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  • 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 9, 2003
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 9, 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 May 27, 2003 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Planning and Zoning-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning Commission met on June 3rd   and voted unanimously for a favorable recommendation to annex the property shown on Tax Map 30, Parcel 13 on Lovers Lane pending the annexation of the three parcels which would make an enclave of County surrounded by City.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the recommendation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously. 

Commissioner Watkins said they also discussed two parcels on Cambridge Creek.  Members of the Main Street Design Committee were present and requested that they defer any decision to such as time as they have time to review it. 

Traffic and Safety-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Traffic and Safety Committee made a recommendation concerning the Bay Country Bible Church on Locust Street.  They agreed that a safety problem may exist due to the lack of adequate street supervision when a large group of children are present.  A Glasgow Street "drop off" may be a preferred approach.  The Committee recommends "Sunday only" for parking on both sides of the street.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to reflect the above recommendation.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Christ Episcopal Church has asked the City to designate two handicap parking spaces on Church Street.  The Committee recommends giving the Church a cone to put in the parking spaces for the times that they are going to use them.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the Church to try this because it has worked well at other churches.   Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Open Bids for Demolition of 501 Oakley Street, 617 Douglas Street, 600 Hubert Street and 711 Moores Avenue-Ed Kinnamon opened the following bids:

Kelly's Excavating                                           $25,250

Wheatley Brothers                                          $15,035

J. & J. Harding                                                $24,400

R. S. & J. Excavation                                      $16,700

Jerol Moore Landscaping & Excavating             $22,164

Russell Insley                                                 $15,000

Eastern Shore Paving                                       $16,550

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

Laura Weldon Representing Cambridge Dorchester County Christmas Parade to Request Permission to Use Long Wharf on July 20th for a Family Film Festival and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance-Commissioner Weldon spoke on Laura's behalf.  The Christmas Parade Committee is planning an outdoor film festival with a film being projected against a temporary screen.  The fundraiser will give families the opportunity to gather at Long Wharf to view the film.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant the Dorchester Christmas Parade Committee permission to use Long Wharf on June 20th for their film festival and a variance from the noise ordinance.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Rev. Dedra Martin from New Life AME Zion Church to Request Approval for a Street Service on Saturday, July 19th Beginning at 11:00 am in the Parking Lot Behind Murphy's Store on Washington Street and a Request to Block Off the Portion of Phillips Street That Runs Behind the Store-Neither Chief Malik nor David Pritchett had a problem with blocking off a portion of the street.  Rev. Martin said the event will last until 6:00 pm.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request and included a variance from the noise variance.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Representatives from the Veterans Recognition Day Committee to Request Noise Variance for their Event at Sailwinds Park on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2003-Judy Moody and Jean Newcomb represented the Veterans Recognition Committee.  The event will be held between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on September 20, 2003.  They are asking permission to fire the cannons like they have in the past.  The National Guard will fire a 21-gun salute.  Music will be played inside Governors Hall.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant a variance from the noise ordinance for the event.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously.

Sandy McAllister, on Behalf of Dorchester General Hospital and Shore Health Systems to Discuss Restructuring Issues-Sandy McAllister said several years ago the City was responsible for issuing $4.2 million in bonds, non-recourse to the City.  The bonds require City-approval for restructures and refinancing.  Motivated by the historically low rates, Shore Health is consolidating and restructuring.  Several years ago, Dorchester General and Memorial Hospital in Easton began an affiliation.  They would like to go to the next step which would enable them to recapitalize.  With the City's approval, it would enable them to put $4 million into the new intensive care unit and a half million dollars into the pharmacy.  More importantly, the City's approval is needed for the hospital to lease some of its space to create a regional out-patient dialysis facility with 12 out-patient beds.  In order to do so, a contractor has to come in to operate the facility.  Mr. McAllister agreed to provide a letter signed by all the boards confirming that the new entity will be 100% responsible for repayment of the bond which now is simply the obligation of DGH.  There are two approvals necessary.  The first is to permit the renal dialysis lease and the second is to permit the merger of Memorial Hospital and DGH.  Previously, he has provided those two approvals for Council's review.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to consent to the leasing of a portion of the hospital property and executing the approval by issuing of the lease agreement with Renal Treatment Centers Mid-Atlantic Inc.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the consent of issuer as to the merger between Dorchester General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Easton, Maryland into the new entity entitled Shore Health Systems Inc.  This approval will be conditional upon receiving written confirmation from Shore Health Systems, Inc. and the two other entities.  Shore Health Systems, Inc. will be obligated for the bonds. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon said this is a much bigger issue than refinancing the bonds.  He has not seen any prospectus or organizational chart or anything that defines what this new entity is going to be and he is reluctant to just say "aye" and not know what he is saying aye about.  Sandy McAllister said the only reason the City is involved is because of the existence of the current bonds.  If the balance of the $4.2 million had to be refinanced, it could be, which would not require the City's approval.  This is to better integrate the two staffs which currently exist in two separate institutions.  There are three independent boards which have all unanimously approved this restructuring.  The new board will still have the same one-third local (Dorchester County) representation.  The combined balance sheet is very strong.  Dorchester General Hospital is doing well.  The system needs to go back into the marketplace for the less expensive money as an entity to continue things like the $4 million emergency room upgrade.  It was always contemplated that this would happen.  The Shore Health System is endeavoring to be as efficient as it can be and is dedicated to this community.   Commissioner Weldon asked if under the new combined facility if the local elected body had any jurisdiction.   Sandy McAllister said there is always an open line of communication.  It is incredibly important to Dorchester General Hospital that its relationship, both with the City and County governments, continues to co-exist.   It is the hospital's intent to cooperate in any way on any topic.   The motion was passed unanimously.

Wendy Ruark to Request Permission to Use a Mobile Hot Dog Cart at Various Locations in Cambridge-Ms. Ruark was not present.

Main Street Design Committee to Discuss Development on Cambridge Creek-Steve DelSordo, Chairman of the Main Street Design Committee, said they are a citizen body that was formed with the announcement that Cambridge was going to apply for a Main Street designation.  They are one of 3 committees for the Main Street program.  They developed some goals and a mission statement and began giving free advice to downtown property owners who wanted to improve their buildings.  When they learned that there were a couple of projects proposed for Cambridge Creek, they sat down with Ginger and Dan Brannock to discuss the project near the County office building.  There are a lot of design issues having to do with developing the Creek.  Part of them arise from some architects' misunderstanding of what the design guidelines and the development plan say for the Cambridge Creek.  The Planned Water Community Development (PWCD) special zoning district was not really addressed with the comprehensive rezoning that was done by the City.  The zoning ordinance requires that the Council adopt a development plan and design guidelines for each of the PWCDs.  These guidelines were approved in 1984.  It talks frequently about developing a community along Cambridge Creek and good design that is appropriate for Cambridge.  It talks about a mixed-use development along the Creek.  The guidelines are very specific about the kinds of buildings and building materials that can be used.  The two projects that came to the Planning Commission last week ran into a couple of issues.  One was an issue regarding the definition of height.  They also ran into issues of materials.  They both wanted to use architectural shingles and vinyl siding for the exteriors of the buildings. Neither is permitted in the design guidelines.  In working with the Brannocks, they realized as a Design Committee that they had an obligation to the City to help the City and the people working on projects to work through some of these issues in a better fashion than what is in the design guidelines.  Design guidelines are becoming a hot topic on the Eastern Shore.   The Design Committee is offering to work with the Planning Commission on proposed projects on the Creek to do design guidelines and a better development plan.  Council would have the final approval.  They are estimating this would be a $20,000 gift to the City which is about what the design guidelines would cost.  It will provide real good guidance to the Planning Commission and also to people who want to do projects on the Creek. 

Lynn Thomas agreed that the design guidelines are outdated.  At a minimum they could certainly use an examination to address of role of more modern materials.  As many illustrations that could be added would certainly be helpful in conveying what the City wants to see done on the Creek.  He doesn't know if the Committee is proposing to look at the actual procedural aspects but if they are looking at the PWCD as a whole, he would like them to look at that as well.  Steve DelSordo said it would really be nice to have 6 months to prepare the guidelines.  It could be done faster if they need to.  Mayor Rippons said there are some people who are ready to move forward now.   Commissioner Bohlen said having been involved with this process along with the Design Committee, he has to agree.  Having the knowledge of what it takes to develop proper guidelines, he thinks 6 months is reasonable.  It is imperative that this be done with alacrity so it can be accomplished and we can have a good final product.  What happens on the Creek is going to reflect the City for the next century. 

Rob Collison said Council could give them any amount of time Council wishes and allow applications to continue forward under the current code.  He thinks what they may be suggesting is that Council put a moratorium on any new applications until these new design guidelines are established.  If Council wants to have new design guidelines, they could stop all projects until the new design guidelines are in effect or just let them design the plans and once they are adopted, that is when they begin.  Anyone in the pipeline would be able to continue.  If they decide they want new design guidelines to apply to any project from here on, they would be establishing a building moratorium over the area to which the design guidelines would apply.  To do so, they would have to hold a public hearing.  They could not approve it tonight. 

Mayor Rippons asked Lynn Thomas why Planning and Zoning did not look at the issues at their meeting.  Lynn Thomas said as Mr. DelSordo pointed out, there were a couple of deficiencies with the submission, the first being not meeting the correct height requirement.  The second issue was that Mr. DelSordo would be coming before Council to request this consideration.  He feels they didn't want to make a decision if a moratorium was possibly coming soon. 

Commissioner Weldon said he was on Boston Street in East Baltimore which is on the Harbor.  It was very similar to what we have on our Creek.  It was old industrial sights, old tattered neighborhoods, and there is one 12-story brick condo building that was built in 1980 and everyone realized how bad it was.  The neighborhoods came together to do what the Design Committee is talking about tonight.  They got together to talk about what they really wanted in their community.  To date, that is the only 12-story building on the waterfront.  He feels every intention is there to do a good job on Cambridge Creek.   If it takes 90 days or 6 months, he thinks we need to invest that small amount of time because it will impact the next 100 years.  He feels the PWCD ordinance needs work and he is disappointed that the zoning consultant didn't lift a finger to address it.  It is the one part of the zoning code that needed the most work.  If Mr. DelSordo's group is offering the City a gift of $20,000 worth of their time and professional expertise, he thinks it would be imprudent to disregard that.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to move forward to initiate the hearing to engage in the discussion of a moratorium.  Rob Collison said it is considered like re-zoning so it only requires a 15‑day advance notice for the public hearing.  It can be scheduled for the meeting on June 30th.   Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  Commissioner Atkinson said he is opposed to any length of time for a moratorium.  He can't see why this group cannot work with the developers now and let the developers and planners accept their advice until the designs are approved.  There are developers lining up money, some have already invested their money, and the Committee wants to hold them up 6 months after Council has been working all these years to get something developed on the Creek.  In answer to a question by Commissioner Atkinson, Steve DelSordo said they are working with the Planning Commission, the developers, and the City's Planner now.   They are asking for Council's permission and instruction to work with the Planning Commission so the Planning Commission understands that this is a priority of the City Council.  They have met with Ginger and Dan Brannock for better than 3 hours and it was a real good meeting.  They have asked the folks from the Muir Street project to come to their meeting.  Both projects have proposed materials for their buildings that the ordinance and design guidelines do not allow them to use.  There is no way they can use vinyl siding or some of the other materials they want to use and there is no appeal process. 

Commissioner Watkins has no problem with the Committee overseeing designs for future development but he thinks it is unfair after a man has done a lot of work and then the City holds him up for 6 months.  He feels Council would be giving them a dis-service.   Commissioner Weldon said the biggest single project would be Deep Harbour which Council rezoned to a PWRD which has a whole different set of guidelines.  It wouldn't be affected at all.   The other parcel at the Point is in the process of transfer so there are no hard and fast plans on that at this time.  He would be interested in hearing from the other two developers who are in attendance tonight.  Commissioner Bohlen asked when the opportune time is.    There will always be something in the pipeline until the Creek is completely built out.   If it is a good project, it will stand on its own merit. 

Rob Collison asked if the Committee has been able to look at the PWRD.  Steve DelSordo said at this point, all they are interested in is the PWCD.  Rob Collison said if the concern on the two existing projects was that the proposed materials were not permitted, the Council may wish to have a public hearing on June 30 on the amendment of those approved materials while the design guidelines are being looked at.  Under the current code, the developers would have to change their materials.  It appears at the very least, the approved material list needs updating. 

Dan Brannock said they are going to develop 200 Gay Street (Shell Station).  They have been working on the project since January and have been working with the architect.  At the time Mr. DelSordo's group wanted to speak with him, they had already signed an agreement with the contractor to start construction.  The Design Committee wanted larger windows, so the Brannocks said they would buy larger windows in whatever color the Committee wanted.   Their architect was in contact with the Planning Commission but they were working under guidelines that Jim Michael gave them.  They had no idea that the rules were getting ready to change.  They submitted their final drawings on May 6th; the rules changed May 12th regarding height.  Once they were told they could not use vinyl siding, they had a meeting with their architect and builder and they asked what they could do to lower the height.  The previous guideline was an average height of the roof. You could have 60% of the building at 71 feet and they had about 5 feet going above 75 feet which they did for a decorative effect.  Those 5 feet made it against the rules as of May 12th.   Rob Collison said had Council been aware of it prior, they could have stated that any applications submitted prior to the adoption could be grandfathered in.  Once it becomes adopted, it becomes effective 10 days thereafter.  Unless the building permit has been approved, the new code would apply.  You can't go back after it has been approved and grandfather certain projects.  Commissioner Atkinson asked why they couldn't amend the ordinance for the height restriction only and go back to the old measure.  Rob Collison said they could do that by having a public hearing on June 30th to have a text amendment for the definition of the height.

Commissioner Weldon asked if Council should go back to that where they have to react to everything as an emergency or do they sit down and think this thing through to understand what the impact is going to be.  Anybody else can come and beg for an amendment.  When Council re-established the 75-foot height limit back in the fall, it was still open to the interpretation under the old zoning ordinance.  There was a recommendation to do this clarification.  They had no idea that the Brannocks had been this far along.  Commissioner Weldon said he would suggest 90 days.  He thinks there is enough expertise in the group and there are enough guidelines around that they can look at, that they should be able to come up with something within a 90-day period.  Mr. Brannock said he will go with the guidelines they have. He will make it brick and under 75 feet.  He just wants his 30 days back.  He wants the meeting as of June 3rd that they attended to be his preliminary hearing.  He wants to get on schedule.  Now his height (under the 75-foot mark) and materials are in compliance. 

Jim Duswalt said they are doing the project at the end of Muir Street.  They were also the victim of circumstances.  Things changed from when they got to the preliminary hearing.  They are willing to change their specs to meet the current City guidelines. 

Commissioner Travers attended Design Committee meeting and he understood that this could be solved before 6 months.  He is suggesting 60 days.   Commissioner Weldon said the motion on the floor is to move forward with the public hearing process to discuss a moratorium.  Rob Collison said if they have a public hearing on June 30th and approve the moratorium, it would not take effect until 10 days thereafter, which would be about July 9th.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Dan Brannock asked if June 3rd was considered their preliminary hearing.  Rob Collison said it would probably qualify for a preliminary hearing but they did not get preliminary approval.  Lynn Thomas said the preliminary is the first step and that is basically an opportunity for the Planning Commission to relay comments.  Mayor Rippons asked if given the circumstances in this case, that the preliminary and the guidelines can be looked at in that hearing.  Lynn Thomas said he doesn't have a problem with that.  The Planning Commission has sometimes done it.  Rob Collison said he will look at the language in the new code. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Demolition Citations and Costs as Part of the Property Maintenance Code-This ordinance would create a new Section 4-34.2 of the City Code.  If a property owner fails to comply with a demolition order within the time prescribed, the owner shall be deemed guilty of an infraction, the fine for which shall be $1,000 and every day that the said violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.  In the event that the owner causes the structure to be razed and removed within 60 days after the effective date of the demolition order, then the Commissioners of Cambridge shall abate/reduce the amount of any fines and citations issued therefore by 75 percent.

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the ordinance as proposed.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Rock Drive Annexations-Lynn Thomas contacted Elsie Pinder at 2441 Rock Drive and she said she would like to move forward with the request that she has pending.  He also contacted Gloria Bailey, who is now undecided about annexation and will get back to him.  Rob Collison said when the City had a meeting a year ago, there were enough property owners consenting for annexation provided they did not have to pay dollars out-of-pocket for the extension of water and sewer.  The City could proceed with the annexation process granting the property owners a tax abatement for a period of time (for instance 3 years) until such time as they receive services.  The City could then proceed with the grant process.  The City would say they would install the services at its expense if the grant money doesn't come through or it would make up the difference.  Lynn Thomas said the Planning Commission has made a favorable recommendation on the annexation.  Mayor Rippons said DPW recommended not to annex a single property.  Commissioner Atkinson said the Stafford property was spot-annexed before they took office.   He suggested having the public hearing.  Rob Collison will advise the property owner that there is a possibility that she will pay for the advertising and the annexation will not go through.

Vote on Resolution to Amend ASOP #17 Regarding Tax Abatement-Rob Collison said this would amend the abatement process by permitting the Council to grant tax abatements for the same property but a different company.  If the company leaves within 20 years or reduces their labor force by 50 percent, they would be obligated for the abated amounts.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to amend ASOP 17.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Future Council Meeting Schedule-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to continue meeting on the present schedule of twice a month.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed.

NEW BUSINESS

Request for a Carnival Permit and Variance from the Noise Ordinance for the Bay Country Festival at Sailwinds Park on July 1 through 5, 2003 from 6:00 pm Until 11:00 pm-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from RFC to Install a Boat Lift in their Slip at the Municipal Yacht Basin-David Pritchett said he doesn't believe they have any objection to a lift in just the one slip.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant RFC permission to install a boat lift and to allow DPW to work with Mr. Collison to set up the pertinent details.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Restoration Temple Church of God (Hurlock) for a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for their Picnic at Great Marsh on June 22, 2003 from 12 noon until 5:00 pm-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Dorchester Arts Center to Close High Street from Court Lane to Long Wharf on Sunday, September 28 from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance Between Noon and 5:00 pm- Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Cambridge Yacht Club to Use the East Beach of Great Marsh, the Area Formerly Known as The Duck Walk on Water Street, and the Municipal Crane for their 2003 Annual Sail Regatta on July 12 and 13, 2003- Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from James R. Wheatley/Parts Wholesale, Inc. to Connect City Water to Lot 505 Magnolia Trail-Rob Collison said this parcel would not qualify for annexation because it is not contiguous or reasonable able to become contiguous to the City.  Rob Collison said they should make the approval contingent upon confirmation that it is in an area that is serviced by MUC and it should specify that the property owner could be subject to impact fees depending upon when they get their permit.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to allow Mr. Collison to draft the appropriate paperwork contingent upon MUC's approval.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from John Persico of Willowmere Lane to Have Shoal Creek Dredged-David Pritchett said they can operate dredging in that area under the permit that was issued in 2000.  It has been done before in that area.  The last time it was done, it cost the City $2800.  Rob Collison will check to see if the City is obligated to perform and pay for this work. 

Request from Eastern Shore Director's Consortium to Use Great Marsh on July 12, 2003 (both pavilions) for an All-Day Outreach Program- Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from MTS Broadcasting for Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Country Showdown at Sailwinds Park on Thursday, June 19th from   7:00 pm until 10:00 pm and Friday, June 20th from 7:00 pm until 10:30 pm- Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Dorchester County Detention Center to Upgrade Fieldcrest Drive-Mayor Rippons said on every other road that the City maintains there is tax revenue.   Rob Collison said these types of improvements are done by the developer at the time of the development being made.  The City only performs maintenance.  Rob Collison will review this further. 

Request from Board of Education to Upgrade Pedestrian Signage-David Pritchett said this is a very small request which is very safety-oriented.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Introduction of Annexation Resolution A-2003-02 - Revised Area of Route 50 and Bucktown Road-Rob Collison said this will be deferred until possibly next week when DPW can come up with meets and bounds description.

Introduction of Annexation Resolution A-2003-03 - Northwest Corner Woods Road and Cambridge Beltway (Route 16)-This is a parcel of a development project where most of the land is in the City.  It would be proposed to be zoned General Commercial like the other projects along Route 16. 

Approve Purchase Orders for RFC for Boat Lift (DNR Grant):  PO 2868 Hale Products Inc. $12,382.16;  PO 2869 "Undetermined" $6,000.00 (for installation);  PO 2871 Morean's Fire Equipment $10,500.00-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase orders.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve PO 187 - Coastal Products Co. -  $3,052.16 for Bulk Ice Control Salt-Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve PO 2841 - Town of Easton - $7,370.76 for Employee Contract to Hire Certified Police Officer-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase orders.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve PO 2867 - Personal Protection Equipment Sales -- $13,250 for RFC Turnout Gear- Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the purchase orders.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for Police Department-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the budget amendment.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

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

Adopt FY2004 Budget-Mayor Rippons read a letter presenting the FY2004 budget.  The General Fund budget is presented to the City of Cambridge at $14,497,895, which includes over $7 million in capital improvements.  Total expenditures for all funds are scheduled at $19,563,305.  The City Council plans to implement a 5-cent increase in taxes this year.  The real property tax rate of $0.726 per $100 of assessed valuation will be adopted.  The business tax rate will remain at $1.69 per $100 of assessed book value.   The inventory tax is currently at 80% tax exempt of value.  This tax is scheduled to be eliminated by FY 2006.

A motion was made by Commissioner Bohlen seconded by Commissioner Watkins to adopt the City's General Operating Budget for FY 2004 in the amount of $14,497,895.  The motion was passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Watkins seconded by Commissioner Weldon to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2004 in the amount of $3,821,196.  The motion was passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Weldon seconded by Commissioner Atkinson to set the City's Real Property Tax Rate for FY 2004 at $0.726 per $100 of assessed valuation.  The motion was passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Atkinson seconded by Commissioner Travers to set the City's Business Tax Rate for FY 2004 at $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation.  The motion was passed unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Travers seconded by Commissioner Bohlen to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2004 in the amount of $1,244,214.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Directional Sign Information-David Pritchett said the City has been working with Natalie Chabot of Dorchester County Tourism and representatives of the State to come up with the local plan for the new signage.  The signage is uniform throughout the State.  Natalie said this is a very positive thing for Dorchester County and Cambridge.  State Highway has been working on this project for 3 years.  It will help direct people traveling on Route 50 to our attractions.  There will be a sign on the Talbot County side of the Choptank River talking about attractions in Cambridge.             

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Rob Collison announced that the Council met in closed executive session at 6:15 pm to discuss several legal matters.  He also announced that the next City Council meeting will be June 30th.

Commissioner Bohlen thanked the Police Department for their diligent work with all the triathletes making the Triathlon a successful event.

Commissioner Weldon commended Mayor Rippons on the process of putting together the budget.   Mayor Rippons and Ed Kinnamon have worked for months on end to try to pull the end together. 

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the Music Boosters of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School a variance from the noise ordinance for their benefit at Sailwinds Park on June 22, 2003 from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm at Sailwinds Park.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Atkinson announced that the Bayly Road project has been approved.  The State approved the contractor.

Commissioner Travers congratulated Mayor Rippons and Ed Kinnamon on the very well put together budget for FY 2004.  They did an outstanding job.

Mayor Rippons thanked the Police Department and the Department of Public Works for the work they did for the Triathlon.  The event coordinators and participants repeatedly spoke on the fine work both department have done.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:52 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 9, 2003, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer