• 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

August 7, 2000
 

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioner Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers. Mr. Wheeler led in the Lord's Prayer. ommissioner Atkinson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 31st meeting.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

UPDATE ON THE BIDS FOR THE SEWER SEPARATION

Mr. Pritchett stated two potential bidders for the project requested a week extension.  Mr. Pritchett did extend the bid request until next Monday evening.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE SIGN ORDINANCE

Mr. Collison opened the public hearing for the sign ordinance.  Mr. Collison explained that the sign ordinance would become part of the zoning code if adopted and that Council would take all comments into consideration before rendering a decision.  Mr. Collison did receive a certificate of publication from The Daily Banner; the notice of the public hearing was published on July 24th, August 2nd, 3rd and 4th.  Copies of the proposed ordinance were available at City Hall. 

Mr. Pritchett said that Mr. Dale Price from Planning and Zoning was there to answer questions. 

Mr. Collison inquired about a complete ban on large billboards, the proposed sign ordinance states that on the highway and in the commercial district signs are not to exceed 600 square feet.  Mr. Price said certain areas of the ordinance were discussed but if it included billboards he was not sure.  Mr. Collison suggested that this is one area that the Council may want to look into.  Mr. Collison felt 600 square feet was too big and Council may want to consider reducing this to 300 square feet.

Jean Del Sordo, 305 Oakley Street came to the podium.  Ms. Del Sordo represented the Dorchester County Library.  Ms. Del Sordo presented Council will a memo of her concerns on the proposed sign ordinance.  Ms. Del Sordo felt that since the library is a non-profit organization the two signs at the library would be exempt from the sign ordinance and assumed that all signs that are currently in place would be grandfathered in. The permitting process would begin if a sign needed repair; maintenance, replacement or if an additional sign was placed on a property or a sign was relocated.  Ms. Del Sordo said that one sign at the library located at Gay Street is a wooden sign suspended from a metal bracket but according to the proposed sign ordinance all ground signs must be made of non-combustible material.   Her concern is that this would preclude having wooden signs. Ms. Del Sordo wanted clarification on the awning, marquee and canopy portion of the sign ordinance. Ms. Del Sordo feels that the proposed sign ordinance needs some reworking in organization and readability.

Mr. Steve Del Sordo, 305 Oakley Street came to the podium. Mr. Del Sordo feels that the proposed sign ordinance was written with internal inconsistencies, and parts of the ordinance are unclear.  He requested that Council not approve this ordinance but send the ordinance back to Planning and Zoning for additional revisions and additional work.  He felt that this proposed sign ordinance, to be used as an interim measure, may hinder Main Street revitalization efforts in terms of beautification and emphases on signage including signage on the highway.  Mr. Del Sordo said, as Mrs. Del Sordo had that there is no definition of an awning sign.  The definition for the marquee sign is there but is not the one that is commonly used in sign ordinances.  Another concern was that it is not standard practice in other municipalities that listed under exempted signs are signs advertising the name of the business painted on the window.  These signs are generally included in the total sign limitation for the business.  Another inconsistency is that churches and non- profit corporations may a have sign in two classes either up to twenty-two feet or thirty-two feet.   Most of the churches and some non-profit organizations are located in the Historic District and these districts require that any change to the exterior go before the Historic Preservation Committee.  All signs need to be given a permit for approval.  The Mayor asked Mr. Del Sordo, since he was referencing sections of the sign ordinance, would he mind putting his comments in writing and forwarding them to Mr. Dale Price.  Mr. Delsordo said that he would gladly type a memo and also send the memo to Council.  He just wanted to mention his concerns so that Council would consider sending this proposed ordinance back to Planning and Zoning for additional revisions. 

Ms. Marge Hull, 1301 Hambrooks Blvd came to the podium.  Ms. Hull asked the Council to please consider all the points that were made this evening.  Ms. Hull was very dissatisfied that only five minutes was given on the agenda for the public hearing.   Ms. Hull felt that the Council didn't want to take up their time with the amount of information that the public had to share and she feels that the public input is very important. 

The Mayor responded to Ms. Hull saying that he hasn't seen anywhere that there has been a five- minute limitation.  At all the Council meetings in over a year that the Mayor had attended there has only been one person at that podium that was given a time limit.  He doesn't see any time limitations.  The Mayor pointed out that there had been more then five minutes given to the public hearing.

Mr. Collison asked for more comments and there were none from the audience or the Council so Mr. Collison shared his concerns.  Mr. Collison spoke on the temporary banners and said an entire property on Meteor Avenue was surrounded by cigarette and beer ads.  Mr. Collison would like to see limiting the number of square feet permitted and possibly a time period limitation for these temporary banners.  Mr. Collison would also like to see a limitation on the billboards and the off site signs. 

Margaret Wolff 615 Locust Street came to the podium.  She wanted to know who wrote the sign ordinance?  Mr. Collison said that Redmond and Johnson wrote the bulk of the proposed sign ordinance and then some of the Planning and Zoning suggestions from last year were incorporated into the proposed sign ordinance. 

Commissioner Weldon had a question on signs fastened to buildings.  There are a few buildings downtown that have the emblems with the date of the building affixed to the building.  Commissioner Weldon felt that there could be a conflict there if the sign needed repair.  Commissioner Weldon also referenced the flashing rotating signs and inflatable signs such as soda cans and merchandise logos used during the Cambridge Classic under the proposed sign ordinance these types of signs would not be permitted.  Commissioner Weldon wanted to know what the application would be for a special event?  Clarification is needed for these signs.

Commissioner Bohlen discussed the use of flashing signs and roof signs.  With roof signs he thinks there is some historic precedence for both when it's considered in the historic context.   There is historic precedent for neon signs and there is a flashing neon sign on Poplar Street, which he would hope could be retained.   Commissioner Bohlen also questioned advertising such as signs painted on the roof and there is some precedence for roof signs.  They may need to consider a category for illuminated awnings and possibly a non-illuminated awning. 

The Mayor said there would be another public hearing after Mr. Price has time to take into context the information he received tonight.

MR. ANDY RUSSO TO DISCUSS GLENBURN FOREST VILLAS

Mr. Russo from A&S Development came to the podium to discuss the proposed Glenburn Forrest Villas. Part of the funding will come from Community Development Administration and a conventional mortgage.  Mr. Russo briefly discussed the packet that the Council had in their books.  The will be several amenities some of which include a secure entrance with a carded gate, a community center and clubhouse with a computer lab and a community area.  A permanent barbecue picnic area, gazebo, basketball court and a tot lot with a playground are also included.  The individual units will be one, two and three bedrooms.  These units are geared to those who have an income above the public housing income. Glenburn Forest will help their clients eventually become homeowners, 5% of the resident's rent will go toward home ownership and it takes a year to vest.  Basic computer training will be given to adults and young people. An after school program will be offered. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked if this would be Section 8 housing.  Mr. Russo said that this was not targeted to be Section 8 but all housing developments are subject to the Fair Housing Act and you cannot turn down Section 8 vouchers if they qualify.  Mr. Russo feels that Section 8 applicants may not qualify because of the rental fees and you can only use 30% of your income toward housing.  If the applicant has a criminal record or bad credit they will not qualify for an apartment.

Commissioner Watkins asked about the 5% of the rent being used for the purchase of home. Commissioner Watkins wanted to make sure that everyone would have a chance to purchase a home.  Mr. Russo said that everyone would have the 5% set aside however to be eligible the tenant must be a resident for a year to be vested.

Commissioner Atkinson questioned the income. He wanted to know if the income level was the minimum or could they earn more money.  Mr. Russo said that the income level was the maximum that they could earn at the time of the application but if the renter earns more money they would still be able to rent as long as they don't make 120% of the area media income.  Commissioner Atkinson asked about units available for handicapped individuals.  Mr. Russo was not sure how many units were available but he would find out for the Council.  Commissioner Atkinson was thinking around 10% of the homes.

Commissioner Weldon asked the length of time and the track record that Mr. Russo has in this type of development?  Mr. Russo said that his company has been doing this in the affordable arena since 1996 and the President of the company has worked with the Florida Housing Authority that compares to the CDA. The vice president has been developing single and multi housing since the 1980's.  There are five affordable housings developments in Florida, two in Alabama, one in Alabama will break ground in September and two in Florida will break ground in November of this year.  Mr. Russo offered several referral phone numbers for the Council.  Commissioner Weldon stated that they have marketed residential neighborhood on one side of the project and subsided housing on the other side, the question that many people are asking is what segment do we want to see grow?      

Commissioner Bohlen asked why Cambridge? Mr. Russo said they picked Cambridge because they looked at demographics, they heard that the Hyatt was coming here and they felt that this housing project would work in this area.  Mr. Russo said they would get a full mortgage study done if Council wants to move on this project. 

Commissioner Watkins felt that we need to look into this project and that we need affordable housing in Cambridge. 

Commissioner Weldon asked about the homeowners incentive package and how long has that been in effect in the other areas?  Mr. Russo said that he would get the statistics to Council but all the other housing projects have that program. 

Rev. Nathaniel Pierce, Secretary of the Dorchester County Ministerial Association came to the podium.  The clergy of this community were distressed and saddened that the past Mayor and Council turned this proposal down.  Rev. Pierce felt that this project is an excellent idea and the clergy are backing this project.

Nancy McIntee 114 Vue du Leu came to the podium.  Ms. McIntee said that this is a wonderful idea but not where it is.  Ms. McIntee said that we need places where people can build a nice home.  She suggested that maybe some of the old homes could be rehabbed and have the housing built there.   Ms. McIntee said she is building a house that her backyard will be directly behind this new housing development. 

The Mayor asked Mr. Russo if he had a timetable?  Mr. Russo said, if they are to proceed, the application is due August 30th.  The Mayor asked Council if they would be able to vote next week.  Mr. Russo said that if they wanted to wait a week that would be fine but if they could make a decision tonight it would help him decide if he should start the procedures. 

Ms. Marge Hull 1301 Hambrooks Blvd. came to the podium.  She wanted to know the zoning of the property at this time?  The property is zoned R-4.           

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow the building of Glenburn Forest Villas.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Bohlen against.

HOLY TEMPLE DELIVERANCE REQUESTING A NOISE VARIANCE

Rev. James Nelson came to the podium to request a noise variance from August 22nd to August 27th while they host services outside.  The services will be from Tuesday, August 22nd to Friday, August 25th and then on Sunday, August 27th.  The times for the weekdays will be from 7:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. and then on Sunday August 27th from 11:15 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the noise variance for the services as requested.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.   The motion was carried unanimously.

SATINA SCOTT FROM THE CAMBRIDGE CRUISERS

Satina Scott came to the podium representing the Cambridge Classic Cruisers.  In March Ms. Scott came before council to request that the cruisers be allowed to hold their car shows at the Superfresh parking lot.  Other businesses are requesting their car show.  Sports Illusion on Race Street had them on July 23rd from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  Someone complained about the music and the police officer suggested she come back to Council.  Pizza Palace has had their show on Rte. 50 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Ms. Scott wanted permission to have a noise variance so that the Cambridge Classic Cruisers could go to different businesses.  The Mayor said that they must come on individual basis; the Council can not grant Carte Blanca noise variances for everywhere.  Council requested a written schedule from Ms. Scott. 

Commissioner Atkinson said he has received complaints for the noise from their affair at Sports Illusion.  The parking lot is across from residents on Race Street.  He will object to any request for a noise variance in that area. The Mayor asked for the schedule to be submitted but informed Ms. Scott that even then it will be based on an individual location. 

MR. HAZELHURST AND MR. DUSWALT REPRESENTING CAMBRIDGE PARK EAST APARTMENTS

Mr. Hazelhurst and Mr. Duswalt came to the podium representing the Osprey Bolton Developers, LLC to present their idea for the rehab of Cambridge Park Apartments.  The Council received a packet of information explaining the rehab of these apartments.  Mr. Hazelhurst explained that Park East Apartments have 150 units of 1,2,3 bedroom apartments.  Mr. Hazelhurst has been working with HUD and CDA for the past year on this project Osprey Bolton had been to the previous Mayor and Council.  The cost of the renovation will be 10.5 million dollars. They will be spending approximately $45,000 a unit.  They will be totally renovating the apartments and in addition they will be constructing a community center.  Since the buildings are entered through closed staircases, they will relocate the staircases outside.  By bringing the staircases outside they will be able to make the apartments larger or add an extra bathroom.  The parking lot will be reduced and entirely new landscaping will be done. Mr. Hazelhurst was requesting support from the Council that they may make an application to CDA for funding.     The second request that there was a resolution in the packet that Mr. Huzelhurst requested the city to approve the resolution.  Mr. Huzelhurst then requested the city to donate a parcel of land that faces Fairmont Avenue to the project.  Currently this piece of land dead ends into a drainage swell.  This is the place they would like to build their community center.  Osprey Bolton will be receiving a six plus acre of land located at Leonard Lane across from the DPW and they would donate this parcel to the city.  Mr. Huzelhurst said "that what we are proposing is a land swap, but as we discussed this with the State of Maryland we are asking for a donation of land from the City of Cambridge and then we are going to turn around and donate a piece of land back."

At this time Mr. Pritchett said that he has spoken to our engineer and even though the property is heavily non-tidal wetlands DPW would certainly like to have this property since it is across from the DPW building.

Chief Wroten said that the idea for the rehabbing of this property from a security standpoint is a wonderful idea and project.  The Chief wholeheartedly supports this project.

The Mayor said that he believed that an appraisal of the lot was done and it was appraised at $218,000.  Mr. Huzelhust said that was the appraisal value.  Mr. Pritchett said that this lot would benefit DPW.

Mr. Collison stated that whenever the Council considers donation a portion of a street, they public needs notification.

Mr. Huzelhurst said that there are no houses where the street is and that it is a part of the apartment complex itself. 

Mr. Collison advised that we do have a streets, sewers and drainage committee on the Council and in the advertising of relinquishing city property we must certify that is not needed for public usage.  Mr. Collison asked if the committee could examine this situation and let the Council know.

 All Mr. Huzelhurst wanted was a letter saying that subject to all public and legal requirements the property would be donated.

Commissioner Weldon was concerned that some of the services offered would overlap with the Empowerment Center and he would like to see coordination between both projects so that they will work together. 

Commissioner Watkins is in favor of this project.  He feels as though these apartments need rehabbing and thinks these gentlemen have a solution to the problem and we should try to do all we can as a Council to help them.

Mr. Ray Shelly came to the podium and said that a while back the governor sent some people down to look at this project, and they noticed that the wooded area added to the drug active.  His concern was that Mr. Hazelhurst wanted to plant more trees.  Mr. Hazelhurst said that most of the trees they plan to plant would be located in the front area. They are relatively small trees, and the rear of the property will be fenced so there will be no access to the woods.  Security cameras will be located through the entire apartment complex, and off -hour security will be there and community policing.  The lighting will be increased on the site.

The Mayor requested that Commissioner Atkinson and the street committee should meet with Mr. Pritchett and be prepared to report next week.  Mr. Collison will begin the advertising.

COUNCIL TO APPROVE THE TRAVEL POLICY PROCEDURES

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the travel policy procedures.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

COUNCIL TO APPROVE NABISCO'S REQUEST FOR THEIR FINAL YEAR OF TAX ABATEMENT

Nabisco is in the process of being purchased by the Phillip Morris Company.  At the time that their tax abatement was approved, transfer of the tax abatement was allowed when the property was transferred. Commissioner Weldon moved to approve the request for the final year of the tax abatement.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

COUNCIL TO APPROVE THE POLICE CITZENARY BOARD

The Mayor requested that Council be prepared next week to vote on the citizenry police board. 

COUNCIL TO RENDER A DECISION ON THE REQUEST FROM CARLTON COURT

Ms. Pat Batchelor of Carlton Court came to the podium.  Ms. Batchelor amended her earlier request for in kind services.  Carlton Court has one water meter and a 2 -inch pipe to service the entire complex.  Ms. Batchelor asked Council to consider MUC replacing the water main and putting individual water meters to the complex. Ms. Batchelor requested a letter from the Council and the Chief of Police that the city supports this project. 

The Mayor had spoken to Mr. Newcomb from MUC and the policy of MUC is to have one meter per building.  To meet the request of Ms. Batchelor MUC would have to use 250' of 6" pipe with a fire hydrant, 11 one-inch services would then be installed to provide service to each building the estimated cost would be $15,250 to just over $20,000.  If the Council grants the approval, a lot of the MUC salaries would be in kind services. Mr. Newcomb stated that it would be approximately $5,000 to $6,000 worth of material that MUC would need.  This would be an estimate to provide meter service to each building, if the desire would be to meter each unit, an additional cost of  $6,500 should be added. 

Commissioner Atkinson asked if the MUC board needed to approve this request?  Mr. Collison said that this request would go before the MUC board and if they elected not to provide the service, the city could provide the funds.

The Mayor said that Council may voice their approval or disapproval of these amounts and may instruct that a request be sent to MUC to do this work. If not, you could have in the motion a contingency plan that would have the city provide the cost to MUC. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to have a single meter per rental unit.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  There was discussion that the motion needed to clarify who would endure the cost of the meters.  Commissioner Atkinson amended his motion that the city would contribute the cost of the water main and meters contingent upon each unit being individually metered.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR SPECIAL PERMIT FOR COURT LANE

Mr. Collison explained that Mr. Johnson was requesting a renewal of a special use permit.  The renewal is to hear if there is any complaint by neighboring property owners, regarding traffic or noise.  Mr. Collison asked if anyone there had any objection to Mr. Johnson's renewal.  The Mayor asked Mr. Weldon, since this was in his ward, to talk to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kinnamon in regards to this and a decision will be rendered next Monday.

CLIFTON ENTERPRISES REQUEST FOR ANNEXATION OF PROPERTY

Clifton Enterprises requested that a parcel of property that they want to annex within the city limits be sent to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to send Clifton Enterprises request to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett discussed the memo in the books in reference to the gas tax revenue.  The city receives funds from the state and federal gas tax that amounts to approximately $19,000 a year.  At this time there is an accumulative amount of approximately $56,000 is available.  The preferred use is for street improvements, typically construction, but the money may be used for re-paving and possibly brick work.  Mr. Pritchett suggested that the brick area between Locust Street and Church Street is in desperate need of repair.  Mr. Pritchett suggested that if the brickwork was repaired that the utility lines underground should also be replaced.

Commissioner Atkinson suggested to table this decision until the street, sewer and drainage committee may meet to determine if the brick can be matched, the cost per brick and how many bricks need replacing.    

Commissioner Weldon had spoken with Mr. Pritchett and feels that this is a good project and also to update the water and sanitary lines. Council may want to consider putting all the utility lines that are above ground underground. 

Mr. Pritchett spoke with the engineering firm today in reference to the combined sewer project and they would like the Council to meet with them on Wednesday, August 16th at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion for Council to meet in closed executive session with the engineers and some of the litigates regarding the sewer separation lawsuit.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

Mr. Pritchett said that the controller that operates the traffic light located at Spring Street and Gay Street is defective.  They have sent the controller away which most likely can not be repaired.  If it can be repaired, it shouldn't exceed $100 but if it can't be repaired DPW has requested three quotes from other manufacturers. They range in price up to $1600 DPW has the repair cost in their budget.  Commissioner Bohlen asked if it can sensor traffic? Mr. Pritchett said that is an $800 option.  Commissioner Weldon asked that in this day and age of microchips, do we have to have those big control boxes?  Mr. Pritchett said that he believes you do have to have the control box. 

Commissioner Weldon asked with the firehouse being here on this block is there any way that the intersection could be controlled to allow the fire trucks to proceed safely out of the firehouse?   Commissioner Atkinson thought that there is a controller that can be placed on the fire truck.  Commissioner Watkins said at one time this was looked into but it was expensive.   The Mayor asked Mr. Pritchett to explore these considerations.

Mr. Pritchett made a public announcement that the pedestrian mall is still being worked on.  The Department of Public Works had to wait for their new budget to match the boy scouts funds.  Council had made a motion to match whatever the boy scouts had raised up to a maximum amount.  The boy scouts will give Mr. Pritchett a tally in two weeks and then they will set up an account and order the benches. That will complete the mall.  This past week, at a cost around $600, the lights were repaired and extra receptacles were added.  It needs another coat of paint and one building wall repainted. 

COMMENTS FROM MR ODEN WHEELER

Mr. Wheeler presented a building permit application from Sylvia Givans the house is to be built at 2402 Canterbury Drive. The cost of the improvements will be $158,350.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the building permit.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

COMMENTS FROM THE FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Travers said that he has had a crew cleaning up the sidewalks on Henry Street and they will continue until Henry Street and Maryland Avenue are in tiptop shape.

COMMENTS FROM THE FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Atkinson discussed the resolution on grass cutting.  The city cuts grass on vacant lots in Cambridge and the city is cheaper then any other commercial grass cutting service.  There will be a resolution introduced next week to upgrade the grass-cutting fee. 

Commissioner Atkinson had given the Council an ordinance on the Powers of the Mayor.  Commissioner Atkinson said that during the election they had discussed giving the Mayor more authority.  The ordinance that Commissioner Atkinson handed out came from the City of Salisbury.  Commissioner Atkinson asked the Council to look over the ordinance and get back to him with any revisions or suggestions.  The Mayor asked that the Council be ready next week to make a decision.

COMMENTS FROM THE MAYOR

The Mayor asked for a motion to go into closed executive session.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to have a closed executive session on Tuesday, August 8, 2000 at 6:00 p.m. for a personnel matter.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

The Mayor entertained a motion that the Council should meet on Wednesday, August 9, 2000 at 6:30 p.m. at the County Commissioner Chambers to discuss personnel, legal matters and economic development issues.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to meet with the county.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

The Mayor updated the Council on the Empowerment Center. That group is meeting tonight and the Mayor will update the Council after he talks with Mrs. Saunders and Commissioner Nichols in reference to the funds.

The Mayor said that when he was looking through the personnel salaries he finds it very disheartening that the city has employees only making $14,000 a year and they are full time employees and they also need to pay part of their insurance coverage.  The Mayor would like the Council to be advised that each department head is forwarding to the Mayor their consideration on how these inequities may be taken care of.  The Mayor will be presenting a new salary schedule in the next few weeks. 

COMMENTS FROM THE THIRD WARD

On Thursday, August 17th the Human Relations Committee will be holding a back to school night activity.  They have requested the closing of Pine Street from Cedar to Elm Street; they also requested a noise variance from the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow the closing of the street and the noise variance.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

Commissioner Weldon said that Portia Johnson's JTPA program has a limited amount of Shorebird tickets for the August 24th game.  Anyone interested please call Ms. Johnson at 228-7990. She needs to know by the 18th of August who would want tickets. 

Commissioner Weldon said he has an inquiry about a piece of property on High Street that is on the market and the zoning is C-2 general commercial.  One concern is the possible use for a game room and there is a special use requirement if there is going to be a game room.  If this business would request a game room then there would be a need for a public hearing.

Commissioner Weldon had an inquiry regarding the minutes discussing the Empowerment Center and the individual wanted to know if a copy of the tape would be available.  Mr. Collison said that if it was part of the public record, he felt it would be at Council's discretion; but he would report back to Council next week.

Commissioner Weldon said that it is very exciting for him to see the different housing opportunities that came forward tonight.  Commissioner Weldon stated that since Council knows first hand that there are some people employed who are making a salary that makes housing very difficult so with new housing may be some people will be able to afford a decent home. 

COMMENTS FROM THE SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins agreed with Commissioner Weldon that we need affordable housing and we need to look into the salaries of our own employees.  If you give a person a reasonable salary and decent place to live it will help the people feel better about themselves and want to stay here in Cambridge.

Commissioner Watkins said that he would like the Traffic and Safety Committee to look at the intersection of Washington Street and Allen Street and report back to Council.

COMMENTS FROM THE FIRST WARD

Commissioner Bohlen talked to Mr. Pritchett on Friday, and he has a concern that with the substantial amount of rain fall that we have had, people are cutting grass more then once a week.  This causes the grass to go on the sidewalk and then is swept in the gutter and eventually finds it way on top of the storm drains and then the rain stops up the drains.  He asked that the citizens try to bag the grass so it does not clog the storm drains.

COMMENTS FROM THE ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison announced that the Council met this evening in a closed executive session to render a decision regarding an appeal by an employee on a disciplinary action.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

A lady reminded everyone to attend the Seafood Feast-I-Val.

Mr. Tolley came to the podium. He said that tonight was like Christmas to see the Mayor and Council support the housing projects that came through tonight.  He gave them a round of applause.

Marge Hull came to the podium to announce that on the 15th of August the West End Citizens Association will have a representative from the zoning consultants of Redmond and Johnson to address their association.  The meeting will be held in the library meeting room at 7:00 p.m. and it is open to the public and the Council is also invited.  Ms. Hull asked what is Clifton Enterprises?  Mr. Collison said that Clifton Enterprises is a corporation that has property at Chesapeake Drive and Woods Road and they are asking that a parcel that adjoins the city limits be annexed in.  They want to develop it as part of the industrial park. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 7, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Oden C. Wheeler, Administrative Coordinator