Mayor Margo G. Bailey called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Harrison C. Bristoll, Jr., Thomas A. Gross, Sr., Mabel Mumford-Pautz and J. Brian Kirby, 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 previous meeting. Mr. Gross moved that the minutes of the August 3, 1998 meeting be approved, was seconded by Mr. Bristoll and carried unanimously.
Mayor Bailey stated that the Mayor and Council has cash on hand and in banks on August 17, 1998 of $137,186.65.
Mayor Bailey introduced Carl Burke, Executive Director of Upper Shore Aging, who had a request to make of the Mayor and Council. Mr. Burke said he was making a request for $1,000 from the Town of Chestertown to provide part of a match for a $50,000 grant funding. He said Upper Shore Aging was applying for a comprehensive transportation study from the Mass Transit Administration. He said they have asked Kent County for support and they will be able to direct the study to sub-areas of the three counties served by the USTAR transportation program. He said they have asked for $2,000 from Easton, $1500 from St. Michaels, and will ask Kent County for funds. He said the study would tell them how to more efficiently operate the USTAR service, allow them to expand their services, assist the town with demographics and planning, and assist the business community by coordinating with Cecil and Queen Anne's County to bring shoppers to Chestertown. He said with support from the Town a final report would be submitted to the Town of Chestertown.
Mayor Bailey asked Mr. Burke to explain the services USTAR provides in Kent, Talbot and Caroline Counties. Mr. Burke discussed their services, fees, and the areas served. He said they have 33 vehicles in the fleet and at present 29 are on the road, 4 operating in Kent County. He said for special functions they bring extra vehicles to Kent County. Mr. Bristoll asked that Mr. Burke provide the Town with a budget showing the source of their funding and how the funds are spent. He also asked for the brochures which advertise the transportation services. Mr. Ingersoll said if the three towns Mr. Burke mentioned provide all but $500 of the match, other towns in 3 counties and the counties themselves get a free ride. He said he felt if the match was spread to the counties and more towns, the larger ones would not have to take such a big bite. Mr. Bristoll said if 4 buses are serving Kent County, 25 are serving elsewhere. Mr. Burke said as the contact person for the study he was in a position to direct the study to the towns that are supportive. He said he thought 45 to 50% of their services were delivered to Kent County residents. Mr. Burke said he would be happy to provide the Town with an audit statement and the Council will consider the request at the next meeting.
Mayor Bailey called on the Town Manager for his report. Mr. Ingersoll said he had a letter from The Blue Plate requesting permission to have two tables and eight chairs in front of 323 High Street for outdoor dining. He said this type of dining had been granted before on a probationary basis as long as no problems arise. Mr. Bristoll moved that permission be granted to the Blue Plate for the outdoor dining request, was seconded by Mrs. Mumford-Pautz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll said we had been working on the Chestertown home page and now the last two years minutes from Utilities and Mayor and Council meetings are now on it for public review. He said there is also a link to on-line voter registration - a person fills out and receives a registration form through the Internet. He said the League of Women Voters has Election 98 as a link as well. He said he would like to make the Planning Commission and Historic District Commission minutes available on the Internet, with a month delay while they are approved by each commission.
Mr. Ingersoll said that the roofing contractor for Emmanuel Church had erected the scaffolding and fencing around the work area. After this was done they discovered that the slate had not been shipped from Wales. They have asked for permission to leave the scaffolding and fencing up through the third week of September. The Council was supportive of the Church in leaving the scaffolding up and felt that Mr. Ingersoll should determine what would be the safest for the public and advise the Church.
Mr. Ingersoll said that if Mayor and Council wants to proceed with the process to acquire property for a park, a decision should be made at the next meeting. He said the next step after that would be to seek appraisals of the proposed property and then make an offer to the Kent and Queen Anne's Hospital for the property. Mr. Kirby asked whether the list of concerns submitted by Mrs. Andrews were just her concerns or those of most of the Rolling Road residents. Mr. Ingersoll said they were her concerns and she said they had been addressed at the public hearing. He said we have had no adverse comments on the park since the public hearing. Mayor Bailey said a vote will be taken at the next meeting.
Mr. Ingersoll said between meetings the Chestertown Jazz Festival asked the Town to sponsor an ad in their program. He said the Town had an ad last year and he had authorized a $100 half-page ad for this year. The program benefits the Native and African-American Cultural Museum. Mr. Bristoll said he would like to know how that group stands on the museum project and where the funds are going from the jazz festival. Mr. Ingersoll said he will ask Dr. Rapelya to give us a report on their progress with the museum and their fund raising.
Mayor Bailey asked if there were any questions of Mr. Ingersoll. There being none, Mayor Bailey asked whether the Council was ready for a vote on the directional signs for the Sultana. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz moved that the directional signs be approved as discussed, was seconded by Mr. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Bailey reminded everyone that Saturday, August 22 would be the last Music in the Park Concert for the year. Terra Nova will perform beginning at 7 p.m. and donations are still being accepted.
Mayor Bailey said the Beautification Committee has produced the Chestertown Green Book using the proceeds from their garden tour. She said the books will be mailed and hand-delivered to people in the Historic District. She said the book shows how to design and landscape the front parts of properties for curbside gardening and has been dedicated to Betty Anne Connolley. She complimented the Beautification Committee for all their hard work.
Mayor Bailey said at the last meeting Mr. Mench asked for a waiver of the noise ordinance for his music gatherings on September 5 and 6, 1998. She said when the Town has received these requests in the past, the noise ordinance has always remained in effect. She said we ask that our police officers call or quietly slip in and let them know the music must be turned down. She asked the Council whether they wanted to waive the ordinance or not. Mr. Bristoll asked if the MML had any advice on this for us. Mayor Bailey said she called the MML and they have nothing to direct us, it was a matter for the Council to decide. She said she thanked Mr. Mench for all he does at the park and allowing the public to use his facility, but she said this was a hard decision. Mr. Bristoll said Mr. Mench's greatest concern seemed to be that the police would arrive in force and disturb his guests and we discussed the fact that the police would give them a call if noise became a problem. He said he felt that was the best compromise we could do. Mr. Kirby agreed. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz agreed. Mr. Gross said he agreed that if tact were used it would solve the problem.
Mayor Bailey greeted Orgirinia Graves, Daryll Deaton and Dawn Wright who supervised the Garnett Summer Recreation program. She thanked them for a successful summer program and asked if they had comments. Mr. Deaton reported on the program and said they had 75 kids registered with permission slips, 65 from the Hot Spots Area of Town, with an average of 50 each night. He said they had a dance at the end and had 225 kids and about 20 adults present. He said he felt the kids had a good time and are looking forward to it next year. The cost for the dance was $200 for music and soft drinks. He said the kids and leaders would like the Town to consider holding a dance about once a month. Mayor Bailey said she will discuss the possibility of using the school for more activities throughout the year. Ms. Graves said that Parks and Rec uses the gym on Wednesdays and Fridays for basketball, but that after 9 p.m. and Saturdays should be available.
Ms. Graves said there was a problem at Calvert Heights between the management and tenants in that kids are not allowed to use the open areas for play. She said she supervises the Garnett playground on weekends for Parks and Rec and there are kids from the age of about 3 up to people in their twenties using the playground property. She said that was too much of an age spread and the kids in Calvert Heights should be allowed to play at their homes. Mr. Ingersoll said there was a proposal to redo Calvert Heights and the issues of playgrounds and landscaping will come up. Mayor Bailey said she will look into this problem.
Mayor Bailey asked if there were any questions or comments. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz asked that the 400 block of Calvert Street be swept. She said cars will have to be moved to have this done. Mr. Ingersoll said he will get Mr. Sterling to arrange to have cars moved and sweep both sides of the street.
Mr. Kirby asked about the lack of consistency on markings and lights on the Town police cars. Mrs. Mumford-Pautz said she felt all cars should be marked and all officers on duty should be in uniform. Mayor Bailey said we will ask Chief Bradley about the marking and lights for the cars. She said he may have reasons for this and she will get his opinions on the car markings.
Mayor Bailey asked the Council to review the bills. Mr. Bristoll moved that the bills be paid as presented, was seconded by Mr. Kirby and carried unanimously.
Mr. Bristoll moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:30 p.m., was seconded by Mrs. Mumford-Pautz and carried unanimously.
Margo G. Bailey