• 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
Print this page

Council Meeting Minutes

January 11, 2016
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, January 11, 2016 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Vickers, Sydnor, Cooke, and Thomas. Commissioner Hanson was absent. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Chief Dvorak led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

1. Council to approve or amend agenda as presented-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to amend the agenda by delete Item 17 regarding 739 Pine Street and 710 Washington Street was seconded by Commissioner Cooke and passed 3:1.


Consent Calendar

3. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge Main Street for Second Saturday - Early Childhood Advisory Council Event
Recommendation: That Council approve subject request.

4. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge Main Street for Paddy on Poplar Event
Recommendation: That Council approve subject request.

5. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge Main Street for Cambridge Farmers Market events
Recommendation: That Council approve subject request.

7. SUBJECT: 2016 Maryland Smart Energy Communities - Existing Communities Grant Program
Recommendation: That the Council approve submission of a grant application to the Maryland Energy Administration's Maryland Smart Energy Communities (MSEC) program for an amount to be determined by the granting agency for additional solar panels on the Public Safety Building.

8. SUBJECT: Marina Fees
Recommendation: That Council approve continuation of the current marina fees at rates for FY 2016/2017

A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the consent calendar (except Items 2 and 6) including variances from the noise ordinance for Items 3 and 4 was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.

2. SUBJECT: Minutes for December 14, 2015 Council meeting
Recommendation: That Council approve as submitted.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the December 14, 2015 Council meeting with a correction in Item 18 (Board of Adjustment should be Board of Appeals) was seconded by Commissioner Cooke and approved 4:0.

6. SUBJECT: 2016 Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns Grant Program
Recommendation: That Council approve submission of a grant application to The Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns (G3) Grant Program in the amount of $75,000.00 for green stormwater improvements on High Street.

A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve submission of a letter of intent to The Chesapeake Bay Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns (G3) Grant Program for green stormwater improvements on High Street was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Commissioners Vickers and Thomas voted aye. Commissioners Cooke and Sydnor voted nay. The motion passed 3:2 with Mayor Stanley voting aye.


Public Hearing(s)

9. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1062 amending Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the City's Unified Development Code to eliminate the reference to compliance with commercial locations for home day care, to require the owner to reside in the property and to establish the Planning Commission as the reviewing board
Recommendation: That the Mayor open the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.
Rob Collison gave a synopsis of the ordinance. Melissa Slacum spoke in favor of the ordinance. She said there is a great need for early childhood daycare. Paige Canterbury also spoke in favor of the ordinance. Currently there are only 11 licensed home daycares in Dorchester County. That is a significant problem if you want a working population. One of the most under-represented populations for people who own their own business is women. If the Council would like to see more women have small businesses is the community and pay their taxes by not going under the table, Council would make the change. This service also allows other people to go to work. Nobody else from the audience asked to speak. The public hearing was closed but the record was left open.

10. SUBJECT: Community Development Block Grant Application for funds to improve City properties at Route 50 and Maryland Ave.
Recommendations:
A. That the Mayor open the public hearing; that Council hear from the public; and that the Mayor close the public hearing.
B. That Council adopt Resolution 16-001 authorizing the submittal of an application for the Community Development Block Grant funds in the amount of $325,000 for the following project: clean-up and restoration of 101 and 103 Sunburst Highway (Route 50) near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and authorizing and empowering Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley to execute any and all documents required for the submission of this application.

The public hearing was advertised in the Star-Democrat on January 5, 2016. The grant would fund demolition, asphalt and sidewalk removal, berm, irrigation, top soil and design element. This project is the accumulation of several different efforts through grant funding with SGIF. The City was funded in 2013, 2014, and 2015 with monies to acquire the properties. This will top off the project by removing the blighted properties and making a much more appealing gateway. Commissioner Sydnor asked if Mary Calloway has received input from department heads to see if they have any use for the garage building. Mary Calloway said she has not. Commissioner Sydnor suggested that it would be wise to consult with them because once the buildings are demolished and the City finds that there is some use for the garage building, it would be too late. Commissioner Thomas said the original premise was to acquire the properties and demolish them for a gateway project. The project was set in motion three years ago. The Department of Housing and Community Development suggested the City go through the Community Development Block Grant program. Mary Calloway said in her opinion it is a formality to go ahead with the submission of this grant application. The entire intent has been to clear from the one side of Byrn Street to Maryland Avenue. DPW already took down an out building near the former Burger King. There has been some mention of the garage but that is not her call as a staff person. Commissioner Sydnor asked if Ms. Calloway has any idea of what will go there. Mary Calloway said that will come back to Council. She had a conversation today with a funder who is asking what the City would do and if they were going to apply for funds for what goes there. There is an opportunity for grant funding. Commissioner Cooke said he thinks he remembers hearing that the grant precluded us from using that building as a space for City offices or to rent it out. Mary Calloway said what she recalls is that when we made application for the acquisition of these properties, the stated goal was to remove each of the buildings. Commissioner Sydnor asked if she is sure there is a qualifier that says that the City must demolish the buildings. Mary Calloway said she will check. Sandra Tripp-Jones said she has heard from at least one department head with an interest in retaining the building and she has also heard from a few Commissioners that they would like to see public input into the design of what goes on that property. She will be coming back to Council with the recommended process for deciding what goes on there. That would be the point in time that we would have thoroughly determined whether we are precluded from keeping any buildings or not and how we would go about deciding what goes on there. There has been a very concerted community effort. There is a Gateway Design Committee going on right now. She will bring back a recommended process for looking at that. Mary Calloway said with the use of CDBG funds, we would be precluded from putting a structure on that property. Pat Escher said with regards to the design, she has reached out to the University of Maryland's Landscape Architecture Group. They did some study on it before but that was mainly for Maryland Avenue. She has had conversations with them about bringing those students back; come up with some ideas; do a community outreach process; and come up with some broad designs. We would not have a park there. Maybe we could have some images of designs that could capture some essence of Cambridge. Mayor Stanley said the elephant in the room is what to do with the two buildings. Do we demolish both; do we demolish one; but something has to happen on that property because we have $375,000 and the pledge that we would do something productive and different with that property and not necessarily build another building. Commissioner Vickers said we are going to apply for $325,000 to make it more attractive but asked where we are going to bring them after they go down Maryland Avenue and they get to our famous High Street. That is where the money should go. She can't vote for it because of that. The money needs to be spent on High Street. Mary Calloway said if the funding would go for High Street, this would be an application for High Street. Commissioner Vickers said she just doesn't understand why they can find so many other things that are more important. She does not think we are reaching out to the State enough to make that happen. Somewhere there is money. Commissioner Sydnor said there are other areas in Cambridge other than the first ward and the fifth ward where we need to obtain funds to do some projects in other areas other than these exclusive wards. Sandra Tripp-Jones said this application is replacing the application that Council already authorized. It is not a new application we are making. The State said the City applied for SGIF but State wants the City to take CDBG money instead. We are reasonably sure that this is not going to interfere with future CDBG grant application. Staff is already talking about the applications for the next round of block grants. This is not a new initiative on the part of staff. It is something that Council has already authorized in one form earlier. It doesn't mean Council has to approve this application but this wasn't a new idea that was brought to Council. Commissioner Sydnor said he realizes this is nothing new and it is just another way we are going to approach the State to obtain the funds. He is not against the funds, but he wants to consider other areas of Cambridge as we look at different funding sources that we have available to us.

Lou Hyman said he remembers a year or two ago having a major conference discussing this whole thing and coming up with various designs for what should be done with that little park area. A lot of community input was given as part of the Maryland Avenue Gateway Project. He is surprised to come in and find out we don't know anything about it. The impression is that we have to re-invent this. A lot of work was done on this project already to design it from community input. We definitely need to at least tear down the Burger King building. It is getting to be an eyesore. The first thing you see when you come over the bridge is a vacant building and that is not a good image for Cambridge. He very strongly recommends that Council approve this grant application.

Sandra Tripp-Jones said this particular money will go for demolition, asphalt and sidewalk removal, berm irrigation, topsoil, seeding, irrigation, and grading design. It is consistent with the SGIF application. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas that the Mayor and Council adopt Resolution 16-001 authorizing the Mayor to sign all documents was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor. The motion passed 3:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Unfinished Business

11. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1062 amending Section 4.2.3(A)5 of the City's Unified Development Code to eliminate the reference to compliance with commercial locations for home day care, to require the owner to reside in the property and to establish the Planning Commission as the reviewing board.
Recommendation: That Council give subject ordinance a second reading and adopt ordinance.

A vote will be taken at the January 25, 2016 Council meeting.

12. SUBJECT: Hearn Building Stabilization Project at 509 Race Street
Recommendation: That Council receives a verbal update.

Oden Wheeler reported that Dorchester County received a Community Legacy grant in the amount of $500,000 (non-matching grant) for the stabilizing of the building. They are waiting on a response for an MHAA grant (matching grant). The project has gone out to contractors for cost estimates. Race Street will potentially be open somewhere between mid-February and the first of March.

New Business

13. SUBJECT: First Reading on Revised Ordinance 1055 regard regulations of PODS
Recommendation: That Council introduce Ord. No. 1055-No action was taken.

14. SUBJECT: Bond refinancing of the 2005 and 2006 Bonds
Recommendation that Council approve:
A. Proceeding with the bond refinancing
B. Execution of the engagement letters with Public Advisory Consultants and Funk and Bolton.

A motion by Commissioner Cooke to proceed with the bond refinancing and engagement letters for Funk and Bolton and Public Advisory Consultants as presented was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. The motion passed 3:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

15. SUBJECT: 2016 Budget Amendments
Recommendation: That the Council:
A. Approve budget appropriations totaling $231,567 for the unbudgeted grants and donations received between July 2015 and December 2015 as listed in Exhibit 1.
B. Increase the Police, Fire, Economic Development, and Marina budgets as listed in Exhibit 1.

A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the budget appropriations for $231,567 was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.

16. SUBJECT: Council Meeting Schedule
Recommendations that Council:
A. Approve the following Council meeting changes effective February 8, 2016:
B. Regular meeting start time at 6:00 pm;
C. Closed sessions start time 5:00 pm; and
D. Work sessions start time at 5:00 pm or 6:00 as posted.
E. Direct Staff to publicize these changes.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to accept the Mayor's recommendations for a change in the City Council meeting times was seconded by Commissioner Vickers and approved 3:1 with Commissioner Cooke opposed.


Mayor and Council:

17. SUBJECT: 739 Pine Street and 710 Washington Street

This item was deleted from the agenda.

18. SUBJECT: Committee Reports
A. Finance Committee: Minutes of December 10 and 17, 2015 Meeting
B. Sailwinds Committee: Minutes of December 29, 2015 meeting.

No action was taken.


A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved 4:0.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:25 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, January 11, 2016, insofar as I personally am aware.



Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor