City Council Minutes
April 30, 2001
The City Council met in regular session on April 30, 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 April 16, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 23, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Proclamation for Relay for Life (Gail Skinner and Pat Bridges)-The proclamation was read and signed. Gail Skinner requested a variance from the noise ordinance for May 18th and May 19th for the Relay to be held at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School beginning at 6:00 pm. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to grant the variance. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Proclamation for Better Speech and Hearing Month (Quota Club)-The proclamation was read, signed and presented to Amy Craig and Nancy Collins, representatives of the Quota Club.
Proclamation for Olders American Month (Dorchester Senior Program)--The proclamation was read, signed, and presented to Henrietta Dashield and Vivian Johnson-Keene, representatives of the Dorchester Senior Program.
Public Hearing - Rezoning of Property at 748 High Street from R-4 (Multi-Family Residence) to C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial District)-Norby Lee, owner of the property, requested the rezoning. The Certificate of Publication states that the notice was published in the Daily Banner on April 9, 2001 and April 12, 2001. The property was posted on April 12, 2001. Property owners were notified on April 16, 2001. Ms. Lee asked for the rezoning because the area has always been commercial. The building used to be the White Owl Inn. There was a police substation in the building several years ago. Ms. Lee would like to use the building as a family restaurant. Commissioner Watkins has personal knowledge that the property was used as commercial property. Jim Michael reported that the Planning Commission made a favorable recommendation to rezone the property from R-4 to C-1 at their meeting on March 21, 2001. Nobody in the audience wished to speak either for or against the rezoning. The Council will review the request, consider all information, and render a decision at next week's meeting.
Melody Kemp to Discuss Sidewalk Repair on Henry Street-Ms. Kemp was not present to speak.
Chris Wilke, Garden Club, to Discuss Heron Garden-Ms. Kemp reported that the Garden Club has raised the additional $800 needed to meet the City's challenge for matching funds. Mayor Rippons reported that a small group of citizens submitted a letter asking that the project go out for bid since public funds were being used. Rob Collison will make a legal recommendation next week.
Discuss Contractual Consultant for Housing Demolition Process for Planning & Zoning-This consultant must be Maryland Home Improvement certified and will assist the Planning and Zoning Department with the condemnation/demolition process. Jim Michael received three quotes. The lowest proposal was from General Maintenance Services (GMS). His recommendation is to pay for the services out of the rental registration fees. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to award a contract to GMS. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discussion on Forming City of Cambridge 911 Task Force-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to extend an invitation for representation from the County 911 Task Force to be on the City 911 Task Force. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. Mayor Rippons stated that there are people from EMS who are interested in being on the Task Force. Chief Wroten reported that they would like to be represented on it also. Rescue Fire Company will be asked for representation. This will be further discussed in two weeks (May 14, 2001).
Sailwinds Park-Mayor Rippons reported that the Board of Public Works (State) will be convening on May 9, 2001 (tentatively) to discuss Sailwinds Park. Ed Kinnamon read for the first time the Assignment, Assumption, and Amendment of Lease. The second reading and vote will be next week.
Discuss Permit Fees for Maces Lane School-The Department of Public Works received a request to waive permit fees as they relate to the new Maces Lane School. David Pritchett reported that the City did not waive the permits fees for Choptank Elementary School. Because it is not really a County entity, their recommendation is that the City assess the fees. Commissioner Bohlen believes the fees for Choptank Elementary School were given back within two weeks. Rob Collison will research this item and report back to Council.
Discuss Contractors for Clean-Up of Specified Properties on Edgewood Avenue and Pine Street-In the last few months, there have been some clean-up issues pertaining to two areas in the City. They will require major maintenance to prune and dispose of trees, vines, rubbish, etc. Jim Michael requested proposals to perform the work. He recommends awarding the contract to Pardoe's Tree Service who supplied a proposal in the amount of $7,500 for the Edgewood Avenue properties and $2,800 for the Pine Street area (near Bradford House). This was the lowest price received. If the individuals do not clean up their property after they have received a notification, the contractor would remove the debris. The City would then bill the property owner. If the bill were not paid by a certain date, a lien would be placed on the property. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to accept Jim Michael's recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Discuss Empowerment Center Completion Deadline-Because legal issues may arise, this will be discussed after Rob Collison is consulted.
Approve PO 1856 (Funk & Bolton)-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Jim Michael is working on a FEMA grant with Rescue Fire Company for equipment and/or vehicles. There is $100,000,000 available Nationwide.
A number of violation notices have been sent relative to replacing sidewalks. Commissioner Weldon would like to work out some way to replace sidewalks in the City. He would like Council to take a more pro-active approach rather than handing out citations. It would still be the homeowner's responsibility but he would like to find a funding mechanism to get it started. Commissioner Bohlen would like to set up a revolving fund where initial seed money is given to the City in the form of a grant; sidewalks needing repair are repaired, and then have an assessment placed on the property owner's tax bill over three to five years. This could be an on-going process. Commissioner Atkinson said nothing has been done about the sidewalks for years; he's trying to get something done according to the law. It takes at least a year or two to get a grant. Jim Michael will look into the feasibility of such a grant.
The Cambridge Sail & Power Squadron made a request to use Long Wharf at the mouth of the creek for a seamanship course on June 16 at 10:00 a.m. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow them to use Long Wharf. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:12 p.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, April 30, 2001, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer