A newly minted grant from USDA worth $445,000 will help the Town retire a line of credit and recoup out-of-pocket expenses that brought the $6.5 million Marina project to completion last fall, said Chestertown Zoning Administrator Kees de Mooy at Monday’s council meeting.

The Town applied for the grant in September 2019 and received approval just minutes before last night’s meeting, De Mooy said.

The funds will pay off a $260,000 balance in a line of credit and reimburse the town for out-of-pocket expenses associated with the project.

“We are essentially back in the black on that project, which is an amazing thing,” he said.

The council voted unanimously to sign the documents to receive the grants.

“I can’t even overstate how big this is for us,” Mayor Chris Cerino said after the vote. “Not only does it allow us to zero out the line of credit, it actually allows us to be compensated for other expenses that were associated with the project.”

Mayor Chris Cerino at the Chestertown Marina dedication, Nov. 1, 2019

Cerino said the timing couldn’t be any better and it was a new beginning for the Marina.

The only remaining debt associated with the Marina is the annual Marina bond purchase payments of around $145,000. There are 12 years of payments left on the bond.  There is also a $598,000 loan with a 40-year term at 1.37 percent. 

“It’s the cheapest loan you’re ever going to get,” Cerino said.

Cerino said he hoped for the day when the marina was busy again.