Mayor and City Council Meeting
Monday, February 8, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Agenda

1. Call to order

A. Call to order - Council President Valerie M.A. Nicholas

B. Roll call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

2. Minutes

A. Approval of Minutes of the Work Session on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - Regular

B. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Third Meeting of Monday, January 11, 2021 - Regular

C. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Meeting of Monday, January 25, 2021 - Regular

3. Report of the Mayor and City Council

A. Reporting on various community events, meetings and announcements.

4. General Public Hearing

A. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Laurel will be holding virtual meetings. The public is asked to submit written testimony on agenda items to the Laurel City Clerk at [email protected] by 2:00 p.m. on meeting days and to register for the Zoom meeting information.

5. Recommendations

A. Consideration of a Bid Recommendation - Department of Parks and Recreation - Riverfront Park Bridge Replacements

B. Consideration of a Bid Recommendation - Department of Public Works - 312 Main Street Parking Lot

6. Legislation

A. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1967, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to amend Section 17-137 of the Laurel City Code to provide for the installation of Multi-Way “Stop” Signs at specified intersections; and providing an effective date.

7. Adjournment

Minutes

Twenty-Fifth Meeting of the Mayor and City Council - Regular - Monday, February 8, 2021- 6:00 p.m. Zoom

 

Present: Craig A. Moe, Mayor; Valerie M.A. Nicholas, Council President; Michael R. Leszcz, Councilmember; Carl DeWalt, Councilmember; Brencis Smith, Councilmember; Keith R. Sydnor, Councilmember; LouAnn Crook, MMC, Acting City Administrator; Christian Pulley, Acting Deputy City Administrator; Sara Green, CMC, Chief of Staff to the Mayor; Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation; Kevin Frost, Director of Information Technology; Brian Lee, Director of Public Works; S. Michele Saylor, Director of Budget and Personnel Services; Audrey Barnes, Director of Communications; Rob Love, Acting Director of Economic and Community Development; Chief Russ Hammill, Police Department; Larry Taub, City Solicitor; Kenya Barno, Administrative Assistant and Kimberley Rau, MMC, Clerk to the Council..

 

1. Call to order

 

A. Call to order - Council President Valerie M.A. Nicholas

 

B. Roll call - Clerk Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

 

2. Minutes

 

A. Approval of Minutes of the Work Session on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - Regular

 

B. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Third Meeting of Monday, January 11, 2021 - Regular

 

C. Approval of Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Meeting of Monday, January 25, 2021 - Regular

 

On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Smith, the Minutes of the Work Session on January 6, 2021, the Twenty-Third Meeting of January 11, 2021, the Twenty-Fourth Meeting of January 25, 2021, were approved on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

3. Report of the Mayor and City Council

 

In recognition of Black History Month, Council President Nicholas recognized two trail blazers: Harriet Tubman and Shirley Anita Chisholm. Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enclaved people. Shirley Chisholm was an American politician, educator, and author. In 1968, she became the first black women elected to the United States Congress representing New York serving for seven terms.

 

Councilmember DeWalt expressed his concern about the Maryland State Legislature trying to do away with the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR), which was established to provide an effective means to address public complaints. He also expressed his frustration with the Covid-19 vaccine roll out, saying it’s not fair to the Laurel senior citizens to have to go out of Laurel to get the vaccine. Recognizing Bill Nunn, recruiter for the Pittsburg Steelers for transforming the National Football League by recruiting from small black colleges.

 

Councilmember Mike Leszcz remembered his Chemistry Teacher Thelma Sparks for helping to desegregate schools in Anne Arundel County and Harriet Williams his Professor at Delaware State for her love of teaching “her children”. He concluded by extending “get-well” wishes to City Administrator Bill Goddard.

 

Councilmember Brencis Smith read from a quote he posted on his Facebook page regarding Black History Month, saying we must push to have an accurate depiction of black history taught in schools everywhere. He recognized the African American’s elected to the Laurel City Council before him – Reginald Parks, Fred Smalls, Valerie Nicholas, Keith Sydnor and thanked them for their contributions to the City of Laurel. Mayor Moe noted that Councilmember Smith is the youngest African American elected to the City Council.

 

Councilmember Keith Sydnor announced the Baltimore Apprenticeship Program on February 10, 2021, a three week program, asking interested people to call the Clerk’s office for additional information. Black History Month was started in 1926 by Carter Woodson, in 1976 President Ford issued a proclamation celebrating February because President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in February. He looks forward to Black History Month not being needed. He recognized the African American’s elected to the Laurel City Council, starting in 1992 and said this year’s theme is the “Black Family for 2021”.

 

Mayor Moe extended condolences to Richard Blankenship on the passing of his sister. He participated in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Planning Board Meeting and the Laurel Historical Society Board of Director’s Meeting.

 

Mayor Moe read Proclamation 2021-1, proclaiming February, NATIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH, in the City of Laurel, Maryland.

 

4. General Public Hearing

 

A. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Laurel will be holding virtual meetings. The public is asked to submit written testimony on agenda items to the Laurel City Clerk at [email protected] by 2:00 p.m. on meeting days and to register for the Zoom meeting information.

 

President Nicholas opened the General Public Hearing at 6:27 p.m. and closed it with no one present who wished to speak.

 

5. Recommendations

 

A. Consideration of a Bid Recommendation - Department of Parks and Recreation - Riverfront Park Bridge Replacements

 

Joanne Barr, Director of Parks and Recreation, presented the recommendation for the Engineering Services-Riverfront Park Bridge Replacements, as outlined in a memorandum dated January 8, 2021. The Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking approval to expend funds for the architecture and engineering for the replacement of the two pedestrian bridges at Riverfront Park. This project was started in 2019 and was approved for partial funding through Program Open Space. The City has worked with engineers from McLaren Engineering Group, who are now employed by Century Engineering, one of the City's contracted engineering firms. The recommendation is to continue working with Century Engineering due to their familiarity with the area, previous knowledge of the project and experience with other Riverfront Park projects. Funding for this project is provided in the current CIP and funds from Program Open Space. It was recommended the Mayor and City Council approve the expenditure of the funds for services to Century Engineering for $78,600.00.

 

On motion by Councilmember DeWalt, seconded by Councilmember Sydnor, the recommendation was approved to contract services with Century Engineering for $78,600.00 for architecture and engineering for the replacement of the two pedestrian bridges at Riverfront Park, on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

B. Consideration of a Bid Recommendation - Department of Public Works - 312 Main Street Parking Lot

 

Brian Lee, Director of Public Works, presented the bid recommendation for Parking Lot Design for 312 Main Street, as outlined in a memorandum dated January 25, 2021. In keeping with the City's sustainability efforts, the parking lot design will include pervious pavement to comply with Prince George's County stormwater management requirements, and a stamped concrete apron in brick pattern on Main Street to match the historical surroundings. The existing tree wells will not be impacted. The electric conduit will remain and can be retrofitted to an EV charging station in the future. There are two solar lights on site and additional solar lights will be proposed during the design phase. Approximately 32 parking spaces will be added to this parking lot, including four handicapped parking spaces, two EV charging spaces, and 26 regular parking spaces. Funding for this project is included in the CIP PW2-009 Main Street Improvement Project. The Recommendation is to award the proposal to EBA Engineering, Inc. for $52,000 to design the parking lot.

 

On motion by Councilmember Leszcz, seconded by Councilmember Smith, the recommendation was approved for the award of parking lot design for 312 Main Street to EBA Engineering, Inc., for $52,000.00, on a unanimous roll call vote.

 

6. Legislation

 

A. Introduction and first public hearing on Ordinance No. 1967, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to amend Section 17-137 of the Laurel City Code to provide for the installation of Multi-Way “Stop” Signs at specified intersections; and providing an effective date.

 

President Nicholas read the title of Ordinance No. 1967, an ordinance of the Mayor and City Council of Laurel, Maryland to amend Section 17-137 of the Laurel City Code to provide for the installation of Multi-Way “Stop” Signs at specified intersections; and providing an effective date, into the record for the first reading. The public hearing was opened at 6:32 p.m. and closed with no one present who wished to speak. A second public hearing with possible action is scheduled for the Mayor and City Council Meeting on Monday, February 22, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

 

7. Adjournment

There being no further business to come before the Mayor and City Council the meeting was adjourned at 6:33 p.m.

 

Kimberley A. Rau, MMC

Clerk to the Council

 

Approved: February 22, 2021

 

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