• 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

April 23, 2007

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

April 23, 2007


The City Council met in regular session on Monday, April 23, 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 April 9, 2007 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.


Tom Wilson, Pleasant Day Adult Day Care Center, to Receive Proclamation for Celebrate Senior Citizens Month and to Request a Noise Variance for Senior Celebration on Thursday, May 17th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at Sailwinds Park; to Request Permission to Hang Banner Across Race Street; and for Police and EMS Assistance-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation. Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Tom Wilson. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the noise variance and the banner. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Representatives from the Dorchester Co. Health Dept. to Receive Proclamation for Cover the Uninsured Week-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation. Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Belinda Kowitski and Susan Phillips representing the Maryland Children's Health Program.

Pastor Pete Macinta, Cornerstone Assembly Independent Pentecostal, Requesting a Variance from the Noise Ordinance from 7 pm to 9 pm Each Thursday Evening from May 4th to September 13th in Order to Hold Their Church Services Outside When the Weather is Good (Souls Harbor Church of God Parking Lot and Grounds - 718 Peachblossom Avenue)-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the noise variance. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Brother Kevin Gibbs, Cornerstone Assembly Independent Pentecostal, Request Permission to Hold Their Usual Bake Sale at Long Wharf During the 4th of July Celebration from 4 pm to 10 pm-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the bake sale. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Deborah Johnson to Give Lead Paint Abatement Program Update-Deborah Johnson, Corporation for Health Homes and Economic Development, provided an update on the Cambridge Lead Risk Reduction Program. There are 17 individual units that have been basically approved for the lead program. The package was submitted to the State last Friday. Qualified inspectors and contractors were obtained. While this may seem like an unusually long time, this time span is normal. HUD has provided an extension to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for this program. Initially their target date was to have these homes completed by February 2006. They have been granted an extension to September 2006. Ninety percent of the people who qualified will receive grants. If there are any property owners that want to go into the program, she has the authority to extend it just one more week. The Corporation for Healthy Homes proposed this program because the need was so great. The program administrator receives no compensation until the end and that is only if the application is approved. None of the property owners have submitted any funds to them. They have not requested any funds because the program is not designed for that.

Commissioner Brooks said originally in the planning stage of the program, she thought there was going to be an office set up in Cambridge and run by someone from Cambridge to assist people with questions about lead. Deborah Johnson said there are no dollars for administration with the grant. The Corporation for Healthy Homes attempted to raise money locally through a developer and they did not receive any funds for an event or an office. It was not financially feasible for them to open an office in Cambridge as there was no money to support that activity. Commissioner Brooks said she thought there were funds in the grant to pay someone and she knows there was an offer for an office that was already set up. Deborah Johnson said the offer of the office was at $300 a month. It was a really good option but they did not have the funds within their resources. HUD has the grant established where the money for the administration of the program doesn't come to the end. They did not even receive funds for the underwriting aspect simply because it is based on commission. The agreement that was made in the room still stands. Once all the applications are completely approved through the State, that is when the check will be released to cover the cost of what it took to get the program going. It is not up to the Corporation for Healthy Homes to dictate a HUD grant administered by the State. Commissioner Brooks asked about free office space. Deborah Johnson said that would have made a significant difference. Because they obtain a lot of personal information, they were not comfortable with just having anyone guarding it. Certain controls would have to be made available by hiring an additional staff person. Commissioner Brooks asked if they will have an office in Cambridge. Deborah Johnson said she spoke to the State representative today. As a stand-alone program, unless they are able to get a direct HUD grant for this area which idealistically is why this was done, it would not be a problem. If they come here for the lead program, then as a CHODO, they need to function and exercise the rest of the programs. Under the affordable housing piece, they can pull a lot of capital. If they put an office in Cambridge, they would want to partner and work with the City to exercise and have the City benefit from all of what they are capable of doing. Commissioner Brooks said when the grant was written, there was money set aside for someone to do the administrative work in Cambridge. She asked what will happen to those funds given the fact that we don't have an office in Cambridge. She doesn't think the citizens of Cambridge are getting the full benefit of the program even if they do not have any more applications to give out to help complete or repair someone's home. Just the information of what lead can do to a child and the effects would be great. Deborah Johnson said they have to talk about financial feasibility when it comes to setting up an office. The funds they are expecting are going to come directly payable to Cambridge. The City will administer it. They have gone through a huge effort to highlight this program between the website, articles in the paper, public service announcements, etc. There needs to be a greater effort in the way of outreach and maybe HUD can be instrumental. The federal government is actually discussing cutting back dollars for lead for rural areas.

Deborah Johnson said once the grants have been approved from the City of Cambridge and checks are cut, there needs to be an escrow account established through the City in partnership with MDE (Pete Peterson), so they can do inspections while the work is being done. She will contact Rob Collison with the information.

Commissioner Knox asked about the extension. Deborah Johnson said if there are any other land owners or homeowners who are interested, they can apply this week. They can call the Corporation for Health Homes and Economic Development at 1-866-543-9611 (toll free). Her personal extension is 102. The fax number is 410-543-9629. The web address is www.chhed.org. Her e-mail address is [email protected].

Commissioner Sydnor said when this first program was first discussed, he thought they discussed having an office in City Hall. Deborah Johnson said her only offer of an office was from Grace Church. Another nameless person offered an office but the dollar amount was $300 per month. You would also have to take into consideration telephone lines, fax machines, security, locked files, etc. They were never offered an office at no cost. There are all kinds of government guidelines associated with managing personal data. In the event that they have the opportunity, they will look at creating job opportunities for at least two or three staff people to work at this location.

Ian Campbell to Request Dedicated Parking Spot on Poplar Street in Front of His Building During Renovations-Mr. Campbell was not present.

Representative from Snappers to Request Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Their Cinco de Mayo Celebration on May 6th from 5:00 pm Until 10:00 pm and Sundays Until the End of September-Susan Antonelli said they are going into their 14th season. Her original letter requested from Friday, May 4th, through Sunday, May 6th for their Cinco de Mayo Weekend with an acoustic guitar on Sunday, and a live 1-hour radio station remote on Friday. They would like to open the tiki bar all Sundays from May through the end of September if the weather is good. Chief Malik said they had problems some years ago but he believes they were taken care of. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Susan Antonelli said they have done everything they can do as far as putting the speakers back so they are not facing into the creek. Several condo owners said they were good neighbors. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Susan Antonelli said the hours are from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. For Cinco de Mayo, the radio station will be there at 3:00 pm for 1 hour. Saturday they will have live music from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm and Sunday it will be from 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm.


Public Discussion on Ordinance to Require Fire Sprinkler Systems in All New Construction-Rob Collison said a presentation was made a few weeks ago regarding a proposal to have sprinkler systems required in all new residential and commercial construction. Chief Hurley suggested that the ordinance include substantial renovations. A substantial renovation would be defined as a renovation with a cost which exceeds 50% of the assessed value of the property. The renovated section would be required to have sprinklers. A problem has arisen with a subdivision where building permits have not been issued but the water lines have already been installed and the roads surfaced. Typically those lines are 3/4-inch. At this point, they don't know if that would be sufficient for the water sprinkler systems in the homes. If they did not make any amendments to this, it may require digging up the existing lines at the connection and running new lines from the main in the middle of the street to the home site. George Hyde said they have been trying to find out the minimum line size for a residential sprinkler. Nobody can tell them exactly. It depends on water pressures. Typically they are using 1‑ to 1½-lines for buildings that are to be sprinklered. They feel the 3/4-inch line may not be adequate for a sprinkler system. They can also have the same problem if they have an in-fill lot on an existing street that has a 3/4-inch line running in. If they had to dig up the street, make repairs, and run a new lateral line it would cost a minimum of $5,000. It would significantly increase the cost. The gentleman who spoke the initial night estimated $1.25 per square foot for residential construction. Since then, they have been told the commercial cost runs closer to $3.00 per square foot.

Wendell Foxwell asked if carbon monoxide detectors are a requirement yet for all buildings. If not, he asked if the requirement could be added. Rob Collison said the City is about to adopt the 2006 International Building Code. He does not know if the code requires them. They could make it more stringent than the building code. George Hyde said he does not believe it is in there but that is a good suggestion. They have talked about making it part of the code. Commissioner Brooks said some homes do not utilize gas at all. Rob Collison said they will be coming back with more recommendations as to the final figures. Rob Collison said they have just received notice that Maryland is going to start requiring the 2006 Building Code. In the next two to three weeks they are going to go through it to fine tune it to our needs. He will list carbon monoxide detectors as something for them to look at.

Approve Formal Finding-of-Fact on Amendment to PWRD Master Development Plan for Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort-Rob Collison said this is the formal finding-of-fact and decision on the request for the master development plan amendment. The public hearing was on March 26th. The net result is 21 less residential units and they will not be as tall. They will be creating more open space. In the future if they determine that they want to do the same thing and have less townhomes and more golf villas, it would be a minor amendment or if they eliminate another large condo unit and do more of the less-dense units, it would be an insignificant change. They would not have to go through the whole process again.

Anne Roane, City Planner, said the changes do not eliminate the need for the Critical Area Commission's comments on the plans. Rob Collison said if Council wishes for any type of change in the type of housing stock that results in a net reduction coming back before them, they can delete Item 9 from the Amendment. They would then be required to have a public hearing before Planning and Zoning and then before Council. Commissioner Cephas said he hates to leave the public out of mix so he suggested taking Item 9 out so the public can have some input in the future. Commissioner Knox said with a development of that size, he thinks the City should have final approval.

Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the amendment with the deletion of Item No. 9. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Recommendation for Award of Annual Street Resurfacing Contract-Mayor Rippons said the Department of Public Works recommends awarding the bid to the low bidder, David A. Bramble, Inc. in the amount of $363,000. That is within the annual budget. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to award the bid to David A. Bramble. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor asked George Hyde about West Appleby Avenue. George Hyde said the City has $400,000 budgeted this year. They cut out a few streets to get down to what they thought it was going to take to get below that. One bid came in with a lower unit price than what they had projected. They still have $37,000 left. They are asking Council to go up to the $400,000 then they can add that street in and possibly one other. Commissioner Cephas amended his motion to award the bid to David A. Bramble with the contemplation not to exceed the $400,000 as long at it remains within the $74/ton. Commissioner Brooks accepted the amended motion. Commissioner Knox asked when the estimated start date would be. George Hyde said he believes it would be in 6 to 8 weeks. The motion passed unanimously.

Open Bids for Turn-Out Gear for RFC-Ed Kinnamon said the City received a bid from Personal Protection Equipment Specialists in Pennsylvania in the amount of $1577.70 per set. As he understands from Chief Phillips, this is a sole-source provider. There is another company that sells this gear; however, they are restricted from this area. This company is the only one allowed to sell in this area thereby making it a sole-source provider. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to refer the bid to RFC for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox said the document says between 10 and 30 sets. He asked for more information on the kind of money this will be and how often they order turn-out gear. Chief Hurley said it depends on the firefighter and what unit he is assigned to. It can last from 2 to 5 years. They try to replace it every 3 years. They have 65 members. The turn-out gear budget does not include the helmet, gloves, hood, or the boots. Those items will cost another $800. They average between 10 and 15 sets a year. The NFPA says it has to be replaced after 5 years. Commissioner Brooks asked if they included new volunteers who may join in that factor because they will also need turn-out gear. Chief Hurley said they use the out-of-service gear when they are in their training period. When they get to the live burn train, then they need NFPA-approved gear. The motion passed unanimously.

Second Reading and Vote on Charter Resolution CR-2006-01 - Special Elections-Rob Collison said when the vote on this resolution was taken, only three Commissioners were present. One Commissioner abstained so they did not effectively have a majority of the Council. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the charter resolution. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Brooks stated that not every committee member that they appointed was present throughout when the Special Elections Committee met to formalize this particular resolution. The motion passed 4:0 with Commissioner Brooks abstaining.


Approve Low Bid for Loan for Hazmat Truck-SunTrust provided the low bid with a 3.65% interest rate. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the low bid. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Solicit Proposals for Renovations to Long Wharf Fountain-There is a current budget allocation of $60,000 for this project. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to allow DPW to solicit proposals. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox said he thought Council approved the purchase of the fountain last year. Rob Collison said he thought they approved the type of fountain to replace the current one. Commissioner Knox asked that the renovations be expedited. Citizens really enjoy the fountain. The motion passed unanimously.

Discuss Spring Clean-Up-Mayor Rippons said George Hyde suggested that the annual spring clean-up be begin on May 5th at 7:00 am for properties west of High, Poplar and Race Streets. The properties east of High, Poplar and Race Streets will be on May 12th. Pick-up will be one visit per lot. No more than 4 tires will be picked up from each property. Limbs must be cut into 4-foot maximum length and tied in bundles. Appliances can be put out but only one of each different type of appliance. The limit will be approximately four times the normal daily trash (8 cubic yards) and must be neatly sorted. The prohibited items are paint, fuel, fuel/oil tanks, propane tanks, demolition material, evictions, and any amount over specified limits. Commissioner Brooks asked that the public be given an example of the streets when the advertisement is put in the paper. There was some mix-up in the spring clean-up. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the clean-up schedule. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Noise Variance for Outdoor Movie Series: Richardson Maritime Museum Parking Lot on Maryland Avenue (May 5th and September 29th); Spring Hill Area Across from the Library (May 19th and September 15th); City-Owned Lot on Race Street (June 23rd and October 13th); and Sojourner-Douglass College Parking Lot (June 1st and October 6th) All Starting at Dusk for Approximately 2 Hours-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Go to Bid for 36-Foot Fireboat-Chief Hurley said an ordinance was discussed last week for a special impact fee to help fund the boat. This hinges on approximately $388,000 pending in grants and fees that are already committed provided the ordinance passes. As long as they get it out to bid by May 1st, the DNR grants are still good. They are anticipating getting another $50,000 to $80,000 in DNR grants that they applied for this year. That will bring them up to $390,000 to $420,000 in grants for this boat. The cost is estimated at $600,000. The City of Annapolis just received their bids in at around $490,000. It may come in way under this. There were some questions about fire boat usage. He has a certified copy from the 9-1-1 center stating that from May 23, 2004 to March 31, 2007, RFC's fireboat responded to 47 emergencies including 4 fires, 4 medical calls, 7 searches, 11 rescues, 14 accidents, and 7 training exercises. Commissioner Sydnor asked if there is a reason for a 36-foot boat instead of a 30-foot boat. Chief Hurley said they have a 23-foot boat and in order to put the sufficient fire pump size on there with the deck monitor it has to be a minimum of a 36-foot vessel. Commissioner Knox said he contacted the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Company and they just purchased a Northwind Marine Vessel. He handed out printed information on the vessel including pictures. The boat cost $300,000. They purchased it in January. They said it was more boat than what they need and expect it to last for 20 years. Personally, he is against this boat. He doesn't see the need for it. We have a budget coming up. We have a $14 million public safety building. He thinks the purchase of this vessel could quite possibly break us. We are spending too much money in our City and are taxing our citizens right out of the City. He would like to have a complete departmental audit on the public safety building with all re-work and who is paying the bill. It is getting out of control. He will not support any impact fees for any vessel of any kind and he urged his colleagues to compare the specs. It is his understanding the vessel that was built in Canada for Newport News sunk before it even got off the dock. In Seattle, when they got ready to put a fire out on a hydroplane, the pumps trickled. He doesn't think these are the kind of people we want to entertain building a boat for us. It is his understanding that after this knowledge was brought to Salisbury and Ocean City, they backed off from these folks. Baltimore City Harbor has purchased three Sea Hawks built in Arkansas. He spoke with those people as well. The Baltimore City Fire Department is satisfied with the boats but they are luxurious. In his opinion, Cambridge is not in a position that they need to buy any kind of fireboat whatsoever. They need to draw a line on the expenditures that Rescue Fire Company is having us purchase and they need to sit back and let the citizens of Cambridge see what the building is costing them.

Commissioner Brooks asked how much Kent Island paid for their boat. Commissioner Knox said he was told $300,000 by the President and the Chief. They said they would be happy to talk to the Council and bring the boat to Cambridge for them to see.

Commissioner Cephas said the $600,000 is a little high in his opinion. He and Commissioner Sydnor also inquired about the boat. For Baltimore, the 32-foot Sea Hawk cost $286,000. It was purchased 3 years ago. He is finding it extremely difficult to pay $600,000 for a boat when he looks at surrounding areas and find people who purchased boats for almost half the cost. He thinks maybe we should go back to the drawing board and research this a little more.

Chief Hurley said they can't specify what kind of boat they want. Their bid is written so all these people can bid the boat. If that company were to get the bid, they would be the low bidder. According to the literature Commissioner Knox handed out, it is a little bit deceiving. There are a lot of hidden things here such as outboard vs. inboard engines, life expectance and longevity, etc. They started researching this boat 3 or more years ago. They must have generic bid specs. They called about the boat that sank in Norfolk. Right now there is a criminal investigation going on. They found no leaks in the vessel. They think it was sabotage because it was named after the first black navy diver. He is not sure about the one in Seattle. They don't know what company will get the boat. They took into consideration that in order for Beazer Homes to pay their $168,000 because they were allowed to build right to the waterfront, the ordinance must go into effect or they will loose that money. He is not saying the boat can come in for $400,000 or $300,000. They have a boat with outboards that they have had since 1997. They had 47 runs all the way out to the mouth of the bay to assist. DNR and the Coast Guard will no longer come rescue you off the boat. You have to be in the water. During the last fire, they came out with one man on the boat with no pump. They have to put a portable pump in the current boat. They replaced the outboards on this boat one time since 1977. Oxford just got a 33-ft boat a year ago. Oxford and Tilghman have replaced their outboards at a cost of about $30,000 per set of outboards. It doesn't take long to run up that bill vs. an inboard that would last his lifetime. They have run 7 or 8 calls to the Dorothy Megan for heart attack victims. He thinks they have done their part by trying to secure grants. DNR recommended this vessel. They worked very closely with DNR in drawing up the specifications.

Chief Hurley said not one CO for the public safety building has been approved without the Department of Works' knowledge. Some of the overdraws may be because of their architectural engineer. That is yet to be determined. He has put thousands of man hours in that project in the last two years for free away from his personal business. He doesn't think any of it is the City's fault. He thinks it is our builder, architect, and engineer's fault. He thinks that will prevail at the end of this. He thinks the cost overruns are because of a poor quality engineer and architect job and because of the delays from the contractor. If it wasn't for a few of them watching this when the City probably should have had a project manager or construction manager, you would really be getting a half-built building and not finished the way it should be. As long as he is the Chief, he is going to spend it like it is his own money and he is going to make sure the City gets what they pay for. They run audits every year and the fire department would cost the City approximately $1 million per year per piece of equipment to staff 24/7 and the City gets it for free. They have waited since 1930 to get a new fire station. It is also the police department and the EMS department. They will all be in there together.

If they are not allowed to purchase the vessel, then he suggests that they have some type of means in place to protect the at least 100% increase in marine traffic going in and out of the Hyatt and Cambridge. Several high-rise buildings were allowed to be built so close to the water that aerial equipment and fire equipment cannot get around the building. In the last year they started working with the Department of Planning to put a block on the drawings so the fire department must review all new construction.  Hopefully this will not happen in the future. They still have to provide ample fire and rescue protection. The life expectancy will be approximately 30 years. There will be some maintenance. Each fire department will tell you a little bit different about their needs, prices, and expectations. Unfortunately they can't write to one vendor. They all have an ample choice if it gets put out to bid. Commissioner Brooks agreed that we have to have a balanced budget; however, Cambridge went on a mission before she became a Commissioner to build a lot of houses with a lot of boat slips. In addition to that, earlier tonight they said that they would put $60,000 into a water fountain for people to look at which will not save any lives and they are putting a lot of money in boat slips to increase the marine traffic but yet we don't want to do anything to protect the people who will be creating that marine traffic. While $600,000 may be high, at the same time they should look at 700+ new homes that were built around the water and that figure may be low just in and around the creek. Every single one has a boat slip. We are saying we are going to bring all this marine traffic into Cambridge but we are not going to put anything in place to protect somebody until you lose a life. These things should have been looked at when they decided to expand the marina and block the creek with all the high-rise buildings and boat slips. The fact is that they are here now and the people need to be protected. To say we do not need a better fire vessel is very poor planning on the City's part. We need to protect the people we have invited to come here. Commissioner Knox said the correct word is planning. The last thing he, or any citizen in Cambridge would do, would be to question the loyalty of the volunteer fire company. Make no mistake about that. Last year he told the department heads to dress lean when they come in for the budget because they have a very expensive building out there. With anything new, you will have the quirks to work out. He would like to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, on paper, who is picking up the tab for these quirks. He cannot go out in public without people coming up and asking him about the concrete being torn up, etc. He is asking for a report. There are other organizations they are supposed to get reports from and they only get it when they hear something on the street.

Commissioner Knox said if his colleagues want to give RFC approval for the fire boat, then they will do that. He is not. If they want to give RFC approval for the impact fees to pay for the boat, they will do that. He will not. He has the taxpayers to answer to. The current boat can probably go another year. If they have to put $20,000 or $30,000 in it, that may be a lot better than $300,000 to $600,000. Let's get into the public safety building before we have any more large expenditures. If his colleagues decided to go this way, then he urges them to use the grant money to do this. We need to be patient. Chief Hurley said Council voted for it the last two years. It has been carried over. They waited to get this passed in order to get enough State grant money and get the impact fee ordinance passed that was supposed to have been passed last year. They have been very patient. He can't say what the bids will come in at. This was a budgeted item for the last 3 or 4 years. Commissioner Knox said all of a sudden it went to $600,000 and they have cost overruns on Washington Street. They have a budget they have to balance. He thinks they have to hold off for a bit. The public is telling him this is not a good deal. Chief Hurley asked if it would be a good deal if the bid goes out and comes back at $450,000 or $500,000 and they have $398,000 to $420,000. Commissioner Knox said his colleague will decide that.

Commissioner Sydnor asked about the other funding besides the DNR funding of $115,000 and Beazer Homes funding of $168,000. Chief Hurley said there is $50,000, $50,000 and $80,000 from DNR; $168,000 from Beazer if the ordinance passes; and there are two other developments right now that would be subject to the impact fee if it passes. They have applied for another $80,000 from the State; there is a good possibility they would get at least $50,000. He has the grant funding provided this boat gets to bid by May 1st. The City has to pass the ordinance to get the Beazer money. It has been a gentleman's agreement from Day 1 when they had 30+ issues there. One of them was the building was too close. They said if the City passes an ordinance, because they are a publicly- traded company, they will pay it. They want all new construction in that waterfront area to be subject to the impact fee. Commissioner Knox said the figures in front of him show that the City will still own $317,000.

Rob Collison said if it goes to bid, that is where the City will get the information on what exactly the costs will be. In the meantime, Chief Hurley can finalize their dollars with the pending grants. They will also need an actual operating expense budget.

Mayor Rippons asked if the specs were written so other vendors could bid. Chief Hurley said there are 29 pages of specs. Once someone reviews the specs and look at the other vessels, they would see why. The committee has worked very hard on the specs and they have looked at several vessels. They are generic specs. Commissioner Sydnor said because we go to bid on this, does not mean we have to accept the bids. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to go to bid on the rescue boat. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Portia Johnson-Ennels said Chief Hurley said Beazer Homes has said they would provide money if there is an ordinance made for them. She believes that Cambridge has given Beazer quite a lot that they should not demand an ordinance before they will give up any dollars. The grants are not free money. It is taxpayers' money. We don't need to steadily creating impact fees for mistakes that were made years back. She knows that the City has a lot of needs and expenses. We don't even have our AAA bond rating. If they can table this for one year and see where the City stands at the end of this budget year, they can bring it back next year. The DNR money will be there next year. They will not lose anything. Mayor Rippons said the grants have a deadline. They were appropriated in prior years. If they are not spent, the City will lose them. They can apply subsequent years, but they will lose the $115,000. DNR money is a user fee coming directly from people who use it. The cost will increase. We will not know if we can afford it unit we get the bids.

Dave Singelstad said he sympathizes with their interest in having a fireboat and the deadline for the grants. He has some experience with fireboats and living in communities with fireboats. For 25 years he lived in Oakland and San Francisco, and he is not aware of a single fire that was put out by a fireboat. Millions of dollars were spent by both cities to anticipate fires on the waterfront. The fires were put out by trucks. In 1989 an earthquake hit San Francisco. The fireboat went down to the marina district, threw a hose in the water, the hose was run out to the burning building, but a truck could have done that. A fireboat was not required to put out that fire. Rescue boats are absolutely a necessity but a fireboat is a luxury that he thinks has rarely ever proven valuable. There was an ammunition ship that ran into a pier in San Francisco. The fire was put out by trucks that drove onto the ship. The fireboat could not put the fire out. They have very limited practical application in fighting fires in seaport towns. Rescue boats are another matter. He has been on ships that have been on fire and no fireboat has every helped them.

Commissioner Brooks asked Chief Hurley what piece of equipment the City has to have on the boat that will not fit on anything but a 36-foot boat. Chief Hurley said in order to correctly use the fireboat you have to have firefighting abilities with the fiberglass hulls. In order to do that, you have to be able to carry at least 55 gallons of foam. It has to be able to handle a 55-gallon drum of foam. Recently there was a marine fire on the Maryland and Virginia line. They lost the entire marina. The fireboats were coming up the bay from Maryland to try to help. It is a very difficult fire to fight-not only marina fires but anything on the water. He doesn't like to buy anything that is not needed. There are several instances in history were fireboats were substantial in putting out large fires in large cities. RFC used their boat 47 times in less than 2 years. Many of them were successful rescues. Many of them were body recoveries.

Commissioner Brooks asked for a tour of the new developments where our fire equipment will not reach and we will need a fireboat in order to put the fire out. Chief Hurley said he will give them a tour any time they would like. Commissioner Knox said he doubts very seriously that there is any property on the water within Cambridge that cannot be accessible by a truck.

Donna Towers asked how many of the calls were for fires. Chief Hurley said four were fires. Rob Collison asked if RFC bills the county for calls outside the City. Chief Hurley said they do not because the City has a mutual aid agreement with the County. Rob Collison said if we have the only fireboat we do not get mutual assistance by fireboat. This is something we need to pursue with the County. If we go outside the corporate limits, there should be some type of reimbursement for the expense. Chief Hurley said we have that with the hazmat unit.

Commissioner Cephas said he is interested to see the bids that come in. It does not mean that he supports the boat at all. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.

Request to Change Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals Called to Active Duty-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of Ordinance to Adopt the International Property Maintenance Code, 2006, as the Official Property Maintenance Code of the City-Rob Collison said between now and the next reading they will be bringing some slight modifications to Chapter 4.

Introduction of Ordinance to Adopt the International Building Code, 2006, as the Official Building Code of the City-The State will require this by July 1. Commissioner Brooks asked if these two codes overlap or if there will be any conflict. George Hyde said they are two separate codes. Rob Collison said they are produced by the same company. Commissioner Sydnor said this will replace the BOCA code.  Chief Hurley said there is a bill on the Governor's desk right now to be signed into law. It will require carbon monoxide detectors for hotels and motels only. It does not include residential buildings.

Approve PO 4300 - Parsonsburg Volunteer Fire Company - 11 Complete Dry Suits for Water Rescue - $6,600-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox asked why RFC needs 11 suits. Chief Hurley says you put a dry suit on when you get ready to go in the water as a diver. There are several different size suits. There are 20+ people on the dive team. Two or three people go in the water at the same time with a 2-person back-up team and a safety diver. That is what is required by law. The suits are fitted to the individuals. You never know who will be able to respond. RFC was getting ready to purchase dry suits at $1400 a piece plus the undergarment. Parsonsburg called and said they had a $30,000 inventory given to them from a company that was closing in Pocomoke. They said they would sell them to RFC at $600 each. The motion passed unanimously.


Rob Collison announced that Council met in an open work session at 6:00 pm.

Commissioner Travers made a motion to go into executive session follow the meeting to discuss personnel. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Cephas announced that the Dorchester/Cambridge Cultural Festival will be held this Saturday. They are asking for a dumpster for that day and the streets swept the day before. Mayor Rippons said these items were already requested and approved.

Commissioner Brooks said at the last meeting she asked that the City recognize the first female employee who holds a CDL and that has not happened. Mayor Rippons said it is on the front page of the newspaper on Saturday.

Wendell Foxwell asked the difference between a rescue boat and a fireboat. Chief Hurley said it would be the same vessel. Commissioner Sydnor asked if RFC would keep the old boat if they purchased a new one. Chief Hurley said that is the City's discretion. Rob Collison said if the new boat can do both functions, the sale of the old boat could help offset the cost as well.

Ryan Killough asked for an executive session to discuss an urgent employee matter. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:12 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, April 23, 2007, insofar as I personally am aware.


                                                                                    Edwin C. Kinnamon

                                                                                    Clerk & Treasurer