City Council Minutes
October 28, 2013
The City Council held two closed executive sessions prior to the meeting-one for to consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City and the second to discuss a personnel issue.
Raymond Simmons, Dorchester Post 88, to request final approval for the placement of the DSC Monument at Long Wharf-There was a joint meeting between the Long Wharf Advisory Committee and the Historic Preservation Commission. At the conclusion of the HPC meeting, there was a motion that passed unanimously to disapprove the monument. The committee working on the monument filed an appeal with the Board of Zoning Appeals which will be held on November 26, 2013.
Jim Chaney to request amendment to his demolition schedule-Mr. Chaney said some things came up that were beyond his control as far as the settlement date. He is looking for a 45-day extension. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to amend the agreement by giving a 45-day extension for each group of buildings was seconded and approved 4:0.
Mari Stanley representing "Christmas in Cambridge" to request that Spring Street from Gay Street to High Street on the side of the Courthouse be closed from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm on Saturday, November 30th for the First Annual Christmas in Cambridge Tree Lighting Ceremony; police department presence, the use of spare city garbage cans and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and approved 4:0. Mari Stanley will coordinate with the Department of Public Works and the Cambridge Police Department for the necessary street closure to put up the 20-ft tree and then take it down.
Santo Grande, Delmarva Community Services, to request an updated letter of support for their proposed 29-unit senior apartment building-Mayor Stanley recused herself from the discussion. Rob Collision recused himself from the discussion. The proper conflict of interest forms were filled out and will be submitted to the Ethics Commission. A payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) was approved by the Council in 2011. The project is a partnership with Homes for America and Homes for America will own the property. There will be 24 units for low/moderate income senior citizens and 5 units for people with disabilities. The location is behind their building on Route 16. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the letter of support for the project and the PILOT program ($150 per unit for 15 years) was seconded and approved 3:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.
Representative from George, Miles & Buhr to present engineering study for 509-511 Race Street-The City received a grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development to perform this condition survey. Reggie Mariner reported that they walked through the building in 2007 when a client was considering renovating the building. More recently, it has been damaged by the weather. They entered the building from the rear and observed a large hole in the roof. From the lower level you can see daylight. Rain was falling into the building during their inspection. They were uncomfortable walking on the damaged floor so they did not inspect the small basement below the building. The roof collapsed down through two floors. There is a hole into the basement. Using the City's bucket truck they looked into the second and third floors. The windows on the first floor were boarded up. The front entry section had collapsed months before their visit. They believe the interior roof and floor framing systems have been significantly damaged. They recommend keeping the building (and front entrance) boarded to prevent access by anyone. Without action to restrict further water infiltration into the building and dewatering the basement, they believe sections of the roof and floors will continue to collapse with an unpredictable timeline. When asked about imminent danger, Mr. Mariner responded that there was not any imminent danger to public health and safety for at least two years or more.
GMB recommends that plans be made to either (a) demolish the building down to grade and fill the basement up to grade; (b) demolish the interior framing, brace and preserve the exterior walls, and fill the basement up to the grade; or (c) perform selective demolition to damaged sections of the roof and floors, repair the roof framing and sections of the floor framing, apply a quality roof covering, and board up the windows. Hopefully someone will want to restore this historic building. Oden Wheeler will ask Cindy Stone from the Department of Housing and Community Development if the balance of the grant funds can be used for cost estimates on the options. The report can be released as a public record.
Appointments to Historic Preservation Commission-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to appoint Patricia Weichmann and Ron Berman as full time members and Michael Russo as an alternate to the Historic Preservation Commission was seconded and approved 4:0. Mayor Stanley thanked the members whose terms expired in previous months and years and welcomed the new Commissioners.
Municipal Government Works Month Proclamation-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve Mayor Stanley signing the proclamation was seconded and approved 4:0. It will be forwarded to the Maryland Municipal League.
DPW request to solicit architectural and engineering proposals for City Hall (307 Gay St.) renovations-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and approved 4:0.
DPW request for permission to apply to the Chesapeake Bay Trust for a grant through their Living Shoreline Initiative program for a master plan for Long Wharf-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the request was seconded and approved 4:0.
Approve two budget amendments for Department of Public Works-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the first budget amendment was seconded and approved 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the second budget amendment was seconded and approved 4:0.
Mayor's and Commissioner's Comments
Empowerment Center-In light of the extensive work that was done by our late Commissioner Octavene Saunders has done in our community, a motion by Commissioner Sydnor to re-name the Empowerment Center as the Octavene Saunders Empowerment Center was seconded and approved 4:0.
Employee Vacancies-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to proceed with advertising for a Sanitation Collector was seconded and approved 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to proceed with advertising for a Dispatcher for CPD was seconded and approved 4:0.
A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, October 28, 2013, insofar as I personally am aware.
Oden C. Wheeler, Director
Department of Public Works