Mayor W. Paul Martin
Council President Carolyn Hall
Council Vice President Robert Cannon (arrived 7:05 p.m.)
Councilwoman Lavonzella Siggers
Councilman Frank Himelright
The Mayor and Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. The Lord's Prayer was repeated and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Council President Hall called the meeting to order.
Mr. Himelright motioned and Ms. Siggers seconded to approve the minutes of March 9, 1998 to bring it on the floor for discussion. Mr. Himelright motioned to amend page three (Ordinance No. 1685 discussion), first line of the last paragraph, to read Mr. Gillis disclosed that he has done business with PRMC, but he did not feel it would impact his ability to make a fair and impartial vote.
Ms. Siggers seconded and the vote was unanimous. The minutes of March 9, 1998, as amended, were unanimously approved.
Council President Carolyn Hall welcomed Scout Troop #185 from St. Francis de Sales and the American Government Class of Faith Baptist Church.
Mr. Himelright motioned and Ms. Siggers seconded to approve Ordinance No. 1684 to bring it on the floor for discussion. Ordinance No. 1684, as outlined by City Solicitor Robert Eaton, allows for a referendum question to be placed on the General Election ballot giving the electorate participating in the voting to indicate their approval or disapproval of returning to a political party system of elections.
With no further discussion, Ordinance No. 1684 for second reading passed unanimously.
Public Works Director Wil Elliott, Mr. Richard Duvall, counsel for Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), and Mr. Bruce Patterson, Director of Facilities at PRMC joined Council for discussion. Ms. Siggers motioned and Mr. Himelright seconded to approve Ordinance No. 1685 to bring it on the floor for discussion.
Ordinance No. 1685 provides for a closure of the cul-de-sac portion of South Division Street which runs southerly from West Carroll Street and dead ends at approximately 150 feet in the hospital complex. Mr. Elliott pointed out a typographical error on page two, line four of item #2 (should be patterns instead of patters). Mr. Himelright suggested placing signs to deter traffic from entering.
With no further discussion, Ordinance No. 1685 passed unanimously.
The following items were presented for approval by Purchasing Director Carol Turner, C.P.M., CPPB:
1. Declaration of Surplus
City Auction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-0-
2. Computer - WWTP (601-4101-533.70-35; 601-4110-532.70-35
Unbudgeted Capital Outlay)
Advanced Microcomputers, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 1,249.00
3. Traffic Signal Equipment for College/Roger/J.M. Bennett
Econolite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 20,500.00
4. Contract No. 113-98, Change Order No. 1 (001-3205-532.30-21)
McCrone, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 25,080.00
5. Contract No. 115-98
Development Proposal: Franklin Hotel
Ms. Dana Simson, t/a Chesapeake East Co. . . . . . .$ 70,000.00
6. Contract No. 10-98-S Phillip Morris Lift Station Improvements
American Paving Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . .$100,276.00
Mr. Himelright motioned and Mr. Cannon seconded to approve the items presented to bring them on the floor for discussion. Mr. Himelright suggested giving some of the surplus bicycles to the Christian Shelter. Mrs. Turner reported that four bicycles had already been given to them, however, she would check to see if more were needed. If so, it would come back before Council for approval.
Mr. Himelright motioned to table item #6 (Contract No. 10-98-S) until Mr. Chip Messick returns from vacation. Mr. Cannon seconded and the vote was unanimous.
Ms. Siggers expressed that she supported the Jersey Heights community and, therefore, did not support the Rt. 50 bypass going through their community. She was not in support of the Franklin Hotel being awarded at this time. In her opinion, Council had deceived and lied to the community by stating that prior to putting the project back out for rebid it would be discussed in a work session to determine whether to sell or lease the property. Mrs. Hall stated that it was always the position of Council for the Franklin Hotel to go back out for bids.
After further discussion, all voted in favor of items 1 through 5 as presented with the exception of Ms. Siggers who did not vote based on her concerns expressed above concerning items 4 (Contract 113-98) and 5 (Contract 115-98).
City Solicitor Robert Eaton introduced Resolution No. 598 - a Resolution accepting a proposal from Frank Hanna, Sr. for the purchase of property owned by the City of Salisbury (approximately 40,720 square feet) located on the north side of the Wicomico River and east of and adjacent to the Port of Salisbury Marina for $125,000. Mr. Eaton pointed out that this Resolution accepts the bid and gives him the authority to begin drafting a disposition agreement. Council will not be bound by anything until a disposition agreement is signed.
Mr. Himelright motioned and Mr. Cannon seconded to approve Resolution No. 598 to bring it on the floor for discussion. Mr. Himelright asked that the disposition agreement process be speeded up, if possible. He also asked to include that the terms for the boat slips remain in place until Mr. Hanna sells the property, at which time they revert back to the City for lease to the next owner. Mr. Eaton pointed out that the exact terms of the boat slips and parking were not specified in the Resolution, but will be included in the disposition agreement. Mr. Cannon asked that some type of limitation be placed on parking similar to Mr. Himelright's suggestion on the boat slips. Ms. Siggers inquired on the position of fencing at the marina. Mrs. Hall related that the fencing issue was to be addressed with the Marina Commission for their recommendation.
With no further discussion, Ordinance No. 598 passed unanimously.
Resolution No. 599, as outlined by City Solicitor Robert Eaton, accepts a proposal from Dana Simson, t/a Chesapeake East Company, for the purchase of property owned by the City of Salisbury known as the Franklin Hotel and adjoining parking lot for $70,000 - $50,000 for the hotel and $20,000 for the adjoining parking lot.
Mr. Himelright motioned and Mr. Cannon seconded to approve Resolution No. 599 to bring it on the floor for discussion. Ms. Siggers felt this was a great gift for the company acquiring the property. In her opinion, the community would benefit, but at a great loss. She related that her comments on the irresponsibility of Council did not reflect on their business and hoped that the business would prosper and do very well.
Mr. Cannon thought it was a great gift for the community and for the Westside, especially with a business of this caliber interested in locating in Salisbury and putting a substantial amount of money into renovating the building. Tourists will be drawn to the area, their catalog business will generate a lot of revenue, and the tax base of Salisbury will increase. Mr. Cannon believed this to be a first class operation which will help stimulate the economy in that area.
Mr. Himelright felt the City paid too much for the property originally. If the property had been on the tax roles five years ago, the $70,000 would not look as bad as it is, so this needed to be taken under consideration. Mr. Himelright preferred getting this on the tax roles now rather than postponing it.
Mrs. Hall commented that the hotel had been sitting empty for a long time. In her opinion, it's a wonderful gift to the community and will stimulate that area. She did not consider it a loss, but an investment in economic development and she was very pleased to welcome Chesapeake East to Salisbury.
With no further discussion, all voted in favor of Resolution No. 599 with the exception of Ms. Siggers who voted nay.
Executive Officer John Pick presented the following recommendations for appointments to the Friends of the Poplar Hill Mansion:
Mr. David Elzey - reappointment to a second term
Mrs. Dorothy Warner - appointment for a first term
Mrs. Dorothy Matthews - appointment for a first term
Each appointment is for a three year term ending December 31, 2000.
On a motion by Mr. Himelright and seconded by Mr. Cannon, the above recommendations for appointment to the Friends of Poplar Hill Mansion were unanimously approved.
Mrs. Hall expressed appreciation for the wonderful turnout to the Council meeting.
With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.