• 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

February 23, 2009

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

February 23, 2009

 

 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 23, 2009 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 Knox, Sydnor, Stout, Thomas, and Hanson.

 

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2009 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Representatives from Pine Street Committee to Give Annual Report-Octavene Saunders read the report that was submitted prior to the meeting. In 2008, there were 35 community organization meetings in the Empowerment Center. They networked with 16 agencies and had more than 570 visitors. The programs included a Saturday Recyclable Arts Program for youth; Summer Youth Enrichment Program; Continuing Education; and a Community Outreach Program serving a hot meal and distributing clothing. There have been at least 1,200 volunteer hours donated by no less than 20 volunteers. During 2008, their organization is responsible for at least $11,617 spent in the local economy. The Pine Street Committee strives to empower citizens to improve their economic and family networking skills for the betterment of the community and themselves. Their Board consists of 13 members. A breakdown was provided for the $5,000 donated by the City for the Youth Enrichment Programs.

 

Commissioner Sydnor said he and Commissioner Stout met with Mrs. Saunders and Mr. Cornish and mainly one of the concerns they had was the rate that the Pine Street was charging for using the building. He understood that the fee to cover the overhead was $350. They will do a walk-through to see what in-kind services can be provided by the City. The City wants to make sure the building is available to the public at a reasonable cost. Jimmy Cornish said they never received a response on what the City will do. They are just trying to stay above water because they do not get any support from the City. Commissioner Sydnor said the Pine Street Committee provided him with a list of in-kind services and a budget they may present to the City to help defray some of the costs the Pine Street Committee now incurs that the City would be able to pass a reduction of the costs to the end user of the building. A date will be set for the walk-through.

 

Commissioner Thomas asked about reviewing financial statements to give the Council a more complete picture and understanding of the success of The Pine Street Committee. Octavene Saunders asked if the City was going to provide them with money to make it worth their time if they open that up and come before Council to give them a full disclosure. It is not something the City is entitled to unless they are going to be significantly funding The Pine Street Committee. Their 990 statement is public information. She does not think The Pine Street Committee needs to release to Council the list of donors and how much they contribute. Commissioner Thomas said the Council is getting ready to prepare their FY10 budget. Every department will have a budget showing both income and expenses. Commissioner Knox said he feels they need to know how the taxpayers' dollars given to The Pine Street Committee are used.

 

Multi-Cultural Festival to Request Permission to Hold Their 3rd Annual Event on April 25, 2009-Octavene Saunders said the festival is put on by several community groups. They are asking that Pine Street be closed from Cross Street to Cedar Street on Saturday, April 25th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are also asking for additional trash cans, the street swept by the street sweeper, and a variance from the noise ordinance for the stated hours. Commissioner Stout made a motion to approve the requests. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Vince Dobson to Request Permission to Hold 'Walk for Christ' from Cambridge South Dorchester High School to Great Marsh Park on Saturday, May 30, 2009 from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm-Mr. Dobson said the group will meet at Great Marsh, walk on Somerset Avenue, Leonard Lane, cross Cosby Avenue to Greenwood Avenue, up Oakley Street to Hambrooks and back to Great Marsh. They will have a community picnic at the park. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the request and included a noise variance. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

 

Discuss Sanitary District's Request to Wave Impact Fees for Existing Home Sites at the Madison-Woolford Sanitary Sewer Extension-Rob Collison reported that this topic was discussed at the Council's February 17th meeting. He told Council he would inquire about any potential grant money. Ms. Chabot told him that at this time, she did not know of any Federal Stimulus Funds that would directly apply to this issue. George Hyde said a few years ago when the fee structure was re-negotiated with the Sanitary District, an agreement was reached which included payment of these impact fees. The City will have some significant expenses in the next few years at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. If these fees are collected, they would go toward those expenses. Without the impact fees, it would be a greater burden on the City taxpayers. The Maryland Department of the Environment will be requiring enhanced nutrient removal. The State should fund 90% of the cost. The City's portion could be $1 million. Rob Collison said he has no problem from a legal standpoint if Council wishes to try to assist the situation by spreading it over a period of time, even if it is interest free.

 

Robert Tieder, Chairman of the Sanitary Commission, said if they do not get any abatement of the fees, two things will happen. The grant people will either have money or they will not. If they do not, they are also assisting the Sanitary District in setting up a long-term bond issue at 2.75% over 40 years. When the meet on March 9th, they will find out how much funding is available. The estimated cost of the project is $8 million. There will be 353 lots of land involved. If the roughly $900,000 in impact fees will become part of the debt structure, then they question if it is affordable to the people who will be using it. If the City spreads it over a period of time, it will be done through their own bonding issue. The question will be if the portion that is not covered by bond is greater than they are willing to allow the Sanitary District to encumber a debt for. He has been told they will receive approximately 90% grant funding for the $8.6 million. The Madison-Woolford people will still owe $1.4 million. Then there will be the additional $900,000 that they will either have to find funding for or it will be part of the debt structure which will probably make it a cost-prohibitive program.

 

Commissioner Thomas favored Rob Collison's suggestion that the $2,800 impact fee be spread out over a period of 5 years if the funding cannot be found elsewhere. Commissioner Knox said he does not want to put too much tax burden on the taxpayers of Cambridge. Commissioner Knox made a motion that Council move forward with a Memorandum of Understanding and not abate the impact fees. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox added to the motion that Council will allocate 100,000 gallons a day. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the addition to the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Introduction of Annexation Resolution of Approximately 124 Acres of Land Owned by Wyatt Group, LLC Which Has Frontage on Rt. 16 and Woods Road-Sandy McAllister said this parcel is commonly known as the Burton Farm. It is contiguous to the most recent annexation by the City. They are seeking HC (Highway Commercial) zoning for the section of the parcel consistent with the contiguous properties on the south side of Route 16 and GC (General Commercial) for the southernmost part across from the in-patient psychiatric hospital. GC would accommodate offices and other projects. Once annexed and re-zoned, the site would be subject to all site plan reviews and approvals consistent with any other property in town. None of the property is within the Critical Area. There has not been a wetlands delineation. Given the current definitions, it would surprise him if somewhere on the site aren't non-tidal wetlands. Being an agricultural parcel, they have farmed the site for such a long time that whatever drainage or wetlands issues they find, they should be easy to deal with. It will have to be developed carefully because it is still within the Blackwater Watershed. Commissioner Hanson made a motion to refer this annexation request to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Approve Financial Statement for January 2009-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the financial statement. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

 

Commissioner Sydnor asked Ed Kinnamon to discuss the procedure for encumbering funds with the Department Heads and a date the information is due to Council.

 

Ed Kinnamon said the City departments will present their budgets on Wednesday, March 11th beginning at 5:30 pm. The community-based organizations that have requested funding will make presentations on Monday, March 16th beginning at 6:00 pm.

 

Gary Newcomb said MUC has received a request from the State Department of the Environment Water Supply Program, in conjunction with the possible stimulus money, to forward a list of projects that they may have which could be done with stimulus funds. They will be submitting an application on behalf of the City. The projects they will be incorporating into this application are recommended improvements from their recent Master Plan revision. A number of items were recommended to basically improve fire protection and available fire flow to certain areas in the City. The recommended improvements amount to about $5.6 million. A water audit was required to be included with the application. Mayor Stanley said she and Mr. Kinnamon are working on a plan for other stimulus funds to include areas like Christ Rock. Commissioner Knox asked about the water and sewer lines under High Street. Gary Newcomb said it is possible but they have not been included in the current application. The water lines date back to 1893. Commissioner Knox asked him to look into it.

 

Kisha Petticolas commended the Police Department on their quick response when her home was burglarized this weekend. The patrol officers worked very quickly and the detectives have been on the ball and in constant communication with her.

 

Octavene Saunders asked the procedure if a homeowner wants to have a permit (appeal) fee abated. Ed Kinnamon said normally requests would be taken to the Council. Rob Collison said he does not know of an ASOP or anything on the books regarding appeal fees. There is an ASOP with regard to refunding, reimbursement, or reduction in building permit and inspection fees for 501(c)3 organizations. Mrs. Saunders would love to see something on the books.

 

Octavene Saunders asked about the ordinance the Housing Committee formulated a few years ago based on a procedure in Baltimore City to be used when the police are constantly called to a rental property.. Rob Collison said he drafted the proposed ordinance; it was reviewed by the Housing Committee and was then referred to the Police Board or Police Department. Based on the structure of the ordinance from Baltimore City, Chief Malik had a concern because it put a tremendous responsibility and obligation on the Police Department designating a property as a 'nuisance property' and subjecting it to much higher penalty provisions. He will review it again with the Chief. Mrs. Saunders asked them to find a way to make it workable before the summer comes.

 

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:15 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 23, 2009, insofar as I personally am aware.

 

 

 

Edwin C. Kinnamon

Clerk & Treasurer