Bailey seeks help in cutting plastic waste
— Former mayor Margo Bailey, now stumping for the Chestertown Environmental Committee, is asking the town for support in a campaign to reduce plastic waste.
Single-use plastic trash “is wrecking our oceans and rivers. We are decimating our waters,” Bailey said at the Sept. 5 mayor and council meeting.
Bailey was mayor for 20 years, stepping down at the end of her term in 2013. She launched several go-green initiatives and led the ban on plastic shopping bags in 2011.
At last week’s mayor and council meeting, she asked if the town would write a letter to local restaurants asking them to have their service staff ask customers if they want a straw with their drinks and a plastic bag with their takeout container — instead of automatically supplying these.
To help reduce the waste stream of Styrofoam, Bailey suggested that diners bring their own takeout containers. She said Strofoam cannot be recycled and releases methane.
She said the environmental committee would provide the council with a sample letter to send to restaurants. The objective, she said, “is to make people start thinking about what’s happening.”
As of Wednesday, a sample letter had not been given to the town, Clerk Jen Mulligan said.
During ward reports Sept. 5, Liz Gross thanked Town Manager Bill Ingersoll and Zoning Administrator Kees de Mooy for working with management at Amberly Park in addressing complaints of trash and undesirable activity at the trailer park on Philosophers Terrace.
“It is looking better,” Gross said.
Councilman Sam Shoge, whose Third Ward includes Washington Park, reported that de Mooy had submitted an application for Program Open Space funding for improvements at the recreation area to include a pavilion, walking path and landscaping.
The grant would not be awarded until next summer, Shoge said.
By unanimous vote, the council authorized Utilities Manager Bob Sipes to work out a payment schedule with a property owner on Calvert Street who incurred an outstanding water bill due to a leak under the house in a crawl space.
The leak was at a rate of 4,000 gallons of water a day and resulted in a loss of 347,000 gallons over a span of seven months, Sipes told the council. The leak was repaired March 31.
Sipes does not have unilateral authority to waive a water bill. He told the council that he had credited the sewer portion of the homeowner’s utilities bill.
He said this was only the third time in nearly 14 years that he has referred a “hardship” request to the mayor and council.
The debt must be paid by June 30, 2018, the end of the fiscal year.
Rosemary Ramsey-Granillo, director of the Family & Community Partnerships of Kent County, spoke about free workshops on breaking the cycle of poverty that are being offered. Locally, sponsors include the United Way, the school district’s Judy Center and the FCPKC.
Ramsey-Granillo said 50 percent of Kent County’s children are living in poverty.