City Council Minutes
March 10, 2003
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 10, 2003 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 Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 24, 2003 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Historic Preservation Commission-Commissioner Bohlen reported that the Historic Preservation Commission met on February 20, 2003 and heard the following cases:
- 106 High Street (Gordon Adams)-The request was unanimously approved.
- 103 Glenburn Avenue (D. Whittington)-The request was unanimously approved.
- 427-433 Race Street (Christine Dayton, architect)-The Commission felt what was proposed was not adequate enough as far as preservation of the style and historic integrity of the façade. They held a special meeting with the principles last Thursday and came to a good compromise. They will appear before the Commission this month with their revised plan.
- 507 Race Street (Richard Olenick)-The request was approved unanimously with the stipulation that a dark red color be used for the replaced roof awning.
- 307 Glenburn Avenue (Gary James)-The request was unanimously approved.
Street Lighting Committee-Commissioner Bohlen reported that the Committee recommends adding one additional light directly in front of 403 Talbot Avenue. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to add the light. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Planning and Zoning Commission-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning & Zoning Commission met on March 4, 2003 to hear a case regarding the proposed Cambridge Nursing Facilities on the corner of Route 16 and Stone Boundary Road. They made a favorable recommendation of the preliminary plat approval of the subdivision of land of this parcel pending the adoption of the new zoning maps by the City Council. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to put a preliminary approval on this subdivision. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Hubert Brohawn to Request Renewal of Special Use Permit to Operate Produce Stand at 605 Roslyn Avenue-Mayor Rippons said the recommended procedure is to forward this to the Board of Appeals. Commissioner Travers made a motion to forward Mr. Brohawn's request to the Board of Appeals. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Award Bid for Furnishing Bituminous Concrete Overlay on Existing Streets-David Pritchett reported that they received five bids. He recommends that Council award the bid to the low bidder, Interstate Construction of Delmarva at $45.73 per ton. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Award Bid for Demolition of Selected Houses on Schoolhouse Lane and Chesapeake Court-David Pritchett said the contract covers 10 individual structures. They recommend awarding the bid to Eastern Shore Paving, Inc., the low bidder, at $42,816.00. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to award the bid to Eastern Shore Paving contingent upon the approval of the State and the purchase of the properties. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Cambridge Police Department to Block Off Pine Street from Cedar Street to Cross Street on June 21st from 12 noon until 4:00 pm for a Hot Spot Block Party and for a Noise Variance from 11:30 am until 4:30 pm-Mayor Rippons said this is an annual Community Policing event. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Discuss Comparison of Minimum and Actual Water Charges-Mayor Rippons said it came to his attention that some of the larger apartment complexes have a large water line going into the building. There is contemplation that they are being billed differently. He asked Mr. Newcomb to compare the charges for actual consumption and a minimum predicated on the number of units in the building. The City would then charge the greater of the two. This would generate roughly an additional $10,000 for the water and between $25,000 and $30,000 for the sewer. The Municipal Utilities Commission made a recommendation to adopt a policy where the charges would be for the actual consumption or a minimum based on the number of units in the building. Rob Collison said he could draft an ordinance for a first reading during the next meeting. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to have Rob Collison prepare an ordinance so all users are treated the same. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
DPW to Evaluate and Make Recommendation on New Permit Fee Structure-David Pritchett said the City bases their building permit fee on the cost of the project. At present, they are processing between five and eight permits a day. He knows that the estimated costs for the homes are very low. He is strongly suggesting that the permit fees be based on square footage. Lynn Thomas assisted him in his review and is also in favor of the change. Commissioner Weldon said he is in favor of making the change. This is how the County sets their fees. Council recommended that David Pritchett move forward.
Discuss Slip Rental Fees for Municipal Yacht Basin-Mayor Rippons said over the last couple of years commercial watermen and residents of the City of Cambridge have asked for reduced slip rental rates at the yacht basin and on Trenton Street. David Pritchett recommended that the commercial watermen get a 20 percent reduction and the City residents get a 10 percent reduction. There are 4 watermen and about a dozen City residents. Commissioner Bohlen said in other municipalities that have marinas there usually is a discount for residents. Rob Collison will prepare a resolution for the next meeting and develop a standard by which the City will qualify what a waterman is. Mayor Rippons said there are identified by having a TFL license. Commissioner Weldon said the revenue they get from the marina goes into the general fund. In essence, the boat owners are paying an additional tax.
Approve PO 2701 Computer Information Systems, Inc. $9,000 (Annual License Renewal Maintenance for CPD Computer System)-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Lynn Thomas said next Wednesday there will be a public hearing on the zoning ordinance. The consultant has revised the draft based on the first public hearing. It is available on the City's website and includes the subdivision regulations and the alternate version of the non-conforming section.
Lynn Thomas announced that the City submitted an application for Main Street Maryland on February 14th. They had a meeting last Monday with the review committee comprised of representatives from the State and the National Main Street Center. He felt the meeting went well. They received follow-up questions which were answered today. They intend to make their decisions in about three to four weeks. Mayor Rippons thanked Chuck Kelly for his work as Chairman of the City's Main Street Committee. Commissioner Weldon reviewed the full application packet and thanked the committee for including so much of the work that had been complied during the previous submission. He feels they did a good job.
David Pritchett said in March and April the condition of the roads will get worse because of the weather. They have a crew out filling potholes. He asked Council to report potholes to DPW so they can fill them.
Ed Kinnamon received a request from the American Red Cross in Salisbury for a proclamation. Mayor Rippons announced that March is Red Cross Month. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously. The proclamation will be mailed to the organization.
Ed Kinnamon received two requests for annexation. One is from Tricia Harrington, who owns the land on the corner of Bucktown Road and South Road. This would be across South Road from the land included in the Annexation Resolution read during the last meeting. The second request is from Elsie Pinder requesting the property at 2441 Rock Drive be annexed so she can get City water and sewer. Rob Collison asked that the requests be forwarded to Planning and Zoning for their comments.
Commissioner Atkinson asked David Pritchett for the fees at surrounding marinas. He would also like to set a date for another meeting to come to a conclusion about a refueling dock. Mayor Rippons asked Commissioner Atkinson to ask the County if they would like to join in the discussions. Ms. Chabot from Dorchester County Tourism will be invited to the next meeting. He is asking the public for their input also.
Commissioner Weldon said a topic surfaced to him regarding the City's pursuit of an impact fee structure. An idea being utilized in other communities is to have a fee assessed to support community amenities. This would include the City park system. Mayor Rippons said parks and recreation is already included. Commissioner Weldon would like it to partnership with Sailwinds Park and perhaps the Arts Center which has a major project forthcoming. Also, if it creates a pot of money, perhaps organizations can tap into it for grant applications.
Commissioner Weldon asked if the paving schedule could be sent to the newspapers so they can publish when people can expect to see certain streets getting paved and anticipate traffic re-routing.
Commissioner Weldon asked about the bike ordinance signs. David Pritchett said the sign should be here in two weeks. They have ordered enough signs to install two signs on each block and on each section of the block.
Commissioner Weldon said the Annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference will be held in Easton on May 2nd and 3rd. He encouraged the Council and people who own structures in the historic area to attend.
Commissioner Bohlen attended the tree planting at Blackwater on Saturday with Commissioner Travers. They had in excess of 350 volunteers planting 15,000 trees. This begins their celebration of the centennial of the National Wildlife Refuge.
Commissioner Bohlen and Mayor Rippons attended the Harriet Tubman dinner on Saturday. He thanked them for the meal and for all the good work they do. Commissioner Watkins thanked them also.
Rob Collison announced three public hearings scheduled for March 19, 2003 at 7:00 pm in Council Chambers. The first is another public hearing on the comprehensive rezoning of regulations and maps. The second is a public hearing on the renewal of our Enterprise Zone application. The third is the issue of amending our intensive development area growth allocation for the Jenkins Creek subdivision from limited development area to the intensive development area.
Rob Collison announced that the Council met in closed executive session at 6:30 pm tonight to obtain legal advice on several matters.
Mayor Rippons said their will be a dance on Saturday to benefit the City of Cambridge's teams raising money for Relay for Life.
Mayor Rippons said a contract was drawn up last month with the Pine Street Committee so they could occupy the Empowerment Center. The only issue that was resting was the contemplation that the Pine Street Committee provide insurance for the facility. Mayor Rippons spoke to the agent who told them he can provide them with the necessary insurance. The first part is the mandate of the City. This would cover the property and liability. It would cost $1400. The other issue which has been drawing it out is a contemplation of the director's liability. If something happens at an occasion they are holding, they need to be covered. This is not a requirement of the City. His contemplation to the agent and to the Committee is that the City needs to get somebody into the building. He spoke to Octavene Saunders today and she assured him that in the first week of April the policy will be in effect and they will be able to move in. There is water damage in the building from a winter storm. The City is working with a contractor to have it repaired.
Tom McCoy representing 221 Choptank LLC thanked Chief Malik and the Cambridge Police Department for being so responsive to his telephone calls which have been frequent. He also thanked David Pritchett and the Department of Public Works for their help in getting a permit for his door to make it safer for his tenants. His experience with City government has been very good.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:50 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 10, 2003, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer