• 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

March 11, 2002
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 11, 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 March 4, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Street Lighting--Commissioner Bohlen reported that the committee met on March 7 and reviewed two requests.

  • Lighting enhancement was requested at the intersection of Choptank Avenue and Travers Street. The committee recommends placing an additional light at the intersection.
  • Lighting enhancement was requested at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Hiawatha Road. The committee recommends placing an additional light in front of 811 Maryland Avenue.

Commissioner Bohlen made to motion to accept both recommendations.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Traffic & Safety--Commissioner Watkins reported that the committee met on March 7 and reviewed two requests.

  • A request was received to evaluate West Appleby Avenue and Shorter Street due to the inability to safely use the street because of its narrow specifications. The committee recommends "no parking" signs be placed on the south side of the street allowing parking on the right side only.
  • A request was received to place "no parking" signs on Springfield Avenue because the alley is blocked when parking is permitted. The committee recommends "no parking" signs be placed on the east side of Springfield Avenue from Washington Street to Robbins Street.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept both recommendations.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Historic Preservation Commission--Commissioner Bohlen reported the HPC met on February 21 and heard the following cases:

  • James Nwakudo (448 Race St) wishes to install a sign for his thrift store. The sign was approved unanimously.
  • Alice MacLaughlan (112 West End Ave) wishes to replace asbestos siding with vinyl siding. The siding was approved unanimously.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Granville Tubman (116 High St) wish to repair major damage from a fire (roof, dormers, windows, gable ends). All work as presented was unanimously approved.
  • Mrs. Shushan Chao (301 Glenburn Ave) wishes to rebuild her porch. One issue with the replacement columns existed. She agreed to the Commission's recommendations. With that one recommendation, her request was unanimously approved.
  • Mr. Richard Naing of C B Richard Ellis, Inc. gave a preliminary site plan for the development of 201 Mill Street. No decision was made; this was for information only at this point.
  • Gene Slear (100 Mill St) representing Christ Church, brought forth a revision to the proposed handicapped ramp at the church. Because they were not on the docket, this will be discussed at the next meeting.

Planning and Zoning Commission--Commissioner Watkins reported the Commission met on March 5 and heard two cases.

  • Gloria Bailey (411-413 Pine Street)- The Commission unanimously recommends approval to rezone the property located at 411-413 Pine Street from R-4 Multiple Dwelling District to C-2 General Commercial District. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept this recommendation. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. A public hearing will be scheduled.
  • Deep Harbor Project, Trenton Street-With a 6:1 vote, the Commission made a favorable recommendation to approve the preliminary review per PWCD requirements. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept their recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Proclamation for American Red Cross Month-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation and Mayor Rippons signed it.  The proclamation will be forwarded to the Red Cross.

Proclamation for Social Services Month-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation and Mayor Rippons signed it.  The proclamation will be forwarded to Social Services.

Mayor Rippons read a letter from Governor Glendening addressed to Cambridge resident Robert W. Boyd Jr. appointing  Mr. Boyd as a  member of the Governor's Commission to Study Poverty in Maryland.  Mayor Rippons worked with Mr. Boyd on quite a few aspects.  He commended Mr. Boyd and the Governor's office for the fine representative they have chosen.  Mr. Boyd said he will be meeting with the City Council and other agencies in Dorchester County to find out where we need to go to address this very critical problem. 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Decision on Text Amendment to Permit Sale of Alcohol Within 500 Feet of a Church or School-Rob Collison reported that Council held a public hearing last week to consider the request by Tony Thomas to sell wine for off-premises consumption.  When the State and County eliminated the dispensary system, a new code section was written prohibiting the Dorchester County Licensing Board from issuing a new license to an establishment within 300 feet of a church or public school.  Commissioner Weldon said the restaurant is in his ward and if it were purely up to him, he would do away with the restriction altogether, but in the spirit of cooperation with the County and based on the attorney's recommendation, he thinks the 300-foot setback is fair.  He thinks Council should clarify things for new businesses coming to our area that there should not be confusion between what the City requires and what the County requires.  Rob Collison said if the Council desires to make it more consistent with the County, he recommends amending the Code section so that beer and wine are grouped together and other alcohol separately.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to accept this recommendation.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Mayor Rippons clarified that the motion stipulates that the text amendment allow sale of alcohol within 300 feet of a church or school and also a provision that the Code be amended that beer and wine sales be considered together and other alcohol separately.  Rob Collison said this is retained as a special exception which means there will be a public hearing on each request.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request Permission to Advertise Sale of Old Parking Meters-David Pritchett said he received several requests to sell the old parking meters.  He checked on prices in the event Council wishes to sell these outdated meters.  The Easton Police Department found that the maximum they can be sold for is $50 but they suggested a much less price.  Mr. Pritchett recommended selling them for the highest price received.  There are approximately 70 meters.  Captain Malik said the two-hour parking limit has worked very well and he doesn't see under any circumstances where the City would put 70 meters back into place.  If he remembers correctly, most of them are jammed or broken.  David Pritchett will advertise to request for bids.  Mayor Rippons asked since the meters may have some historic significance to the residents of Cambridge, could the residents come forward if they would like to have one and allow the City to react to them?  David said he feels it's a good idea and will draft a letter accordingly.

NEW BUSINESS

Discuss Revision to ASOP for Purchasing Equipment-Rob Collison said the City had no provisions for being able to substitute a high quality used asset rather than purchasing a new one.  It would be almost impossible to go through a formal bidding procedure because of the uniqueness of a used asset.  He revised ASOP No. 24 to say that the purchase of a used capital asset could be exempt from the bidding procedure if the department head makes certain determinations and finding that the used equipment is in excellent condition and will have a very satisfactory useful life for their needs and results in significant savings.  The department head would make the recommendation to Council for their approval.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the revision.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Decision to Purchase Backhoe-David Pritchett said they are in need of a backhoe.  They found a 4-wheel drive Case backhoe in excellent condition.  His mechanic examined it and they did a test drive and a test dig.  He is requesting to purchase the backhoe for $19,500 plus the trade-in of the old unit which is estimated at a value of about $3,000 to $4,000.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to purchase the backhoe.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  Commissioner Atkinson said DPW will save $40,000 by purchasing this piece of equipment.  If the City gets use out of it for 7 or 8 years, they are still money ahead. A new unit would cost $62,500.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

Discuss Revision to Existing Job Description and Adoption of New Job Description for Department of Public Works-David Pritchett said they are doing a technical reorganization.  The bulk of the workload falls on the Superintendent of Public Works (Spencer Bradley).  He oversees 20+ people and is overloaded.  He cannot perform his function in the office, oversee the maintenance of the equipment which is now going to expand to include other departments, and take over property maintenance.  In doing this, David came up with an Assistant Superintendent position which will be advertised in-house if Council approves it.  In order to do this reorganization, the responsibilities of the Superintendent changed.  It created a whole new position and they had to identify the responsibilities for that person.  The benefit is that the Assistant Superintendent will be in the field 90% to 95% of the time going to the various jobsites and keeping it organized. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to revise the existing job description and to adopt the new job description.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Requesting Funds from County for Paving Streets-Commissioner Atkinson presented a letter requesting $75,000 from the County to go specifically for paving and repair streets in the City of Cambridge.  Every year the County gives at least $1 million in their budget for repairing County roads.  The taxpayers of Cambridge pay 19% of all property taxes paid to the County.    He does not believe they are getting a fair return for their tax dollars to go to City streets.  He made a motion that the letter be approved and that Mayor Rippons personally deliver it in a public session to the County Commissioners.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  David Pritchett said the historic amount budgeted for the annual paving over an extremely long period of time has been in the vicinity of $80,000 to $105,000.  He increased it over the past 4 years to between $110,000 to $155,000.  We have 62 miles of road.  In order to maintain the proper turnover of paving the street every 15 years, which is needed to eliminate the way some of the streets look now, we need an annual budget at today's costs in the vicinity of $200,000.  This year's budget has been slightly lower due to meeting the requirements of the budget.  Commissioner Atkinson said most of the streets of Cambridge are in deplorable condition.  Instead of maintaining a repaving and repair system of every 15 years, most of our streets are done about every 25 years.  He hopes the County will see fit to help us out on this.  We are trying to catch-up for years of neglect.  Commissioner Weldon agrees with the request.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Mayor Rippons to Appoint Members to Economic Development Committee-Last week Mayor Rippons appointed two Council members to the Committee.  The two business people will be Mr. Chuck Kelly and Mr. Bill Wise. 

Request to Go to Bid for Refuse Removal (Boat Ramps, etc.)-The Department of Natural Resources funds our water-related dumpster facilities.  This year they have $8,000 budgeted.  DNR covers the 9 busiest months of the year.  The only change this year is that he would like to go to bid for a 2-year period because they would get a better bid rate.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request to Go to Bid for Annual Paving Contract-The City has $152,000 remaining of the budgeted $155,000 for FY 2002.  They would like to pave during the months of April and May.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the request to go to bid.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.  David Pritchett submitted a paving schedule.  He requested if any Commissioner has a change or priority other than that listed, please give it to him as soon as possible.

Approve Purchase Order 2209 (RFC)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve PO 2209.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

David Pritchett said they are in the final phases to go to bid for the Glasgow Street improvements that covers from Linden Street to the Board of Education area.  Rob Collison is prepared the resolution and hopefully it will be presented at the next meeting.  They have budgeted $70,000; the City's portion will be $50,000 assuming they get $20,000 from the homeowners as the Code is now currently written. 

Commissioner Atkinson attended the Annual Rescue Fire Company banquet.  Representing the Mayor, he was handed a certificate honoring the Mayor and City Council for their support of Rescue Fire Company. 

Commissioner Weldon attended the same banquet and he also attended the Harriet Tubman banquet.  They had an open house on Race Street earlier that day.  During the banquet he expressed to the organization that they have been downtown for a long time and have been a very stable presence as downtown has gone through its revitalization efforts.  He is pleased to have them still there and as thing continue to grow, they will become a major vital attraction to our downtown.  The number of people who came in from outside the area to be at the event was very impressive.

Commissioner Weldon had the opportunity to visit Cambridge Park Apartments and meet with Grant Davis who is the Youth Coordinator.  Mr. Davis works with a group of 15 to 20 young men working on everything from homework to developing their social skills to motivating them to continue their education and family life and basically giving them a comfortable place to be.  He reaches a lot of small children and middle school children.  Chesapeake Life Magazine has published a very extensive article about the work of the New Beginnings Youth Center. 

Commissioner Weldon said on Friday night he had the pleasure of calling bingo numbers at Choptank Elementary along with Officer John Foster, Cambridge's D.A.R.E. Officer.  Officer Foster is a man who gives more of himself to this community than most.  The kids knew who he was and what his message was.  Officer Foster is an elected Councilman in Denton. 

Commissioner Watkins said the Harriet Tubman Organization had a fine banquet at the Elks Lodge Saturday.  It was well attended by individuals in this community.  He was impressed with the unity and oneness it showed.  People were working together to help the community and the youth in the community. 

Commissioner Bohlen said both events this weekend were very enjoyable and very well attended. 

Rob Collison reported the Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm this evening to receive legal advice regarding pending litigation. 

Mr. Boyd commended the Department of Public Works on the diligent work the City employees do from collecting garbage to putting in drain covers.  Never has he approached one of them with a question that it wasn't answered in a respectful and mannerly way.  Mr. Pritchett will pass the compliment on to the employees.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:45 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 11, 2002, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer