he noticed that they were there more often and appreciated their efforts.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor