• 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

June 18, 2007

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

June 18, 2007

 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 18, 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. Mayor Rippons introduced Steve Johnson, the new Director of the Department of Public Works. He served in the Navy for 26½ years. In Norfolk he managed and oversaw the operations of the largest Department of Public Works in the Navy. He has his master's degree from the University of California, Berkley. Commissioner Knox announced that Chief Hurley is recovering at home from the surgery he had last week. He asked for a moment of silence and wished him a speedy recovery. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 11, 2007 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Representative from Cambridge Main Street to Propose Farmers' Market Downtown-Liddy Garcia said Main Street is planning to have a farmers' market downtown on Thursday evenings from 3:30 pm until 6:30 pm. They are requesting permission to use the City parking lot across from the Cambridge Police Department. It was identified in the Farmers' Market Feasibility Study to be a priority location for a farmers' market. It would start as early as July 19th and be held every Thursday through October. Chief Malik said they have been contacted about it already and they don't foresee any problems. Commissioner Cephas asked if Thursday was the only day they wanted to do it. Liddy Garcia said they do not want to conflict with the farmers' market at Sailwinds on Tuesday and Friday mornings. There are quite a few farmers' markets in the area on Saturday mornings. They would like those vendors to come downtown on Thursdays. The folks doing the farmers' market at Sailwinds have been invited to participate on Thursdays also. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to allow Cambridge Main Street to utilize the parcel across from the Police Department for a farmers' market. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Ed Kinnamon asked if the Council would like to allow the people participating in the farmers' market the same option that they have at Sailwinds in that they would not have to get a Special Use Permit. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to exempt the people participating in the downtown farmers' market from having to obtain a Special Use permit. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox said it would be for produce and farmers' market items only. It would not include yard sale items. The motion passed unanimously.

Eleanor and Eugene Mower to Discuss a Citizen's Concern-Eleanor Mower said she visited with Council in March and read a letter of concern that they submitted to the Attorney General's office. She has some unanswered questions. After she read the letter, there was no discussion because her purpose was to go through the letter concerning their home at Long Boat Estates. It was reported back to her that there would be a response coming from the City. Her letter was quite lengthy and there were several questions and issues raised. As of this evening, she has not received a response. She remembers Rob Collison saying he would get back to her with answers to some of the questions. Early in March when she first contacted the City and outlined her concerns, there were several letters that she sent to Mayor Rippons. She has met with him several times. The concern she has is a March 11th letter that she wrote to the City Commissioners. When she spoke at the March 26th meeting, she mentioned not having any response to those very specific questions that she raised in the letter. She was told at that time that some or all may not have had a copy of the letter but she confirmed after the meeting that the letters were provided and that they had been seen. She has asked a couple of times for an answer to these questions. The issues raised in the letters pose some extremely important questions to her and her husband and their concerns with their home. She was told that the response from the City Commissioners would be provided and forthcoming from Rob Collison. She asked why that had not happened yet. Mayor Rippons said without Rob Collison being present to respond about the timeframe, he cannot respond tonight but he will speak to him tomorrow and let her know where he is in the process. Mrs. Mower asked if this is normal that they wrote a letter in March and they have not received a response in June. She thinks that is an unacceptable length of time. Mayor Rippons said every time an issue is brought up, there are different considerations that must be drawn into the discussion. Mr. Collison has been in touch with the Attorney General's office. There are a lot of contemplations there. He will ask Rob Collison to discuss the issues with the Mowers. Mrs. Mower said during the March 26th meeting, there was a huge number of important issues raised. She was told she would get a response in the next few weeks. Because of the nature of these issues, they are a great concern to them. Commissioner Brooks asked if prior to March 26th, they are talking about the defects in the home they bought from Lennar Homes. Mrs. Mower said she was talking about what was in the letters. Commissioner Brooks said what was in the letters was concerning defects in the home. Mrs. Mower said the specific letter in question was dated March 11th. The first question she asked was how was it that the permit for the home at 105 North Regulator Drive was not revoked as well as the others when the development was shut down. It was not specifically to identify or debate that. Commissioner Brooks said the Council had an unbiased inspector come in and inspect five homes and gave a report to Council. After that, the Director became sick and nobody else took that position up until now so there has been a delay. They have answered some of the questions and some of the concerns that were brought up in that particular area. The Fire Chief also did an inspection. A lot of the concerns that would have brought up the issue about whether a permit could be issued or could not be issued, they have looked at and had other outside people look at them. At this point, they do not have a conclusive answer. They spoke to Lennar Homes about correcting the issues and saw that they were corrected. They also stopped them from building at one particular point. The City has done everything they possibly could legally do. Anything else would have to be done with the recommendation from Mr. Collison and the Department of Public Works. Mrs. Mower read the minutes extensively around this time when there were issues and complaints and she is not revisiting those things. She feels Commissioner Brooks really questioned and asked for answers. She remembers that homes were looked at. There were things done. Some of the questions that she posed dig a little deeper down. The development was shut down and when that happened, she would like to know what happened. She wants to know how it came to be that she and her husband ended up buying a house that she felt they should not have bought for all the reasons that she has outlined. She believes there are still some unanswered questions. The development was shut down. She doesn't know if there were any fines and she does not know what was revoked. It was reported that certain things were fixed and she feels very certain that things have come forward to indicate that wasn't the case. There are unanswered questions that she feels as a person and a citizen, she deserves to have an answer to.

Representative from Groove City Dymondz for a Noise Variance for Their Practice Sessions During the Summer - 6:00 pm Until 8:00 pm and During the School Year from 4:00 pm Until 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday at 802 Allen Street-Nobody was present to speak. Chief Malik said if Council approves the request, they may want to include a clause that they can dis-approve it if they get residential complaints. Mayor Rippons suggested asking the group to get letters of approval from the residents who would be directly impacted by the music. Commissioner Cephas said there was a letter in Council's books stating that the group leader contacted the neighbors and they were in accordance with the practices. Commissioner Brooks said she feels they should delay the vote because she and Chief Malik have had some dealings with residents on Allen Street for quite some time now. Council should make sure that the neighbors are in agreement with this and there will not be any problems. Mayor Rippons asked that Mr. Kinnamon contact the representative and ask them to get a letter from the residents and bring it to the next Council meeting and be prepared to answer any questions at that time.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Discussion and Decision on Request By Vincent And Barbara Youmens to Rezone 3.39± Acres Located on the Corner of Greenwood and Cosby Avenue, Currently Zoned R-1, Rezone To R-3-Chad Malkus requested a little more time on this vote. They are still engaging in discussions with various parties. They asked that this be tabled until the next meeting or one meeting after that.

Fountain at Long Wharf-Steve Johnson gave Council a copy of an article that was in the Banner on July 1, 1938. Last year the Council voted to have the fountain repaired. Public Works has moved forward to try to do that. In the process they have uncovered some historical facts that indicate that the fountain is probably an historical structure. That changes the rules they are going to have to follow. They will not be able to obligate the money before the end of the fiscal year. If it turns out that the structure is historical, they have a good possibility of getting grant money from the State to pay for the cost or assist with the costs. It also gives them the opportunity to address some of the other organizations in the City that may want to contribute toward the cost. It is not all bad news but they are unable to get a contract issued before the end of the fiscal year.

Award Bid for Petroleum Products-Mayor Rippons said there is a matter that he would like to discuss with Rob Collison on this agenda item. He is asking to award only the part of the bid that deals with deliverable products to Wise Oil & Fuel. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to award the deliverable petroleum to Wise Oil & Fuel in the amount specified in their bid. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Adoption of Resolution for Increased Permit Fees-Mayor Rippons said this was discussed at the last meeting. Ed Kinnamon said he spoke to Rob Collison today about adding a fee for non-sufficient funds in the amount of $35. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the resolution with the inclusion of a $35 fee for non-sufficient funds. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Adopt FY2008 Budget-A motion was made by Commissioner Knox and seconded by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt the City's General Operating Budget for FY 2008 in the amount of $14,301,476. Liddy Garcia, Executive Director of Cambridge Main Street, said they haven't heard yet what is in the budget for Main Street. Mayor Rippons said he believes the amount appropriated is $20,000. Liddy Garcia asked why they did not receive full funding. Commissioner Knox said the City was over budget. Liddy Garcia said her concern is the fact that they are not asking a lot. The fountain that they cannot fix this year is in the amount of $60,000 which will potentially roll over to the next year. Main Street is asking for $30,000 and they are getting $20,000. Her concern is that they did not ask for anything more than they need. This will mean she will not be a full-time manager which also means Cambridge will loose our National Trust accreditation as a Main Street Community. With that they loose their name, their technical assistance, the network that they provide and more importantly the priority that the State gives them for funding. All in all, the City of Cambridge looses. She also feels that their private property reinvestment into the downtown is just beginning. We have a lot of work to do. The momentum is growing and now the momentum is being pulled back. For them, $10,000 is a huge amount. Right now, they are the only economic development arm for the City and they are working hard to create new jobs, new small businesses, and to create vitality downtown. Their events, historic restorations, façade programs, recruitment of businesses, and beautification of downtown are things they are raising money to do for Cambridge. Everything that Main Street does benefits the community. In the last year they pulled in $175,000 is grant dollars for Main Street. The reason they can do it is because they are a Main Street Maryland community. They will loose that accreditation. Millions in private property investment have been dumped into the downtown, both in infill and restorations. They have clocked 6000 volunteer hours. They will continue in their second phase to draw in more businesses and jobs. She cannot work full time with a budget that is not fully funded through the City. The State will ask why they should invest in Cambridge Main Street if the City doesn't invest fully.

Commissioner Brooks asked how much the County gave this year. Liddy Garcia said they gave $10,000. They went from $5,000 to $10,000. Last year, the City received a grant from USDA in the amount of $47,500. An unidentified gentleman said the $10,000 represents about 15% of their budget. They have things so closely budgeted right now that he doesn't know if they can go on with a full-time program if they do not get full funding. It will be very difficult.

Cindy Slacum said she has been a member of the Main Street community. She has lived here for a long time waiting for the resurgence of Cambridge to come. She feels they would make a critical mistake if they lose the recognition from the State and National programs. They need to have the full $30,000. She knows it is a tight time, but this is something that will pay the City back in many, many dollars in the years to come. She begged them to find the $10,000 increase so they can put the full $30,000 in it and we can keep on with our Main Street community which is getting attention in magazines and newspapers all over the country and bringing in a lot of people to Cambridge.

Bill Jarmon, Main Street, asked Council to find the $10,000. He sat with a group that is planning to create their own signs, put up their own signs, and they are talking about having a 50/50 raffle to raise $1,000 to put up signs that would lead people from Route 50, down Maryland Avenue, to Main Street. He is on another committee that is bringing in a group of people who possibly would look at Pine Street and the streets that intersect Race Street and to how they can best create a vision for Pine Street. They are pushing the community to understand that the future is recreation. It is the vision. It is all about tourism and this is a group that is trying to improve the commercial aspect as well as the tourism aspect of this community. He is asked them to find $10,000 to give recognition to the project.

Commissioner Sydnor asked how long the $20,000 would carry Main Street through the next fiscal year. Liddy Garcia said it would carry them for two-thirds of the year. He asked if they could revisit this at that particular time. Mayor Rippons said they would have to have a budget amendment but for Main Street's planning purposes, it is in their best interest to know. You cannot plan to do two-thirds of a year knowing that the momentum may not be there.

Commissioner Brooks asked if Commissioner Cephas can meet with Main Street and look at their full budget and then report back to Council at a later date. He said he would do it.

Jane Devlin said she is a little disappointed. She knows Council had a very tough time to balance the budget but she is also aware that we have in excess of $800,000 from the hotel tax. If it is going to the general fund, so be it, but she thinks $10,000 could be found very easily. At this point, Main Street is our economic engine. We have been devastated at the County level with tourism. You have your non-profits running tourism in conjunction with Main Street. The amount of $10,000 may see like a lot, it may seem like a tipping point, but $10,000 in the scheme of things in next to nothing when you count what will be brought in through the State accreditation. She understands what Commissioner Sydnor is saying about revisiting. She doesn't think that will work. From what she understands, without having that accreditation, we lose our finding sources. One of the reasons they benefited with the Wallace Office Building is because they are in a Target Investment Zone. She would like to put a list together of the groups that have benefited through this program through the recognition of the State. She is sure that $10,000 could be found for such a worthwhile project.

Carol Levy, a Main Street Board Member, said that she knows that they have chosen a consultant to go forward with the comprehensive plan; however, she knows if it hadn't been for Main Street and the RUDAT, we would not have had what we have to this point. She is sure the consultants will be looking at the RUDAT very carefully in conjunction with the rest of what they will be doing. She feels that the $10,000 is not that much to ask as Jane and everyone else has reiterated that it has been the economic engine and she thinks if it is not passed, this is going to be something very strongly looked at in the next year of what Council has done for the community. Keeping in mind something that she said when the RUDAT first came to town, we are here to improve the town without taking away from it. She is tired of hearing what Cambridge used to be. This is something they want to make it again. They cannot do it without the City's help.

Kyra Kristof Pincheira, a member of the Main Street Board and the Arts and Entertainment District Coordinator, said the last time she appeared before Council was for Council's support for them to move forward with applying for a $100,000 grant from the State. The funds would be directed towards capital improvements for Main Street. The funds were only available to eligible Main Street communities. She echoed the concern that there are a lot of financial opportunities that are available to them specifically if they have the accreditation that the City will lose out on if they lose their accreditation. She asked Council to reconsider the funding.

Jim Duffy said he is on the Main Street Board also. As Council considers this $10,000, it is an expenditure in a tight budget year but he urged them to think of it as an investment in the buildings downtown, in the property taxes that the City gets from those buildings, in the businesses downtown, in the sales taxes that they get from those buildings, and in the thousands of volunteer hours that Main Street puts together. If Council shortchanges Main Street on this request, they are telling all those people who volunteer not to bother-it is not worth the City's investment, so why should it be worth theirs.

Mickey Love said she works with Main Street and is also the director of the Dorchester Arts Center. As a new resident to Maryland and specifically to Cambridge, she has been so impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the people here that have been working on these various projects. The growth here is a light to her because she comes from an area that is part of the rust belt where there is a lot of deterioration. She knows how bad it can get. To see this much energy from a small town is truly a worthwhile endeavor. She had 13 years of non-profit experience and $10,000 for a non-profit will be stretched. They did not ask for more than they absolutely need. They work very hard for the advancement of Cambridge. She asked Council to keep the request in mind.

Commissioner Brooks said she thinks Cambridge Main Street has done a tremendous job over the years and she appreciates all of the events. In 2004 when they came into office, the Mayor stated something about a 3-year plan that the City would support Main Street. She asked what has changed or evolved since that original plan. Liddy Garcia said she did the research last year because she was concerned as well that for some reason it was presented by Main Street Maryland that it was a minimum of 3 years. The reality is that every Main Street Maryland community in the State of Maryland get funding from their city. The way it works nationally is that is one third from the local government, one third revenue generated by the non-profit itself through events, and one third through private membership. We are pretty good with the other two. It is pretty hard raising money through events. Their private membership is probably the best in the State at this point. This is an on-going support. They are in essence a non-governmental quasi-arm of the City. Everything they do is for the City's benefit. When she looks at programs that are older and more mature, they are funded and actually have a greater percentage of funding from their city. Commissioner Brooks said she is absolutely right. She has spent the last 3 years attending training sessions at MML and the National League of Cities and Main Street is supported and it is one of the hot topics in every single training session. She knows Council will do everything they possibly can to meet the request.

Commissioner Sydnor said there were some funds that they heard about today that they will not be using. He asked if they could target $10,000 toward Main Street and still utilize the same budget that they have.

Mayor Rippons said in the budget that is prepared, on July 2nd there will be two people in place to work with economic development/tourism/grants. Within that confine, it is a fully-funded requiem that is in the budget for next year. Main Street will not be out there alone. Ed Kinnamon said they could look for the $10,000 within the budget that they have prepared, or they can adjust this budget.

Commissioner Cephas said he has supported Main Street from Day 1. He was impressed when he learned that Main Street was expanded into Pine Street. He likes what he sees. He was impressed with one of the proposals from RUDAT. He felt what Liddy Garcia was saying about moving forward and $10,000 may seem like a small amount, but it is what they need to do the job. He sees so many supporters supporting their idea that he has a great deal of respect for. He thinks they can find additional funds for this particular organization. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to add an additional $10,000 to Main Street. Commissioner Knox amended his motion that the amount of Operating Budget for FY 2008 be in the amount of $14,311,476. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the amended his second. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY2008 in the amount of $4,981,697. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Cephas to set the City's Real Property Tax Rate for FY 2008 at $0.676 for $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Cephas said he was proud to make this motion because it did not involve an increase in tax for the citizens.

A motion was made by Commissioner Brooks to set the City's Business Tax Rate for FY 2008 at $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Travers to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2008 in the amount of $1,535,870. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Knox to adopt the City's Marina Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2008 in the amount of $1,048,220. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Brooks said with the adoption of the new budget, in keeping in good practice and good accounting skills, it has been recommended by MML and also keeping in mind that next year will be another election year for the Commissioners, they think it will be helpful in finding additional cost savings, she made a motion that the City Commissioners order, arrange, and follow through with an independent audit of all City accounts and accounts that are under the umbrella of the City. It should be conducted as recommended by MML every two years. It will be independent of any auditor that we have had in the City. It should be somebody different and it should be somebody new. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Mayor Rippons asked if Commissioner Brooks had an anticipated cost so it can be fit into the budget. Commissioner Brooks said they figured with the cost savings that they have made today, they will be able to fit it into the budget. They have made several changes prior to the budget being adopted tonight. They have spoken to Rob Collison and MML. Mayor Rippons said there is no money appropriated in the budget for it. Commissioner Brooks said they are 100% sure that they will be able to get this audit done and they will have the funding. Ed Kinnamon said it will be a second audit. They are required to have one done. Commissioner Brooks said the audit will be passed onto the City Commissioner, the Mayor, and the citizens of Cambridge. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Sailwinds Park to Waive Carnival Permit Fee for Their Carnival From June 29 through July 4, 2007-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Cambridge Sail and Power Squadron for a Noise Variance to Permit the Firing of Salute Cannons During the 4th of July Boat Parade (Parade Begins at 4:00 pm)-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion and Decision on Waiver of Impact Fees in the Cambridge City-Center Target Investment Zone-Commissioner Cephas said he would like to wait until Rob Collison is at the meeting to discuss this item.

Discussion on Whether the Following Properties are Excess Property: 312-314 High Street (MUC Building) and 410 Academy Street (CPD Building)-Commissioner Brooks asked if they should table this discussion until they found out the actual date they will be moving into the new public safety complex. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to declare 312-314 High Street as excess property. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Council decided to table a decision on 410 Academy Street.

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

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

Approve PO 960 - John W. Tieder, Inc. - Downtown Lighting Project - $116,455-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox asked where this was going to take place. George Hyde said it is the 500 block of Race Street between Muir Street and Elm Street. It is a continuation of what we have started. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4512 - Singer Associates - Pump Repairs for Engine 1-2 $15,000 (RFC)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4438 - Personal Protection Equipment Specialists - Coats and Pants Cleaning and Repairs for RFC - $3,054.69-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4439 - Robert Phillips - RFC - Training - $2,500-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 958 - Andrews, Miller & Associates - Cambridge Marina Expansion Phase II - Design Engineering - $3,500-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor asked what is involved in this work. George Hyde said Phase II is the one we just finished up. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Revised Job Description for Economic Development-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the job description. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Mayor Rippons announced that Council met in Executive Session prior to the meeting to discuss personnel.

Commissioner Knox said the property where the Laundromat was (801 Travers) has a roll-off that is full and there are probably 10 to 20 bags of garbage near it. He reported it about a month ago and it is still there. He asked DPW to look at it.

Commissioner Knox commended all the departments that responded to the fire on Muir Street. He understands that other fire companies from as far away as Trappe came to our aide. It is unfortunate that the houses were built so close that the house next to it was damaged also. He commended the CPD patrolman for picking up on the fire so quickly.

Commissioner Sydnor thanked Ed Kinnamon for all the time he has put into working on this year's budget.

Commissioner Cephas said last year, 3 months before Christmas he brought to the City's attention that we need to look at doing something on Pine Street as far as placing Christmas lights on the poles like we do on Race Street to be included as part of Main Street. Time was of the essence at that time so he is bringing it to the City's attention now. He thinks they will have to contact Delmarva Power.

Commissioner Brooks said she is concerned about a structure under construction somewhere in the 500 block of Race Street. They constructed something very close to the street and you have to walk around it. It is where Cheetah's Pub used to be. A handicapped person would have to go into the street to get around it. A concerned citizen wants to know why it was not addressed and asked that it be addressed for the safety of our citizens. George Hyde said they will check into it tomorrow. They were told it was ready to come down.

Commissioner Travers thanked Mayor Rippons and Ed Kinnamon for a job well done on the budget.

Sandy Wilson with the Dorchester County Health Department requested a noise variance for June 30th from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm. This will be for a free community health fair with displays, family entertainment, and music for the purpose of providing health information to the community to be inclusive of the Hispanic community. The event will be in their side parking lot behind McDonalds. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Steve Johnson said he is happy to be here. Chief Malik welcomed Mr. Johnson. He looks forward to working with him. George Hyde said he is also very happy Mr. Johnson is here.

Portia Johnson-Ennels spoke about Tony Easter's property on Race Street. Although he has the structure on the sidewalk, there is also a big hole with a board over it. Foot traffic has to walk into the street. It is a hazard. Mayor Rippons said he will have the inspectors look at it. Portia Johnson-Ennels said there is still trash on School House Lane; however, they did pick up the majority of it.

Talibah Chikwendu, Daily Banner, asked for an update on the status of the public safety building. She asked if there is a report that Council could give to the public. Mayor Rippons said there was a meeting held this evening with the contractor and the architect. In essence, moving forward with a punch list of major items was discussed. There will be an update provided to Council by the first meeting in July with Mr. Johnson taking a more active role in procuring where we are at. The stipulation from the contractor will be that he believes he will no longer have a room at the Holiday Inn in September of this year. That is what we are relying on at this time with an update coming from Mr. Johnson and Mr. Hyde. There are still some items to be looked into. They will be aggressively and expeditiously considered. Council believes in their best estimate they are looking at a September opening. Talibah Chikwendu asked if there is any information on why it has taken an additional year for construction. Mayor Rippons said probably the major component was Change Order No. 3 which generated a consideration of 120 days. Change Order No. 5 held several days. You add up the contemplation that things were changed. As of last October there were major changes. There were delays in communication, etc. The total effect brings it down to the timeframe we are looking at now. Talibah Chikwendu asked if the change orders are available for the public to view. George Hyde said they are available at City Hall.

Talibah Chikwendu asked when the general operating budget will be available for public viewing. Ed Kinnamon said as soon as he can compile it.

Janice Banks said word is out that there is a possibility that Cambridge EMS will be going to the County instead of staying under the City. She asked if there is any truth to it or if it is just a rumor. Mayor Rippons said in this year's budget, just short of $600,000 will have to be proffered from the City's operating budget. In consideration that nowhere else in the County is there any extraction of any additional dollars or any additional taxes except in Cambridge. They believe it to be an untenable position so they approached the County and began discussions and deliberations about how this matter was to be rectified. There are alternatives on the table. On Wednesday at 1:00 pm they have the next meeting of a committee that was formed by the City and County to look at options. They tentatively set up a meeting at 6:00 pm that evening with both Councils but that has been delayed until Thursday, June 28th at 6:00 pm. Without going into any details until both Councils can deliberate what is available, it would be premature to talk about anything being turned over. They are questioning why only the City of Cambridge residents are being asked to put anything more into the coffers and nobody else in the County does. They are contemplating a $3.436 million budget for EMS county-wide next year. Out of a $3.436 million budget, just a shade over $500,000 is coming to Cambridge who conservatively pulls 60% of the workload. Council believes that to be a harsh position. Take into consideration that just a shade over $705,000 is produced in billable revenue coming into the County from billing sources. Approximately 62% of the billable charges are collectable which brings into the County coffers just a shade over $705,000. If you contemplate the numbers and stipulate that CEMS pulls 60% of that workload, that would generate in excess of $420,000. They yield to the City just over $500,000 which means that it is $80,000 coming from the County into the City. If you take the $3.436 million budget and subtract out the revenue generate from billings, you now come down to $2.73 million. From that $2.73 million, extricate the contemplation of the $80,000 they give to the City. That leaves $2.65 million going to the rest of the County when the City gets $80,000. CEMS pulls in 60% of the workload. The rest of the County does 40%. Janice Banks said it looks like to her for the City of Cambridge it would be more feasible because everyone in Talbot County has given all of their ambulance service to the County, even Easton. Talbot County is running it and doing a great job. She has worked for Talbot County in their system. To her it almost would be better to clear up our budget to sell it to them or give it to them which frees up our budget which allows more, and in the meantime do the same thing with the EMS building with the police department / fire house building. If we get rid of the ambulance service and the EMS service and give it to the County, we are not depriving the City from EMS care because EMS care still comes into everywhere like we go out into the county. It would free up a lot of budget. The other thing is when you sit here and you can see additional calls, second calls and third calls, and tell them they have to come in to assist because we have people who are making almost $100,000 that sit in the firehouse and won't go out, she has an issue with it. She has a serious issue with it. She said to free up the $100,000 and the rest of it and give it away; give it to them. Mayor Rippons said he doesn't know of anybody in those services who makes close to $100,000. Janice Banks said if you take into consideration that you have a $30,000 vehicle plus the budget that person is making, you add them together and therefore it comes up close to $100,000. Mayor Rippons said nobody is making that much money.

Bill Jarmon said he would like for the City to take a special look at our intersections at this particular time. For example, Muir and Race Streets, you have cars that are parking almost 10 or 15 feet from the intersection itself. When you come up to the light, you just cannot maneuver or see to your right or left to make a turn. He finds this is true in many of our streets because of shrubbery, cars, etc.

Bill Jarmon said he has done quite a few tours and there is a lot of trash throughout the City. He thinks it might be because there are quite a few abandoned places and therefore they become sources for blowing items. It is embarrassing when you are driving or walking with a group of people. He suggested more pickups during this time of year. Mayor Rippons said West End Citizens have taken it upon themselves to go out into the neighborhood and provide the City with a list of concerns. He suggested Mr. Jarmon provide his safety concerns to the City for their review.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said regarding the fire on Muir Street this past weekend and the closeness of the houses, she knows that we did a rezoning a couple of years ago and a lot of changes were supposed to have been done. She asked if there is any way our Commissioners can get together with our attorney and the Department of Public Works and find out what we can do if we happen to have houses that are now empty and sitting like that and there are potentials of fires. She asked if they could be demolished before we start loosing lives. She will help any way she can.

Robert Boyd, Bay County Tenants Association, invited the Council, departments, and media to their annual picnic that they are going to have on Friday.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:20 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 11, 2007, insofar as I personally am aware.

                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                    Edwin C. Kinnamon

                                                                                    Clerk & Treasurer