• 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 24, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, April 24, 2006 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 11, 2006 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

APPOINTMENTS

Charles Cephas to Discuss Housing Counseling and Funding-Gary Sawyer, Maryland Rural Development Corporation, appeared with Rev. Cephas.  They are a community action agency that has been in business for 20 years and is involved in housing, housing counseling, Section 8, administering a homeless management information system, etc.  They have a development program for small communities involved in water and wastewater management as well as community leadership and housing development.  They also have a small transportation business that operates in other areas providing medical transportation and transportation to jobs.  They operate a Head Start program in three counties. 

Gary Sawyer said they provide workshops for first time home buyers.  They have been doing this in Cambridge and Dorchester County for the last three or four years.  This program trains about 150 people a year.  Last year they had 30 people buy homes; five homes were in Cambridge.  They are getting into the loss mitigation process helping people who are having trouble making their mortgage payments. They also help seniors who are eligible for a reverse mortgage program.  Rev. Cephas said he is a Housing Counselor and a Trainer. He also does loss mitigation and mortgages through HUD.  One of the things they look for in Dorchester County is trying to give people the affordability as well as training so they do not get into foreclosure.   Their post-purchase training helps the people once they buy a house.  They want Cambridge to be their partner as well as assist them in being able to help citizens and employees of Cambridge. 

Commissioner Cephas asked if Deborah Johnson does the same things that Maryland Rural Development Corporation does.  Rev. Cephas said it is not in the same capacity.  Ms. Johnson's agency is not a HUD-certified agency and she is not a HUD-certified Counselor.  Commissioner Cephas said he would like to appear at the City's budget hearing on Wednesday to apply for funding. 

Frank Gianiny to Address a Citizen's Concern-Mr. Gianiny was not present.

Jeff Paxson, The Shelter Group, to Request Letter of Support and a Financial Contribution (PILOT) for Affordable Housing-Jeff Paxson said they made a presentation at the last Council meeting for an 80-unit high-quality affordable housing development to be built off of Bayly Road.  The rents will range from $300 to $600 for two- and three-bedroom units.  They are requesting a letter of support for the project so they can apply for low-income housing tax credits with the State of Maryland.  Commissioner Cephas asked about the financial contribution.  Ed Kinnamon said he spoke to Rob Collison about this on Friday. In August 2005, David Fang with MHAA requested a PILOT for a similar project.  Council granted him a credit against the real estate taxes of $100 per unit per year for 10 years.  They were not given an exemption against the impact fees. Jeff Paxson said a waiver of the impact fees would enable them to build more units.  Waiver of the impact fee would be a significant benefit for the project.  He will appear before the County Council to request a waiver of the excise tax for the project.

Hubert H. Wright, IV asked where the property is located.  Jeff Paxson said the property is a 21-acre lot off Bayly Road. Once you pass both the schools, you go into an extremely wooded area.  It is on the left side between Bayly Road and the Little League Park.   Mr. Wright thinks he might own that property.   Jeff Paxson said it is under contract now.   He will show Mr. Wright a map with the parcel on it after the meeting.

Commissioner Cephas asked Jeff Paxson to explain the PILOT.  Jeff Paxson said it stands for payment in lieu of taxes.  It will lower the taxes of each unit by $100 per year for 10 years.  This meets the requirements of the State to get funding.

Commissioner Sydnor asked how many units less they will have to build if the City does not waive the impact fees.  Jeff Paxson said it would be between six and eight units.  

Commissioner Cephas said at the last meeting he indicated that someone else was interested in a piece of property in that vicinity.   That individual also needed their commitment by May 1st.  He asked if Mr. Paxson could hold up until that person had an opportunity to come before the City as well.  Jeff Paxson said May 1st is the application deadline for the low-income housing tax credits.  If they do not apply by May 1st, they will have to wait 9 months before they can apply again.  If that happens, the owner is likely to turn the property over to someone else. Commissioner Sydnor asked how many acres will be developed. Jeff Paxson said they will develop 5 to 6 acres.  They will most likely put the rest of the property in an agriculture preserve. The letter does not commit the City to anything.  The letter gives them support and tells them what the City is considering as their contribution.  He will have to come back to Council for a final resolution.  Commissioner Knox said they could give a letter of support for the PILOT and consider waiving the impact fees at a later date.    Mayor Rippons said if the other group interested in building affordable housing is not here tonight, they will not be able to get support for this round of grants.  After the State approves the project, Mr. Paxson will come before Council again.  At that time, Council will either approve that PILOT, go with some other mechanism, or no mechanism, and then they can address the issue of impact fees.  Commissioner Brooks said she has no problem with the PILOT but she does have a problem if there is a discrepancy with the ownership of the property.  Jeff Paxson said they have a contract for a parcel of land that is not owned by Mr. Wright.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the letter of support and the PILOT.  Commissioner Brooks said she has a problem giving a letter of support and a PILOT for a piece of property that may not be his property.  Jeff Paxson said he has the property under contract.  The property is identified in the contract.  That developer does not have any rights to this property.  They have done their due diligence.  Commissioner Knox said the question of the property is of no concern of the City.  Mr. Paxson is asking for a letter of support and a PILOT.  Once again, he will make a motion to approve the letter of support for the PILOT less the exemption of the impact fees. If it the property is not Mr. Paxson's, the letter he receives is irrelevant.   Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion.  Commissioners Cephas and Brooks abstained.  The motion passed 3:0.  Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Paxson to go outside and speak to Mr. Wright and let Council know if there is something else they need to know.

Proclamation for Celebrate the Art of Prevention Day (May 7th)-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation. Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Judith Slaughter with the Maryland Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition. She gave a synopsis of their program with a photo and essay contest on hope.  She invited everyone to join them at the Dorchester Arts Center on Sunday, May 7th, from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm for the opening reception for the photography contest and the awards ceremony. The exhibit will be at the Arts Center in May and June.   Mark Masden spoke about National Drug Court Month. 

Tom Wilson, Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care, to Request a Noise Variance for Thursday, May 18th from 9:00 am Until 3:00 pm at Sailwinds Park; Permission to Hang a Banner Across Race Street; Police Assistance for Traffic Control and EMS Coverage for Their 12th Annual Senior Celebration-Tom Wilson said this is the 12th year that the Commission on Aging will hold this event at Sailwinds. Senior Celebration will be dedicated to the memory of two long-time supporters-Tom Flowers and Ed Watkins. People come from all over the Eastern Shore to attend along with folks from Annapolis and Delaware.  It draws a crowd of 1500 to 2000.  Commissioner Brooks said she has attended the event for the last 10 years and they do an outstanding job.  More than just seniors come in to see what is going on. It is a great event.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the requests. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.  Mayor Rippons thanked Tom Wilson for all they do.

Jane Devlin to Give R/UDAT Update-Jane Devlin said the Steering Committee is still in the staging phase.  The team is being developed.  They will be having a "town hall meeting" on Saturday, May 20th at Governors Hall from 9:00 am until 12 noon.  They will make the public presentation on Monday, May 22nd at 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Sailwinds Park Governors Hall.  The team will arrive on May 18th.  She is asking for Council's participation on the May 18th and 19th.   She will contact members of the Council so they can meet one-on-one to go over the schedule.  They will have tours by boat, helicopter, and trolley. They will also have a walking tour of the downtown including Race Street and Pine Street.  Jane Devlin requested permission to put banners up publicizing the event.  One of the spots is on the corner of Race Street and Cedar Street.  Another location will be on the corner of Maryland Avenue and Hayward Street. They are also talking about putting one in front of ISG.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to allow them to put a banner on the corner of Cedar and Race Streets.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Vanessa Allen, Young People's Training Guild, To Discuss Summer Employment-Vanessa Allen is the Director of the Young People's Training Guild.  For the last four years she has been working with the youth in the community teaching etiquette, fitness, finance, and home economics. This summer she would like Council's support for a pilot program for the youth on employability. There is a big problem with youth not being able to find employment. They took a survey in five counties with over 100 different businesses and the response was overwhelming.  They feel the youth don't have the work ethics they need in order to apply for jobs. They went back to those employers and asked if they would hire youth for the summer if the Young People's Training Guild worked with them on various issues.  A lot of them agreed that they would.  They are going to have a 6-week workshop on how to find and keep a job.  To date, they have over 30 students in Dorchester County who have applied for the program. She is asking for Council's support for a pilot program to put one or two youth within the City so they can gain experience.   She knows the City hires a few youth and they have a few positions available.  Mayor Rippons asked if she has spoken to the County Council for funding considerations.  Vanessa Allen said the County Council does not have any funds for them at this time. She thinks it is a community problem that needs to be addressed on a community level.  It is overwhelmingly ridiculous that our youth can't find jobs; not in part that they aren't there, but the ethics are not there.  You have over 2000 foreign exchange students coming here this summer and they are competing with the elderly because the elderly are going back to work so there is a lot of competition.  They need to work on the work ethics.  Commissioner Knox said Council could consider it when they do their budget review.  Commissioner Brooks said she would like to meet with Ms. Allen and Mr. Kinnamon at another date so they can find out how the City can support the program.  Some departments have an age requirement.  Vanessa Allen said liability is a concern. The biggest concern she has is if you don't give these children any experience while they are young, they will be 18 and won't be able to find employment because they don't have enough experience.  They need to gain some experience other than cashier.  They need to upgrade.

Commissioner Cephas asked about the age group.  Vanessa Allen said she is talking about ages 15 to 19.  Commissioner Cephas asked about the 6-week program.  Vanessa Allen said they are going to teach business ethics, how to find and keep a job, finances, and fitness.  Her mission is to make well-rounded youth by supplying them with the necessary tools to become self-supporting adults.  Commissioner Cephas asked how soon she could start the program if the City could do something for them.  Vanessa Allen said their program for Dorchester County starts next Thursday at the high school.  Initially she said she would only take 20 students but 35 students have applied and she is going to take them all.  Mayor Rippons asked for a financial breakdown that Council could look at.  Ms. Allen said the program will start Thursday because they have done their own fundraising.  They have a committee of parents who have come together and are interested in the youth working.  It will start based on the funds that they have already raised on their own.  She is requesting funds for the program in 2007.  

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Report from the Tug Boat Committee-Commissioner Cephas said when the committee was being established at the last meeting, Jane Devlin was asked to remove herself from the list because of some kind of conflict.  He looked at the names on the committee and he sees two names that are more of a conflict than Jane Devlin. Guy Beckley is the director of the school.  Mike Thielke said they are not voting members. They were there to help facilitate. Jo Chapman said they have had one meeting and all members were not present.  She wanted to give a preliminary report based on what they recommend based on talking on the phone and in the meeting and gathering information.   Commissioner Cephas suggested putting people on the committee who have no interest whatsoever in it.  Mike Thielke said he would like to be there to answer questions.  Commissioner Knox said he thinks any questions the committee has should come to the Council and Council should ask the questions.  He doesn't think Mike Thielke and Guy Beckley should be on the committee.  David Singelstad and Jo Chapman are husband and wife so he thinks one of them should step down also.  He thinks the project will affect the entire City and he thinks they should have one or two members from each ward on the committee.  Ben Parks, President of the Dorchester County Seafood Harvesters Association, said he is a member of the committee.  He couldn't attend the meeting because he has to work for a living and the meeting was in the middle of the day.  He thinks the committee should be comprised of six to twelve members and all wards should be represented.  Commissioner Cephas said there is talk on the street that the committee voted on a couple of other issues that were not brought before Council.  That concerns him.  Ben Parks said there is a naval vessel, USS Forrest Sherman, which wants to come to Cambridge.  He said Mr. Singelstad told him on the phone today that the Committee voted on it and they didn't want to talk about it.  Mike Thielke asked about the relevance of this particular vessel coming Cambridge with respect to their request.  At the meeting they did not dismiss anything.  They discussed it and there were questions raised as to the likelihood of this vessel coming to Cambridge.  Commissioner Knox said the committee should be disbanded and a new one formed in fairness to the whole community.  The committee can come to Council with their facts, findings, and thoughts and then Council can make their decision.

Commissioner Sydnor said he will concur with Commissioner Knox.  He thinks Jane Devlin would have been highly qualified to serve on the committee.  She could not be on it because she is on the Ethics Committee.

Mayor Rippons said the committee will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the tug boat docking at Long Wharf and/or Sailwinds.  They will also discuss the option of utilizing the area for the USS Forrest Sherman.  They call it the Tug Boat Committee; however they will discuss effective utilization of all City-owned or City-controlled (Sailwinds) resources.  Commissioner Brooks said since this is going to affect the entire City of Cambridge, we need a more diverse group made up of at least two representatives from each ward.   Mike Thielke asked about the Board of Directors for Sailwinds Park.  Mayor Rippons said the Board handles the day-to-day activities; they are not there to make policy commitments. 

Commissioner Knox made a motion to disband this committee and start all over with a minimum of one/maximum of two member(s) from every ward of our City.  Commissioners Brooks and Travers both said it should be two people.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.   Commissioner Knox apologized for not picking up on the conflict at the last meeting.  Jo Chapman said she will remove herself from the committee.  Commissioner Knox corrected his motion to be two members from each ward and they cannot be from the same household.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Cephas said they are not blaming Jo Chapman.  He would like to hear her report.  Jo Chapman said only four people were interested in serving on the committee. They have only met once since they were appointed two weeks ago.  It was initially a fact-finding mission.  They were going to ask for a letter of support from the City for the Sailwinds Park Board to negotiate with Atlantic Maritime School for a multi-year lease for docking right for the tug and the barge at the State pier at Sailwinds Park.  Docking would be side-by-side maintaining approximately half of the pier for other marine vessels.  They would be able to move out temporarily for larger vessels.  They would not interfere with events at Sailwinds Park or vessels that come there on a regular basis.  Long Wharf was rejected because of the comments brought up by the Skipjack Nathan and by Jane Devlin, representing the West End Citizens Association.  They were concerned that the tug boat activities would interfere with recreational boat activities, other recreational activities at Long Wharf, and also hamper the docking and exiting of the Nathan.  The State pier appears to be a fairly good pier that is under-utilized and available. It was originally rejected as a site was for safety reasons.  There was a report done by KCI Engineering in March 2005 which identified repairs needs and some safety hazard issues.  The report was requested because there were sink holes and they needed to find out what was causing the sink holes.   Apparently movement in the pier was causing it.  The sink holes were filled to prevent tripping hazards for people.  There are no noticeable defects along the pier that can be seen.  There have been no problems with docking at Sailwinds. Speaking to maritime professionals who are on the committee but will no longer be on the committee, the pier as it stands now is considered to be in relatively good condition and very comparable to most piers, or better than most piers, that they have seen in many other cities.  There are things that need repairing; however, they did not seem to preclude the docking of a tug boat.  The engineer did not do a thorough inspection.  They will send a proposal to Mr. Pritchett outlining what that kind of an inspection would cost.

The tug boat would bring jobs and job training opportunities to Cambridge.  It would bring in revenue for Sailwinds Park.   It would support future requests for State, Federal, and private funds to repair the pier for future generations.  The school would help promote the maritime commerce of the Eastern Shore.  It could also be a tourist attraction.  They did not feel that operating the State pier as a docking facility would preclude the development of that property, if so decided by the City, as a private property for hotels for restaurants.  Because the pier is currently being used as-is by large vessels, they did not see that repairing the pier was necessary to continue to use it for an additional vessel. However, efforts to gain funding for repairing the pier should begin as soon as possible. The Atlantic Maritime School is fully insured.  The lease of the Sailwinds property goes until 2009.  The current rate for the vessels is $1 per foot per day.  If the tug boat was to dock there, they would negotiate with the Sailwinds Board for a rate that would seem appropriate between the parties.   

NEW BUSINESS

Discuss Street Light Installation on Rock Drive (approved by Council)-David Pritchett said he met with Commissioner Sydnor on Friday to discuss this.  There is a difference between this light installation request and all the ones we usually do.  There is a very small (approx. 80-ft) frontage on Rock Drive that was annexed.  No pole exists within the proper location to install a light to assist this property.  Usually the light is installed for free and the City pays the approximately $300 per year maintenance costs.   The City will have to pay approximately $1100 to install the pole.  It doesn't seem to assist anyone else but the single property owner.  Commissioner Sydnor said the City is in the process of annexing that particular area.  If we annex it, we will have to put poles there.  We are very close to that process being completed.  There will be a few more meetings with the residents of the area.  David Pritchett said installing the one pole now could make it out of sequence when they install the other ones. Choptank Electric has not looked into it yet.  Commissioner Cephas said the resident in question submitted a letter to the City and has come before Council.  He thought we were on the right path to put a light out there.  He is the Lighting Committee person and nobody said a word to him about the light.  Commissioner Sydnor said David Pritchett found out the costs involved and stated that he wanted to inform Council about them.  Commissioner Brooks said Council voted on this so it has already been approved. She is not willing to sit here and reverse that approval.  It is a done deal.  LaBelle Cane said the lady was here about 3 or 4 weeks ago and Council said everything was all plain and she was going to get her lights the next week or the week after that.  Now they are saying they are going to start from scratch.  They have to get their act together.  Commissioner Sydnor said they are not saying they have to start from scratch.  LaBelle Cane said they should have taken care of business before they opened their mouth.  Mayor Rippons said he didn't believe anyone said she would have it the next week.  Commissioner Brooks said she has no intention of taking her vote back.  They already voted and informed the family that there will be a light installed at her particular residence.  She would like David Pritchett to start the sequence so that if that particular area is annexed, the light will not be out of sequence. 

Introduction of Ordinance to Amend Section 10-6 to Permit Taxicab License to Individuals with Records for Certain Felony Convictions-Ed Kinnamon said Rob Collison has drafted an ordinance after speaking to Chief Malik to obtain his input.  The language has been changed to indicate that no such license shall be issued to, or be held by, any person who is not a person of good character or to one who has been convicted of a felony crime of violence or a felony drug distribution for a period of 36 months after said conviction or for a period of 36 months after the completion of the period of incarceration for said felony, whichever period is greater.  Currently the Code states that no person convicted of a felony could ever have a permit to operate a cab.  Since then, we have had an individual who desired to do that.  The situation he was involved in was 18 or 19 years ago.  We were not aware of his record when his permit was issued last year. The permit expires this weekend.  Mr. Collison said there are provisions that Council can allow, under emergency situations, where they don't have to have two readings of the ordinance; they can just have one.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to accept the reading of the ordinance as is, and allow it to be read as an emergency ordinance.  Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Brooks said with the new ordinance it states that you would not be able to apply for a taxi cab license if you have been convicted of a felony drug violation for a period of 36 months.  She could definitely understand it if someone was using drugs and wanted a taxi cab license and they were putting someone's life at risk.  When someone wants to vote, it states they can vote once they have completed their probation.  She thinks the same should hold for anyone who applies for a taxi cab license as long as it wasn't a conviction for drug use.  Chief Malik said the time period was chosen to make sure the person stays on the straight and narrow.  If they are distributing drugs, we don't want them to use a taxi cab.  The motion passed unanimously.  Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the ordinance.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from the Choptank River Lighthouse Committee for the City to Waive All Permit Fees for the Lighthouse-Mayor Rippons said they have asked to re-schedule this item.

Introduction of Ordinance to Amend Section 8-21 to Prohibit Noise Disturbance Arising from Construction/Power/Lawn Equipment Between the Hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.-Ed Kinnamon said this would be changing the hours for operating equipment.  It used to be prohibited from 10:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.  It has been lowered to 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m.  The second reading and vote will be at the next Council meeting. 

Request to Abandon Alley Behind Holland Avenue-David Pritchett said he spoke to the resident about the alley.  The problem is that this is a totally private alley.  They have specified in their deed the ownership of their portion of the alley.  It is not City business.  It is a civil matter.  Rob Collison always advises that if any one person requests an alley to remain open, it shall remain open.  If they restrict it, it is a civil matter and the City does not have any say in it.  Mayor Rippons asked Ed Kinnamon to send a letter to the resident making the request.

Request from Portside Seafood Restaurant for Noise Variances for the Summer Series of Sunday Dock Parties from 2:00 p.m. Until 7:00 p.m. on June 4, June 25, July 16, August 13, and September 3, 2006-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Chief Malik said they have not received any complaints that he is aware of.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from CBYRCA  to Use Water Hose and Have Gates Open at Great Marsh Park on Saturday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 4th -Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Consideration of Addendum to Lease Agreement for Liberty Village Empowerment Center-Ed Kinnamon said at the last meeting there was discussion with Mrs. Saunders looking to get a 5-year commitment to allow them to have the lease for 5 years. Mr. Collison found that the lease officially began in 2003.  He is requesting that they be given the additional 7 years to complete the 10-year lease.  Ed Kinnamon said Mrs. Saunders does not have any problem with this.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the addendum.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously

Approve Financial Statement for March 2006-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the financial statement.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3900 - Susquehanna Fire Equipment -- $5,400 for SCBA Re-certification for RFC-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3894 - Delmarva Fire Apparatus - Install Lightbars, Consoles, Electrical Switching on Patrol Vehicles - $2,500 (CPD)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Commissioner Knox thanked everyone for coming.

Commissioner Sydnor said DPW is in desperate need of a tractor.  The one we have is out of service.  It is old and will cost $7,000 to replace the motor. David Pritchett has researched and found one.  They need it before the budget is approved for FY2007.  They were planning on putting $70,000 in the budget so they could replace the tractor.  He asked Ed Kinnamon if funds would be available if Council approves the purchase.  David Pritchett said the DPW mechanics found the motor could not be repaired.  An engine re-build facility agreed.  A third company agreed that it was beyond repair. The tractor was purchased 11 years ago for $13,000. A new motor would cost $7,000; however, there are other problems with the tractor.  The tractor is used for grass cutting and maintenance of the stormwater drainage ditches. This work should begin next week.  The tractor they are looking at is stronger in horsepower and structure.  The base price of the tractor is $19,500.  The one that came in has a front loader on it.  Because of the bush-hog, you have to have the bucket or you have to pay $1,000 for weights on the front.  If they buy this one, they will be able to wait a couple of years without having to buy the other tractor they have budgeted $70,000 for this year.  The total cost of the tractor would be $24,261.50 which can be purchased as an emergency purchase.  He found a similar tractor for $28,618 without the front bucket.  Mayor Rippons asked if there are any State contracts they could use.  David Pritchett said there are not any on this level of tractor.  Mayor Rippons asked what funds from DPW's budget could be repositioned.  David Pritchett said Ina Sampson is on vacation this week; however, he will work on it through City Hall.  He believes he will be able to find the major portion of the funds within the budget.  Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase under emergency considerations for the tractor.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox asked if the tractor would be operating through the City streets and asked if the bucket is detachable.  The bucket would require the tractor to have a larger turning ratio and will also impair the operator's visibility.  David Pritchett said the turning ratio is the highest of any tractor constructed.  It is a 55-deg turning ratio.  It has 4‑wheel drive which they do not have on the tractor they currently use.  They often get stuck in the wet ditches.  The bucket can be detached.  Commissioner Knox said he would recommend to Council to approve the additional funding for the weights so the bucket could be removed when they are not using.  David Pritchett agreed.  Commissioner Sydnor amended his motion to include the allocation for the weights.  Commissioner Travers seconded the amended motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Sydnor said a citizen came to him with a concern about Leonard Lane going toward Glasgow.  A section of the road is very narrow and they suggested limiting the parking to one side only.  He suggested the Traffic and Safety Committee look at this concern.

Commissioner Sydnor said Council received a letter from a gentleman downtown concerning the flashing traffic lights and accidents.  He asked that this be looked into also.  David Pritchett said they are getting ready to request to go to bid for the three synchronized controllers. The lights will then change and be synchronized with the other two in that section. The project should take from 6 to 8 weeks to be completed.   

Commissioner Sydnor said people are beginning to call about Clean-Up Week.  Council will set a date at the next meeting.

Commissioner Brooks asked that Anne Roane come before Council to give an update on the Christ Rock area.  The residents have been contacting her and want to know what is going on.  They need to have another meeting concerning the annexation. 

Ed Kinnamon reminded Council and the public of the proposed budget meeting on Wednesday, April 26th at 6:00 p.m.  This meeting is open to the public.

Robert Smith, a chief inspector for an inspection agency that operates out of Delaware, said they are currently approved to do inspections in Dorchester County.  He said he would like to present a packet of information to Council to make them aware of the services that he can provide as a private inspection agency that could possibly do inspections on behalf of the town for new construction.  Their inspectors are qualified by a national certified qualification organization.  They have been in business for about 20 years and perform building code inspections, electrical inspections, and plumbing inspections.

Gordon Hill asked if the City was proceeding with the contract to do the marina expansion.  Mayor Rippons said it is.  Mr. Hill asked if removing the mole is included in the contract.  Mayor Rippons said it is.  Mr. Hill asked if the City went before the HPC to ask approval of this.  David Pritchett said they have been before the HPC.  It was all part of the original preliminary work out of the design.  Mr. Hill asked if they have a certification of appropriateness.  David Pritchett said they don't have a hard copy.  He doesn't know if it was a complimentary discussion with them to receive their input.  Mr. Hill said if the City is not exempt from being there, before the contract even started they should have been before the HPC to get approval. David Pritchett said whatever has been required has been accomplished.  He will look in the file.  Mr. Hill said he was at the last meeting and they said they had never given a certificate for the City to do that work.  Mr. Hill asked if they were going to stop work or get a certificate.  David Pritchett said they do not plan to stop work; it would be extremely costly.  He will look back into what was approved in the records.  Commissioner Brooks said if we have to fall under the HPC rules legally, should we be working if we do not have a certificate.  David Pritchett said he was not prepared to discuss this topic and he does not know what was in the file concerning the HPC.   Mr. Hill said in Section 20-20, Chapter 7, it states before any construction begins they are supposed to have a certificate.   Gage Thomas asked if HPC jurisdiction ends at the bulkhead.  An unidentified woman from the audience answered yes.  Mr. Hill said it is part of the bulkhead and they are going to remove part of the bulkhead.  Mayor Rippons said Mr. Pritchett will look into it.

Marti Tomey asked if the noise ordinance applies to Waste Management and emptying dumpsters. David Pritchett said to his knowledge it hasn't typically applied in all jurisdictions for sanitation purposes.  They are able to achieve most of the pick-up and they target the congested areas first prior to the rush hour traffic.  He will discuss it with Rob Collison and report back to Council.

Mayor Rippons thanked the citizens for the huge turnout at the election and for the support of his position.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:55 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, April 24, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

 

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer