• 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

November 27, 2000

PUBLIC HEARING

The City Council held a public hearing on November 27, 2000, in City Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the public hearing to order at 6:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers.

Public Hearing - 603 Meteor Avenue (Special Use for Sale of Liquor)  -- Mr. Jones (City Attorney) introduced the public hearing for Mr. Azam at 603 Meteor Avenue pursuant to Section 20-16 a. (13) of the City Code.  Mr. Azam is seeking to upgrade his current permit under which he currently sells beer and wine to the sale of beer, wine, and liquor.  The Notice of Hearing was published in the Daily Banner on November 10, and 17, 2000.  The area property owners were notified on November 15, 2000.  The property was posted for public hearing on November 14, 2000.  On October 18, 2000 the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval of the upgrade request.  Mr. Azam was not present at this time to speak.  Mr. Jones asked if anyone was present to speak in favor of the application for a special use permit.  Nobody asked to speak in support of the application.  Mr. Jones asked if anyone was present who wished to speak in opposition.  Arbutus Fehsenfeld who manages Crusader Arms Apartments was asked by a number of the tenants to voice their opposition to adding liquor to this business.  She doesn't feel selling liquor in that area will enhance the properties.  Many of the residents are elderly and have the "picture" of "drunks".  The opposition is no reflection against the owners.  They are fine people and seem to have a nice business.  For the safety and good of the area they object to the sale of liquor.  Mr. Azam, owner/operator of 603 Meteor Avenue called Crusader's Mart arrived at this point in the hearing.  He doesn't feel there will be any more complications and he has worked with the community in past years and proved that anything that comes up he is always there.  He feels the town is on the go and will hopefully be one of the best counties in the state and Cambridge will be what it used to be.  He will definitely not do anything that will not be good for the town.  He has visited other stores that sell liquor who do not carry a full line of liquor (expensive items).  He wants a store that carries everything.  Nobody will be drinking on the premises.  He is very strict about that.  Mrs. Fehsenfeld spoke and added that they might not consume it on his premises but where will they be drinking?  Is it going to be her property?  She understands they won't be consuming it on his grounds but she is concerned about the grounds they will be consuming it on.  Mr. Azam promises there will be no complications on the premises.  Where they take it or what they do with it he can't guarantee.  Ms. Fehsenfeld agreed with this but the people are truly concerned about it.  They mentioned other liquor stores in the area.  Ms. Fehsenfeld felt these other stores are off to themselves but there are heavily populated apartment complexes near Crusader's Mart.   Mr. Azam has respect for the residents of the community.  Mr. Ben Parks is in favor of letting him have the permit for the simple reason that they have it in approximately 4 other areas and it will help him sustain his business.  He commented on the items Mr. Azam carries and the mannerly employees and doesn't believe it will be a problem.  Commissioner Travers doesn't feel there will be any problem with the special use permit and that Mr. Azam does not have any control where the people who purchase wine or liquor drink it and what they are going to do after they drink it.  Mr. Jones stated that Planning & Zoning recommended the upgrade approval.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to close the public hearing.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Mayor Rippons stated that a vote would be taken at a later date. 

Allen Nelson - Cambridge Power Boat Regatta Association-This year will mark the 90th Anniversary of the Cambridge Classic Power Boat Regatta.  It is the oldest active regatta in the United States.  The event has been known throughout the powerboat racing community for many years as a very good event.  Several years ago the club considered the idea of hosting a national championship category event (approximately 10 years ago.)  They went through a bid process with the American Power Boat Association two years ago and were awarded the 1999 Eastern Divisional Championship.  This was the first time the champions had truly been recognized in a professional level event when they hosted the awards banquet on Saturday evening.   The wanted to make it an event that people would remember coming to Cambridge, Maryland.  That happened.  He is proud of the way the community came together because they have always called it a community event-one put on by and for the community. 

There are no fees for parking or admission.  Many community organizations (not for profit) participate in the event.   The quality of last year's event was nationally recognized on national TV.  They have been awarded the 2001 championship also.  Their budget last year was in excess of $110,000.  The budget for 2001 will not be quite as high; the quality of the event will have to be greater.  To do so, they need the help of the entire community.   They are asking the City Council to consider being the sponsor for the awards banquet.  This is unique to this event.  They crowned the champions with all their peers around at an affair hosted at Sailwinds Park.  This event was spectacular and has received attention from all over the country.  He feels it would be great if the City would be willing to sponsor that event and be recognized that they are hosting the event as the home of more champions than any other city in the world.  To do so they are asking for $5,000.  This would cover their cost for use of Sailwinds Park, for set-up and clean-up, and also the production costs for the signage and the decorations, etc.  The meal cost last year was partially subsidized by the club.  It is their plan this year that they will not need to do that.  They would like all participants to pay their own meal cost.  They are asking the City for the funds that would not be subsidized.

Choptank Electric, J. C. Dodd Distributing Co., Rommel's Ace Hardware, and The Nathan Foundation).  TThe event has been funded through sponsorships.  Last year they had four major event sponsors (hey contributed from $3,000 to $10,000 to be event sponsors.  The City of Cambridge would fall into this category as an event sponsor.  They would particularly tie the City to the banquet.  The production cost would be about $4,000.  Last year they had about 450 people attend the banquet.  This coming year they are planning on 600 people attending which is the capacity of the hall.  Commissioner Watkins has been participating (not actively) for the past 50 years.  He feels if there is any way the City can do it, he would be in favor of it.  Commissioner Atkinson thinks the amount of national coverage they receive is fantastic.  He supports the request and is requesting a written statement (line item budget) of what they are going to use the money for.  Commissioner Weldon expressed that he is also a big fan of the races and agrees with Commissioner Atkinson that he would like a written report as an account to the taxpayers.    Mr. Nelson pointed out that nobody from their organization gets a dime from this event.    The members who have businesses contribute significantly.  It is totally not-for-profit.  Tom Thompson said the impact this event has on Cambridge and Dorchester County has been great for many years.  They suffered as a club for many years with 5 or 6 members and have received a tremendous response from the community as far as new members.  The cost and work to do this national event are so much greater now.  He appreciates the City's concern and will get everything they request.  Mayor Rippons feels they have preliminary approval and as soon as the City receives the detailed information they can make it official with a vote.  He would like a representative from the production company to contact his office so he can do some exploratory work and get back with the Council. 

REGULAR SESSION

The City Council met in regular session on November 27, 2000, 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.

Previous to this, at Mayor Rippons' request, Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go into executive session briefly before the meeting.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Commissioner Travers 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 November 9, 2000 work session as distributed.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.    Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 13, 2000 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Planning & Zoning Commission--Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning & Zoning Commission met on November 15, 2000 and heard the following three cases:

106 Patamoke Way/Barbara McKnight-requested a special use permit for a home daycare to care for eight children.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have the City Attorney set up a public hearing for this request.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Christ Rock U.M. Church requested to be annexed into the City.  Some questions arose as to why the City shouldn't try to get all of Rock Drive annexed.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to instruct the City Attorney to set up a public hearing on this particular case to begin the annexation process.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  Mr. Bill Jones, City Attorney, asked for clarification that the motion made was to begin the annexation process for Christ Rock U.M. Church with the necessary publications.  Commissioner Watkins stated that this was correct; his motion was to begin annexation proceedings.

Skip Miller requested that a 7 acre piece of land just off Bayly Road (near the new school) designated as Map 30, Parcel 116 be rezoned from R-1 (single-family) to R-4 (multi-family).   The Planning & Zoning Commission reported that the residents of the area would like to keep it R-1 as it already is at least until the group working on the new zoning regulations has an opportunity to investigate it.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have a public hearing to get public input recognizing that the Planning & Zoning Commission has rejected the idea with a vote of 4 to 1.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  Mayor Rippons read a letter from Lemuel Chester stating that he and his wife vigorously and vehemently oppose any change of the R‑1 status of their community.  Commissioner Weldon reported that the zoning consultant, Peter Johnston, and Jim Michael met with a number of neighbors in the area and discussed the land uses in great detail.  They do not want the zoning to change.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Street Lighting (Commissioner Bohlen)-The Street Lighting Committee met on November 16, 2000 to discuss a request for better lighting on Bradley Avenue.  Presently the east end of the avenue is without lighting and the lighting at the west end of Maces Lane is inadequate.  Conectiv visited the location and advised that the three existing lights on the Maces Lane end of Bradley Ave. be upgraded to a higher intensity pressure sodium light.  They also suggested installing new poles and new lighting on those poles at the other end of Bradley Avenue.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to allow Conectiv to make these changes and to have David Pritchett do a budget amendment to pay for associated costs of running the conduit (estimated to be approximately $2,000).  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS

Pat Batchelor (Carlton Court)-Pat Batchelor called City Hall and canceled her appointment tonight because the program she wished to discuss with Council was not available for this project.

Armond Hayward to Discuss "Main Street" Application Workshop-Commissioner Weldon spoke for Mr. Hayward who was unable to attend.  On December 5, the State of Maryland is having their workshop for cities that are planning to submit a "Main Street" application.  Cambridge is in that category.  The Steering Committee is requesting Council's authorization for up to six members to attend the conference and have their expenses reimbursed for the mileage (2 vehicles) and lunch.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow up to 6 members of the Steering Committee attend with mileage reimbursed at the City's rate for a maximum of 2 vehicles and lunch reimbursed at up to $10 each person.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Council to Introduce Ordinance Increasing Out-of-City Water Surcharge From 50% to 100%--This recommendation came from MUC a while ago.  Tonight will be the first reading of the ordinance to formally introduce it.  A vote cannot be taken until next week.

NEW BUSINESS

Bid Opening -- Rear End Garbage Packer (DPW)-Six bids were received.  They are as follows:

Chesapeake Ford Truck Sales, Inc.  --  $76,130

Maryland Industrial Trucks, Inc. -- $77,373

Barr International, Inc. --  $91,931

Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems -- $73,623

Elliott Wilson Trucks  -- $79,093

M&L GMC & Volvo Truck Center -- $75,486

Commissioner Travers made a motion to forward the bids to the Department of Public Works for review.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.  This was a budgeted item.

Bid Opening - Rotary Screw Portable Air Compressor (DPW)-Two bids were received.  They are as follows:

Rental Equipment Center  -- "no bid".

Case Folcomer Equipment Corp. -- $11,989

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to forward the bids to the Department of Public Works for review.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. 

Place Administrative Specialist Job Description at DPW on Inactive List-This position will no longer be needed and the Department does not expect to fill it with that title.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to place the Administrative Specialist Job Description for the Department of Public Works on the Inactive List.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request To Go To Bid:  Sheeting at Long Wharf (DPW)-This is the first phase of the project taking in the exterior part of the basin (A total of 2280 linear feet).   The estimated cost of this will be $1,371,950.  A possible consideration from the Department of Public Works would be to amortize this and pay for it from the profits made by the marina.  This is exterior work, which is critical.  Besides the sheeting, the others items to be included would be as-needed repair to decking, miscellaneous piling replacement, electrical work, and sidewalk replacement.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid for the above.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Request To Go To Bid:  New Fire Engine (RFC)- $385,000 was budgeted for this item.  An engine bought in 1981 will be traded in.  The cost is anticipated to be between $400,000 and $425,000.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go to bid.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss Job Description for Planning & Zoning Coordinator-Mr. Michael has reviewed the job description and is working with Mr. Pritchett to try to coordinate services they do for the City.  This position indicates moving forward in that direction.  He feels comfortable with the job description and qualifications.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the job description.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Discuss "Oakley Beach" Project-This discussion will be tabled.  Mayor Rippons believes the Historical Preservation Committee is looking at the project at this time.

Approve Purchase Orders Over $2,500:

Safeware, Inc. PO No. 1591 (RFC)-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve this Purchase Order.  Commissioner Weldon seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Approve Financial Statement for October 2000-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement for October 2000.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

The flagpole in front of City Hall was donated by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and installed by the Department of Public Works.  This was arranged mostly by Commissioner Atkinson and Mr. Walter Dickerson.  Mr. Anderson (a resident of Trappe) procured the pole.  Mr. Pritchett expressed appreciation to these individuals.  Mayor Rippons announced that the VFW is also donating the first flag.

Commissioner Weldon and Commissioner Bohlen have met with the neighbors in the area where the sewer separation project will begin shortly.  They will give them updates on the progress and the changes necessary to complete this work.

Commissioner Weldon thanked Peter Johnston for meeting with the residents of the second ward.  He said there would be plenty of opportunities for citizens to make comments on the proposed zoning ordinance.

Commissioner Bohlen is looking into getting the utilities put underground in conjunction with the sewer separation project particularly on Water Street. 

At the request of Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to go into Executive Session at the end of the meeting to discuss personnel.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Gage Thomas representing the Association for the Revitalization of Cambridge requested two noise variances and permission to decorate the pedestrian mall for Christmas.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow ARC to decorate the pedestrian mall.  Commissioner Travers seconded it.  The motion was passed unanimously.

As part of "Light Up Cambridge" there will be free performances at the County Courthouse on High Street on Friday, December 8, and Friday, December 15 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  A noise variance for these two nights was requested between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow the two noise variances.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Mr. Thomas also requested a noise variance to play Christmas music on Race Street from December 1 through December 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  The music will be played from Canvasback Restaurant (second floor) with a small outside speaker.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow this noise variance.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 7:51 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 27, 2000, insofar as I personally am aware.

Heidi R. Adams, Executive Assistant