Queen­stown talk fo­cuses on hir­ing po­lice of­fi­cer

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

QUEEN­STOWN — The idea of the town hav­ing its own po­lice of­fi­cer has been com­ing up con­sis­tently at re­cent com­mis­sion­ers meet­ings in re­ac­tion to res­i­dents’ con­cerns about prob­lems in the town.

The com­mis­sion­ers haven’t made a de­ci­sion or even have a def­i­nite pro­posal, but the is­sue came up again at their meet­ing on Wednes­day, Nov. 9. This time, res­i­dents voiced con­cerns about Dud­ley Av­enue, noisy trucks at Royal Farms, and teenagers pos­si­bly caus­ing prob­lem at a park the town is plan­ning.

A big prob­lem to hav­ing a town of­fi­cer is cost. Dif­fer­ent costs for the po­lice of­fi­cer were dis­cussed by the com­mis­sion­ers them­selves with the high­est es­ti­mate of $600,000 or at least $120,000 to start things off. Thomas Wil­lis Jr, pres­i­dent of the town com­mis­sion­ers, said the of­fi­cer would need a car, equip­ment, and spe­cial train­ing. “It’s not just grab some­one and tell them to go,” he said.

The town could pay a po­lice of­fi­cer with the state po­lice or Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice to cover Queen­stown. But the prob­lem is the of­fi­cer has to vol­un­teer for it, Wil­lis said.

Town Com­mis­sioner Mike Bow­ell said the res­i­dents pay taxes to the county for po­lice cov­er­age and they do re­spond.

Joe Kelkowski of Queen­stown brought up the is­sue of law en­force­ment at the meet­ing on Nov. 9 in re­ac­tion to con­cerns from res­i­dents. He sug­gested the town get a grant to pay for a part-time po­lice of­fi­cer.

Kelkowski, who lives on Acre Road, spoke about his op­po­si­tion to the com­mis­sion­ers’ re­cent move to close Dud­ley Av­enue to through traf­fic. Kelkowski wants the road kept com­pletely open. “It was a road when the town was built, and it’s al­ways been like that,’ he said.

The com­mis­sion­ers for 30 days bar­ri­caded Dud­ley Av­enue where it in­ter­sects with Del Rhodes Av­enue to stop mo­torists from us­ing the road as a through street and speed­ing. The bar­ri­cades have since been re­moved and the road re­opened to through traf­fic.

In the mean­time, the town had sent out ques­tion­naires to all res­i­dents, ask­ing their opin­ion about Dud­ley Av­enue. By a 3 to 1 mar­gin, the res­i­dents, who re­sponded, pre­ferred to leave Dud­ley open to through traf­fic.

The ex­act re­sults from the ques­tion­naire are as fol­lows: 66 peo­ple pre­ferred to leave Dud­ley as is; 23 wanted to make it one-way; four wanted to close the street; and seven had other sug­ges­tions.

The com­mis­sion­ers haven’t de­cided on a fi­nal ac­tion for Dud­ley. But, if a per­ma­nent change is pro­posed, they will hold a pub­lic hear­ing on it since the change would re­quire an or­di­nance.

Kelkowk­ski also wanted the town to hold a ref­er­en­dum on a new park planned next to the waste­water treat­ment plant on Main Street. He said the park will at­tract teenagers as a place to hang out. “Kids can walk down to the park, drink beer, and hang­out,” he said.

But phase one of the park has al­ready been funded by the state Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources with a grant of $120,000. Con­struc­tion is al­ready planned.

Also at the com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing on Nov. 9, an­other res­i­dent com­plained about the trucks idling and mak­ing noise when they park in back of Royal Farms on Route 301 and Del Rhodes Av­enue. The res­i­dent, who lives on the street be­hind the store, calls Royal Farms a “truck stop.”

She said the trucks come and go, but some­times stay for hours, idling.

In re­sponse, the town’s lawyer, Bryna McDivitt Booth, said she would send a let­ter to Royal Farms, warn­ing the com­pany that the town has a noise or­di­nance and will write ci­ta­tions for vi­o­lat­ing it.

There are signs in the back of the store, ask­ing mo­torists to not idle their en­gines. And there’s a fence be­tween the prop­erty and the houses. The res­i­dent said she has com­plained to the com­pany, but she’s not sat­is­fied.


At the Queen­stown Com­mis­sion­ers’ meet­ing on Nov. 9, Joe Kelkowski of Queen­stown sug­gested the town hire a po­lice of­fi­cer to ad­dress res­i­dents’ con­cerns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.