Marina Building Plans Hit Bump

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Mayor Chris Cerino and Town Manager Bill Ingersoll

Plans for the Chestertown Marina may have to be scaled back, Town Manager Bill Ingersoll announced after a bid opening for construction of the marina store and interpretive center.

At the town council meeting Aug. 7, Ingersoll said the town received only two bids on the project. The building is to be sited near the Cannon Street side of the parking lot the town-owned marina shares with the Fish Whistle restaurant. Bids were received from Yerkes Construction, Chestertown, and Emory Hill, New Castle, Del. Yerkes submitted the low bid at $1.1 million for the first phase of the project and $825,000 for the second phase. However, both bids were “higher than expected,” Ingersoll said. He suggested going back to the architect and revising the plans to remove the second floor, which would have held a meeting space the town could have rented out.

“We’re disappointed the bids were this high,” Mayor Chris Cerino said. He said the town hoped for a range between $1 million and $1.2 million for the entire project. He said the town has $480,000 on hand for the project. The second floor would have been “an amazing space,” overlooking the river, he said. “But we have to live within our means..”

Ingersoll said removing the second story would allow for more usable space on the first floor since stairways and elevators could be eliminated. He asked the council to approve Yerkes as the low bidder, but to negotiate a contract for the redesigned building based on unit pricing. After a brief discussion, the council voted its approval.

Councilwoman Liz Gross

Also at the meeting, Councilwoman Liz Gross asked residents of her ward to be aware of a recent increase in suspicious activities. She told residents to be certain doors are locked and windows secured and suggested they leave lights on when they go out.

Tim O’Brian said there had been several incidents involving Amberley Park, the trailer park just off Philosophers Terrace.  He said his daughter’s  bike was stolen from their home on the other end of  Philosophers Terrace from Amberley Park.  The bicycle was later recovered in the park near a unit that has been the scene of other problems. He said there was also drug use and vagrancy in the area of the park, along with trash heaps. He asked the town to investigate whether the property is in compliance with code.

Ingersoll said he would talk to the property owners and ask the town zoning inspector to look into possible violations of code.

Police Chief Adrian Baker said his officers do regular patrols. He asked residents to call his department if they see suspicious activity.

Gross said increased patrol presence would help curtail the problems.

Also at the meeting, the council appointed Amy Meeks as chairman of the Recreation Commission.

 

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Letters to Editor

  1. What this town most needs in light of the college soon to take over the building where the excellent restaurant – really the best one in Chestertown the Blue Heron now serves such excellent food. In all frankness there is not a comparable restaurant in town although Luisa’s in closest of local malls is certainly an excellent one but not near enough for boaters in particular which is what the marina will lack – an excellent restaurant which the Fish Whistle is not. We live on the creek where it intersects with Chester river and it most sad when so few boats utilize this marina and harbor as most want food of a better quality than will be lacking once the Blue Heron closes. Why has the town not pursued better and closer restaurants with the Fish Whistle having the monopoly on the pier area? thank you

    • matthew weir says:

      Mr. Sheets,

      I am the managing member of the company that owns the property that is leased to the Fish Whistle. I am very sorry that you do not like the food served at the restaurant. Jeff Carroll (the operator) and his staff are some of the hardest working people I have ever known. I know that they care about their customers and that they try to deliver quality food at a reasonable price. As I am sure you know, the restaurant business is very challenging. Most restaurants fail. However, Jeff and his team have worked hard to ensure that customers enjoy good food and drink for more than eight years. If everyone felt as you do, this would certainly not be the case. Clearly, we all have different tastes and what appeals to you might not appeal to me. However, I do find your criticism heavy handed and unfair to a talented and hard working group of people.

      I would like you to know that we have ambitious plans, working with Jeff, to expand the Fish Whistle. We have been working hand-in-hand with the Town to improve the marina property and raise the grade around the building. This work will prevent most of the flooding that occurs at the property. In addition, we will be expanding the outside deck to include a second bar and the ability for customers to enjoy steamed crabs while overlooking the beautiful Chester River. It is our hope that the newly remodeled restaurant will encourage more people to come to the property, take advantage of the beautiful location, enjoy good food and beverages. We believe that the waterfront location can provide an increase in tourism, employment and tax revenue for the area.

      I sincerely hope that you will give Jeff and his team another chance and encourage you to ask for Jeff to discuss your thoughts. I know how important having happy customers is to him. I agree with you, though, that it is a shame too see Paul leaving the restaurant business. I, too, have enjoyed his food and friendship over the years. I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.

      • Eliott fuhrman says:

        Always enjoyed the times eat there But I have represented as broker many large restaurant owners and sold most expensive liquor license in n.j. 1.7 mm think Jeff is great but could do better if menu was refocused, and building repositioned .Open up wall in bar to view river take out silly Marin building double deck may even add another story to deck .up grade bar to cocktail lounge We opened discotheque in two n.y. Hotels not work here but in stead live bands put in upgraded sound system with music reflects cocktail room.Of course can replace property with Bortique hotel put restaurant on roof with out side Terrence I would do that evaluation befor spending rehabbing also could buy marina

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