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

June 20, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 20, 2005 Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance.   The meeting minutes for the June 13, 2005 meeting will be approved at the July 11, 2005 meeting.

Mayor Rippons passed around a copy of the May/June 2005 Eastern Shore Edition of the African American Pride Magazine which featured a story on former City Commissioner Edward E. Watkins who passed away on April 29, 2005.

PUBLIC HEARING

Proposed Sale of City-Owned Property on the Corner of Race and Cedar Streets-Rob Collison said the notification of the public hearing was published on June 9th and 16th.  The Commissioners gave notice that they are considering disposition of the properties due to the fact that the properties are no longer needed for any public use.  The property consists of approximately 1.8 acres.  The properties are shown on Tax Map 302 as Parcel 4904, 4905, 4906, 4907, 4908, 4775, 4776, 4777, 4778, 4779, 4780, 4794, and 4796.  The Commissioners propose selling the property to Sapphire Development Company of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in a private sale on or after July 15, 2005 for the sum of $1.1 million.  Rob Collison recommended that Council hear the presentation tonight, answer any questions of the public, and leave the hearing open until the next meeting on July 11th.  There may be some public comment after they have heard it and digested it.  As required by State law, the Commissioners cannot have the sale earlier than 20 days from the date of the notice in the paper. 

Pat Heller, Sapphire Development Company, introduced Jennifer Martello from MGZA Architects who has assisted him so far.  They are proposing to build a four-story mixed-use structure.  The first floor will consist of 10 to 11 retail outlets. The top three floors will consists of 40 condominium units which will be 1½ stories each.  There will be an expansive open-air loft design with elevator access to the units.  The homes will offer two to three different interior designs with a proposed size of anywhere from 1200 to 1500 sq.ft. per unit.  The anticipated average base price range will be around $225,000 to $250,000.  He presented an artist's rendering of what the finished product should look like.  The only relief they will be looking for is relief from the current parking ordinance of 127 spaces.  They can provide 80 spaces. If the city's future plans are to encourage more pedestrian traffic, hopefully this is an attainable goal.  If their future plan to expand is achieved, they may be able to incorporate more parking at a future date.  Currently their plan is to enter and exit the project via Cedar Street and Light Street.  They have maintained the height requirements within the city.  They are looking to provide housing in an anticipated affordable price range.  The retail units will invite new prospects to the area while also allowing current retailers in the area the choice to upgrade to a new facility.  This will allow their vacated facility to be utilized by an upstart establishment.  The retail units should create from 75 to 125 permanent new jobs.  During the construction phase there could be 75 construction jobs. 

Commissioner Cephas asked Mr. Heller what kind of jobs he was referring to.  Mr. Heller said there will be 10 or 11 retail establishments.  With a 12‑ to 15‑hour working day, you are looking at 10 to 12 jobs per establishment.  Commissioner Cephas asked about the kind of retail Mr. Heller is referring to.  Mr. Heller said that is the big risk as a developer.  They are not sure of the type of retail to come in. They have spoken to a number of national commercial brokers.  They like what is going on in the city.  It won't be a big retail establishment.  The demographics are not pulling in the big anchors. 

Commissioner Cephas asked about the anticipated tax base per year.  Mr. Heller said they have not gotten that far because it is so hypothetical that it would be unwarranted to offer any numbers right now.  They are asking for approval on the project so they can go to Step 2 which would warrant those answers. 

Liddy Garcia asked about the rent per square foot for the retail.  Mr. Heller said the demographics aren't there to pull in someone like Panera Bread or Blockbuster. They will customize the end-users to applicable rents.  He can't give a substantial answer to the rent base yet.

Wendell Foxwell said it is a nice looking building.  He asked if they have tried to buy any of the other property.  It will look rough with the new building near the old ones.  Mr. Heller said the city offered a parcel.  They made an offer.  He calls this Phase 1.  They have discussed Phase 2 in front of Council.  He has looked at other grounds.  If it makes sense to move the people from this part of the block to another part of the community, they are all for it.  He doesn't want to be a bad guy and tell people they are moving.  He wants to make it work for the people.  He wants to make sure the people are ready, willing, and able to upgrade/move to another area.  If they can make people's lives better somewhere else, that is what they strive to do.  The idea is that this will be the gateway to the community.  Phase 1 is the city's parcel.  Phase 2 will be the houses behind it.  Phase 3 will be the other side of Cedar Street.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said looking at what the developer proposes for that corner and there is a home for elderly and handicapped on the other corner, a DSS building on the other corner and a pharmacy on the fourth corner, the corner will not look right.  The pharmacy and Mrs. Mack's building are not at the height.  They talk about the building being the gateway.  There are businesses at the beginning of Cedar Street and then houses.  She asked where the developer would move those people.  There aren't too many decent places to move. Mr. Heller said he understands that a number of the residents have been approached and an offer was made to them collectively to sell and be move.  He is not so sure they had an end place to go at that point.  Before they got the project, he was looking at other ground.  Portia Johnson-Ennels said the majority of the people rent the houses.  The landlords may agree to sell but the people who live there are everyday renters.  Mayor Rippons explained the way it was described to Council.  The developer would purchase the property and then on his own, he would build rental properties for those people to move in.  He is looking at rent as close as possible to the current rent that they are paying.  Mr. Heller said they are here to talk about Phase 1 tonight.  Before he even knew there were landlords they started talking about the people here.  Once the project is awarded, his next step is to talk about Phase 2.  While they are doing the engineering, land planning and developing of this piece, it would be advantageous to do the other piece as well.  If they had to build 13 houses and rent them to the people, they could do that as well. 

Armond Hayward said it looks like they have 60 parking spaces.  There is a big problem coming from Hubbard's and trying to get out.  Mr. Heller said some of the parking will be in the back.  There are certain economics in developing a building.  That led them to the 80 parking spaces that they are asking for to make it an economically feasible project.  They are also trying to maintain the pedestrian traffic within the city.  If they get Phase 2, it may be elaborated upon. 

Liddy Garcia asked if they had thought about deck parking.  Cambridge, like all small cities, has parking issues.  The first thing people will ask when they want to rent the retail space will be about the parking.  If those spaces are taken by the people in the condominiums, it will be a problem.   Mr. Heller said what he is presenting tonight is an enhancement to the city.  At some time it doesn't become feasible anymore.  With what they have now, it works.  If they start getting into deck parking, it doesn't work from the standpoint of what they offered the city to buy the parcel.   Armond Hayward said a lot of the people who are living in those houses are there because they don't have cars.

Commissioner Brooks said a lot of what Mr. Heller said tonight was "I don't know" when it came to the retail.  She has a problem with that.  What she does know is right across the street from the proposed project is the Bradford House.  In there you have physically and mentally disable people and the elderly.  It will make a great deal of difference to her what type of retail will go in those 15 locations with that population right across the street.  She finds it hard to vote on Phase 1 tonight where there a lot of answers of "I don't know". 

Nobody else asked to speak.  Rob Collison recommended leaving the record open until the next meeting on July 11, 2005.  They can put it on the agenda at that time.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to leave the record open until July 11, 2005.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Travers said he is concerned about the project.  Mr. Heller has been down here so many times.  Mr. Heller said the reason he doesn't have all the answers on the retail, taxes, and base rents is because as a developer, they haven't been awarded a project yet.  They have spent a lot of time, effort, energy and money to date but have not been awarded the project.  If, in fact, the vote was tonight and he is awarded the project, you would have a lot of those answers in the very near future.  If he had been awarded the project four months ago, you would have had these answers times ten by now.  They can't expend efforts, energy and monies on something they don't have.  Once they are awarded the project, all the questions will be answered.  They are looking for a vote so they can move forward.  He is willing to address the housing needs.  Rob Collison said his recommendation to leave the public hearing open doesn't have as much to do with not having certain answers as much as it is because tonight is the first time the public got to see the proposal. It will allow Council additional time to get public comment.  It is his suggestion to have it on the July 11th agenda as new business.  Mayor Rippons said if they have enough information, they can vote on it tonight.  Mr. Heller said nothing will change between now and then.  He asked for a vote tonight if it could happen.  Commissioner Brooks said the public will have time to digest the project and have an opportunity to think about it and have an opinion.  She thinks that the city owes it to them.  This piece of property belongs to the city which means it belongs to anybody who pays any kind of tax whatsoever.  She doesn't see what three weeks will give to the project.  Commissioner Travers said it was advertised that they are having a public meeting tonight of this property.  Mayor Rippons called for a vote on the motion to allow that the vote not be taken tonight and be taken at the next meeting.  Commissioners Brooks and Cephas voted for the motion.  Commissioners Knox and Travers were opposed.  Mayor Rippons broke the tie by voting against the motion. 

Commissioner Travers made a motion to move forward with Sapphire Development.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  Commissioner Cephas said he is saying no for a number of reasons.  Part of it is a lot of "I don't know" answers.  He listened very carefully during the four times Mr. Heller made presentations to Council.  A couple of questions he had answers for those nights and tonight it is not an answer.  One was about the tax base it will generate.  He said Mr. Heller had an approximate number at one point.  He is concerned about the Main Street Association.  Parking is a major problem.  He is concerned about what this project will take away from the downtown merchants.  When they come to park and go into these stores that we are trying to bring into our downtown and the space is taken by a condo owner, he asked what that would do for the businesses.  It may run them out of business because there are not enough ample parking spaces.  The question about deck parking is a legitimate question which would help in that area.  There is no attempt to change anything, even the concerns that were raised here tonight.  Mr. Heller said at one point there was an eight-story building proposed here.  The parking for that would be phenomenally outrageous.  Commissioner Cephas asked how Mr. Heller knew there was an eight-story building proposed.  Mr. Heller said there was talk in the town. You hear it from different areas.   All the parking will be within the confines of the ground that is there right now.  They won't be taking away from the parking on the street.  Commissioner Knox said he thinks the public outcry is not here.  We have a very large municipal parking lot that is hardly ever full.  The idea of the Main Street Committee is to bring people downtown.  This project will contribute to that.  It will create jobs downtown.  It will give the residents of the Bradford House an opportunity to be close to these retail shops.  He feels it is a win-win situation for the entire community.  The revenue factors and the parking issues will be worked out in Planning and Zoning.  He hears more support in the audience than negative non-support.  Commissioner Brooks said she doesn't know what would benefit the elderly when we don't know what type of retail will be here.  The majority of the people that these retails may have an impact upon are the ones who probably aren't able to be here tonight.  Those are the ones who cannot always speak for themselves-the elderly and the disabled.  As a social worker, she was able to see those people on a daily basis.  They are unable to represent themselves.  She will be the voice for them tonight.  Commissioner Knox said when those shops are downtown, the handicap buses won't drop them off four or five blocks away like they are from Wal-Mart now.  With these retail shops downtown, you will bring foot traffic downtown which is desperately needed.  It will open up avenues for the people who don't have automobiles.   If somebody doesn't  step up to the plate and take a chance, we will fade away.  Everything will happen on the outskirts of the city and the inner city will die.  Commissioner Cephas said he hasn't heard anyone from the audience say they are in favor of the project.  As Commissioners they have legal Counsel here that recommended that they wait until July to move forward.  It is a disservice to legal counsel.  Commissioner Travers asked for an estimated cost of the project.  Mr. Heller estimated $10 million.  The city should receive $325,750 in taxes the first year. 

Commissioner Brooks said tonight was the first meeting for the public to learn about the project.  The other meetings were closed.  The Council had questions then that were not answered.  They are still not being answered.  Mr. Heller said they have gotten to the point that they are looking for approval to move forward on the project.  At that point, he has done a relatively premature fiscal impact study.  What he is trying to avoid tonight is a bunch of hypotheticals.  He is ready to sign-off on the looks of the outside of the building.  He can't promise one retailer right now on the first floor.  When he first met with Council, they wanted a mixed-use retail on the first floor and housing on the top floor to address the needs of the community. 

Portia Johnson-Ennels said considering the history of that piece of property, she thought it was a good idea to hold a public hearing tonight.  She thought Rob Collison's suggestion was good.  It gives the people time to digest what they heard tonight.   To take a vote tonight without letting the general public digest what the gentlemen is going to propose, is wrong.  Whatever vote they take will also include the Second Ward.  It is for the entire city. 

Enez Stafford-Grubb said Commissioner Knox gave the indication that this is the only proposal that has been submitted.  There has been another proposal for that very site that had basically the same thing that this gentleman is offering.  She asked what happened to the other proposal.  Commissioner Knox said he didn't indicate that this was the only proposal.  Mr. Heller has been saying all night long that there were three proposals.  This is the developer that Council chose to sell the property to.  Enez Stafford-Grubb said there is something wrong because this gentleman said he gave them what they asked for.  The other proposal that had been submitted had what this gentleman is proposing now.  Commissioner Brooks said she heard that statement and she never asked for anything but he did say he gave them what they asked for.  She said maybe someone in Council asked for it, but she never did.  Enez Stafford-Grubb said she was referring to Mr. Easter's proposal.  It had all of that.  Commissioner Knox asked if she recalled another proposal.  Enez Stafford-Grubb asked Council what the difference is between this proposal and Mr. Easter's proposal.  She asked which proposal was submitted first.  Ed Kinnamon thought Sapphire Development's proposal and the other proposal came in together and then Mr. Easter's came in behind them.  Mr. Heller clarified that when he said he brought what they asked for, that was after the culmination of three meetings on the project.  He didn't mean any specific person on Council. They spoke about what they were hopping for.  That is what he brought back to Council.  He thinks that is why they were awarded the project.  He took the ordinance to his land planners and asked them what could fit on the property.

Commissioner Cephas said Mr. Easter's proposal was a little more detailed.  There were no answers of "I don't know".  He was specific about the tax base.  There was no question about parking.  It was substantially addressed with a parking garage which would take care of everything on the Main Street if they wanted it to.  In addition to that, it was also inclusive of other wards in the city.  He doesn't think it proposed to eliminate families.  In one discussion, the term imminent domain came up.  He was strongly opposed to that.  Mr. Heller's project is a good project.  He asked if it is something that we need here.  We talk about tax base and the problem that that particular property generated throughout this city. Selling the property for $1.1 million is not the answer.  He wishes Mr. Travers would rescind his motion and listen to Rob Collison. 

Elaine Stafford said the Second Ward really has no representation.  To make a decision like that is throwing something into their faces.  She wants Cambridge to grow too.  Cambridge had a bad name.  If they all work together for right and justice, Cambridge can grow.  If a part of the people are left behind, it is not going to grow at all.  It is an injustice to the people of the Second Ward.  Commissioner Travers said Mr. Edward Watkins was for this particular project.  Commissioner Cephas said at first, Mr. Watkins was not in favor of that project.  He was in favor of two projects.  The first one was not this particular one.  On Mr. Heller's third visit, he believes Mr. Watkins was in favor of the project at that point.  There was a tie when he was absent.  The Mayor broke the tie.  Commissioner Watkins was not in favor of that project 100 percent from day one.  Commissioner Brooks said Commissioner Watkins never voted. The Second Ward was not represented on the vote. 

Mayor Rippons said the motion before Council is to approve Sapphire Development for the purchase of the property that the city owns on the corner of Race and Cedar Streets for $1.1 million.  Commissioners Knox and Travers voted for the motion.  Commissioners Brooks and Cephas were opposed.  Mayor Rippons broke the tie by voting in favor of the project.

APPOINTMENTS

Natalie Chabot to Discuss Heritage Area Presentation-Since their certification in July 2002, we have leveraged nearly $1 million in grant funds for various projects throughout Dorchester County.  The city has been awarded two grants for historic lighting.  The grant round is open now through the end of July.  She encouraged the city to apply for some type of grant.  There is a 50 percent match for the total project.   There is only $1 million in the Maryland Heritage Area fund right now for the upcoming year.  There are 10 certified heritage areas now. She suggested keeping the amount under $50,000.  For FY2007 they have an opportunity to have up to $3 million in that fund.

Natalie Chabot also announced that they have a mini-grant program which is being unveiled for the first time.  It will allow non-profits, local citizens, municipalities, and commercial businesses to apply for $1,000 to $3,000 in grant funds at the local level.  Our local Heritage Area received monies to do smaller projects.  There is about $8,000 in that fund.  The deadline is the end of August.  The awards will be made in December. 

Natalie Chabot said Dorchester First! is a program that was an initiative of the Heritage Area to foster small business development.  They have technical assistance and will be applying to USDA for funds to support the project.  They have helped over 90 entrepreneurs within the first year.  People can apply for gap financing up to $5000 to start a business.

Liddy Garcia to Discuss Suggestions for MHAA Grant-Liddy Garcia, Cambridge Main Street Manager, said a group of people have been meeting to try to move the current grants forward for the historic street lights on the 400 block of Race Street and Poplar Street.  Their intent is to apply on behalf of the city.  They are proposing to extend the project to the 500 block of Race Street.  The only wires above ground on that section of road are the electric wires that provide power to the street lights.  They were hoping to do the 300 block of High Street or the 300 block of Gay Street but both of those blocks have a lot of above-ground telephone, cable, and electric wires.  

The capital improvements have to be within a Target Investment Zone (TIZ).  Mr. Easter worked with the city to extend the TIZ to include the 500 block of Race Street.  Between now and next spring, the group would like to extend the TIZ to include the 600 block of Pine Street so that when they are looking to do capital improvements next year, they can include the 600 block of Pine Street.

Non-capital improvements do not have to be in a TIZ.  The two ideas they had in working with the Pine Street Committee and others would be to do historic plaques on Pine Street.   Main Street would provide the match with monies they will be making with the Jazz and Blues Fall Fest.  They are also proposing to buy new Black History Month banners. 

Mayor Rippons asked for a cost breakdown on each item.  Ms. Garcia said they do not have them yet.  She is appearing to discuss an intent to apply.  She has asked Bill Burris of Tieder Electric to get her a proposal for the 500 block of Race Street.  They are working on getting prices for the plaques and banners right now.

Evelyn Townsend asked the city to consider submitting an application for assistance for the Harriet Tubman Organization.  Mayor Rippons asked her to submit information to the city so they can prioritize the requests.

An unidentified woman asked Liddy Garcia about the 50+ markers that had been proposed to be placed on Pine Street at another.  The markers were to mark the business.  Liddy Garcia said the Board has met with the Pine Street Committee and they would also like to help by providing feedback.  They are moving forward with the project and want to make sure they get feedback from everyone in the Pine Street corridor and want to make sure they do it right.  The idea is to do markers on buildings that are historic and then maybe put markers on or near the sidewalks for buildings that are no longer there.   They want Mr. Henry to spearhead the effort.  It will be his project and they will be helping to bring money in for him.

Commissioner Cephas asked if they ever considered asking for some type of contribution from new developers.  Many developers have given contributions to the city.  Liddy Garcia said they have gotten some memberships from some of the developers at a pretty high level.  They are now looking for sponsorships from the developers.  As they extend the historic street lighting up closer to Mr. Heller's project, maybe he can help out with some of the lights and bring it toward Pine Street.  

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Resolution for the Increase in Building Permits Fee to Cover Traffic Study and Implementation-Rob Collison said it is the recommendation of the DPW staff that it would not be an increase of $50 per unit or per lot in the application process for final approval.  The purpose is to offset the expense of the city's comprehensive traffic study and it will only apply to projects which are required to have a traffic study-that is, projects of more than four units or four lots.  In lieu of them doing their own independent traffic study, they would pay the $50 per unit cost as an application fee increase.  The fee would be due prior to the final approval of the project by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the resolution for an increase in the application fee for subdivision approvals.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

Decision on Ordinance to Increase the Height of Multi-Family Structures in the R3 District from 45 Feet to 70 Feet for Parcels Greater Than 20 Acres-Rob Collison said there was a question at the last meeting as to whether or not the Planning and Zoning Commission could grant the variance or permit it as a special exception vs. the Board of Appeals.  It is permissible for the Planning and Zoning Commission to do it as an administrative decision.  However, it does require review by the Board of Appeals.  He asked Council to defer the vote to July 11th and to refer it to the Board of Appeals for their review and approval.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to defer the vote to July 11th and to refer it to the Board of Appeals for their review and approval.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Decision on Ordinance to Establish Development Rights and Responsibility Agreements-Rob Collison said this ordinance was approved last week.

Decision on Ordinance to Amend Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Program and Critical Area Regulations of the City Zoning Code-Rob Collison said this was one section of the city's comprehensive rezoning that the consultants did not revise. Council approved 80 to 90 percent of what is in this document subject to the comments of the Critical Area Commission.  Their comments were then added into this.  It can be amended at any time.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the ordinance to amend the critical area program.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Decision on 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 said if Council wishes to move forward with the approval of this annexation, it needs to be conditional.  It will be subject to the city approving and entering into a formal annexation agreement.  The zoning may or may not be R1 because of the county's position on it that would require their approval if it is anything different from what is permitted in their plan.  If the county does not waive the R1 zoning, it would not be that zoning.  It would be whatever is consistent with their zoning.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the annexation of Parcels 82 and 93 on Tax Map 30 with the amendments.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Rob Collison said the effective date of the annexation will not be until the annexation agreement is executed.  That will be the effective date of the 45‑day petition period to run thereafter.  The motion passed 4:0.

NEW BUSINESS

Approval of FY 2006 Budget-A motion was made by Commissioner Knox to adopt the City's General Operating Budget for FY 2006 in the amount of $21,343,862 with a salary amendment to Plan A. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Cephas to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2006 in the amount of $4,126,934.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Brooks to set the City's Real Property Tax Rate for FY 2006 at $0.676 per $100 of assessed valuation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Mayor Rippons said this is a 5¢ reduction.  Currently the city's rate is $0.726.  The motion passed 4:0. 

A motion was made by Commissioner Travers to set the City's Personal Property Tax Rate for FY 2006 at $1.69  per $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Cephas to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2006 in the amount of $1,409,242.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request from New Life A.M.E. Zion Church to Hold Street Service and Basketball Tournament at Cornish Park on July 9th From 10:00 am Until Approx. 4:00 pm and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Those Hours-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request from Clifton Woods Homeowner's Association to Block Beech Street on Sunday, July 24th from 5:00 pm Until Dark for a Block Party and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Those Hours-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox said the closing time will be 8:30 pm due to safety reasons.  The motion passed 4:0.

Request from Dorchester County Social Services for a Representative for the Local Board on Homelessness-Commissioner Brooks volunteered to be the City's representative.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to appoint Commissioner Brooks as the city's representative on the Local Board on Homelessness.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Council to Adopt Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan-Rob Collison suggested that the emergency services department heads review the plan before the Council votes on it.

Request from The Kalmar Nyckel to Dock at Long Wharf on Aug. 5, 6, and 7, 2005-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request and to waive the fees. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

Request from the James B. Richardson Foundation, Inc. for Permission to Raise a Tent at Long Wharf from August 4th to August 6th; Permission to Install Two Portable Toilets at Long Wharf on August 5th; and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance on August 5th from 5:00 pm Until 10:00 pm-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the requests. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

Approve City Sick Leave Pool Policy-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the policy.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Cephas asked if the employees will have to sign a waiver if they give up a sick day.  Ed Kinnamon said initially the employees will have to sign a waiver to get into the pool and be able to benefit from it.  The motion passed 4:0.

Approval of Agreement for Uniform Sanitary District Rates-Rob Collison said the Sanitary District indicated they could not sign it with the provision that they would be requiring annexation.  The way it is worded is that if it is a formal lot of record that is within an existing sanitary district, they could come in by payment of the applicable city impact fees.  If there is a large parcel that is being divided into lots and it abuts the city limits, then we can require annexation because those new lots are not lots of record.  Mayor Rippons said the sanitary district cannot require annexation because some of the funds that they have received over the years have come from the State and Federal governments.  The city will not allow it to come before them to be connected until they pay the fees at the city level.  Rob Collison said right now all the sanitary districts have different payment plans.  This agreement creates a uniform rate of $250 per year per residential unit that they will pay to the city.  For those parcels that are within the city but still using sanitary district services, their rate will be reduced to reflect the minimum as charged to any city resident.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the agreement with the amendment.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

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

Approve Budget Amendment for Rescue Fire Company- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget amendment.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Purchase Orders-

  • PO 528 - East Jordan Iron Works, Inc. - $3,851.17 (Manhole Riser Rings and Catch Basin Risers and Grates) (DPW)
  • PO 3593 - Morean's Fire Equipment - $4,640.00 - Panther Hip-Pacs (RFC)
  • PO 3559 - Singer Associates - $6,480.00 - 12 5" LDH (RFC)
  • PO 3600 - Personal Protection Equipment - $21,952.09 - SMS Ultra Zips and Bunkers (RFC)
  • PO 3605 - Municipal Code Corp. - $5,500.00 - Municipal Code Printing
  • PO 3626 - Creighton's Trailers - $11,115.00 - Trailer (RFC)
  • PO 3627 - Singer Associates - $4,329.00 - Ponn Supreme (RFC)
  • PO 3633 - Morean's Fire Equipment - $24,500.00 - SCBA (RFC)
  • PO 3634 - Gootee's Marine - $24,390.00 - Two Outboard Motors (RFC)
  • PO 3644 - Rescue Fire Company - $5,000.00 - RFC Banquet
  • PO 3646 - Pirate Water Sports - $3,395.00 - Scuba Class (RFC)
  • PO 3647 - Dell Computers - $16,000.00 - Server, Screens, Wiring (RFC)
  • PO 533 - George & Lynch, Inc. - $200,550.00 - Annual Paving Contract

Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve all of the above-listed purchase orders.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison reported that Council met in closed executive session at 6:45 pm this evening to discuss individual personnel matters. 

Commissioner Brooks said she has been meeting with different representatives in the community to try to find some kind of activity for our youth.  She asked if it is Council's privilege to move forward and represent the city.  They are working with the Good Shepherds and trying to bring a skating rink here.  They need assistance from the city.  It would be their project but the city would be giving them as much assistance as they can.  It may include some kind of monetary assistance at some point.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion that Council is in agreement with moving forward and having those discussions on a skating rink for the city and the interested groups. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0. 

Commissioner Brooks said Council already made her the liaison for the skateboard ramp.  That was some time ago and they are trying to move forward now.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion that Council move forward with trying to purchase a skateboard ramp for the city.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Brooks said she has received quite a bit of information from Mr. Kinnamon and Mr. Wheeler.  She met for a couple of hours with the Good Shepherds and a representative from a youth group that want to move forward with this project.  They are trying to get a group together consisting of youth, the Good Shepherds, and Council.  Other interested persons are also encouraged to join the group.  They have asked if Mayor Rippons could talk to the developers to see if they would contribute to this project for our youth.  Mr. Zentgraf has set the precedence of helping our community by contributing to the public safety building.  Mayor Rippons suggested that Rob Collison draft legislation that instead of developers putting recreational areas on-site for open space, they can make a contribution to the city.  The city would put it into the park area.  The one we were talking about a long time ago would have been $60,000 upfront.   He said he will talk to other developers as they come in.

Commissioner Brooks said they have already discussed a retail building that is not in close proximity to Maces Lane.  It is in the Fifth Ward.  They have met and have been given a price on a building.  That is where the expertise of the city will come in to give them some suggestions and to work with them in bringing their dream and their vision to reality. (no vote was taken)

Commissioner Brooks said she called the Department of Public Works one day last week.  She had a complaint from a couple of people about the 'cesspool' that was put behind Patamoke I and Patamoke II.  It hasn't been tended to or cared for in at least the last two or three years.  A blind child lives Choptank Court.  The resident stated that he saw a badger and they will attack children.  Commissioner Brooks said she would like an answer as soon as possible as to when they can get there and get it cleaned up so the children are safe.  David Pritchett said they inspected it when the call was first received.  He will have an answer by the end of the week.

Commissioner Brooks said at the last meeting she asked Mr. Pritchett for development agreements for Bayly Crossing, Patamoke I and Patamoke II.  There were items promised to those developments that have not been received.  David Pritchett said the only thing that is not satisfied at this point is the open space project.  About six weeks ago they submitted their proposal showing that they have gone over and above the minimum requirement.   Commissioner Brooks said the playgrounds for the Patamoke areas are at least 20 and 7 years down the road.  She thinks we need to revisit that issue and work on them.  The children have nowhere to play but the streets. 

Commissioner Brooks said Chesapeake College has signs that direct people to the college.  She is pretty sure the city put them there.  Rev. Enez Stafford Grubb said the State is going to put signs on Route 50 by Wawa, Route 343, and Rigby Avenue. They need one for parking at Sojourner Douglass College.  They do not have any signs in the city that point people to Sojourner Douglass College.  She is asking that the city put up signs and give Sojourner Douglass the same consideration that Chesapeake College has been given and point people in the direction to that college as well. 

Ed Kinnamon said the city received a letter from Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church presenting their budget for the project Gloria Cornish spoke about a few weeks ago.  

Ed Kinnamon said he has a letter that came in too late for the books and the agenda.  It is from Main Street requesting a noise variance to permit the firing of salute cannons during the 4th of July boat parade.  The parade will commence at 4:00 pm entering Cambridge Creek, passing a reviewing stand at Snappers, and exiting by Long Wharf. The cannons will fire a greeting to the fleet as they enter and depart.  There may be a return shot by the Nathan of Dorchester.  Approximately six shots will be fired.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Chief Jeff Hurley thanked Council for their continued support.

Jane Devlin, West End Citizens Association, thanked Chief Malik on behalf of most of the West End in their response to illegal activity that has been going on.  She invited the Mayor and Council to a meeting on Tuesday, June 21st at the library.  Corporal Slowik is going to help them start a Neighborhood Watch.  She suggested having community centers for the entire community. 

Commissioner Cephas asked Ms. Devlin for an update on how they are coming along with the Wallace Office Building.  Ms. Devlin said they currently have two grants that they are waiting to hear about. They expect to sign the lease in July. 

Portia Johnson-Ennels said the grass is growing up on the back side of the fence on Calvin Mowbray Park on Wood Street.  The city usually cuts the grass there. 

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked for an answer about the Housing Authority drainage.  Mayor Rippons said the budget is inclusive of an additional $150,000 for that project.   David Pritchett said it is a $300,000 project.  He will work with the engineer to see if the project can be phased in.  Weaver Avenue is the worst part.  He suggested that they address that part and then do the rest later.  He will discuss this with the engineer and give Council an update at the next meeting. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:10 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 20, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer