• 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 21, 2004
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 21, 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.

Mayor Rippons asked for a moment of silence in honor of a long time employee of the City, Mr. Charles "Woody" Woodward.

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 June 14, 2004 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

PROCLAMATIONS

Resolutions Acknowledging the Heroic Efforts of Dontoyas Lavell Powell, Devonta Perry, Dalisha Maria Drummond, and Joseph Brown.  Ed Kinnamon read the resolutions.  Mayor Rippons signed them and presented them to the local heroes who entered a burning building to save a woman who was unconscious and could not get out.  A round of applause followed.   Octavene Saunders delivered a speech that the heroes wrote.  They wished to convey their gratitude for Council's kind words.  It is their pleasure to be of help to a fellow Cambridge citizen.  They will continue to be positive youth role models for their peers.   

Chief Bill Watkins and Assistant Chief Calvin Stack of Rescue Fire Company reported that the woman would not have made it out of the house had it not been for these four heroes.  Mayor Rippons said these local heroes will be honored on July 1st at Cambridge Recognition Day at Shorebirds Stadium.

Resolution of Appreciation for POK-Ed Kinnamon read a resolution of appreciation for the $25,000 worth of firefighting equipment that POK donated to Rescue Fire Company.  They also donate meeting space every month to the Dorchester County Chiefs' Committee and continually support community events.  Jean-Marc Tasse of POK said they have been in town for about 3 years and will do what they can to support the fire department.  Mayor Rippons thanked them for everything they do.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Noise Variances in the Cambridge Creek Area Extending Past 10:00 pmMayor Rippons said several requests for noise variances have come before Council for times past 10:00 pm.  He asked if anyone in the audience wished to speak.  Commissioner Weldon said there were two specific requests for noise variances to 11:00 pm.  One was from the Power Boat Association and the other was from the Bay Country Festival.  He spoke to a representative of the Power Association who said they were willing to change their request to the hours of 6:30 pm until 10:30 pm.  In years past, the variance for the Bay Country Festival has traditionally been extended to 11:00 pm.  Sue Rickert (Cambridge Landing) said she does not have any opposition to those two events.  Paul Fatulo (Garden Lane) said he doesn't think 11:00 pm is that late. He thinks the Council needs to look at how the law is written.  It is very difficult to determine what a noise violation is.  What is irritable to one person may not be to another person.  Chief Malik said the range is beyond 50 feet.  The City does not have a decibel meter to measure the noise.  They respond to complaints by first giving a warning.  The second time they issue a citation and the rest goes through the court process.  Mr. Fatulo feels a decibel reading is necessary when it enters the offended person's property so business owners would know what their responsibility is.  Right now there is no way to tell.  Chief Malik said the only municipalities that he is familiar with that have a decibel level are Ocean City and Annapolis.  Mayor Rippons asked him to get copies of Ocean City's ordinance.    Mr. Fatulo said he could supply copies of recent Supreme Court rulings.  Basically they are saying decibel readings so individuals know when they are violating the law.   Mayor Rippons asked for the documents so Council could review them. 

Valerie Williams (High Street) said the back of her house is almost adjacent to Cambridge Creek.   She has no problem with extending the noise variance for the Bay Country Festival and the Powerboat Association.  She has brought sample ordinances from several different neighborhoods across the state.  She would like to see Council more-finely define Cambridge's ordinance. 

Donna Towers (Cambridge Landing) asked if Sailwinds was considered on the Creek.  Commissioner Weldon said it is subject to the noise ordinance.  Mayor Rippons said some people feel since it is an entertainment venue it should perhaps be given additional leniency but it still falls within the parameters and sits at the Council's privilege to designate the times.   Ms. Towers asked if anyone checked with Dorchester General Hospital.  A woman from the audience said Allen Nelson spoke to Mr. Walsh at the hospital on Friday.  He didn't have any concerns at all regarding the request, even carrying on until 11:00 pm.

Dan McWilliams (Market Square) said he owned a nightclub and restaurant in Myrtle Beach.  He has been through these kinds of difficulties before.  His concern is the other development that is going to be happening on the Creek.  It is very important that this gets resolved.  It is usually by decibel level.  He has no problem with Portside or Snappers.  He thinks it is important that something is put in writing for the new businesses on the Creek.

Commissioner Atkinson said he thinks we could solve this if the City purchases a decibel meter and determines the acceptable level of sound.  He thinks with people paying $300,000 or $400,000 for a home on the Creek and then having four or five places that want noise variances is excessive.

Commissioner Bohlen agreed with Commissioner Atkinson to a degree. What is interesting to him is that the noise ordinance has been on the books since 1992.  This is the first time that we have developed some difficulties.  It is very obvious that this ordinance is no longer adequate. This is telling him that there is a lot of activity happening.  He feels the ordinance should be revised so it has more of a basis in science and factual information that can be calibrated and measured accurately for the benefit of both the business owners and homeowners. 

Commissioner Travers thinks until the City gets the monitors, they should limit the noise variances to 10:00 pm.   Commissioner Travers made a motion to keep the noise variances until 10:00 pm as they have in the past and make it permanent.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.    Mayor Rippons said nobody in the community has had an adverse reaction to allowing the two events at Sailwinds to go past 10:00 pm because of their very nature.  Commissioners Travers agreed and said he was referring to the issue about Snapper's and withdrew his motion.

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow the extension of the noise variance to 11:00 pm for the Power Boat Association and the Bay Country Festival on the dates that they have requested.  In the past, they have allowed the Bay Country Festival a variance until 11:00 pm and he thinks their performances winds down by 10:30 pm but they create some noise closing down their equipment.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Debbie Ellis of Bucktown Road to Request Permission to Hook Into Sanitary District #4 (has tentative approval from Sanitary District)-Dennis Lednum spoke representing Debbie Ellis.  Her property has been annexed into the City; however, it looks like it will be two years before the City services reach her area.  David Pritchett said they will make all attempts to have the service out there within one year.  Mr. Lednum said Ms. Ellis would like to start construction next month.  They have not filed for a permit yet because they have to make sure they have the sewer connection first.  David Pritchett said he doesn't see any reason why they cannot have a temporary connection.  It is strictly the technicality of connecting into the sanitary district vs. the City system billed through the City.  It is, of course, at the homeowner's expense.  It will most likely mean re-routing and connecting into a different line when the City system is in the area which will be a double billing for connection.  Mr. Lednum said if Mr. Pritchett thinks they will have something definite in a year's time, maybe she can start construction and have her house pretty much ready at the time the City is ready.  That would probably be acceptable.   Nobody on Council had a concern with this.  David Pritchett said Council's approval is necessary because in reviewing and signing a permit, he has to require that the applicant has adequate means for connection to water and sewer.   Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the Department of Public Works to move ahead in the permitting process.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Joy Carpenter to Discuss Tree Which Was Removed from Long Wharf Park-Joy Carpenter, a lifelong resident of Cambridge, is a retired community health nurse.   She said in the early 1990s, Dr. Patty Plaskon, who is a social worker at the Health Department, and she lead a community group of people who were cancer survivors. They planted a tree at the old Health Department location on the grounds of the Eastern Shore Hospital Center.   When the Hyatt was planned, they decided to move the tree before it was bulldozed down.  The City Council gave them permission to place their tree at Long Wharf.  Wayne Brown moved the tree for them.  The tree was growing nicely until Hurricane Isabel.  It was then at a 40-deg angle but was still living.  She was upset to see that the tree was removed last week.  The marker that Kenny Thomas had made for them to designate "A Tree of Hope for Cancer Survivors and for Those Who Lost Their Fight Against Cancer" was not there either.  David Pritchett said it would have required four 25-ft guidelines to keep the tree erect.  She is asking that the spot where the tree was located be reserved for them to get another tree.  She thanked the Council for cooperating with her group and thanked David Pritchett who returned her call and gave her a very good explanation about why the tree could not be saved.  David Pritchett said with the root system that the tree had, there was nothing that could be done but to stabilize it.  The tree expert said it had to be removed and maybe he will plant a new tree for them for free.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the reservation of this spot for their continued use.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Request from Snappers Waterfront Café for a Noise Variance for the Deck Parties on Sundays from Now Until September (5:00 pm until 11:00 pm)-Sandy McAllister, on behalf of the owners and operators of Snapper's, said Snappers was a sign of revitalization for the Creek.  The people who live on the Creek are further examples of that revitalization effort and are to be commended for investing their dollars and keeping their dollars on the Creek.  When the ordinance was written, the idea was that if a nuisance occurs, it is a nuisance.  If it is noise, loud partying, or music, it becomes a nuisance.  Rather than try to define it with a decibel reading at the time, they were hoping they would end up with a few nuisances and were trying to be very accommodating.   The point has been made that it is a subjective standard.  There are probably a half dozen places where people like to spend time.  That does not mean that it is carte blanche and neighbors do not matter.  There are plans for both sides of the Creek that are going ahead that depended on a commitment to put mixed use on the Creek.   It is hard to tell developers that they have to put money in restaurants and hotels and public walkways and at the same time mention that nobody living on the Creek wants that kind of activity-at least not loud and/or late.  Rules must be made that are uniform and reasonable.  The Department of Public Works has indicated that in their view during the last few weeks a determination was made that the 10:00 pm cutoff was not strictly adhered to.  He thinks there was a consensus tonight that 10:00 pm is a good time.  When Snappers first came to Council, they were seeking a variance for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday throughout the summer months.  He has a petition of nearly 500 names of people who have expressed their support for the variance to the noise ordinance through 10:00 pm as the City granted on a temporary basis.  They have discussed compliance issues with David Pritchett concerning the tiki bar.  Snappers is asking for another extension of the noise variance that they have requested.  The petition states 10:00 pm.  He has letters of support from the Chamber of Commerce, the radio station, and the National Bank of Cambridge.  He feels they have addressed the issue of crowd noise.  They will confirm again their neighborly approach to things.  They will continue to work with the City and the neighbors, whether it is with a decibel reader on the bridge or however the Council wants to proceed. They really need Council's accommodation through the month of July. 

Valerie Williams said she is a licensed realtor with the State of Maryland.  She is not insensitive to the concerns of the Cambridge Creek homeowners.  Snappers is one of the very few places you can take your children and sit outside and enjoy a meal and the view of the water.  She has never looked at it as a nightclub.  She hates to see so much push-and-pull for a business that has paid their dues.  They have been there 10 years doing the same thing.  They are not doing anything or asking for anything different.  She feels Council should be challenged to identify from the residents who have some problems, how long they have been in the area, how many of the 20 units are actually occupied full time and of those full time residents, how many are registered voters here, and how much they contribute in comparison to a business like Snappers who pays an inordinate amount of taxes.   What is noise to some people is music to others.  She supports Snappers.

Carol Asplen Masden said she grew up in Cambridge, left for a time, and then came back.  One of the reasons she came back was because of the values of the community and because of growing businesses like Snappers.  She goes to Snappers with her family.  She can understand that the homeowners in the area want to have some regulation and she thinks it is a good ability to tighten-up the ordinance with a decibel meter.  She is very much in support of the variance.

Douglas C. Murphy (corner of High and Commerce) said he has never had any problems with Snappers as far as noise.  They have been very good neighbors.  He does not go down there much but they have been very good to him and listened to any problem he had. 

Martha Willey (South Dorchester) said she has been going to Snappers for ten years.  It is a wonderful place.  It is basically the only place she eats in town because of the way they treat customers.  They treat everybody like family.  She feels Council should go along with their request. 

Wayne Towers (Cambridge Landing) said he called the police department last night at 11:00 p.m.  He said Council would have been appalled with what he heard coming from Snappers last night.   Nobody should have to be exposed to that sort of language and actions at whatever decibel.   He does not have a problem with the 10:00 pm limit.  That has not been the issue.  It has always been at 11:00 pm or 12:00 am when he calls.  Last night he listened to it for an hour.   It quieted down after the police got there.  The music ended at 10:00 pm.  He thinks the values of this community are something that we should also consider. 

Paul Fatulo said he was there last night and the band stopped at 10:00 pm.  He doesn't know what Mr. Towers is talking about.  He asked them to check the noise ordinance law because the Supreme Court ruled that you cannot stop someone from talking or gathering.  That law is protected by the constitution.  Chief Malik said if someone is disorderly or disturbing the peace, you can stop them.  He thinks these people are trying to say that the loud noise and abusive language is causing a disturbance.  Whether it is or it isn't, is very difficult to prove.  After hearing Mr. Towers speak, he believes that their major concern isn't the music, but the language being used on the deck that is carrying across the water.  It is disturbing their peace which is a violation of law.  It is not a violation of the noise ordinance but a violation of the law.   Mr. Fatulo said he was there; it wasn't a wild party.  The average age was 50 years old. 

Fred Derricks (Garden Lane) has worked for Susan and Laura on and off for the last ten years.  He has not seen any difference in anything that they have done.  He thinks it is insulting to the integrity of all business owners for them to be persecuted they way they have been. 

Steve Meehan (Oakley Street) is speaking on behalf of a young family with kids.  They love to gather with other families with kids and there are not many places they can go to be out by the water.  The wonderful thing about Snappers is the patio and that kids can run around.  They are obviously not there after 10:00 p.m.  There are offensive people everywhere and we can do our best to try to curtail that type of behavior.  If Snappers leaves, we will have another wall of condominiums where people can stare at each other but nobody will be able to enjoy the waterfront in a group.

Donna McGlaughlin, (Harris Drive) moved here three years ago from Seattle where there are a lot of restaurants on the water.  Families come from all other to look over the water and have a special event.  She was surprised to see only two restaurants here on the water.  She is pleased that they are here.

Lewis McGlaughlin said he purchased the permit for the tiki bar.  When he went into the City office he specifically stated that it was for a tiki bar.  He thinks that if there are a few people causing problems as far as loud noise and troublemaking, then they need to be reported and removed.  He doesn't think we need to put such strict rules and regulations on our people owning restaurants and establishments that they cannot survive.  We need multiple uses on the Creek.  We need to resolve this and allow these people to stay in business and encourage others to stay in business.  It would be a help to our community in all aspects.

Ray Moore (Academy Street) said it seems the hearing tonight is about the ordinance.   It seems to be getting into something about Snappers and their business and the recreation on the Creek.  We are here to discuss the noise.  He doesn't think any business has to exist by loud music or other offensive noise that they produce.  If that is the only way they can stay in business, there is something wrong with the business.  He thinks Snappers is a fine establishment.  In previous years, they have had music on Sunday afternoons going up to maybe 9:00 p.m.  It was never a problem.  He enjoyed it and he thinks most of the residents around the Creek enjoyed it.  He thinks it is taking on a different atmosphere.  The music is becoming louder.  When the noise goes at least 700 feet across the water and is annoying to him and other families who live around the Creek, then it seems there could be other adjustments.  They could cut down on the loudness of the noise.  He doesn't think they rely on one night of music.  It shouldn't be a referendum on Snappers' business.  Business has to be encouraged along the Creek.  It is primarily in reference to whether the business is creating a noise or creating an atmosphere which is objectionable to the people who live in that area. 

Kenny Thomas (Academy Street) said there was an inference that there were a large number of either unoccupied units or out-of-town owners.  At Harbor Haven right now they have two units that are vacant because they are for sale.  The other twenty two units are occupied by people who are here basically three-quarters or more of the year.   He has dined at Snappers many times ever since they opened.  He has always enjoyed Snappers.  They have been at Harbor Haven since 1995.  They have always enjoyed the Sunday afternoon music because it wasn't too loud but for some reason in the last year, the volume has gone up.  We have gotten ourselves so tuned up to technicalities that we have almost become unable to distinguish something that is objectionable or not objectionable or right or wrong.  Too much relies on a meter.   He invited anyone who does not think it is objectionable to come to down and listen for a few minutes.  He is in favor of the music.  The people who supported this are people who do not live close to the Creek except a few.  For them, the speakers are not aimed in their direction. 

Sue Rickert (Cambridge Landing) said ironically, two weeks ago she drew up a petition for the people in the communities that are facing the water agreeing that 10:00 pm was adequate.  The problems they have had since that time is the noise level.  They invited the Mayor to come and listen to the noise.  It was loud.  All they really want is to tone it down and have a 10:00 pm cut-off.  That would include taking all the people who are hanging out on the deck inside at that time so the residents don't have to listen to the conversations that they deem appropriate. 

Commissioner Atkinson said from what he has heard from the people in favor, he can't imagine that one hour will keep Snappers in business.  It sounds ridiculous to him.  Council is trying to keep a balance between the property owners on the Creek and the businesses.  He feels they should get a meter for the sound and set a standard of what is acceptable to the property owners and the other restaurants on the Creek.  That might solve the problem. 

Commissioner Weldon said the commercial activity on the Creek is critical.  Mr. Towers talked about the nature of the noise.  He thinks that is critical as well.  He doesn't think anyone will complain about the music.  He takes issue when he has to hear the conversations of people who may be reveling a little more than is neighborly.  He questioned the Snappers policy for people who are outside after the 10 o'clock hour.  We may be getting hung up on technology and are forgetting common courtesy.   Sandy McAllister said Mr. Towers was obviously heartfelt in whatever he heard that was offensive last night.  They are here seeking a variance to the noise ordinance to keep the music to 10 o'clock.  The consensus here seems to be that there are situations where foul language or offensive behavior happens in the later hours of the last day of the weekend.  The original application was for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Council respectfully declined to give a variance relative to Friday and Saturday leaving the Sunday tradition in tact.  No meter is going to be aimed at someone who is talking in a stage whisper.  The question to management is the degree to which they tolerate offensive behavior.  He can't guarantee that the Chief won't be called upon to arrest and prosecute people for public displays of disorderly conduct.  Having been in front of the Liquor Board, enough complaints about disorderly conduct among patrons can cost a liquor license.  That would put them out of business.  Crowd behavior is absolutely critical.  It is important for the variance to move forward with the Chief of Police and the Council well aware that these concerns have been raised.  It remains a variance, not a right.  If these issues are not addressed, they will continue.  These are new issues.  For over a decade they have had the same or similar behavior.  It is louder because it is a bigger crowd.  It is going to take some management.  Maybe the type of language has to be modified or controlled.  He will assure Council that the concerns have been heard. 

Commissioner Bohlen agreed with Sandy McAllister.  There had been a peaceful co-existence between Snappers and the condos for quite a few years now.  He thinks it is a factor of intensity that is causing some of this discomfort.  We need to look at what has changed.  One thing that might need to be re-addressed is the noise ordinance to deal with something that can be measured properly.  We can look at other ordinances to do that.  Sound travels over the water and can change with atmospheric conditions, wind direction, etc.  These things need to be taken into consideration.  They also have to look at offensive language.  It can be dealt with appropriately.  They are asking for a noise variance within the parameters of what they have had before and he has to be supportive of that until such things cause him to change his mind.  Council has to look at the other associated issues and deal with them correctly. 

Donna Towers said Sandy McAllister asked what has changed.  It is not Jimmy Buffett anymore.  It is a different kind of music and it is louder.  Their concerns are primarily what happens after 10 o'clock.   Carol Asplen Masden said they are treated like family.  Mrs. Towers said that is all they are asking for. 

Martha Willey said she has been on the deck three times in the last month with friends.  They did not have to shout at each other to hear what they were talking about.  They talked normal and the music was playing.  She has been to other places where the music was so loud you could not even talk or hear what your friends were saying. 

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant a variance to the noise ordinance for Snappers Waterfront Café for their deck parties on Sundays from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  This variance will be for a 30-day period to allow the City to fully research this noise ordinance so a technical answer to the question about volume can be arrived at.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. He asked what the Police Department was going to do about the loud noise after 10 o'clock.  Commissioner Weldon said the Chief is going to do what he said he was going to do.  Chief Malik said that is easier said than done sometimes.  When someone is out there making a loud noise using curse words, that is really something that management has to control, not the police.  A misdemeanor has to occur in the policeman's presence.  When the police arrive, the foul language will probably stop. Of course, they will respond.  If someone creates a disturbance in their presence, they will make an arrest.  He feels it is a management responsibility as they have made it in other clubs.  The motion passed unanimously.  This will be on the Agenda again on July 26, 2004.

Request from Creekside Seafood for a Noise Variance for Each Friday Night Through Labor Day (7:00 pm until 10:00 pm)-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the variance from the noise ordinance passed for Snappers be applied to Creekside for 30 days.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  Ben Krewson, owner of Creekside, said the police have not been called for him.  He thinks this is totally separate, but it is the same.  Chief Malik said they have not received any complaints.  Mr. Krewson said at 10 o'clock they turn the lights out and go home.  He would like his variance to go to Labor Day.  If there are any complaints, then Council can revisit the issue.  Mayor Rippons asked if anyone wished to address the issue.  A gentleman who lives on Academy Street said Ben and Kristi are very nice people with a very successful business.  He feels their request is very reasonable. 

Donna Towers said she would also like to support Ben and Kristi in their request.  I think it would be entirely unfair to make any kind of comparison between their operation and the operation they are complaining about.  It is not even remotely related. 

Octavene Saunders said she supports their request because she was impressed when he said he handles their problems.  

Commissioner Weldon said he thinks the motion for 30 days is more for the consideration of a new ordinance than it is to restrict them and make them come back.  Commissioner Atkinson said you can't do one thing for one company and tell another company they can't do it.  Commissioner Weldon said it will give the City time to assemble a new ordinance.   Hopefully then it will be applied more evenly and not require all this.  Chief Malik said he isn't sure the decibel level is the catch-all for all these things because with some events, like carnivals, you can go outside of the parameters of the decibel level.  People will still be coming forward to go outside of the decibel level.  It isn't a cure-all for all the concerns.  Commissioner Weldon said in a lot of communities there is such a thing as a live entertainment permit with its own set of details that you have to comply with.  That might be the direction we have to go in. 

Mayor Rippons repeated the motion to approve a variance from the noise ordinance for Creekside for a period of 30 days for Friday nights from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Power Boat Association for Noise Variance for Awards Dinner at Sailwinds Park on July 24, 2004 (7:00 pm until 11:00 pm)-This request was honored previously during the meeting.

Request for a Carnival Permit and a Noise Variance for the Bay Country Festival at Sailwinds Park on July 1 through 4, 2004 (6:00 pm until 11:00 pm)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the carnival permit.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. The noise variance was discussed previously during the meeting.

Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance Authorizing the Transfer of Portions of Trenton Street and Green Street to Deep Harbour LLC-Ed Kinnamon reported that last week Rob Collison announced the first reading for the ordinance drafted to close Trenton Street.   There were two considerations that Mr. Collison recommended and Council discussed to make part of the condition of this ordinance.  They are as follows:  (1) in looking at the plat, there was a borderline of the most northern portion of the Trenton Street boundary that had been adjusted for a rotunda.  This portion jets out into the existing portion of Trenton Street and it would change the line from what was originally drawn and shown in previous public hearings.  It is Mr. Collison's recommendation that the line be put back to where it was initially and then any necessary or requested area because of this entrance way would be gained by the way on an easement.  Mr. McAllister said in the last Master Development Plan approval there was a consensus that a good design would be a rotary.  Where the line used to cut across the end of the Arundel site, two things happened.  In order to straighten Trenton Street and have access to the rotunda, about 30 feet ended up being outside of the MOU- described Trenton Street to be conveyed.  Mr. Collison pointed out that a little square of land was not part of the advertisement and public hearing back in October of last year and February of this year.  The entrance way will be built by the developer and they should come back to the City for an easement and just convey the part that was the original MOU-approved part.  Ed Kinnamon described the second issue.  Prior to the closing of Trenton Street and before the new Green Street is actually finished, the contractor would post a bond for this project.  Sandy McAllister said they would look to the Department of Public Works to establish a reasonable price to complete the new Green Street and bond it accordingly.  They anticipated building the new Green Street before they closed Trenton Street.  In order to grade to create new Green Street they have to grade where it will be built. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the ordinance with the two provisions outlined by Mr. Kinnamon.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Adopt FY 2005 Budget-

A motion was made by Commissioner  Bohlen seconded by Commissioner Watkins and carried to adopt the City's General Operating Budget for FY 2005 in the amount of  $16,981,845.

A motion was made by Commissioner Watkins seconded by Commissioner Weldon and carried to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2005 in the amount of  $3,972,902.

A motion was made by Commissioner Weldon seconded by Commissioner Atkinson and carried to set the City's Real Property Tax Rate for FY 2005 at $0.726 per $100 of assessed valuation.

A motion was made by Commissioner Atkinson seconded by Commissioner Travers and carried to set the City's Business Tax Rate for FY 2005 at $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation.

A motion was made by Commissioner Travers seconded by Commissioner Bohlen and carried to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2005 in the amount of $1,228,934.

Resolution for Modification of Building Permit and Inspection Fees-Mayor Rippons reported that David Pritchett outlined these fees last week.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the resolution.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Discuss Baskets and Flags on Downtown Poles-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to refer this request to the Main Street Design Committee so they can consider it in conjunction with the other projects they are planning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Dan Bell, Property Manager for WEN Properties, said they have presented this project to the Main Street Committee.  They are proposing to raise the funds privately to put up the brackets, plants, and flags to get the project on its feet on Race Street.   They are asking for the merchants to help pay for the maintenance.  The plants should be watered about three times a week.  Commissioner Weldon said the City has a long range vision of replacing the lights downtown with historic fixtures.  Mr. Bell said you only get once chance to make a first impression.  Commissioner Weldon amended his motion to refer the request to the Department of Public Works and the Main Street Design Committee.  David Pritchett said he spoke extensively to Mr. Lilly.  Commissioner Travers seconded the amended motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Requests from Dorchester Lodge #223 and Progressive of Dorchester Temple #224:  (1)  Permission to Hold Their Annual Organization Day Parade on Saturday, October 23, 2004 Beginning at 3:00 pm;  (2) A Noise Variance for That Day;  (3)  Permission to Close Pine Street from Cross Street to Cedar Street from 12:00 pm Until 6:00 pm; (4) Permission to Allow Parking on the West Side of Pine Street on Saturday from 9:00 pm Until 2:00 am and on Sunday at 4:00 pm-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the requests.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request To Go To Bid for Petroleum Products-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 367 Eastern Tree Service ($3,000)-Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 368 John W. Tieder Inc.  ($85,544.93)-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  These funds will be paid by FEMA.

Approve Financial Statement for May 2004-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendments for Finance Department, Department of Public Works and Rescue Fire Company-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the budget amendments.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Commissioner Bohlen said an item was brought to his attention in dealing with our Heritage Target Investment Zones (TIZ).  Mr. Tony Easter is in the process of doing what he needs to do for Heritage Rehabilitation Tax Credits on a downtown building.  One of the criteria that would be helpful in the credit program acceptance would be a location in a Certified Heritage Area TIZ.  It is his understanding that this can be expanded with two possibilities.  The TIZ currently stops at Muir Street.  In his opinion it should be extended down the length of Race Street to Washington Street.  The other thing that was brought up to him was the designation as a Priority Place.  His understanding of the definition of a Priority Place is an area in which both the local municipality and State agencies are working in concert for improvement.  In this case it certainly meets that definition.   This area has the Arts & Entertainment District and the Main Street Designation.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to have Council submit a letter of support for both expanding the TIZ for the Heritage Area and the definition of a Priority Place so Mr. Easter can include this with his application for these tax credits.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon suggested that the initial expansion of the TIZ be limited to Cedar Street because there is a 5-year limited window of time and there should be things in the planning stages before we put it forward all the way to Washington Street.  The State is supposed to be getting back to us with an opinion as to whether the expanded area would have its own 5-year window or if it would be an extension of the same time period of which we are in the third year.  Commissioner Bohlen amended his motion.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the amended motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Weldon asked for a status on the market report.  David Pritchett said he is providing an aerial map to the consultant so he can finish his report on the Main Street area and looking at the market feasibility study.  He will be meeting with Conectiv on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. to finalize the engineering scheduling of burying the utility lines.  We are also looking at the cost comparison of the lease vs. purchase of the lights.  He has been sending to the consultant the specification for the Granville light which is what Council voted and accepted and adopted.  Commissioner Weldon said he discussed with the consultant the streetscape issue and he basically said that its related to specific fixtures that could be applied in the market area that could also be duplicated around the City.  In addition to the Granville, since we have also adopted a standardized bench and trash receptacle, we should probably pass that along also.   David Pritchett said they are sending all these specifications to the consultant.  He said he expects the work on the utilities to begin within a month. 

Commissioner Weldon said a storage trailer was removed after it was discussed last week.  There is a "no parking" sign there.  The crews that are working there are parking in that area.   If there is special dispensation, it needs to be requested. 

Commissioner Weldon said being that this is a political season and there are a number of rumors circulating around about his future, he is not applying for any City jobs.  He is leaving the service of the City after the election on July 13th and he is going to continue to work in his current position with a non-profit.  He has no interest in taking any City jobs.    

Commissioner Atkinson said David Pritchett submitted a letter to Council about a new flagpole for City Hall/Rescue Fire Company.  He supports it.  David Pritchett said the City will be receiving some funds in reimbursement for the flagpole that was there.  It is valued at just under $400 new.  It was accidentally damaged by the cherry picker that was used to paint City Hall.  He is requesting $300 reimbursement from them.  Commissioner Atkinson said he thinks this is fair because we used it for a year or so.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept Mr. Pritchett's recommendation for a $300 reimbursement.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  The motion passed unanimously.

David Pritchett said they felt the flagpole was too small from the beginning.   He is now looking at a 30-ft pole with a 6-in. base and a 3-in. top.  This is the size that is in front of the police department.  They feel it is the size that would be much more appropriate for the building.  The pole would cost $1,195.00 at the municipality rate.  He researched costs and styles in five brochures.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept Mr. Pritchett's recommendation.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  David Pritchett said this will be covered in the Department of Public Works' building maintenance fund.  Commissioner Bohlen suggested flying the US and Maryland flags from the clock tower like they do in Annapolis and the City flag could be flown from the flagpole.  The motion passed unanimously.

David Pritchett said they are ready to adopt plumbing code fees.  The county is no longer issuing permits so the City has to do it.  All that is missing is the exact amounts.  They are basically mimicking the county's fees.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the recommendation of plumbing permit fees from the Department of Public Works.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Chief Malik said he would like to encumber funds from this year's budget to purchase a decibel meter.  He would not actually purchase it until the ordinance is adopted. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:15 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 21, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer