City Council Minutes
June 18, 2001
The City Council met in regular session on June 18, 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 June 11, 2001 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
The City of Cambridge is in the process of preparing an application to submit to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for a Community Development Block Grant. The notice of public hearing was published in The Daily Banner and the Star Democrat on June 11, 2001. Approximately 24 organizations within the City and County were notified as to the City's intent to submit the grant application, which is due on July 2, 2001. David Pritchett gave a summary of the two items to be considered for funding which are necessary and are in the interest of public safety. They are:
The City has received many complaints about the conditions of Bayly Road. The road is heavily traveled; it is a school bus route; there are no shoulders in many areas and the ditches are 6-ft to 8-ft deep in some spots. The streets need to be widened with a shoulder. The Department of Public Works has looked at filling in approximately 2600 lineal feet of ditch on the west side of Bayly Road from Choptank Elementary School to Chesapeake Street and 1500 lineal feet of ditch on the east side of Bayly Road from Governor Avenue to Chesapeake Street and creating a shoulder in that area. Twenty storm drain inlets should be installed in this area to increase storm drainage, which has always been a problem. The estimated cost of this project would be around $517,000 including repavement of Bayly Road.
The second project which has been considered is lack of stormwater drainage in the area of the Housing Authority of Cambridge. There is a drainage problem on Camellia Circle, Weaver Avenue, Cornish Drive, portions of Camellia Avenue and portions of Greenwood Avenue. The work would include milling down existing street surface below the curb and gutter; replace existing curb and gutter in areas where they have settled; install storm drains, inlets and piping; and resurface the road at an estimated cost of $239,000.
On behalf of the citizens of the Bayly Road/Maces Lane community, Lorraine Henry spoke in great anticipation of having that section of their community rectified. It is an accident waiting to happen. The ditches are much too deep with the kind of school bus traffic on the road. The traffic is heavy on the weekend also. The children who walk to school have to jump ditches to avoid traffic. They are also concerned about the water drainage problem. They are grateful for the efforts of the City officials in trying to improve these problems.
Portia Johnson Ennels (700 Cornish Drive) wanted to see written information on what the City is submitting to Crownsville. Jim Michael said a written summary would be available on June 19, 2001. She understands the issues of the people on Bayly Road and Maces Lane and wanted to know if the Board of Education was asked to contribute to the funding. The Mayor reported that the City and County have already discussed the situation on Bayly Road. This is what the City considers Phase 1. The City is looking at the progression, not only from the funding mechanisms that might be available to the County as they build the school, but they are also looking at future rounds of CDBG funding to continue the project until it reaches fruition out to Route 16.
The resident of 1501 Bayly Road reported that the ditches need straightening out. When cars hit a little bit of gravel-over they go into the ditch. Everything comes right to the corner of the ditch. The State used to keep it clean, but the City doesn't do anything. The road needs widening and the ditch needs cleaning. David Pritchett said they hope to do all of Bayly Road in the future.
Johnnie Ponder (1415 Bayly Road) provided some pictures of the ditches on the straight-of-way. He has seen plenty of cars in the ditch. One small car was in so far, you couldn't see it.
Joseph Chester (1205 Bayly Road) has lived there since 1958. The ditches are deep; trees are growing in them, and there is a sharp turn after his house and the cars coming around the street cannot see his driveway. The children are walking down the street and the cars are hitting them. Something needs to be done before someone gets killed.
Portia Johnson Ennels asked if new sidewalks would be installed during the work of the second project near the Housing Authority. David Pritchett said they found the sidewalks to be in very good condition. If the sidewalks are too low to allow for proper drainage, then raising these parts would be a part of the project. Mrs. Johnson Ennels said the sidewalk on her street, Cornish Drive, is level to the street.
Mayor Rippons asked for letters of support for these two projects. Commissioner Atkinson said this project does not only affect the people who live on Bayly Road or Maces Lane; it affects everyone who has a child or grandchild riding those buses. There are 25 buses in the morning and 25 in the afternoon; approximately 120 cars dropping off kids and picking them up; and there are approximately 150 cars from the employees of the schools. This does not even include commuter traffic. The water in the ditches is a health hazard. He urged everyone to submit letters as quickly as possible to be included with the application. Commissioner Watkins feels this section has the most dangerous streets in the County. If a bus is coming from the opposite direction, there is no place to get off.
Commissioner Weldon said he has two children who attend Choptank School and he is up and down the road every day during the school year and he agrees with everything that was said. It is a treacherous piece of highway. He is in full support of the project.
As there were no further comments, the public hearing was closed.
Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to adopt a resolution to submit the grant application and his priority is the Bayly Road/Maces Lane project. Commissioner Watkins seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Amendments to Sailwinds RFI-The public hearing on this matter was held last week to hear comments on the Maryland Port Administration's proposed request for letters of interest on the development of the Cambridge Marine Terminal on the Sailwinds property. From comments and also from prior meetings with the State, the two issues to be amended were:
It is a priority of the community to maintain Governor's Hall and festival grounds on site. Consideration may be given to relocating Governor's Hall and the festival grounds to another site in the community at the sole cost of the respondent.
The second issue is the importance of maintaining this site as an officially designated port of the State of Maryland for the purposes of receiving pleasure or touring vessels to the area.
The Mayor feels the second issue is a singular purpose. If something happens in the future, like the ships aren't coming in anymore, then we might have to relinquish the Port. Rob Collison suggested changing it the text to include "a use compatible with development and economic growth". Commissioner Weldon said they discussed at a previous meeting the possibility of getting other historic ships or Navy ships to stop in.
The Commissioner voted unanimously to approve the RFI with the aforementioned changes.
Award Bid for Petroleum Products-After review the two bids received, Mr. Wheeler recommended accepting the bid from Pep-Up, Inc. The 87 and 89 Octane and low-sulfur diesel fuel would be a 3-year contract. The fuel oil and propane would be a 1‑year contract with guaranteed pricing. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept Mr. Wheeler's recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded it. David Pritchett said the card system Pep-Up has is compatible with their needs and the checks and balances it offers helps prevent any unauthorized use. Chief Wroten agreed with him. The motion was passed unanimously.
Decision on Text Amendment for Conversion of Schools to Condominiums- The public hearing began 2‑weeks ago and continued last week. The Council needs to decide if they wish to approve the text amendment as submitted which would basically address this one site, or if they desire to proceed with a more comprehensive adapted re-use ordinance that would address re-uses or changes to a variety of sites.
Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to table this issue until Mr. Thomas can be at the meeting. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. Commissioner Atkinson restated his motion to be a motion that the decision be tabled until such time as they have more information as recommended by the attorney. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from The Mentor Network to Use Great Marsh Park on August 16th from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve this request. Commissioner Watkins seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Preston Buick/Pontiac/GMC on Gypsy Hill Road to be Annexed Into City-Rob Collison contacted the president of the company and found out that they are having some issues with their septic system. The City has received other requests in that area for annexation. He recommends contacting all property owners to try to annex the entire area. This request has been tabled until they have further information.
Approve Resolution for Curb, Gutter, and Sidewalk Repairs to Mill, William, and Vue de Leau Streets-According to City Charter, the Council must approve a resolution, which sets forth the proposed curb, gutter, and sidewalk work. The resolution lists the various property owners who are responsible for one half of the expense. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to adopt the resolution. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Budget Amendment for Cambridge Police Dept.-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Atkinson seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve PO 1955 (Caldabaugh Communications) for Cambridge Police Dept.-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Approve Financial Statement for May 2001-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Adoption of Budget for FY 2002-Commissioner Travers made a motion to adopt the City's General Fund Operating Budget for FY 2002 in the amount of $8,917,135. Commissioner Atkinson seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for FY 2002 in the amount of $12,102,821. Commissioner Weldon seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Weldon made a motion to set the City's Real Property tax rate for FY 2002 at $0.676 per $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Watkins seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Watkins made a motion to set the City's Personal and Public Utility Property tax rate for FY 2002 at $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to set the Sewer Service Charge at 290% of water bills for all in-town and out-of-town users. Commissioner Travers seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously. Mayor Rippons noted that the increase was mandated for the consideration of getting $10.5 million grants and also allowing up to $11 million of interest money at the 2% rate.
Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for FY 2002 in the amount of $1,140,000. Commissioner Atkinson seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Re-Appoint Dwight Cromwell to Housing Authority Board-Mayor Rippons re-appointed Mr. Cromwell to the Housing Authority Board.
The date chosen by Kelly Marshall, the Eagle Scout who initiated the rehabilitation work at the pedestrian mall on Race Street, is July 3, 2001 at 5:00 p.m.
Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the Police Department to purchase vests. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
Mayor Rippons announced that at the July 2, 2001 meeting the Council will request public input as it relates to the Legacy Program.
Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have the Juneteenth Celebration originally scheduled for June 16 to be held at Cornish park on June 23. Commissioner Bohlen seconded it. The motion was passed unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:20 p.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 18, 2001, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer