- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Chesapeake Beach Town Council discussed presentations of concept drawings for the second phase of the Chesapeake Beach Rail Trail and construction of a sidewalk from Beach Elementary School to Chesapeake Village, during the council’s Thursday night meeting.
Town engineer Paul Woodburn said the end of the current rail trail runs across Fishing Creek. The second phase of the trail would connect with a partly paved path to Richfield Station.
Council member Stewart Cumbo said although he was “very much on board” with the trail extension, he was concerned that the trail “has been dead-ending.” Cumbo said the town should engage the county to see if it would be willing to extend the trail network past the town’s boundary line.
Another concern Cumbo said he has is that Woodburn mentioned the trail would connect at Richfield Station and create a second entrance, but there has been “no discussion” with those homeowners about whether they want a second entrance.
Council member Eric Reinhardt said he is on one of the boards at Richfield Station and most of the homeowners opposed to the second entrance are concerned it would create more crime. He said he is aware of two drug-related arrests near the first entrance into the community within the past three months.
Cumbo said he believes that was an isolated event and not an ongoing problem.
“I’m just saying this was a concern of a majority of the people opposed to the second entrance,” Reinhardt said.
Council member Valerie Beaudin asked how the trail extension would be funded. Mayor Bruce Wahl said the initial trail project was funded mostly with grant money and, although a fund package has not yet been determined, he is “fairly confident” there will be grant money to fund the second phase, too.
Woodburn said the town has been interested in constructing a sidewalk from Beach Elementary to Chesapeake Village and showed the council a concept drawing for the proposed sidewalk, which may also include gutters and a retaining wall. He said before construction can begin, the town has to get permission from the county because it is a county road. Funding for the project would hopefully be obtained through the Sustainable Communities Sidewalks and Walkability program, he said.
Town reallocates funds for water tower repairs
An ordinance to reallocate a portion of the Chesapeake Beach Infrastructure Bonds to finance phase 1 of maintenance and repairs of the Richfield Station water tower was approved during Thursday night’s meeting.
In 2010, the town participated in a Department of Housing and Community Development bond issue to construct the Chesapeake Village well and water tower, said town treasurer Leslie Porter. The estimated cost of that project, she said, was $2.1 million and when the project was completed, the town was under budget and about $100,000 of the bond remained available for use. If the town wants to use the remaining funds, the $100,000 must be used for a capital project, she said.
In fall 2012, Porter said, the town approved maintenance and repairs to the Richfield Station water tower, which has an estimated cost of “right around $100,000,” which would have been funded through the town’s utility fund; however, the approval of the ordinance allows the town to apply the remaining bond funds to be used for the water tower repairs.
Porter said the bond funds must be used for a capital project and cannot be “given back” to DHCD.
The ordinance was approved in a 5-1 vote, with Reinhardt voting against the motion.
Council approves tier maps
The council administratively approved and adopted a proposed tier map as part of the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act.
The tier map was passed after Wahl broke a 3-3 tie vote, with council members Pat “Irish” Mahoney, Bob Carpenter and Cumbo voting in favor and Reinhardt, Beaudin and Jeff Krahling voting against.
The act, which was signed into Maryland law last May, requires local jurisdictions to place all of their land in one of four tiers in order to limit major residential subdivisions with septic systems in the most rural tier. The law, also known as the septic bill or Tier Act, applies only to residential subdivisions, and the tiers establish where those major and minor subdivisions may be located and what type of sewage system can serve them. The law went into effect Oct. 1, 2012.
Pat Haddon, principal planner with the Calvert County Department of Community Planning and Building, said she has worked with county staff to map the tiers for the town for the septic bill. The town is mapped to be in either Tier 1, Tier 1A or Tier 2, Haddon said.
Tier 1 areas are currently served by sewer and located in town centers or in the Employment Center, Light Industrial, Marine Commercial or Residential zoning districts. Tier 1A consists of land currently served by sewer but used for public or institutional uses, such as schools. All subdivisions must be on public sewerage systems in Tier 1 and Tier 1A.
Tier 2 areas are planned for sewer services as shown in the 2011 County Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan and located in town centers. Land in this tier must also be in the Employment Center, Light Industrial, Marine Commercial or Residential zoning districts. All major subdivisions, which consist of eight or more lots, in Tier 2 must be on public sewerage systems, and minor subdivisions, seven or fewer lots, may be on either public sewerage systems or septic systems.
Beaudin said certain areas within the town are currently on septic and asked Haddon in what tier those areas would be. Haddon said they were in Tier 2 because, “technically, they could have sewer if [the town] wanted to serve them.”
In other news, the council:
• Voted to table the introduction of an ordinance to establish campaign finance reporting requirements and regulations regarding campaign finance contributions and disbursements;
• Approved in a 5-1 vote to reappoint Tim Stafford to the town’s planning and zoning commission, with Reinhardt voting against the appointment; and
• Awarded a contract to Graham Marine Services in the amount of $8,315.52 to repair the small slides at the water park.
Staff writer Amanda Harrison contributed to this report.