• 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

January 28, 2002
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, January 28, 2002, in City 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 January 14, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Historic Preservation Commission-Commissioner Bohlen will give this report next week.

PUBLIC HEARING

Community Development Block Grant Application - Bayly Road Improve-ment Project-Jim Michael reported the certificate of publication states that the public hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner on January 24, 2002.  The block grant application is due on February 1st.  The block grant proposal is similar to the proposal submitted in July 2001.  The City had high point value in July but did not receive funds at that time.

The proposal is for improvements to Bayly Road between Governors Avenue, Maces Lane, and Chesapeake Street.  The project would enclose or relocate ditches (some up to 6 feet in depth) and add a shoulder along the roadway resulting in improved safety condition for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.  The project will include installation of storm drain inlets and the resurfacing of the roadway.  The total grant request is for $517,000.  The letters of support submitted with the last proposal will be resubmitted.  Nobody from the audience requested to speak for or against submitting the proposal.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to close the public hearing.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

James Moore, Cambridge Classic Cruisers, To Request Noise Variances for Events in 2002-James Moore requested noise variances for their car shows on the following dates: May 5, July 7, September 1, and October 6.  All shows are scheduled to be held in the Super Fresh parking lot on Route 50.  The hours are between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant noise variances for the above dates and times.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Ty Banning, Dorchester Co. Health Dept. to Request Permission to Close a Section of Pine Street on June 1st for Prevention Day-Ty Banning is requesting permission to close Pine Street from Cedar Street to Cross Street on June 1st for their HIV Educational Day.  DCDC, the Dorchester County Aids Foundation, and the Family Support Center will be working with them.  They will have amplified music.  The fair will be set up from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the Dorchester County Health Department permission to close Pine Street on June 1 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and to grant a noise variance for the same hours.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Dave Thomas to Discuss Increase in Slip Rent at Municipal Yacht Basin-Dave Thomas has been a slip holder since about 1983.  When he initially went there the slip rent was significantly less than today ($375 per year).  There have been minor increases throughout the time which he understands.  He didn't know until the middle of December that there was going to be a significant increase in the slip rental for 2002.  When he received his bill, there was a 30-35 percent increase in the slip rent.  David Pritchett and Ed Kinnamon gave him some background information.  David Pritchett gave him some information comparing the marinas in the general area.  The fees in St. Michaels and Oxford were significantly higher because they offer many more things (pools, restaurants, etc.) all done by private funds.  He believes the Municipal Basin was put here by the State and that the State is cost-sharing repairs at about 50 percent.  He understands the private marinas have to have higher prices because they are bought and maintained with private money.  He can count on both of his hands the number of times they have had to do any repairs on the dock that his boat is on.  He is questioning whether the City has a fund for marina repairs or does it all go into the general fund.  Mayor Rippons said prior to this Council taking over, the City never had a segregated account that took the marina into account. That is why they are preceded with a massive improvement.  In prior years, all funds were put into the general fund-not to be reallocated.  Now they are putting the funds into the general fund however they are matching revenues with those expenses that are going on.  Dave Thomas said he doesn't disagree with the slip rent; he disagrees with the way it was implemented. 

David Pritchett said a letter went out in October detailing the rate increases.  Dave Thomas said he did not receive the letter.  David Pritchett said since the marina did need an upgrade badly and the insurance company put them on the hazardous list.  Talking to transient boaters, they said it is one of the nicest marinas they go to.  The City needs more money to get the improvements.  He felt apologetic for the marina for 6 or 7 years.  Corrections are being made and it is a very desirable marina.  He feels it belongs in the mid-range of what marinas are charging.  He tabulated 11 samples of fees. 

Dave Thomas said his objection is not to the amount of the increase but the way it was done.  A 30 percent increase is a lot of money at one time.  His final concern is the dog mess in the park where he wants to fold his sails.  During working hours the baths and showers are available to the entire public as is the entire perimeter.  When the Yacht club has special events, he can't find a place to park.  There should be something done for the people paying for the slips.  David Pritchett said the bathrooms and showers are not open to the public.  The combination is given out to transient boaters and annual slip holders only.  During special events he receives special permission from Council to open the doors to the public. 

David Pritchett said if Long Wharf was striped-off, he believes there would be 300 spaces and approximately 30 spaces in the parking lot near the marina.  Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Thomas' suggestion on how to determine which of the 177 slip holders could park in the 30 parking lot spaces.  Rob Collison said the contract only stipulates a slip (not a parking facility).  Commissioner Weldon said there is a loading and unloading zone for boaters and the City provides carts for their use.  Construction should be completed by the spring.  If parking becomes an issue, Commissioner Weldon said they could consider the idea of issuing 30 parking permits at a cost.  Right now, it's first-come, first-serve on the parking.

Dave Thomas said as far as David Pritchett's letter, he did not read one; he is not saying he was not sent one.  As far as the price increase, he would like to have seen it graduated in.  David Pritchett said they have not planned any future increases at this time.  Obviously there will be some in the future.  The last increase was in 1998.  The last major improvements were made in 1975.  The renovations at the marina are going to approach the $2 million mark.  The outer wall will be the most expensive aspect of the entire enhancement.  The project is 72 percent complete on this phase.  Commissioner Weldon said the money has to come from the fees and the users of the facility.  He feels the rate they set is competitive and the services and amenities they will be providing are going to be more than competitive once the work is complete.  David Pritchett said it is his understanding that the money generated by the marina will be maintained and used at the marina.  That is the goal of the Council.

William Pender to Request Refund on Building Permit Fee-William Pender and his wife bought property in the Clifton Woods area in March of 2001.  They are requesting that Building Permit 3337 (Receipt 7585) be voided and that the money be refunded minus administrative expenses.  He said his financial condition has deteriorated over the year and feels it is unwise to obligate himself to a large mortgage at this time of economic concern.  David Pritchett said he and Jim Michael discussed this earlier today.  This permit has only reached the in-house plan review and site review steps of the procedure.  Because no construction has been started, they have not made any inspections.  Jim Michael said there has not been any active work on the site.  If there was a portion of the fee to remain, Jim feels 5 percent of the total cost would be adequate.  Commissioner Atkinson said a refund was given to someone on Pennsylvania Avenue not too long ago.  David Pritchett said he would recommend returning the same percentage as returned on the Pennsylvania Avenue building permit.    Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the request as stated in Mr. Pender's letter be granted.  The administrative fees would be the same percentage as refunded on the Pennsylvania Avenue permit.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Weldon stated that if Mr. Pender decides to build in the future, he would have to re-apply for a building permit at full cost.  The motion was passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Discuss Maryland Loans to Individuals With Disabilities Program-Rob Collison reviewed the Department of Housing and Community Development's submissions.  Because of the requirements that are heavily weighted toward mortgage application review and approval, Rob doesn't feel there is anyone in-house who could adequately deal with these issues.  It would probably make sense to sub-contract this out.  There are provisions in the documents for this.  It will be critical that the City have a very good subcontractor's agreement where they will post performance bonds and comply with all the State requirements in the reporting and application process.  Expenses would be at the agency's expense.  In Mr. Middlebrooks' case, he is trying to get them qualified in order to purchase houses that his company has renovated.  He would have some funding to absorb some of the expenses.  There is a vested interest on his part to get the program up and running.  Rob suggested discussions with Mr. Middlebrooks and the State and then present the agreements to the Council for their recommendations. 

Second Reading and Decision on Adopting Ordinance on Inoperable Vehicles-This will become a new Section 4-39a entitled "Inoperable Vehicles" of the City Code.  An inoperable vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer which is not in operating condition or does not display valid license plates or displays a license plate with a decal that is expired for more than 60 days.  The ordinance describes the City's procedures for removing the inoperable vehicles which are improperly stored.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to adopt the Ordinance on Inoperable Vehicles.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Award Bid for 2-Post Maintenance Lift for DPW-David Pritchett reported they received two bids with a $400 difference between the two.  The low bid did not meet specs; therefore, it was disqualified. It is his recommendation to purchase the lift from Challenger Lifts, Inc. for $3,150.  He had budgeted $4,000 for this item.    Commissioner Watkins made a motion to award the bid to Challenger Lifts.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Approve Resolution to Submit Community Development Block Grant Application-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the Resolution to submit a Community Development Block Grant to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for Repairs to Bayly Road as outlined in the public hearing tonight. Commissioner Watkins seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.  (Resolution No. 02-001).

Request from Laurence Edwards to Renew Special Use Permit to Sell Produce at the Corner of Washington Street and Race Street-Commissioner Atkinson said Mr. Edwards has been at this location for several years.  This produce stand doesn't interfere with the traffic and he doesn't see any reason why the permit should not be renewed.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to renew Mr. Edward's Special Use Permit.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Rob Collison said the permit will expire one year from today.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Request from Dorchester County Public Library for Parking Permits for Tax Preparation Assistance Program Volunteers-Ed Kinnamon said this has been a request by the library for at least the last three years and there hasn't been a problem in the past.  Captain Malik said the Police Department gives the tax preparers cards that they put in the windshield so they can park on Spring Street.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve this request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Amendment to Marina Upgrade Contract-David Pritchett said they have currently budgeted $683,000.00 for the phases they are now accomplishing.  Not included in this because of the preliminary stage they City was in before the contractor arrived, were the T-heads to go on the ends of the three main piers.  The T-heads are not critical however because they are widening slips, they will be loosing three slips on the service drive.  The T-heads will permit them not to loose those slips and will easily allow them to moor up to 75-ft boats.  If the funds are not available to complete all three T-heads, DPW specifically would like to proceed with "C" pier (the main pier) at a cost of $25,000.  The City cost would be $12,500.  DNR will pay the other $12,500.  These T-heads were not budgeted.   Right now they are on budget for the funds that have been budgeted.  David said one half of this expense can come out of the Department of Public Work's budget.  Ed Kinnamon said it is possible he can take some money from the Contingency Fund.  He will have to review it.  This will be reviewed further next week.

Discuss Glasgow Street Improvements-David Pritchett said Glasgow Street is the next street to be improved and to receive sewer separation.  In 1992 the resolution was adopted for improvements to Glasgow Street from Short Street to High Street.  At that time property owners were assessed 50 percent of the cost of curb/gutter and 100 percent of the cost of the sidewalk along the frontage of their property.  This has to be advertised, assessed, and placed in the paper for public notification.  The design phase has been completed and they are ready to proceed on with the Glasgow Street improvements.  David Pritchett said the recommendation of DPW is to have Rob Collison work with them to draft the assessment for the properties that are involved with this project.  George Hyde would like to find a way that this work can be done comprehensively because if we come in with multiple contractors, we will not get the same look as if it is done in one straight shot of sidewalk and the price will not be the same for everyone. 

Ed Kinnamon said in 1992 the City contracted the entire project out and it was awarded to one contractor.  The City appropriated the expenses 100 percent to the property owner for the sidewalk and 50 percent for the curb and gutter.  They also required 50 percent from the property owner of their share in-hand before the project was completed.  The other 50 percent was paid upon completion.  This is outlined in ASOP No. 21.  Commissioner Bohlen suggested 50 percent up front and perhaps over a period of up to three years assess the other 50 percent on their property taxes at a reasonable rate. 

Council to Consider Revision to ASOP No. 2 (Travel Regulations)-Ed Kinnamon found in ASOP 2 a section stating that Council was to be notified every time any employee attended a seminar or conference.  He wanted to call it to Council's attention to see if they want to revise this ASOP.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to adopt a revision to ASOP 2 deleting this requirement.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Lease Agreement for Storage of RFC Equipment-Rob Collison said it is his understanding that the negotiations with the County did not work out for the Health Department building.  The City has discussed leasing a 300,000 ft2 warehouse located at 8 Washington Street from America Ltd  (Fred Robinson).

It would be a month-to-month lease beginning February 1 at a rate of $675.00 per month.  The landlord will make certain improvements to the property including:  installation of security lighting, installation of two separate 110 20‑amp circuit electrical services, installation of adequate overhead lighting, installation of personnel door entrance, and installation of an electric overhead door.   The City will have the right to install heating elements on the property.  The City can terminate the lease at any time with 30-days advance notice.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the lease agreement for storage of RFC equipment.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Annual Fireworks Funds-Ed Kinnamon said the Police Department is requesting to know how much the Council would like to appropriate for the coming year's fireworks.  Last year Council appropriated $15,000.  Because of the timing of the fireworks, this is one of the first expenses the City incurs during the new fiscal year.  In the past, when the Police Department engages the company for the fireworks, they require 50 percent down payment.  This uses up half of their annual allocation.  At the end of the year, the City only has one half to go into July. Because of the timing, they need to know now what the Council would like to appropriate for the coming year.  The County generally adds $5,000; however, we do not have a commitment from them.  Commissioner Atkinson made a recommendation to postpone a decision until we get a commitment from the County for their share.  Ed Kinnamon will contact the County.

Approve PO 2167   for Cambridge Police Department

Approve PO 2226   for Department of Public Works

Approve PO 2139   for City Council

Approve PO 2251   for CEMS

Approve PO 2206   for RFC

Approve PO 2201   for RFC

Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve Purchase Orders 2167, 2226, 2139, 2251, 2206 and 2201.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve Financial Statement for December 2001-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement for December 2001.  Commissioner Watkins seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Rob Collison reported that the Council met in closed executive session at 6:30 pm to discuss a real estate matter. 

Rob Collison has been asked why parking was eliminated along the corner behind the Court House that was previous permitted (Spring and Gay Streets).  This eliminated two or three spaces.   David Pritchett will investigate this further.

Commissioner Travers made a motion to move into executive session after the meeting.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Bohlen attended two very good functions last week-one was the Dr. Martin Luther King prayer breakfast at Bethel Church and the other was the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner.  Both were very well attended.

Commissioner Weldon thinks the community needs to take a look at a philosophical decision that they need to make as to whether Cambridge Creek belongs to the community or if it belongs to people who can afford to buy a house on it.  His opinion is that the water should be a public asset and that residential development has already taken large chunks from us and we should look very carefully at any future development involving additional residences on the creek.  The main source of revenue the City will be getting from the Hyatt is as the Hyatt's residential component develops.  He doesn't know if it is in the City's best interest to pursue a lot of other housing along the creek, which would slow down the process of the Hyatt developing.  Another thing to keep in mind is that if we build 300 condominiums on the creek, we attract 300 people who may live here 3 or 4 months out of the year.  If we build a well-done and well-conceived commercial district along the creek, we will attract 10,000 people-all of them bringing economic impact to our community. 

Ed Kinnamon said from what he understands, 50 percent of the watermen left the marina basin.  There are four watermen remaining at the basin.   He had two of them visit him regarding the cost increase.  They pointed out that they are only in the basin a percentage of the time.  One is there approximately two months and the others are there four months of the year.  As our contract states, we can sub-lease those slips; they cannot.  They were asking if the City could give any consideration when they are not there so much of the time.  David Pritchett said they sub-lease those slips.  His only concern is that the watermen, one of them in particular, give him no indication when they are not going to be there.  Therefore, the City can't sub-lease the slip.  Mayor Rippons suggested a meeting with the watermen to discuss this further. 

David Pritchett said the City had a very major sewer problem over Martin Luther King weekend.  Six men divided up their time during the night, worked fulltime during the day, all three days of that weekend including the next two days when we got back from the holiday.  They worked around the clock, had to bypass a pump, and had a 9½-ft deep excavation.  This is completely our limit.  Generally 7½ feet is considered the depth we can handle.  The repair was done in the vicinity of $2000 -$3000 actual cost for material and overtime.  The only estimate he has so far is it would have been between $10,000 and $16,000 if they had to contract it out.   The men jumped in and did the job.  The superintendent told them they might not be able to do the job because it may be too much.  They said, "No, for you boss, we're going to finish it.".  They worked around the clock.  He would like to publicly recognize their fine work. 

Captain Malik informed the Mayor and Council that the Bureau of Justice Assistance has formally approved the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant.  The total funds will be $42,637.00.

Mayor Rippons announced that the City held a meeting about Sailwinds Park last Wednesday evening to have Council visit the issue about how they need to proceed for the future.  This will be discussed at the next meeting.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:15 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, January 28, 2002, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer