Mayor and coun­cil told lo­cal hos­pice is at full ca­pac­ity

Kent County News - - OPINION - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­

CH­ESTER­TOWN — Since it opened its doors in March, the hos­pice cen­ter here has served more than 30 pa­tients, Heather Guerieri told the Ch­ester­town Mayor and Coun­cil at Mon­day night’s meet­ing.

Guerieri is ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice, which leases space at the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Ch­ester­town. The four-bed unit is lo­cated on the third floor, in what had once been the pe­di­atrics suite at the hos­pi­tal.

The cen­sus is fluid, Guerieri said. There was only one pa­tient on Mon­day, but most days all four beds are filled, she said.

“There was def­i­nitely a need,” she said. “We wanted Kent County res­i­dents to stay in Kent County.”

The an­nual op­er­at­ing bud­get for the Ch­ester­town fa­cil­ity is about $500,000, which in­cludes the cost to lease the space and staffing. Guerieri said Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice must raise about $350,000 an­nu­ally to cover the pro­gram fund­ing gaps.

In ad­di­tion to the res­i­den­tial cen­ter, Com­pass pro­vides hos­pice ser­vices in homes and the as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Kent County, Guerieri said.

In an­swer­ing a ques­tion from the coun­cil, Guerieri said the four hos­pice beds are not tab­u­lated in Shore Re­gional Health’s count of in­pa­tient beds at Ch­ester­town.

Mon­day’s agenda was light, with up­dates on the ma­rina project and the up­com­ing Tea Party Fes­ti­val gen­er­at­ing most of the dis­cus­sion.

By a 5-0 vote, the coun­cil awarded a $1.1 mil­lion con­tract to David A. Bram­ble Co. to raise the grade by 2 feet of the park­ing lot that is shared with the Fish Whis­tle Restau­rant. Three bids were sub­mit­ted; the Bram­ble bid was the low­est, Town Man­ager Bill Inger­soll said.

Also by unan­i­mous vote, the coun­cil ap­prove all per­mits re­lated to the three-day Tea Party Fes­ti­val (May 25-27). This in­cludes the pos­si­ble clo­sure of Wa­ter Street, from High Street to Wilmer Park, to ac­com­mo­date a team of eight Bud­weiser Cly­des­dales dur­ing the parade May 26.

As part of his re­port, Inger­soll an­nounced that the town had re­ceived a $138,000 Com­mu­nity Parks and Play­grounds grant from the De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources for the Louisa d’An­de­lot Car­pen­ter Park in Wash­ing­ton Park.

“I’m real ex­cited. I grew up in that neigh­bor­hood. That’s home for me,” said Third Ward Coun­cil­man Ellsworth Tol­liver, whose ward in­cludes Wash­ing­ton Park.

Mayor Chris Cerino said the money would help “make it a first-rate space.”

The grant is ear­marked for phase two of the park up­grade, to in­clude a resur­faced bas­ket­ball court, a walk­ing trail and a pav­il­ion.

Cerino nom­i­nated Jef­frey Coomer to fill a va­cancy on the His­toric Dis­trict Com­mis­sion and James Bog­den for a seat on the Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion. The coun­cil will vote on the nom­i­nees at its May 21 meet­ing.

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