• 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 28, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 28, 2005 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, Cephas, Watkins, Brooks, and Travers.

Heidi Adams 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 February 14, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEES

Traffic and Safety Committee-Commissioner Brooks reported that the committee met on February 8, 2005 to discuss a request to install ADA parking spaces at two locations on High Street and one location near Bethel Church.  The Committee recommended installing one handicap parking space between 404 and 406 High Street.  They also recommended suggesting to Waugh Church and Bethel Church that they set out "temporary handicap parking" signs in the preferred spaces during Church service hours.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to adopt the recommendations of the committee.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

City Auditors to Present FY04 Audit-The auditors postponed their presentation due to the inclement weather.

Liddy Garcia and Dave Pritchett to Discuss MHAA Lighting Grants-Liddy Garcia discussed Bill HP-415 to increase funding from $1 million to $3 million beginning in 2007 for the Maryland Heritage Area Program.  If this bill passes, it will give a large increase in grant money to the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area.  The City currently has two MHAA matching grants. The first one received was for historic lights on Water Street for $37,500.  The second one received was for historic lights on Poplar Street for $7,800.  Looking very closely at the Water Street project, they have found that the project is very unaffordable right now.  The current estimated cost is $250,000.  The projects consist of burying wires underground and replacing the current street lights with historic lights.  Her committee suggested moving the project from Water Street to the 400 block of Race Street.  The wires that are currently overhead in the 400 block of Race Street are only the electric wires that provide power to the street lights.  Water Street has overhead telephone, cable, and electric wires.  If the historic lights are placed on Poplar Street and the 400 block of Race Street, they can expend both grants and then apply for another one.  The local Heritage Area Board has approved this suggestion.  The next step is City Council approval.  If the City Council approves the change, they will need a letter from Council to ask the State Heritage Area Board to amend the grant.  David Pritchett said they are running into a time crunch.  He cannot justify spending $250,000 to put in seven lights and lower power lines on Water Street.  The main thing they would have to go to bid for is the trenching.  They will have to core bore under the sidewalks or cut up a two-foot segment and excavate, lay conduit, and run the lines for the lights.  Public Works can do in-kind services to help satisfy the City's portion of the matching grant. The cost of the project would be approximately $75,000. The project would be underway by the end of the summer.  They would get 12 lights in that area for one quarter of the price of the Water Street project.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request to move the project from Water Street to Race Street. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Mike Walsh and Judy Scott to Discuss Funding for Cambridge Main Street in FY2006-Judy Scott said she is the president-elect for Main Street.  Mike Walsh is the vice president.  They are appearing to make a request to enable the Main Street organization to continue and expand its efforts to revitalize the downtown.  They presented Council will a packet outlining their request and letters of support.  Dozens of new businesses have relocated and/or opened downtown.  Scores of jobs have been created and millions of dollars have been invested in the downtown.  Main Street has taken on the added task recently of administering the Arts and Entertainment District.  Liddy Garcia is assisting the city in writing, administering, and managing some grants that are co-sponsored by Main Street.  The Board of Directors has made a renewed commitment to include the Pine Street commercial area in the Main Street designation. Their primary goal is to recruit small businesses to the downtown.  Cambridge will add to its tax base, provide goods and services, create new jobs and provide a magnet for all sorts of development in the city.  They will also actively pursue grants and other monies to improve the streetscape.  They have raised over $25,000 from individuals and businesses. The block parties and "Second Saturdays" have been a great success.  Unfortunately, they don't have any resources for overhead, office space. and materials necessary to supplement these efforts.  They are doing their best to raise it privately but they need assistance from the city.  If they can continue their mission, Cambridge will be on its way to becoming a premier destination on the Eastern Shore.   Mike Walsh said Main Street is the hub of our community.  In the 2½ years that Hyatt has been open, they have brought over a half million visitors to Dorchester County and Cambridge. The people who come here want to experience culture and history and want something to do besides sitting at the Hyatt.  They spend time at the hotel but they want to get out and see the town.  Downtown Cambridge has grown so much in the last few years that repeat visitors have now seen the difference. He is asking that the Council favorable consider their request for $25,000 for Main Street.  They would be happy to receive funding quarterly, or even monthly installments if that would facilitate the request.  They think Main Street is on a run. They appreciate the support that the city has given them but they need to continue moving and growing.  Commissioner Cephas said he was impressed that Main Street is including Pine Street.   He recalls when Pine Street and Race Street were both flourishing.  Suddenly Race Street was like a ghost town and the same thing happened to Pine Street. The time is right to revitalize.  He asked about their long- and short-term plans for Pine Street.  Mike Walsh said they are working on a jazz festival for October. They are talking about putting historical markers throughout the Pine Street area. They are looking at putting something that talks about the jazz era on Pine Street.  The jazz and shopping areas need to be brought back as much as it has been on Race Street.  Commissioner Watkins said he witnessed all of it. He was part of most of it.  Commissioner Cephas said their timing might be a little off to ask for funds of that magnitude. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to include the Main Street request for $25,000 when the budget is formally proposed.  Mike Walsh said their request is for the next fiscal year.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Cambridge Community Development Corporation/Center for Poverty Solutions to Discuss Their Housing Project-This item was postponed due to the inclement weather.

Representative from Rescue Fire Company to Request Permission to Hold a Parade from Long Wharf Through our Downtown on Saturday, May 14, 2005-Bill Watkins said the firemen's convention will be held in Cambridge this year.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to give RFC permission to hold their parade on Saturday, May 14 and included a variance from the noise ordinance.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Deborah Johnson, Corporation for Healthy Homes and Economic Development-Deborah Johnson presented the Council will handouts. She said their organization is located in Salisbury. They are a State-wide community housing development organization and would like to propose an affordable housing program for Cambridge which is a mutual self-help program.  This is a Federally-funded program which is funded under Rural Development. The program is designed to help low-income families achieve home ownership.  On average, housing cost begin roughly at about $121,817 and up for Dorchester County.  The per-capita income for Dorchester County is $18,929 a year. The average household income for Dorchester County is $48,600.  This number is an overall average based on annual salaries, not the per-capita number.  Families at that income level cannot afford the new homes that are being built today.  It is commonly know that a family should not be spending more than 30% of their household income for housing expenses.  Families that would be eligible for their program income would be 80% and below of the median which would mean that families that are making $38,880 a year and below are eligible.  They put a priority on families that are making 30% and 50% of the area median for housing purposes.  Some of the benefits include:  quality housing packages, energy efficient housing, low monthly payments, low interest mortgages, and sweat equity would be the down payment in place of cash out of pocket.  They usually start with six families who create a community together.  They work together to build the houses and cannot move in until all the houses are ready and on-line at the same time. The benefits for Cambridge would be: to establish a best practice example for small cities and finding solutions for affordable housing shortages, increased tax revenue, and a pro-active approach in providing decent affordable housing choices. 

For this project to be successful what they need is: buildable land, income eligible participants, and a working partnership which they seek to establish with Cambridge.  They will also require a letter of support from the City. 

Commissioner Cephas asked if the program has been done anywhere else.  Ms. Johnson said the program comes "ready made".  Their experience has been basically lead, housing rehabilitation, and assisting to do affordable housing through the Wicomico government and working with the State of Maryland.   They are just embarking on doing this program.

Commissioner Watkins asked if they had a location picked out yet.  Ms. Johnson said that she spoke to Mayor Rippons at a meeting and he said there was some land designated for affordable housing.   If the land is buildable, they are definitely able to do the program.   Commissioner Watkins said we definitely need it.

Commissioner Brooks said there is some self-help housing in Talbot County that looks really nice.  Ms. Johnson said it is the same program.   

Jane Devlin, WECA, to Discuss Renovation of 301 Gay Street-Jane Devlin said one of the goals for WECA was to find a building to preserve as well as a headquarters.  The most opportune building they have found is located at 301 Gay Street. It is the last remaining building of the Wallace mansion. WECA approached the Library Board and they have fully concurred that this would be a wonderful project. There are three main functions of their project. The first and most important is to preserve the building itself.  This would include rehabilitation to the Secretary of the Interior's standard guidelines which the Historic Preservation Commission must follow.  This is the second oldest commercial building that is still somewhat in its entirety. They plan to leave the original and bring it into today's standards.  The second purpose would bring this building back to a public use. They would like to see it used as a gateway into the historic district.  It would be used for resource materials, a starting point for their historic tours, and a WECA headquarters.  Mainly the building would be outfitted for public use.  They intend to have some type of public functions.  They will staff it on a regular basis starting with about 20 hours per week.  They are presently applying to the Maryland Historical Trust for a grant and are requesting that City Council give their support to this project.  This building was originally owned by the city and it has been deeded to the Library Board.  There is a reversion clause that if sometime in the future, if the library were to leave, this building would revert back to the city.  If they are awarded the grant, one of the conditions is a perpetual easement.  It will preserve the building in perpetuity.  They will also need support from City Council for a willingness to sign that perpetual easement if the grant monies are awarded.  Rob Collison said if Council is inclined to proceed, he will review the easement consideration and forward them to Council and WECA.  Commissioner Cephas said he toured the building a few weeks ago. It needs a lot of work.  He is happy they are not asking the city to repair the building for them.  Jane Devlin said WECA is absorbing all costs of the renovations.  They will be doing fundraisers, grants, and possibly a benefactor program to shoulder the costs.  There will be two separate letters of willingness to the perpetual easement-one from the Library Board and one from the City Council.  Jean DelSordo said the Library Board is in agreement with it.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to support WECA's efforts.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  Jane Devlin said they will need the letter for willingness for the perpetual easement and letter of support for the submission of their grant application by the end of this week.  If the grant monies are awarded, then they will be going into the discussion of the actual signing of the easement. Jane Devlin said seeing that the city will be going into budget negotiations for the upcoming year, she requested that the Council possibly consider a donation to WECA or a funding of $1200 in the fiscal year.  Mayor Rippons asked Ms. Devlin to submit their request in writing.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Request from the Raging Unstoppables to Request Noise Variance at New Beginnings, on Wednesdays from at 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm and on Fridays from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm (February 28th through May 25th)-Mayor Rippons reported that New Beginnings sent a confirmation letter to the City stating that they gave the Raging Unstoppables permission to practice on the days and hours they stated.  Commissioner Cephas said he spoke to some of the residents in that area after this request was discussed at the last meeting.  Some of the people were concerned about the time change from Wednesday to Friday.  Portia Johnson-Ennels said the time should be consistent for all days.  Fridays a lot of people have worked all week and are winding down.  They should have the same consideration.  Commissioner Cephas said he will talk to the Raging Unstoppables and see if they will consider changing their hours. 

Discussion on City Pay Scale-Mayor Rippons said Council decided to postpone this item until Mr. Kinnamon is present to discuss it.

Open Quotes for Engineering Tabloid Laser Printer or Equivalent-Heidi Adams reported that six quotes were received.  They were as follows:

  • Oki Data On-Line Store $3,506.49
  • Hewlett-Packard On-Line Store $3,673.80
  • Bay State Computers $4,931.16
  • Coastal Copy Systems $6,799.00
  • Zones, Inc. $3,444.00
  • Danka Office Imaging Company $3,455.00

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the quotes to the Department of Public Works for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

DPW to Give Final Marina Update-David Pritchett said they indicated at the last presentation they gave on the marina upgrade and expansion that they would come before Council one final time to receive permission to proceed to do the project.  He recapped some of the issues.  The outer seawall is over 45 years old. It is completely collapsing and must be replaced. This will cost in excess of $1.1 million (estimated 2 years ago).  There are 255 boaters on a waiting list for slips.  They have increased transient boaters by 600 percent.  There are also larger developments within the creek area that don't have areas for marinas themselves but they would like allocated space within the marina.  Because of this, the City decided to do more than replacing the outer wall.  They got together with the Yacht Club because they were also in favor of the expansion.  They have received full approval to proceed with their portion of the expansion.  Andrews Miller has begun drafting and working on the construction documents.  David Pritchett said he feels they are ready to move forward now. They received their approvals from the Maryland Department of the Environment and the State Corps of Engineers.  The project is completely revenue neutral.  The figures are based on the old slip rental rates.  Of course, the rates will go up in time.  It has always been a profiting marina.  It will encompass, at some point in time, the fuel dock facility.  There are no fuel facilities in Cambridge.  At that time it was believed that the best location was to install it within the marina.  He pointed out the potential location for the lighthouse.  George Hyde said they are expecting to get 50% funding for the city's portion of the work from the DNR Waterway Improvement Program.  They have had some of the money for quite some time now and should spend some of it before they loose it.  Andrews Miller plans to finish the bid documents in May.  They will go to bid in June and work will start in July.  They will not interfere with the boats coming in and out of the marina as it exists now.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to allow DPW to move forward with the marina expansion.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.   Commissioner Knox asked about the Watermen's Pier that Mr. Parks from the Watermen's Association suggested.  David Pritchett said they like the idea because they are trying to increase tourism.  Rob Collison said the Council may wish to take public questions or comments.  There were several issues raised last time that the city was to provide information on at the next meeting.  David Pritchett said the breakwater will proceed forward as a floating platform with fixed piers on the interior.  Rob Collison said it will be fixed on the one west/north-west portion of the breakwater.  David Pritchett said it is shielded in order to prevent silting-in.  The interiors will be fixed at the point in time.  The location for the tanks for the fuel facility has not totally been determined.  George Hyde said they will be buried.  They will stripe the parking lot to maximize the parking spaces.  It definitely meets and exceeds the required parking without a variance.  It exceeds it by 26 percent.  The Yacht Club side is land limited.  There are some options to be explored later.  Marinas don't generate that much vehicular traffic.  They know it won't be an issue or problem.  Between 20 and 30 slips will be reserved for transient boaters. They will be able to accommodate up to 150‑ft vessels.  Right now, they have eight transient slips. 

William James asked where the parking will be.  David Pritchett said the parking will be in the city parking lot.  The center is currently open and not utilized for most times.  Mr. James said he had a boat at the Yacht Club for 13 years and there wasn't any parking problem then.   On Labor Day and Memorial Day there were two or three cars for every boat.  He thinks they should figure two or three cars for every boat if they are going to have 300 more boat slips.  David Pritchett said they will never ever see 1200 vehicles for 300+ slips.  Some boat can have two or three cars show up and that is all factored into the minimum requirement.  It is a known factor. On some weekends when there are special events it could fill up.  It happens everywhere.  They will exceed the zoning requirement for parking by 26%.  Commissioner Knox suggested a window decal for people who lease slips.  David Pritchett said they will look into something like that because some of the smaller cruise vessels could utilize a lot of spaces.  The only problem is that it is a municipal parking lot.  Rob Collison said it is public parking and with the park located near the marina, it has multiple uses.  Commissioner Knox suggested issuing parking passes for overnight parking for the slip holders and then put a three or four hour limit on the other spaces.  Commissioner Brooks said there are people who go to Long Wharf and fish for four or five hours because it is a public place.  Commissioner Knox said it is the only pier where you can fish without a license and he doesn't think the people should be deprived of it at all.   They could have an eight-hour parking limit for vehicles without a slip-holder parking permit. 

Gage Thomas thinks the lines will help the parking.  Green space or islands of greenery would also help. He has heard that the walkway to the lighthouse would be wider than any other part.  He thought it would be more than 10 feet.  He thought there was talk of park benches and a wider area if there were cruise lines coming in.  David Pritchett said the walkway will be 14 feet. 

Marti Tomey asked if the Yacht Club will be supplying any additional parking.  She also asked if the city would reap any benefits from their slips other than the slip rentals or if there would be any other trade-off since the city will have to provide parking for them.  David Pritchett said they think the whole thing is a tremendous benefit for the whole community for multiple reasons.  As far as the parking, he feels it runs into the same issue Rob Collison brought up before.  The parking is open parking for municipal use.  Rob Collison said there would have to be a calculation on whether the Yacht Club facilities have adequate parking for their usage based on membership, seating capacity, and boat slips.  Marti Tomey said there are times you can't get down the street because of activities. It doesn't happen too often, but as things become more popular, you will see an increase in traffic as well as an increase in the Yacht Club.  She doesn't want to see a great loss of green area.  She wants to be realistic when they say the blacktop area currently is going to be adequate.  Is that really going to work or are you going to have people encroaching in areas that they shouldn't be?  Mayor Rippons said there will be very strict code enforcement on that issue.  David Pritchett said the Yacht Club is going to use a larger percentage of their slips for transient boaters.  Rob Collison said at one time they discussed extending the parking spaces that are on the westerly side of that segment of Mill Street down further toward the intersection. It wouldn't go into the park area but you could use some of that grass area where there is not parallel parking.  It would be for city parking.  Marti Tomey said she doesn't want to see a precedence set where the city would be providing parking for technically a private marina.  Someone else on the creek may expect the city to provide parking for them if they don't have adequate land for it.  Mayor Rippons said this is a unique perspective because the city owns this property.  If someone builds a private development, it will not be on city-owned land.  Marti Tomey said the city is leasing it so it is privately controlled.  Rob Collison said there has to be a calculation made looking at the criterion regulations on whether the Yacht Club will comply with the parking requirements with the expansion factoring in their membership and the seating capacity of the restaurant.   If it does not, the Yacht Club will have to request a variance for parking or dedicate more slips for transient boaters.

David Tomey said he wanted to discuss the streetscape when you come down to Long Wharf.  He understood they were going to leave that protected umbrella that you turn down on Church Street and you turn down and you look down and you can see the dead calm water.  It is the very image that you see on High Street going to the water when it is dead calm. There is not a person who visits Cambridge who doesn't say it takes their breath away.  Now they will see a floating pier and the possibility of a vessel.  It would be impressive, but is that the kind of image we want to portray?  Would we rather see a big ship?  Would we rather see a floating dock or would we rather see that pristine dead calm view of when you turn down High Street from Church Street and see the view through the umbrella of trees overhanging the street?  It would be a travesty to give it away but apparently we are giving it away.  While he is currently not a member of the Cambridge Yacht Club, he has friends who he would love to see prosper and become the most successful yacht club in the world.  He is adamantly opposed as a taxpayer if the city owns the property now that the slips are currently on, why would we not develop the slips and tell the Yacht Club that if they would like to have exclusive rights to a certain number of slips, the City will lease them to the Club?  Part of the lease could be to provide parking.  It is clearly evident that they will not be able to maintain the minimum requirements as a private club under the PWCD guidelines.  If the marina is a neutral expense, we can make more money to make it a profitable money-making venture by subleasing exclusive rights to the Yacht Club or maybe the Country Club would want to come in and have some exclusive slips also.  Part of exclusive deal of having a block of slips is the right to the public facility which includes the parking.  He is all in favor of having the marina expanded.  He would like to see them have a swimming pool and other amenities for people who come to Cambridge by boat.  Rob Collison said the actual ground where the Yacht Club is located is owned by the Yacht Club.  They have riparian rights to that ground.  Years ago, the city paid for the construction of the breakwater on both sides.  The city and Yacht Club entered into an agreement whereby the city would lease some of the slips to the Yacht Club.  The 50% grant is only for the city.  The Yacht Club cannot take advantage of it.  If the city constructed it but then leased it to a private entity, we may not qualify for the grant funding.  David Tomey said if it could generate enough revenue, we might not need the grant funding.  Rob Collison said he doesn't think we would have the right to construct the slips in their riparian right area.  They own the land, so they could deny access to the slips.  David Tomey said in the interim, we are working toward construction documents and the beginning of construction in July and we don't have these items addressed.  David Pritchett said as far as the comments about the visuals, that is why we redesigned it the way it is. The floating dock is water level.  On occasion the opportunity exists for a large boat to dock on the outside wall or on the inside wall but they will not regularly be moored there. 

Gordon Hill asked if the city saying they were 26% over the number of required parking spaces was because they were only allowing one half parking space per boat slip.  David Pritchett said that is what the city ordinance calls for and he agrees with that calculation.  Gordon Hill asked why the whole marina couldn't be shifted over.  David Pritchett said all possibilities have been discussed to make the plan feasible and obtaining what we do need to get as far as income.  It's not going to be revenue neutral; it will be profitable. This was the plan that they received permission from Council to proceed with the construction documents on. 

Ed Williams said he has to support Mr. Tomey and destruction of the view down High Street.  He asked about the piers on the right in the drawing.  David Pritchett said they are future possibilities. They are not into the development.  Right now there would just be one pier which is a walkway to get out to that area and to utilize the breakwater at the end.  Ed William suggested putting the marina expansion somewhere else.  He suggested over by the hospital.  David Pritchett said they extensively explored every location with expert consultants looking at the whole picture. This location seemed to be the most feasible with the existing marina and the Yacht Club needing expansion.  Mr. Williams said he never saw anything made public where they talked about looking at sites by the Visitor's Center or the hospital.  The other option is to repair the breakwater, keep the marina the same size, and raise the slip rent until the city gets rid of the waiting list.  Mayor Rippons said some of the people Mr. Williams is saying to get rid of are the watermen that the city is trying to protect.  Mr. Williams said all he wants to do is to keep from destroying the water views that we have now. 

Commissioner Knox said there are a lot of things we can do.  George Hyde has told him that with the Army Corps of Engineers permits, to add on to the existing marina is the easiest way to go.  What we could do to please everybody, would be to eliminate the outer pier so the view wouldn't be interrupted, wait a few years, and then apply to the Army Corps of Engineers to add to the left side of the dock where the Yacht Club is now.  The drawback would be that some of the greenery might have to be eliminated to create additional parking in front of the residents who live on Water Street.  You either slightly take away the view coming down High Street or eliminate it altogether with the potential of future building on the other side and loosing some greenery and the view.  However, it would be back to the drawing board for a location for the lighthouse.  He thinks the people present at the meeting would be satisfied if the city did away with the outer pier and those slips.  It would certainly be a loss of revenue to the city.  Mr. Williams said they would need approval from the Historical Commission to change the parking at Long Wharf.  The existing sea wall is also historical. 

Commissioner Cephas said there was an issue of the view behind Dave Tomey's house with the Point property.  He was opposed to eliminating the view.  Looking at the map, if you ride down High Street you will see boats on both sides.  They haven't determined a location for the lighthouse and tonight we are looking at a final marina update and for a vote and we are not exactly sure where certain things will be.   He doesn't feel Council should vote on a final approval if we don't have all the information on where certain things will be located.  He grew up fishing at Great Marsh.  When you drive home you see that water view.  To put those slips there is going to take away from everyone's view.  On occasion he goes down there day and night.  He doesn't feel comfortable making a decision on this as a final update tonight with the view being blocked. 

David Pritchett said as far as the lighthouse, that is exactly why they have done it this way.  Council has complete control over the lighthouse.  He met with the people on the Lighthouse Board and that is why he is proceeding totally independent of them.  At one point it was to be incorporated immediately with this upon the same approvals.  Now we are going our separate ways.  They will need to get approval, come back, and seek a location desirable to Council and the public. 

David Pritchett said he doesn't know how to explain any better because he has a visual view of the plan in his mind because he knows the reality of it.  If there are no boats on the pier designated by a yellow line, he doesn't see where the view is lost.  The city has control of never putting boats there.  Mayor Rippons said right now there will not be any slips there. David Pritchett said it was drawn for perspective for widths of the channel.  Mayor Rippons said you will be able to walk out on it. David Pritchett said it will be about one foot above the water. 

Jane Devlin asked where tour boats and cruise ships will be docked for the day.  David Pritchett said they can go where they dock now.  She agrees with Commissioner Cephas that there are still a lot of things to be discussed before voting.  If the Yacht Club is going to need a variance for parking, that should be worked out before they proceed further into any bid proposal.

Janice Banks asked if the lighthouse goes on the side where the Yacht Club is, is the public going to have access to it without walking on the Yacht Club property.  Mayor Rippons said it cannot go on that side.   The two predominant locations are both on the other side. 

Gage Thomas said there is a waiting list for slips now.  There are a limited number of slips that will be permitted. If you don't build it now and encapsulate that area for future growth, you may not get any more future expansion.  David Pritchett said expansion is getting harder and harder to get.  That is why the left side of the Yacht Club is truly unfeasible. The entire area would have to be dredged to a great depth. It also constitutes itself as a new marina and that would be very hard to get approved. It is probably impossible to get approved because they would say, and they have said, that Cambridge has a marina and it must be expanded before they build a new one.  Mr. Williams asked if the City asked if they could put in a new marina by the hospital.  Mayor Rippons said the city does not own the property. 

David Tomey asked about the new pump-out facilities.  David Pritchett said they would be near where the fuel dock will be.  An additional bathhouse has not been planned.  No slips will be indicated on the floating pier when the permit is applied for.  There will be 140+ new slips.  Of those slips, 66 will belong to the Yacht Club. David Tomey said he heard about all the spoil they will have to remove on the other side of the Yacht Club property.  He has already heard the number of cubic yards they are talking about removing and it is pretty extensive.  To solve a lot of problems, the further out you go, the deeper the water gets.  That's not real accurate because it is really shallow there but it will get deep.  The further away the boat is, the more you can admire it.  He asked if there was any reason they can't move further out.  They are a long way from the channel.  The channel is almost three-quarters the way across the river.  They can go out substantially further and not block the streetscape coming down High Street.  The only thing they would do is create a little more walking for the people on the outer side.  The lighthouse would be a lot more attractive if it was at a further distance and not so massive up on shore.  David Pritchett said the only reason they didn't favor going any further out is because one of the problems marina run into is tremendous long walking distances for people. 

Mike Walsh said the Hyatt's floating pier is one of the premier spots that people love to walk out on.  He can agree that the people don't want to take away the views.  David Pritchett said the walkway is 14 feet wide.  Rob Collison said fishing from the pier would be allowed at the discretion of the Council. 

Mayor Rippons said there is a motion on the floor to approve the request and allow DPW to move forward.  Commissioners Watkins and Travers voted for the motion.  Commissioners Brooks, Cephas, and Knox were opposed.  The motion did not pass.

Commissioner Knox made a motion to eliminate 10 slips that he pointed to on the drawing.  This would widen the view as people drive down High Street.  George Hyde explained why this suggestion was not feasible.  Mayor Rippons announced that David Pritchett and George Hyde will meet with the Council before the next meeting to review this issue.  

NEW BUSINESS

DPW Request to Go to Bid for Garbage Truck and Backhoe (Budgeted Equipment)-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 479 - Criswell Chevrolet - 2005 Trail Blazer -  $21,466 - DPW-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3449 - Computer Information Systems, Inc. - License Renewal and Maintenance Agreement -  $9,000 - CPD-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3450 - Maryland Institute of Criminal Justice - Tuition Costs for Polygraph School - $4,200-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  These funds will be reimbursed through a grant.

Approve PO 3451 - Wor-Wic Community College -  CPD Recruit Tuition - $4,054-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3452 - Graves Uniforms for CPD -  $3,015.25- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Financial Statement for January 2005-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison announced that Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm to obtain legal advice.

Commissioner Cephas said the terms for the Police Board members have expired this month.  He asked that it be put on the agenda for appointments at the next meeting.

Commissioner Travers thanked the Police Department for the excellent job they are doing in the Fifth Ward.

Chief Malik reported that they received a grant in conjunction with the county for $15,609.  The city's portion will be $7,804 to be used for overtime for community policing efforts.

Bill James, Maple Dam Road, said that at the end of the Blackwater River where it come up, Friday morning he got a call from his daughter on her cell phone that she was drowning in her car down by the new school.  She slid off the road because no salt had been put on the road.  She slid in the ditch and couldn't get out of the car.  Finally she kicked the door open and got out.  He would like for a piece of guardrail to be put up there.  The location is this side of Southside Drive.  His wife called 9-1-1 so they could put salt on the road and there were two more accidents while they were tied up with his daughter's car.  They salted Southside Drive instead of salting the turn on Maple Dam.   David Pritchett said it was a very small storm and they salted.  He will look into the guardrail issue.  Rob Collison said the Blackwater developer is going to straighten that turn out.   Mayor Rippons said the request for the guardrail will be forwarded to the Traffic and Safety Committee.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said history has again been made in Cambridge.  On February 14, 2005, our city Mayor was given the opportunity to vote on three major issues.  There seems to be fault within the system of government.  Instead of voting for or against removal of the powers from the Mayor's office, it remained a 2:2 tie.  The issue was not removing a person from office, but removing power from the office of the Mayor.  In all fairness to the people of Cambridge, it seems decision-making persons are afraid of being challenged and moving forward for the betterment of this community. She asked if the Commissioners have the right of proxy vote if they are absent from a meeting.  Rob Collison said there is no proxy provision within our charter or our code.  Ms. Johnson-Ennels asked if it could be done.  Mayor Rippons said there may be testimony that night at a public hearing that the official may not hear, which may sway him.  Additional information may be raised at a meeting that the Commissioner may not have the advantage of hearing if they sent in a proxy.  Ms. Johnson-Ennels said the vote wasn't to remove a person from the office, it was to remove the powers from the office.  Mayor Rippons said he was ready to vote and then Mr. Collison made a statement.  Rob Collison said someone can abstain anytime they wish.  Mayor Rippons said if he had to vote, his vote would be not to remove the powers.  He stated it that evening.  Ms. Johnson-Ennels said she would have rather that he had voted that night.  

Commissioner Brooks said the county does allow proxy votes.  She said there is nothing in the charter that says the Council cannot vote to have proxy votes.  Rob Collison said the vote was 2:2 so it did not pass.  Ms. Johnson-Ennels said it can be brought back to the floor and she hopes Commissioner Watkins' health will sustain and he will be here to vote either yes or no.  Rob Collison said provided action had not been taken on anything they decided, Council can always revisit an issue no matter what it is. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:20 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 28, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Heidi R. Adams, Executive Assistant