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City Council Minutes

June 14, 1999
 

June 14, 1999

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Watkins, Rice, Saunders, Swafford and Vickers.

Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of June 7th City Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

TRAFFIC & SAFETY COMMITTEE REPORT

Commissioner Vickers advised that the following items were addressed:

Nathaniel Wilmer / 513 Pine Street, Apartment A - commissioner Vickers said it was his understanding that a recommendation was made by the Committee on this matter. There was some confusion but today it was taken care of so there is no need for a motion and there is now a handicap space provided where it was requested.

Clarence Johnson / produce stand at 513 Court Lane - The Committee reviewed the traffic patterns on Court Lane and found that there would not be a safety hazard as long as the parking was limited to High Street as shown on a site plan as submitted by Mr. Johnson. The Police Department will work to enforce any violations if they surface. Under those circumstances, Commissioner Vickers made a motion to grant the request; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion died with a vote of 2 to 2 with Commissioners Swafford and Saunders opposing and Commissioner Rice abstaining. The Mayor was not prepared to make a vote at this time. He stated that he needed time to do some research to see on what merits he could make a vote.

St. Paul's United Methodist Church / Maryland Avenue - The Committee received a request to install three handicap parking spaces in front of the Church on Maryland Avenue. They recommended that the Church install the required spaces within their parking lot in lieu of Maryland Avenue. This will be safer and agreeable to the requesting party. Commissioner Vickers made a motion that the Church create handicap spaces within their own parking lot area for the time being. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and it carried unanimously.

Wroton's Market / Maryland Avenue - There was a similar request from Wroton's Market to dedicate one parking space for handicap parking on the Hayward Street side of their store. A Committee representative spoke with the owner of the store and an agreement was reached to address this concern at a later date if the need becomes a bigger issue. Commissioner Vickers made a motion that no action be taken at this time; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

Mark Collins / 616 Academy Street. - A request was received by the Committee to use City owned property at the Cedar and Academy Street intersection for the purpose of offstreet parking. In light of the new turn lane constructed at this location, granting this request would be contrary to the intended benefit of the newly completed project. Commissioner Vickers made a motion to deny the request; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

BID OPENING FOR CONCRETE CURB, GUTTER AND SIDEWALK (CONTRACT #99-03

Mr. Kinnamon advised one bid was received:

Davis Concrete

Fruitland, Maryland     $15,288.00

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to refer the bid to the Department of Public Works for review; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

BID OPENINGS TO FURNISH AND INSTALL NEW ROOF ON COUNCIL CHAMBERS (CONTRACT #99-04)

Mr. Kinnamon advised three bids were received:

1) Atlantic Roofing

Royal Oak, Maryland

item #1

$ 6,771.00

contingency item (to remove old roof)

10,065.00

 

2) Peninsula Roofing Company

Salisbury, Maryland

item #1

no bid

contingency item (to remove old roof

10,750.00

 

3) Simpkins Roofing & Siding Co.

Easton, Maryland

item #1

$ 8,900.00

contingency item (to remove old roof)

10,000.00

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for review; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR NOISE ORDINANCE VARIANCE (CAMBRIDGE CLASSIC CRUISERS)

Ms. Satina Scott came forward on behalf of the Cambridge Classic Cruisers to advise Council that they are planning a car show on June 25th at Pizza Palace and on July llth at Super Fresh. They are having a DJ to supply music and have received support from the merchants in the Shoal Creek Mall.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to grant a noise ordinance variance on June 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on July llth from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR NOISE ORDINANCE VARIANCE (BAY COUNTRY FESTIVAL)

Ms. Kim Seward, Chairperson for the Bay Country Festival was present and advise Council that their headliner this year is the Marshall Tucker Band. They will be using the same sound company that they used last year and there were little or no complaints at the Police Department. She feels this company got the noise issues from previous years under control.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow them to have a variance on July lst through the 4th from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Regarding their request for a carnival permit and a return of last year's fee, Commissioner Vickers made a motion, if she puts the request in writing, to return last year's fee and then pay for this year's carnival permit; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

DECISION ON CLARENCE JOHNSON'S SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR PRODUCE STAND

Mr. Pritchett advised that the new ordinance has certain criteria that needs to be met and Mr. Johnson has submitted all the information that was required. He meets the sidewalk set-back and he did achieve a signature from the homeowner saying that she was in agreement with the stand being there. The only outstanding issue that the Department of Public Works had was the traffic and safety issue and the Committee found that if his customers park in the area that the site plan designated, there would be no problem. All of the criteria has been fulfilled as far as the special use permit is concerned.

Commissioner Saunders mentioned that the Council did not act favorably on the traffic and safety recommendation.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the special use permit for Mr. Johnson to sell produce at 513 Court Lane. He has been there for many years and there has been no real problem with it. Motion dies for a lack of a second.

ADOPTION OF FISCAL YEAR 2000 BUDGET

Commissioner Swafford read the budget message for F/Y 2000 and stated that the City Council has worked hard as all of the City's Departments in being responsible in the spending of their respective budgets during the previous year. Because of this increased awareness, the City anticipates in using no more reserve funding than they anticipate in returning to the General Fund at the completion of this fiscal year. A total of 111 employees are being funded in the new budget. Each employee qualifying for a merit increase will receive their merit increment effective July 1, 1999.

The City also has agreed to enter the State Retirement's new contributory pension plan whereby each eligible employee, as well as the City, will have to contribute to the new plan thus providing an additional benefit to the employee upon their retirement.

The City has provided funding for the implementation of becoming "Y2K" compliant for each department. All services provided by the City are now assured of being delivered without a problem when the new year arrives.

The City's tax rate will remain the same at $1.69 per $100 of assessed value. While the numbers show that the City can operate without a tax increase, the Sewer Fund shows that we need to increase the sewer rates by 10% of the current sewer rate.

With the adoption of this budget, it will continue to prove to be an exciting year for the City. "We hope to continue our growth by the proactive approach we have used previously."

The Council has reflected through this budget their desire to act fiscally responsible and no less is expected of all heads of departments and personnel of the City. The Council establishes all fiscal and operating policies of the City and this message is directed to all those who are in the City's employ. This message needs to be carefully reviewed by each person responsible for authorizing expenditures and they shall comply with the contents of the budget message to the letter.

A motion was made by Commissioner Rice to approve the budget message; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the City's General Operating Budget for F/Y 2000 in the amount of $6,918,873; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

A motion was made by Commissioner Vickers to adopt the City's Sewer Enterprise Fund Budget for F/Y 2000 in the amount of $6,863,174; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that the City's Tax Rate for F/Y 2000 remain at $1.69 per $100 of assessed valuation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to set the Sewer at 210% of water bills for in-town users and 260% of water bills for out-of-town users; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to approve the budget of the Municipal Utilities Commission for F/Y 2000 in the amount of $1,027,000; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REORGANIZATION OF COUNCIL FOR F/Y 2000

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the following reorganization of City Council effective for F/Y 2000:

Octavene Saunders, President

Third Ward

 

Walter J. Vickers

Philip W. Rice

First Ward

Fifth Ward

Chairman, City Properties and Streets Committee
Chairman, Sewers and Drainage Committee

Chairman, Street Lighting Committee
Chairman, Traffic and Safety Committee

 

Edward E. Watkins

Daniel Swafford, Sr.

Second Ward

Fourth Ward

Liaison to Planning & Zoning Commission

Chairman, Committee on Finance

 

Police Board Members

Mayor David Wooten

Commissioner Walter Vickers

Commissioner Edward Watkins

 

Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR HANDICAP PARKING SIGN

A request was received from Jamuel C. Askins, Sr. for a handicap sign and the curb painted blue at 704 Pine Street.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to refer this matter to Traffic and Safety; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

ADOPT RESOLUTION REGARDING ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES PENSION BENEFIT

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to adopt the resolution showing where the Commissioners of Cambridge are electing to provide its eligible employees with the Contributory Pension Benefit as provided by the State Retirement Agency of Maryland; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

ADOPT RESOLUTION FOR SHORT TERM LOAN

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to adopt the resolution authorizing the City's Clerk/Treasurer to sign on behalf of the City of Cambridge for a short term loan for necessary capital projects; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGET AMENDMENTS

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve Budget Amendments for the Department of Public Works and Financial Administration; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the Budgeted Expenditures over $250; seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

Commissioner Swafford then mentioned that there should be no more Budgeted Expenditures coming in until the next scheduled Council meeting on July 12th. Motion carried unanimously.

APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

Mayor Wooten requested that Mr. Calvin Stack be appointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Commissioners Vickers, Watkins and Saunders abstained from voting. Mayor Wooten stated that he would resubmit Mr. Stack's name at the next regularly scheduled meeting again.

REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett presented Council with a building permit application for Elias S. Adamopoulos, 601 Sunburst Highway (where the Quality Inn Motel now stands). It will be for a WaWa Convenient Store in the value of $716,000. The building permit fee is $5,990. This has been review by the Department of Public Works and it meets all criteria.

Commissioner Rice moved to approve the permit; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders stated that she had received a call from Dave Ryan of the Daily Banner and "apparently some of the good folks have been saying that the City bought the motorized cart that I have." Mr. Drum from Anthem Health will be forwarding the proper documentation as soon as he receives the bill from Craig's Drug Store. Mr. Kinnamon confirmed that this did not get paid with one City tax dollar. This was further confirmed by Commissioner Swafford, Finance Chairman.

She thanked Mr. Ryan for bringing this to her attention and stated that if the citizens have any comments, they should come directly to her.

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers stated that there has been a traffic pattern change on Meteor Avenue when you come across Sunburst Highway. Previously, the right lane was for going straight or right hand turns. It is now "right turn only" and the lane in the middle is now straight or to the left. He further stated that he was involved in this change and feels this is a better traffic pattern.

COMMENTS FROM SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins noted that Traffic and Safety has done an excellent job on the corner of Academy and Cedar Streets on the right hand turn but he would like someone to look into where the white line is going west. If the line could be moved a little it would allow people to make the right turn better when cars are stopped at the light.

OTHER BUSINESS

At the City Attorney's request, Commissioner Saunders made a motion to close the meeting and go into executive session; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

After a short executive meeting, Council resumed in regular session.

Mr. Collison, in referring to Clarence Johnson's request for a special use permit for a produce stand, mentioned that the motion made earlier in the evening died for a lack of a second. Since it is a special use permit, it was his recommendation that if it is not going to be approved, a motion to deny the special use application should be made with reasons.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that the special use permit be denied based on past complaints, occurrences of-people being blocked in traffic and the fact that he sells produce on the sidewalk of a narrow one-way street with parking only on one side. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and carried 2 to I with Commissioner Watkins opposing and Commissioners Vickers and Rice abstaining.

Mr. Collison stated that at 5:30 p.m. this evening there was a closed executive session to discuss a specific real estate matter.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion to go into executive session after the meeting to discuss a legal matter and a new business locating into the City; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Collison also mentioned that next week there will be a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. for the Liberty Village Empowerment Center and another public hearing at 7:00 p.m. regarding a special use permit for a day care center.

He then asked that Council meet in regular session following the 6:00 p.m. public hearing to discuss the procedures and by-laws for the Historic Commission so it could be approved before July lst.

With no further comments, meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, June 14, 1999 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer