• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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City Council Minutes

March 12, 2007

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

March 12, 2007

 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 12, 2007 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 26 , 2007 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Jackie Noller, Habitat for Humanity, to Request a Resolution of Support to Apply for a Gap Funding Grant from Maryland Affordable Housing Trust-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Open Bids for Furnishing and Maintaining Dumpster-Type Containers and Refuse Removal for Various Locations in Cambridge-Ed Kinnamon announced the City received three bids:

- Allied Waste Services (Felton, DE) -- $13,220.00

- J. Neal Waste Solutions (Cambridge) -- $28,842.97

- Waste Management of Delmarva -- $16,246.00

Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Open Bids for Proposals for the Design of Improvements to the Existing Boat Ramp at Great Marsh-Ed Kinnamon announced that the City received two bids:

- Andrews Miller & Associates (Cambridge) -- $17,500

- George, Miles & Buhr (Salisbury) -- $29,995

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Follow-Up Discussion on Skateboard Park-Ed Kinnamon said Scott Eberspacher gave him a packet of information today. Scott asked a company from California to help the County with a design concept and estimate. The location being looked at now is the ball field at Christ Rock. He will keep Council up to date. Commissioner Brooks said the skateboard park in Easton is almost right center in the City of Easton. She asked earlier who owns the parking lot across from the current police department. With the police department moving, the parking lot that is connected to the police department is primarily used for police cars, etc. Whoever rents that building will have parking on both sides of the building. That leaves us the parking lot across the street where the police personnel park. She asked if that lot is big enough for a skate ramp. Mayor Rippons said that would have to be addressed with Mr. Eberspacher. He said in his correspondence that he hopes to have a site design and cost estimate by early April to bring before both Councils. If anybody has any input, he asked that they contact Mr. Eberspacher.

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church to Block Off the 800 Block of Fairmont Avenue, 500 Block of High Street to Muir Street, 500-600 Block of Pine Street to Wells Street, Cedar Street to Race Street to the City-Owned Lot on Race and Cedar Streets on May 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; a Noise Variance from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. for a Parade and Festivities to Celebrate the Legacy and Life of the Late Commissioner Edward E. Watkins, Sr.-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Chief Malik said he will talk to representatives from the Church to make the arrangements. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of Petition for Annexation, Annexation Resolution, Annexation Agreement, and Ordinance for Establishing Zoning in Said Annexed Lands for 78.2698 Acres on the Corner of Route 16 and Woods Road, Consisting of Parcels 19 and 125 of Tax Map 41, To Be Zoned HC (Highway Commercial), R-3 (Multi-Family Residential), and R-1 (Single-Family Residential)-Rob Collison said a question arose concerning the R-3 and the R-1 zoning. The vast bulk of the site, which is on the southeast corner of Route 16 and Woods Road, will be the highway commercial zoning. There is a small portion that will be R-1 and a small portion will be R-3. The City has confirmed that the petition does contain the requisite number of owners of assessed values and they know of no registered voters on those parcels. Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the request to Planning and Zoning. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of Ordinance to Require Fire Sprinkler Systems in All New Construction-Rob Collison said at the last meeting a presentation was made describing the need for sprinkler systems in residential construction. Our Fire Chief also recommended it and went further and recommended it be mandated in all new construction and possibly substantial renovations. He has drafted the ordinance for new construction only because in the short period of time he had to prepare the ordinance he has not been able to get a definition for substantial renovation. This ordinance will create a new section of the Code since we do not presently have that requirement. During the presentation, it was estimated that the cost would be between $1.10 and $1.20 per square foot. The City will put a notice in the paper that they will be taking public comments at the next City Council meeting.

Discussion and Decision on Sewer Connection of Clear View Restaurant and Golf Club to University of Maryland at Horn Point Sewer Collection System-Rob Collision emphasized that the University of Maryland at Horn Point is basically giving up part of their allocation. They were allocated 10,000 gallons per day for their use. This was done in 1996-1997. It will go through their system. It is not a new connection. They are giving 2500 gallons of their use to the restaurant and club. Impact fees will apply. He will draft an agreement. It will not permit any residential development or other development. The purpose is to maintain what is there because of the environmental impact as stated by the Health Department. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the sewer connection of Clear View Restaurant and the Golf Course according to Mr. Collison's recommendation and to authorize Mr. Collison to proceed with drafting an agreement. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor clarified that the University of Maryland would have an allocation of 7500 gallons. Rob Collison said he is not sure what they are using but he doesn't think it is anywhere near that. George Hyde said he thinks they are and he thinks it is something they need to look into. He thinks they are using the full 10,000 gallons. Rob Collison said with the way they drafted their agreement, it did not appear they were using that if they were allocating 2500 gallons. Commissioner Knox asked what would happen if they decided to put homes on the property in the future. Rob Collison said they would have to disconnect from the line. This land is in a Critical Area. Commissioner Sydnor amended his motion to make approval contingent upon verification of allocation models to DPW so they would not exceed the 10,000 gallons. Commissioner Travers seconded the amended motion. Ed Kinnamon said he received a few calls today. One was about residential units possibly being established on the property. The other called referenced annexation of the land. Rob Collison said the land does not qualify for annexation. You would have to make it contiguous which would mean they would have to take in all the intervening properties between there and the City to come in. They are asking to connect to the University of Maryland's system because they do not qualify for annexation. Edwina Robbins Sipler said she is an owner of the property adjoining the Cambridge Country Club. She wishes that Council would table the motion until the public can better be advised on the long-term effects to the Horns Point community. Rob Collison said their system is failing right now. The golf clubhouse and the restaurant lounge are the only buildings being allowed to connect to the University of Maryland pumping station. We are permitting them to connect the existing facilities into that pumping station provided UMCES is not using more than 7500 of their 10,000 gallons per day allocation. It does not permit them to add anything else including any residential or new buildings. Ms. Sipler said residents are concerned that this opens the door for them to further develop this Critical Areas region. Once you open the door to this, it may be a stepping stone for other development. Mayor Rippons said they would have to be annexed into the City. This is similar to the situation in Church Creek when the City was advised by the State that they were failing and the City allowed them to come in. It stops completely there. There is delineation that there be no residential development whatsoever. Rob Collison said as far as what other development would be permitted, that would be through the jurisdiction of the County because it is not being annexed. He doesn't know what that zoning permits as far as future expansion or additional facilities. We are doing this at the request of the State and the County Health Department because their system is failing and polluting the water. Chad Malkus said as a member of the Country Club, there is a standing contract and agreement that was part of the whole sale that also stated that there is to be no residential development for at least 10 years. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4242 - Motorola - Maintenance Agreement for Dispatch Stations at CPD - $6,915.70-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4244 - Computer Information Systems, Inc. - License Renewal and Maintenance for CAD and Records Management for CPD - $9,000.00- Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 878 - DLT Solutions Inc. - for AutoCad Software for DPW - $4,184.61-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4184 - S&G Home Improvements - Removal of Demolition Debris (Wright Street & Schoolhouse Lane) - $4,000 (Grant Funds)- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4248 - Wor-Wic Community College - Tuition for Four CPD Recruits - $9,092.00-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for CEMS-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for DPW-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Ed Kinnamon said The Community of Saint Francis owns property on Locust Street which  was delinquent on taxes and therefore sold at the County tax sale in June.  Mr. Corbliss asked the County if they would allow him to have the taxes back. The County felt that with what this business has done for the community and because there was a paperwork error, according to the County, the County would give back to him his taxes and they would apply for, through the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, a tax exempt status for the future. The State portion of the County tax bill did not go along with that. He is now asking the City for the same consideration. Mr. Corbliss said they have been tax exempt since 1991. They received a City tax bill in 2005. He returned it stating they were tax exempt. The City employee sent them a form that they filled out and sent back. He did not hear anything from the County until the Sheriff put up the notice. The first page of their Deed of Trust states that they are tax exempt. Ed Kinnamon said prior to The Community of Saint Francis owning the property, it was owned by someone else and they probably paid the taxes. Now it has reverted to his organization and he is thinking that because they are a 501(c)3 organization, they are tax exempt. He also has to go the State Department of Assessments and apply through them. They are the ones that would actually give him the tax exempt status for the property.

Commissioner Knox said he would like Rob Collison to review the information that was given to them tonight. He asked Ed Kinnamon if the property was 501 certified. Ed Kinnamon said The Community of Saint Francis is a 501(c)3 organization according to information that he was given. However, that doesn't automatically relieve them of paying taxes. You have to apply to the State Department of Assessments and show them your 501(c)3 certificate and go through whatever steps they require. If they are satisfied, they have the right to relieve him from paying taxes and they will notify the City. That part had not been done. Commissioner Knox asked Council to postpone any decision until Rob Collison can review the documents and the State Assessment Department has reviewed the paperwork. Ed Kinnamon said he has not received notification from the County yet. Commissioner Brooks said she has no problem with tabling the request but she would like to say that The Community of Saint Francis is a very big asset to this community. This gentleman has done a tremendous job with people of all sorts. She feels that Council should do everything in their power to help him in this situation and to keep this particular establishment in our community. Commissioner Knox said he certainly is not questioning what The Community of Saint Francis does for the community. He is looking for legal guidance. Mr. Corbliss said the County told him he had until March 31st to have everything complete. Mayor Rippons asked him to provide the documents to Mr. Kinnamon and Rob Collison would review them before the next meeting on March 27th. Rob Collison said no motion was necessary tonight.

Commissioner Brooks said she spoke with Chief Malik on Friday about a house on Washington Street near the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. An individual called her again around 7:30 a.m. and stated she went into this house either Friday evening or Saturday morning and it is not boarded up. She thinks Chief Malik reported to her that DPW stated that they had boarded it up. Chief Malik said he rode past it and it was boarded up. Someone may have taken the board off. Commissioner Brooks said the woman also stated that there were human feces everywhere; the windows were broken so people have easy access; there was evidence of beer cans and drug use; and there was evidence that a fire had either been started or attempted. She would like the Code Enforcement Officials to go out and look at the house and mandate that it be boarded up. There is an elderly lady who lives not too far from the house and if the house were to catch on fire, this lady would be in jeopardy. Commissioner Brooks said she told the lady that the police would keep a presence in the area.  

Commissioner Knox said some residents on the 400 block of Talbot Avenue requested a street light at the end of the street in December. They have contacted him and asked for a letter on the status of the light. He went down there several times at night and it is extremely dark. He asked that the Street Lighting Committee look at this issue.

Rob Collison announced that Council met in closed executive session at 5:30 pm to discuss several personnel matters.

Rob Collison announced that the Planning and Zoning Commission has voted recently to meet twice per month. They will be meeting the first and third Tuesdays.

Ed Kinnamon announced that on Monday, March 19th (6:00 pm) the Council will be reviewing budget requests and hearing the departments' requests. The meeting is open to the public.

Sharon Wilson, Visions America, said she came before the Council in April 2006 in regards to property that the City could donate to their organization for affordable housing. She has not heard anything and is wondering where this stands. They are look for support from the City Council. Mayor Rippons said the Council can outline the lots that are available. Once that is done they will have to hold a public hearing. He asked Ed Kinnamon to give him a list of the City-owned properties by the next meeting. Once property is declared excess property, individuals or corporations can give Council a document outlining which properties they are interested in, the price they are willing to pay, and what they are planning to construct on the site. The Commissioners will then look at everything that has transpired, review all the requests, and then they can elect which avenue they wish to move forward with. Sharon Wilson said she doesn't know what happened to the property on Leonard Lane. The City requested proposals for that property. She never heard the status. Two groups put requests in on time; a third request was put in much later. They put a lot of time and effort into those proposals. Mayor Rippons said the RFP went to the Commissioners. Commissioner Sydnor said he thinks they basically tabled a decision at the time. They are using the land for the dredge spoils from Long Wharf. There was a consideration that there were critical areas on the property. This hasn't really been determined. Mayor Rippons said there is a cost associated for the necessary survey for critical areas. George Hyde said there are some wetlands in the middle of the property. It would cost approximately $5000 to get wetlands delineation done. Sharon Wilson said they were never made aware of anything. Mayor Rippons apologized that they were not notified. It may be until the project is complete at the marina or until someone comes forward with money to do the delineation that is necessary to move forward. Council will revisit this issue. George Hyde said the material should be cleaned off the site over the next couple of months.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she came before Council in February 2006 concerning the Lake properties. They now have been sold to someone and the people who are living in the houses are getting their 30-day notices to move. We are at the same point that we were at in February 2006. We do not have housing stock in Cambridge for these people. She asked if Council could come up with an idea to help these people. They need help financially because they are not going to be used to paying the going costs for rentals that start at $825 a month. They will need all kinds of other help. There are about 39 families. Mayor Rippons said he didn't think it was that many people. He though some of the properties were in compliance. Portia Johnson-Ennels said one person's name may be on the lease but four or five families are living in one unit.

Judy Moody said Council encourages people to shop and attend affairs in Dorchester County and yet they have Poplar Street and High Street on the corner blocked off on both side for the last three to four weeks. You can't park there.  There was even a trailer parked in the handicapped space over the weekend. She asked Glenn Bramble, the DSA president, about it. He said the Commissioners gave him permission to do it. She cannot imagine a sensible commission telling somebody that they can continuously block Poplar and High Streets for eight hours a day including putting a trailer of lumber in the handicapped space. You can't go to the Chamber of Commerce, go to the book store, rent a tuxedo, or go to the water company. She asked for the true situation. She can't imagine Council gave him permission to block both corners. Chief Malik said they have received complaints from some of the business people. He talked to the workers and they are parking behind the bank now. They left the trailer there because they need somewhere to put some of the material they are taking out of the buildings. He is trying to work with all sides involved to come to a solution. The last time he talked to the business people, they were satisfied with the steps taken. He hasn't had any complaints since he spoke to the business people and the construction people. He agrees that it is a problem. The City and Main Street are trying to improve the businesses and the buildings that are in disrepair. You will run into problems when you try to do that. The City is trying to work with all the parties involved. The police department will continue to monitor the streets. Chad Malkus, Vice President of Main Street, said this concern was brought up at their Board meeting. They are pleased that there is a lot of work being done downtown. They have spoken to various businesses that are making renovations to encourage them to be as quick as possible with the loading and unloading process. They are also encouraging shop owners not to park in front of their own businesses. Chief Malik said if someone has a problem, they should call the police department. They don't have to wait two weeks to come before Council. If they don't want to call the police department, they can call the Mayor and he will call for them. They will take care of the problem if they can.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:55 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 12, 2007, insofar as I personally am aware.

                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                    Edwin C. Kinnamon

                                                                                    Clerk & Treasurer