City Council Minutes
March 10, 2008
March 10, 2008
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 10, 2008 in 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 Knox, Sydnor, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.
Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 25 , 2008 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Presentation by Pigg, Krahl, Stern & Co., P.A. (Auditors)-Boyd Bounds, CPA and Ginger Heatwole, CPA, handed out press releases to Council and the public. They presented the audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2007 which includes Municipal Utilities Commission as a component unit. The report includes their unqualified opinion on the financial statements which is the highest opinion Certified Public Accountants can give. The document presented shows the total revenue for the City was $20,081,950. The total expenses were $16,743,788. The change in net assets was $3,338,000. The net assets at the beginning of the year were $38,811,000. The combined total net assets at the end of the year were $42,149,000. The investment in capital assets is $35,000,000; the restricted funds are $2,200,000; the unrestricted are $6,300,000.
Mr. Bounds also presented graphs of the revenue and functional expenses. The largest expense of the year is public safety, taking 32% of the revenue dollar. Business-type activities take almost 27%. Health and pensions take 12%. Public works takes 13%. General government takes 6%. The rest is in recreation and culture, economic development, and other.
Expenses by type show salaries are the City's biggest expense at 39%. Employees' benefits are 16½%. That represents 56% of the City's total expenditures for the year. The distribution expense is 8.9%. Depreciation of equipment and property is 12%. Interest on long-term debt is 3.78%. Other operating expenses are 18.9%. Employees' benefits represent 42% of salaries in 2007. Other municipalities they audit run anywhere from 31% to 39%. It all depends on the City's structure.
The change in assets is $3.38 million for the year ending June 30, 2007. The capital outlay net depreciation of $9 million and the proceeds of debt of $2.2 million which shows a reduction of that $3 million by $7,182,000 or a net loss for the year as far as the cash flow of $3.8 million and not the $3.3 million in revenue is not reflected in there. This is the difference between the profit and the cash flow. The previous year shows a change in net assets of only $175,000. The capital outlet net of depreciation for that year was $6,200,000. The proceeds of debt and net of repayment was $12,184,000. That was a plus of $5,900,000. The net for the 2 years is a plus of $1,958,000. The $1,958,000 has already been spent and encumbered coming into the current year. It is mostly for the public safety building.
Commissioner Brooks said Mr. Kinnamon has given them much of the same information and he gives it to them prior to the end of the year minus the percentage and the graphs. She is not hearing from the auditors, based on how they spend their money, according to policy and procedure, are they following the law and the guidelines that the City of Cambridge has set forth as to how they will spend their funding effectively and efficiently. Mr. Bounds said to the best of their knowledge, the City is. Otherwise, they would not be able to give the City an unqualified opinion of the financial statement as of June 30th. Commissioner Brooks asked if Mr. Bounds' opinion was based on the longer version or the shorter version. Mr. Bounds said their opinion is based on the financial information that is included in the financial report that they presented to Council. Commissioner Sydnor said the financial report did not consist of all reports from his understanding. PKS assembled it. Mr. Bounds said they have a separate report for Municipal Utilities Commission but it is included in the City's report. Commissioner Sydnor said they only look at a sample of the computations. The report PKS presented is in accordance with the RFP. This audit will pick up things a performance audit will pick up. Mr. Bounds said it is not a performance audit. Commissioner Sydnor said this audit will not pick up mis-use or mis-management of anything like that. Mr. Bounds said if they came across it, they would have to report it according to the AICP. If they come across it, they have to let the City know. If they come across fraud, they have to stop, report it to the audit committee, which then calls in their attorney and they tell them what they can do. Commissioner Sydnor asked about the percentage of samples used. Mr. Bounds said he does not have a percentage. They do their audit based on substantive auditing. They look at the information they had before. They do comparisons of last year and this year. They look at the budget for this year. They determine if they are comfortable with the figures that they have based on last year's and the budget. They look at various expense accounts. That is what a financial audit is. Commissioner Brooks asked if he is unsure of the percentage. Mr. Bounds said they do not go by percentages. Commissioner Sydnor said there were certain adjustments PKS had to make. Mr. Bounds said they made several pages of adjustments. Some are adjustments that have been made for years by the auditors. Some are adjustments which also had been made which changes the City's reporting to GASBY 34 reporting. There are 2 separate audited financial statements in the report. The one he gave them is the GASBY 34 which is more like a business. Commissioner Brooks said they received what they paid for. Commissioner Sydnor said he definitely thinks they did. Mr. Bounds presented the audit to Commissioner Travers, Ed Kinnamon, the Mayor and him. He thinks they all would agree that what they got paid for, they did a very good job. Commissioner Cephas said PKS charged an additional $6,000+ for their work. He asked what additional work they had to do. Mr. Bounds said he did a single audit that they did not bid on because they did not have to have it in the prior years. When they got here, they determined that the City had over $500,000 in expenditures of Federal funds which requires a separate audit. They combined some of those things but it is still a separate audit, separate report. Commissioner Brooks said if she is not mistaken, Council was informed that they did not have over $500,000 in Federal grants that would require the single audit. Maybe that is why it was not put in the RFP. Ed Kinnamon said that is correct. Commissioner Knox said in going through the audit, the net assets unrestricted funds (Page 5) were down considerably. He asked why it would be down significantly. Mr. Bounds said they are now $6,384,000. They are based on the City's budget-not on the GASBY 34 statement. They included the borrowed funds from the previous year. Last year the City borrowed the $14,000,000 and had not spent it yet. This year they spent it down. Commissioner Knox said on the same page was revenues, the charges for services were down 11%. Mr. Bounds said the charges for services were $1,700,000 this year and $4,485,000 for business for a total of $6,202,000. Commissioner Sydnor said he does not think that would be entailed in this particular type of audit. Mr. Bounds said this is management's discussion and analysis which is the City's figures. PKS looks at them to make sure they are right. Commissioner Cephas said that will make reference to the type of audit they have. It is the difference between a standard audit and a performance audit, which would go into it in more detail. That was not required of PKS. Mr. Bounds said if they really need an answer to it, he can probably give it to them. That comes from the detailed trial balance where you have all your operating revenues. If you go back to your detailed trial balance, you can pick out exactly which line item was different from the year before. Commissioner Knox asked if a performance review would cover these questions. Mr. Bounds said not necessarily. A performance audit is detailed and is really agreed-upon procedures. When you ask for a performance audit from an auditor's standpoint, it is agreed-upon procedures to come in and document every step of a certain aspect of the situation to make sure it is followed correctly. They do not do it in detail. They do it on an overall. They do not detail it every step of the way for every department. The City would have to tell the auditor what they wanted. They would probably not be able to give the City a set rate. They would give the City a minimum/maximum as to what it would apply. It still may not be what they consider a performance audit. Another kind of performance audit is when you go out and determine whether or not this department of 8 employees is working. Does it take 8 employees to do the work of 6 employees or are there 6 employees there now doing the work of 8 employees. That is another kind of performance audit. You will not get that from a financial audit. Commissioner Sydnor said with a performance audit, the auditor would be looking at a larger percentage of information. Mr. Bounds said in certain ways, they might even look at 100% of something. Commissioner Sydnor asked if PKS does performance audits. Mr. Bounds said they do. Commissioner Brooks said it can also include policy and procedures.
Gage Thomas asked if there is a management letter. He asked Mr. Bounds to touch on some of the key points. Mr. Bounds said one of the basic points they had in the management letter, which is also a finding in the single audit, is the ability for the fiscal staff that is hired by the City, including Ed Kinnamon, to prepare these financial statements in accordance with GAP and accordance with GASBY. As he stated to the audit committee, that letter goes into every audit that they do for every non-profit and every municipality that does not have a CPA on staff. There is no way a non-CPA can prepare these financial statements in accordance with how they have to be prepared. As auditors, they are required to take 80 hours of continuing professional education every 2 years and 24 of them have to be in governmental auditing and accounting. It changes every year. Gage Thomas asked if there was any other key accounting procedure or major concerns. Mr. Bounds said they recommended that Municipal Utilities get some bigger bang for their bucks by investing their money more wisely. However, you have to make sure you invest it in that which you are allowed to invest it in.
Rob Collison said the full report and management letter will be available in City Hall for review.
Open Bids for Excess City-Owned Property-Ed Kinnamon reported that Mr. Collison had advertised that the City would receive the bids with a deadline of last Friday for properties on Goodwill Avenue, High Street, and Wells Street. The City received 3 bids. There were from:
- Derek L. Griffin (Columbia, MD) has offered $5,000 for the High Street property. It is adjacent to the property he currently owns.
- Habitat for Humanity of Talbot and Dorchester Counties has offered $15,100 for the Goodwill Avenue property.
- Habitat for Humanity of Talbot and Dorchester Counties has offered $10,100 for the High Street property.
Ed Kinnamon said he did not receive any bids for the Wells Street property. He distributed copies of the bids to the Mayor and Commissioners. Rob Collison recommended that the bids be referred to Mr. Kinnamon for his review and consultation with the City's Property Chairperson. Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer the bids to Mr. Kinnamon. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Open Bids for Large Format Printer-Ed Kinnamon reported that the City received 3 bids:
- OM Office Supply, Inc. (Mechanicsburg, PA) - $6,700 with a $1,000 trade-in.
- DeCarlo Precision Instrument, Inc. (Salisbury, MD) - $7,895 with a $1,000 rebate and a trade-in of $2,200
- Cannon Business Solutions (Wilmington, DE) - $5,369 with a $100 trade-in.
Commissioner Sydnor asked the amount that was budgeted for this printer. Mayor Rippons said it was $6,800. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Proclamation for Healthy Homes Week-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation. Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Deborah Johnson from The Corporation for Healthy Homes & Economic Development. Deborah Johnson congratulated the City Council for taking a pro-active step in improving the quality of housing for limited income families. She passed out a schedule of their activities for Healthy Homes Week. Throughout the week, they will be providing free lead screenings. Residents who are interested will be required to sign up and it will have to be scheduled. Lead screenings will consist of visual inspections and dust wipes at no charge to those who have enrolled. They will also have informative handouts of important literature on healthy homes. It will not be just in respect to lead; it will include pesticides and environmental hazards. She commended the City for working with the Corporation for Healthy Homes to keep this as an important agenda item. Mayor Rippons thanked Deborah Johnson for her work and her agency's work in Cambridge.
Commissioner Brooks asked if Choptank Elementary School was the only school that would let them make a presentation. Deborah Johnson said in the time factor that they were working with, Choptank Elementary was quickest to respond. They are looking at ways of reaching the middle school and high school children as well. They are waiting for the other elementary schools to respond. If the other schools get in touch with them by the end of the week, they will put them on the agenda.
David Fang, Conifer Realty Requesting a Resolution of Support, Establishment of the Bypass Road Impact Fee at $1,000 per Unit; and an Annual Credit Against Real Estate Taxes of $200 per Unit per Year for Their Proposed Affordable Senior Housing-David Fang said this is a follow-up to his visit 2 weeks ago. He met with Steve Johnson to go over some of the questions that he had about the roads and especially with regard to parking and the number of cars at the proposed facility. He introduced Nancy Jackson, the property manager. Right now there are 74 out of 76 units leased and approximately 36 cars are owned by tenants. Roughly half of the units have cars. They envision the same sort of scenario, possibly even a smaller percentage, because in the current building, there are tenants who are at 60% of area median and below and for the proposed building, there will all be at 50% or below therefore fewer tenants will have the capability of owning a car. The tax reduction is a tool that they used in the past to help keep the rents down. It is proposed for a 10-year time frame as they have done in the past. He is hoping to get Council's endorsement tonight. The funding application is due at the end of the month.
Commissioner Sydnor asked Mr. Fang how much he anticipates the tax rebate being per year. Steve Johnson said the credit would be $14,000 per year for a 10‑year period. David Fang said over the 10-year period it would be a $140,000 credit. When building permits are pulled, they will pay the full impact fees of $4,500 per unit which will result in $315,000 probably in calendar year 2009. They are asking that the road impact fee be set at $1,000 per unit instead of the maximum of $3,500. This fee will be paid at the time permits are pulled. Commissioner Sydnor said that the rents are going to be based on the median income. David Fang said rents are based on HUD median income for Dorchester County. They are proposing that the 1-bedroom rents will range for 30% taxpayers at $280 per unit based on 2008 median income levels. The rent for the 50% of median income taxpayers would be $525. The 2-bedroom rents would range from $340 to $620.
Commissioner Brooks thanked Mr. Fang for choosing Dorchester County and the City of Cambridge to come to. She has heard lots of good things about the development. She has heard from people who have moved out there that they love it. She has heard that they just did not build enough units. They wished they had responded quicker. This is a God-send for our senior citizens and our elderly people who are looking for affordable rent. David Fang said he appreciates those words. It is nice to hear that the tenants are happy. Nancy Jackson has done a tremendous job with helping the tenants understand what it is and helping them move in. To move in over 70 units in 60 days is quite a task.
Mayor Rippons said he heard there was an article that came out recently that said there were people in the units who came from other states. Nancy Jackson said there are a few. Mayor Rippons said Mr. Johnson reported that he could not qualify an opinion because he did not know if the market was saturated or if we could use more units. Mayor Rippons said he believes they could have a waiting list just on the utilization of the needy in Cambridge and Dorchester County because they are giving the tax break. Between Conifer I and Foxtail, the City has already structured to yield just short of a half million dollars. Yet, instead of taking care of the needs of the people who are helping to fund it, Conifer went out and got other people. If they are taking from the citizens of Cambridge's pockets, how can they lease to other people before every senior in the City says they are satisfied that they are taken care of. Then they can extend it to other people. Nancy Jackson said they have 3 individuals who are from different states. Their families live in Dorchester County. They brought their parents here to live close to them. Mayor Rippons asked how many people are from outside Dorchester County. Nancy Jackson said they have Talbot and Wicomico Counties. They just relocated. David Fang said he understands the Mayor's concern, however, they have Federal Fair Housing Laws that they have to abide by. If somebody comes in from out of state and they are income qualified, have a good credit rating, they do not have a criminal background, and there is no reason to turn them away, he thinks Conifer, and possibly the City, if they were to advocate such a policy of withholding units for Cambridge folks, would be heading down a path nobody wants to go down. In all these cases, they were all seniors trying to get back closer to their families. Senior generally do not want to relocate all that far. Usually there is no reason for someone to come from New York or Pennsylvania to settle in Cambridge. There is no way they would have heard of the project if it wasn't for local family. They are not advertising the project out of state. What is being done, is being done locally. Those situations are probably more of a fluke than a policy. Mayor Rippons said in the first issuance, the numbers are just short of a half-million dollars that was yielded by the City. The City will provide them with all amenities-public safety, streets, and trash pick-up and yet he does not see the concession that he understands from the State or Federal. It is local contribution. They are paying full taxes to the County on every unit that they have there. They do not give a service. Once more the County is going to get full taxes and not have to provide Conifer with one instance of any consideration unless some of the seniors have youth that will be in the school system. David Fang said that would not be possible. Mayor Rippons said the City has given them consideration on 122 units. Now they are asking for consideration on 70 units. He knows David Fang addressed the County and they will be looking at it and will make a decision tomorrow night. They should allow the County to put something on the table.
David Fang said they are asking the County for a contribution. All of the financial forecasts that they are running right now are presuming that they are getting both contributions. That has enabled them to not have any 60% of median units. They are working on the assumption that the County is going to step up to the plate. Because of that, they will be able to reach out to as many people at 50% of median income or below as possible. He would like the Mayor to be at the County next Tuesday night and ask them these questions. They asked how much the City is donating. He has been through it with them twice. They want it a third time. Sandy McAllister will speak on his behalf at the County meeting next week. He agrees that the County should be stepping up. In the prior 2 projects, there was not the financial need for more. The State's guidelines state that the local contribution has to come from the local acting municipality. In the event there is not a municipality, then you would go to the county. That is how it started 3 or 4 years ago. At that time is was $100 per unit per year. He understandings what the City is giving up. The City is also getting the $4500 per unit impact fee which is given to the City on Day 1 whereas the $200 per unit per year is spread out over 10 years. Mayor Rippons said the County gets $3900 coming in for their school system. David Fang said there are no students-he understands that. Commissioner Knox suggested telling the County that the City will match whatever the County contributed.
Commissioner Cephas said he had a concern about the $1000 road impact fee. The Council gave the DPW Director the task of meeting with Mr. Fang to see what they can come up with. He is looking at the report and cannot determine if it is an advantage or not to accept the program. That is a concern for him. Steve Johnson said he does not have enough time to do an adequate report before Mr. Fang's deadline. First, they would have to ascertain how many units of affordable senior housing are needed in the City of Cambridge. He does not know and it would take more than a couple of weeks to figure that out. Commissioner Sydnor said he believes they are beginning to address a need that has been neglected for quite some time and that is the need of our senior citizens. We have done a lot of homes on the upper end of the scale and we still have a lot of them sitting on the market. We have some senior citizens who have been working in Cambridge all their life. Some of them have to make a choice of the homes we have on the market and some have to make a choice between buying medicine or food. If there is any way we can, we should help our senior citizens, the ones who have built Dorchester County and Cambridge. He thinks we should look at that as a return for what they have done for us. Commissioner Brooks said she received telephone calls from senior citizens whose rents have gone up to almost $800. She will not mention the name of the development they are living in. They are asking her how they can get on a list for apartments at Conifer. They have been told that there may be a waiting list. This tells her there is a further need for low-income units. She has also received telephone calls from individuals who actually live there. They are ecstatic living in the unit they live in now. They thank God for City Council allowing those folks to build here. From the phone calls she has received, it tells here that we need more types of homes like this. If we can have a development that is exclusive to senior citizens, she thinks it would benefit them a lot better than building a mixed community where we have to worry about the senior citizens having to interact with 16-year-olds. They are 2 different age groups who like different things. She likes the idea of Conifer. She thinks they have done justice and applauds them for coming to Cambridge.
Portia Johnson-Ennels said she has listened to Conifer at the City and the County. The County told Conifer last week that their decision is pending the City's decision. Although Mr. Fang said the people from different areas have family here, the people looking for houses can access information about Conifer on the internet. It wasn't just that they had family that lives here. The internet tells them that this type of housing is being made available in Cambridge. When Conifer made their first presentation to Cambridge, their number one priority was to house the seniors of the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County first. Her understanding was that if there was a waiting list, they would attempt to build a second unit. She said that David Fang said all the people living there would come from the City of Cambridge or Dorchester County. She really believes that is why the Council jumped on board. The presentation to the City has been quite different from the presentation to the County. She would like him to be truthful. David Fang asked what part of what has been said here, she finds not to be truthful. He would like a specific incidence. Portia Johnson-Ennels said in reality most times when people are doing a development, the first time they come in and ask for tax breaks. Last week, the County told Mr. Fang that he didn't come to them with the first development and that is normally how it is done. With what is happening with the City's budget, she doesn't think they can give away too much for the next 2 years.
Roger Worthington asked how they regulate the rents. If he is senior citizen of Cambridge and his town is giving a credit of tax to Conifer so he can afford it, he thinks the citizens of Cambridge should get a better rent than those who are not from here. David Fang said the tax credit is a Federal program. The rent is tied to Dorchester County's median income as published annually by HUD. Then it is adjusted by family size. You take the annual published median income. All the units in the building will be at 30%, 40%, or 50% of median income. Then it is adjusted whether it is a 1-bedroom or 2-bedroom unit. There is a formula that tells you what the maximum rent, including utilities, would be. You then back out the utility allowance to arrive at a maximum rent. Mr. Worthington said the folks from outside the area don't have the same income to base the rent on. David Fang said once they are living here they do. When they come to Cambridge, it is based on their prior year's tax returns. Mr. Worthington said if they lived somewhere else for 20 years and made more money, they just have one year's tax return when they come here to present to Conifer. David Fang said that might hold true for a lot of folks who retire. The program has been successful for over 20 years. Any given year the rent can go up or down depending on the median income as published by HUD each year. In Maryland, we have not had instances where the median income has gone down. It has happened in other states. If a unit was at the maximum allowable rent at that median income level and median income in that County goes down $3,000, that rent the following year might have to go down $20. In applying for funding, they are representing to the State they will keep it as affordable housing for a period of not less than 41 years.
Commissioner Brooks asked if they have a waiting list for the additional units that they are proposing and if so, is it based on citizens from Cambridge and Dorchester County that need housing. Nancy Jackson said it is. She has a file of maybe 15 applicants that after they were processed, in the interim of being certified for Conifer, they changed their mind. So when her list is complete, they still have openings. When someone comes in to apply for a family member from out of State, she processes them. Once the process is completed, they are considered.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion for a resolution of support for Conifer. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to set the road impact fee at $1,000 per unit. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion for credit against real estate taxes of $200 per unit per year for 10 years. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Travers opposed. He said he is opposed because he thinks the County should carry part of the load. If the County were to o.k. all of it, he would vote in favor it. David Fang thanked Council for their support.
Paul Myers Requesting Letters of Support for the James B. Richardson Foundation, Inc. (Maryland Historical Trust Grants)-Commissioner Knox made a motion to send the letters of support. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Paul Myers thanked Council for their support.
Recommendation of Award for 42" Sign Cutter-Commissioner Travers made a motion to award the contract to SignCAD Systems, Inc. in the amount of $12,495. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Recommendation of Award for Commercial Zero-Turn Mower with Front-Mounted Mower Deck-Commissioner Knox made a motion to award the contract to Eastern Service in the amount of $11,422. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Recommendation of Award for Hot Water Pressure Washer-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to award the contract to Modern Equipment in the amount of $4,200. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Recommendation of Award for Bituminous Concrete Overlay for Various Existing Streets-Commissioner Knox made a motion to award the contract to P&A, LLC in an amount not to exceed $285,000. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor said Account 33 does not have that much money in it. It only has $23,000. Account 69 has $288,000 in it. The motion passed unanimously.
Request from The Severn Companies for a Letter of Support for Rehabilitation of Crusader Arms Apartments for Federal Tax Credits-Jim Edwards said the first building was built in 1975. Commissioner Brooks asked if the units being rehabilitated are low-income units. Mr. Edwards confirmed that they are. Mayor Rippons said the letter he received from DHCD requested a resolution. They supplied him with a prototype document which requires numbers to be filled in. Commissioner Knox made a motion to support the project with a letter of support and a resolution. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Section 8-19 - Smoking/ Tobacco Policy-Rob Collison said this ordinance will update the City's tobacco use policy by expanding it to include not just smoking, but also chewing tobacco and other tobacco products. It would change the word 'property' to 'building'. It would also provide that the department heads could, if they wish, designate an area outside their building for the use of tobacco products. To make the ordinance consistent with the State's prohibition on smoking, we have increased our initial fine to $100. If there is a City employee or volunteer of the City who has violated a policy, in addition to the fine, they could also be subject to disciplinary procedures through the employee manual or bylaws of the entity for which they are a volunteer. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Requests for Street Lights:
- Brooks Creek, Inc. to Have a Street Light Installed at 311 Washington Street
- Zion United Methodist Church for a Street Light on Glasgow Street by the Marked Pedestrian Crossing Near the Parking Lot Used by the Board of Education, Zion United Methodist Church, Thomas Funeral Home, and Cambridge Christian Academy
Commissioner Brooks made a motion to submit the requests to the Street Lighting Committee for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Sailwinds Park Board Members-Mayor Rippons said the Sailwinds Park Management Board submitted the names of Kathy Walker, Helen Butler, Nancy Wilson, and Guy Edgar. Commissioner Brooks said she thought Grady Wilson and Troy Hill had resigned. They stood before Council and said they were resigning. Mayor Rippons said they are still Board Members. Commissioner Knox said they stated that they would no longer be Board Members after the first of the year. Mayor Rippons repeated that they are still Board Members. Commissioner Brooks said she thought Council accepted their resignation. Commissioner Knox asked if it is necessary to have 12 Board Members when only 5 Commissioners run the City of Cambridge. Mayor Rippons said with the number of activities that occur at Sailwinds, they need a lot of volunteer hours. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to accept the additional Board Members. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Municipal Marina Corrective Measures-Mayor Rippons said George Hyde provided Council with a document outlining the corrective measures. Steve Johnson said they have 2 major issues at the marina. The first issue is wave action inside the basin, caused predominately by boat passing into the Creek. They generate a wake which comes into the marina. The second issue has to do with increasing the dredging depth. The initial project was an expansion project. They want to go back and ensure that the minimum depth in the marina is in conformance with the permit that they obtained which is -6 MLW. He thinks if we do this, it will enhance the marina and make it more of a destination. It will also make it more attractive to sailboat owners. The average draft of a sailboat on the Chesapeake is 5.5 feet. If we can ensure the depth is -6 MLW, it will be more attractive to the average sailboat. They will do a survey to determine the amount of dredging we need to do. Then they will ask for authority to do the dredging. The capital component of this is $98,000 which would enable us to build the stone jetty which will block the waves coming from the Creek side, entering into the marina, and reflecting causing severe rocking of the boats inside the marina. Many boat owners do not want to use the marina because of that wave action. The stone jetty is designed to improve that condition.
The contractor said while he is building the jetty he will remove the obstructions which have been identified. There are at least 4 of them which were left over from the initial project. The contractor also wants to replace 3 of the wave attenuators with deeper ones at no cost to the City. This will also provide more protection for the marina and absorb more of the energy that comes from wave action.
Commissioner Sydnor said this is not a budgeted item. Commissioner Knox said he asked Andrews Miller if this was going to be a problem. A lot of people voiced their concerns to him about the sand bar, wave action, etc. The representatives from Andrews Miller said it will be fine. The complaints have been astronomical from people trying to get in there with their vessels. He said Council talks about the budget and how our marina will be self-sustaining and now we are running into this situation because the information that was fed to us was not correct. He hopes this will be taken care of this time. Mayor Rippons said they have already discussed it. Mr. Johnson is going to set up a meeting. The contractor has come forward and is making concessions of what he is going to do. The City is coming forward to rectify the situation. We paid a considerable amount of money to the engineering firm who is saying they will help the City in the redesign and will not charge us. He has asked for a meeting with them to discuss what they can feasibly put on the table. Commissioner Knox said they dropped the ball on this one.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the stated action plan and give permission to borrow the $105,000. Mayor Rippons said there are 2 options. The first is to allow DNR to give the City half the money upfront or they will provide an interest-free loan for 25 years. If they are going to give the City $50,000, he would recommend that the City accept the option of them funding the half upfront rather than financing. His recommendation is to take the 50% and reduce the City's indebtedness down to $50,000 and work with the engineering firm to get it further reduced. That could be the effective utilization of some of the recreational impact fees because the new people coming in facilitated that need. We could reduce our indebtedness down from $106,000 down to something that is completely manageable. He has discussed this earlier with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Kinnamon. Commissioner Brooks said she has a problem with it. The City put out a lot of money for this marina to be built. The marina was to be self-sufficient. The watermen came before Council discussing the amount of money they would have to pay to rent the slips. Supposedly it was going to generate everything that we needed to take care of the marina. Now we are going to make a motion to either get 50% on a 'could' and a 'can' and not a 'sure'. Mayor Rippons said we know there is a problem. Steve Johnson has already indicated that the City is getting a bad reputation. The City has to deal with this reality. The opinion of the City Engineer and the Director of Public Works, who is also an engineer, is that if we do these remedial steps, it is in the best long-term interest of the City. Commissioner Brooks said we could not get anything from anybody else and then not have to borrow the rest of it with interest and then not be paying over the long-term $105,000 back. It could go either way. Mayor Rippons said that is why we are paying a City Engineer and a Director who has that exalted background in engineering. They have looked at all the scenarios and they seek to remedy the situation. They met with the consultant and the engineer. Commissioner Brooks said they also looked at it prior to tonight when we were told that we would not have to come up with any more money. Mayor Rippons said Mr. Johnson was not there at that time. Commissioner Brooks said our City Engineer was there. Mayor Rippons said predicated on statements which Commissioner Knox has forwarded on considerations because the issues were raised with the engineer firm, that is why they moved forward at that time. There are still things that need to be rectified. This is their recommendation. They will meet with the engineering firm to see what they will do to remediate it and work as a partner also. Commissioner Brooks asked what other routes could be taken. Steve Johnson said there is no other route for fixing the depth problem. There is only one answer to that and it is to do additional dredging. When it comes to the wave action inside the marina, we have a 2-part solution working here. The first is replacing 3 of the wave attenuators with deeper attenuators at no cost to the City. The other part of the solution is to construct the jetty which we can still do under the existing permit that will cost the City but it is needed in order to prevent waves from coming in. There is a gap between the existing wave attenuator and the seawall. Waves generated predominantly by boats coming up into the Creek, come through that gap, enter the marina and they reflect constantly because of the energy. Commissioner Brooks asked what would happen if we wait until we see how our budget is. Steve Johnson said we will not be correcting the problem. We are loosing people from the waiting list. We are getting a bad reputation around the Chesapeake. There are many boaters who do not want to bring their boats into our marina because of the wave action and because of the depth. In order to capitalize on the marina which is a real jewel for the City and to make it a destination, we need to do these corrections. Commissioner Knox asked about the estimated start time because our boating season is upon us. Steve Johnson said if Council approves this tonight, he can probably have the jetty constructed before June. The contractor who would construct the jetty has agreed to come in and remove the obstructions. The intent is to have that achieved before the beginning of the boating season which essentially starts May 1st. The survey can also be conducted in that time frame. Dredging will not occur until probably after the summer. He will have to come back with a cost assessment of what that dredging will be. You have a period of time, predominately the summer months, when you are not allowed to dredge.
Rob Collison asked if 2 or 3 of the floating breakwaters that are of a greater depth do not resolve the problem, is the manufacturer committed to replacing additional ones at no cost. Steve Johnson said they have not discussed that because they are talking about the eastern wave attenuator row-that which is parallel to the Creek. They are not the largest they make and you have decreasing return on size if you go to anything larger. You may wind up having difficulty with the depth of the water underneath. You cannot have them sitting on the bottom. Rob Collison asked if the survey will include the expansion area or if they will also survey the existing area. Steve Johnson said the survey will do the entire marina except for that portion occupied by the Yacht Club unless the Yacht Club contributes.
Commissioner Knox said he thinks they should do the 50% cost with DNR. His concern is that we have a debt service on that marina. The sooner we get this marina up to speed, the sooner we will get our revenues up to an adequate level where it can completely service its debt. We need to move quickly. The longer we wait, it more it will cost. Commissioner Knox made a motion to go along with the 50% from the DNR. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Roger Worthington said he has kept his boat in the marina for over 20 years. What he has now draws 7½ feet. He has been coming and going prior to the modifications as Mr. Knox mentioned earlier. Now he cannot, so it has actually gotten a lot worse and they doubled his slip fee for a slip he cannot get in right now. He is concerned that 5½ or 6 feet might not be enough for the thoroughfare. It silts in. You have to allow for that as the years go by. They might want to consider going a little deeper in the main channel. Steve Johnson said the main channel is deeper already. Roger Worthington said he does not mind paying the additional fee but right now he is not in the slip. He is on the end of a T-head and his boat suffers damage every time it blows out of the west. He supports what is going on in this community on the water to bring it back to downtown Cambridge as an economic source through tourism, etc. Right now he is not the only one who cannot fit in a slip because of the depth issues. That is a justifiable expense that the City needs to do. If they do not spend this $100,000 they might as well throw the $7 million they spent away. In September there will be 60 trawlers coming in with an average of 5 people per boat. They will come to downtown Cambridge to spend some money. That is income that the City can ill afford to send to the Hyatt or somewhere else. In support of what the City is doing, he agrees. Commissioner Brooks said it is needed. The problem is that over the last 4 years, the cost of the marina continues to go up and up. Every time Council hears this is the final cost. They are told this is what they need to correct the problem. Then 4 or 6 months later they come back and need another $105,000 to correct a problem. That is how they got up to the $7 million. It did not start out there. She asked Steve Johnson if this is the final $105,000 that we will need. She asked him to be honest up front and say if he does not know. Steve Johnson said he is always honest and he would not guarantee that this is final amount that will be spent to improve the marina. He feels that it is a valid amount for what needs to be done. It may be that to improve the marina and make it an even better asset for the City, they will ask for permission to spend more money. Each time they will ask. Commissioner Cephas asked how many feet of silt comes into the marina every 5 years. Steve Johnson said he does not think the marina itself is silted a lot. It is pretty well protected. We have a deep channel coming to the marina. The $78,000 survey will map the bottom of the marina for the City portion and establish exactly what the depths are. Right now we have some slips that people report are just slightly over 4 feet. Others are over 8 feet. We want to know where those are. Some slips will accommodate large boats like Mr. Worthington's boat. The average draft of a sailboat in the Chesapeake is 5½ feet. When you look at our marina, we are a sailboat marina. Sailboats cannot go to Gateway across the river; they cannot go under the bridge and up to the Hyatt. Commissioner Brooks asked if 5 to 6 feet going to be enough. Steve Johnson said we have a permit for 6 feet and that is all the State will allow us to do. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the Yacht Club is having the same problem. Ed Kinnamon said they are having the same problem. Mayor Rippons said they can go in on the survey at their own expense. Steve Johnson said they have some obstructions as well in the vicinity of where the mole used to be. The contractor will remove those because he is doing this additional work at no additional charge. He knows of 2 obstructions on the City's side and probably 2 on the Yacht Club's side.
Enez Stafford Grubb said she was at the Council meeting when the plans for the marina were being discussed. She was also here 1 night when the watermen were here asking questions because of their concerns. Tonight she is hearing about more money being spent. She asked if it means there will be more lighting in the Second Ward to brighten the areas where people are able to do things. Right now it seems that a lot of the crime appears to be in that area. She knows that a lot of it is because there are too many areas where they are able to operate without having that much concern. She asked if there will be more curbing placed on the streets particularly for our children who are going to Maces Lane Middle School and Choptank Elementary School because there are no sidewalks on a lot of the streets where they live. She is wondering if this will improve those conditions. She is hearing about all the money that will be generated and $98,000 would go a long way in the Second Ward and $105,000 would do better. Mayor Rippons said they do not have the $105,000. Enez Stafford Grub said they do not have it now but they are talking about getting it. Mayor Rippons said the funds for the marina are an enterprise fund. What that means is that what happens within the confines of that fund has very little correlation back to the general fund. What happens in one budget will not adversely or positively affect what goes on in another budget. Enez Stafford Grubb said she thinks the City Council should be taking the entire community into consideration any time it makes a plan regardless which funds that it would take into consideration-not just the Second Ward. Mayor Rippons said he is sure they do. Anything they vote on is a consideration for all citizens of the City of Cambridge. Enez Stafford Grubb said that goes back to her original question. If whatever vote they make takes all of the wards into consideration, then that would also include the Second Ward. She asked if the Second Ward will benefit from all this when all these boat come in. Commissioner Sydnor said the marina is an enterprise fund and it is supposed to be self-sufficient. He asked Ed Kinnamon if it will be self-sufficient this year. Ed Kinnamon said he would like for it to be but he just does not know. Commissioner Sydnor asked where the funds would come from if it is not self-sufficient. Ed Kinnamon said they would come from the general fund. Commissioner Sydnor said then one does depend on the other. He said the watermen asked for reduced rates. We now have this increase that we want to add to correct it and they will still probably want their rates to be reduced. At some point it has to come to an end of funneling funds into a project and seeing no end in sight. We should have learned from the public safety building. When they started with that, he doesn't think they realized that they would eventually have to pay for it. They haven't kept up with funding in order to pay for that public safety building. Reality will set in one day. Commissioner Brooks said it will set in out of the pockets of the citizens and the City of Cambridge. Mr. Worthington said prior to the modifications that took place a few years back, he was under the impression that the City marina was self-sufficient. Ed Kinnamon said that was true before they had the major expansion. Mr. Worthington asked how many years it has been a contributor to the City's general fund. Ed Kinnamon said he was not sure but he has been here for almost 19 years and until we had this major expansion, it had been. Mr. Worthington said it will be a contributor to the general fund when it gets back from this mistake that was made. It was unfortunate for all of us. Commissioner Brooks asked if he is saying it will be self-sufficient or that the funding will go into the general fund and that all wards in the City will be able to utilize that funding. That is what she is hearing from the gentleman in the audience. She is hearing from Ed Kinnamon is that it is going to be self-sufficient at some future point. The funding that comes in will take care of itself. It will not take care of anything other than itself. Ed Kinnamon said that is the idea behind an enterprise fund. Mayor Rippons said the auditor said other enterprise funds such as Seaford has taken out a certain amount to go back into the general fund. If they maintain the rates as it grows, there is a consideration that Council can make considerations to bring money from that enterprise fund back into the general fund of the City.
Commissioner Sydnor asked for a role-call vote. Commissioner Travers - aye; Commissioner Brooks - aye; Commissioner Cephas - aye; Commission Sydnor - aye; Commissioner Knox - aye. Mayor Rippons said the motion was to move forward with the corrective measures. They will request DNR provide the 50% match.
Introduction of Ordinance to Amend Section 4-7 Reducing the Term of Demolition Permit to 30 Days-Rob Collison said this will incorporate the International Building Code as opposed to references to BOCA. It will limit the demolition permits to being active for 30 days rather than 6 months. Presently all permits issued by DPW are good for 6 months. By the time a property gets to demolition, the property owner has had many notices with regard to the condition of the property. This proposed ordinance would provide that once the demolition permit is issued, it will expire within 30 days. If the demolition is not completed within 30 days, they are then outside the permit period. Steve Johnson said the way the City Code reads now, it just has to commence within 6 months. He is now asking that they finish the demolition in 30 days. Commissioner Brooks asked if the homeowner can take it to court. Rob Collison said they can. Steve Johnson said basically they have 20 days to make an appeal to HBOR or 30 days to come in and get the demolition permit. Once they get the permit, they will have 30 days to finish it. Rob Collison said if they disagree with the order to demolish, they can appeal that to the Housing Board of Review and from there to Circuit Court.
Portia Johnson-Ennels said several months ago Council adopted the International Code but they are still bringing things back and saying they are under BOCA. Rob Collison said now they are amending the applicable section in the International Code that talks about demolition permits. They do not provide that it is only active for 30 days. We are amending that applicable section of the ICC Code-not the BOCA Code. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked why they did not do it all at one time instead of coming back and amending fragments of it. Rob Collison said he does not think the staff has had time to go through each section yet. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she thinks it should be put on the agenda to be done.
Letter of Support to State of Maryland Regarding Tech Park-Penny Tilghman provided Council with a written request. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the letter of support. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Rob Collison said because of the problem the City had with MEDCO and the Hyatt, he recommends it should include language that it is our understanding that they will not be retaining the use of those lots after transferring them. He will draft the letter. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Purchase Orders:
- PO 4695 - Motorola - Portable Radio for CPD - $3,005.52
- PO 4694 - Computer Information Systems - License Renewal & Maintenance Agreement for Police CAD Program - $9,000
- PO 4696 - Graves Uniforms - Summer Uniforms for CPD - $4,236.98
- PO 1123 - Telewire - Telephone System at Public Safety Building - $5,036.76
- PO 1121 - P&A LLC (Maryland) - Annual Paving Contract - $285,000
- PO 1119 - Modern Equipment - Pressure Washer for DPW - $4,200.00
- PO 1120 - Eastern Service Corporation - Grass Cutter - $11,422.00
- PO 1118 - Sign CAD Systems, Inc. - Sign Cutter - $12,495.00
Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase orders. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor said the sign cutter came in over budget. Steve Johnson said in the same budget they have monies for the controllers that have already been approved for purchase and they have money left over. They will use a portion of that to purchase the sign cutter. Because it is in the same budget, they do not need a budget amendment. Rob Collision said as long as it is in the same category, they do not need a budget amendment. Steve Johnson said collectively they had $23,000 for traffic controllers and they cost $19,000. They are using a portion of that for the additional $500 for the sign cutter. The controllers and the sign cutter are in the same department and same category (capital expense). The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Invoice from PKS & Company - City Audit - $15,370.00-Commissioner Brooks said when they first talked about a financial audit vs. a performance audit, one of the main points raised was that we did not need a performance audit because we did not have $500,000 in Federal grants. Now Mr. Kinnamon is coming back to Council after the fact and saying that they want another $15,370 because of the time involved in this and we do have a Federal grant of at least $500,000. It was voted with the consensus 3:2 that we would have a performance audit. Then Rob Collison found a law that has never been used in the State of Maryland that stated you needed 4 votes in order to have a performance audit. Rob Collison said it was needed to allocate more than what is budgeted for audits. Commissioner Brooks said that is what they are doing right now. Ed Kinnamon said the overage is $6,000. The cost was $25,370. Commissioner Brooks said it was more than what was budgeted. Ed Kinnamon said it was budgeted for $19,000 assuming there is no single audit to be done. When he got in, he learned that there was a single audit needed. Commissioner Brooks said Mr. Kinnamon had said we did not have $500,000 in Federal grants. Therefore, Council did not need a performance audit. Now it is coming before Council that they needed to do extra work and now he wants Council to go back and allocate more money which would go through the same process because it is not in the budget. It will still have to be 4:1. She disagrees. If we are going to have to allocate an additional $6,000, we also stated that we would have some kind of a solution to a performance audit in 6 months and she has not heard one word about it. She suggested that at this time if Council has to look at budgets and allocate money, they should do it all together. Tonight the auditor said he could do a performance audit. He did not have a problem with doing a performance audit. She said if we are going to have to give him more money, we should find out how much more we need to attach to this amount to get the performance audit done now that we know that we have what qualifies a performance audit. It will answer the questions as to whether we are spending our money wisely and effectively. It will answer a lot of questions that he was unable to answer here tonight. Commissioner Brooks made a motion that in addition to the $6,000, we get PKS to do the performance audit as well. The auditor has already started the work. He is introduced to the City of Cambridge. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Brooks said we can find out what the funding is or we can table this until next week. Mr. Bounds said he could give us an estimated cost as to what it could go up to. We could table this until he can give us the maximum amount it would cost and then we can do the motion all at one time. It will include his additional funding plus the performance audit that is needed. Commissioner Brooks suggested tabling it and then bring it back when they find out what it costs for a performance audit. Then he can answer all the questions that we need answered. Mr. Bounds can get his additional $6000 and the citizens of Cambridge can get a true audit. Ed Kinnamon asked if Council was going to hold up paying this $6,000 until we have something else brought forth. Commissioner Brooks said they will hold it until he gives them that maximum figure. Ed Kinnamon asked why they would hold up a bill that is owed to the auditor. Commissioner Brooks said to attach it all together and pay him all at one time. We already approved what he said he wanted. In the bid that he offered, he said he would complete this particular job for this amount of money. That is a contract. Ed Kinnamon said he had a caveat in there that if there was a need for a single audit, then that is not included. Commissioner Brooks said since they have to vote above the budget, they should do it all at one time. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to table the vote. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox said the $6,000 was for the additional audit because we had $500,000 worth of government funds. That was an unforeseen thing. Ed Kinnamon said it was unforeseen at the time when he got the information. Commissioner Knox said then we owe him 'x' dollars. Commissioner Brooks said it should not have been unforeseen. The reason they did not want to perform an audit was that Mr. Kinnamon stated that we did not have $500,000 in Federal grants. Ed Kinnamon said that has nothing to do with the performance report. Commissioner Brooks said that is one of the reasons that Mr. Kinnamon brought before the table as to why we never had one in the past. Ed Kinnamon said when he inquired about the additional single-audit figure, he was informed that we did not have $500,000 in Federal grants. He learned after the fact, and upon Mr. Bounds' arrival, Mr. Bounds brought it to his attention. He reviewed it and he found that we did receive over $500,000. Mr. Bounds said he will have to do a single audit. It is the law. He has charged us for additional work he did on the single audit. The invoice he gave to Council has different line items on it. There was $995 for additional time related to analysis of and adjustment to accounts payable and encumbrances; $1,875 for additional time related to prior period adjustments to construction in progress, land, accounts receivable and infrastructure. This is going back to another reporting period. Finally, there is $3,200 for preparation of reports as required under the Single Audit Act. If you add the 3 totals, it is roughly $6,000. If you take what we paid so far, $10,000, and add the difference, it comes to $15,370. If you take $6,000 away from that, there is the $9,000 that we still owe on the bill. He said there was a question a while ago that Mr. Collison answered. The object of expenditure here is 50 - professional services. He has not exceeded his 50. He still has another legal responsibility that he has applied for and that is the OPEB - other post-employment benefits. That has to be done. He is still within the budget amount if Council pays this $15,370. If Council wants to do a performance audit, that is fine. Commissioner Brooks said then they would have been within the budgeted amount when they voted 3:2 for the performance audit. Mayor Rippons said they would not have been because there was only $50,000 in there. A performance audit would have exceeded that amount. Commissioner Cephas asked for a vote. The motion passed 3:2 with Commissioners Knox and Travers opposed. Ed Kinnamon said the auditor said tonight that on a performance audit he would have to know what specifically Council wanted him to do so he can give them an appropriate range (minimum/maximum) on the cost. Commissioner Brooks suggested meeting with Mr. Kinnamon on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Rob Collison said the meeting will be open to the public.
Approve Financial Statement for January 2008-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Rob Collison said that at the last meeting, Ann Damianos asked permission to park her 1‑ton truck on Court Lane for a longer period of time than what is allowed there. She is renovating 513 Court Lane. Her letter states that she will need approximately 90 days. He talked to Chief Malik and it is his recommendation that we do it on a temporary basis for now to see if there are any. If there are any complaints, he will bring it to Council's attention. Commissioner Knox made a motion to allow Ann Damianos to park her 1‑ton truck on Court Lane for 90 days pending any complaints. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor said the Council had an invoice from S&G Improvements in their packet concerning 808 Locust Street. Steve Johnson said it was submitted after the agenda was prepared. Last June there was an emergency demolition at 808 Locust Street. This is the invoice to pay the contractor to do the demolition work. It is within the City's demolition budget. Commissioner Cephas asked about the interest on the invoice. Steve Johnson said they had a little bit of trouble getting the correct documentation from the contractor. Commissioner Cephas asked why the City should pay that interest. Steve Johnson said it could probably be successfully argued in court that the City would owe the interest. Rather than drag it out any longer, he suggested paying the bill with the interest. Commissioner Knox asked how the interest came about. Steve Johnson said the contractor hired a company for the disposal of the debris. That company charged the contractor interest for not paying the bill. There was a period of time when the contractor was trying to collect from the property owner. The property owner has not been paid by the insurance company so the property owner will not pay the contractor. This is a demolition that the City contacted the contractor on. They went through the bidding process and this contractor was the lowest bidder. It could be argued in court that the City has an obligation to the contractor. He said we will not get in the middle in the future. It will be between the property owner and the contractor. Rob Collison asked Steve Johnson to call him tomorrow about the interest. He suggested that Council approve the purchase order minus the interest. Commissioner Syd