• 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

August 23, 2004
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 23, 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 Knox, Cephas, Watkins, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 9, 2004 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

APPOINTMENTS

Representatives from State Highway to Discuss Traffic Consideration on Routes 343 and 16-Donnie Drewer, District Engineer for the State Highway Administration introduced Gene Cofiell, Assistant District Engineer in charge of traffic, and Bob Small who is the Engineer's Access Permit Coordinator.  Their purpose of attending the meeting is to give an overview of their responsibility as far as commercial access to State highways. 

When someone comes to request access to a State highway, depending on what the access is, they are charged with getting a commercial access permit.  They have to hire a consultant to do a review of how many trips would be generated in and out and how much more traffic will be generated by the new establishment. The consultant does a conclusion and recommendation of what effect the business or commercial access would have on the State highway. The State requires the developer to mitigate those circumstances.  If a signal is required, the developer has to fund the signal.  If more lanes are required on the road, the developer has to fund the lanes.  Whatever has to occur because of that particular development is the responsibility of the developer.  The State is not responsible for approving developments; they only require mitigation of problems that occur on their State highways. 

Gene Cofiell spoke about the Waterford Project, off of Route 343, beyond Leonard Lane.  The developer was required to do an impact analysis of the existing traffic patterns on Route 343 as they are today.  They were also asked to look at the traffic signals on Routes 343 and 341.  They were also asked to look at Woods Road and Route 50 to find out what impact their extra traffic would have on those traffic signals.  They looked at the existing patterns and then plugged in their figures on the extra traffic they are going to generate.  After the State received all the information, they sent it to the Baltimore and Salisbury offices and reviewed their study.  They will be meeting tomorrow to hear their recommendations.  The City Engineer will also attend the meeting.  Before the developer is allowed to do anything, they have to guarantee to the State that they are going to be able to handle the traffic that they are going to generate.  They are constantly monitoring traffic along all State highways so they know how much traffic is out there on a day-to-day basis.  Based on the type of facility the developer is proposing, there are figures that they use that are fairly accurate in estimating the number of vehicles in and out of a residential property, store, golf course, etc. They are asked to not only figure in their project, but projects the State knows are already planned. 

Jane Devlin, speaking on behalf of the West End Citizens Association, said their group has been monitoring this because they will be affected by this; not directly impacted, but an offset because most of the feeder streets come through their area.  She asked about Route 343 toward Race Street.  This is a very overloaded street with a number of schools and county properties from the Neck District emptying into that area.  Mr. Cofiell said there are two more traffic studies on the way.  He can't recall exactly what they are going to recommend but they want to maintain the existing levels of service that are out there now.  If that means they are going to have to widen the road or build a connector road to go in a different direction, that is something they are going to have to address.  If the road cannot be widened and the volume of traffic has to be re-routed off of another road into the city in a different direction, that cost would have to be absorbed by the developer or the County or the City.  Mr. Drewer said a connector road connecting Route 343 and Route 16 would not be a State function.  It would be a local function of the County, the City, or the developer.   The City could require the developer to build it at their expense.  There are not enough State funds to build local connector roads for everybody who needs them.   The State does not have the approval or dis-approval authority of developments.  What they have to do is have them mitigate their circumstances. 

Tom Johnson, a resident of Cambridge, said they are interested in what is going to happen on the inner-city streets and the problems they will have.  Mr. Drewer suggested that the city hire a consultant that specializes in traffic engineering. 

Jerry Burroughs, Cambridge, said he knows the Waterford project is going to impact on Route 343 going down to Race Street onto Washington Street.  There have been bad accidents on Washington Street.  Mr. Cofiell said the developer will have to look at the intersection of Washington Street and Maces Lane.  This additional traffic may warrant a traffic light at Maces Lane. 

Andy Lazuro, Jenkins Creek, asked if they thought about limiting access to the Waterford development to one route (Route 343) rather than impacting Jenkins Creek, Glasgow, and Leonard Lane.   This would lessen the impact on the inner streets.  Mr. Drewer said that would be the decision of the city.  If they cannot prove that Route 343 is going to be able to handle all their traffic, then they have to come up with an alternate route to handle some of the extra traffic. 

Wendell Foxwell, Glenburn Avenue, emphasized that a traffic consultant should be hired to study the traffic in the entire city-not just on state roads.

Donna Towers, Cambridge Landing, said they have seen a tremendous amount of traffic increase in just the last year.  She thinks City, County and State people should look at the big picture together. She feels that the developer doing the impact study is a conflict of interest.  Mr. Drewer said they use reputable firms. 

David Pritchett said they don't have the resources in-house to perform a traffic study.  They would hire a consultant.  Right now they are putting in new traffic controllers with the option for doing a timing sequence.  They will be able to link into each other and pace the traffic so the lights turn green in a sequential pattern. 

George Hyde said when the impact studies are done, they are not just be looking at their own project.  They consider everything that has been talked about.  He thinks getting a traffic consultant to look at the inner-city roads is a good idea. 

David Pritchett said traffic increase is not necessarily a traffic problem.  There are areas that are already at capacity or experiencing problems but there are also a lot of under-utilized streets.  They have the plat with all the developments going on.  They don't focus on just one.

Hubert Trego asked if they ever considered have the right hand lane of the highway (Route 50) being a turn lane only.  Mr. Drewer said at one time there was strictly a right-turn lane.  They found they could move traffic safer through Cambridge by making it a through lane.   Mr. Trego asked about widening Washington Street.  Mr. Cofiell said if they were going to widen it, they would have done it when they did the streetscape project.  He said they had no plans to widen it. 

Linda Wilson asked if parking on Washington Street could be modified.  Mr. Drewer said parking could be modified if the city supported it and made the recommendation to the state.  He is not sure if all the houses have driveways and off-street parking. 

Maria Johnson, Beech Street, asked what the City has planned for Locust Street.  It is one of the main streets that will be traveled by most of the people coming home to Long Boat and Waterford.  It is a very narrow one-way street.  There is parking on both sides of the street when church is going on, and it is rough getting through there. The children don't have front or side yards to play in. David Pritchett said with Locust Street they are extremely limited.  They do not have adequate off-street parking to limit parking on the street.  It takes a long time to build out the type of developments that are being discussed for Jenkins Creek Road.  In the comprehensive light, we would combine that in a reasonable timeframe with the west-side bypass which comes directly off of Jenkins Creek Road. 

Chief Malik said there are a number of narrow streets where the traffic will be difficult to get through, whether you have 5 cars or 105 cars. As far as Washington Street right now, it seems to be a misnomer the number of accidents that have occurred.  In 2002 there were 52 accidents; there were 53 accidents in 2003; and we are about on the same level right now.  There was one fatal accident which could happen on any street at any time.  It had nothing to do with speed or the number of vehicles. It was a failure to yield the right-of-way by an elderly gentleman who pulled in front of someone.  An increase in the number of people coming into the City will lead to an increase in accidents.   Washington Street is no worse now than it was in 2002 or 2003.  If you go back 10 years, there was probably the same number of accidents there.  Overall city-wide, between 2003 and 2002, we had fewer accidents and fewer personal injury accidents.   Although there has been an increase in traffic, the accident rate overall in the city has decreased.  It usually varies between five and ten percent each way, each year.  It is hard to say what impact the developments will have.  The City streets are fairly safe, especially Washington Street (343).  He doesn't think it has any more accidents than any other street that sees that type of traffic in a residential area.  With a City that was built in 1684, you will have a lot of narrow streets.  The City looks to the State for guidance in what they do and how the traffic controls affect the drivers in Cambridge and what they can do to improve traffic safety throughout the City.

Bill Burris discussed the bottleneck at the Creek Bridge.  Trenton Street will be closed for the Deep Harbour Development.  He asked if there could be a signal at Dorchester Avenue to divert traffic when the bridge is open.  Mr. Cofiell said there are two advanced warning signs for a bridge in Salisbury.  He said the State will investigate this.  They will have to get permission from the Office of Traffic and Safety and funds to do it. 

Bill Giese, Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth, said he was concerned that changes farther north will simply push traffic onto Route 16. 

Mayor Rippons said Gene Cofiell has given him the names of four consultant firms.  The Commissioners agreed to start speaking to the firms.

Commissioner Knox made a motion to take the steps necessary to have a moratorium put on all development in the City, particularly the west end area, until they can have further traffic studies performed.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Rob Collison said the motion tonight would start the process.   Moratoriums are considered like re-zoning.  It would be referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission.  There would then be a public hearing before the City Council on whether to implement the moratorium.  The advertisement in the newspapers would state when the moratorium would take effect and what the duration would be.  Commissioner Watkins said there are some areas in town that need development.  He would like this development to continue.  Rob Collison said they could incorporate which areas are included.  Commissioner Travers said he is opposed to anything that will stop development in the Fifth Ward.  Commissioner Knox said we need a traffic study done throughout the City.  The moratorium would be on any development in the west end of Cambridge because the west end is landlocked.  The motion passed unanimously. Rob Collison suggested setting the third Monday in September as strictly a work session for the public hearing.  This will be clarified at the next meeting. 

Proclamation for Veterans Recognition Day-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation and presented it to Judy Moody, Co-Chair of the Veterans Recognition Committee.  Also present were Jean Newcomb, Co-Chair; and other members of their crew.  They invited the community to join them on September 11th at Sailwinds Park.  The memorial service will begin at 11:00 am.

Representatives from Zion Church To Request Placing Three Banners Advertising "Purpose Driven Life"-Kevin English, Sr. Pastor of Zion Church, said they are withdrawing their request for overhead banners.  They are going to use plastic signs basically the size that are used during political campaigns (4' x 4' or 4' x 8').  They will be placed on private property or church property for a period of one month. Rob Collison said the Church will have to confer with the Department of Public Works to discuss compliance with the sign ordinance.   If the ordinance prohibits these signs, they will have to ask for a variance.

Larry Chester to Discuss Treatment by City Officials-Mr. Chester discussed paper streets on Bradley Avenue.  In April he asked to have some ditches and big brush cut by the City.  He talked to the Mayor Rippons, David Pritchett, and a Commissioner.  Everyone has been promising him that something will be done.   He presented a letter he received from David Pritchett dated May 25th.   David Pritchett said they met with Mr. Chester.  There is a wooded lot that was cleared to build a new home.  Before this, the ditches did not require maintenance other than right on the frontage of Bradley Avenue.  When they first went out, the ditch was flowing.  They advised Mr. Chester that his contractor had clogged up the culvert that had just been put in. He said it settled down all the way below the ditch grade.  The DPW employees went out and uncovered it and it was perfect.  It was right where it was supposed to be. The contractor had covered it up. It is a work in progress. They are working on it.  The DPW Superintendent has gone out on two or three occasions and has cleared it enough to get the drainage going.  They have offered to clear the brush that is around the ditch but the ditch is draining properly on the side.  If there has been a problem since that, Mr. Chester has not contacted anybody in DPW. Mr. Chester said he has pictures showing that the ditch is not flowing.  The ditch on Bradley Avenue which is not flowing basically would be his property but the City has a right-of-way to the property.  If the City doesn't want to maintain it, he can fill his ditch in and it won't be a problem.  David Pritchett said the water illustrated in the pictures is why they can't grade it.   Mr. Chester said Mayor Rippons and David Pritchett suggested he have the contractor take care of the problem they caused.  He met with the contractor and Mr. Pritchett.  Mr. Pritchett told the contractor and him that the City would take care of it. Commissioner Watkins said he was involved with this on several occasions.  Culvert was installed in the front of the house.  Then there was a problem with the property on the west side of the house.  Mr. Chester said it is Allen Street (a paper street).  Commissioner Cephas said he spoke to Mr. Chester and went out and looked at it.  The culvert was like a fiberglass plastic which gave in when he walked across the driveway. Mr. Chester bought a nice piece of property and he deserves some consideration.  Four months is a long time to get all that brush out there.  The City takes care of the developers coming in by doing infrastructure leading into their properties.  David Pritchett said Mr. Chester has been given consideration.  The City cannot do all the site work for everybody who builds a home.  It would be unfair to the taxpayers.  The homeowner is responsible for a certain portion.  This property was extremely poorly graded.  The City has put in a standard engineering culvert that meets all specs.  It had not sunk.  They have totally blocked it.  The contractor plowed both ends in.  The City opened it up.  They cannot grade it until it dries out.  They are looking for the right conditions to get in and finish trimming it to get the flow going on Allen Street.  They are not responsible for the eastern paper street.  There was never a street intended for there.  The contractor has altered it on Bradley Avenue.  It isn't easy to resolve it but they will do it as soon as they can.  Commissioner Knox asked if there are any safeguards in our ordinances to assure that property is graded properly.  David Pritchett said the contractor pushed everything toward the areas that are the drainage ditches. It created a problem for the homeowner and the City.  They blocked the one on Bradley Avenue that never had a problem.  Commissioner Knox asked Mr. Chester if he felt his property was properly graded.  Mr. Chester said the contractor met with Mr. Pritchett to find out what the problem was that he may have caused.  Mr. Pritchett told him not to worry about it.  The City would take care of it and he would contact Mr. Chester in June.  David Pritchett said this was six to eight weeks ago.  The contractor was given certain things they would do and the City would do other things.  The City had to wait for the contractor to do his portion.  Commissioner Knox said it certainly has been wet.  Mr. Cornish said he is looking to be treated like a citizen.  There is standing water all up and down Bayly Road.  It is a problem.  He has had confrontations with City officials in trying to get this resolved.  They have given him the impression that he doesn't have the right to voice his concerns as a taxpayer, a citizen, and a veteran.  He said he has not been treated right. Mr. Pritchett told him that even though the contractor did a poor job, we will correct it.  They put four scoops of dirt in the ditch.  Mr. Pritchett told him not to worry about it; the City would take care of it.  David Pritchett said certain issues were to be the contractor's responsibility.  The City would take care of the dirt in the ditch when they were ready to do the other side of the street.  Mayor Rippons asked David Pritchett to compose a letter containing the functions which are to be done by the contractor.  He asked him to delineate what the City will do on site and when (depending on the weather).  Mr. Chester asked if the City had a right-of-way to ditches, is it their responsibility to maintain them.  Rob Collison said generally it would depend on the document that granted the right-of-way.  Generally if the right-of-way granted to the City is for the purpose of drainage of the roadway, the City would maintain it. Mr. Chester said he appreciates the Council's time.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Discussion of Modifications to the Allocation of City Impact Fees-Rob Collison said this was discussed at the last meeting and the proposed cost of the public safety building.  There may be a need to change the allocation of the impact fee.  The current impact fee is $4,500.   Of that, up to $1,500 is allocated to the water system; the sewer is $2,800; and the balance of $200 is for all other (public safety, parks, and streets).  Council needs to consider specifically exactly how much they wish to go to each category.  They may also increase the amount and also allocate it.  They are limited to the following amounts:  They cannot allocate more than $3,000 for public safety; $2,000 for streets and roads; $200 for parks and recreation; $1,500 for water; and no more than $2,800 for sewer.  They total $9,500 which is the maximum they can charge pursuant to the study that was done by the consultant.  Commissioner Watkins suggested waiting for the next meeting to make their determination.  Commissioner Knox said at the August 9th meeting he brought up the thought of going to $6,000 for the impact fees.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to increase the impact fee to $6,000.  He would like to allocate $1,500 for public safety; $1,000 for streets and roads; $200 for parks and recreation; $500 for water; and $2,800 for sewer.  This increase would help keep the taxes down and make sure our City, along with our citizens, prosper as the City grows.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  Rob Collison suggested a formal introduction this evening and the final resolution be approved at the next meeting.  He also asked for a comment from Mr. Newcomb that the proposed $500 would be satisfactory for water.  Commissioner Knox said he would like a monthly report on who is paying the impact fees and what the total is.  Commissioner Brooks said she would like to clarify that Commissioner Knox feels the consideration of raising the impact fee to $6,000 will alleviate Council having to vote on increasing property taxes in the City.  Commissioner Knox said he certainly hopes so.  He said he would like the impact fee increase to go into effect on October 1, 2004.  The motion passed unanimously.

First Reading of Ordinance to Amend Water and Sewer Rate Policy for Industrial Users-Rob Collison said some industrial users requested the option of putting an outflow meter in their facilities to monitor how much water is actually going into the wastewater collection system.  They would pay the full surcharge on this amount.  They would be charged a 50 percent surcharge on what is coming into the facility but not being discharged into the sewer system.  It would apply only to industrial commercial users.  Because the goal is to maintain and increase employment, Council should make the option only applicable for businesses having a certain number of employees.  The business would pay the full expense to install and maintain the equipment to MUC's standards and would allow reasonable inspections by MUC to certify that the meters are working properly.  Gary Newcomb suggested that an amendment be added to stipulate that in the event there is any malfunction of the outflow meter, the full surcharge would be applied to all of the incoming water until the meter is repaired at the business owner's expense. 

Discussion of Demolition Procedure and Structures Pending Demolition-David Pritchett gave the Council a written explanation on the demolition procedure.  Commissioner Watkins asked for a list of dates of when demolition notices were sent.  Commissioner Cephas said the last time they discussed demolitions, there were eight or nine properties.  He would strongly suggest that they are dealt with individually.   David Pritchett said they submit the list after they have gone through all the specifics and know whether or not the property owners are going to appeal it any further.  They do it in groups to get a better price on the demolitions.  Each one is dealt with individually up to that point.   Commissioner Watkins said they would like to know the date the property owners were notified that their house would be up for demolition.  David Pritchett said two or three houses on the list could be funded by grant money which they are in jeopardy of loosing at the end of September.   Commissioner Brooks stated that the Council does not receive the information until Friday afternoon.  This does not give them enough time to investigate the citizen's complaints before the Monday night meeting.  David Pritchett said when he brings it to Council, it is after the homeowner has agreed and they know it is coming down.  He then comes to Council for funds to demolish it.   Rob Collison suggested a monthly memo of the demolition orders that have been issued.    

NEW BUSINESS

Council to Render Decision on Applicability of Impact Fee on Previously Improved Lot-David Pritchett said there are properties that are vacant either because the house has been demolished or maybe never had a house.  They are not clear when an impact fee would apply.  He is questioning houses that were demolished 10 years ago and the property has changed ownership.  Ed Kinnamon will check with the consultant and report back to Council on the consultant's recommendation and timeline.

Request by Dorchester County Tourism for Letter of Support for National Recreational Trails Programs-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve sending a letter of support for both programs.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Discuss Services Being Offered to Area Recently Annexed on Bucktown Road-Ed Kinnamon said he has received complaints by residents of the newly annexed Bucktown Road and Route 50 corridor. They have received tax bills and are questioning why they have to pay taxes when all services are not being provided.  David Pritchett said some of the properties in that area will require services connected and it will be approximately a year before the sewer is run to that area. They are picking up trash in that area.  Several homeowners would prefer to stay with a private contractor.  When people call for trash pick-up, they begin to pick-up their trash the next day.  They will notify each home of what they are doing.  Chief Malik said there is law enforcement in that area already.   Ed Kinnamon said there is only one taxpayer in the City who is currently receiving a discount because not all services are being provided to him.  He is getting police and fire protection but not getting trash pick-up.  Nobody was sure if he was getting water services.  Mayor Rippons said he did not think he was.  Ed Kinnamon said he believes the gentleman is getting a 40 percent discount.  David Pritchett said he will get the specifics and address him with a letter.  Commissioner Brooks said this will affect more areas than the one they are discussing.  Other areas may request a 40 percent discount because they do not have all the City services. She would like a standard set using a percentage for everyone who is affected by only having some City services instead of all of them until all City services are in place. Commissioner Knox said the residents in the Jenkins Creek area pay City sewer and water fees every month.  They also have to pay the Sanitary District a fee to use the line.  No other citizens in the City have to pay Sanitary District fees to use the sewer line. The residents of Clifton Woods and Canterbury have to pay a yearly fee to the Sanitary District.   He does not feel it is fair that these residents have to pay the Dorchester County Sanitary District to use the line and pay City sewer and water at the same time.  Mayor Rippons said they have a meeting set up with the Sanitary District and will discuss Commissioner Knox's consideration at the work session. 

Request for Annexation of Parcel 166 - Map 30, Jenkins Creek Road, to be Referred to Planning and Zoning-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from 4040, LLC to Annex a Portion of Garden Estates Subdivision to be Referred to Planning and Zoning-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Revised Job Description for Cardiac Rescue Technician-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the revised job description.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Go to Bid for Trenching Water Street for Underground Utilities-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox asked if this is in conjunction with the street lighting that was approved a couple years ago.  David Pritchett said this is in-part the street lighting and in-part the burying of the overhead power lines.   The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Resolution No. 04-04 Approving and Accepting the Eighth Amended and Restated Trust Agreement of the Local Government Insurance Trust-Rob Collison reported that this is basically an amendment which would deal with the internal management of the Local Government Insurance Trust.  They have to go to all member cities to ask for amendments.    It allows the Board of Trustees to borrow from an inner pool to pay off debts or obligations.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve Resolution No. 04-04.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from "Faith, Hope & Love", the Dorchester Spirit for a Noise Variance for Saturday, September 18, 2004 from Noon Until 7:00 pm at the Amphitheater Near the Visitors' Center and Permission to Use Electric Service Available There-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Rob Collison said he did not feel the City had the authority to grant them permission to use the electrical service but they can grant a noise variance.   David Pritchett said the power is disconnected until the City turns it on for the Christmas lights.  Commissioner Brooks amended her motion to approve a noise variance and to have Mr. Kinnamon express to them that electric service is not available at this time.  Commissioner Travers seconded the amended motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for Department of Public Works-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the budget amendment.   Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

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

Approve Purchase Order 3330 - Pierce Manufacturing - $578,221 - for a 2005 Pierce Fire Truck-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Financial Statement for July 2004- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase financial statement.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

David Pritchett gave the Council a memo concerning the pedestals at the marina.  They found it necessary to replace the one that are relatively new along the service drive.  They were demanded during the hurricane and it has caused corrosion problems. 

Ed Kinnamon received a letter from Wal-Mart requesting permission to use eight trailers for the Christmas season starting on September 1 and ending on January 15.  Mayor Rippons reminded Council that the ordinance dictates that they can only grant permission for the trailers for a 30‑day period.  The store has to have a specified number of parking spaces. David Pritchett said the fire marshal codes are the only real concern he has.  Ed Kinnamon said they requested four trailers behind the store and four in the garden patio.  David Pritchett said the location will have to be inspected.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request pending inspection and approval. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Ed Kinnamon gave Council a memo regarding the Water Street lighting fixtures.  There has been some confusion about whether the motion that was made was to lease or buy the fixtures. Mayor Rippons suggested having the two representatives come to a work session to talk to the new Council.  Commissioner Watkins said he voted against the previous motion because it was to rent the fixtures and he thought the City should buy them.  Commissioner Knox said he had the meeting minutes from the September 9, 2002 meeting.  It was all voted on except Mr. Watkins opposed it.  Everyone else agreed to have it done.  He is wondering why it has not been done.  If Council agrees to have something done, then the department head should follow the wishes of the Council.  He does not see where there is any more discussion to be done.  It is all stated in the minutes.  There is nothing else to be discussed.  It was passed by the previous Council and as far as he is concerned, Mr. Pritchett should pick up the phone and ask why they are not here yet.  It is a done deal.  Commissioner Watkins said it has not been done in a whole year and he thinks this Council needs to review it and make a judgment at this point.  Commissioner Knox said Mayor Rippons mentioned that a market study was going to be done and Mr. Kinnamon said in the memo that the consultant informed him that he was not providing that information.  He would only make a suggestion as to which light would be the most suitable for our project.  The previous Council voted on who was going to do it, how they were going to be paid for, and all the particulars.  It should have been done.  In his opinion, the previous Council did all these things.  The present Council should not be bothered with old business.  The department heads were told to do it by the old Council and they should be doing it. Commissioner Watkins said nothing has been done.  Now we have a new Council here and everything should be brought to the front and let them look it over and let the new Council make a judgment on what they think should be done.  Commissioner Knox said we all know how grants work.  This has been going on and on.  If the City looses this grant, the next time we apply for a grant somewhere else, we will get the red flag.  The previous Council approved this and we should not even be talking about it.  Commissioner Cephas said he put himself on the Lighting Committee.  A month ago Council talked about getting an extension on the grant money.   Ed Kinnamon said the grant expired in April but they brought it to his attention and gave the City an extension.  It now expires in March 2005.  Mayor Rippons said over the long run, it is going to cost the City quite a bit more money.  It is his understanding the way the previous Council approved it, they approved that the City would continue to rent.  The local utility, who is not a non-profit organization, will install the lights.  The City will pay a monthly maintenance fee which is quite expensive.  Whatever project they approve is going across City-wide lines.  It will not be relegated just to Water Street.  You are looking at as many as 200 lights.  Ed Kinnamon said he called today to get an up-to-date figure.  It would be $21.05 per light per month.  Mayor Rippons said for 200 lights, you are talking about $4200 a month.  As Commissioner Watkins pointed out, instead of paying $4200, the City could apply for another grant to pay for the capital costs of what the lights will cost for a specified street.  The City will be saving $21 a month per light.  The only thing the City has is maintenance.  The contractor can tell what maintenance will include.  There are only two items-a light bulb and a ballast.  They can be replaced in a very few minutes.  One company pointed out that they have several hundred lamps in one location and have only had five ballasts to replace in an eight-year period.   Even if the City does not get the grant, there is a company that will come forward with a lease program that will match the City with very close to what it would cost the City for maintenance.  At the end of 10 or 15 years, the City will own the lights.  Commissioner Brooks said it shows a lack of respect for the previous Council because it was voted on almost a year ago.  She is hearing how much it will cost the City if they lease the lights, but nobody is saying how much it will cost the City if they purchase them and how much maintenance is going to cost the City if we have to do our own maintenance.  Mayor Rippons said that is why Commissioner Watkins suggested bringing the representatives in during a work session and allowing the new Council to hear them.  Commissioner Knox said he read the City Charter thoroughly.  The previous City Council made a motion.  It was passed 4:1 for the department heads to do this job.  It was not done.  Somebody disregarded the authority of the City Council.  The Council runs the City of Cambridge, nobody else.  He said if the current Council does not have to go by what the previous Council said, they can go back to some of these development issues where all the impact fees have been waived, and start all over.  If the present Council can change a previous vote when it states in the City Code that the City Commissioners run the City of Cambridge, and they are saying it is no longer valid, then he would like to go back and look at Deep Harbour, the 75-ft building being built, and a lot of other things.   He said that is the impression he is getting. The previous Council voted to have this done. Commissioner Watkins said things that were done 50 or 60 years ago in the City of Cambridge were later changed by other Councils.  Thank God they did.  There were a lot of things that people were subjected to that were not right.  Later on people came along who had the sense to change it.  He is suggesting looking at the two options that the Council had when they did it and if they still feel they should go the way the previous Council voted, fine.  Commissioner Knox asked if they could go back and review everything that was done in the past four years and change what they disagree with.  Commissioner Watkins said they could go back twenty-five years or one hundred years and see what was done.  Things change.  He is suggesting looking at the two different options.   Commissioner Travers said he is tired of the arguing among the Council.  He was elected to represent the Fifth Ward and the entire City of Cambridge.  The Council was elected to serve the people of the City of Cambridge.  If the Council made a mistake three years ago, the new Council can correct it.  Mayor Rippons said the previous Council executed contracts which the present Council cannot change.  There were legal decisions made that this Council cannot revisit.   He asked if Council wanted to revisit the decision on the lights.  Commissioner Brooks said she feels they should respect the authority of the last Council as she would hope future Councils would respect the decisions this Council makes.  Commissioner Knox made a motion that they do not revisit it.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Cephas said the lighting was never put in place.  Monies were allotted but it never happened.  In his opinion, it should have happened.  If we decide it is too much, he is not saying you can just take the lights down and start all over.  It is too late then.  He thinks it would be disrespectful if the previous Council's decision was not carried out.  Commissioner Travers was on the previous Council. He has not heard Commissioner Travers at any time say to revisit it.  He feels that apparently Commissioner Travers is o.k. with the decision they made two years ago.  Commissioner Travers said they will know when they have the vote.  Commissioner Watkins said they are the Council and they could take a second look at something to see if the previous Council was right. He thinks they should do it.  It would not hurt at all.  The motion not to revisit the issue passed 3:2 with Commissioners Watkins and Travers opposed. Commissioner Cephas said if they know how much it would cost to rent the lights, they should have had something to tell them how much the actual cost would be.  

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to go into Executive Session directly following the meeting to discuss the consideration of real estate and a legal issue.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Lawrence Bohlen thanked the Council for a vote of confidence in what the previous Council did as far as lighting.  He was the Lighting Chairman and there was extensive research done which he will be happy to share with Commissioner Cephas.  The City only owns seven lights.  Every other light in the City is a tariffed fixture through Conectiv. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:20 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 23, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer