City Council continues Sailwinds saga

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas New Main Street Director Katie Clendaniel is welcomed by former director Brandon Hesson.

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas
New Main Street Director Katie Clendaniel is welcomed by former director Brandon Hesson.

CAMBRIDGE — With the extreme summer heat behind us (maybe), Cambridge is preparing for a real variety of city celebrations. With all five commissioners present, plus the City Manager, Police Chief, and Public Works Director; Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley opened the meeting and they got down to work. The applications for the City’s Special Event License is a questionnaire that asks what type of event is proposed, how many people are expected, will they need a noise variance, or require city trash cans, is water available, are street closures sought. City staff checks out the applicants and now you get to read what the commissioners approved that will liven up the streets of Cambridge this fall.

If you buy your fresh vegetables and eggs at the Farmer’s Market at Long Wharf, look for the sellers at the City Parking Lot at the intersection of Muir and Academy streets on Sept. 29. The usual location is being changed to accommodate IronMan, which already has all its event licenses and will be welcoming athletes that week with race day on Saturday. The actual IronMan opening ceremony will take place on Sept. 29 at the Visitor Center Amphitheater from 5 – 9 p.m. with hundreds expected to attend.

At the same time, the Dorchester County Health Department will be holding a National Recovery Month event at the Dri-Dock and Wellness Center from 1-7 p.m.

On Oct. 16 from noon – 6 p.m., Keith Graffius will be holding the Sixth Annual Hot Sauce and Oyster Fest in Cannery Way, with approval from council to erect a tent and serve alcohol. Katie Mae Smith has received her event license to hold a Christian concert, “Awaken.” It will take place at Governor’s Hall from one to 10 p.m. on Oct. 23 with more than a 1,000 people expected. The final event is a fundraiser for the Baywater Animal Rescue, the no-kill facility in Cambridge. A car show and competition will display classic cars and hold an autocross event in the Kmart parking lot from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Organizer Maureen Scott-Taylor is requesting assistance from the police department for barricades and crowd control. The commissioners voted unanimously to approve all these events which will make for a lively autumn in town.

A new chapter in the “Sailwinds Saga.” The American Legion answered the city’s call for a proposal to run the Sailwinds operation. The Council terminated the arrangement with the former directors as of Sept. 30. But there’s a hitch that the American Legion needs approval from the national board, and it may take a couple of months. The former operators have scheduled an auction of all equipment for Sept. 27, with the funds to be donated to charity. Another hitch.
Former Commissioner Gage Thomas says the equipment may actually belong to the city and he’s been involved in the overseeing of Sailwinds for 20 years. That will have to be checked out. If the equipment were to be sold in September, how could the events scheduled though December manage? The American Legion is willing to pay the extra $20,000 rental, which allows the building to remain while work is done around it. The former operators could not. The city must consider extending their contract. Two questions remain … will the local American Legion (which is looking to relocate after the disastrous fire on their property) get its approval soon? And who owns the equipment, air conditioning, kitchen, and furniture. Sound complicated? Of course it is, it’s Sailwinds.

Another real estate matter: The Council asked for a report on the Beazer development company. The information reported is that Beazer is in debt to the city for more than $300,000, and some of the contracted development was never built. The Banner will carry a full report on that complex situation in next week’s edition.

Members of council were named to their committee assignments according to their interests. There are four council committees: City ordinances, Youth Advisory, Volunteerism promotion, and the Joint County-City Committee for Health and Safety.

In new business, the Council approved a Cambridge Main Street request for a letter of support for a grant application for $45,000 from the state. The request was presented by the new head of Cambridge Main Street. Katie Clendaniel was announced as the new head of Main Street on Monday morning, replacing the hard-working and popular Brandon Hesson. He is now working for the city itself on development.

The two buildings, former Burger King and the adjacent garage, have been torn down, revealing a sizable space for the Cambridge Gateway area. Now what? The Council has a work session on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. to hear an update on the Gateway Project, and also a presentation on Public Art.

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