• 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

September 23, 2002
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 23, 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 Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 9, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.    Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 16, 2002 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Traffic and Safety-Commissioner Watkins reported that the Committee met on September 17th to review the following two requests:

  • Request by Craig's Drug Store for a designated load and unload parking space-The Committee recommended permitting the designated parking space. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
  • Request for speed bumps on Skinners Court-The Committee recommended denying this request. The Police Department will increase patrol for a period of time to curtail speeding.

APPOINTMENTS

Mayor Rippons introduced Ricco, the newest member of the Cambridge Police Department. Officer Tom Chambers explained that Ricco is a 14-month old Belgian Malinoi who was imported from Holland where he received some of his training.  Officer Chambers and Ricco attended the Cross Creek K-9 Academy in South Carolina.  He was trained in drug interdiction, search and rescue, and criminal apprehension.   Chief Malik commended Officer Chambers for his enthusiasm for this program.   It will be a tremendous asset to the City.  Commissioner Atkinson pointed out that the money for this dog and the training program came from funds that we had apprehended from drugs.  It did not cost the taxpayers anything.  Mayor Rippons thanked Officer Chambers for his commitment to the City.

Open Bids for Furnishing and Delivering One New Trailer-Mounted 25‑Cubic Yard Vacuum Leaf Collector-Three bids were received.  They were:

  • Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems (Easton) -- $24,925
  • E. S. Hubbert & Son (Cambridge) -- $26,918 (There are two other bids that have an equal amount -- $23,598).
  • ODB (Richmond) -- $21,895

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their recommendation.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Representatives from Dorchester Elks Lodge 223 to Request Permission to Hold The Elks' Annual Organizational Day Parade on October 26 Beginning at 3:00 pm; Request to Close Pine Street from Cross Street to Cedar Street from 12:00 noon Until 6:00 pm on Saturday and a Noise Variance; and Request for Parking on the West Side of the Street on Saturday Night from 9:00 pm Until 2:00 am-Jerome Stanley invited Mayor Rippons and the Commissioners to participate in their parade and festivities.  Neither Chief Malik nor David Pritchett saw any problems with the request.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve all of the Elks' requests.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Commissioner Weldon congratulated them on the longevity of the event.  Commissioner Watkins said it has been an outstanding affair.  He said the community looks forward to it. 

Proclamation for Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation Mayor Rippons signed it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Council to Vote on Request from Dorchester County Commissioners to Permit Access to Sanitary District No. 4 for the New Terminal Building Located at the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport-Mayor Rippons announced that Commissioners Atkinson and Travers, Rob Collison, Ed Kinnamon, and he met with two County Commissioners last Friday.  Rob Collison reviewed the changes made to the original MOU that was submitted in May.   Before, because the County was requesting sewer services, the City was having them pick up the cost of the sewer and water extension.  Because the City was requesting annexation, the City was picking up all the cost of the annexation.  Now it does not specify in any clear terms how the ultimate costs will be divided for the permanent extension of water and sewer out to the airport.  It says the City and County will jointly seek funding needed for the cost for the annexation and for extending water and sewer service to the airport property.  For 3 years, the County will extend a 3-inch line from the sanitary district facilities of Sanitary District 4 to the airport for their sewer only.  They will continue to use their well for water.  The City and County will both try to seek funding during this 3-year time period for the permanent water and sewer extensions.  If at the end of the 3-year term it is still unresolved, the County will have to either disconnect the temporary connection or possibly be subject to a penalty not to exceed $1,000 per day for as long as that temporary connection going beyond the 3-year period.  It will be at the discretion of the City Council.  The parties will report on a quarterly basis with one another on their efforts to seek and obtain funding.  The County will install at their expense, a meter at the connection so the City can monitor the amount of sewage usage at the site.

Commissioner Atkinson said at that time the Commissioners parted on a very friendly atmosphere and both had what they wanted.  He understands that the County's attorney agreed to the document today.  Commissioner Atkinson feels it is a very important step for our airport, which is very important to our future economy.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the MOU be accepted by the Commissioners of Cambridge and forwarded to the County.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  He said they have been negotiating this for over 2 years and he his glad it is final.  The motion was passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Port Side Seafood Restaurant for a Noise Variance for Outside Music on September 29th from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Request from Wal-Mart for 30-Day Extension to Have Storage Trailers in Place-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the request.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

First Reading of Ordinance to Eliminate Riverwalks in the PWCD and Restore Height Limits to 75 Feet in the PWCD and PWRD Binding Upon the Cambridge Creek--Rob Collison said the public hearing for this proposed ordinance will be held next Monday.  Tonight is the official first reading of the ordinance to amend certain provisions of the City's Zoning Code and design standards for the PWCD and PWRD as codified in Sections 20-15B and 20-15D of the Code of Laws of the City of Cambridge.

In paragraph 1 the following would be deleted "unless it is a hotel in which case it shall not exceed 100 feet in height".  This refers to the area bounded by Cambridge Creek, Market Street, Academy Street Extended and Gay Street.  No building shall exceed 75 feet in height.

In the area bounded by Cambridge Creek, Market Street, Academy Street and Muir Street, no building shall exceed 75 feet in height. (Previously it was 100 feet.)

In the area bounded by Cambridge Creek, Commerce Street, and the property line of the Dorchester County Office Building property, no building shall exceed 75 feet in height.  (Previously it was 110 feet.)

In the subsection entitled "Riverwalk" as set forth on Pages 8 and 9 of the Design Standards for the Planned Water Community District is hereby deleted in its entirety.

Section 20-15(D)(a)(8) entitled Height Limits of the Planned Water Resort District is amended as follows:

In the area designed hotel/commercial/marina, no building shall exceed 75 Feet (replacing 110 feet) in height.  The provision talking about towers being in excess of 110 feet would be deleted completely.

Commissioner Weldon asked if these apply to the PWRD that was just enacted last week for the Deep Harbour project.  Rob Collison said if it is approved, it would apply.

Discuss Dorchester County Life Chain to Take Place on Sunday, October 6 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Route 50-Ed Kinnamon said this information has been supplied to the City as a courtesy each year.  Chief Malik said that his department has already been notified of the event.  He said they stay on the parking lots on Route 50; they don't go on the highway at any time.  It is a very safe function.

Award Bid for Glasgow Street Improvements-The City received two bids last week.  David Pritchett said they received two bids last week--P&A Engineering at $134,300.17 and Eastern Shore Paving at $63,804.90.  During DPW's review, they found a mathematical error in Eastern Shore's bid.  Their sub-contractor also made an error.  No scope of work was changed.  The adjusted bid is $75,209.  This is still $59,090.77 from the next bid.  Rob Collison said the numbers are just off.  It was not adjusted downward.   David Pritchett the bid falls within their budget and if Council can accept it "as is", they can begin in 14 days on Glasgow Street.  David Pritchett said he has talked to the other contractor (P&A).    DPW recommends accepting Eastern Shore Paving's bid at the price of $75,209.40.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve DPW's recommendation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Mayor Rippons said MUC is looking at a consideration to install new water lines at the same time.  They will meet on Thursday to discuss it further.

Request from Edward Hunteman to Purchase Approximately Sixty Parking Meters at $5 Each-David Pritchett said this offer has been made by several people.  Originally, Council set the price at $25.  Commissioner Atkinson said they are taking up space so we might as well get rid of them.  He recommends that if the City sells them for $5, that the people who bought meters for $25 be refunded the difference.  David Pritchett said they sold 7 meters out of almost 80.  He said he thought it would be difficult to sell to just this one person when he has had so many prior requests.  Another gentleman initiated this with the same offer. He would like to sell a certain quantity to different people.  Mayor Rippons asked him to contact some of the people who expressed interest, and come back with a report.  Council will discuss it further at that time.

Approve PO 2602 for George, Miles & Buhr, Inc. - Phase II Combined Sewer Separation ($50,000.00)-David Pritchett said this is for the engineering review for Phase II. It is a draw on the total amount of the project.   Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve PO 2586 for Funk and Bolton ($2,511.40) -- August Legal Fees for EPA Case-Mayor Rippons said it is for the case brought against the City by EPA for discharge.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve Financial Statement for August 2002-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the financial statement.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Mayor Rippons said the Mushroom Canning Company asked for a consideration for a vote on tax abatement as they move on the closing of property on Woods Road on September 27, 2002.  They have requested a 5-year abatement of real property and personal property on site.  Commission Atkinson made a motion to grant the 5-year abatement package for the Mushroom Canning Company.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

Mayor Rippons said there were two issues regarding the Arts and Entertainment District.  Last week, Council approved a 6-year abatement.    They yielded to abatement of the 4 percent admissions and amusements tax for 6 years.  Mayor Rippons asked if it is clear to the Council that this will adversely impact our revenue stream the day after it is approved.  When you go back and look at the revenue stream this last quarter, you are looking at in excess of $10,000.  When this goes into effect, you are taking away $10,000 from the City.  He is requesting that the Council revisit the issue on two points.  One being the loss of revenue that will impact those people that are currently helping the City's expenses.  It is hard to equate who will be in the A&E District.  Conservatively, he thinks it be a negative impact of about $40,000 a year to the City.  Ed Kinnamon said the City currently collects $40,000 to $45,000 a year Citywide for the admissions and amusements tax.  The A&E District will impact this some because, for example, the Recreation Center has pinball machines, which is a major moneymaker.  There are several other machines in the district.  Mayor Rippons said he did not know if Council was aware of the negative financial impact this will have on the City.  If there is a consideration that as businesses come into the A&E District and they would like to have an offset, it could be visited at that time that they could come before Council with the consideration.  He asked Council to vote tonight to re-consider the extent of the abatement or exceptions.  Rob Collison said if Council agrees with the recommendation, they would adopt a new resolution which would only allow for the tax credit for the improvements to the real property within the district. 

Commissioner Weldon said he agrees with the Mayor.  It should be reviewed and revisited.  For the sake of the application as it move through, he would like Ed Kinnamon and Rob Collison to provide them with a recommendation.  He thinks Council needs to define what would qualify for abatement.  He thinks the intent of it is to encourage performing arts.  He doesn't believe the spirit of the project is to abate pool tables and pinball machines.   He agrees with the Mayor that we can't afford to loose that revenue.  It does need to be revisited.

Commissioner Bohlen said he thinks defining it is very important.  The other consideration would be abatement on any new amusement‑type use within the district.  Commissioner Weldon said it should be something that is applied for.  Rob Collison said when he looked at the statutes that give cities and counties authority to grant these credits and abatements, there are two classifications within that provision of the tax general law talking about the admissions and amusement tax.  One consideration is performing arts. 

Mayor Rippons said Rob Collison drafted another document to be considered tonight which has the impact of both of those issues that were passed by Council last week.  He asked Rob if under the wording now as it relates to the second issue about the entertainment tax, would it, as it stands now and if the A&E District passes, would that mean that the City would loose that revenue stream.  Rob said the tax would not be applied to any or gross receipts from any admissions and amusements charge levied by an Arts & Entertainment enterprise or qualified resident artist in an Arts & Entertainment District.  Commissioner Bohlen said entertainment is any kind of recreation.  Rob Collison said he thinks the pinball machines would fall as an entertainment.   Mayor Rippons asked if Council to vote to place the 6‑year abatement on improvements into effect and to rescind the other one pending a consideration.   Commissioner Weldon said they made two separate motions last week.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to rescind the entertainment tax with the intent of revisiting the issue and more clearly defining it to conform with the Arts & Entertainment.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Bohlen said if Council could look to see if there is a differentiation from entertainment being recreational vs. performing art.   The motion was passed unanimously.

In answer to a question by Mayor Rippons, Rob Collison said if someone qualifies for abatement and then sells their business, the credit remains as long as the business continues to qualify for the remaining years.  Commissioner Bohlen said the owner would be improving the property which is desperately needed and gives them an incentive on that end.  As long as the use remains the same, you are building up the enterprise.   Commissioner Weldon said it is worth looking into.  He doesn't think they need to rescind it at this point but it perhaps might be made stronger with an amendment that strengthens the language.   Rob Collison said the State law says it would continue to apply to a taxpayer of City property taxes imposed on a manufacturing, commercial or industrial building that is located within the Arts & Entertainment District and is wholly or partially renovated by use by qualifying residing artists or any arts and entertainment enterprise.  He thinks the last qualifier would have to continue if it is a new purchaser.  Commissioner Weldon said if the State law back them up, he is comfortable with it. 

Commissioner Bohlen said it was a super weekend for the City of Cambridge.  They had the celebration at the Visitors Center on Friday evening for the Heritage Tourism designation.  Saturday was the Maritime Festival at Long Wharf and Sunday was the Dorchester Showcase.  It was an exciting weekend in Cambridge.

Commissioner Watkins said it was a fabulous weekend.  It was just what we need to have people see Cambridge is the place to be for enjoyment.

Commissioner Weldon said the City received their official formal certification from the State for the Heritage Tourism Area.  The certificate will be posted in City Hall.  The first round of funding applications is due in December which we have already budgeted for a lighting project at Long Wharf and renovations at City Hall.  Cambridge can apply for matching funds to move forward with those projects.  The door is open to the business community for private sector projects in the form of low-interest loans. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked David Pritchett when the bids will be opened for the fence for the parking lot.  David Pritchett said the bid was revised changing the style of the fence.  The bids will be opened in 3 weeks. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked when the City was going to bid for the Bayly Road project.  David Pritchett said the City Engineer informed him Friday that the State requested some updated information.  They are awaiting information from the State and then they will go to bid.  It should happen within 2 weeks.

Commissioner Travers congratulated the City Police Department for an outstanding job on Saturday and Sunday. 

Ed Kinnamon said the City received a request from Delmarva Community Services.  They would like to rezone a portion of the property that they own bordering Bayly Road and Chesapeake Street behind their current facility.  They would like to rezone it from R-1 to R-3 for an elder care facility they have in their future planning stages.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to refer this to Planning & Zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Chief Malik said the Department of Public Safety notified CPD that they are the recipient of three crime prevention awards for their crime prevention efforts City.  The Department is the recipient of two for their overall crime prevention efforts and for their Hot Spots community.  The third recipient will be the Elks Lodge 223. CPD nominated them for their community efforts throughout the past year.  They will be receiving an award from the State for what they have done for the City.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:52 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, September 23, 2002, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer