City Council Minutes
August 11, 2003
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 11, 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 July 28, 2003 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Planning and Zoning-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning Commission met on August 6, 2003. They discussed the proposed annexation of the Gypsy Hill Farms/Burton Family properties. They voted unanimously to recommend the annexation of this parcel but did not indicate what they thought the appropriate zoning should be. They were generally supportive of the concept plan presented by Mr. Ken Usab. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to move forward with the annexation process. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Open Bids for Furnishing and Delivering One New Commercial Grass Cutter-Ed Kinnamon reported that the City received four bids. They were as follows:
- Jones Implement (East New Market) -- $15,398.62
- E. S. Hubbert (Cambridge) -- $12,645
- Eastern Service (Cambridge) -- $14,248
- Kut Kwick (Brunswick, GA) -- $32,338
Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Open Bids for Painting City Hall / Rescue Fire Company Building-Ed Kinnamon reported that seven bids were received from six companies. They were as follows:
- R&R Coatings (Salisbury) -- $38,895
- Alpha Sigma Painting Corp, Inc. (Baltimore) -- $46,465
- Eastwood Painting & Contracting, Inc. (Baltimore) -- $72,250
- Colossal Contractors, Inc. (Salisbury) -- $34,950
- Procraft Mid-Atlantic, Inc. (Baltimore) -- $120,950 (Liquid Siding)
- Procraft Mid-Atlantic, Inc. (Baltimore) -- $97,350 (Duration)
- Bay City Painting (Cambridge) -- $46,000
Commissioner Weldon made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their recommendation. Commissioner seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Bud Hankins to Discuss Inpatient Facility for Hospice Patients-Bud Hankins, Chairman of the Board of Coastal Hospice announced that the group is trying to raise $500,000. They are going to take over a wing at Deer's Head Center in Salisbury and it will be refurbished as a hospice. Because 20 percent of their clients come from Dorchester County, they would like to raise $100,000 here. He is not asking for money from the city but is speaking to get the word out to the community.
Lawrence Edwards to Request Permission to Sell Produce-Mr. Edwards is in the process of applying for a Special Use Permit to sell produce at the corner of Race and Washington Streets. Council granted him permission to sell the produce during the application process.
Natalie Chabot to Discuss "Welcome to the Heart of Chesapeake Country" Sign-Ms. Chabot said the Dorchester County visitor center is the second busiest in the State. Currently there are plans in place to erect a sign on their building. The sign would introduce visitors by saying "Welcome to the Heart of Chesapeake Country" and also would have three sections available for text messages on local events and activities. A start-up fund is underway. They have a verbal commitment from 3 entities and she is asking the City of Cambridge to be a partner in this endeavor. The cost to fabricate and install the sign is estimated to be $8,500. The Council will consider this request and present their decision at the next Council meeting.
Connie Fisher, Manager of Glenburn House, to Discuss Public Transportation-Ms. Fisher asked that the buses continue down Glenburn Avenue because some of her residents are not able to walk to the corner. She offered that the bus could turn around in the semicircular driveway in front of the Glenburn House. Mayor Rippons informed Ms. Fisher that Delmarva Community Services owns and operates the buses. He suggested that Ms. Fisher write a letter outlining her concerns and suggestions and present the letter to Council. If Council agrees with the suggestions, they will send a letter of support to Delmarva Community Services. The Council will consider this request and present their decision at the next Council meeting.
Representative from SIS Properties, LLC to Request PILOT Agreement for their Amberly Meadows Senior Community-The Department of Housing and Community Development has conditionally approved funding for their proposed elderly facility on Chesapeake Street, adjacent to Delmarva Community Services. They are requesting detailed information on Cambridge's contribution. Mayor Rippons asked that they present exactly what they are asking for to Rob Collison so he can review it and present it to Council on August 25, 2003.
David Fang, MHA Financial Group, Inc. to Request a Revised Resolution of Support and PILOT for Their Project on Woods Road-The Ingerman Group will be submitting an application to the Maryland Community Development Administration. Their proposed site is on Woods Road adjacent to the State Hospital. They are asking for support from the City of Cambridge. Mayor Rippons asked that they present exactly what they are asking for to Rob Collison so he can review it and present it to Council on August 25, 2003.
Request from Tom Carolan Regarding Impact Fees-Mr. Carolan called and asked that this item be postponed until the next meeting.
Award Bid for Installation of RFC Boat Lift-The City received one bid from Whittington Marine Construction of Cambridge for $6,375. This bid met the specifications of the Department of Public Works. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to award the bid to Whittington Marine Construction. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Sewer Connection for 1028 Washington Street-The homeowner has paid sewer fees to the City for many years, not realizing until recently that they were utilizing a septic tank with no City sewer hookup. These fees have been estimated at $800. They are willing to pay for the Environmental One pump and all remaining installation costs (approx. $6000). The Department of Public Works approves of this offer at an estimated cost to the City of $1500 to $2000. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to proceed with this request. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Status of Goodwill Road Acceptance-Sometime ago, Fred Robinson made an offer to transfer ownership of Goodwill Road. The Department of Public Works reported that the road meets specification and is in good condition. The only consideration would be the condition of the surfacing. Ed Kinnamon will contact Mr. Robinson and inform him that the City is willing to take ownership of the road contingent on the road being resurfaced prior to acceptance.
Discuss Creation of Mayor's Office of Special Events-Council decided a committee will be formed to coordinate City events.
Request From Wal-Mart for Permission To Have Ten Storage Trailers Behind Their Building Starting September 1, 2003 Until January 15, 2004-Each year Wal-Mart makes the same request. Last year, the number of trailers was increased from six to ten. The City Code stipulates that the Council can give permission for a storage trailer for a 30-day period. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to allow the trailers for a 30-day period. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. When Ed Kinnamon notifies Wal-Mart that they have permission for the trailers, he will suggest that they consider using warehouse space for their seasonal storage.
Approve Holding Meeting on Tuesday, October 14 In Lieu of October 13 (Columbus Day)-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to move the Council meeting to October 13th. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request To Go To Bid for City Market and Business Incubator Study-During last year's Community Legacy round, the City was successful in obtaining funds for a planning grant to hire a consultant to perform a study concerning the feasibility of establishing a City Market and Business Incubator. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow Lynn Thomas to go to bid. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Traffic Signal at Poplar and Gay Street Intersection-The traffic signal located at the intersection of Poplar and Gay Streets was damaged by a car several weeks ago. Since that time, the intersection has been operating on "flash mode" with very few, if any, backups. DPW has received several requests to leave the light in the current mode to improve traffic flow. Council voted to refer this item to the Traffic and Safety Committee for their review and recommendation.
Discuss Lighting Upgrade for Downtown-In a memo to Council, David Pritchett reported that October 31, 2003 is the deadline to utilize the remainder of the Community Legacy grant to upgrade the Main Street area. Commissioner Bohlen said several business people have been asking when the lights will be installed downtown. He said all they have to do is find the funding in the budget in subsequent years to run the conduits block by block. It will not cost the City a tremendous amount of money out-of-pocket. Mayor Rippons said the major cost is not in fixture. The major cost is to run the conduit. Commissioner Weldon said the City of Union Bridge, Maryland (population 1100) has received $2.5 million in State Highway funds to upgrade its main street. It is not longer than High Street from Poplar to the water. He asked Lynn Thomas to pursue funds from the Federal Government for a transportation project that could benefit the City in terms, not only providing space for conduits and lighting, but also general rejuvenation of the downtown streetscape. Cambridge has received, through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, a grant of $28,000 as a match for the work the City has already done predicated on the terrif arrangement and the Holophane poles.
David DePorter, Hadco Lighting, said their proposal is a lease program with John Tieder Electric. He said Hadco uses a non-yellowing acrylic lens. Holophane uses glass. Hadco has a 3-year warranty. Holophane has a 1-year warranty. Hadco has been in business since 1953; they have done many installations through the State of Maryland including Ocean City, Salisbury, Baltimore, and Frederick. Holophane and Hadco have a very similar good-quality product made of cast aluminum. They can provide banner arms and have options for outlets on the sides of the fixture for Christmas lights.
Donald Fentress, Vice President of the Municipal Utility Division, said he has been involved with the Cambridge area for the last 40 years through the John Tieder organization. He has looked at the documents that Conectiv has supplied to the City and feels it is excessive in the amount of lighting fixtures proposed to be installed. John Tieder is willing to propose a program of installation, maintenance, and leasing of equipment. Mayor Rippons said their proposal also includes putting lighting on Cedar Street and Maryland Avenue.
Bill Burris said there is a proposal from Conectiv for 216 units at a cost of $16 per unit per month equaling $3,456 per month in lease fees. Based on the light levels that are required, John Tieder is looking at $2,453 per month for 5 years. In a 10‑year lease for the same number of units, it would run $1,382. Taking that into consideration with the fixtures and the light distribution that we are looking at for an even light, it would allow them to add Maryland Avenue and Cedar Street into the current configuration and get the entire project done. If you look at the 10‑year cost from Conectiv, you are looking at $414,000.
Commissioner Weldon said the program that they outlined is very interesting and is worthy of discussion. However, he feels the lights are out-of-scale and in a block of 10 lights in Baltimore, usually 4 are cockeyed. Dave DePorter said they have several different size globes available.
J. B. Tieder said they are willing to take any step that Council wants to take to bring them any information that they deem necessary. Underground installation will be two-thirds, if not more, of the cost.
Mayor Rippons asked Commissioner Bohlen to have a representative from Holophane attend the next Council meeting. A representative from Hadco will also attend.
Request for Resolution of Support for a Neighborhood Partnership Program Application for Harriett Tubman Organization-Mayor Rippons said there are some structural problems with the Harriet Tubman Organization's building downtown. The Organization is applying for funding in the form of tax credits that they can sell to the community. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request for the resolution. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Appointing City Representative for Main Street Board of Directors-Lynn Thomas announced that the first meeting of the Board of Directors is August 19th. Commissioner Weldon said he has been serving as the liaison to the group and would appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Board. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that Commissioner Weldon be appointed to the Board. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 221 - Andrews Miller & Associates - Marina Expansion Design Services ($99,930)-Mayor Rippons said part of the funds will come from a grant. Another portion will come from the Cambridge Yacht Club. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 2810 - ACI Associates, Inc. - Computer Equipment for City Hall ($11,985)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Bohlen received a call from Herm Kramer with the Richardson Maritime Museum who has used the Neighborhood Partnership Program. They would like to apply again and are requesting a letter of support. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to offer a letter of support to the James Richardson Maritime Museum for their request for another $50,000 in tax credits through the Neighborhood Partnership Program. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Watkins said the Seafood Feast-I-Val held on Saturday was an outstanding event. He is sure there were more people there than ever before. It did a lot for Cambridge. He had people personally with him New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Baltimore. Most of his family attended. It's a credit to the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to send a letter of congratulations to the Committee who put it on. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Weldon said he was at the Peach Festival on Saturday morning which was also a wonderful event.
Commissioner Weldon said the Local Management Board of the Heritage Areas is accepting applications until August 22nd for the next round which will be decided upon on the State level in early November. They offer low-interest loans for private sector and matching grants for non-profits and municipalities. He has been talking to Lynn Thomas about some possibilities to expand the Long Wharf project. He would like to see a comprehensive design plan for the Long Wharf area, re-landscaping the parking area, etc.
Commissioner Weldon said he was also at the Peach Festival on Saturday morning which was also a wonderful event.
Commissioner Weldon said he enjoyed the "Second Saturday" that the downtown businesses have put together for the last two months. It was a very pleasant evening. Greg Vande Visser said over 250 people came through his gallery.
Commissioner Weldon said that Cambridge's directional signage is in production and should be installed by the end of September. It includes a series of signs to direct people into the downtown area and to the public parking areas.
Commissioner Weldon said on Friday, August 22nd the Christmas Parade Committee is again hosting a movie night at Long Wharf. They have tentatively found a movie entitled "Santa Claus vs. the Martians". Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the Christmas Parade Committee a variance from the noise ordinance on August 22nd from 7:30 pm until 10:30 pm at Long Wharf. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Atkinson said on August 7th, Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Watkins, and he met with the Pine Street Committee in relation to the Empowerment Center. He feels much better about the project finally getting off the ground. Their first program started today. Sailwinds is donating 125 chairs for the meeting room. They have some computers. Some of the program they are planning to put into effect are "How to Apply for a Job" and "Helping Youth to Learn to Read Better and Improve Their Math". He was amazed to learn that a large percentage of our youth cannot go to high school this year, because they can't do math. The Committee is planning a grand opening in October.
Commissioner Travers said he would like to thank Wise Oil and Fuel again for the outstanding job they are doing at Long Wharf. Mayor Rippons said in consideration of the City allowing them to be there, Mr. Wise has agreed that 5 cents of every gallons of fuel sold will be given to the City. The City just received a check for $152.10.
Ed Kinnamon said someone contacted him Friday and someone contacted him tonight to ask him to alert Council that the Cambridge side of the fishing pier has been neglected. He was told tonight at DNR is not policing it. It is in deplorable condition. Mayor Rippons said he will call DNR on Tuesday.
Lynn Thomas said the Main Street training for new communities and new board members in older communities will be held in Cambridge at the Hyatt on September 16 and 17. They will be looking for representation from our new board members but elected officials and anyone interested in the program will be welcome.
Mayor Rippons said the gentlemen who works at Baltimore Zoo offered to come to Cambridge to assist in set-up of the Christmas Lights. They use five generators at the zoo, and he feels we will need at least three here. Commissioner Bohlen will contact the gentleman at the zoo. Commissioner Weldon said there are still some pieces which need to be brought to Cambridge from Baltimore.
Mayor Rippons complimented the Baltimore Sun for the fine article that was in the paper on Sunday revolving around the City of Cambridge.
Mayor Rippons asked Ed Kinnamon to invite the Cambridge Little League Team who went through such a successful season to the next City Council meeting so Council can present them with a resolution.
Tom Thompson said he does a variety of on-the-water activities for tourists and community members and has offered to transport guests of the Hyatt into town via water. He has approached several people on the City and County Council to find out what kind of permits he would need to operate a water taxi. Mayor Rippons asked Rob Collison to research this. Mr. Thompson has requested to be able to pick up passengers in the Municipal Yacht Basin and along the bulkhead between the County Building and Snappers. Commissioner Bohlen said the City issues licenses to taxis. Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Thompson to forward any agreements he has with other venues to the City because this might help expedite the process.
Evelyn Townsend thanked the Council for their resolution and support to help the Harriet Tubman Organization. She asked Council to call on them if there is anything their organization can do for the City.
Betty Sheets said she is the owner of 800 and 802 Hambrooks and 100, 102, and 104 Willis Street. She is here to discuss the alley that runs through the center of the block starting on School Street and is supposed to come out on Hambrooks but it doesn't. She asked who owned the property and what rights the owners have. It used to be a grandfather clause - whoever gets there first. Rob Collison said there are only two alleys that were dedicated and accepted by the City of Cambridge. One is behind the buildings on Race Street. He is not sure where the other one is, but it is not the one Mrs. Sheets is speaking about. It is not a publicly-owned alley. The property owners have private property rights. She might have a private cause of action to bring against one of the other property owners who blocked the driveway. If they block it for more than 20 years, they've eliminated the right-of-way because no property owner took action within the 20‑year period of time to open it up again. He suggested Mrs. Sheets consult an attorney to look at her situation to see if she can force the other property owners to remove whatever they have installed or constructed to block the alley. They alley is probably mentioned in her deed. The City does not own it so it is a private property matter.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:25 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 11, 2003, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer