City Council Minutes
May 27, 2008
May 27, 2008
The City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, May 27, 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 May 12, 200 8 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Representatives from Main Street to Request Street Closures and Noise Variances for:
(1) Taste of Cambridge Crab Cook-Off - Saturday, July 12th - Close 400 Block of Race Street and 500 Block of Poplar Street from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm and a Noise Variance from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm>
(2) Back to School Second Saturday - Saturday, August 9th - Street Closure of Gay Street from Spring Street to Poplar Street and Use of City-Owned Lot Adjacent to City Hall from 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm and Noise Variance from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm
(3) Summer Send-Off - Saturday, September 20th - Close 500 Block of Poplar Street and 400 Block of Race Street from Noon until 10:00 pm and a Noise Variance from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm
Jim Duffy said there is only one change from last year. Last year they held the back to school event on the lot on the corner of Race and Cedar Streets. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the requests. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Representative from Main Street to Discuss a Grant Request-Jim Duffy said a couple of weeks ago the Maryland of the Department of Housing and Community Development sent out a grant application that they have not sent out in a couple of years. It is the Main Street Improvement Program. There are two possibilities that Cambridge Main Street would like to pursue. The first is for Main Street organizations to get baseline foundational materials that they may not have had a chance to get yet. They have used it in the past to get banners and flower baskets. It is a matching $10,000 grant. They will use the City's contribution to the Main Street budget. They will probably do real foundational materials to boost their private dollar donations and volunteer recruitment efforts. The second part of the program is new. It is the Maple Street Program. It is not the official application process. They will look at that later in the summer. Through the Main Street Improvement Program they have opened up the opportunity to get a $15,000 matching grant for a Main Street Program to do Maple Street projects. Their idea is to get foundational materials in each of the 5 project areas that the Maple Street program is outlining. They are neighborhood promotion; clean, safe, and green; design; housing economic reinvestment; and organizational sustainability. They want to build a tool kit by talking to communities that have similar programs to get the program running. The grants are due on June 11, 2008. Mayor Rippons asked Mr. Duffy if they are looking for a commitment for the matching funds. Mr. Duffy said there will be a section in the application that says the City is signed on with the grant application. As far as they are looking at it now, the match is coming out of the City's contribution to the Main Street budget. Commissioner Sydnor said this would be under the assumption that the City will approve the Main Street budget. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to give Main Street a letter of support. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Representative from MTS Broadcasting to Request a Noise Variance for Bikers on the Choptank/Colgate Country Music Showdown at Sailwinds Park on Saturday, May 31st [noon until 9:00 pm] and Sunday, June 1st [8:30 am (church service) to 8:00 pm]-Captain Les Hutton said they have not had any trouble with this event in the past. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Open Bids for Camper Street Improvements-Ed Kinnamon opened bids from:
- Barkers Landing Excavation (Easton) - $235,738.90
- David A. Bramble (Chestertown) - $148,804.70
- J. Marion Bryan & Sons (Easton) - $197,637.60
Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Open Bids for Demolition of Three Structures (507 Rigby; 607 Robbins; 213 Washington)- Ed Kinnamon opened bids from:
- Kelly's Excavating (Cambridge) - $14,800
- Dorchester Dumping Co. LLC (Cambridge) - $8,600
- Charles Rideout, Sr. (Cambridge) - $14,000
- Wheatley Brothers (Cambridge) - $15,000
- Tucker Site Works (Salisbury) - $23,889
- Gullion's Construction (Hurlock) - $28,300
- Barker's Landing Excavation (Easton) - $43,261.35
- Shore Waste LLC (Linkwood) - $18,310
- Gerald Moore (Cambridge) - $14,924
- Rubble Bee Recycling & Demolition (Owens) - $29,500
- Eastern Shore Paving - $19,332
- Champion Hauling, Inc. (LaPlata) - $29,100
Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Recommendation of Award for Roof Repair for 410 Academy Street-Steve Johnson said they would like to use the company that installed the roof. The estimate for time and materials is $1,000. Commissioner Knox made a motion to award the contract to Atlantic Roofing System, Inc. in the amount of $1,000. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor asked if they decided where they were going to transfer this money from. Steve Johnson said they will not be transferring the money. It will come out of the money they have budgeted for repairs and maintenance in Department 140 (General City Funds - General Facilities). They had $18,000 originally budgeted and they currently have over $5,000 remaining in the fund. The motion passed 4:0.
Recommendation for Award for DPW Operations Building-Steve Johnson said that by re-orienting the building and placing it parallel to Leonard Lane, it will allow them to save the existing building and they can then turn it into a warehouse which will allow the City to save the money that it is currently spending on renting a warehouse in the Robbins complex. There will be a payback on that re-orientation of something less than 2 years. Commissioner Sydnor asked if $300,000 was appropriated by Council. Steve Johnson said it was $350,000. They would like to use a portion of the funds that were appropriated for the City Hall renovations but unspent. That would be the difference between the $350,000 and the $384,000. Commissioner Sydnor said some of the funds for City Hall have actually been applied for. Ed Kinnamon said they would have to seek a loan. That was the plan all along. Commissioner Sydnor said they cannot take from those funds because they do not exist. Ed Kinnamon said if they were to go through with it, they would have to borrow the funds. Commissioner Sydnor said at the present time, that has not been decided by Council. He said there is $350,000 in this year's budget. He asked if it could be carried over to next year. Steve Johnson said because it is an FY08 appropriation, he wanted to award the contract during FY08. It is his understanding of the budgeting and contracting rules that the City follows, that they need to award the contract in order for the funds to carry over into the next fiscal year. Ed Kinnamon said that is correct if Council wants to do that. Commissioner Sydnor said he thinks it would be appropriate to move it over to next year. Ed Kinnamon said that could be done if Council wants to do it. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the bid from Harper & Sons in the amount of $384,150 and that it be appropriated in the FY2009 budget. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Request from St. Paul's United Methodist Church to Block Alley from Hayward Street to their Parking Lot on Thursday, June 12th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and a Noise Variance for a Block Party-Mayor Rippons said St. Paul's has been doing this for quite a few years now. Captain Les Hutton said it is a well-run event. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request from St. Paul's. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Resolution Supporting Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Neighborhood Businessworks Program Financing to Avé Hair Studios and Day Spa, LLC (Poplar Street)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request to send a supporting resolution. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.
Introduction of Ordinance to Amend Section 12-18 of the City Code to Clarify That the Discharge of BB Guns and Pellet Guns, etc. Is Prohibited Within the City Limits-Mayor Rippons suggested postponing this item because Rob Collison was not present.
Discuss Cedar Street Manhole Repair-Steve Johnson said they have $20,000 in the budget with $19,000 of it still remaining so awarding this contract is within the money they have budgeted for sewer repairs. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the Cedar Street manhole repair and approve Purchase Order 91186 to David Bramble in the amount of $18,000. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Commissioner Cephas asked how soon they can start this repair. Steve Johnson said it would be within a month. The motion passed 4:0.
Commissioner Brooks arrived at this time.
Suggestion for Navigating Downtown Detour-Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer this item to the Traffic and Safety Committee for their consideration and recommendation. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve PO 4739 - Zoll Medical Corporation-ACLS Cardiac Monitor -- $20,600 - Sole Source Vendor - 50/50 State Grant-Ed Kinnamon said the City's portion of the funds will come from the FY2009 budget. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor said the stipulation would be that the other funds come out of the FY2009 budget. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Financial Statement for April 2008-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement for April 2008. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Discuss Implementing Limited Spending-Commissioner Sydnor said the Council really needs to look at the budget for 2009. In order to do that they need to know their balance from 2008. Because of the system that they have in place, they are not able to find that amount if they go up to June 30th until they are in July before they can find what the balances are so they are guessing at what it is going to be to meet that budget at July 1st. He is proposing a spending limit on all purchase orders $500 or more with the exception of salaries and utilities. This does not mean that the purchase orders cannot be presented to Council. The purchase orders will have to come to Council so that Council can look at each of them and determine whether it is necessary for them to be approved. He said he would like that to be a motion. He thinks it will get to the point where they will not accept any purchase orders either June 7th or June 14th. They need to limit those time limits so that they know exactly what their fund balance is going to be in order to prepare the budget by July 1st. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Traffic & Safety Committee Report-Mayor Rippons said the Traffic and Safety Committee met on May 22nd and recommended that a 25 MPH speed limit sign and "Children Playing" signs be installed on Hibiscus Street. The also recommended that "Deer Crossing" signs be put in the vicinity of the woods between Bayberry Way and Clifton Woods Drive. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the recommendations. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Brooks asked for a moment of silence for Preston Keene III. He was an employee of the City of Cambridge Street Maintenance Department who passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon at the age of 22. She asked everyone to keep Preston Keene and his family in their prayers.
Gage Thomas asked if any more budget work sessions are planned. Commissioner Sydnor said he would like to meet with Council on Monday, June 2nd at 6:00 pm. He will meet with Mr. Kinnamon on Friday to go over the operational budget. They will present it to Council at the work session on Monday. Gage Thomas asked when the financial statement for May will be available. Commissioner Sydnor said that is why Council put an end to when they will accept purchase orders. The software they are using will usually lag about 3 weeks behind. Gage Thomas asked the target date for the budget approval. Commissioner Sydnor said it has to be approved by July 1st.
Portia Johnson-Ennels said she does not know what the City's plan for Cedar Street is, but it is not for people who have to walk. It is not safe. Cedar Street is one of the more treacherous streets to walk on. The City is doing a lot of talking about what they want to do and how they want to improve things. She would like the streets of Cambridge be safe to walk on. She said Council needs to take a close look at the streets that people use a lot. The drivers of the cars think they have the right to the whole street. It is very dangerous to walk on Cedar Street.
Jim Duffy said he would like Council and Steve Johnson to know that Main Street has been talking with the downtown merchants about the detour. They may have a small amount of money to do some signage through a grant they got from the Department of Business and Economic Development. Steve Johnson said once he knows what the proposal is, he will call Mr. Duffy. Commissioner Brooks said they can sit down with Mr. Duffy next week and hear what he has to say and render a decision from there.
Wendell Foxwell said he knows the real estate market has been slow but asked if the lot on the corner where B. J. Linthicum & Sons was located is going to be kept for community activities or is it up for sale. Mayor Rippons said Council has not discussed it. Mr. Foxwell said if the City sold it, they could start receiving taxes. He calls it the million dollar playground of Cambridge. He was wondering if they were going to market the lot since the City is short on money.
Wendell Foxwell said Rescue Fire Company has been doing a good job but at the last meeting, they had some expenses and a lot of the Council members did not know what they were for. He asked if these items are in RFC's budget or are they buying things and the City has to pay for it. Mayor Rippons said any appropriated fund must go through the budgetary process. Commissioner Sydnor said at several meeting Council discussed the radio reception at the public safety building. They decided that the police department, emergency medical services, and the fire company would look in their budget. Motorola is a sole source supplier to do the particular work. That budget was presented to Council several times before they approved it. They were aware of the situation that exists at the public safety building.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 7:42 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Tuesday, May 27, 2008, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer