City Council Minutes
February 12, 2001
The City Council met in regular session on February 12, 2001, 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 February 5, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Planning Commission--Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning Commission met on February 6, 2001 and made the following recommendations:
- Parker Farm (Route 343)-the Commission recommends preliminary approval of the subdivision.
- Choptank Heritage Conservancy, Inc. -The Commission recommends addition of the Museum/Institutional use to the property with the stipulation that, if the project in not underway within a 4-year time period, the use be rescinded. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to proceed with a public hearing. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
- Christiane Williams -requested a special use permit for 802 Locust Street for an interior decorating business. Commissioner Watkins reported several residents spoke in opposition to this business. The Commission recommended not to grant the special use permit. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the recommendation of the Planning Commission. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. The Board of Zoning Appeals also denied the request.
- Mildred Spedden -requested a special use permit for 400 Light Street to convert a single family dwelling to a duplex. The Commission voted unanimously to grant this request.
Main Street Steering Committee -Armond Hayward, Chairman of the Committee, submitted copies of the application to the Council and to the press. He will be asking the Council to vote on February 26 on committing to having a Main Street Program in Cambridge. A database on all the properties in the proposed area has been compiled including square footage, location, and historical and commercial information. Dr. Wallace spoke about the community involvement necessary from citizens, businesses, civic organizations, religious organizations, fraternal orders, political, educational, and local government.
Marge Lednum spoke of the history of downtown and waterfront development. In the 1980's the Downtown Cambridge Business Association had almost 200 dues paying members who helped promote the downtown area with street activities and retail promotions. The Commercial District Management Authority, set up by a City ordinance, continued this work until disagreements caused this group to dissolve. Several other subcommittees helped revitalize downtown.
Gene Tolley discussed how the Main Street Program is committed to the future of the downtown by helping entrepreneurs open new businesses and helping existing businesses with advertising and helping to unify the downtown as a shopping district. He would like the join cities such as Salisbury, Easton, Denton, Berlin, etc. with the progress they have made.
Rev. Inez Stafford Grubb discussed the composition of Board of Directors designed for the Cambridge Main Street Program.
Brenda Hayward explained that Main Street Maryland is a self-help program. The State doesn't tell the city what to do, they give assistance with education, marketing, etc. The City and community must make a commitment of resources of people and financial resources.
Gage Thomas presented the budget included in the application. He emphasized that the State does not provide funds for the project. It must come from within. He has asked Dorchester County for a contribution of $10,000. The City's segment is $35,250; $19,000 will come from the private sector and in-kind donations.
Commissioner Weldon has been involved with the work on the application process for 3 years now. He praised the Steering Committee for their perseverance and hard work. Commissioner Watkins also praised the group for working together. At Mayor Rippons' suggestion, a work session was set up for Tuesday, February 20.
Octavene Saunders to Discuss the City's Involvement With Sailwinds Park-Mrs. Saunders learned from two County Commissioners that someone from the City was talking about absorbing Sailwinds. It became public at the County Commissioners' meeting that the City was in conversation with the Board of Directors of Sailwinds about assuming responsibility. The City and County have put a lot of money into Sailwinds. She asked if the last 3‑years income and expenses have been reviewed and has the group been asked for a 3-year projection of a business plan. Mayor Rippons responded that the financial statements are always available because they are a matter of public record. He has the annual statements for the past 7-8 years. He has not asked for projections because of the information contained in the financial statements. Mrs. Saunders stated that Sailwinds' promise was that they would be self-supporting; they are not. As a taxpayer, she feels that this is throwing good money after bad money. She feels the public has not had an opportunity to see the dollars lost and the total of their tax dollars going into Sailwinds. She also asked if the Director would be a contractual person, a regular employee with benefits, and what the salary would be. Mayor Rippons responded that no decision has been made; the County has agreed to finance that position for the remainder of the fiscal year. He anticipates that the facility can run in the black and feels it will do so in a very short time. The Director's salary and all other expenses of Sailwinds and Governor's Hall will be corded out of the financial considerations coming from the revenues from Sailwinds and Governor's Hall. Mrs. Saunders asked what this Council feels they can do to make this happen. Mayor Rippons responded that a cruise liner would generate an additional $4,000 to $8,000. Under the consideration that the City will run it, the maintenance costs will be lowered; consideration that a lot of volunteer work will be utilized. A profit should be realized in 2 to 3 years.
Council to Discuss Proposed Changes to the Employee Manual-Rob Collison presented a resolution adopting the amendments to the employee manual. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to adopt the changes. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Award Bid for Construction of Pavilion at Great Marsh Park -The Department of Public Works recommends awarding the bid to the low bidder, Davis Maintenance of Fishing Creek, Maryland, in the amount of $21,545.00. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to award the bid to Davis Maintenance. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Mayor to Discuss Sailwinds Park -Mayor Rippons reported that Rob Collison is reviewing the documentation. This will be discussed at a later date.
Decision to Cancel Council Meeting on Feb. 19 (Presidents' Day) - Commissioner Watkins made a motion to cancel the Council Meeting on February 19, 2001. Commissioner Atkinson seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Installing New Water Line on Water Street -Municipal Utilities Commission has reported that there is 1340 feet of 4‑in. cast iron water main on Water Street from High Street to Choptank that was installed in 1910 with little maintenance problems. There is 755 feet of 2‑in. galvanized main installed on Vue de Leau installed in 1897. This has presented some real maintenance problems and is inadequate for the number of customers. Mr. Newcomb will propose in his budget for Fiscal Year 2002 to include replacing these mains and services. He hopes these mains can be installed before the streets are repaved. Commissioner Weldon made a motion that Mr. Newcomb get started if he has the funds in reserve. Commissioner Watkins doesn't want to jeopardize MUC's reserve. Commissioner Weldon amended his motion to approve the work and leave it at the discretion of Mr. Newcomb to do it at the opportune time when the street is open if it doesn't leave his reserves too low. Commissioner Watkins seconded the amended motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Social Services to Hang Banner on Race Street for National Social Work Month (March) -Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow Social Services to hang their banner on Race Street. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 1772 (Galls) for CPD-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve this purchase order. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Rob Collison recommended having a representative from the proposed developers of the Parker Farm come before Council to answer any questions and make any clarifications necessary to complete the annexation process.
Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have the City prepare a letter of appreciation in honor of Rev. Hattie Stanley, an outstanding person in our community, who worked on several committees in the City. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously. The letter will be sent to her church.
Commissioner Weldon reported that the Zoning Consultant has met with representatives of the first, second, and third wards at this point. After meeting the citizens from the fourth and fifth wards, revisions will be made and he will be close to being done.
David Pritchett has received a letter from a 143-ft cruise ship (American Eagle) that has requested permission to dock in Cambridge on May 15, May 30, and June 5, 2001. The charge would be $1/ft. The City can accommodate this.
The City of Cambridge has the option to make an oral presentation on their CDBG grant application on March 6, 2001 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:06 p.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 12, 2001, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer