Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, September 25, 2017 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Agenda

WORK SESSION – SPECIAL – 6:30 P.M.

 

Consideration of a recommendation to award Employee Benefit Insurance.

 

 

 

FORTIETH MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 – REGULAR – 7:00 P.M.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to be heard at this meeting please sign the speaker list provided on the table at the side of the Council Chamber.  The President has the right to limit the amount of time each speaker has for each agenda item.  Each speaker will have three minutes to speak for each agenda item.

 

 

  1. Call to order.
  2. Invocation – Reverend Warren H. Litchfield.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Roll call.
  5. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1917, Text Amendment No. 248, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council amending Laurel City Code, Chapter 20, Sec. 20-1.7. “Definitions” and Sec. 20.6.23. “Accessory Structures, Bulk Regulations” to authorize little free libraries in certain zones; and providing for an effective date.
  6. Second public hearing with possible action on Ordinance No. 1919, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council approving and concurring with the City of Laurel Planning Commission’s approval of a conceptual site plan for property known as 7003 Van Dusen Road, Laurel, MD, zoned M-X-T, and providing for an effective date.
  7. Approval of Minutes of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of September 11, 2017.
  8. Report of the Mayor and City Council.
  9. General Public Hearing.
  10. Second public hearing with possible action on Resolution No. 13-17, a resolution to name an existing structure within an existing park.
  11. Second public hearing with possible action on Resolution No. 14-17, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel approving an easement for a driveway to access 24 4th St., Laurel, MD and authorizing the Mayor to sign the easement.
  12. Consideration of a recommendation to award Employee Benefit Insurance.

Minutes

FORTIETH MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 – REGULAR – 7:00 P.M.

 

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with President Leszcz presiding.  Reverend Litchfield gave the Invocation.  Mayor Moe led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Roll was called with Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Michael R. Leszcz, Council President; H. Edward Ricks, Councilmember; Donna L. Crary, Councilmember; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Councilmember and Frederick Smalls, Councilmember present.  Also present: Marty Flemion, City Administrator; Lou Ann Crook, MMC, Chief of Staff; Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development; Rob Ferree, Director of Public Works; Chief Richard McLaughlin, Police Department; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services; Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation; Dave Cope, Fire Marshall; Rob Ferree, Director of Public Works; Kimberley Rau, MMC, Clerk and Karen Ruff, City Solicitor.

 

A special work session was held before the regular meeting to discuss the Employee Benefit Insurance.

 

President Leszcz read the title of Ordinance No. 1917, Text Amendment No. 248, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council amending Laurel City Code, Chapter 20, Sec. 20-1.7. “Definitions” and Sec. 20.6.23. “Accessory Structures, Bulk Regulations” to authorize little free libraries in certain zones; and providing for an effective date, into the record for the second reading. 

 

Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development filed July 26, 2017 by the Mayor and City Council of Laurel.  On August 21, 2017 the proposed ordinance was sent to the Maryland Department of Planning for comment.  The Department had no comment.  The file contains a Certificate of Publication, verifying that this application and public hearing was advertised as required by law in the September 7th and 14th edition of the Prince George’s Sentinel.  A memorandum from the City of Laurel Planning Commission to the Mayor and City Council dated September 15, 2017 recommends approve the Text Amendment as presented in Ordinance No. 1917.

 

President Leszcz opened the public hearing at 7:05 p.m.

 

Cheryl Dyer, 310 Fourth Street, Laurel thanked the Mayor and City Council for considering these little free libraries.  She has seen them in other towns and is wondering how many the City will have, where they will be placed and what the design will be.

 

Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development said the legislation was prepared because a resident on Montgomery Street wants to build one, but it wasn’t allowed in the City Code.  Passage of this legislation allows them to be built in certain areas of the city.

 

Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation said the Arts Council discussed the free libraries in their meeting last night.  She added that her department has plans to add them in city parks, but hasn’t decided whether to use a kit, or build them out of recycled materials.  Additional discussion will be held with the Arts Council.

 

President Leszcz closed the public hearing at 7:10 p.m.

 

On motion by Councilmember Crary, seconded by Councilmember Ricks, ORDINANCE NO. 1917, TEXT AMENDMENT NO. 248, AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL AMENDING LAUREL CITY CODE, CHAPTER 20, SEC. 20-1.7. “DEFINITIONS” AND SEC. 20.6.23. “ACCESSORY STRUCTURES, BULK REGULATIONS” TO AUTHORIZE LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES IN CERTAIN ZONES; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was approved on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.

 

President Leszcz read the title of Ordinance No. 1919, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council approving and concurring with the City of Laurel Planning Commission’s approval of a conceptual site plan for property known as 7003 Van Dusen Road, Laurel, MD, zoned M-X-T, and providing for an effective date, into the record for the second reading.

 

Christian Pulley, Director of Economic and Community Development said the M-X-T Conceptual Site Plan No. 872 was filed on August 1, 2017 by B.B. Spring Arbor, L.L.C.  On August 14, 2017 a request asking for comments was sent to all agencies required by state law.  On August 29, 2017 a notice of the filing of the application was sent to all contiguous property owners.  The file contains a Certificate of Publication verifying the application and notice of public hearing was advertised as required by law in the September 7 and 14, 2017 editions of the Prince George’s Sentinel.  A memorandum from the City of Laurel Planning Commission states that at their meeting on September 12, 2017, the Planning Commission approved M-X-T Conceptual Plan No. 817 for the Spring Arbor Town House and requested concurrence of the Mayor and City Council as presented in the technical staff report.

 

President Leszcz opened the public hearing at 7:15 and closed it with no one present who wished to speak.

 

On motion by Councilmember Ricks, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, ORDINANCE NO. 1919, AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL APPROVING AND CONCURRING WITH THE CITY OF LAUREL PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A CONCEPTUAL SITE PLAN FOR PROPERTY KNOWN AS 7003 VAN DUSEN ROAD, LAUREL, MD, ZONED M-X-T, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE, was approved on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.

 

President Leszcz opened the General Public Hearing at 7:16 p.m.

 

Jessica Norton, 418 Montgomery Street, Laurel, is present to talk about backyard chickens.  She said there is a large movement in the country and she is spearheading a grassroots effort to bring backyard chickens to Laurel.  She explained the many benefits saying they are educational for children, they cut down on pests (mosquitos and ticks), they are very friendly as pets, and they provide fresh, natural, healthy eggs.  She understands it’s been addressed before but thinks it’s a good time to look at again.

 

Katherine Simmons, 310 Sandy Spring Road, Laurel, also speaking in support of backyard chickens.  She spoke with the Animal Control Officer about the recent changes in the county law allowing backyard chickens on a residential lot of 10,000 sq. ft. with a license.  She said Anne Arundel County includes the City of Annapolis.

 

Dorothy Sturr, 416 Montgomery Street, Laurel said she is here to talk about backyard chickens.  She thinks it would be a good idea because she has had a lot of pets and thinks it would be a good experience for kids her age to run around with the chickens.

 

President Leszcz said this issue will be taken up at a future work session.

 

On motion by Councilmember Smalls, seconded by Councilmember Crary, the Minutes of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of September 11, 2017, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

Under Report of the Mayor and City Council:

 

  • 17th Annual Dog Show sponsored by the Department of Parks and Recreation was held on Sunday, September 24, 2017. 
  • Public Safety Night Out was held on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at Gude Lake. 
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Guitar Store in Laurel Towne Center was held on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
  • Riverfest held on Sunday, September 25, 2017, at Riverfront Park.
  • Maryland Municipal League Hometown Emergency Preparedness Committee will be focusing its efforts this coming General Assembly Session on the opioid epidemic affecting the entire country. 
  • Mayor Moe presented a proclamation to Ms. Dee in celebration of her 34 years of service at the Laurel Dunkin Donuts.
  • American Legion Post 60 held a fundraiser on Saturday, September 23, 2017 to raise funds for the memorial out front at the Laurel Municipal Center.
  • McCeney March was held on Sunday, September 24, 2017, to raise money for a scholarship given by the Laurel Museum in memory of Jim McCeney.
  • City hall in the Park on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Walk Laurel Day on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 12:00 Noon.  An effort of Governor Hogan started last year.
  • Saturday, October 7, 2017, Hurricane Harvey Donations drive at the First Baptist Church of Laurel starting at 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • City offices will be closed on Monday, October 9, 2017 in observance of Columbus Day.
  • My Time with the Mayor on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Facility on Sandy Spring Road from 4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m.

     

    Mayor Moe read Proclamation 2017-15 into the record proclaiming October 4, Walk Maryland Day in the City of Laurel.  This is the second annual Walk Maryland Day, started last year by Governor Hogan to promote walking as a daily activity.  He then presented the proclamation to Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation. 

     

    Mayor Moe read Proclamation 2017-16 into the record proclaiming the month of October National Arts and Humanities Month in the City of Laurel.  He then presented the proclamation to three of the newly appointed members of the Arts Council.

     

     President Leszcz read the title of Resolution No. 13-17, a resolution to name an existing structure within an existing park, into the record for the second reading.  The public hearing was opened at 7:51 p.m. and closed with no one present that wished to speak.

     

    On motion by Councilmember Smalls, seconded by Councilmember Ricks, RESOLUTION NO. 13-17, A RESOLUTION TO NAME AN EXISTING STRUCTURE WITHIN AN EXISTING PARK, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.

 

President Leszcz read the title of Resolution No. 14-17, a resolution of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel approving an easement for a driveway to access 24 4th St., Laurel, MD and authorizing the Mayor to sign the easement, into the record for the second reading.  The public hearing was opened at 7:52 p.m. and closed with no one present that wished to speak.

 

On motion by Councilmember Ricks, seconded by Councilmember Nicholas, RESOLUTION NO. 14-17, A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF LAUREL APPROVING AN EASEMENT FOR A DRIVEWAY TO ACCESS 24 4TH ST., LAUREL, MD AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO SIGN THE EASEMENT, was adopted on a unanimous roll call vote.  Mayor Moe concurred with this action.

 

E. Michael Greene, Personnel Officer presented the recommendation to award the employee health and dental insurance.  With the help of the Meltzer Group the City has bid employee health and dental insurance. The desire was to receive bids on the five forms of employee benefit insurance the City currently provides, including:

 

  1. an Open Access HMO Health Plan,
  2. an HMO Health Plan with Out-of-Network benefits,
  3. a Maximum Allowable Charge (MAC) PPO Dental Plan,
  4. a 90th Percentile Usual Customary and Reasonable (90th UCR) PPO Dental Plan, and
  5. a vision plan that would provide for the purchase of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

    The City currently offers all of these coverages to full-time and part-time employees, elected officials and eligible dependents of these groups. Enrollment is optional and requires enrollee payments of 20% of the cost of their selected option with the exception of the vision coverage. Retirees may also enroll in these plans with a maximum reimbursement of $400 per month. The FY2018 Budget provides $2,500,000 for employee coverage and $275,000 for retiree coverage. The City received an initial renewal offer from Cigna HealthCare, our current provider, with a rate increase of 6% for health insurance. This has been negotiated to approximately 4.4%-4.8%. In the same renewal offer Cigna raised their rates for vision coverage by 6.2% (with a 2 year rate lock) and their dental insurance by 20%. Through Meltzer the City sent RFPs to 12 other dental insurance carriers including Aetna, Ameritas, CareFirst, Delta, Dominion, Guardian, Lincoln, MetLife, Reliance, SunLife, United Healthcare and Unum. Most declined to bid or were not competitive with the pricing or benefits currently provided. However, Aetna has offered a bid at nearly the same benefits and a premium reduction of approximately 0.5% with a rate cap of 7% next year. The proposal was evaluated to consider provider network and disruption, the benefit package, out of pocket expenses and premium.  The FY2018 Budget provides $41,750 for employee Life and AD&D coverage and $32,400 for employee Long Term Disability.  Aetna currently provides employee Group Term Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) and Long Term Disability Insurance all of which are currently up for renewal. Aetna originally quoted a renewal rate increase of 14.5% for Life and AD&D, but have agreed to maintain their current rates (with a 2 year rate lock) if we purchase their Dental Insurance. They are also quoting a 35.2% (estimated $9,833) increase for Long Term Disability; a coverage where claims have exceeded premiums for three of the last four calendar years. It was recommended that the City renew with Cigna Healthcare for health and vision coverage and award dental coverage to Aetna Dental both starting November 1, 2017. It is further recommended that Group Term Life Insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance and Long Term Disability Insurance remain with Aetna at the negotiated prices starting November 1, 2017.  The adopted budget is adequate to cover the City’s share of health, dental and vision coverage plus the increased premium for Long Term Disability Insurance. It is also sufficient to increase the retiree health benefit from $400 per month to $500 per month.

     

    On motion by Councilmember Ricks, seconded by Councilmember Crary, the recommendation to award employee health, dental and vision coverage, as outlined in the memorandum provided by Mr. Greene, was approved on a unanimous roll call vote. 

     

    There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

     

     

                                                                                    ______________________________

                                                                                    Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

                                                                                    Clerk to the Council

     

    Approved:

     

     

    ______________________________

    Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

    Clerk to the Council

     

 

 

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