• 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

February 28, 2011
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 28, 2011 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Stout, Thomas, and Hanson. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Council met at 6:00 pm in a closed executive session to discuss personnel and financial matters.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the minutes of the February 14, 2011 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

CDBG application for Parking Lot 2 - reconfiguration and improved access-Last year the Council approved a Community Legacy application for this project; it was not awarded. The City was contacted by another agency under the Department of Housing and Community Development that could possibly fund the project. The Department of Public Works has revised the original layout reconfiguration. This Community Development Block Grant application will not be part of the annual block grant round. The grant would be through the Department of Business and Economic Development to support our business district. Additional one-way vehicular access (no trucks) from Race Street into the parking area would be through Cannery Way. This would allow a 13-ft pedestrian area on the mural side (Hunt Insurance) and a 5-ft sidewalk/pedestrian way on the opposite side. The clock and kiosk would be relocated to the mural side. It is likely a bus shelter for the Delmarva Community Services buses will also be in this location. Signage will be consistent with the signs made last year. With the reconfiguration of the parking lot, the City will gain approximately 23 parking spaces. The lighting in the area will also be improved.

Jim Duffy, Cambridge Main Street, said the Cambridge Main Street Board has had extensive discussions about this issue and voted unanimously to urge Council to support this application. They also submitted a written letter of support.

Joy Staniforth, owner of Joie De Vivre Gallery, said this is very important to all the downtown merchants. Elizabeth Miskell asked her to share that one of the reasons she had to close her downtown business is because her clients could not find enough parking or did not know where to go for parking. She spoke to another woman who has a very successful dance school who would like to relocate to the downtown area but the parents will not consider it because they consider it unsafe. Mrs. Staniforth said this is very sad because she has been in business for over 10 years and has never had a problem downtown but it is a perception. The fact that we are now going to be having, hopefully, the availability of lighting downtown, a lit parking area, and a pedestrian area would really help everybody downtown. She asked Council to give this some serious consideration.

Bruce Reed lives in the downtown area and owns a business right below his apartment. He said the merchants have been talking about this for a year. The main issue that comes up at every Merchants' meeting is that their customers do not feel safe and they also do not like the way the parking area looks downtown. If they find them and drive into them, it looks like the worst sections of Baltimore. He does not hear any dissent from any of the public about moving this forward so he asked Council to move on it tonight and do the right thing.

Jeannie Weitzel, owner of Cambridge Jazzercize, said she has a small business that is relocating to 420 Race Street. She will be adding more customers to the downtown area. Her customers (a large following) are a little skeptical; their first question is about the parking. She is very pleased to be joining the downtown as a small business. She asked that Council pass this project.

Nobody asked to speak in opposition of the project.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Stout to have the Department of Public Works complete and submit the application was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Scott Eberspacher, Dorchester County Recreation & Parks Board, to request permission to hold their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16 at 11:00 am in Great Marsh Park (rain date: April 17 at 2:00 pm)-A motion by Commissioner Knox to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

Beth Ann Lynch, Cambridge Farmers' Market Manager, to request permission to hold the Farmers' Market starting in May in the parking lot on Muir and Academy Streets on Tuesday mornings from 8am-12pm, reserve the parking lot Thursdays 3-6 pm, and permission to hang a banner over Race Street from April 21st to May 6th to announce the Farmers' Market-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

Allen Nelson, Cambridge Power Boat Regatta Association, Inc. to request use of Great Marsh Park beginning on Monday, July 18; exclusive use of Great Marsh Park from Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24; closure of the boat ramp beginning at 4:00 pm Friday, July 22 through Monday, July 25; permission to have motor homes at the Park beginning Friday, July 22 through Monday, July 25; a variance from the noise ordinance for activities from Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24; and permission to sell beer in the Park on Saturday and Sunday-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the requests was seconded and unanimously approved.

Representative from MaTech Plastics, LLC to request abatement of personal property taxes-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to deny the abatement request was seconded and unanimously approved. Council suggested Mr. Lewis submit amended tax returns to the State. The Assessment Office will then send the City a revision and the City will revise their bill.

Gateways/Thoroughfare subcommittee to give update-The City's Economic Development Strategic Plan was completed last year. Brett Summers said the subcommittee felt the preferred gateway to focus on is Maryland Avenue. They planted 10 trees last fall and intend to plant another 10 more next fall. Their suggestion for the first block is to bring the curb-cuts out 4 to 5 feet. This would calm down the traffic flow. They could plant trees and grass between the curbs and the sidewalks. They would also like to install new light posts. They feel the rest of the street looks fairly good. Several properties are vacant and need help. The area near the drawbridge needs streetscape improvement. They would like to work with Portside, Powell Realty, and Deep Harbour to improve that area with curb-cuts and trees. The grant for $100,000 could go a long way to improve this area. There are other identified gateways to Cambridge; however, they have to prioritize because resources are limited. Cedar Street would require more money to make it look better.

Unfinished Business

Second Reading and vote on ordinance for comprehensive amendments to the architectural design minimum requirements in the NC (Neighborhood Conservation) zoning districts-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the ordinance was seconded and unanimously approved.

Second reading and vote on ordinance to revise registration requirements for non-owner occupied dwelling units-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the ordinance was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve funds for community organizations-Commissioner Hanson made a motion to award funds to community organizations in the following amounts: Cambridge Main Street - $7,900; Pine Street Committee - $1,400; Dorchester County Family YMCA -- $400; New Beginnings Youth & Family Services - $2,400; Children's Museum -- $450; Dorchester Center for the Arts -- $900; Dorchester County Boys and Girls Club -- $900; Dorchester County Public Library - $900; Housing Authority of Cambridge - $3,900; Dorchester Youth Lacrosse - $450; and Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church - $400.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to move into closed executive session to discuss a specific personnel issue was seconded and approved unanimously. Council met in closed executive session. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to resume the regular session was seconded and approved unanimously.

The motion to award the funds to the community organizations was approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Award contract for installation of solar panels at public safety building-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to award the contract to the low bidder, Tieder Controls, in the amount of $48,775 contingent upon receiving the grant, was seconded and approved unanimously.

New Business

Fireworks Display-The cost of fireworks is $20,000 with an additional cost of approximately $3,000 for overtime for the Police Department. A motion by Commissioner Knox to pursue the fireworks display was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Knox to request funds from Dorchester County was seconded and approved unanimously.

Request from Character Counts! to use Great Marsh Park on Friday, May 6th to set up for their Six Pillars Century fundraiser on May 7th-A motion by Commissioner Knox to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

DPW request to go to bid for annual street resurfacing-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to go to bid for the annual street resurfacing project was seconded and unanimously approved. The list of streets will be prioritized at a later date.

Request to apply for $75,000 Coastal Communities Initiative grant for updating the zoning ordinance and maps-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and unanimously approved.

Discuss reallocating grant funds to Sailwinds playground property-A motion by Commissioner Knox to give the Department of Public Works permission to move forward with this grant was seconded and unanimously approved. The City and State representatives will meet next week to determine how the funds can be used.

Approve financial statement for January 2011-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the financial statement for January 2011 was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve budget amendment for Cambridge Police Department-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment for CPD was seconded and unanimously approved.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 91520 - Chesapeake Publishing & Printing - advertisement for intent to request release of funds for Maces Lane Project - $266.66 (100% CDBG grant reimbursement)-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve PO 91520 was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO5479 - Valerie J. Mann - administration of CPD Grants - $905.00-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve PO 5479 was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 5488 - E.D. Supply Co. - replace electric supply cord of RFC Tower 1-1 - $630.57-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5488 was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 5487 - Motorola - 3 impress vehicle chargers (radio) for RFC - $900.90- A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5487 was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Stout opposed.

PO 5492 - Arizona Instrument LLC - Jerome 405 calibration and battery pack - annual calibration and service on Mercury meter and replacement of battery for RFC - $660.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5492 was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.

PO 5491 - Atlantic Emergency Solutions - Sperian docking stations, demand flow regulators calibration gas, HCN sensor, CL2 sensor, tubing, sensor port covers for RFC - $4,563.09-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5491 was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 91523 - Bank of America/AC Wholesalers - air conditioner and heat pump for Dockmaster's office - $3,956.00-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve PO 91523 was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

PO 91522 - John W. Tieder - furnishing and installing of solar panels in Public Safety Building - $50,900.00 (grant)-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve PO 91522 contingent upon receiving the grant money was seconded and unanimously approved.

PO 91521 - J. O. Herbert Company - LED traffic light bulbs - $15,466.26 (grant)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 91521 was seconded and unanimously approved.

Additional Items by Council

Mayor Stanley sent a letter to Congressman Andy Harris asking him to sponsor a bill in the House as it relates to supporting the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park in Dorchester County.

Bruce Worton of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity reported they will be hosting the Eastern Province Council meeting in Cambridge from Wednesday, March 9th through Saturday, March 12th in Cambridge for their centennial celebration. Their families will be touring Cambridge during the meetings. The Hyatt is already sold out. They will be using auxiliary hotels.

The Cambridge City Council will hold a public hearing on the final approval of the Comprehensive Plan on Monday, March 14, 2011.

The City will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the sewer and water expansion project at Christ Rock on Monday, March 7th at 11:00 a.m.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to allow DPW to go to bid for demolition of several properties was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:08 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 28, 2011, insofar as I personally am aware.

 Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer