City Council Minutes
November 24, 2003
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, November 24, 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 Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 10, 2003 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Planning & Zoning Commission-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Commission met on September 2, 2003 to discuss a request by Town Point Properties, LLC to rezone four parcels at the corner of Muir & Academy Streets from C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial) and NC-4 (Neighborhood Conservation District-4) to GC (General Commercial). The Commission voted unanimously to leave the zoning "as is". It was noted that they need more information on what the applicant wants to do. The applicant has requested to proceed with a public hearing in the interim. Rob Collison stated the public hearing on the rezoning request is scheduled for December 8, 2003 at 7:00 pm.
Mayor Rippons announced that a public hearing scheduled for this evening for annexing several acres on Egypt Road has been postponed until December 17, 2003 at 7:00 pm at Maple Elementary School on Egypt Road.
Representative from Comcast to Discuss Varying Rates Throughout the City (at the Request of Commissioner Atkinson)-Tom Worley explained that the rates for cable services are the same throughout the City. However, from time to time they offer promotions with their different plans. Commissioner Atkinson stated he had about half dozen complaints from citizens asking why there were different price plans. He stated he was satisfied with Mr. Worley's answer when asked by the Mayor. The Mayor thanked Comcast for their efforts during the recent beautification of Sandy Hill School. Mr. Worley gave the credit for arranging the event to Erika Forsythe, Government Relations Manager who was present as well.
Report from City Auditors-Keith Novak from the accounting firm of Wooden & Benson presented the City's audit for FY 2003. Novak offered an unqualified report on the City's audit. Novak stated this is the highest rating, which can be given. He stated the City's fund balance of $2.4 million was a sign that the City is good financial condition. Novak favorably commented on the City's management and staff during the audit process.
Changes to the Critical Areas Section of the Zoning Ordinance-Rob Collison announced that tonight's public hearing was scheduled to discuss and vote on changes to the City's Critical Areas Section of the Zoning Ordinance. Mr. Collison provided a summary of the changes or amendments to the critical area. The City's regulations are to be no more restrictive than the State's requirements. The other major change regards the growth allocation. Under the revised critical area section, only the acreage within the critical area is counted toward the growth allocation. With no comments from the floor, the public hearing was closed. The changes were approved unanimously pending further comment from the State Critical Area Commission.
Resolution for Salary Differential for Military Personnel-Council discussed a resolution for salary differential for city employees who are called to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves of the United States Armed Forces. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.
Open Proposals for the Economic Development Grant-Ed Kinnamon opened five proposals for the economic development grant for the area on Trenton Street. They were from:
- Chesapeake Group (Baltimore, MD) -- $20,000
- Faux Group (Annapolis, MD) -- $20,000
- Leatherman & Associates (Easton, MD) -- $20,000
- Redman, Johnston (Easton, MD) -- $19,700
- Basil, Baumann, Prost & Associates (Annapolis, MD) -- $19,500
The proposals were referred to David Pritchett of DPW for review and verification.
Discuss Glasgow Street Crosswalks-David Pritchett answered questions regarding the crosswalks on Glasgow Street in the area or Zion Church as well as on Maryland Avenue. Mr. Pritchett said the lack of manpower is why the Department of Public Works cannot get the job done in-house. Commissioner Atkinson stated he didn't know why we couldn't find a retired masonry contractor to do what is needed. Mr. Pritchett commented that his plans are to attempt to have the work commence in the spring or when the weather would cooperate to allow the work to be completed.
Revisions to ASOP 24-Mayor Rippons asked Rob Collison to discuss the changes to ASOP 24. The change pertains to foregoing the formal bid procedure for capital projects which must be made on an expedited or emergency basis in order to prevent bodily harm or property damage. The ASOP still requires an informal solicitation of three quotes.
Request from Wal-Mart for a 30-Day Extension for Storage Trailers-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Cambridge Main Street Committee for a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for their Second Saturday Festivities on the Second Saturday of Each Month from 5:00 pm Until 10:00 pm in the Downtown Area-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request to Play Christmas Music in the Downtown Area from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Daily Throughout the Holiday Season-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Property Owner for Annexation of Property Located on Bucktown Road (Map 42 Parcel 61)-The request to annex the property behind Days Inn over to Bucktown Road was referred to Planning & Zoning. Rob Collison suggested that the City attempt to gain permission from the two or three others between Bucktown Road and the subject property to alleviate an island or spot annexation. Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Collison to contact the people in that area.
Approve PO 264 - John W. Tieder, Inc. to Repair Power at the Marina ($11,000)-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 3105 - Choptank Riverboat Company for Maryland Municipal League Fall Convention ($3,200)-Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 264 - David A. Bramble, Inc. for Combined Sewer Separation Phase II ($56,543.19)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Financial Statement for October 2003-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Introduction of Annexation Resolution 2003-04 (Revised) Glasgow Street (Applicant - S&S Investment Properties, LLC)-Rob Collison introduced Annexation Resolution 2003-04 for the Glasgow Street and Hambrooks Boulevard area. Mr. Collison explained the area that is covered in the request contains approximately 62 acres. A public hearing on the annexation will be announced at a later time.
Commissioner Bohlen read an e-mail from a citizen regarding the flower plantings in the area of the Creek Bridge. The writer criticized the City for the condition of the plantings. Commissioner Bohlen stated he would personally respond to the writer himself on the matter.
Commissioner Weldon commented on the flooding of Water Street recently. David Pritchett stated that a floodgate is malfunctioning and is being fixed at this time. The floodgate should be back in working condition very shortly.
Commissioner Weldon favorably commented on the renovations and other improvements to Bay County Apartments on Greenwood Avenue. He requested the City prepare a resolution to the apartment complex and the people involved for their part in improving this area.
Commissioner Weldon addressed the issue of why the City has not taken any steps to begin the bidding process of installing the new lights in certain parts of the City. He cited that on September 9, 2002 the Council voted to proceed with the Holophane lighting for the downtown. Commissioner Weldon directed David Pritchett to prepare the bid documents for whatever areas of the process that needs to be bid. He continued with echoing comments from Commissioner Bohlen that the City is in jeopardy of losing additional funding for future projects if we do not move on this. After much discussion between Commissioner Weldon, Commissioner Bohlen and Mayor Rippons, the conversation was left that David Pritchett would prepare the bid documents.
Ed Kinnamon read a resolution proclaiming Sunday, December 14, 2003 as "A Cambridge Christmas". This resolution is in conjunction with the Cambridge Woman's Club holiday tour.
David Pritchett informed Council that an impact fee in the amount of $4500 was received from contractor Jamie Brohawn for a home for Neal and Ann Moore at 5641 Clifton Drive. The contract was signed before July 14, 2003 when the ordinance was signed. During a previous motion, impact fees received during this timeframe would be returned. A motion to return the impact was passed unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:26 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 24, 2003, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer