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

June 13, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 13, 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 Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 23, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion was passed 3:0.   

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Annexation Resolution A-2005-01 - Tax Map 30, Parcels 82 and 93 (162.9 acres on the south side of Maryland Route 343)-Rob Collison reported the notification of publication was advertised in the Daily Banner on April 28, May 5, May 12, and 19, 2005.  Notice of the public hearing was sent via regular and certified mail to the Maryland Department of Planning; Steve Dodd, Director of Dorchester County Planning and Zoning; and to the Dorchester County Council by correspondence dated April 29, 2005.  The City received a letter from the Maryland Department of Planning dated May 27, 2005 stating they have looked at the information from the State's prospective and offered comments.  They recommended the City look at making the land a Priority Funding Area if the area is annexed.  The City received correspondence from Dorchester County dated May 26, 2005.  Steve Dodd has concluded that the proposed annexation of the Robbins property is not consistent with the County's Comprehensive Plan because the plan does not anticipate the area in question being served by municipal sewer and residential densities which accompany the provisions of those services.  Pursuant to the County's Comprehensive Plan, a five-year waiting period is required for annexation requests that are not consistent with the plan. The applicant will need to submit a request to the County Council for a waiver of the five-year waiting period.  If the waiver is granted by the County Council, the County will then consider the annexation request.  Nobody from the State or the County governments asked to speak.

Anne Roane reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the annexation.  They had not heard from Dorchester County at that time. 

Ryan Showalter, Miles & Stockbridge, spoke on behalf of Doris Robbins (current owner) and Lacrosse Homes (contract purchaser).  He introduced John Dixon of Lacrosse Homes and Ken Usab of Morris & Ritchie Associates.   He said the Dorchester County Comprehensive Plan designates this property as being within the development district category.  Within this designation, they recommend residential development to occur.  This area is indicated to absorb approximately 50 to 60 percent of new residential development within the county during the next 20 years (2021).  The policies encouraged with the development district by the plan include smaller lots, reduced set-backs, and modestly higher densities.  Consistent with the State's Priority Funding Area's legislation and Smart Growth initiatives, this project proposes annexation and service by municipal water and wastewater facilities.  The city zoning that is proposed is R1 (single family). It is the lowest density in the City that exists.  It permits a minimum of 10,000 sq.ft. lots.  The project proposes 164 15,000-sq.ft. lots.   He said the county adopted their comprehensive plan in 1996.  About 7½ years later, they amended their comprehensive water and sewer plan.  The State requires each county to have a comprehensive water and sewer plan that designates properties both within and outside municipalities that are programmed for water and sewer service.  Comparing the maps, the water and sewer plan recognizes changing growth trends and patterns of the city and embraces the Priority Funding Area and Smart Growth initiatives because the water and sewer plan actually designates this property for municipal water and wastewater service.  The city's comprehensive plan indicates as a primary goal that the city should annex property and extend water and sewer service to properties adjacent to the city to accommodate the growth that the county comprehensive plan projects during the next planning period for the city.

Ken Usab briefly discussed the land use concepts that they believe they are going to pursue if annexation is successful.  The area is proposed in an existing development district according to the comprehensive plan. It is proposed in the water and sewer plan for public water and sewer infrastructure which would only be connecting into the city system.  They are proposing a transition from the higher density R3 development at Cattail Crossing to a 15,000 sq.ft. configuration, transitioning into the more rural areas in the county.  The lots are almost entirely out of the wooded portion of the site.  They are set back off of Maryland Route 343 so that growth allocation will not be required for the project.  Some of the stormwater management facilities might have to be relocated.  They are proposing a higher-end market with custom homes.  They will have a monumental entrance with an excel/decel lane on Maryland 343 with a divided boulevard coming through the community open space.  The first homes are set approximately 600 to 800 feet away from Maryland Route 343.  The Municipal Utilities Commission has indicated a need for an elevated water storage facility in the west Cambridge area in conjunction with all the other development going on.  Lacrosse Homes has agreed to provide land to Cambridge for putting a water tower on this site.   The sewer needs will be met by connecting into the Westside interceptor. 

Ryan Showalter said the project recognized the importance of paying its fair share of growth-related impacts.  The project will pay the full county and city impact fees and excise taxes which total approximately $9,000 per unit.  In addition, this project will voluntarily contribute one‑half of $1 million to the city to be used toward the design and construction of the west Cambridge bypass.  That is in excess of $3,000 per unit to supplement the portions of the impact fees that are already dedicated to transportation improvements and transportation impacts.  The annexation meets all of the State law requirements in that it is contiguous to city boundaries and all appropriate advertising has been completed.  In regard to the county letter, it is important to note that the five-year rule that the county mentioned in not a five-year veto or approval authority with respect to annexation, it is only with respect to the zoning.  They are working to request an approval by the county of the zoning waiver.  They expect to have it before the annexation resolution becomes effective if the city is inclined to move forward.

Nobody from the audience had any questions or comments.  Rob Collison asked that the vote be deferred to next week.  Mayor Rippons closed the public hearing.

Proposed Amendments to the Zoning Code-Rob Collison said this public hearing is for several amendments to the city's zoning ordinance.  The certificate of publication of tonight's public hearing was published in the Daily Banner on May 26 and June 2, 2005.  The proposed amendments are as follows:

1. An ordinance to provide for an increase for the permissible height of multi-family residential uses within the R3 (multi-family residential) district from 45feet to a maximum height of 70 feet for parcels greater than 20 acres in size. This will be by special exception.

2. Amendments to an ordinance to establish procedures and requirements for the consideration and execution of development rights and responsibilities agreements as authorized by Maryland Annotated Code 66b Section 13.01.

3. An ordinance to comprehensively amend the City of Cambridge's Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program and Critical Area Regulatory Provisions of the City Zoning Code.

Rob Collison said during the preliminary site plan review for parcels zoned R3 that are larger than 20 areas, the Planning Commission may approve multi-family buildings up to 70 feet in height if the Planning Commission determines that the proposed buildings are appropriate for the site, based upon the Commission's review of the following: site design and layout; building elevations; architectural details and building materials; existing or proposed buffers or transition areas (forests, landscaping, streets, etc.); and the distance from and compatibility with adjacent existing uses. Anne Roane reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that this text amendment be adopted.

Commissioner Cephas said he is surprised because there was a big discussion about the building height on a piece of property on the creek.  Anne Roane said they discussed cases where it would be appropriate for buildings of this height.  There were concerns about land on the creek.   They decided on properties of 20 acres or more and the Commission will look at the different criteria.  There might be areas where it is appropriate to allow a building to go up to 75 feet.  It would be a special exception and a public hearing would be necessary. 

Commissioner Cephas said there is a combined Dorchester County and City of Cambridge Housing Task Force.  They are looking at changing the zoning code.  He asked if any of the members were at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting when they made their decision.  Anne Roane said to her knowledge, they were not at the meeting.  She recently found out that this coalition exists.  She sits on the advisory group for the Dorchester County comprehensive plan update with members from that organization.  They will certainly try to combine their efforts there.  Rob Collison said if there is a concern that they are increasing the density, they could also make it a condition that they can go up to 70 feet provided there would be no more than four stories of living space.  Rob Collison recommended voting on this item next week.

Commissioner Cephas asked about the building moratorium in the PWCD.  Anne Roane said the ordinance is being fine-tuned.  The draft will go to Council and hopefully it will be ready for a vote in July.  Rob Collison said he believes the nine-month period is up in September.  Anne Roane said there has been a lot of public input.

Rob Collison said the second ordinance is for procedures and creating development rights and responsibilities agreements.  It puts into the city code what is permitted by State law which allows the city to enter into binding agreements with the developers.  The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of this ordinance.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the ordinance.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Rob Collison said the third ordinance is a comprehensive revision of the city's comprehensive bay critical area program and regulatory provision.  Anne Roane said the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve this ordinance.  Roby Hurley, Maryland Department of Planning, said his job to assist mid-shore towns with implementation and interpretation of the critical area law.  In this case the city is hearing changes to the critical area program.  The process started when the city approved changes to the zoning ordinance last fall.  It was approved by the Critical Area Commission with conditions.  The day-to-day information that the staff will use is all in the city's zoning ordinance.  The last requirement of a six-year update is to include correspondence from the environmental review unit and the heritage unit of DNR.  Commissioner Brooks asked Rob Collison if the Council should wait to vote until they have a fifth Commissioner.  Rob Collison said there is no legal requirement but Council may wish to defer the vote until next week when they can look at the entire document.  Roby Hurley said the Critical Areas Commission will have to vote on the city's changes.  

APPOINTMENTS

Sylvia Jones to Discuss Drainage Problems at Calvin W. Mowbray Park-Sylvia Jones, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cambridge, prepared a packet of information for Council that shows correspondence between the Department of Public Works, the Mayor's office, and her office.  The first letter, dated April 27, 1993, discusses the drainage problem they have throughout the development and particularly on Weaver Avenue.  She included pictures taken on June 3, 2005.  You can see the amount of water that is on the street and going over the curb.   Another picture shows the water is still there five days later. They have been plagued with this problem since 1993.  They are asking for relief from this problem.  The streets in the Housing Authority are the property of the city.  Commissioner Brooks said in a letter from David Pritchett dated December 19, 2000, he says the city engineer will evaluate and explore corrective measures.  She asked David Pritchett where the city stands now.  David Pritchett said what the engineer explained to him was that the entire development was extremely poorly designed when it was built.  There are two main outlets that go into the stormwater system which is highly inappropriate and insufficient.  It is a massive project.  They applied two times from grant assistance because he estimated in 2001 it would cost $239,000 for adequate (not the best) engineering to abate the problem. They did not receive either grant.  He asked Mrs. Jones for her assistance in any avenue where she thought they might be able to find funding.  They went to Council since 1993.  It is a matter of getting the funding to do it.  The entire city budget for paving is between $100,000 and $150,000.  They have been unable to do it financially.  Mayor Rippons asked Mrs. Jones if the Housing Authority came up with any avenues they could explore to help with the funding issue.  Mrs. Jones said the Housing Authority has a modernization program which they use to renovate their dwelling units and common areas.  With the cuts in funding, they have not been successful in obtaining additional funds either.  They have made the sidewalks handicap assessable and have clearly identified them.  When it rains, it covers the sidewalks.  They receive around $200,000 a year for the common areas.  Mayor Rippons asked if they would contribute some of the funding to join with city funding to alleviate the problem.   Mrs. Jones said they barely have enough funding for the recreational items they have listed.  In many cases they have had to postpone several of the items because the funding is cut.   They are not guaranteed a certain amount each year.  Mayor Rippons said the city is in the same situation with funding being cut at the State level.  Mrs. Jones said in December  2003 a letter was sent to the city signed by each of their Board members restating the problem and the number of years they have been going through this particular problem with water. 

Commissioner Brooks said Weaver Avenue is a city street. If there is a drainage problem on Locust or High Streets, it is the city's responsibility to fix it.  David Pritchett said there are many city streets with the same problem.   Commissioner Brooks said there is water on the street and it will become infested with mosquitoes which bring diseases. She understands there is a lack of funding, but she questioned the five-year time frame. Sylvia Jones said it was in 1993. She asked if any other street had to wait that long to get a problem corrected.  David Pritchett said others have waited much longer.  They have to look at the whole city which has 65 miles of roads.  There are areas that are much worse.  This is in the gutter pans mostly.  Others areas flood the street surface and it is a safety situation for a longer time.  Commissioner Brooks said there is proof that this has been coming to the city for 12 years.  She doesn't know what proof they have for the rest of the city.  An unidentified gentlemen said when they addressed a similar situation on Glasgow Street where there was standing water on streets and sidewalks, when the repairs were made, a good bit of the cost, if not all of it, was born by the property owners adjacent to the street.  Octavene Saunders asked Lee Weldon what kind of money was used to take care of Water Street.  Lee Weldon said that was part of the sewer separation project that Mrs. Saunders' Council approved.  Mrs. Saunders said there are no homeowners in public housing.  They are there because of economic and/or health situations. She said if all this money is going for a much-needed public safety building and there is a lot of infrastructure money coming in, 12 years is certainly time instead of putting the burden on Mrs. Jones who is doing the best she can with the little bit she gets, it is a city problem and the city should be taking care of it.  They shouldn't have to come down to Council and ask for it.  She feels they should find the money to relieve this lady's problem.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she lives on Cornish Drive which is part of the Cambridge Housing Authority.  The people in the Water Street area asked for assistance from Congressman Gilchrest to find funding to help them.  She cannot understand why this Council can't do the same thing for these people.  They are not property owners but they do pay taxes.  Because they live in public housing, they are not afforded the same help as was given out in the Water Street area.  They deserve the same.  When it was built, the Council knew it was wrong and they didn't want it there.  The Mayor at that time said in five years he would come through with a tractor and knock it down because it will be a slum.  It is 40 years old and it is not a slum.  It is time that the city reaches in its coffers and finds some money.  There are 150 families that live in that area.  Mrs. Jones said in addition, there was a cooperative agreement signed that sets forth the responsibilities of both the Housing Authority and the city.  Elaine Stafford said she worked in civil rights in the 1960s.  This is how public housing came about because the city fought it.  The Justice Department saw to it that federal housing came to Cambridge.  They are being stoned by this because they aren't getting any kind of help.  They are not getting what other citizens are getting in this city. 

David Pritchett said it wouldn't be right to compare this to the Water Street project. That was in the middle of a lawsuit under MDE and EPA.  It became funded by and backed by the fact that it was an environment issue because raw sewage was going overboard. That is what led to getting it separated.  It is not equitable to compare them.  The drainage problem is throughout the entire city.  In other areas it is the ditches that don't drain.  They hold water for two or three weeks.  They hear from people all over the city.  They money has been very tight but times are getting better.  Commissioner Brooks said if we are looking at brighter times, she doesn't see why it is a problem.   Portia Johnson-Ennels said they aren't asking for paving.  They are asking for drainage.  There is no need for paving if the drainage problem is still there.  She has yet to see them come to Calvin Mowbray Park and pave the entire place.  Mayor Rippons said in the budget that will come up for next year, the city's allowance has been increased to $300,000.  It is a policy question for Council to allocate that $300,000.  Commissioner Brooks said listening to the problems on Weaver Avenue, she feels like the budget committee needs to re-convene and add a little more money.  Mayor Rippons said perhaps the best way to address it is in phases.  There may be areas in front of 500 other homes that need to be addressed.  Octavene Saunders said the Department of Housing and Community Development partnered with the City to take care of the drainage in the Maryland Avenue and Henry Street area. 

Commissioner Cephas said they talked about paving streets a couple of months ago. There are streets in his ward that have only been paved once since the street has been there.  At that time, Mrs. Johnson-Ennels talked about Weaver Avenue and the problems they have been having.  He spoke with Mrs. Jones and saw letters to and from Tom Moore at Public Works and Mayor Wooten.  He also saw letters to David Pritchett and Mayor Rippons.  Earle Street has only been paved once.  There is grass growing in the street.  If we can put money into streets that have been paved within the last 10 years, and then you have a 40-year street that has never been paved and you have a situation such as Mrs. Johnson-Ennels is talking about, if they have to use the entire paving budget to fix that particular problem, then the time has come to do it.  He is not saying bypass other streets but on the other hand, he is saying do that.  Earle Street has been bypassed for years.  It needs to be looked at very carefully. To ask them to come up with funds themselves, he thinks they are struggling now.  We have impact fees, and if anybody is to tell him that they can't use the impact fees for this property, then somebody is not telling the truth.  We can do that.  He knows we can do that. There is nothing illegal about doing that.  Something should be done about that problem on Weaver Avenue.  If the project was poorly developed 40 years ago, somebody allowed a poorly-developed project to come into this city.  We should correct it. 

Sylvia Jones said the poor inadequate lighting was also noted in the letters.  They were told that they have the option of privately enhancing any lighting needs which are above the city standards.  They use their funding source to put lighting on the rear and front.  The lighting is poor.  Once you leave the sidewalk and get to the curb, you cannot see who is walking on that street.  In addition to the drainage problem, there is a lighting problem.

Commissioner Brooks said she read a letter dated January 16, 2002, which stated it was financially not feasible or needed.  She has a problem with that statement coming from one particular person.  It is not one person's job to tell an entire development without it coming before Council that lighting is not needed in that particular area.  Commissioner Cephas said he is on the lighting committee and he will take a look at the lighting.  He made a motion to refer the request to the lighting committee.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.   David Pritchett said the lighting is not sub-standard.  It meets the city standard of every other light.  If there is a certain area like that one, if they can know the specific location, they can look at it.  They could also look at it comprehensively. 

Octavene Saunders asked Commissioner Cephas if he is going to make a formal action tonight to find some money to take care of Weaver Avenue in phases.  Commissioner Cephas said he suggested during his discussion that there are monies such as impact fees that could be used.  There are lists of streets that have been proposed that we pave.  Some of those streets might have to be put on hold so they can take care of some priorities.  Commissioner Brooks said the Council will meet again next week.  She asked Mr. Kinnamon to look into the budget and see of there is anything available that we have.  They will have another discussion when they know what monies are available.  At that time they can make a motion.  Rob Collison said the last estimate was from 2001.  He suggested that George Hyde look at it to see about cost increases.  David Pritchett said he is already looking at it.  In 2001 the very rough estimate was $239,000. He anticipates it will be significantly higher because paving has gone up quite a bit since 2001.  

Representative from Visions America to Request a Letter of Support for the Concept of Their Project of the Development of Low-Income Housing--Sharon Wilson requested a letter of support for the concept of low income housing.  The deadline for the Federal grant is June 17, 2005.  She has obtained a lot of other support letters from various officials in the county.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request for a letter of support.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Brooks asked if the letter was for any specific area.  Sharon Wilson said it could be for any area.  Visions America is willing to partner with any agency to make this happen.  The motion passed 3:0.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Recommendation to Award Bid for Annual Paving Contract-The Department of Public Works recommended awarding the contract to George & Lynch, Inc., the lowest qualified bidder, in the amount of $200,550.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to accept the recommendation.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  He said prior to this, there was discussion on Weaver Avenue.  He asked if it was appropriate to award the bid at this time for paving when we may not be paving this year.  David Pritchett said it is Council's call.  He highly recommends it.  These are areas that within a year will be totally broken up asphalt.  They only have enough to do patches.  They do not have enough to do whole streets.  Commissioner Brooks said if it is not time sensitive, she recommended it be deferred until after they get the information that they need for the Weaver Avenue project and get some figures from Mr. Kinnamon.  David Pritchett said it is extremely time-sensitive in that we have to have this contract awarded because it is for the last budget year.  If they don't have it tonight, they will loose the money.  Commissioner Brooks said the Council is meeting again next week which is in the same budget year.  Ed Kinnamon said this award is for this fiscal year which is up in three weeks.  There is $300,000 budgeted for the 2006 budget.  The motion passed 3:0.

Resolution for the Increase in Building Permits Fee to Cover Traffic Study and Implementation-Rob Collison asked that this be deferred to next week. Mayor Rippons asked that DPW not accept any permits fees until next week.

NEW BUSINESS

Approve Updated Resolution of Official Intent to Borrow Funds for the Public Safety Building-Ed Kinnamon said in October 2002 the Council approved a resolution to borrow $10,000,000.  The project is coming in at no more than $13,000,000 which includes the building, acquisition, rehabilitation of the current City Hall, and other items.  In 2002 they only had estimates.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the resolution.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Council to Approve Connection of Water to Properties at Riverside Drive and Bayview Estates-Rob Collison said approval is expressly subject to the payment of all impact fees for water and sewer for residences outside the city limits.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request with the stipulation outlined by Rob Collison.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3:0.

Request from West End Citizen's Association to Close Mill Street Between School and Water Streets on Monday, July 4th from 2:00 pm Until 6:00 pm for a Block Party Fund Raiser and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance from 2:00 pm Until 8:00 pm-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Re-Appoint Jane Devlin to City Ethic's Committee-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to re-appoint Jane Devlin to the City's Ethic's Committee.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Council to Sign Agreement with Cambridge Yacht Club for Admiral Byrd Regatta-Commissioner Travers made a motion to sign the agreement.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 527 - The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. -- $1,275,530 - Public Safety Building-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  A question arose about George Hyde signing the purchase order over David Pritchett's name.  Rob Collison suggested Ed Kinnamon type "George Hyde as Acting Director" on the original purchase order.  The motion passed 3:0 with the necessary correction.

Approve Budget Amendments for City Hall-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget amendments.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Budget Amendment for Cambridge Emergency Medical Services- Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the budget amendments.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Budget Amendment for Cambridge Police Department- Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the budget amendment.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Budget Amendment for Department of Public Works-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the budget amendment.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison announced that in light of the MML conference in two weeks, the City Council will meet in a regular session next Monday, June 20, 2005.

Commissioner Cephas said in reference to letters of support, he made a motion that City Council grant the Housing Authority of Cambridge a letter of support in the project that they talked about some time ago in reference to low and moderate income homes.  Sylvia Jones said she and Mrs. Stafford met with Mayor Rippons during the discussion of their annual plan.  They talked about the need for additional housing based on the 190 applications on file at that time.  In talking with him, it led to her arranging with Don Bibb of the Easton Housing Authority for Carlton Stanley, Mrs. Stafford, and Anne Roane to tour the elderly complex that Don had built in Graham Park.   They are interested in developing elderly units and other affordable units.  They do not need a letter of support at this time but will in the future.

Commissioner Cephas thanked the citizens for the kindness they extended to Commissioner Watkins and his family.  Commissioner Brooks read the card from the Watkins family.

Commissioner Brooks informed Council that she spoke to Oden Wheeler and Ed Kinnamon about moving forward with a skateboard park in Cambridge.  Some young men came forward and said they would do their part.  It has been almost a year and she has not heard anything from them.  She has spoken to several young community residents.  They have expressed a dire need of how this city is growing on the outside and not on the inside.  All of the housing developments that are coming up have community centers, pools, etc. for their children to go to.  For the children who live in the inner city, we have nothing.  She spoke with Mr. Kinnamon and worked with Commissioner Cephas on the possibility of bringing a skating rink into the city as well as a community center within that location for the inner city children.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion that Council request that Mr. Kinnamon and Mr. Wheeler proceed and give Council biweekly updates as to where we are at in that process.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  If they need a City Council person to assist them, he will be more than willing to serve on a committee.  Commissioner Travers said he checked on the Metro building today.  It is appraised at $2,165,000.  Commissioner Brooks said there is also the Acme building, the K-Mart building, and other buildings in the city.  The starting point is to explore how we can bring something here for our children.  The police know what they have to deal with when young teenagers have nothing to do.  If we had something that our children can do at a community center where they can go and have their own committee and their own advisory boards, it would give them a start.   If biweekly updates are too much, we can move to monthly updates.  The motion passed 3:0.

Commissioner Brooks said she has some questions about the budget regarding personnel.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to enter into executive session after the meeting.   Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Commissioner Brooks requested that the Traffic and Safety Committee meet.  They have a request in Patamoke I.  They have two blind children who live within 10 houses of each other.  They also have 3 children in wheelchairs.  They have absolutely nowhere to play.  She is asking for signs to identify for people coming into the area that handicapped children are present.  The parents are more than in agreement for having this done.

Commissioner Brooks said it has been brought to her attention today that there were some promises made by developers at Bayly Crossing, Patamoke I, and Patamoke II, that have not been followed through with.  She would like to have the developers' plans brought to her so she can read them.  She will talk to Anne Roane.  If there is anything that the developers have promised and have not done, she thinks the city should have looked into it.  She asked that the documents be made available to her as soon as possible.

Chief Malik said the Cambridge Police Department has an open-door policy.  If anyone has any concerns or complaints or suggestions concerning the police department, please give him a call and he will be glad to talk to them.  If he is not available, one of his staff officers will talk to them.

Octavene Saunders read a statement in regards to the Cedar and Race Streets property.  She questioned how a public hearing could be scheduled when a citizen has publicly requested an ethics investigation in regards to the Mayor's actions about the property.  She asked that they do the right thing and not move forward with any action whatsoever involving the property on the corner of Race and Cedar Streets until the ethic's committee has rendered a decision and before Council would render any vote they would, based on their decision.

Lee Weldon asked if the adjustment to the permit fee is across the board, or if it is just for new housing developments.  Rob Collision said the design was for new construction/new building-not improvements on existing homes.  It is for development projects that have not completed a traffic study or are going to forego doing one themselves and contribute financially to the city's comprehensive study.  They have a few things to fine tune.  If it is truly to take the place of a traffic study, small subdivisions or single lots do not have to do it.  It would only be for major subdivisions.  There is going to be an implementation aspect to the traffic study.  Implementing their recommendations will probably be city-wide. 

Commissioner Cephas said Sylvia Jones spoke earlier about the summer program.  Sylvia Jones said everyone should be aware of the fact that Governor Ehrlich's Summer Forward Youth Program has not been funded.  George LeCompte of Bethel AME Church came before Council some time ago requesting funds.  She has prepared a packet for Council requesting funds from the city to help them to be able to have a program at the Housing Authority as they have done over the past 9 years.  The program came about because the at-risk children and low income clients need it.  It provides breakfast and lunch for the students.  It provides a safe place for them to come and learn through enrichment activities. It also helps them with conflict resolution. They are asking the city to help them to have this program.  Commissioner Cephas asked about the estimated cost of the program.  Sylvia Jones said in the past it has been roughly anywhere from $7,000 to $8,000.  They are asking for $5,000.  They have requested help from everyone. 

Sharon Wilson said they got their letter saying the program was going to be cut two weeks before the program was going to start.  The Maryland State Department of Education's food program helps with the food for the children.  They were supposed to start their program today because they run a 10-week program; however, they had to cancel it.  It costs them $60,000 for those weeks.  They pay all of their employees above the minimum wage.  The State cut the programs because they consider all programs as summer camps.  They put specifics that it has to be a 15:1 ratio for children to adults.  It is going to hurt a lot of programs. 

Gloria Cornish, coordinator for the Waugh Church summer program, has a letter asking for any support that the city can give.  They have to modify their length of time during the day and modify their program.  They had to limit the age groups they can serve.  They don't want to stop their program.  The program will be very heavily tutorial this year simply because of lack of funds. She is asking for Council's support.

Octavene Saunders thanked the Council for the financial assistance they gave to the program at the Empowerment Center.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:05 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 13, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer