MAYOR AND COUNCIL
OCTOBER 20, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:44 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 of October 6, 2014 or the executive session of the same date. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting minutes and executive session minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino called executive session to order at 9:27 p.m., October 6, 2014 according to §3-305(b)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto, and §3-305(b)(8) to consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation. In attendance at the meeting were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W.S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and for the portion of the meeting relating to §3-305(b)(3), Chief Adrian Baker. Two motions were made and passed. The first motion was to make an offer on a building for a potential new location for the police department. The motion passed 4 – 0 with Councilwoman Kuiper abstaining. The second motion was to hire an attorney to answer a letter of complaint regarding an unrecorded agreement before the Town took ownership of a property. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m. Minutes were taken and are part of the record.
Mayor Cerino stated that cash on hand and in the banks was $1,802,627.64. The Washington College donation was assigned to the Rail-Trail, waterfront, marina activities and recreational initiatives in the amount of $196,740.00. In total there were funds of $1,999,367.64.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Ms. Kuiper asked if there was an RFP for this year’s audit. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the audit was a 3-year contract with Lindsay & Associates. He said that the FY2014 audit would be presented at the second meeting in November.
Chief Baker presented the police report for September 2014. Mr. Shoge asked if Chief Baker could break down the calls for service between emergency and non-emergency in the next report. Mr. Stetson stated that sometimes a call that does not seem like an emergency turns into an emergency so it was difficult to break all the calls down.
Mayor Cerino stated that there was someone loitering in and around Kent Plaza, who was verbally accosting people at the shopping center. Chief Baker stated that he was aware of this situation and a few others like that in Town and said that if anyone felt threatened the police should be called. He said that help has been offered to this individual and declined. He said that he knew people were concerned and a meeting was held to discuss how best to meet the needs of these individuals, but they had to accept the help that was offered.
Ms. Gross stated that the police were working on a reduced force and said the police should be commended for the job they are performing under difficult circumstances.
Mr. Ingersoll read Resolution 03-2014 Adopting Policy Revisions to Open Meetings Act Procedures into the record. Ms. Gross asked what constituted an emergency. Mr. Ingersoll stated that an emergency would be something unexpected that occurred during or just prior to a meeting. Ms. Gross moved to adopt Resolution 03-2014 Adopting Policy Revisions to Open Meeting Act Procedures, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he received an email from Mr. Bill Arrowood of the Recreation Commission and they would like to hold the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, October 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. along Memorial Park. Ghostbusters would be shown on Saturday evening in the Fountain Park. The Council had no objections to the planned activities.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Doris Winter, who worked at the Visitors Center, passed away this past Friday. He said that she was a wonderful spokeswoman for the Town and would be sorely missed.
Mayor Cerino stated that the State Highway Administration proposed closing the Chester River Bridge for a month to paint in April 2015. He said that he received notice of the meeting the day before the meeting when Kent County Commissioner Short asked if he was going. Mayor Cerino stated that he heard the plans are to work on the bridge and repaint beginning next Spring (April) with the closing of one lane, or altogether closing the bridge for long periods of time. There were concerns over the safety of those who rely on the police force, rescue squad and fire department since many first responders reside on both sides of the bridge and equipment would not be able to get to Kingstown. Mayor Cerino stated that another complaint he heard was that Spring is the beginning of the busy season and businesses will be affected due to the extra traffic time.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to write a letter to the State Highway Administration expressing the Town’s concerns. The Council agreed and authorized Mayor Cerino to sign the letter. Mr. Paul Hanley (business owner) and Mr. Joe Holt added to the discussion. Topics in the letter will be as follows:
1. Resident safety;
2. Merchant – Town and County economic hardship due to detour;
3. Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments – large contingent reside in Kingstown (firefighters can’t get to trucks and trucks can’t cross to get to a fire);
4. Accidents – Church Hill would be first responder;
5. Need clarification of lane closures versus complete closedown of the bridge;
6. Town Officials were not notified of public hearing regarding the bridge closure;
7. Consider alternate methods of bridge closures to make repairs and paint;
8. Washington College has the most visits in the Spring (commitment and deposits from students due May 1);
9. Possibility of work to take place after Labor Day and before Downrigging weekend;
10. Bridge work is scheduled during the heavy tourist season.
Ms. Gross stated that she understood that the SHA had to sandblast and paint all of the mechanisms in the bascule. EPA regulations dictate that none of the product can fall in the river. It was explained that the bridge would remain open for the entire duration of the work on the bascule as it had to be worked on in the up position.
Mr. Hanley asked if the Town Attorney should check into the EPA regarding the paint regulations, and into any legal remedies using the notion of the Town being unprotected when it came to the Fire Department’s ability to fight a fire.
Mr. Holt suggested that the Town makes the request to the SHA that the Chester River Bridge be considered as the last of several bridges in the contract to be painted so that the contractor will be well-versed in moving the projects along.
Ms. Gross asked if the Chester River Association had the opportunity to comment on the bridge repair. Mayor Cerino stated that he would ask them, but did not know if they were aware of the bridge painting and repairs.
Mayor Cerino stated that Food Day in Chestertown was going to be held on Friday, October 24th and Saturday, October 25th and was a benefit for the Kent County Community Food Pantry. Collection boxes will be at Acme, the Freeze, Walgreen’s, 7-Eleven, Twigs and Teacups, Chesapeake Bank and Trust and Chestertown Natural Foods.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Kitchen at the Imperial has a request for a Class B license for beer, wine and liquor. Mr. Stetson stated that he was certain that the permit was for a transfer of license only. The Mayor and Council did not oppose the permit application for the Kitchen at the Imperial.
Mayor Cerino stated that Ms. Kristen Owen of the Downtown Chestertown Association had a permit request for Santa’s arrival on Friday, November 28th at 6:00 p.m., and the Christmas Parade which was scheduled for Saturday, November 29th at 10:00 a.m.
Mayor Cerino stated that he received a letter from Shore Regional Health in regard to the pilot test of Ivey-Sol. He said that the pilot studies finding and recommendations will be provided on a timeline by MDE and can be expected to be completed on or about January 15, 2015. This timetable incorporates the 90-days of post-study monitoring and reporting plus 45-days thereafter to complete the pilot test evaluation report.
Mayor Cerino stated that he requested to meet with the Governor and express the Town’s capital needs at the Marina. He said that the Governor was not taking appointments for capital budget items, but he was in line for an appointment. He said that Mr. de Mooy, with support from Mr. Ingersoll, was working on a prospectus detailing the history of Chestertown and the Marina to present to the Governor when making the request for a line item.
Mr. Stetson stated that he would like to further discuss changing the name of the Chestertown Marina to the Port of Chestertown.
Mr. Stetson stated that he was thankful to see the Lions Club donate to the brick sidewalk expansion in the Fountain Park. He said that he hoped to see more donations, suggesting that perhaps the vendors in the park can make a donation.
Mr. Stetson stated that he had a former resident of Town visit him recently and took him for a tour of Chestertown. He said that to the gentleman visiting, the Town was prosperous. Mr. Stetson stated that he was proud to show him all of the development that has taken place in Town over the last few years.
Mr. Shoge stated that he would like to defer the directional signage for parking in Town until after the website is launched for a larger marketing strategy. The Council agreed.
Mr. Shoge stated that he had a list of the storm drains that need to have new grates installed to prevent bicyclist having an accident. He gave the list to Mr. Ingersoll.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Patty and Dave Hegland were finalists in the 2015 Niche Award. The Hegland’s won this prestigious award in 2013. She said that Hegland Glass was located in the breezeway of the Alexander Building downtown.
Ms. Kuiper stated that if all the fees from the vendors went to the Fountain Park renovations, it would pay for itself. Ms. Kuiper stated that the Farmers Market would also like another bike rack installed.
Ms. Kuiper showed the Farmers Market bag that was selling for $5.00 through the Chestertown Garden Club.
Ms. Gross stated that she spent some time exploring the new website and sent comments along to Ms. Sullivan.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Young Professionals Association of Kent County has been established through the Chamber of Commerce. There were 85 members from the ages of 25 through their late 30’s. He said that he was hoping the group could help with the Tea Party Festival. Ms. Kuiper stated that the next meeting was scheduled for November 12th at 6:30 p.m. in the Visitors Center.
Ms. Deborah Lane was in the audience and stated that she has seen bicyclists and skateboarders on the sidewalks in Chestertown and asked that the Ordinances be enforced.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor