• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
Print this page

City Council Minutes

October 16, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, October 16, 2006 in 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.

Oden Wheeler 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 September 25, 2006 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. Commissioner Brooks abstained because she was not at that meeting.


Mrs. Greenhawk to Discuss Water and Sewer on Bucktown Road-George Hyde said this was the first time he was made aware that there are failing septic systems on Bucktown Road which is a serious problem and needs immediate attention. The annexation was initiated three or four years ago because there was a hotel proposed for Route 50 and an apartment complex in the same area. The thought was to design a central sewer that could pick up the two major projects and at the same time pick up the properties along Bucktown Road. The projects have been put on hold and do not appear to be moving forward. It was suggested a while ago that the properties along Bucktown Road tie into the Sanitary District. He believes a few have already done so. It seems like the most efficient way to pick these properties up. It is not cost effective to design a central system for the whole quadrant when the sewer lines are on Bucktown Road. Each property would have a grinder pump station like all Sanitary District No. 4 is served now. This would eliminate the failing septics. Commissioner Brooks asked who would fill in the septic tanks when the homes are connected to the City lines. George Hyde said if the septic tanks are abandoned, they have to be filled in according to a Health Department requirement. Typically the property owner would be responsible for filling it in. Rob Collison asked if the water and sewer would go by these properties when the tech park is approved near the airport. Mayor Rippons said as it stands now, it will run by these properties. Rob Collison said he thinks the problem for the individual property owners is the cost. The last one cost $14,000 to connect to the Sanitary District. If it is done through the expansion of the water and sewer to the City, it would cost approximately $5,000 per property. He said it will be three to four months for the annexation to be completed. They want to get it approved as soon as possible because they do not want to loose the Federal funding. He thought the City was going to extend the services to the properties in the City now, and the County will pick up the expense from there all the way out. Mayor Rippons said it would cost the City approximately $500,000. He asked about the recovery mechanism to get it in there. Rob Collison said the large projects were paying large amounts. George Hyde said the engineering is done for a central system but it doesn't make sense to put in a system that was going to serve a hotel and an apartment complex for 12 or 15 residences. It is much more cost-effective to put in the same type system as Sanitary District 4. Mayor Rippons asked George Hyde to work with the Sanitary District to prepare the cost to connect these properties. Rob Collison said his recollection of the annexation to get it out to Bucktown Road was subject to annexation agreements with some property owners. He doesn't want the City to change the terms unless they consent. George Hyde said he reviewed the meeting minutes from the July 2002 meeting which was referenced in Ms. Greenhawk's letter. The approval was given at that time to hook into Sanitary District 4. Rob Collison suggested that George Hyde check with the County to see what route they are using for the services to the tech park which may reduce some of our costs.

Hunter Greenhawk said his understanding was that if they signed up for annexation, the City sewer and water would be out there and there would be unlimited sewer and water. If they waited for it, they would not have to pay a sewer charge when the system comes out there through the Sanitary District plus the quarterly amount. That is why they signed up for annexation. Had they seen what was coming down the road to this point, they may not have. They are paying reduced City taxes but they don't have any services. Mrs. Greenhawk said they get police protection but they don't get trash pick-up at all. Mayor Rippons said they do not receive a bill for the trash pick.

Bill Cannon said the pictures Mrs. Greenhawk provided were taken in his backyard. He receives a trash bill for the trash that is picked up on Mondays and Thursdays. The bill is for $8.25 and a fee for the Bay restoration fee.

Eric Marsh to Request Permission to Block Off City Parking Lot No. 2 (Behind Canvasback Restaurant) on Saturday, October 28th at 4:00 pm for Poker Run-Nobody was present to speak. Captain Hutton said he will check with Chesapeake College to make sure they have nothing scheduled for that time. A vote will be taken at the next Council meeting.

Representatives from "Safe Routes to School" to Discuss a Biker/Hiker Trail-Brian Roche presented information on a federally reimbursable grant opportunity called "Safe Routes to School". The purpose is to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school; to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age; improve safety; and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution. Funding is available for all types of projects-infrastructure, sidewalks, etc. Representatives from the Dorchester County Health Department, Public Schools, Police Department, Tourism and the Maryland State Highway were at the grant opportunity meeting. The group will apply for funding for the infrastructure improvements and staffing and identify their needs. Once they get approved for funding, they will be reimbursed as they incur costs. There is currently a lot of housing planned on the west side of Cambridge. A west-side bypass has been planned to alleviate traffic concerns. There will be no safe route for any children in those developments or the children who live in the apartments at the end of Leonard Lane. They have proposed the creation of a safe route using a combination of multi-use paths, highly visible crosswalks, signage and pedestrian signals. He showed a map drawn by the R/UDAT team and designed the Choptank Heritage Trail. They do not want sidewalks adjacent to a road. A multi-use trail would be approved by the program. As with any program, they would like to see a group effort. They are requesting a letter of support recognizing the need that they have identified. They would like developers to help create the multi-use trail along the new roadway. If the City crews are needed to implement the infrastructure, they would be reimbursed for their actual costs. Nothing would be undertaken without the funds pre-approved and available for immediate reimbursement by the program. Because this ties into a much larger project of the R/UDAT proposal and the comprehensive plan, they would like the City to consider looking into modifying or adding text amendments to the current zoning so that in the future, any developer or any person who purchases or develops land along what will be this trail system, would consider installing 8-ft-wide multi-use trails. The actual writing of the grant will be done by the Health Department. They would like to work with the City in the planning stage. Commissioner Sydnor asked about their plans for the Maces Lane area. Mr. Roche said they will make the crosswalks as visible as possible. They can apply for timed signals and flashing signals. Their main goal is to make it as visible as possible. Commissioner Knox made a motion to forward a letter of support for the project. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Rob Collison said there is sufficient time so when the second portion of the bypass from Washington Street to Bayly Road or Route 16 is designed, it can include sufficient bike and walking paths.


Second Reading and Vote for General Obligation Bond Ordinance for Marina-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the general obligation bond ordinance. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The total cost for the marina is going to be $7.6 million and that the City's obligation is approximately $2.3 to $2.5 million. If you run the numbers, there is a revenue-neutral consideration with the additional revenue being generated by the slips. The debt service should take care of itself. Rob Collison said the City is obligated on the bond and there is an agreement between the City and the Yacht Club that the Yacht Club will reimburse the City for their obligations. The Yacht Club obtained independent funding for their share. Mr. Kinnamon is sending them a bill as the construction expenses are incurred. If they payments are late, there is a 2% penalty. The bond is to cover the City's portion of the construction which is not covered by DNR. The dollar value is higher in case there are overruns. The motion passed 5:0.

Award Contract for Furnishing and Delivering Two Single-Use Unkeyed Licenses ArcView 9.1 and One ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Single-Use Unkeyed License-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to award the bid to Blue Raster, LLC in the amount of $4,160. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance to Prohibit Untagged and/or Unregistered Motor Vehicles from Being Operated Within the City on Public Property-Rob Collison said Council asked that the proposed ordinance be amended so that it is only a prohibition on public streets, public parking lots, or other property used for public purposes. It would not cover private property.

Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance to Create Enhanced Penalties for Habitual Offenders of City's Property Maintenance Code-This ordinance creates a habitual offender designation if there are three or more violations by the same property owner, on one particular property, and would triple the fines and mandate annual inspections. For rental units, it would also jeopardize the annual rental registration agreements. The property owner would have the right to appeal any of their housing violations to the Housing Board of Review. If they are not happy with that decision, they can be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Monroe Smith asked for clarification. Rob Collison said if you are cited with three violations on a particular property within 24 months, you are classified as a habitual offender. They could triple your penalties and will subject you to annual inspections until you are no longer a habitual offender. It would not apply to the annual rental registration because you would never be able to be a habitual offender on a particular property three times in two years.


Discussion on "No Parking" Sign Recently Reinstalled on Allen Street-Oden Wheeler said as directed by Council at the last meeting, DPW put the sign back where it was originally installed. A neighbor across the street was unhappy with this. Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer this issue to the Traffic and Safety Committee. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Review and Approval of Police Substation Lease Agreement-Rob Collison said the agreement will be between the City and Tom Keating's Company which is Draketail LLC for the property at 216 Choptank Avenue. The lease is for a two-year period. The rental amount would be the same amount as City taxes for the structure. Mr. Keating said is it is about $189 dollars a year. The other expenses the City would incur would be electric, telephone and water. The overall insurance on the structure would be paid by Mr. Keating. The City would cover liability as a user. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the lease agreement. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Tom Keating, the property owner, thanked Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Knox and Chief Ken Malik for working with him over the past 1½ years to try to get this thing to come to fruition.

Consideration of Proposed Charter Amendment for Revisions to Special Elections-Rob Collison said the ad hoc committee for special elections met and discussed this issue. They were trying to reduce the time period if there is a need for a special election. Their recommendations were that at the next Council meeting following a vacancy, Council would announce that there would be 15‑day period in which candidates would file to run for the office. If there was a need for a primary election, it would be held 30 days later. If two or less candidates filed to run, there would be no need for a primary. The election would be held 30 days later. If more than two candidates run and one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in that election, then that person would become the elected official. The general election, if it were to be held, would be on the fourth Tuesday following the primary election. The winning candidate would be sworn in at the beginning of the next City Council meeting following certification of the winner.

Commissioner Brooks said everything sounds good to her except the statement about getting more than 50% of the votes in a primary election. If a person receives 51% of the vote in the primary, they may loose a few votes in the general election. Rob Collison said they could change the percentage. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she is a member of the committee. She said the reason they chose those numbers is because the City election is non-partisan. Commissioner Sydnor suggested changing it to 60 percent. Portia Johnson-Ennels said the purpose of the committee was to get a group of people together to look this over and come back with a recommendation. Tonight Council is changing it so they didn't need the committee. They worked for no reason whatsoever. Commissioner Brooks said she thinks they did a good job. Mayor Rippons said Council appreciates the efforts of the committee. Portia Johnson-Ennels said the committee was told to take into consideration that the City would not have to spend a lot of money.

Discussion on Amending MOU with Horn Point Regarding Country Club Connection to Horn Point Sewer Line-Mayor Rippons said when the University of Maryland ran a sewer line to Horn Point there was a consideration in the two-party agreement that before they allow anyone else to connect to the line, they need prior approval of the City. Because of environmental reasons, the Country Club wishes to connect to the Horn Point line. It is advantageous to Horn Point because it will help with the maintenance of the line. It is advantageous to the County Club because they get economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. It will not cost the City anything. The City will receive an impact fee because they have a new user and also a monthly meter billing. It will be an enhanced benefit to the City. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to move forward with the approval pending Rob Collison's discussion with the State. All costs will be paid by the applicant. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 786 - Dissen & Juhn Corporation - Marina Expansion - $4,713,103.24-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 787 - Telewire - Telephone System for Public Safety Building -

 $67,802.95-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 789 - John W. Tieder, Inc. - Data Wiring for Public Safety Building - $63,375.00-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4180 - Douron Corporate Furniture - Public Safety Building - $203,993.31-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 4201 - Rafer Billiards Corp. - Refurbish Pool Tables - $5,675.00-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she spoke against this at the last meeting. She feels it is recreational-not fire safety. She asked if the auxiliary could reimburse this money or suggested that they have a fundraiser. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the City could force them to have fundraisers. Rob Collison said whenever you don't fund something, they have to fund it somehow. Through the funding process, you could require them to have subsequent sources of income. Portia Johnson-Ennels said as a taxpayer, she feels the City can find a more worthwhile use for this $5,000. Gordon Hill asked who owns the pool tables. Mayor Rippons said if the City pays for the work, they will be titled into the City's name. Oden Wheeler said that question was asked at another meeting. It is not clear because the pool tables have been around probably longer than anyone at the meeting. Commissioner Brooks said if they are sitting in City property, they can assume they belong to the City. She said the volunteer firefighters save the City a lot of money at the present time and put their lives at risk. When there is a major fire in Cambridge, we have to call other counties in to sit and wait at our firehouse. If that is the only entertainment we have for them on long nights, she feels it is a small token of our appreciation that we can give back to the volunteers. The motion passed unanimously.

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


Oden Wheeler said all but one person responded that they would like to remain on the Housing Board of Review. Mr. Moxey never responded after numerous attempts to contact him. Commissioner Cephas said he spoke to several members of the committee. He was told that they have given specific dates that they could not meet and the meetings were scheduled on those dates. Oden Wheeler said there is a meeting scheduled for October 25th. Commissioner Sydnor said maybe at that meeting they can figure out when the meeting should be held. The Chairman should sign any letters that are sent out. The letters should be sent to the alternates as well. Commissioner Knox said they have to keep in mind that there are other committees meeting in Council Chambers as well.

Oden Wheeler said that Ed Kinnamon requested an executive session on Monday, October 30th at 6:00 pm to discuss various issues that he outlined in his memo.

Commissioner Brooks asked Rob Collison if there was anything Council could do to assist the police officers with the problems they are having with the large number of BB guns that are turning up on the street with children carrying them. They look like real guns. It appears to be a major problem and a safety issue. If someone pulls one out on a police officer, somebody may end up getting shot or killed. Some BB guns have been known to take lives. Rob Collison said he will look into it.

Commissioner Brooks asked about information on a City Manager. Oden Wheeler said Ed Kinnamon was going to contact the people from ICMA and ask them to come back to Cambridge to discuss the various forms of government. He believes he was going to have him at the work session in October, but it was changed to a regular meeting.

Commissioner Brooks said at one meeting they discussed the fines attached to the homeowners regarding rental registration. She said she doesn't think they ever got a clear answer on the appeal process for the lead paint issue. Rob Collison said they will be able to appeal.

Commissioner Brooks said her understanding of the bypass is that it will come straight through Chesapeake Street. George Hyde said that is the current proposal. Right now it is just a line on a piece of paper. Commissioner Brooks said there will be problems unless some changes are made so that the people in the Patamoke development will have access in and out of their own area. Her understanding is that this will be heavily utilized and we need it. There will have to be some kind of traffic light or something so that the people who live there and are trying to get to their own jobs can get out on time. In addition, there are from 10 to 20 school kids who have to stand right on Chesapeake Street to wait for the bus. She thinks some consideration needs to be taken and given to the residents of Patamoke Village so they know what is going on and what is going to be done to prevent the handicap that it is going to give to the people who live there.

Commissioner Cephas said there is a tree on Cross Street across from Zion Baptist Church that looks like it may fall. He asked who is responsible for it. Oden Wheeler said Jason Segar has been in contact with the electric company to see if we can do something together on it.

Commissioner Sydnor asked Oden Wheeler if he looked at the job descriptions for the economic development director and assistant. Mayor Rippons said the packet was given to Council to review. It is now up to Mr. Wheeler to format it and bring it back for Council's consideration. Commissioner Sydnor said he spoke to Mr. Kinnamon and he seems to have the funding for this position. He feels it is very much needed for the City of Cambridge.

Rob Collison said he prepared a resolution that codifies Council's consideration and decision to reduce the transportation improvement fee on the affordable senior housing project. In the annexation agreement, the amount was going to be set between $3100 and $3500. Because it is a benefit to the City to provide senior affordable housing, Council has elected to reduce it to $1000 per unit-not to exceed 76 units in that project. It will only apply to the senior apartment project. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:30 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, October 16, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

Oden Wheeler

Administrative Coordinator