• 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

March 28, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 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.

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 March 14, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Cephas said the minutes reflect that Mrs. Onnie Edwards was opposed to the Egypt Road project.  She was opposed to a firehouse being built on Egypt Road near her house.   The motion to approve the minutes, as corrected, was passed unanimously.   

APPOINTMENTS

Open Bids for Furnishing and Delivering One New 20-Cubic Yard Rear End Garbage Packer-Ed Kinnamon open and read the following bids:

  • Elliott Wilson Capitol Trucks (Landover, MD) $86,590
  • Gran Truk Equipment (Bruceport, PA) $98,065
  • Giant GMC Inc. (Federalsburg, MD) $84,700
  • Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems (Clinton, MD) $85,414

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Open Bids for Furnishing and Delivering One New Backhoe- Ed Kinnamon open and read the following bids:

  • Tri-Supply & Equipment (Salisbury, MD) $48,329
  • Alban Tractor Company, Inc. (Baltimore, MD) $32,758
  • Standard Equipment Company (Middletown, DE) $50,800

Ed Kinnamon reported that another bid was received 5 minutes after the deadline.  Policy has been to deny bids that have come in late.    Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Representative from the Raging Unstoppables to Request Noise Variance at New Beginnings, on Wednesdays Beginning at 4:30 pm and on Fridays Beginning at 6:00 pm-Simone Clark, President of the Parent Advisory Board, apologized to Council for a miscommunication that happened a few weeks ago.  They are requesting a noise variance for three days a week.  The Raging Unstoppables Marching Band Unit has been granted permission by New Beginnings Youth Center to use their building (both inside and outside) as their temporary place to practice.  Due to their schedule and various other community activities, they have different times.  They are requesting a noise variance for Wednesday evenings from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm; Friday evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Saturdays from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm.  Saturday is an alternate date.  She has a letter from New Beginnings granting them permission to use the facility. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Cephas asked how long they planned to practice.  Ms. Clark said their band season is 12 months now that they are participating in various activities in and out of Maryland.  The motion passed unanimously.   

David Rizzo, MDM Enterprise Group, to Request Exclusive Rights to Vend Glow in the Dark Novelties for July 4th -Mr. Rizzo was not present.

Cambridge Community Development Corporation / Center for Poverty Solutions to Discuss Their Housing Project-This item was postponed until the next meeting due to an illness.

Susan Antonelli, Snappers to Request Noise Variance for a Deck Party on Saturday, April 16th from 5:30 pm Until 9:30 pm-Susan Antonelli requested the noise variance be from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Jim Gscheidle (114 High Street) said he is an adjacent property owner.  During the 1980s and 1990s he had a business in Solomons and he was the house DJ for Bowens Inn.  They got a lot of noise complaints about their outdoor shows.  They used a hand-held device to check on noise levels.  People tried to up the noise ordinance to stop the music. They had hundreds of people at the shows and brought a lot of people into Solomons.  He is all for music on the Creek.  It brings business in and it brings tourists in. As long as it is done within reason and as long as people can work together on it, he is all for it.  Nobody else asked to speak.  The motion passed unanimously.

Susan Antonelli, Snappers, to Request Noise Variances for Sundays from Memorial Day Weekend Through Labor Day Weekend from 5:00 pm Until 9:00 pm-Susan Antonelli said in previous years they have had the noise variance from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm and they would like it for the same hours.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request for a noise variance for Snappers on Sundays from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Nobody asked to speak.  The motion passed unanimously.

Representatives from Cambridge Power Boat Regatta Association to Request Permission to Use Great Marsh Park from Tuesday, July 26th through August 1st -Nobody was present to speak.  David Pritchett said this is an annual event.  Of all the events the city hosts at Great Marsh Park, this is one of the least invasive on the park itself.  They use it heavy but they make every effort, and always succeed, in returning it exactly as they found it.  Chief Malik said he did not have any concerns.  Rob Collison said if they are going to have alcohol sales, they will need a variance.  Ed Kinnamon pointed out that this is earlier than they usually request use of the park. David Pritchett said they are having the Nationals this year so it will be a larger event than usual.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to grant the Cambridge Power Boat Regatta Association permission to use Great Marsh Park from Tuesday, July 26th through Monday, August 1st and to allow them to sell alcohol during the event.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Decision on Preliminary Master Development Plan for Blackwater Resort  (fka Egypt Road)-Rob Collision said a public hearing was held during the last meeting.  A vote can be taken if Council feels the preliminary master development plan meets the criteria set forth in the ordinance.  The staff had recommended that it did and the Planning Commissioner recommended unanimously for approval.  If there are concerns that the items in the staff report or comments that were submitted through the preliminary process cannot be addressed again, he has suggested language in the ordinance that states they shall address those adequately to Council's satisfaction prior to final taking place.  The preliminary phase basically calls out the amount of acreage that will be allocated for various uses.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the preliminary master development plan for Blackwater Resorts on Egypt Road.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox said he believes there are still some issues that the adjacent property owners are working out.  Hopefully they will be worked out before this comes before Council again.  Commissioner Cephas asked Rob Collision if in his opinion, the developer has met all the required codes.  Rob Collison said it meets the criteria for Section 132 of the City's Zoning Ordinance.  He said the Planning and Zoning Commission came to that conclusion through the various listings on the chart.  However, if Council feels that some of the testimony heard during the last meeting concerning the higher density to the wastewater treatment plant and its adverse impact on the plant and the citizens or the overall 3200 units as it was preliminarily presented does not fit within the public interest and welfare, then it is within Council's discretion to vote against it.  The technical requirements have been met in the checklist that the staff had reviewed.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Extension of Water to Lots Outside City Limits (Part of Garden Estates Sub­division and Treeland Subdivision)-Rob Collison said this issue was raised at the last meeting.  He said George Hyde has indicated that there have been parcels of several subdivisions that were approved years ago that are within the sanitary district.  He would have no opposition to Council granting the approval because it is an exception that we have recognized in the last 10 year or so.  They are approved subdivisions that are within a defined and existing sanitary district.  We have a pre-existing agreement that we will recognize those agreements between the city and the sanitary district.  The areas we have required annexation are areas where there had not been a previously-approved subdivision within an existing sanitary district.  Hambrooks Court would be an example.  It was a new subdivision not previously approved within an existing sanitary district.  Therefore it was reasonably possible for annexation to occur to get city services. 

Forcing annexation on the subject properties would create a unique situation for the Department of Public Work in providing services in a uniform fashion.  The city would not be creating a legal precedent that would open up future problems in these two cases because they were previously-approved subdivisions in an existing sanitary district. 

Mayor Rippons said the question was raised if they are contiguous to the city.  The other planned subdivisions were not contiguous.  Rob Collison said they will not create a legal precedent that will cause the city problems in the future if they grant the water extension.  David Pritchett said they have arrangements with the county in other areas like Woods Road.  It is difficult as Rob Collison has indicated but it is always workable.  Commissioner Knox said there are a lot of citizens tied into the sanitary district when they shouldn't be tied into it.  They are city residents and should have all the rights of everyone else who lives in the city.  As far as he is concerned, this is adding fuel to the fire.  There will be 240 units that will be paying the sanitary district to use the sewer line.  The people in other wards are not subjected to that expense.  The citizens who were annexed on Bucktown Road were given an abatement on their taxes.  He asked if they were willing to do the same thing for the people who are currently tied into the sanitary district and are paying county and city taxes.  Mayor Rippons said that is different because it was pre-existing.  Commissioner Knox said until the issue is resolved in the First Ward, he doesn't want to see them take on any more responsibility.  He is disappointed that they haven't had the county and the sanitary district in to discuss the matter.  Rob Collison said he met with Ed Kinnamon and members of the sanitary district to discuss the flat billing schedules.  There are State requirements that cover sanitary districts. Where sanitary districts are being used, they are required to have standard fees.  It appears from State law that they must charge you if you are using part of their system because they have to spread it out to all the users.  Some developers took the cheaper way instead of extending the services themselves.  The homeowners have to pay until the debt is paid off.  It is not forever.  Commissioner Knox requested a meeting between the city, county, and sanitary district.  Mayor Rippons said the developer can pay for the line up front.    He asked Ed Kinnamon to set up a meeting with the County Commissioners and their legal Counsel and the representatives from the sanitary district.  After this meeting, they will discuss the issue with the developers.

Vernon Spear said the lots were platted and recorded in 1958.  You can't come back and change the rules.  They are on the books.  A house was built there last year and the city gave them water.  The gentleman across the street was also given city water.  He is not a developer.  He bought a plot of ground that was platted and recorded in 1958.  Rob Collison said the two other properties were not contiguous so the city could not require annexation.  He asked if there is an agreement with representation in the land records saying this property will receive it.  Mr. Spear said he has records where the water was transported over the property that he bought to get out to where Addie Eckardt lives.  Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Spear to show Mr. Collison the documentation for his perusal and then he can report back to Council.

Brian Freeman, a resident agent for 4040 LLC and 4041 LLC, said these two companies purchased a section of Garden Estates which represents about 30 acres. There will be 8 homes built in the first section and the water and sewer allocation has been granted through the process.  There will be an additional request in the process.  The wetland issue is taking precedent and control over how much development there will be in there.  It is shrinking it substantially.  Out of the 36 or 40 lots that are available in the second purchase, there are perhaps only 13 homes that will be allowed to be built.  The remaining 15 to 20 acres will sit there.   

NEW BUSINESS

Update for Streetscape Plans for Race and Poplar Streets-Liddy Garcia said the final documents for the RFPs will be going out shortly for two pieces of the work for the 400 block of Race Street and Poplar Street.   First is the core-boring of the conduit underneath the sidewalk to bury the electric.  The second will be a 2-ft wide brick overlay adjacent to the curb. 

Request from First Baptist Church to Use the Large Grassy Knoll at Long Wharf for the Sunday Nights of August for Their Outdoor Gospel Concerts (5:00 pm through 8:30 pm)-David Pritchett said this has gone on for many years.  He doesn't believe they have had any complaints.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion on Abating Property Taxes on 606-608 Schoolhouse Lane and 703-705 Wright Street Properties-Ed Kinnamon said these four properties are in the urban renewal project funded through CDBG.  They are trying to get the properties into the city's name.  The county has approved the abatement of their taxes on the properties.  The city's total right now is $208.64.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the tax abatement.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Go to Bid for Annual Paving Contract-Mayor Rippons said a few Commissioners have indicated that there might be a few additional roads in need of paving.  He asked David Pritchett to look into allocating additional funds from the impact fees.  David Pritchett said for many years, the Department of Public Works has come before Council with a $70,000 to $150,000 paving request.  Unfortunately, it is far too low to be adequate.  Due to budgetary constraints, it has been understood and unchangeable.  Fortunately, we now have the impact fees.  He spoke to the engineer and they feel to do a good job and do entire streets instead of sections, which is not professional, their initial goal is to get up around $300,000.  He has initiated more milling, if necessary, to address drainage and gutter pans at the same time.  He knows Southside Avenue is an issue and he has included it from Woods Road to Stone Boundary.  It was done originally as tar and chip and that is how they will do it again. It will cost $9,000 for that section.  Paving would cost a little over $40,000. There is a lot of development proposed for that area. Following some of the construction, they will be looking at widening the road, installing more amenities, and then going to paving.  Mayor Rippons asked if there was time for the Commissioners to review the list of streets provided and then get a budget proposal before the next meeting which encompasses the needs that they see. David Pritchett said he didn't ask the engineer for a date.  Commissioner Watkins said he would like them to consider Camper Street from Pine Street to Phillips.  Commissioner Brooks said it is Center Street.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to go to bid for the annual paving contract.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox said there are numerous streets in our community that need to be fixed.  He questioned why they aren't doing the main arteries (Glasgow, Locust).  He feels they are doing band-aid paving.  They are planning to pave Glasgow from the corner of Glenburn to Leonard Lane.  All Glasgow is a disaster as well as Locust.  He believes they are going to do Dorchester Avenue from Franklin up a block when the entire length of Henry Street is a disaster.  The band-aid paving will not completely fix the streets.  He was out at Southside Avenue and went into the Southside Landing development.  Looking at those streets compared to the other streets in our community, they should be at the bottom of the list.  It looks like there was a preliminary layer of asphalt put down by the developer because there is another 2 inches of curbing that hasn't been brought up. He asked if they are required to finish it. David Pritchett said the city hasn't accepted those streets yet.  These are current under-development projects. He said there are sections of Southside that have been accepted. It was bought by a new developer and has been expanded. The expanded part is still fully his responsibility. Until it is 75 percent built out, they don't want him to put the final coat on. The streets on the paving list are the streets the city has accepted in the old development. He said they have $150,000 for paving.  It would take $100,000 to pave just Locust Street.  That would leave all the smaller sections that are breaking up and have potholes totally unaddressed.  Commissioner Knox repeated what he said a few months ago that the only thing the City of Cambridge has done for him before he decided to run for office was to raise his water bill and his property taxes and they haven't fixed his streets. He said it would suit him just fine if they tabled all this until they can look at their streets and compile a list of the ones they think should be looked at. Then maybe they can dig a little deeper and find a quarter or a half million dollars to start fixing them.  David Pritchett said the whole issue is the money.  As far as how it is done, the superintendent of Public Works and the engineer go out and make an evaluation based on their knowledge and the history on what they have done.  It will not be equally ward divided.  They go by the need of the street.  Last year the Fourth Ward was the heaviest area done. Commissioner Knox said he doesn't think the wards should be an issue. He feels they should be fair to the streets.  Commissioner Cephas said he too looked at every single street. In his opinion, some did not need paving as much as others.  If you look at Earle Street, which is not on the list, it has grass growing in it.  He doesn't think it has been paved but once in the history of Cambridge.  Noble and Slacum Streets would need it more than any other streets on the list.  David Pritchett requested that Council contact George Hyde because he made the determination. There is a pending development on Earle Street.  If so, the upgrade will be done by the developer.  That is why it was deferred this year.  He has spoken to the builder.  If they do the work they are planning to do, that is what will happen there. If not, they can certainly come back and do a second paving.  They would like to do it this year.  Commissioner Watkins asked if David Pritchett has the opportunity to choose who does the paving.  He noticed that the piece of property in front of the Bank of the Eastern Shore is the best paved street in town.  It is sloped off, water never lies there; it is always draining.  David Pritchett said it was done by P&A Engineering.

Portia Johnson Ennels asked if the Calvin Mowbray Park development streets were included on the paving list this year. David Pritchett said they are not because most of the streets are in better shape than some of these others are.  Ms. Ennels asked that the city engineer take a second look at them.  Even when there is a slight rain, the drainage is horrible. If the streets were to be re-paved, there is a lot more work that needs to be done to upgrade the streets.  She believes the 40-year old development needs to be put at the top of the list.  The people who live there are working people and should have the same benefits as everyone else.  They are tired of the band-aids and want the work done.  David Pritchett said they have probably maintained a higher standard there compared to the entire city. The problem is that if they pave over the top of it now, they will enhance the drainage problem. It will be put as a priority for drainage improvements.  It is a very expensive process and was never designed properly in the beginning.    The motion to allow DPW to go to bid for the paving contract was approved 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.

Discuss Traffic Study Proposals-David Pritchett said they opened several bids at the last meeting.  Because this is a content issue, they need to discuss the scope of work.  They are requesting to meet with the two most-qualified bidders and then return to Council with recommendations based on qualifications and the scope of work they are proposing to do.  Commissioner Knox and Mayor Rippons will attend the meeting.

Approve Purchase Order 497 - Coastal Products Co., Inc. - Bulk Ice Control Salt - $4,071.78-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Purchase Order 499 - Zones, Inc. - Color Laser Printer - $3,444 for DPW-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 502 - John Tieder -  $20,000 for Traffic Light and Pole (Cedar/ Dorchester)-David Pritchett said a tractor trailer knocked the pole over, broke the cable, and destroyed the entire system including the controller. It was an emergency repair that was addressed with Council. They received two bids for $28,000 each.  John Tieder bid $20,000 (guaranteed not to exceed).  They have already poured the footer pad.  The Code requires that they wait seven days for it to set-up before they can install the actual pole. The city should receive a high in-part or full reimbursement from the truck driver's insurance company. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order to cover this emergency repair. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for the Department of Public Works- Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the budget amendment.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

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

RFC's Request to Go to Bid for: New Outboard Motors (Boat #1); Hazardous Materials Team Equipment; Confined Space Team Equipment; Turn-Out Gear; Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

David Pritchett said there is an emergency sewer situation with MDE response.  He requested to leave the meeting because he is unable to get the superintendent tonight.

Rob Collison reported that Council met in closed executive session beginning at 6:00 pm to discuss a personnel matter.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to go into executive session directly after the meeting to discuss personnel and the economic development.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Rob Collison said when Council discussed Blackwater Resort it was just a motion to approve the preliminary master development plan.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve and adopt the ordinance, findings of fact, and related exhibits that were submitted to Council for the approval of the preliminary master development plan. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Rob Collison said there will be a work session on Thursday at 7:00 pm for the PWCD revision.  Public input will be taken on the proposed revisions. 

Ryan Showalter said earlier this month he submitted two annexation petitions.  One was for the Robbins property on the south side of Washington Street and the Palmer property on the north side of Washington Street.  It is his understanding that they were submitted for the April Planning Commission meeting.   Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the two requests to Planning and Zoning. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Janice Banks, a member of Rescue Fire Company for almost 20 years, said she is coming to Council with a request, not for the fire company per se, but for the Delmarva Convention.  They are hosting the convention on May 12 through 14, 2005. This volunteer organization is a little bit short of funds.  They don't have the money coming in as they need. She is asking the city to help this volunteer organization who serves the city every day faithfully and with a smile on their faces going through smoking buildings.  They are asking for a contribution to their efforts so they can keep this thing rolling and make the City of Cambridge look good.  They will have people coming from Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.  The event will be held at Sailwinds.  A small contribution of a nominal fee will be greatly appreciated.  Commissioner Cephas asked what they need for the function.  Ms. Banks said they need a lot of things.  They need convention ads and she asked each Commissioner personally to place an ad.  From the city, they need financial help. Dinners are $1500 per night. They are hosting it because they have a member who is either going to be the past president or something like that of the convention.  Easton, Ocean City, and Chincoteague did a wonderful job. They want the city to grow.  They will be having a parade and will address that later with the Council.  Ed Kinnamon said the Council has already committed to a one-page ad with their pictures which they will be paying for out of their own pockets.  Ms. Banks asked if the city could give $5000; if not, they could come down a little bit.  They are requesting anything that the city can give them.  She said if the city would like the request in writing, she will come back to the next meeting.  Commissioner Brooks asked that this be put on the agenda for the next meeting.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Liddy Garcia said Cambridge Main Street would like to name the pedestrian mall.  Currently the name is pretty vague.  They would like to have a contest and open it up to the public to enter names.  The name would have to be historic.  Looking at the 1918 Sandborn maps, she found it was a grocery and meat store. The Board will review the names and then come to Council for a final vote.  They would like a name that makes it more like a thoroughfare that would go from the back parking lot to the main street. Commissioner Travers said the store was called The American Store Company No. 1595 and he used to work in it.  Mayor Rippons asked if anyone was averse to having Main Street hold the contest.  Nobody was opposed. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:20 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 28, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer