• 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

May 24, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on  May 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, 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 May 8, 2006 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.


Delmarva Community Services - Affordable Housing Rehabilitation-This public hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner on Thursday, May 18, 2006. Adam Xenides said they are requesting $300,000 from the Department of Housing and Community Development to start a housing rehabilitation program in the City of Cambridge. Last year they received a grant for $255,000 for a County-wide housing rehabilitation program. They are finding that 44 percent of the applicants are coming from the City. With the average housing rehab cost of $10,000 to $15,000, they do not have enough money to fund everyone. They currently have 37 applicants who live in Cambridge. They are requesting $300,000 from the Department of Housing and Community Development; $15,000 from the City of Cambridge (cash match); and Delmarva Community Services will contribute $19,000 in in-kind services. The in-kind services will include in-take work, inspections, and administration.

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked if the cash match they are requesting from the City is a new procedure to the block grant program. She asked were the funds are coming from. Adam Xenides said asking for assistance from the City is not a new requirement. It has always been a requirement. To score the highest number of points on the application, CDBG requires a 25 percent match. Delmarva Community Services is only requesting a 10 to 12 percent match. They didn't ask for the entire 25 percent because it is a large amount of money. The in-kind match from Delmarva Community Services covers the in-take work for the applications. If the folks are not eligible because they do not own the home or do not have homeowner's insurance, they work with them to get funds from other programs such as CDA or the lead reduction programs. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked if the funds were strictly for homeowner occupied houses. Adam Xenides said that is correct. Portia Johnson-Ennels said they are coming to the municipality asking for their help for matching funds and not doing the whole matching funds themselves. She asked why Delmarva Community Services couldn't do the whole matching funds themselves instead of asking the municipality since they are not actually helping the entire community; they are only helping a segment of the community who are homeowners. In our community the percent, according to housing, is more rental than homeownership. Adam Xenides said they are asking the City for the funds because it is a benefit to the City to spend $15,000 to receive a $300,000 grant. It is a good investment. Delmarva Community Services will spend $19,000 in in-kind services. Portia Johnson-Ennels said they are missing a large percentage of the people in Cambridge because they are renters. They are not doing anything whatsoever to help them. The only segment of it, but he is not saying that it is an initial part of it, is the lead because most of the people who live in housing are renters and they have the lead program. That is a small segment. The City has already taken on another way of going about doing it. She is looking out for the other people. Everybody is not a homeowner but they do live in houses that need some type of work to it. If they are asking for her tax dollars, she wants them to help 100 percent of the community not just 65 or 55 percent of them. Adam Xenides said he understands her concern. Especially with the block grants, it is a tough justification to spend Federal dollars on rental properties that are owned by landlords. They have to prove their income and cash flow to justify spending Federal dollars. If you spend Federal dollars on rental properties, then there is going to be income eligibility requirements on those rents. Portia Johnson-Ennels said they came before the County several years ago for a program like this. As a resident of the City, she is also a part of the County. There should not be a segregation where they did the County first and now they are coming into the City. It should have been all inclusive at that time. Mayor Rippons said the grant that was issued through the County was inclusive of all City residents. As Adam has related, 44 percent of the applications are from the City. It is not mutually exclusive. Portia Johnson-Ennels said on the first one that they got on this type of issue, the City of Cambridge was not included. Adam Xenides said they received two Community Development Block Grants. The first one was for $100,000 because there was not an existing housing program in Dorchester County. That grant was for Dorchester County and included all the municipalities. The latest grant they received for $255,000 includes the municipalities also. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she is not for this. They have to reach in the coffers. She said Mayor Rippons made a statement at the last meeting that the streets of Cambridge need to be paved. She would rather see the streets of Cambridge paved than doing a matching fund for a non-profit organization.

Gage Thomas asked if there was a prior grant for rental housing. Mayor Rippons said there has not been one. Gage Thomas asked if it is possible to get one. Mayor Rippons said there would be if someone wishes to undertake it. As Adam said, that criterion is very stringent as far as reporting. Delmarva Community Services has seen a tremendous need within the City. They approached the City and said they would like to apply under this round as an extension to what they are doing. Gage Thomas said no one program can solve all the housing issues. Just like paving streets, they have to be done in some methodological order and do what you can do with the available funds. This grant seems to be fulfilling a need. Adam Xenides said they are funds for rental properties. The owners of the rental properties will have to submit their financial statements and DCS would have to have some underwriting capability to review their cash flow and justify the funds. Typically it wouldn't be a grant; most of them are loans at a lower interest rate than the current market rate.

Santo Grande said they are working very hard to make sure there is equality here. They don't want to segregate the original funds to just everyone outside the City limits. They are getting ready to start a couple of projects within the City. However, the grant they are holding this public hearing for is for housing strictly inside the City limits.

Commissioner Cephas asked how many applicants they have so far. Adam Xenides said they have had a total of 84 inquiries so far County-wide. Of that, 37 are from the City of Cambridge. With the first $100,000 grant, they completed two rehab projects within the City. With the grant that they just received, they have three bids that just went out and they are getting ready to start construction. They are also within the City limits. For the $255,000 existing rehab grant that they have that is County-wide, it will only cover about 16 projects.

Nobody else asked to speak. Mayor Rippons closed the public hearing.

New Beginnings Youth & Family Services - Program Funds-This public hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner on Saturday, May 20, 2006. Veronica Owens, Executive Director of New Beginnings, said they are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization on Greenwood Avenue. They were established in 2000 with the mission to provide human services programs for youth, young adults, adults, and seniors. Their People of Courage Program was started two years ago. They have graduated three classes so far. It is a 12-week program for young adults that includes financial literacy, nutrition, fitness, workforce development, family skills education, motivational speakers, and trips. They have been able to get 35 percent of their participants in college. Currently they have several students that are matriculating at a 4.0 at Chesapeake Community College. For a lot of the kids, it is the first time in their generation they are going off to college. They are requesting $58,000 in their CDBG application to help continue their programs and services of workforce development, youth programs, and their summer camp. They have a cash match of $85,500 which is secured by Bank of America, Homes for America, the Women's and Girl's Fund, and the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust. Mayor Rippons said at the last meeting that representatives from New Beginnings attended, he recalled that they were asking for $75,000 a year for three years. Veronica Owens said she was not at that meeting.

Nobody else asked to speak. Mayor Rippons closed the public hearing.


Jon Burrell and Larry Bohlen from LGIT to Present Grant Check for Diversity Training-LGIT is the insurance carrier for the City. Jon Burrell said LGIT was created by an act of the Legislature in 1987. Cambridge has been a member since 1988. Their mission is in two areas. One is to provide insurance for local governments in Maryland. The other is to provide training to elected and appointed officials. Because they are a non-profit, if they can figure out ways to train and help people to stay out of trouble, it is going to hold down insurance costs, litigation, and hopefully the taxpayers will be better off in the end. They have had several training sessions in Cambridge. They currently serve 18 counties and 137 municipalities. Their Board has agreed every year to provide non-matching grant money to their membership up to $75,000 per year. Cities provide applications for specific grants focused on training. A committee of elected county and municipal officials review the applications and either approve or decline to approve them. If they decline it, they sometimes offer suggestions to the applicant to modify or amend the application. Larry Bohlen has been their loss control training coordinator for almost two years now. Jon Burrell said Ed Kinnamon makes their job a lot easier. He is very easy to work with and Cambridge is blessed to have him working with them. Odie Wheeler serves on their underwriting committee that defines their policy coverages and helps to determine their pricing. The pricing announcement that they provided to the City in January looks like it is going to hold which is good news. On the liability side they are looking at about a 2 percent increase and on the property side (thanks to the hurricanes) it looks like it will be about 10 percent. They secure their insurance coverage on top with umbrella coverage that they purchase from the national market. Any time there is a disaster like Hurricane Katrina, it will affect the overall marketplace.

Lt. Wayne Bromwell submitted the well put together application. The problem that was presented in the application is that policing in a very culturally-diversified community is often challenging both for the officers and the citizens. Cambridge is experiencing a large increase in Hispanic population which creates new challenges for police officers on the street on a daily basis. The focus here is for cultural diversity training for the police officers. The officers will be exposed to problem solving solutions that may assist them with making positive decisions in a culturally sensitive manner. It will include two full days of action sessions and two half day follow-up sessions. He presented the City a check for $4232.00-the full cost of the training. They will ask Lt. Bromwell to give them a report on how the money was spent. Chief Malik accepted the check on behalf of the City. He thanked LGIT, Jon Burrell, and the Council. The training is needed at the Police Department.

Request from Bay Country Festival Committee for a Noise Variance for Sailwinds Park for June 30th through July 4th (6:00 pm Until 11:00 pm) and to Waive the Fee for a Carnival Permit-Ed Kinnamon said Paul Myers could not be present because he is a new father and is home with his infant son. This is an annual request. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Gertrude White to Discuss Alley Behind Holland Avenue-Commissioner Knox said Gertrude White asked him to read a prepared statement. The statement says she is deeply concerned regarding the possibility of the alley located behind her home being closed. Closing this alley would deny her access to her property. She asked that the alley located on Holland Avenue remain open. David Pritchett said this alley is not owned by the City. It is a private alley owned by the adjoining property owners. This is a civil matter. Rob Collison said absent unanimous consent and agreement by the adjoining property owners, the City has no authority to close it. Commissioner Knox said he spoke to Mrs. White about it but she insisted on having it made part of the public record that she is opposed to having the alley closed.

Portia Johnson Ennels to Give Update on Housing Task Force-The committee determined that Cambridge needs some type of enforceable nuisance ordinance which would allow the proper City departments to enact action to demolish sub-standard houses which are beyond repair. These houses should be replaced with affordable houses compatible with the existing neighborhoods through vacant lot re-sale or other legal means. In June 2005 there was a list of 32 demolitions and 15 condemnations. To the best of their knowledge, one year later, few, if any, have been acted upon. The City needs an occupancy ordinance drafted and enacted that would require all property transfers and all rental changes to have an inspection before permit of occupancy is granted. The inspection would ensure that the house or apartment is suitable for occupancy and repairs or updates needed are made before this is granted. It can be paid for on a fee-basis by the property seller or landlord as determined by the proper City department. The committee requests that a draft of these ordinances be made to the committee for discussion and presentation to the Council. No project can be more important than the quality of the City's housing through reduction of blight and the welfare of the citizens. The committee is working on existing housing-not new housing.

Commissioner Knox asked the status of the nuisance ordinance. Rob Collison recommended that they expand and clarify the definition of nuisance. It would include any unreasonable noise, lighting, or sanitary conditions. Some cities have enhanced penalties for subsequent offenders. The Charter discussed condemnation and demolition. The City could tighten the regulations on properties that have been demolished and the demolition fees have not been paid. The properties could be put on the tax sale list for the collection of the demolition fees even if the people have paid their taxes. The cost for some people to bring their property up to Code is more expensive than paying the violations. Portia Johnson-Ennels said the committee is asking Council's permission to work more closely with Rob Collison to tighten these regulations. Commissioner Knox asked about the procedure after DPW bills a property owner for cutting their lawn. David Pritchett said if they do not pay the bill, a lien is put on the property and then they are stuck with another property to cut. Commissioner Knox asked if the bills could be attached to the tax bill and if they don't pay them, the City could acquire the property. This might be a good form of urban renewal. There are a lot of property owners who do not live in Cambridge. It is time for the property owners to take accountability for their property. If they can't, they shouldn't have it. Rob Collison said he will have drafts ready for the June meeting and then it can be fine-tuned for the next Council meeting after that. Portia Johnson-Ennels reminded Commissioner Travers, Commissioner Cephas, and Commissioner Sydnor that they have not appointed representatives for the committee yet.

Commissioner Cephas asked about the list of 32 homes for demolition. He remembers issues of demolition came up before. Armond Hayward was going to Annapolis to talk about several homes that should be placed in the Historic Register. Portia Johnson-Ennels said the houses that Armond was talking about could be considered historical but they have been boarded up all her life and nothing has been done. It wouldn't be safe for anyone to go inside and do anything. It might collapse on them. David Pritchett said one of the houses was appraised at $2300. That is what you are starting with.

Jane Devlin said the discussion about the properties was during a discussion about expanding the Historic District boundaries. It was basically going to go up High Street and down Pine Street. There is so much more throughout the City that is boarded up. To her knowledge, that has not moved forward. The R/UDAT report is talking about a Target Investment Zone for the Pine Street area. They are concerned about the Code enforcement. At times there will be discussions about whether a house can be rehabilitated and/or demolished. Portia Johnson-Ennels said there have been a lot of issues with DPW. This committee decided that it is time to work together. The housing inspectors will also be working with them. It will be a partnership of the citizens and DPW working for the betterment of housing.

Open Bids for Surveying Consultant Services-Ed Kinnamon reported that the City received eight bids.

Dewberry (Baltimore) -- $17,576

McCrone (Salisbury) -- $36,550

AES Architects (Salisbury) -- $25,500

Andrews Miller & Assoc. (Cambridge) -- $16,800

Lane Engineering (Cambridge) -- $13,600

C&R Professional Land Surveyors (Trappe) -- $8,000

John E. Harms Jr. & Assoc. (Easton) -- $5,525

Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson (Sparks) -- $5,750

Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Open Bids for Turn Out Gear for RFC-Ed Kinnamon said the City received one bid from Personal Protection Equipment Specialists (Lincoln University, Pennsylvania) in the amounts of $2412.20 and $1568.36. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to refer the bids to RFC for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Frank Cooke to Give Tug Boat Committee Report-Frank Cooke read a list of the members of the committee. When they met on May 17th, 11 of the 12 members were present. The group includes a naval architect, a commercial captain, a maritime attorney, Sailwinds Park representatives, and folks from the community. They reviewed the engineering report on the pier at Sailwinds, the lease information on the property, documentation on the destroyer, and documentation on the tug boat/barge operation of the Atlantic Maritime School. He provided Council with a summary sheet that compares the pros, cons, and attributes of the USS Forest Sherman and the Atlantic Maritime School. As they understand it, the Sherman is principally a museum. The tug and barge operation is principally a school. In terms of initial funding, the Sherman is hoping to get funding at the Federal and State level. To date they do not have any funding from public institutions. The Atlantic Maritime School owns the tug boat and they are seeking private funding to acquire the barge plus additional funds to run their operation. Their estimate was that it would take one to two years before the USS Forest Sherman could get here. They will require pier repairs. The Atlantic Maritime School could be up and running probably in less than six months. The US Navy will require pier repairs for USS Forest Sherman to tie up there. His understanding is that the Atlantic Maritime School will take the pier "as is". The school will train groups of people who will come through there on a routine basis. Kurt Wagemann indicated to him that they would probably need about $2 million worth of work to refurbish the ship. They anticipated that the work would be done in Cambridge, so at least some of the money would be going to laborers in Cambridge. In terms of jobs, it is estimated that the destroyer will have 10 full-time staff and about 20 part-time staff. The school will have an officer manager, somebody teaching cooking, and about three crew members to handle the barge and tug. The Sherman would have a clear advantage as far as visitations and money to be spent. More people would come to see it rather than a tug boat operation. If the Atlantic Maritime School went out of business, the barge would be easily gotten rid of as well as the tug boat. However, once the destroyer gets here, it could be quite expensive to remove it if the operation failed. The pier is between 400 and 500 feet. The destroyer is 418-ft long and will take up essentially the entire pier. The tug boat and barge have a maximum length of 110 feet. They would be parked along side one another. Other vessels, such as the one docking there now, would still be able to use the pier.

The Tugboat Committee recommended that the Sailwinds Board be directed to resume their negotiations with the Atlantic Maritime School for the use of the port and facilities at Sailwinds and that the City Council support Sailwinds in those negotiations. Mayor Rippons said since the City holds the lease, they should have someone looking at the lease before it is signed. Mayor Rippons said the State has approved $1 million for the renovation of the bulkhead and pier enhancements.

Commissioner Knox made a motion that the City grant the Sailwinds Board permission to start negotiations with the Atlantic Maritime School. Once the negotiations are under way, the City will have legal counsel at those negotiations. When an agreement is reached between the Atlantic Maritime School and Sailwinds, it would come to City Council for final approval. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Portia Johnson-Ennels, a committee member, said in three years the lease will expire. Maybe with something this positive, the State will extend the lease. James Cornish, a committee member, said they were very concerned about Long Wharf. The motion passed 4:0. Mayor Rippons thanked the committee. Commissioner Knox thanked the committee also. He said he doesn't want them to think they have been released because he is sure other situations may arise again. He would like to call on them again because he thinks they did a very good job.


Choptank River Lighthouse Committee to Request the City to Waive All Permit Fees for the Lighthouse-Rob Collison said at the last meeting, Council directed him to draft an MOU whereby upon completion of the lighthouse, ownership will be transferred or dedicated to the City. The lighthouse committee will be solely responsible for the design, engineering, and construction of the lighthouse at a specific site that the City will approve. The lighthouse committee will be responsible for obtaining all the necessary permits and approvals and the City will waive the permit fees. However, if there is a breech of this agreement, the City will be reimbursed all of the fees. Within 30 days after completion of the lighthouse and issuance of a use and occupancy permit, the committee will transfer the lighthouse to the city for a sum of $1. The transfer will be permanent. The lighthouse committee is planning on establishing an endowment fund for the maintenance of the lighthouse which will help the City offset the cost. During construction and prior to dedication, the lighthouse committee will be responsible for the maintenance, insurance, and security of the facility.

Commissioner Knox said the City will determine at a later date where the lighthouse will be placed. Rob Collison said the fees that the City would waive would be the permit fees, the utility connection tap-in fees, and impact fees, if there are any. David Pritchett said the location will be outside the perimeter of the breakwater. The construction and planning of the marina expansion in no way encompasses the lighthouse.

Rob Collison suggested that the lighthouse committee representatives present the MOU to their full committee before the next City Council meeting. If it is acceptable, they would execute it and have it for City Council's execution and approval at the first meeting in June. The agreement also provides that that the construction should be of a quality and representative of the exhibits that were made to the City.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion honor the request of the lighthouse committee to waive all fees pending the signing of the MOU. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Award Bid for Telephone System for the Public Safety Building-Ed Kinnamon said he and George Hyde drafted the original RFP. The used some assistance from one of the providers to help them in budgeting. It was brought to their attention that the RFP was slanted toward one provider who they asked to help them with budgeting. Therefore, they cancelled that RFP. He then solicited the help of a consultant who is a local businessman with no interest in the bidding of the phone system. He authored the RFP that was used. A pre-bid meeting was held with the potential bidders. After reviewing the six bids that were received, the committee (Ed Kinnamon, George Hyde, the consultant) they discounted three initially. From the three remaining bids that were compared, there was a recommendation made and presented to Council. They did not recommend the lowest bid, but one that was $12,800 higher. The committee recommended the firm of Telewire Communications of Salisbury in the amount of $67,802.95.

Commissioner Sydnor asked about the warranty for the equipment and the hourly rate. The representative from Telewire said there is a one year warranty after which point they would offer the City a maintenance agreement. Their hourly rate is currently priced at $105.00 per hour. They work on a time and materials basis.

Commissioner Cephas said he can recall a time when the lower bidder did not receive the contract. The contractor raised an issue and Council re-visited it and he was awarded the contract. HTC Communications from Hurlock is $12,000 lower. He received a phone call from HTC. They were concerned because they were had a lower bid and felt they were offering the same as Telewire plus more.

The consultant said HTC was the low bidder but the RFP had some clauses in it that stated that it didn't matter if they were the low bidder or the high bidder, they could select the product that they felt was best for the City. They looked at what the City currently uses in some of the buildings and that was Telewire. They also looked at some of the workmanship in the equipment. HTC was VODAVI Phone System and they looked for comparisons in quality. There was a considerable difference in the quality of the phone systems from both the Avaya Group that was bidding and Telewire. HTC was not in the final group. The final three included one from the Western Shore, Inacom, and Telewire. Out of those three, they were all really close. When they got to references, he heard things about how good the people were. Worcester County and Wicomico County do not even bid their projects anymore. They call Telewire. Their training is outstanding. The workmanship was beyond reproach. If he was a taxpayer, he would want that system and that company backing up the emergency management system.

Commissioner Cephas said he was told that HTC's references were not contacted. Mr. Jones said they were out of the final. He contacted one in the very beginning. Egide said they didn't put the system in but they maintain it. Their proposal didn't look as professional as the other proposals. Project management is an integral part of this whole process.

Ed Kinnamon said the City has a relationship with Telewire. They have a system in DPW. David Pritchett said the system was put in six or seven years ago and is operating extremely well.

Commissioner Knox asked the Telewire representative if she charges for travel time. The representative said they charge a flat rate of $45 for a non-maintenance customer but not for warranty issues. Commissioner Knox said that means they will charge him $105/hour plus $45 to drive out of the parking lot. He asked about response time for working out bugs in the system. He is very concerned about how the taxpayer dollars are going to be served and spent. He thinks they should look at all the other ones and the warranties they offer, travel time, hourly charges, etc. He feels they are basing this recommendation on one individual experience.

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked Chief Malik about the system that is in the current police department building. Chief Malik said their system is very old and is Meridian for the phones and Verizon for the 9-1-1 center. They operating system is probably 20 years old. Portia Johnson-Ennels said a one year contract is not a good contract. They need more than one year for a warranty. It took five years to get the old 9-1-1 system straight and they ended up not being able to use the system. She hopes they look very closely at the warranties and come up with a memorandum of agreement.

Commissioner Cephas said it is his understanding that the system they plan to use at the new safety building is identical to the system that is in place in Secretary (Warwick Manor). He understands about the way the bid was presented but if the job is what the City's wants, he would bypass the coffee stains.

Frank Bittner, representing HTC, said he initially started doing this as a volunteer. To make it easier, HTC withdraws. They are not going to pursue this any further. Whatever the Council decides is fine. When he got out of high school, he was trained by people from Western Electric and Bell System. He was part of the team that installed the very first privately-owned 9-1-1 system for Anne Arundel County police headquarters. That was with Executone Atlantic. The first bid was tainted because it was written by the vendor who is now recommended for the system. There are mistakes in the current bid. Equipment will have to be substituted and changed as things are discovered. His efforts were to cover every possibility and save the City money in the long run. They are giving the City a 35% mark-up from cost. The City could buy the products directly from the supplier. The other systems are dealer-only items. The consultant only called Egide. He did not call Warwick who has three systems. A lot of local people feel left out from a lot of decisions and the prosperity that is coming to Cambridge. He thinks it is a mistake to leave out the local companies. He spent hundreds of hours putting the bid together. He will offer his support to David Pritchett. He is sorry they had to get a computer expert-not a phone expert. The decision on the system was not made by qualified telephone people.

Commissioner Sydnor asked for confirmation that Mr. Bittner was withdrawing his bid. Mr. Bittner said if Council would like to table this and talk later, he will be happy to talk. There are a lot of mistakes in the bid as it stands because all the homework has not been done by the City in his opinion. There is still confusion how the three departments will work independently and together. Whatever is in this package will have a lot of changes to it simply because it is incorrect information. It was composed by people who are not telephone people.

The Telewire representative said they have spent a good portion of the past 12 years as a Verizon agency themselves. The have a great deal of experience consulting both local and long distance services. She has been the vendor for the long-distance for the City for 6 of those years and has also reviewed their Verizon accounts. She hopes to continue to do it for the other departments. She has already saved the City a great deal of money.

Commissioner Sydnor suggested that Council review all the bids and gather some more information. He asked that Council defer a bid until the next meeting. Commissioner Knox said he would like to know more about what the other companies offer after the sale. He would like to find a professional consulting firm that specializes in doing what we need to do. They need to know every possible thing that we can find out about all these people who have submitted a bid. Frank Bittner said he did bids for Queen Anne County, Talbot County, Chestertown, Denton Service Center, and the State of Maryland centers in both those towns. They had a formula of how much is a telephone after the sale and how much is it to add one line after the sale, etc. He is sure their purchasing people can pull out copies of those bids. Commissioner Knox asked if it is time sensitive. Ed Kinnamon said it is. Mayor Rippons asked for a comparison on the bids, the warranties, and the extended warranties. He also asked to see bid documents from other municipalities. Frank Bittner said he submitted a sheet of concerns with his bid. It has nothing to do with his sale. It is a list of concerns of what should be considered by the City when selecting this equipment and proceeding.

Award Bid for Annual Paving Contract-David Pritchett presented Council with three options because the allotted amount for the FY2007 budget is $300,000. The low bid came in at $409,500. Mayor Rippons said they can take $40,000 from impact fees to get the entire contract with the exception of Leonard Lane. The trucks using the road would adversely affect the new pavement. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to award the contract (less Leonard Lane) to David A. Bramble in the amount of roughly $340,000. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Update on Long Wharf Fountain Renovation-David Pritchett presented Council with two different options. The cascade jet is almost identical to the original pattern when they had the rotating water jets. They evaluated the visibility and wind resistance. Water blows out of the fountain, the fountain dries up and the pump is burned up. This fountain will have a sensor that when it senses over 15 knots of wind, it will automatically shut off. He has an advisory company who will advise him of the maximum height of the water and still function appropriately. Mayor Rippons said they allocated $65,000 this year for this project. David Pritchett said they can renovate the existing fountain or they can build a new fountain. They are almost identical. The present fountain has an extremely bad leak under the ground. His recommendation is to go with the new system and utilize the cascade jet. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to go to bid for the project. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox said he feels the cascade jet would be the way to go because of the wind and at the same time have the one that would go 15 feet. It would be lit-up at night and would be seen from the bridge.

Jane Devlin said she agrees with the cascade. She asked if this has to be reviewed by HPC. Rob Collison said they are keeping the stone structure as it is. David Pritchett said the exterior will be maintained the same. There will be alternations; not in the appearance of the stone, but the internal workings and the top. Mayor Rippons said they will forward the documents to HPC for their review. The motion passed 4:0.


Request from Citizen for Retroactive Relief on Demolition Interest-Rob Collison advised Council that they should not give any retroactive relief. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to deny the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from MTS Broadcasting and Cambridge Motorsports for a Noise Variance for their Bike Show on Friday, June 2nd in the Great Slates Parking Lot (Cambridge Plaza) from 2:00 pm Until 8:00 pm; and a Noise Variance for Their Bike Show at Sailwinds Park on Sunday, June 4th from 1:00 pm Until 3:00 pm-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request from Dorchester Arts Center to Close High Street from Court Lane to Long Wharf on Sunday, September 24th from 11:00 am Until 6:00 pm for Dorchester Showcase and a Noise Variance from Noon Until 5:00 pm-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request to Make Adjustment on the Cost of a Peddler's License for a Seasonal Business-Rob Collison said this would require an ordinance to amend the Code. It cannot be done on a case-by-case basis. Ed Kinnamon said this individual has to pay the City for a license and also has to pay a State fee. He purchases a 6-month license from the City. Mayor Rippons asked the gentleman appear before Council at the next meeting to discuss this further. Commissioner Knox asked Ed Kinnamon to look at neighboring counties because this is seasonal.

Discuss Inspection Procedure-David Pritchett requested permission to return the Long Boat development back to the standard procedure used for everyone. He doesn't feel there is any justification to single them out for a different level of inspection. Rob Collison asked if the standards there are pretty uniform City-wide. There are now two developers on that site. They haven't found anything substantial in the history of this development that warrants them being any different from anybody else. Commissioner Sydnor said they requested a meeting with the developer. David Pritchett said that is being set up for next week. Commissioner Sydnor said he thinks as soon as they can have this meeting, they might be able to expedite the situation. Rob Collison said he thinks the report from the independent inspector indicates that this development was typical of your large developers. He thinks that would support Mr. Pritchett's request.

Resolution for CDBG Application for Delmarva Community Services and Resolution for CDBG Application for New Beginnings Youth and Family Services-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve both resolutions. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Ed Kinnamon asked for clarification that the amount of New Beginnings' request is $58,000. Veronica Owens said that is correct. The motion passed 4:0. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked if the $15,000 match from the City is included in this. Mayor Rippons said it is included. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked where the funds would come from. Mayor Rippons said the $15,000 will come from the general fund in the budget for FY07.

Approve PO 692 - Modular Technologies -- $5,594 for Upfront Charges on Modular Unit for DPW-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve PO 681 - East Jordan Iron Works - $8,983.38 for Paving Risers and Manhole Covers-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve PO 685 - Dell, Inc. - $2,614.40 - Two Computers for DPW-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve Budget Amendment for CPD-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve Financial Statement for April 2006-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.


Commissioner Knox said on the corner of Glasgow and Glenburn the weeds are overgrown and the stop sign is hard to see. The fence running along Glasgow (422 Glenburn) is ready to fall. He asked that this be looked at. On the corner of Travers and Oakley there is a hedge in dire need of trimming.  He asked that this be looked at also.

Commissioner Sydnor said he was contacted by Mr. Walter Bloom concerning an abandoned street or paper street that is connecting Goldsborough Street with Governors Avenue. It is parallel to Lexington. It is about 50 yards from Lexington and probably 200 yards from Race Street. He discussed this with David Pritchett and he doesn't think it will ever be used. The residents have been maintaining this area for 20+ years. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion that the City begin the process of dividing the land among the property owners. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Commissioner Sydnor said the ditches on Bayly Road are in very bad condition. There are carp dying on the side of the ditches and causing a very bad odor. David Pritchett said the County is loaning the City a piece of equipment to remove the overgrowth from the ditches. Then they will thoroughly clean and elevate the ditches appropriately. He thinks it will begin next week. Mr. Tilghman said it is really a mess. He can't understand why they put pipes on one other end and didn't extend them to the other end. The City needs to install pipes and close the ditches. The carp have been in the ditches for a long time. It will cause disease and attract mosquitoes and rats. David Pritchett said they did the first phase of Bayly Road through a grant. They are pursuing grant money to complete the rest of the project. What is left is an easier engineering project than the original part. It will also be a smaller dollar amount. Commissioner Knox suggested moving this up on the list of priorities. The first part was addressed because it was the deepest and the most dangerous.

Commissioner Sydnor asked where the City is with updating the comprehensive plan. David Pritchett said an RFP has gone out.

Commissioner Cephas asked for an update on the street lights. David Pritchett said the lights have all been submitted. He submitted nine lights approximately seven weeks ago. They guarantee a 48-hour turnaround. This is the problem we are having and is unacceptable.

Ed Kinnamon said the City received a letter from Grady Wilson, New Visions Homes, LLC stating that he is interested in purchasing the house located at 703/705 Wright Street so it can be demolished and replaced with a 3-bedroom, 2‑bath affordable house. The selling price would be approximately $139,900. He said he will work with the City toward demolition. He is willing to pay $2,000 for the property. Commissioner Cephas said he and Grady have walked on that street. The house is an eyesore. He suggested selling the house to Mr. Wilson. It will be the beginning of in-fill. Rob Collison asked if the house was bought through grant money. If it is, they have to re-pay the grant. Mayor Rippons said it was a house acquired from Ed James. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to start the process. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Mayor Rippons said the City already has funding for the demolition. David Pritchett said Mr. Wilson has worked for a few years now to acquire the entire Wright Street. This is what the City aimed for when they started demolishing homes. If that house is demolished, the lot is not a buildable lot. He worked with Mr. Wilson and designed how many houses can go in. It would be less than before but they will all be new rancher homes. It will be the first street of all new homes if he can just get this roadblock out of the way. Rob Collison it will have to be advertised as excess property. He can advertise it for the June 19th meeting. The motion passed 4:0.

Ed Kinnamon said the City's portion to pay for the marina project will be approximately $3.2 million. That is the gross amount minus the grants and Cambridge Yacht Club's portion. This will require a bond. He contacted the City's bond counsel and he needs to introduce the declaration of official intent. Rob Collison said it is a formal resolution. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the declaration of official intent (resolution). Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. Commissioner Knox asked if we have any written commitment contract between the City and the Yacht Club. He also asked if they were bonded in any way. Ed Kinnamon said Rob Collison is working on it.

James Cornish said he is very concerned about the grass that is growing up around the house next to his house. His address is 500 Hubert Street. It is on the corner of Park Lane. David Pritchett said he will look at it.

James Cornish, Vice President of the Dorchester County Aids Foundation, said he presented information to Council earlier in the year. On June 7th their Foundation will be celebrating 13 years of working in the community. He asked for a donation to help them fulfill their mission to provided need services for the disadvantaged men and women.

Jane Devlin said earlier this evening Council discussed the decision with the tug boat committee and the process it will through. She said it is her understanding that any decision of the Sailwinds Board needs to be passed through the City Council. Mayor Rippons said that is correct. Procedurally, she understands there are some new members of the Sailwinds Board. She asked if they were approved by the City Council. Troy Hill said he would be one. Shirley Tarbox would be another. Mayor Rippons said he believes there is a letter forthcoming from Sailwinds. Commissioner Knox said the actual procedure is that the Board has to be approved by City Council. Jane Devlin said West End Citizens Association always stands of procedural which is why the issue was brought up tonight.

Jane Devlin thanked the Council for what they did with the R/UDAT team. It was an extreme success. The work that was done hit the targeted areas that for some reason have not been prioritized before. She requested that the R/UDAT implementation discussion on the June 20th work session. The team will come back in 6 months and 12 months to make sure we are doing what we committed to do.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said when the housing task force started, Grady Wilson was a part of it. She is proud that the City took the initiative with Wright Street to let a local developer put his vision of what Cambridge should look like. He has been doing it with other properties in that area.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:35 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting  May 24, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer