The regular meeting of the Pocomoke Mayor and Council was held in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Tuesday, August 8, 2011. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 P.M.
Present: Mayor Bruce Morrison
Council Members: Tracey Cottman,
Rob Clarke, Diane Downing,
Bob Hawkins, Donald L. Malloy
City Attorney Pete Golba
City Manager Russell W. Blake
City Clerk Carol L. Justice
In a motion (Malloy, Hawkins passed), to approve the minutes of July 5, 2011.
In a motion (Hawkins, Downing passed), the bills presented to be paid. (Copy of bill list attached to original minutes).
Ambulance Department Director Mike Thornton to present twelve month status report:
Director Mike Thornton gave an update on in town and out of town calls and transports to PRMC, McCready, and Atlantic General Hospitals. He stated that the department has seven (7) full time personnel and 40 part-time personnel. The part-time employees are on call as needed to fill in when the staff is on vacation, and they also take second and third run calls. He expressed his gratitude for the new ambulance garage and how much he appreciates it being so close. It makes for quicker response time for the third call.
City Manager Blake stated that the City will get more money this year from the County than last year. He stated that the Ambulance membership renewal notice has gone out and we are receiving membership fees. Also, as of January 2012, the insurance companies will be paying us directly, rather than paying the patients. This is the result of a new state law passed in April 2011.
Mayor Morrison stated that he had met with lower county commissioners about changing the formula on how they pay for each transport because Pocomoke Ambulance Department drives further for a transport to the hospital but receives the same amount of money for each transport as Berlin’s department receives.
Review of bids for Ambulance Department power lift stretcher. (Bid opening 11:00 A.M. August 8, 2011):
City Manager Blake stated that we received two bids: one from Ferno Washington, Inc in the amount of $7,860.50 each and the other from Stryker in the amount of $14,553.34. He suggested that the City purchase two for that price from Ferno because the budget amount was $15,000.
Mr. Thornton stated that this power lift would reduce back injuries and that one person would be able to lift the patient into the ambulance.
Councilwoman Downing stated that the ICS (Integrated Chargins System) was not included and asked if it could be included.
City Manager Blake stated that he would check on it.
In a motion (Malloy, Cottman passed) to purchase two power lift stretchers at a cost of $7,860.50 each for a total cost of $15, 621 from Ferno Washington, Inc.
Res. # 450 to authorize lease purchase from John Deere Inc. for the purchase of aerator with ¾” tine holders and tines. (Budget amount $9,000):
In a motion (Hawkins, Cottman passed) to adopt Resolution #450 as an emergency Resolution to enter into a lease-purchase agreement with John Deere for the purchase of aerator with ¾ “tine holders and tines bid price is $8,759.32. Roll call: Hawkins aye; Downing aye; Malloy aye; Clarke aye; Cottman aye.
Mayor Morrison introduced Congressman Andy Harris of the 1st District of Maryland.
Congressman Harris spoke briefly concerning Standard and Poor’s down- grading of the U.S. credit status. He stated that it would take years to regain the status back. He stated that he voted against raising the debt ceiling because he didn’t think budget cuts went far enough.
Authorize requests for bids:
- Police Department building improvements at 1400 Market Street:
City Manager Blake stated that Becker Morgan group has completed the design for the new police building located at 1400 Market Street. If the plans are approved tonight an ad will placed in Sunday’s paper to advertise for bids for renovation.
Councilwoman Cottman asked Chief Ervin if he was pleased with the building improvements as designed.
Chief Ervin stated that he was.
In a motion (Cottman, Downing passed) to begin advertisement for bids to renovate 1400 Market Street for new police building.
- Supplies for extension of water mains to Water Treatment Plant on Quinn Ave.:
City Manager Blake stated that this extension would be give us an eight (8) inch line that will feed into the water treatment plant. With this improvement, we will be assured that we can always provide water to our customers if another water main should be out of service. The total cost for valve and pipes would be around $18,500.
In a motion (Downing, Hawkins passed) to waive the normal bidding process and take the lowest bid for valves and pipes which would be Dover Plumbing in the amount of $10,153.52 (valves) and Belair Road Supply in the amount of $8,320.00 (pipes).
Authorize City Manager to submit application for Community Parks and Playground (CPP) grant funding. (DNR):
City Manager Blake stated that he would like to submit three CP&P grants this year for golf course improvements to include: paving cart paths #2 and #9; a new maintenance shop; and HVAC for the Log Cabin. The total for this project would be approximately $90,000 and the application is due August 18. The City would need to contribute 10% to 15% if the applications are granted.
In a motion (Malloy, Cottman passed) to authorize City Manager Blake to submit application for Community Parks and Playground funding as proposed.
- Recommended repair or demolish: 705 Second Street, owner Donna Joseph; 523 Young Street, owner Allen B. Blount, Jr; 618 Clarke Ave., owner Joyace Dale.
In a motion (Malloy, Downing passed) to send the owners a notice to repair/demolish these three houses.
- House previously ordered to be repaired or demolished:
707 Clarke Ave., owner Sodoria Wallop (date June 15, 2010).
In a motion (Hawkins, Cottman passed) to have the house at 707 Clarke Ave burned by the Fire Department or get quotes to demolish the house.
City Manager to discuss recent CDBG grant award for Housing Rehabilitation projects:
City Manager Blake stated that he was happy to announce that the City received a letter from Community Development Block Grant that the City was awarded a $250,000 grant to rehab homes. The City has been participating in this program since 1976.
Authorize Mayor to sign agreement with DDC and UMES:
Mayor Morrison stated that this Letter of Agreement is to transfer the DDC property to UMES. The University of Maryland System Board will meet in late September, and they would like to have an agreement signed so they know that the City is serious about the transfer and willing to work with them.
City Manager Blake stated that this is the preliminary step that will lead to a contract for sale in the future.
In a motion (Hawkins, Downing passed) to authorize Mayor to sign the Letter of Agreement to transfer DDC property to UMES.
Review proposed FY2012 renewal of agreement with Maryland Environmental Services:
City Manager Blake stated that MES is not a state agency but they contract with local governments in monitoring and laboratory services. ECI and City of Cambridge also use MES services. We use them as on-call staff. We ask them for recommendations and rely on them for backup, as necessary.
In a motion (Cottman, Malloy passed) to renew Maryland Environmental Services for FY2012.
Comments from Council:
Councilman Clarke stated that a life ring was missing at the docks, and there are potholes near the curb at 8th and Cedar Street and at McDonald’s. He also stated that Donna was working with Brian at the Discovery Center with art work on the docks. He would have more on that in the future.
Councilman Malloy stated that Ed Weilbacher received a letter regarding tall grass at a lot on 4th Street. Mr. Weilbacher Code book states 10 inches, but the letter stated 8 inches as the maximum height.
City Manager Blake stated that the Code was updated recently and changed to 8” maximum..
Councilman Malloy also stated that Chapter 98-2, Maintenance of sidewalk, curb and gutter area states, “property owners, occupants or persons in control of any lot or land located in Pocomoke City shall maintain their respective curb, gutter and sidewalk bordering their parcels of land in such condition as to be clear of all growth of grass and weed within the curb, gutter and sidewalk.” So why is Pocomoke City spending money on weed control?
City Manager Blake stated that over the years the City has taken over that responsibility.
Councilman Clarke stated that the curb and gutter should be taken care of by the City.
City Manager Blake stated that the Code could be revised.
Mayor Morrison asked if someone could call State Highway Administration (SHA) concerning the entrance to our City. The grass and trees need to be taken care of.
Councilwoman Cottman asked about the 8th Street project concerning the flooding in that area. When was SHA going to have their study completed?
City Manager Blake stated that he will be meeting with the SHA engineer on Thursday of this week.
Comments from the Audience:
Rev. George Tasker asked if sale of DDS to UMES would affect the restaurant.
Mayor Morrison stated that it would not.
Rev. George Tasker thanked the Mayor and Council for their donation to Family Connection and asked how they should go about getting their donation.
Mayor Morrison stated that they would need to send a letter requesting the donation.
Following a motion by Councilwoman Cottman and seconded by Councilman Malloy, the Council voted to meet in a closed session at 8:50 P.M. in the Council Chambers. Present were Mayor Bruce Morrison. Councilman Hawkins, Councilman Clarke, Councilman Malloy, Councilwoman Downing, City Manager Blake, City Attorney Golba, and City Clerk Carol Justice. Personnel issues were discussed.
With no further discussion a motion was made by Councilman Hawkins and seconded by Councilwoman Cottman to adjourn at 9:10 PM
Carol L. Justice