• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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City Council Minutes

June 19, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 19, 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 June 12, 2006 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Update on Community Development Block Grants - Downtown Study (also known as R/UDAT) and Traffic Study-Notice of the public hearing was published in the Daily Banner on June 9, 2006. Anne Roane said the R/UDAT study has been completed. There were 123 stakeholders interviewed in a 5-day charrette process. The director of the team was the Director of Planning in Birmingham. His co-leader was an architect from Miami. They gave the City a tremendous amount of insight. They helped articulate what the community wants to see and where they want to see Cambridge go in the future. Copies of the final report are available on the internet. Hard copies are available at several locations for the public. On Tuesday, June 20th, the City will hold a work session to discuss implementation strategies of the report. This comprehensive report will be adopted as part of the comprehensive plan.

The consultant for the traffic study will be producing a draft of their final plan for in-house review. Anne Roane and George Hyde will review the draft and distribute it to the Planning Commission for their input. They will then hold a public meeting to present the plan to the public. The public's input will then be addressed. After that, the report will be finalized. They will also be purchasing software for the future traffic studies. When they do future traffic studies, they will be able to put that data into the model that was created by the computer program to help the City identify future impacts and also mitigation strategies. This report will also become part of the comprehensive plan.

Nobody from the Council or the public had any questions or comments. Anne Roane suggested that citizens call her if they had any questions. The public hearing was closed.

APPOINTMENTS

Natalie Chabot to Discuss Heritage Area Grant Opportunities-Natalie Chabot showed Council a new birding guide with a Cambridge trail that is available at the visitor's center. They will also be doing a water trail guide and a biking guide. They have been making some improvements to the Sailwinds Park East playground. The last time she came before Council, she discussed an electronic kiosk. They have received a grant award to fund part of the project. From the heritage side, a mini-grant round is coming up with a September 1st deadline. Main Street has been a recipient in the past. A group working on historic Cambridge signs was also awarded money. They will hold a workshop on July 26th for folks who want to apply for this grant.

The capital and non-capital grants that are done on an annual basis will have a February 7th deadline. The non-capital grants allow up to $50,000. Cambridge has received several of these awards through the Heritage Area Program. The capital grants are up to $100,000. Coming up with a match is significant. Those grants are open to local governments and non-profits.

The Dorchester First! program has expanded their guidelines. Previously the loans were only available up to $5,000. They are now up to $20,000. There is a variable rate from prime up to 5% and the terms are negotiable.

Peg Wolffe thanked Natalie Chabot because the mini-grant has helped them get enough money to put up the "Welcome to Historic Cambridge" signs which will be put in place on June 27th or June 28th.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Award Bid for GPS System-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to award the bid to the low bidder, DiCarlo Precision Instrument, Inc., in the amount of $29,233. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. George Hyde said this system will help the City map their utilities (water, sewer, storm drainage) around town. The motion passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Approve FY 2007 Budget-Commissioner Knox made a motion to adopt the City's General Operating Budget for FY 2007 in the amount of $22,572,108. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2007 in the amount of $4,946,710. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Cephas made a motion that the City's Real Property Tax remain "as is" from last year, the same as this year, which is $0.676 per $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Brooks made a motion to set the City's Business Tax Rate for FY 2007 in the amount of $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation, which is the same as last year. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2007 in the amount of $1,574,555. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Egide USA for a Noise Variance for Their Company Picnic at Great Marsh on August 18th from 12:00 pm Until 4:00 pm-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction of Ordinance to Amend Peddler's License Fees-Rob Collison said at the last meeting a business owner asked for consideration. The drafted ordinance stipulates that there will be a 50-percent discount if the business is subject to a Maryland State Peddler's License fee. This would take the annual license to $100 and the 6-month license to $62.50. He called different municipalities to compare rates. Annapolis has an annual fee of $300 and a daily fee of $15. Easton and Salisbury have fees of only $25 a year. Ocean City does not have one. Council has the discretion to keep the discount the same or change it to whatever they wish. Tonight is just the introduction and first reading of the ordinance. This proposed ordinance would amend Section 10-2, Peddlers, of Chapter 10. Subject to the discount set forth in a new Subsection 3, the fees will remain $50 per day; $125 for a 6-month period; and $200 for an annual license. There would be a new Subsection C3, Discounted Fees. The peddler's fees shall be discounted by 50 percent for all applicants who are required to pay a peddler's fee to the State of Maryland in an amount equal to or greater than the peddler's fee set forth here and above. The applicant must present to the Clerk Treasurer written verification that the State of Maryland has assessed a peddler's fee to the applicant and the State peddler's fee has been paid.

Discuss Location of Proposed Lighthouse-George Hyde said there were several locations considered for the lighthouse. There was more consideration given to locating the lighthouse at the end of the floating breakwater. They have met several times with the Lighthouse Committee. He outlined the problems they found trying to locate the lighthouse on the floating breakwater. The lighthouse will be on a fixed platform. Accessing from the floating breakwater could create a little bit of a problem. They would need a gang-way that would go up and down with the tide. In order to get the permit for the structure, they have to show it is a water-related facility such as a dockmaster's office. It should be aesthetically pleasing to the boaters and people coming across the bridge and be real functional for the marina. Now they are planning to put it off the end of fixed pier A. There was objection to blocking the view corridor coming down High Street. They removed the slips off one side of the floating breakwater. This seems to be the best location for everybody. Two boat slips will be displaced for the platform. It will not hinder or negatively affect navigation getting into the slips. Peg Wolff said she spoke to the owners of the Cambridge Lady and they were very enthused about tying up against the platform of the lighthouse. They felt it would be good for their business. Other cruise boats could tie up out there also.

Commissioner Knox said he thinks it is a good location, particularly where they are going to have the fuel pumps. Commissioner Brooks asked if anybody can walk on the floating pier. George Hyde said as far as he knows they can. Commissioner Brooks said she is concerned about unsupervised children walking out there who can't swim. They could fall off the pier and there is nobody who will be there around the clock. Rob Collison said there could be limited access to the breakwater. It could be locked at 6:00 pm with a gate. Commissioner Knox said the lighthouse will be gated. Gage Thomas said most facilities are required to have ladders. They can get back up if they can swim to the ladder. Safety life rings could be posted. George Hyde said they have to have ladders but they can add some safety rings. It will be a lot easier to climb on this than it is to climb up onto the edge of Long Wharf because it will be floating about 18 inches off the water. They would be able to grab hold of the breakwater itself.

Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the site location. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Ed Kinnamon said the Lighthouse Committee has requested that the City consider assisting them with the cost of the engineering to study the requirements of putting the platform for this structure. The cost is $9000 and would be part of the marina expansion. Commissioner Knox suggested splitting the cost. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to assist them. Mayor Rippons said the Committee said there would be no cost to the City. Now they are coming back with this. George Wright, Co-Chair of the Lighthouse Committee, said they are going to build the lighthouse and give it to the City. He feels like he is begging now. They are trying to pinch every dime they have because they are going to need it. Roughly they are talking about $300,000 for the lighthouse. They were unaware of the engineering study. They would be appreciative if the City would fund the study. Mayor Rippons asked George Hyde if they could amend the engineering that has already been done for less than $9,000 to consider the scope of this work. George Hyde said he looked at the proposal and he doesn't know if he can get them to come down on it. He thinks they may be able to get 50 percent from DNR. Rob Collison said they have to be careful what they consider engineering on the marina expansion that would cut into the agreement that was recently passed with the Yacht Club. They would pay 25 percent. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the Yacht Club has been approached with this concern about partial funding. Mayor Rippons said this is the first time it has been presented to anybody. Gage Thomas said this is an integral part of the expansion. They want it properly engineered for public safety and they want it there for a long time. Mayor Rippons said they could apply for a Heritage Area matching grant. It may be feasible to obtain funds through other grant programs. They may be able to use some of the impact fee money because it could be considered with parks and recreation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Mayor Rippons confirmed that the motion is to undertake the additional engineering costs associated with the proposed lighthouse not to exceed $9,000. The motion passed unanimously.

Discuss Community Legacy Applications-Anne Roane said the Community Legacy program has been very beneficial to Cambridge throughout the years. It has funded a lot of our streetscape projects. This past year the City received full funding for three of the five projects they submitted. They were the first and only municipality to receive full funding in the form of a grant. They have a very short time frame for the next round. The grants are due June 30, 2006. She would like to see the City apply for grant funding for a façade treatment that they partnered  with Chesapeake College to redo their rear façade so it becomes more of an entrance. She would also like to re-submit the application for the parking lot behind the college. The college has hired an architect to come up with a design and a final cost. She believes the City will ask for $300,000. She included this project when she spoke to Ed Kinnamon when he was preparing the budget. The second project would be to hire a consultant to create a master plan for the Long Wharf Park. It is a project that came directly out of the R/UDAT study. She anticipates the total project to be under $75,000. Our match would be less than 50 percent of that. Mayor Rippons asked for a total project cost on the Chesapeake College project. Anne Roane said she will get it for him. The president of the college is very supportive of it and knows he will have to put up some of the money. Mayor Rippons asked if the engineering of the lighthouse could be included in the Long Wharf study. Anne Roane said it could be included.

Anne Roane said the three projects they received full funding for were the welcome signs; bringing the Harriet Tubman museum into ADA compliance and a façade and inside treatment including an elevator; and bringing the men's shelter on Gay Street up to code. They were 100 percent grants.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to proceed with the grant application project. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendments for Finance Department-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 3771 - Automated Computer Concepts - Proposals for Public Safety Building - $3,060.00

PO 3910 - Morean's Fire Equipment - Air Masks/Air/Spare Bottles -$106,000 for RFC

PO 3911 - Morean's Fire Equipment - HazMat Capital - $24,224 for RFC

PO 720 - John W. Tieder, Inc. - Traffic Controllers for Three Locations (Academy & Muir / Gay & Poplar / High, Locust, & Glasgow) - $24,990

PO 724 - Johnson, Mirmiram & Thompson, Inc. - Survey Services for Control Monuments - $10,000

PO 725 - DiCarlo Precision Instrument, Inc. - GPS Survey Equipment - $29,233

PO 726 - David A. Bramble - Paving - $340,000

Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase orders. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox asked for clarification on PO 3771 for Automated Computer Concepts. Ed Kinnamon said it was for the consultant services provided to the City for drawing up the proposal for the phone system, reviewing the phone bids, and making a recommendation. The bill says it is for two staff members, two days each, for a total of 32 hours and a four-hour meeting. The cost was $85/hour. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Ed Kinnamon received a letter from the Cambridge Sail and Power Squadron requested a noise variance to permit firing of the salute cannons during the 4th of July boat parade. The parade will commence at 4:00 pm. There will be a total of approximately six shots. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Travers thanked Mayor Rippons, the other four City Commissioners, and the Department Heads for an outstanding job in preparing the budget without having to increasing taxes.

Commissioner Brooks said she was going to say the same thing. She thanked all the Department Heads, especially Ed Kinnamon, Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Sydnor and Commissioner Travers for a job well done.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to change the pay grade of administrative assistant from 10-7 to 11-13 based on job duties. This was discussed during an earlier personnel meeting. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Mayor Rippons said as head of personnel, he was not at that earlier meeting. He asked that instead of bringing matters out to the floor, that Council convene in Executive Session to discuss the matter. Commissioner Brooks suggested going into Executive Session briefly and then convene to finish the motion. Commissioner Sydnor withdrew his motion. Commissioner Travers made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Council convened in Executive Session for approximately an hour. Commissioner Knox was not present when Council re-convened the meeting.

Commissioner Sydnor discussed a packet of information he received from Dorchester County concerning the skateboard park. Hopefully the City and County will be getting together soon to determine the best location and to form a partnership.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion that Council hold an Executive Session concerning personnel on Friday, June 23th at 10:00 am with a regular session following. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked about the criteria for dispersing the dollars that were asked for from civic organizations. Commissioner Brooks said it was first come-first serve. For most of the civic organizations, they went by the amount that they requested. If their request was for more than $6,000, they limited it to $6,000 for most of them. Commissioner Sydnor said they reviewed them case-by-case. Mayor Rippons said there is also consideration for next year that the City will ask that each organization be prepared that the City may not fund any organization. Commissioner Brooks said one organization requested $8,000; however they only received $3,500 based on items that they requested beyond the scope of what the City was giving the funding for. Next year they will put guidelines on these requests. Hopefully they will stipulate that anyone who requests funds may not do it for more than three years. The amount will be weaned down each year. The goal is to become self-sufficient. Hopefully they will find some kind of fundraising techniques to raise funds. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked Council to ask Governor Ehrlich if he would return the money back to the summer programs that he took and gave to the Maryland Department of Education. They haven't done any programs in Cambridge or Dorchester County since that money was turned over to them. Mayor Rippons said it is his understanding that some of the summer programs have been re-instated. Portia Johnson-Ennels said it is mostly for Baltimore City-not on the Shore.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:00 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 19, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

                                                                                

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer