Categories: 2004 Council Minutes Date: Mar 8, 2010 Title: City Council Minutes
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 23, 2004 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 Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers.
Mayor Rippons asked everyone to stand to observe a moment of silence in memory of Cambridge's own 1st Lt. Adam G. Mooney. Adam lost his life in Iraq after his helicopter crashed January 25 during a search-and-rescue mission.
Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Atkinson led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 9, 2004 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Sailwinds Management Board-Raymond Simmons gave an update of the 4th quarter and a summary of what is happening at Sailwinds. They believe their attendance was off during the 4th quarter because of the hurricane and therefore their net income was off as well. The net income shows a loss of $10,000 but it does not include the $5,000 they paid on behalf of Sailwinds to the Sailwinds Inc. group. This completed the obligation they assumed when they took over. They have paid off the $15,000 note. New events that took place for the first time during this quarter were a cooking show, a quilt festival and a family Halloween party which a large number of people attended. For the small cost, it was quite an asset to the community.
In 2002 the gross income was $235,343. In 2003 the gross revenues have topped $402,000 which is about a 70% increase. In 2002 payroll for one employee was $40,700. Payroll has increased to $51,000 to reflect the daily and as-needed help, but also a part-time 20-hour a week assistant. Attendance was 38,895 in 2002. It saw a slight drop to 37,000 which was attributed to the very rainy weather at the Bay County Festival which normally draws 10,000 people. This year they estimated attendance to be 6,000. In 2001 they had 50 events booked; in 2002 they had 55 events and in 2003 they booked 61 events. This shows a steady 10% increase. For 2004, there are 58 events booked so far. The utilization is increasing, not only during the shows, but also by other companies and groups using the facility including the Easton Trade Show, the Talbot County Job Fair, and the Choptank Electric Coop meeting for close to 900 people. They said they were tired of dealing with the other facilities that were too expensive. The capital improvement expenditures were close to $31,000.
The Management Board donated about 125 folding chairs to the Empowerment Center. G.M. Giant is financing the advertising campaigns for the shows. Mr. Denny has been very supportive of everything at Sailwinds. Mr. Simmons reassured the public of the financial controls that are in place. The City writes the checks so they know what is going on. When people buy tickets to the shows, they don't use that money to pay bills. All advanced sales ticket money goes into an escrow fund. An accountant assists Kim Seward on a weekly basis reviewing the books to make sure their procedures are acceptable to everyone. He will be conducting an end-of-the-year audit. All Sailwinds bills are current and are paid on time.
So far for 2004, there are three artists with songs in the Top Ten who will appear at Sailwinds this year. Sailwinds has a good reputation according to the feedback they are getting from the performers, the road managers, and the folks who book them in Nashville. Trace Adkins is coming back. John Michael Montgomery took a cut to come to Cambridge because he had been pitched by Trace Adkins about the fact that it was a nice place to come. Of the concerts that they have sold tickets for this up through June of this year, 90% of the shows are sold out. One of them is 100% sold out. A radio station bought 100 tickets, held a contest, and they will be docking the Dorothy Megan for a pre-concert party.
They are working on a spectacular summer outdoor concert with national entertainment as a benefit for watermen. It will be a watermen's aid concert, just like the farm aid in the Midwest. They are proud to be able to provide a venue for Lt. Mooney's funeral. Without Sailwinds being there, Mr. Simmons doesn't believe there would be a facility anywhere near that would have been able to accommodate what they are trying to do. It will be a proud and fitting tribute to Lt. Mooney and they are glad to do it. They are running the operation as Council has charged them to do. As always, they are open for comments, criticisms, and concerns that anyone has. They will try to work with everyone who comes to them.
Commissioner Atkinson congratulated the Management Board on the fine job they have done since they have taken the park over. It is not costing the taxpayers of the City, County, or State one penny. They are highly successful and it is one of the greatest things that has happened during this administration.
Decision on Annexation Resolution A-2003-02-Ocean Gateway Bucktown Road Area-Rob Collison said during the public hearing a question was raised about Council giving some consideration to those residential property owners in the area to be annexed who have working wells and septic systems. They are requesting a grace period for them to be required to hook-up into the City's systems. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve Annexation Resolution A-2003-02. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Decision on Permitting Lighthouse to be Constructed on City Property at Long Wharf-Rob Collison said the City heard public comments during the last meeting. Tonight, Council will be voting on giving permission for the application process to proceed since it would be constructed on City property. They are no way granting permission itself to construct it in the sense of issuing a building permit. It still has to go through the proper channels through the Historic Preservation Commission and the Department of Public Works. They would just be granting permission as the owners of the property.
Ed Kinnamon said he received a letter from the owners of "The Crib" with their enthusiastic support for the Choptank River lighthouse. Peg Wolf, a member of the Committee, gave the Council a list of supporters. He received letters from Christine Foxwell and Dave Toomey basically stating that they would like to see a comprehensive plan developed for the Long Wharf property which includes the area we are talking about and also the marina.
Commissioner Weldon said he's been a supporter of this concept from the beginning and the main thing that has come up in conversation has been in what context this is going to be built and that is the issue that Mr. Kinnamon just mentioned in the letters and that being a plan. Last year, we applied through the Heritage Area for a planning grant to do just that-a comprehensive plan for the Long Wharf area which is designated as a Target Investment Zone through the State Heritage Areas. The State did not accept the application at that time-not on the merits of the application, but on the matching funding mechanism that we concocted using a little bit of smoke and a couple of mirrors. What he would like to do is advance a motion to approve the application process to move forward and attach to that for the City's part, a request for $8,000 as a cash match so that the application could be resubmitted to the State through Heritage Areas to develop the concept plan that could then identify how this lighthouse will fit in to the marina expansion, the proposal for the gas dock, and all the other things that are going on it that area. The application, as it was submitted last time, the weak link was the fact that they did not have a solid cash match. He thinks if we solve that problem, we can get this plan paid for 50% through State funds, through a pretty reliable mechanism. His motion is to approve the application and request an authorization for $8,000 to be submitted as a matching fund for a grant application to be pending. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. Commissioner Atkinson said the people he has talked to have been overwhelmingly in favor of the lighthouse at Long Wharf. Other than what he has heard here tonight and a few letters that they have gotten, he doesn't want to see this project delayed which we are planning something. Commissioner Weldon said he agrees. Commissioner Atkinson said it will take some time to raise the money; it's not going to happen overnight so he is strongly in favor of it. Commissioner Weldon said just to clarify, requesting the grant funds for the plan is in no way intended to delay the progress of the lighthouse project. His consideration is that the location of the lighthouse is a given. What they want to do is develop a plan around it that puts it into the context of the other work that we all know needs to be done down there. That is his theory behind the grant request. Commissioner Watkins agreed with the idea of moving on with the plan. He thinks it is an ideal location. He is in favor of the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Reconsider Motion to Make Historic Preservation Commission an Advisory Board-Commissioner Atkinson said he initially made the motion. Upon the advice of their Counsel, he is making a motion to rescind that previous motion. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request from Dorchester General Hospital for Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Their Annual Fundraiser at Sailwinds on October 2, 2004 from 7:00 pm Until 11:00 pm-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request from Dorchester Skipjack Committee for Permission to Use Long Wharf for a Rededication of the "Nathan" on July 4, 2004 from 1:30 pm Until 4:00 pm-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Mr. Nabb asked for a variance from the noise ordinance for amplified music. Commissioner Watkins amended his motion to include a variance from the noise ordinance. The motion passed unanimously.
Request from Dorchester Arts Center for Letter of Support for House Bill 515 (Senate Bill 663)-Mayor Rippons said the Dorchester Arts Center is asking for a grant from the State in the amount of $1.275 million. Commissioner Weldon said he has been serving on the building committee that has been reviewing the renovation plans that are being proposed for the facility. It has been a very thorough review. The result should be a very positive addition to downtown. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to approve the letter of support to pursue this bond bill. Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion. He pointed out that it is necessary that the letter be received by February 22nd. The motion was passed unanimously.
Request from Eastern Shore Hospital Center to Hold H.O.P.E. Run/Walk on City Streets on May 1, 2004 (Woods Road and Southside Ave.)-Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Adoption of Charter Resolution for Redefining Voting Wards and Approving a Single Polling Place-Mayor Rippons received a letter from Claude Gootee outlining his view on having one polling place. Rob Collison presented several Charter Resolutions.
Charter Resolution CR-2004-01 incorporates the revised ward boundaries that were approved. It is putting them in wording in Section 3-3 of the City Charter. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to adopt Charter Resolution CR-2004-01. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Charter Resolution CR-2004-02 amends Section 3-14 of the City Charter in two respects. In Subsection (b) Polling Places, publication of polling places is required to be in a newspaper published in Cambridge. There are no longer any newspapers technically published in Cambridge so they are inserting the words or of general circulation in, Cambridge. Further in that same paragraph, it adds the language or the central polling place for all wards, whichever shall be applicable. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to adopt Charter Resolution CR-2004-02. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Charter Resolution CR-2004-03 amends Section 3-10, Subsection (b) Statement of Candidacy. It states that any person desiring to become a candidate shall at least 45 days prior to the date for the primary election (instead of general election) file a statement of candidacy. Commission Atkinson made a motion to adopt Charter Resolution CR-2004-03 and have it go into effect including this election year. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept Mr. Gootee's recommendation that the central polling place be Governor's Hall at Sailwinds Park this year. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request To Go To Bid for Bush Hog-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request To Go To Bid for Combined Sewer Separation Phase 3- Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request To Go To Bid for Marina Power Boxes-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approval of RFP for Affordable Housing Development on Schoolhouse Lane and Chesapeake Court-The City received a Community Development Block Grant to acquire and demolish some houses on these streets. There have been three meetings in the community to discuss what they would like to see. They would like to move forward with some kind of affordable housing. Rob Collison said it must be affordable housing as defined by HUD. All proposals must meet with all Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. He has tentatively set a date of March 22, 2004 to open the proposals. There was a request that an ad hoc committee be establish by the City to review the proposals and make their recommendations to City Council at a later date. This is a two-step process because of certain grant funding being used by the City. There will be a request for proposals and then once a project is selected, there will be a competitive bidding process to select a contractor to construct it. Both phases have to go through State approval with the Department of Housing and Community Development. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the request for proposals and establishment of a community team. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Discussion of RFP for City-Owned Property at Corner of Race and Cedar Streets-Rob Collison said several weeks ago there was a request to establish a request for proposals for this property. He has tentatively selected Friday, April 15, 2004 as a submission deadline. Commissioner Weldon said he would like to add some criteria that relate to the fact that the property is located in our downtown section and any proposals be compatible with the efforts of Main Street and the Arts & Entertainment District. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to move forward with the RFP. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Council to Discuss Chief Malik's Personnel Recommendations-Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the promotions that Chief Malik recommended. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow Chief Malik to hire a certified officer. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Consider Offer by Edward Nabb's Office to Purchase Two Lots on Edgewood Avenue-David Pritchett said it is his understanding that an offer had been made before on the seven parcels which are recorded as one lot. One of the lots now being offered is contiguous with the other parcel which would give you somewhere between 10,000 and 13,000 sq.ft. of land area. The other parcel is across the street and he can't see any value for anything the City would do. Even saying seven parcels is misleading. Only two homes could be built on it. The land is not overly desirable. It is very low. Mayor Rippons suggested incorporating this property into the RFP for affordable housing to see if there is any interest in this parcel. Rob Collison said the City could do it providing they lock up their option to purchase them.
Commissioner Weldon said some municipalities have a requirement on developers that if they build a certain number of units, they are required to also construct a certain number of affordable homes. If Cambridge had something like this in place, it could be used as leverage with all the developers coming through. He asked that this procedure be looked into to see what other communities are doing. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to incorporate these lots into the RFP that was originally designated. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve PO 3033 Wor-Wic Community College for Tuition Fees for 3 CPD Recruits ($5,355) -Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Financial Statement for January 2004-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the financial statement. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Housing Board of Review-Mayor Rippons reported that there is a vacancy on the Housing Board of Review because Mr. Elvin Hess passed away earlier this year. Mayor Rippons recommended Olwyn L. Maxey. Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve Olwyn L. Maxey to complete the term of Elvin Hess. The term will expire August 22, 2004. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Chief Malik said on behalf of the personnel involved, he would like to thank Council for what they have done. He also appreciates being able to hire the certified officer. It saves them a lot of money and puts an experienced officer on the street very quickly.
Chief Malik asked Council to consider the fireworks expenditure at a future meeting.
Commissioner Atkinson asked about the completion of Bayly Road. David Pritchett said they expect to be working on it again in two weeks. The materials have been ordered. It should be completed within six weeks.
Commissioner Atkinson said we have collected $324,480 in hotel/motel room taxes for the first six months of Fiscal Year 2004. That is slightly above what their forecast was. Hyatt has paid $284,000 for six months. He thinks it is real good.
Commissioner Weldon said having voted on the district maps, it has cemented his future. He thanked everybody who has supported him, has put up with him, has listened to him, etc. over the last four years. It has been an honor to serve with them; it has been an honor to serve the community. He is looking forward to putting his other hat back on and getting back to work to build a few of these houses that we are trying to bring in. For all the challenges and complaining he has done, it truly has been an honor to serve. He hopes as the election season comes around, people aren't afraid to get involved to keep things moving. There is a lot of work underway now and a lot more to do.
Commissioner Watkins said that although Commissioner Weldon said he is not going to run again, he feels he will still be interested in the community. It has been a pleasure working with him and hopes to be seeing him in other areas.
Commissioner Bohlen said he had a very impassioned call from a constituent this past week about people walking their dogs and not picking up after them. The individual asked what could be done. He asked the press to get the word out that people are responsible for their dogs. Rob Collison said there is a poop scoop law that applies to public property. It would technically be trespassing on that person's property. Commissioner Bohlen asked Council to look at other locations and see what they have and what we may be able to do with a fine structure included. He would also like to see some doggie stations included for the City parks in the budget this year.
Commissioner Bohlen said in some of the development discussions, we keep hearing about something he brought before Council a while ago; that is, a proposal to put a moratorium on the PWCD for a period of six months to look at and revise the PWCD regulations as far as design and sector and site usage of the properties along the Creek within the PWCD zoning area. There were concerns by members of Council that there are things that were "in the pipeline". We had developers that had certain projects that were underway. Those projects have met their approval. Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to put a moratorium of six months on any further development in the PWCD for revision of the PWCD guidelines and development of a sector plan for probably one of the most valuable assets this community has. Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. Rob Collison said moratoriums are treated as rezoning so we would schedule a public hearing and then there would be a vote. Commissioner Weldon said the timing is right because the projects that have been on the table are going to be underway shortly and the only other one that's underway is the Deep Harbour project which we already discussed and are holding a meeting with them. As we put together these overall plans, the developers that are in place should be included in the process so they can hear directly from the people what it is that we would like to see around our Creek. The motion to move forward with a public hearing passed 4:1 with Commissioner Atkinson opposed.
Rob Collison reported that Council met in closed executive session at 5:30 pm to discuss one personnel matter and an economic development proposal.
Tony Thomas, 420 Race Street, requested a variance from the noise ordinance for St. Patrick's Day (March 17) from 4:00 pm until 11:00 pm. Commissioner Weldon made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:10 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 23, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer