Cambridge Metals & Plastics plans building expansion

The Cambridge City Council approved several resolutions during its June 18 meeting relating to an expansion planned by Water Works Manufacturing, the parent company of Cambridge Metals & Plastics (CMP).

City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained staff has been working with Water Works Manufacturing, LLC (WWM) on an expansion of their facility at 500 Cleveland St. So. WWM plans to build an addition to their current building of approximately 35,000 to 40,000 square feet to accommodate their manufacturing facility.

Water Works Manufacturing, LLC, has outgrown their current space and has room to expand where they are located; however, the expansion causes the need to relocate the city’s storm sewer pipe.

The city is taking on the cost of relocating the storm sewer, with assistance from Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) through the Business Development Public Infrastructure Grant and the use of Tax Increment Financing to reimburse the city for associated cost.

Woulfe explained the estimated engineering cost to relocate the storm sewer pipe is $400,000, with 50 percent of the cost being reimbursed through DEED.

CMP would retain 120 jobs and create 19 new jobs within the next two years. The TIF modification will be an overlaying Tax Increment Financing district placed on the property prior to construction of this building so the city would recoup the land cost.

CMP is a manufacturer of custom metal stampings, sheet metal fabrication, welding, painting, tube bending, product design and engineering services. They are a supplier to original equipment manufacturers in the automobile and recreational vehicle industries which include motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and snowmobiles. CMP also distributes its own line of accessories for recreational vehicle industries.

Construction of well #8

Utilities Director Todd Schwab explained the 2009 Comprehensive Water Study Plan was completed to serve as a planning tool and to make projections as to infrastructure needs in the future.

The plan had estimated that the construction of well #8 should take place in 2011, however he explained water usage never reached the levels that were projected in the comprehensive water plan so the construction of well #8 was postponed.

Schwab said water usage has now reached levels that indicate that production well #8 should be constructed and be put in service before the summer of 2013. He explained the construction of production well #8 is critical to ensure that the city maintains an adequate supply of water to the system during peak periods of usage.

After discussion, the council accepted the proposal for engineering services from SEH to construct production well #8 for an amount not to exceed $69,200. The new well will be located where the water tower and water treatment plant are currently located.

Bylaw voting requirements

The council had considerable discussion regarding the council bylaw voting requirements due to council members abstaining from voting because of a lack of information.

City Attorney Jay Squires explained the city’s bylaws require a council member to vote on an issue unless a bona fide conflict of interest exits, such as the council member financially gains from council action.

Council Member Chris Caulk said he recently abstained from a vote due to a lack of information.

“At the last meeting I abstained from voting on an issue because I felt I didn’t have enough information,” Caulk said. “I felt it was a bona fide reason. I think it was the first time in six years this had come up.”

Discussion also took place regarding the Cambridge Planning Commission’s decision to amend its March 6 meeting minutes. The minutes were amended to show a planning commission member abstained from a vote, but the reason she abstained was deleted from the official minutes.

Council Member Bob Shogren, who serves on the Planning Commission, voiced concerns with this decision because the minutes no longer accurately reflect the meeting.

“My biggest concern is with this blatant change of minutes,” Shogren said. “A Planning Commission member asked to change the official minutes and now they’ve been changed, but they are not true. This is not transparent government.”

Shogren said the Planning Commission needs to know what it did was wrong.

“They violated the trust of the city and the council by changing something that really happened,” Shogren said.

Woulfe did provide a transcript of the meeting minutes to the council to review and the city does record its planning commission meetings.

Following discussion, the council directed Squires to address the abstention issue in the council bylaws and review options to correct the March 6 planning commission meeting minutes. Options will be discussed at the July 16 council meeting.