• 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
Print this page

City Council Minutes

April 26, 2004
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, April 26, 2004 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 Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Atkinson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 12, 2004 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

PUBLIC HEARING

Status of the Bayly Road Projected Partially Funded by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development-This public hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner public notice section on April 14, 2004.  The City applied to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for assistance in helping to alleviate the dangerous conditions on Bayly Road.  The very deep ditches along with drainage issues contributed to many accidents on this well-traveled road.  The deep ditches were replaced with 4-foot culvert and overfill.  David Pritchett reported that the City entered into a contract for the storm drainage upgrade for approximately 50 percent of the area.  Initially the project was delayed for many months due to the weather.  The City gave the contractor an extension to continue with the project during the winter.  They have until the end of this week to complete the work.  The City has sent the contractor a letter stating that they will be fined $500 per day if the work is not completed after April 30, 2004.  They hope to be able to complete the remainder of the road in the near future. 

Rob Collison asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak on the project.  Derrick Brooks (1501 Bayly Road) asked everyone from Bayly Road to stand. Four individuals stood.   He asked Ms. Octavene Saunders to speak in their behalf.  Ms. Saunders said David Pritchett explained the project to Mr. Brooks and her last week.  On behalf of the homeowners and residents she thanked Commissioner Atkinson for initiating this project.  The project has been a long time coming.  They also wanted to thank the Mayor and other Commissioners for voting to have the work done.  They understand that the City had a limited amount of grant dollars available for the project and are requesting that the City apply for additional funds for Phase 2 to complete the Bayly Road project.   They wanted to come in unison to encourage the Council to please apply for additional funds to finish the project.  They would be happy to send a letter of support.  Mr. Brooks added that they would like the entire length of Bayly Road to be completed. 

Commissioner Watkins said in completing this project, he hopes they find a way to straighten the street up a little bit.  David Pritchett said to actually straighten the road would be a large land purchase issue.  As far as making the turns more negotiable, they can pave on the inside of a turn and pave on the outside of the tangent on the straight section.  This tends to straighten the road. 

Mayor Rippons thanked the citizens for coming forward with their concerns.  The City received funding through a Community Development Block Grant.  They cannot apply for additional funds until this project is finished.  The delayed completion has kept us from applying for funds this round of funding.  It will be a priority in the future. 

Nobody else asked to speak.  Mayor Rippons closed the public hearing.

APPOINTMENTS

Proclamation for Celebrate Senior Citizens Month-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation.  Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Tom Wilson, representing the Dorchester County Commission on Aging.  Senior Celebration will be held on May 20 at Sailwinds Park. 

Proclamation for Mental Health Month-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation.  Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to a Kathy Oddis, a representative of the Eastern Shore Hospital Center.  She invited the community to join them on Saturday for their HOPE Race for Mental Health.  The hospital center has been in Cambridge since 1915.

Proclamation for Trace Adkins Day-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation.  Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Raymond Simmons, representing the Sailwinds Park Management Board.   Mr. Simmons asked Mayor Rippons to present the proclamation to Trace Adkins on stage on May 7, 2004.  There have been over 110,000 people go through the doors since the new Board has taken over.  He asked that the City allow some banners to be erected across some streets in Cambridge.   The capital improvements for the first quarter of 2004 included elevated light stands and a new canopy.  Mr. Simmons reported that after a number of years, Kim Seward, their Executive Director, resigned to take a job at the Hyatt.  They have received over 40 applications to fill this job and will be interviewing people in the next two weeks.  A financial statement for the quarter will be provided shortly.

Proclamation for National Day of Prayer-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation.  Mayor Rippons signed it.  The proclamation will be forwarded to the Ministerial Association.

Proclamation for Safe Boating Week-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation.  Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Bob Hammerton representing the Cambridge Sail and Power Squadron. 

Patricia Stephenson to Discuss MUC Water Billing Policy-Ms. Stephenson was not present to speak.

Robin Stanley to Request a Noise Variance for a Community Marching Band to Practice for Parades at Sojourner Douglass College on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays-Ms. Stanley said they have permission from the college to practice on their property.  Simone Clark, President of their Advisory Board, introduced the Raging Unstoppables 10-10 Marching Unit (RUMU).  They are the only one of its kind on the Eastern Shore.  RUMU is comprised of 55 active members aged 3 the 23.  They do not have a place to practice indoors but are searching for a facility big enough to house them in inclement weather.  They are requesting a noise variance for either the 100 block of Camellia Circle and/or the Sojourner Douglass College campus located at 824 Fairmont Avenue.  They practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  She presented a petition signed by 10 residents of Camellia Circle who have given their support.  The marching unit practice would begin in May and end in early October.  Rob Collison said if Council approves this request, it should be with the understanding that if Council begins to receive complaints, the group would have to come back to address the issues.  Commissioner Watkins said it is a very good program and he is very much in favor of allowing them to practice.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request with the stipulation stated by Mr. Collison.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Randy Whaples to Speak About ADA Violations-Randy Whaples said Phase 2 of the sewer project on Maryland Avenue is incomplete.  The City failed to put in the 17 curb ramps required by State and Federal law.  They are also in violation of the settlement agreement signed in Federal court on December 15, 2000.  He spoke to several attorneys in Baltimore and Washington who said they figured the City has two months to complete the task on Maryland Avenue.  David Pritchett said the City is working on Maryland Avenue.  As a point of clarification, in previous discussions on Maryland Avenue, Mr. Whaples said there was a percentage of costs of the construction work that kicked in the rule about re-doing all the curb cuts.  Now he is saying any and all surfacing.  Mr. Whaples said the order was written by Mr. Karp, who was the City's attorney.  He said every time the City resurfaces a road, they are required to put curb cuts in.  That's Federal law.  The judge agreed to it.  David Pritchett said they checked with many municipalities and counties in Maryland.  From what they have found, they are one of the strictest right now in ADA.  They inspect every single building.  Nothing gets passed without complete compliance.  They do an average of four inspections per building.  No certificate of occupancy is given prior to completion.  The paving on Maryland Avenue was not a budgeted item.  It was an emergency paving as a result of having to replace a water line.  It was not budgeted or planned. 

Delmarva Community Services to Discuss Permanent Bus Stop Signs-Jerome Stanley asked Council's permission to install permanent bus stop signs in Cambridge.  Last year they implemented a full six-route system using temporary bus stop signs.  They will eliminate the stops that people do not use.  It is very difficult for a bus to pull into a loading zone when a car is parked there.  They are requesting to have yellow lines painted where the stops are, especially in the downtown area.  The Traffic and Safety Committee will review this at their next meeting.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the placement of the permanent bus stop signs.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Open Bids for Municipal Marina Electrical Upgrade-Ed Kinnamon received three bids:

  • Tomey Electric (Cambridge)-$132,890.00
  • Bilbrough's Inc. (Denton)-$126,275.00
  • John W. Tieder, Inc. (Cambridge)-$81,559.00

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

Representative from the Cambridge Sail and Power Squadron to Request Permission to Use Great Marsh on Saturday, May 29, 2004 and to Give a Demonstration on Fire Extinguishers and Discharge Old Flairs-Nobody was in attendance to speak.

Representative from Sojourner Douglass College to Request Noise Variance for May 7, 2004 from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm for a First Friday Event for Youth-Mayor Rippons received a letter today with this request.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Vote on Moratorium on New Development Projects in PWCD-Rob Collison reported that the Council heard public comment at a public hearing on April 12, 2004.  The temporary moratorium would not exceed six months in duration.  It would be only for new projects within the PWCD that would require site plan review and approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission.  The moratorium would prohibit the submission of new applications and site plans for review and consideration by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Department of Planning and Zoning which are submitted after the effective date.  Plans will not be accepted until the moratorium is lifted.  The moratorium shall not be applicable to projects which are submitted for the purpose of making repairs, expansions, or renovations to existing structures provided the use of the structures remains the same.   In these cases the repair and expansion or renovation shall comply with all current design criteria.   There are a couple of projects which would be exempt. One project is a commercial establishment across from the Hebron Bank that is doing renovation work which might exceed 25% of the value. 

Mayor Rippons asked for public comment.  Nobody asked to speak.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to adopt the moratorium as outlined by Rob Collison and have it become effective May 1, 2004.  Rob Collison added that the moratorium would terminate October 31, 2004.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  He said it took about 3 years to complete the zoning ordinance which specifically skirted around this particular zone.  He thinks it can be easily argued that if anything needed to be changed, it was the PWCD.  The design guidelines are antiquated.  The uses have become urgently in need of being defined, given the volume of residential units that has been constructed.  We need to assure that there will be commercial activity and public access to the creek.  He feels the time of six months is adequate.   Commissioner Bohlen thinks the City needs to seriously look at the PWCD.  They have a good outline of what they would like to see.   The motion passed unanimously.  Mayor Rippons said the committee will be appointed in three to four weeks.

Resolution Approving Modification to Deep Harbour Master Development Plan-Rob Collison said this matter was reviewed a month ago.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the resolution.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Award Bid for Refuse Removal at Various Locations-Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to accept the Department of Public Work's recommendation to award the bid to the low bidder, BFI Waste Services, in the amount of $13,875.  David Pritchett said this is funded by a Department of Natural Resources grant.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request From Zion United Methodist Church and the Glasgow Inn Bible Group to Display Banners Throughout Cambridge in the Late Summer-Commissioner Atkinson said he would try to get someone to attend the next meeting to discuss this further. 

Council to Discuss RFP for Edgewood Avenue Development-Ed Kinnamon said this concerns some vacant parcels of ground.  The RFP went out the same time the RFP went out for Schoolhouse Lane; however, they did not receive any response.   The City does not own the parcels. In some cases, the owners are willing to give the land to the City.  In other cases, the City would buy them at a very reasonable price.  Mayor Rippons suggested contacting the group who will be developing Schoolhouse Lane to see if they have any interest in these properties.  This will be discussed further in one month.

Review of Egypt Road Annexation Agreement-Rob Collison said the developers for the Egypt Road Annexation Project have submitted a proposed annexation agreement.  The agreement will be available on the City's internet site.  Copies will also be available for review at City Hall. 

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Pleasant Day Adult Day Care for a Noise Variance, Police Protection, an EMS Unit, and a Visit by McGruff for Senior Celebration at Sailwinds Park on May 20th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant the requests.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  Tom Wilson also asked permission to place a banner across Race Street.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from New Life AME Zion Church for a Noise Variance for Street Services on May 8th and June 19th from 12 Noon until 5:00 pm at the Cornish Park Playground on Douglas Street-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from the Ministerial Association to Hold National Day of Prayer at the City Council Building on May 6, 2004 at Noon-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Brannock Maritime Museum to Dock the "Dove" at Long Wharf from August 11th to August 15th -Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Request from Mail-Well Graphics for Installation of Light on Woods Road-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to refer this request to the Traffic and Safety Committee for their consideration and recommendation.   Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Bohlen suggested forwarding it to the Street Lighting Committee.   David Pritchett said lighting deals with visibility issues and this is dealing with traffic control so they felt it should go to the Traffic and Safety Committee.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Mechanical Inspector Job Description for DPW-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the job description.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3172 (RFC, Inc.) for 2004 Banquet ($5000)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3175 ($3,986)  Class A Foam;  PO 3178 ($18,700) Air Masks;  PO 3180 for RFC ($30,400) Upgrade SCBA Packs;  PO 3181 ($27,000) Turn-Out Gear All for Morean's Fire Equipment for RFC-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve these four purchase orders.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.   They are all sole-source providers.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

David Pritchett on Thursday, May 6th at 10:00 am the City, along with the State, will host a ribbon-cutting at the Franklin Street Boat Ramp. 

Rob Collison reported that Council met in closed executive session at 6:30 pm tonight to obtain legal advice and discuss a personnel matter.

Tom Johnson said he has three things to point out about the marina-wind, tides, and distance.  The further you go out into the river, any storm winds that we get will affect the boats that are way out there.  Off to the right of where the expansion of the marina would go, there is a big sand bar.  Once you dredge it, it will come back again.   The City has a very nice public facility.  If you want to take a shower and you were on the far right hand T-pier, you would have quite a long hustle.  If you take the area to the left where the lighthouse is going to go and make it into parking, you are going to have a very congested area.  The area to the left of the present marina would be ideal for parking.   He has spoken to several boaters and they have said the same thing about the direction the marina is expanding.  They feel it is because the people on the left have put their two cents in first.  David Pritchett said it had absolutely nothing to do with any neighbors of the area.  This was a conceptual idea basically addressing the size and needs of what we need for the marina.  It is not finalized.  The additional parking is being considered and will be looked at through the final process.

Patrick Hornberger, Choptank River Lighthouse Committee, requested that the City reconsider the findings of the Historic Preservation Commission in rejecting the lighthouse at Long Wharf.   Rob Collison said unfortunately, the City Council does not have the authority to overrule the Historic Preservation Commission.  The only option they would have is to appeal it through the circuit court.   Mr. Hornberger said they will be doing that.  Commissioner Weldon asked if there would be any legal obstacle for the City joining in that appeal.  Rob Collison said he did not believe so.  Mr. Hornberger said they have asked the State of Maryland to intervene on the grounds of economic development.  Mayor Rippons said on Wednesday, May 5th, at 4:00 pm in the Galleon Sea Room at the Hyatt there will be a meeting for anyone who has an interest in what is going on at Long Wharf. 

Commissioner Weldon said he has been a very vocal supporter and proponent of the Historic Preservation Commission and he continues to be.  The only way it works is if a process is followed.  He has heard from numerous people that the process was not followed.  The community has come together to support this project, including the Heritage Tourism at the County level, the Chamber of Commerce, the Main Street Group, and numerous residents of the City.  The interpretation of the guidelines that was applied, which in his opinion was not applied even handedly, is what has lead to this.  There wasn't anything inherently wrong with the project. There were personal biases brought to bear, and in a judicial proceeding which is what the Historic District is there to do, he thinks the bounds of authority were stretched.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to join the Lighthouse Committee in any appeal that is filed as a party to the appeal.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:17 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, April 26, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer