Mayor Margo G. Bailey called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Harrison C. Bristoll, Jr., Thomas A. Gross, Sr. and Mabel Mumford-Pautz, Police Chief Wayne Bradley, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Joan Merryman, Stenographer, and guests.
Mayor Bailey asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the meeting of May 18, 1998 and Budget Workshop meeting of May 18, 1998. Mr. Gross moved that the minutes be accepted as presented, was seconded by Mrs. Mumford-Pautz and carried unanimously.
Mayor Bailey called on Chief Bradley for the police report. Chief Bradley gave the report for the month of May 1998, a copy of which was attached to the minutes. He also gave the Hot Spots report up to May 23, 1998. Mayor Bailey asked if there were any questions of Chief Bradley.
Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked if there was a supervisor on duty at night in our police department. Chief Bradley said that there were two group commanders, Officer Wode and Officer Alexander and there was not always a supervisor on duty. However, each day as the shift changes the officer who has been on duty meets with the group commander and they review everything that has occurred. He said we do not have enough personnel to have a supervisor on every shift. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked whether Chief Bradley was on duty at all during evening hours. Chief Bradley said he was not assigned work hours during the evening. He said he spent hours evenings and nights in Town in uniform and out of uniform. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked him to elaborate on changes in her ward. Chief Bradley said that in talking to people who live there, they will tell you there are changes. He said several homes that had not sold have now been sold. He said purchasers and landlords are now talking with the Police Department about what they can do to help and about potential tenants. He said the County, State Police and Town are spending a lot of time there and a lot of work was being done under the Hot Spots grant. He said most of the calls in that area are initiated by the Police.
Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked if the officers will be present at the summer recreation program at Garnett School this summer. Chief Bradley said they will try but we are getting comments that the rest of the Town needs more patrolling. He said it was a good program last year for the kids and they will be in the area.
Mayor Bailey said if there were no more questions of Chief Bradley, she would ask the Town Manager for his report. Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ordinance No. 2-98 had been introduced at the previous meeting. He said it contained the additions to the Curfew Ordinance which were recommended by Assistant State's Attorney John Mark McDonald. Mr. Ingersoll read the changes to the ordinance. Mr. Bristoll moved that Ordinance #2-98 be adopted, was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll discussed the wind storm and the Town trees that were damaged or destroyed. He said we have the community service tree worker on Mondays and fortunately he was here and the damaged trees have been removed.
Mr. Ingersoll said that Play It Again Sam's and the Finishing Touch have requested permission to place small cafe' tables outside in the alley. The tables would be to the right of Play It Again Sam's and in the adjoining space between there and the Finishing Touch on property owned by the Finishing Touch. He said although this was private property, the Town's policy on outside dining has been to permit it on a probationary basis. As long as there are no problems, the permit would be in force. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz moved that the permit be granted as outlined, was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll said that Ernie Robinson has submitted a list of activities and details for the parade permit for August 8, 1998. Rhonda Hart was present to represent Mr. Robinson. He said the Council had been asked to provide police supervision of the intersections during the parade and cleanup of the sites. Mr. Ingersoll said Ernie had asked the Town to provide the port-a-potties. The Council declined to do that. Ms. Hart said their group can handle the renting of the port-a-potties, but would like to know how the Town prefers that they do the cleanup. Mr. Ingersoll said generally the Town could provide barrels and trash can liners and the group would pick up trash and have it all in the containers. The Town would have the trash hauled and the group would be presented with a bill for the tipping fees. Ms. Hart said that was satisfactory. Mayor Bailey asked for a motion on the permit request. Mr. Gross moved that the permit be granted as outlined, was seconded by Mrs. Mumford-Pautz and carried by unanimous vote.
Mr. Ingersoll said we received an agreement from Bell Atlantic for permission to put a larger communications tower on our standpipe property. Their request was for a 65' x 65' foot fenced area on the property, for five years with three renewals for five year periods, with a base term of $10,000 a year. The rent would be escalated by 3% per year for each year throughout the base term and each option period. He said this was like finding money for the Utilities Commission. Mr. Capel has reviewed the agreement and the only suggestion he had was that they not be permitted to sell their business without input from the Chestertown Utilities Commission. Bell Atlantic will have to get zoning approval from Kent County. The Town Attorney will be asked to go over the agreement.
Mr. Gross asked about the possibility of other companies making the same request. Mr. Ingersoll said that was something the Town should decide, whether they wanted only one antennae at the site. He said Bell Atlantic has been discussing this for six months and we have had no contact from any other company. Mr. Bristoll asked if their liability insurance would cover the tower. Mr. Ingersoll said it would. Mr. Bristoll moved that the agreement with Bell Atlantic be accepted with the change requested by Mr. Capel, was seconded by Mrs. Mumford-Pautz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll said we are advertising a public hearing to be held on Monday, June 15, 1998 at 7:00 p.m. on the correction to the Table of District Regulations of the Zoning Ordinance and the Sensitive Areas Element which must be adopted as an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. He said the Sensitive Areas amendment was approved by the Planning Commission and must be adopted by July 1, 1998 as required by the State.
Mayor Bailey asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #1-98 the Budget for Fiscal Year 1998-99 and establishment of the $.90 tax rate. Mr. Bristoll moved that the Budget be adopted as an ordinance, was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Bailey called on Robin McClements who had requested to speak. Mr. McClement presented a petition he had signed requesting changes to Chapter 68 of the Town Code as it pertained to wild, dangerous and poisonous animals. He brought in his green iguana and explained that it was not a dangerous or poisonous animal. He said he was asked to leave the Tea Party with the animal. He said he was asking that non-harmful species of reptiles be omitted from the ordinance. Mr. Ingersoll read the section of the ordinance and stated that it clearly states that the prohibition was against "wild, dangerous and poisonous animals" and the iguana does not sound wild, dangerous or poisonous. He said he did feel they were breaking any laws. He said this was a matter of enforcement, he did not think the ordinance needed to be changed. Mr. Bristoll said he felt the owners should use judgment when walking around downtown with the animal as there are people who would be disturbed at the sight of the reptile. Mr. Gross said the question of who would interpret how the ordinance was written was the issue if someone other than a Town officer was to write a citation. Mayor Bailey said she would ask the Town Attorney that question. Mr. McClement suggested that a specific list of exempt animals be part of the ordinance. Mayor Bailey said that would be very difficult to pin down.
Mayor Bailey read a Proclamation designating the first week of June as National Garden Week.
Mayor Bailey stated that the first Concert in the Park was held on Saturday and was attended by several hundred people. Mayor Bailey stated that the MS Bike Tour was also held last weekend and was very successful.
Mayor Bailey asked if there were any questions. Bob Coleman from College Heights asked whether we had gotten a response from Falcon on the credit to customers for the power outage. He said he sent a letter himself and has not gotten an answer or a credit on this bill. Mayor Bailey said Falcon was to send her a list of customers so that she could check to be sure all those who lost service can get a credit. She said it would be an automatic credit.
Mrs. Mumford-Pautz thanked the Town for the quick cleanup at Rose McGreer's and the Town Crew for the cleanup from the Tea Party. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked when the paving would be done on Poplar, Lynchburg and Prospect Street. Mr. Ingersoll said it was in the budget for the current year and should happen before July 1. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz said there was a fire plug at Lynchburg Street that has been inoperative for a long time and was covered with flowers. Ms. Merryman said she discussed it with Mr. Capel and it was a working hydrant. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz said it should be straightened. She discussed the problems with children playing in the streets and said we must supply some form of recreation. Mayor Bailey said she will get the Recreation Commission to the next meeting to see what can be done.
Mrs. Mumford-Pautz said she researched the minutes from the Planning Commission that the matter of the right-of-way behind the 600 block of High Street was discussed. She said measures were to be taken to insure that the right-of-way would be open for use by the High Street residents. She said it was blocked by basketball nets, car parked and cinder blocks. She said she wants that open.
Mayor Bailey asked the Council to review the bills. Mr. Gross moved that the bills be paid as presented, was seconded by Mr. Bristoll and carried unanimously. There being no further business, Mrs. Mumford-Pautz moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:30 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Margo G. Bailey
RETURN to 1998 Minutes