• 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

July 25, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, July 25, 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, and Brooks.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 11, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed 3:0.   

APPOINTMENTS

Octavene Saunders to Give Pine Street Committee's Six-Month Report-From January 1 through June 30, 2005, approximately 289 people visited the Liberty Village Empowerment Center.  She thanked the Council for the donation they made to their new program.  The Committee is in the process of drafting a 2005 Fall and Winter Youth Empowerment Program for young men ages 6 through 12.  The money will not just be used for the summer.  The summer students are taking a trip to the new African-American Museum in Baltimore.  The Elks Lodge has been providing them with lunch on Wednesdays.  Citizens are donating and preparing food for other days.  She asked the city for a trash receptacle like the ones on Race and Poplar Streets.  Anne Roane said it has been ordered and will be installed shortly.  Ms. Saunders thanked the city.

Tom Cohee, Barker's Landing Corporation, to Request Permission for Utility Crews to Begin Work as Early as 6:00 a.m. Through September 2005 Due to High Temperatures-Tom Cohee said it was brought to his attention that Cambridge has a noise ordinance.  A complaint was issued against his construction at Long Boat on Jenkins Creek Road.  If his crews start work at 7:00 am, the utility crews work well into the afternoon.  They would like to start working at 6:00 am, work through lunch, and quit at 2:00 pm or 2:30 pm.  They are working in hot trenches with no wind.  Mr. Cohee said he is requesting the variance from Monday through Friday through September 15th for Long Boat and Blackwater Landing (Race Street).  Commissioner Knox asked about the people driving nails on Sunday.  Tom Cohee said he is the excavation contractor.  The nails are being driven by the homebuilder but he will bring it to their attention.  Commissioner Knox said if they are going to start an hour earlier, the workmen will be driving down the streets earlier and there are a lot of citizens to consider.  Commissioner Cephas said he doesn't personally see a problem with them starting at 6:00 am.  The city employees start trash collection at 4:00 am.  Tom Cohee said it is a five-man crew.   Commissioner Cephas made a motion to allow the contractor (Barkers Landing) to start work at 6:00 am through September 15th.  Rob Collison said the variance would be subject to adjustment or rescission.  If a lot of citizens complain about the noise, it can be modified.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Representative from West End Citizens Association to Discuss Housing Issues Within the West End-Jane Devlin and Herm Kramer spoke representing WECA.  Jane Devlin read a letter from the Neighborhood Oversight Committee.  There has been a marked improvement in the appearance of the West End as a result of the excellent response from the Department of Public Works.  They are asking for Council's continuing support in their ongoing effort to ensure quality housing for all the residents of Cambridge. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Second Reading and Approval of Bond Ordinance for Public Safety Complex-Rob Collison said the first reading and introduction was at the July 11th meeting.  The ordinance would authorize the city to borrow up to $13 million to cover the acquisition and construction for the new public safety complex as well as costs associated with the renovation of the existing fire company and city hall. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the ordinance.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Council to Adopt Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan-Mayor Rippons said there are people working with emergency management who have requested that Council wait on this matter until they get answers to some questions they have raised.

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Sailwinds Park for Noise Variance for Their Outdoor Concert on Saturday, August 6th From 2:00 pm Until Approximately 11:00 pm-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Janeen Cheesman to Use Both Pavilions at Great Marsh Park on Sunday, August 14th From 4:00 pm Until 9:00 pm for a Birthday Party-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request and included a noise variance for the stated hours.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Cambridge Police Department for a Noise Variance for "National Night Out" on August 2nd from 6:00 pm Until 9:00 pm-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Main Street for Revised Street Closure Hours for Summer Block Parties: July 29 - 4:30 pm  to 11:00 pm; August 13 - 3:30 pm to 10:00 pm (Poplar Street); September 24 - 3:30 pm to 11:00 pm; October 8 - 3:30 pm to 12 midnight-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Gage Thomas said the change in time is to allow the committee to set-up prior to the events.  The event on August 13th has been change from basketball on Elm Street to the Dog Days of Summer on Poplar Street.   Commissioner Cephas said a merchant asked about the events extending further down Race Street.  Gage Thomas said they would like to be able to do this in the future when they can attract more activities.  The Jazz and Blues Fest will be at the other end of the Main Street area.  In answer to a question by Octavene Saunders, Gage Thomas said Pine Street will also be included in the event.  The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Dorchester County Historical Society for a Letter of Support for Their Application to Extend the Cambridge 'City Center' Target Investment Zone-Ed Kinnamon said two years ago Council gave the Historical Society a letter of support. They are trying again to get the TIZ established.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to submit a letter of support.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve MHAA Grant Application: Extension of Streetscape Project to 500 Block of Race Street; Historic Markers for Pine Street; Roof for Harriet Tubman Museum; Installation of Bus Shelters for Delmarva Community Services-Mayor Rippons asked if the city must prioritize the items.  Anne Roane said the question has never come up in the past.  She will speak to Natalie Chabot about prioritizing.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve all the requests and not prioritize them.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Octavene Saunders asked who wrote the grant that included Pine Street markers and how long have they had known about the grant.  Anne Roane said Main Street initiated the grant.  Ms. Saunders said when they met with Main Street on Thursday, they were told there was a grant coming out for the markers.  They were led to believe that nobody had any knowledge about what was in the grant or what was going on.  They volunteered to do what they could thinking that they were going to help do a grant.  They volunteered to help Main Street and asked the president of the Pine Street Committee to join a sub-committee on Main Street about working on the makers.  She isn't against anything, but she doesn't like having half information when she is trying to volunteer her time.  Anne Roane said she thinks the intent was that they are under a tight timeframe.  If they get the grant, the Pine Street Committee would absolutely be involved in it.  Ms. Saunders said on Thursday they questioned when the grant was thought of, who was writing it, and what was going on.  They were shown one piece of paper and they were led to understand that this was something that was in the process and nobody really had an answer.   She felt since this grant was written and they are working with it too, that they should have been able to see the grant that involved the markers on Pine Street.  They were given the fact that it was just being worked on and nobody knew anything at the table.  Judy Scott said there was a little mis-communication.  Liddy Garcia worked on the grant.  The people at the meeting did not have any details about it.  Anne Roane said the grant is not written yet.  She has the narrative and is working on the application.  Mayor Rippons said they wanted to know the consideration of the city before they formalized the application.  They are asking Council's privilege to move forward with the application.  Octavene Saunders said since they have volunteered to work with the subcommittee on the markers, it would be no more than common courtesy to let the Pine Street Committee members see what is being submitted.  Commissioner Knox asked if they would like this segment withdrawn.  Ms. Saunders said she is not asking for it to be withdrawn.  She is saying they want to work together.  Mayor Rippons suggested that if Council approves submitting the application, Anne Roane will contact the Pine Street Committee before it goes forward. 

Portia Johnson-Ennels said Delmarva Community Services should put the bus shelters in areas where people use the buses the most.  Mayor Rippons said the confined on where the grant application applies is in a Target Investment Zone.  The other streets may be appropriate for another grant.  Ms. Ennels said she thinks they need to be removed and not be a part of this and let them work with the people who use the buses.

The motion to approve the four items for the MHAA grant passed 3:0. 

Approve Change in Mechanical Inspector Job Classification-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the job description.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 3491 - Fireworks Productions, Inc. - 2005 Fireworks - $12,500-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.   Commissioner Cephas said he was disappointed with the fireworks this year.  Commissioner Brooks said she thought last year they were told they would get double the amount this year because they didn't get any last year when an accident occurred.  Ed Kinnamon said the display cost $25,000.  The city budgeted $20,000 which included $5,000 from the county.  The company gave them an additional $5,000 worth of fireworks this year making the display $25,000.  Mayor Rippons suggested looking at other companies to see what they could provide.  Chief Malik said they will look at other companies.  Mayor Rippons asked Chief Malik to request an accounting from the company of the number of shells used this year compared to the other years.  The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 540 - Gee McClain - Piers at Great Marsh - $26,500-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 3607 - HCP Aboard Publishing - Destination Hyatt Advertising for $3,300-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 546  -Tieder  Controls -- $55,532 -  Renovations for Cannery Way - (partial funding by Community Legacy)-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox said a few merchants expressed their concerns about the parking situation near the construction site.  George Hyde said the entire project was estimated to take four to six weeks.  Blocking the street parking is temporary depending on where they are working.  Their plan is to work in sections to minimize disruptions.  Octavene Saunders said it is hard to get a handicapped cart through there.  There is not another curb cut.  George Hyde said he will talk to the contractor and tell him to be more considerate.  The motion passed 3:0.

Approve PO 542 - The RBA Group -- $79,910 - Traffic Study (partial funding by CDBG)-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Invoice 120240 Maryland Environmental Service for $55,962 and Invoice 120191 for $13,480-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the invoice.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Resolution to Submit $50,000 Grant to USDA for Emergency Vehicles-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the resolution.  Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Financial Statement for June 2005-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the financial statement.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison submitted a memo to Council concerning the dilapidated structure across Gay Street from Council Chambers.  He suggested acquisition for parking.  Commissioner Cephas said he is in opposition to eminent domain. He asked how many parking spaces it would provide.  Rob Collison said this is something DPW could calculate.  Because of the condition of the building, the city may be able to get it relatively inexpensive.  An appraiser would provide the current fair market value in its current condition.  The city would buy the site and then pay for demolition.  Commissioner Knox said Rob Collison wrote a letter to the owner and they never responded.  He said they may not be paying their taxes.  Commissioner Cephas said eminent domain might not be the way to go if they are not paying their taxes.  It could be a tax sale.  Rob Collison said Sun Trust Bank is having some issues.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to have Rob Collison provide Council with updated information about eminent domain and his consideration of a tax sale and the condition of the property.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Rob Collison asked if any Commissioners had an appointment to the charter review and special elections committee.  Nobody had an appointment.

Commissioner Cephas informed Evelyn Townsend that the Harriet Tubman Organization is included the motion for the grant to MHAA.

Commissioner Brooks said someone just moved into a house on Holland Avenue near Glenburn Avenue.  This street has nothing but elderly people on it except for this one person and there is not one street light.   She made a motion to refer the issue to the Street Lighting Committee.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Commissioner Brooks said she read the letters from Greyhound and Carolina Trailways saying they will no longer be providing services to Cambridge.  They asked the city to help subsidize them or come up with alternative transportation.  She asked Council to investigate it.

Commissioner Brooks asked everyone to pray for Commissioner Travers.  He is in the hospital but says he is doing better.  She asked everyone to offer a prayer for his speedy recovery.

Ed Kinnamon gave each Commissioner a pamphlet that the Maryland Municipal League sent out in conjunction with the Maryland Association of Counties.  A regional growth forum is going to be held next week at UMES.  They asked that an elected official attend the growth forum.  Commissioner Brooks volunteered to go.

Ed Kinnamon read a letter from Corrine Mitsak and Michael Mitsak, owners of the Never On Tuesday Book Store, thanking the Mayor and Council for the police officers who patrol the business area.  An officer remained in the area during their Harry Potter party on July 15 and remained until the last guest left.  Ten years ago the majority of residents were apprehensive about visiting this area during daylight hours.  Their event that was centered around midnight attracted more than 100 people.    They thanked the Cambridge Police Department for their support of the downtown business district. 

Chief Malik invited everyone to National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2nd, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Dorchester County Pool. 

Wendell Foxwell said the main street looks pretty good.  There are some grassy spots starting again.  Some of the alleys need spraying also. 

Octavene Saunders suggested that citizens who see these things get together and pull some of the grass out of the sidewalks.  Mayor Rippons thanked her for her efforts.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:03 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 25, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer