Preston town commissioners OK bid, pay bills
PRESTON — The 25-minute Preston town commissioners meeting on Monday, Dec. 5, began with a greeting from elementary school administrators and ended with an invitation to sample a commissioner’s homemade venison jerky.
Principal Dr. Kari Clow and Assistant Principal Rich Petroske were first on the agenda and greeted the commissioners and nine attendees. “We’re so excited to extend our friendship with the town,” Clow said.
She thanked Preston residents for their donations of school supplies and food during a recent food drive.
Clow informed the commission of a vandalism incident involving the removal and destruction of lights from the evergreen tree at the front corner of the school property on Main Street.
The lights, donated by the parent-teacher association and local residents, will be replaced in time for the annual PTA-sponsored Christmas tree lighting festivities on Friday, Dec. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Lt. Donald Baker of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Department reported that, of 107 total calls for service, two arrests had been made, one for drugs, and one a DUI.
Director of Public Works Dale Whitley reported that he replaced eight water meters with touch-read meters and installed a hydrant on Winchester Road.
After borrowing a camera to diagnose a sewer problem on Apple Lane, Whitley said that a trough needed to be replaced. Underground Construction in Ridgely will fix this problem and replace a valve on Maple Avenue at a cost of $1,680, which will be paid with budgeted funds.
President Jerry Stallings reported that Delmarva Power has a pilot program on the western shore to replace street lamp bulbs with LED lights. He hopes that Preston will be able to take advantage of the program if and when it is brought to the Eastern Shore.
Stallings said the commission will “stay on top of it to be able to tap into it and save on the energy bill” because the new wastewater treatment plant is expected to increase the electric bill by 55 percent.
Stallings also held up the latest issue of “Municipal Maryland” magazine, saying that potential funding through Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development may become available. The commission will pursue that funding avenue for sidewalk repairs.
The commissioners voted to accept a $7,376 bid from Gametime/Cunningham Recreation of Queenstown to install required engineered wood fiber at the playground in James T. Wright Park. A second bid requested by commissioner Doug VanDerveer was rejected because it didn’t include installation.
Planning and zoning committee Chairman Bob Lorenz reported on a zoning issue that the committee will be working on. He and Town Manager Stacey Pindell discovered, while researching setbacks for the new wastewater treatment plant, that the existing lagoons annexed to the town are zoned R2, single family and two-family residential.
Lorenz said, “I don’t know why it’s ‘waterfront’ property.” Town attorney Walter Palmer quipped, “I’m assuming it’s not going to be a Sandals resort,” prompting laughter from the attendees and commissioners.
The commission decided to move the next work session up to Monday, Dec. 19. The next business meeting will be Monday, Jan. 9, with the commissioners work session now scheduled for Monday, Jan. 30.
After meeting adjourned, Commissioner Doug VanDerveer placed gallon Ziploc bags of homemade deer meat jerky on the table and offered samples to his fellow commissioners and meeting attendees. the