|SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, APRIL 15, 1996 AT 7:00 PM EDT
NOVI CIVIC CENTER - ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:08 PM
ROLL CALL: Mayor ProTem Crawford, Mayor McLallen (absent at roll call),
Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
CM-96-04-136: Motion by Clark, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
PURPOSE OF MEETING: 1996-97 Budget Study Session
Lynn Kocan, Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision, has been involved with the Implementation and Review Committee of the Planning Commission regarding amendments of Zoning Ordinances which relate to industrial development abutting residential development. Ms. Kocan had presented a letter to Council and read same regarding her concern over decibel levels allowed in all zoning classifications. See attachment to original minutes.
Mr. Kriewall said the problem is the Police Department was not familiar with the zoning aspect of the ordinances so for all intents and purposes when they have calls weíre getting the wrong response to situations out there. He suggested an on call program would probably make more sense.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said that could be discussed tonight.
Karl Lowinski was present to support Ms. Kocanís request and echoed Mr. Kriewallís concern about police enforcement of ordinances. He stated he had called the police twice over the last few years, after hours, and it was neither effective or efficient to do that. He said it is not a police officers priority and follow up was really lacking so he would support having someone other than the police to call.
1. Union Negotiations - Recess into Executive Session - 7:14 pm, Reconvene - 7:52 PM
2. Schedule Meetings for 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 17, 1996, 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 24 - Budget Study Sessions
Consensus to move to the end of the agenda
Corrections in the budget brought to the Councils attention by Les Gibson
Les Gibson, Finance Director, said for 1995-96 in the Police Department Budget they had to increase the estimated expenditures by $165,000 because of the recent contract settlement. In the Assessing Department Budget the wrong percentage was used in calculating the Teamster Contract so this was reduced by $63,579. In the Fire Department Budget there was an entry under unemployment insurance for $107,181 which should not have been in there and therefore has been removed. The net effect of all the above items is reflected in contingencies and it is a net increase of $20,960. See 1996-1996 Budget, General Fund Revenue attached to original minutes.
Mayor McLallen said the Assessing budget was $691,828. There is an increase of $200,000 plus but there is a correction. There is a correction of $63,000 so the increase is $163,000 over last years budget. Mayor McLallen asked if the majority of that $163,000 was personnel related?
Mr. Kriewall said it was. He said they requested a commercial appraiser and had justified this need to his satisfaction. He felt they needed to explain the converted equalizer on the budget summary sheet and under "other services and charges", convert to the County system. He stated beyond that this was a routine and repeat budget from last year.
Mayor McLallen asked if the personnel would remain at eight if the position for commercial appraiser was funded? Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Glenn Lemmon, Deputy Assessor, said the conversion costs would be a one time outlay and that most other costs are pretty much fixed.
Mayor McLallen said the conversion would allow Novi to speak quickly and coherently with other governmental units particularly Oakland County.
Mr. Lemmon said the system they were on was painfully out dated and had not kept pace with the technology that was available and it was time to find something better.
Mr. Gibson said that was true. He indicated that they had been using a small software house in Ann Arbor and the limited number of support people there were really affected by Proposal A and we continue to see that. He said what they were talking about possibly splitting and using two different computer systems. One would be a PC based appraisal system that would generate the values on a parcel by parcel basis and Oakland County as a service to process the actual bills, values and the general reports. They would ultimately tie into all the systems at the county.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if hiring a commercial appraiser would give an opportunity to go out into the field?
Mr. Klausmeyer said they were supposed to go through every parcel once every five years and that had not been done.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if this would give the capacity to do that work?
Mr. Klausmeyer said yes. He said to go back to the question of the Equalizer system this system is user friendly. He said it would be much cleaner and quicker and by going to the County System some of the double entries would be removed and would free up time at the front desk. The notices would be printed by the County.
Councilwoman Cassis said she concurred with what Mr. Klausmeyer said and felt that it would make it more efficient and productive.
Councilman Schmid did not agree with the staff increase. He asked if, looking at permanent salaries, the new position they were talking about was the increase to $280,000 from $182,000?
Mr. Lemmon said part of that was an increase in salaries through contracts.
Councilman Schmid asked if the part time salary was due to conversion?
Mr. Klausmeyer said it was and they had arrived at that from talking to other units of government who had used temporary personnel on a part time basis.
Councilman Schmid said there are six full time positions?
Mr. Klausmeyer said there were seven and they were asking for one more.
Councilman Schmid asked how many part time people?
Mr. Klausmeyer said one.
Councilman Schmid asked about the $10,000 for appraisal work.
Mr. Klausmeyer said it was for work that JCK did. For example, they just needed a study on wetlands that an appraiser was doing for the City on senior housing and that had to come out of this. Some of the money went to JCK and some to the appraiser.
Councilman Schmid asked if we had any appraisers.
Mr. Klausmeyer said there are three.
Councilman Schmid asked why outside appraisers were needed?
Mr. Klausmeyer said if youíre going in for a value it would be a jaundiced opinion if he went out and valued the land and the City was going to use his numbers.
Mr. Klausmeyer said the number of $280,000 that Mr. Schmid brought up was the unrevised number and it is down to $229,000.
Mayor McLallen said there was consensus of Council to support the addition of one personnel position and the capitol expenditure for the conversion.
Councilman Schmid said there was not consensus as he did not support it.
Mayor McLallen stated that the topic of Storm Water Management was at the very end of the list but that this could be moved forward quickly and Council was willing to do so.
Mayor McLallen stated Mr. Blackís request was somewhat unusual in that this was a committee of Council, not a board or commission, that had requested a full time personnel member. This was one of the seven personnel additions to the City that survived the City Managers cutting knife.
Mr. Black, Chairman of the Storm Water Committee, said their financial review committee started with the premise that because it was a very large expenditure it would be helpful to have a lot more tracking and a lot more follow up in this program. They have over the last several years suggested at least a part time person and it had never survived the knife previously.
Mayor McLallen asked if theyíre sole request for funding was $43,000?
Mr. Black said they had a millage that was there for construction and maintenance. He said under drain revenue there were two separate sections. One is the perpetual maintenance and the Drain Revenue Fund. Under perpetual maintenance it did not cost anyone anything because the tap fees were put into the perpetual maintenance fund and the interest was also logged there for the future. The Drain Revenue Fund is the millage that was approved some years ago and was to fund storm water projects throughout the community. This is used to construct basins throughout the city and to maintain them as well as the water courses throughout the city along some of the road ways. The Road Fund as,well as the Storm Water Fund paid for those. There is maintenance that comes under Mr. Jeromes department. There is construction of the basins themselves and engineering of these basins on an ongoing process. The millage generates a million something in funding, there is State Revenue Sharing involved and the interest on the money that is there. The construction follows the Capitol Improvements Plan for storm water and basically there has to be engineering, acquisition of property and the construction of basins.
Mayor McLallen said this was a Charter millage that was annually levied and generated a million dollars, more or less, and the request is to, under that revenue fund, incorporate $43,000 of that fund for the employment of a clerk that would function within the DPS and report to Mr. Nowicki and add support to Storm Water Management.
Councilwoman Cassis said this was one area that is a persistent concern to the residents of the community and she has seen pockets of standing water around town, in her neighborhood and along Beck Road and it is a situation that persists. Rather than hiring another administrative assistant clerk which adds to personnel costs she wondered if Council would want to look at hiring an outside consultant to look at the situation and perhaps giving Council some advice and using them in an advisory capacity to the Storm Water Management program, Mr. Nowicki and JCK. Someone who would provide objective expertise to the program. She indicated that another budget Council could decide if they wanted to continue that relationship or hire someone in house.
Mr. Kriewall said as he understood the problem it was really one of continuity and service
to the cause of Storm Water Management and the operation of that cause and the follow through with contracts, etc. One of the problems weíve had at the consultant level, JCKís had three or four people who reported to Storm Water during the past 7, 8, 9 years, we get going pretty good and then the consultant leaves. He thought what was lacking was utilizing the consultants, continuity and support. Mr. Kriewall said thatís how he saw the problem. Itís all very expensive. Every time we have to have JCK do the kind of things that are really reporting a generation of numbers and a generation of construction status reports all of that information costs a lot of money. He said if they moved in that direction theyíd end up spending considerably more money annually.
Councilman Schmid asked if that was a clerical item?
Mr. Kriewall thought it was a little higher than clerical. He thought it was administrative level maybe a junior engineer or somebody that could provide both the clerical aspect and the lower level administrative.
Councilwoman Cassis said our consulting engineers typically provide a service and oversee the entire process. She was suggesting someone outside of JCK providing that service. She said they had talked about outsourcing at times and it being cost effective. She said hiring someone would add a $42,000 employee with benefits, which are constantly looked at, and the highest cost of any budget are the ever increasing cost of bringing on new people. We are bringing on some new people this time and they have to be justified. She was having a very difficult time understanding what this person would do. What is it that we need that couldnít be performed efficiently, economically and objectively within the private sector on a consultation basis?
Mr. Kriewall said this recommendation came from the Storm Water Management Committee and the question would be best put to them.
Mr. Nowicki said they were looking at follow through and clerical and going through all the reports coming in to make sure the program functioned smoothly and efficiently. To have someone come in on an occasional basis would be difficult. This is a matter of tracking in house because we seem to sometimes be going in two or three directions.
Councilwoman Cassis said she could understand that but if he had a contractual relationship with someone that would be their job. Their job would be to do exactly what youíre asking.
Mr. Nowicki said the Storm Water program was probably about a million dollar expenditure annually. They committee wanted someone to perform more of the detailed tracking and detailed analysis of that particular program. From a global perspective the program is not functioning that bad. We have begun a Master Plan update and the DNR threw a couple of snags causing us to take a step back. For example, the Yorkshire basin was scheduled to go to construction two years ago and we ran into some trouble with the DNR and they have some wetland issues that confused the situation. So, we had to step back and package the basin on more of a regional basis. The DNR is looking for, instead of site specific basins, more of a regional basis. So they had to go back and re-think the overall Storm Water Master Plan. At the last Council meeting you received a letter from Judge Harkins stating they were looking at the Rouge Basin in a regional basis trying to establish a Chapter 20 drain. So everybody is looking at those charges, water quality issues, storm water detail retention on a regional basis which is a little different then we have. We have gone one step farther than a lot of other communities by having a Storm Water Master Plan put in effect. The next phase is to go even larger. We went from site basins to regional basins and now itís a larger regional basin.
Councilman Mitzel said this person would take over some of the tasks that JCK is currently performing.
Mr. Nowicki said a construction coordinator were hired we would begin to bring some of the JCK job responsibilities over to us and other people. He said it was their goal to continue the reduction of their dependence on JCK.
Councilman Mitzel said it sounded like what a lot of this person would do was similar to what Haim Schlickís office was doing now. He asked if there was any way that Mr. Schlick could track this?
Mr. Nowicki said Mr. Schlick was in the coordination of construction projects but not in the specific details of financial transactions or financial tracking the committee is looking for.
4. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICES
Mr. Kriewall said there are four or five in the pipeline right now in various stages of development.
Councilman Schmid said this one was designed to be a perpetual maintenance fund, right?
Mr. Kriewall said it was really designed to complete construction of the total system and then to perpetually maintain the system that was built. He thought eventually the millage could be reduced.
Councilman Schmid said youíre going to get the millage?
Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Councilman Schmid asked what kind?
Mr. Kriewall said probably one year build out. Really we want to move at a relatively good pace because real estate values and right of way acquisitions continue to sky rocket. So as much as we can we want to keep the program rolling because a lot of money could be saved if itís completed earlier.
Councilman Schmid asked if Council could have a report from finance of the expenditures and specifics.
Mr. Kriewall referred Mr. Schmid to page 41 and 42 of the handout.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked that everyone slow down and be very specific.
Mayor McLallen said the issue before Council was the $40,000 expenditure for the addition of personnel essentially into the DPS Department which would then bring them to 19 plus positions.
Mr. Nowicki said no and thought they were looking at DPW. Mr. Nowicki said the DPS consisted of Building Department, Forestry, Code Enforcement, Water and Sewer and DPW. They also administered various funds such as Road Funds and Drain Funds.
Councilman Schmid asked if two men were $98,000?
Mr. Kriewall said thatís requested.
Mr. Nowicki said the Ordinance Officers do have a routine to where they go. They hit the hot spots. They have sectioned off parts of the city that each of the officers would basically review on a regular basis. Regarding the computer tracking and the monitoring system that is moving ahead, one of the people that has been helping with the GIS system has been transferred into the Building Department and has been actively involved in setting up the system and working with it. What they had to do was wait until the system was up and running and the interface can take place.
Mr. Nowicki said the Building Department did have funds in there for computer software that would allow utilization of Autocat and the other systems that they were looking at now to make that conversion between the Sierra System and that.
Mr. Nowicki said to answer your question, yes, the program is ongoing. Mr. Saven is utilizing the Sierra System to the best of his abilities to monitor complaints but this system would enhance that and it would allow a combination and trail of that data.
Councilman Mitzel said he wondered what kind of resources were needed if the program were fully implemented. It sounded like Mr. Nowicki was saying it was moving on track and doing the best they could.
Mr. Nowicki said they did have a 24 hour phone line with a message.
Councilwoman Cassis said she remembered hearing something some years back at one of the conferences that there might be a way of looking at this as a certain kind of infraction but didnít require going to the courts. She said it could be done in house and fine schedules could be set up and it would be another avenue.
Mr. Nowicki said they were looking at that. The first thing that they assigned Officer Swope when he became full time was to get the ordinance reacted to allow him to give safety checks to vehicles on the road and that was the next thing. What it essentially did was it removed it from civil infraction. The City could control the amount of fines and instead of splitting it with a third of the fines going to the court and a third to the library and a third back to the community the city would be able to have all the funds.
Councilwoman Cassis asked what other communities did after 6 PM and on weekends with the issue of enforcement? She didnít think that the 24 hour hot line was well known and then if someone would call at 9 PM with a problem it couldnít be taken care of until the next day and by then it might be finished. She said everyone tends to know what 6 PM and the weekends mean because she saw the cars parked out for sale and she knew no one would touch them until Monday morning. She asked Mr. Kriewall what heíd recommend.
Mr. Kriewall said a call in program could be implemented. It would cost some money but it probably wasnít that wide spread.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was an Ordinance Officer on duty on Saturdays?
Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Mayor McLallen suggested that this information be publicized.
Mr. Nowicki said it could be put on cable TV and perhaps entice the Novi News to come in and do an article on two officers.
Councilwoman Mutch asked how many of the complaints received are complaints that could be followed through on effectively and not have to be passed to someone else because it was an inappropriate call in the first place.
Mr. Saven said the Building or the Ordinance Enforcement Division took care of a multitude of
problems and if needed they were referred to the appropriate parties. Thereís no problem there.
Councilwoman Mutch thought communication should be encouraged throughout the community.
It was not just the right to complain about something but everyone would be done a service if it was called on when it was happening.
Mr. Saven said they implemented a system several years ago. First it had to start with a paper trail, then they have to have the ability to get in touch with the complainant and get back with follow up.
Councilwoman Mutch said that people needed to know that it was in their best interest to make the call, write the letter and make the complaint and not just to call anonymously or complain to their neighbor about it. They have to know there is a system that creates a paper trail and some response and something to back it up so the ordinance can be enforced.
Mayor McLallen said they could use public relations and Mr. Nowickiís request to highlight the new Enforcement Officers and perhaps the homeowners associations could, through their newsletters, disseminate the information so people become more familiar with it.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said it was mentioned that they didnít get many referrals from the police department. He asked why and if they got any from the planning department?
Mr. Saven said yes they do get referrals from the fire department. As a matter of fact we are sitting down with some attorneys with a fire department referral on a senior housing issue because there were certain problems that the fire department was having.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said but you donít get that many from the Police Department?
Mr. Saven said no. He said they had hot issues that came from them but theyíre not numerous.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said there are 50 Ordinance Enforcement Officers out there all over the community. He knew they had higher priorities but still in the off hours they are authorized to issue ordinance violations. He felt it ought to be part of their responsibility in certain situations. For instance, the one brought to Council tonight about a front loader at two oíclock in the morning. Why did that citizen have to confront the front loader driver? Why couldnít a call to the Police Department solve that problem?
Mr. Kriewall said if there is a resident living near an industrial site then those things are going to happen.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said yes, but theyíre not suppose to happen thatís the point. Somebody is not getting the message here. Why does he have to confront that situation himself? Why doesnít the Police Department go out there? Did they say thatís an ordinance and we donít do ordinances? Is that their attitude? If it is,it ought to change under those kind of circumstances. Maybe this is not the appropriate place to discuss it but maybe we need to discuss some departmental policy changes or something.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the Fire Department could issue tickets?
Mr. Saven said the Fire Marshall would get involved or the individual who was the inspector from the Fire Department. The Ordinance Department canít address anything that dealt with roads. Thatís the Police Department.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said he was concerned with these after hours things. If that needs to have a different emphasis on who does what and when maybe we could discuss that as a Council.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was consensus from Council to send that particular issue to administration to see what the current status was of whoís addressing it and howís their responding and if itís coordinated between the three departments or was it completely falling through the crack and the citizens left standing alone.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said Mrs. Cassis mentioned cars for sale on Sundays. If itís against the ordinance why doesnít the Police Department slap a ticket on the window?
Councilwoman Mutch said if the police were just to take note of certain things they observe their statements to the effect that happened would carry more weight just because of their position and responsibility.
Mayor McLallen said a whole other curve here is that our citizens donít perceive that these people are not doing this on our behalf. She thought the citizens made a presumption that everyone is watching. She thought what Council was conveying to the administration was that they would like to be sure that is going forward. If council wants to put together a strong policy based on their response the council might choose to do that.
4. A. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Mr. Nowicki said referring to the budget on page 3 there was a series of proposals. He said there were a few that he felt had to be addressed. One of them was sidewalk maintenance. He said the first thing they were requesting, and there was no money in the budget for, was an expanded grass cutting program. They programed this, put it in the budget and estimated the costs and then subsequent to that there was some significant Council discussion regarding it. It was his understanding that the information was passed out.
Mr. Nowicki said another issue was that they had recently entered into an agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County regarding inspection and repair of non motorized transportation facilities along the County thoroughfares. The reason they were forced to enter into this agreement was that the county would begin to reject plans to expand and lengthen their system. They would not allow developers or any one else to put sidewalks or bike paths along the County right of way without this agreement.
Mayor McLallen said the agreement was approved by Council some time ago.
Mr. Nowicki said thatís correct. Now they were asking for funds to be allocated to go out on an annual basis to begin the inspection of all the sidewalks and bike paths along County roads in addition to some of their own.
Mayor McLallen said so on that item the $7,500 is what you proposed and it is not in the DPS budget any where. She said, based on the fact that council had approved an ordinance that was part of an agreement with the county, but it was not funded so in order to be in compliance the $7,500 must be funded.
Mr. Nowicki said that is $7,500 the first year to get us started and next year it might be a little more or a little less. They wonít know until they had gone through driving the entire system. They would begin to program repairs in this one on an as needed basis but then go to a larger replacement program as the community continues to mature. Mr. Nowicki said it would be inspection time as well as repair time and they proposed to use DPW people and/or through our Concrete or Asphalt Replacement Program which ever was more cost effective.
D. BUILDING DEPARTMENT
Mr. Saven said with all the work going on in his department the 570 homes, record year, they were anticipating another 600 homes this year even with the water moratorium. There are 111 homes that exist right now and we canít tell you how many calls they get a day "how soon can you get going?" Mr. Saven said there are lots and theyíre not going to wait theyíre going to go. The mortgage rates seem to be still there and everything looks very promising. He said his staff did a fantastic job and he was very proud of them.
Mayor McLallen said the budget proposal was $997,000, the intact personnel is 15.5 people and Mr. Saven did a positive job showing Council what his interests were.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if now was the time to ask the question about Ordinance enforcement during hours other than 8 to 5?
Councilman Mitzel said no, Ordinance Enforcement was in the budget.
Mayor McLallen said since the Building Department was self funding and knowing that the work load was definitely increasing and they were very busy people and time intense was there any way to acquire two more people but not on a permanent benefitted basis?
Mr. Saven said what he had done was construct a situation in terms of increasing his budget in terms of parts and staff and overtime which he has to do regardless. He tried to take an individual and put him/her in a position where he/she would be dealing with the counter and dealing with the prime examination of accessory structures. These are things with a turn around time really critical and it takes that individual time to talk to the customer at the counter and some times he or Mr. Morrone was not there. They need to have some one there in the prime examination position. The other issue was he could utilize that person for an inspector when things get really tough.
Mr. Saven said right now whatís happening in his department is they have become an information network. When one person asks a question it takes one person to respond. Whether it took that person time to research a record in the files it took time away from the normal business to service that individual. That takes time and puts some one else behind time. The bottom line is to come up with the additional monies to afford the part time inspector and the overtime.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Saven could deliver a quality of service that would be acceptable to the citizens of this community?
Mr. Saven said they would do their best.
Councilman Schmid asked if he wanted to build something in his backyard how long would it take to get permits?
Mr. Saven said it would depend on what was being built. If it was going to be a deck it would be about a week.
Councilman Schmid asked about the timing overall?
Mr. Saven said as far as inspections go itís a 24 hour call in.
Mayor McLallen asked if there was consensus on the Building Departmentís area of the budget as presented.
E. ORDINANCE ENFORCEMENT
Mayor McLallen said Ordinance and Zoning requested $337,000, employing 5.5 people.
The narrative provided information that there were no complaints received.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said there were no complaints and that was great.
Mr. Saven said there were 602 notices of violations with 1771 letters going out, the number of tickets issued was 137, correspondence was 489, court appearances were 182 and the off premise sign removal was 2,099. He said they were out in the community dealing with and having a lot of contact with the members of the community and felt that was very important.
Councilman Schmid asked what the 602 notices were for?
Mr. Saven said they were complaints that were received whether verbal, written, etc.
Councilman Schmid asked if these were complaints against people or complaints about the ordinances being violated?
Mr. Saven said they were ordinance violation complaints.
Councilman Schmid asked if Council would see any figures of what the Weigh Master had generated?
Mr. Saven said the courts are the ones that determine what the cost of the violations are and itís 20%. He thought the court system was looking at this now. Mr. Saven said there is new construction out there now, the roads, etc. and it would be a bear this year.
Mr. Nowicki said Mr. Kriewall had written several letters to some of the judges. In addition, Monday, there will be another ordinance that will allow the Weigh Master to enforce and review safety violations. He would be able to take a look at brakes, make sure that they complied with the CDL regulations and a number of issues instead of just their weight. What could be done now was not only protect the roads but protect the other motorists through the Weigh Master and use that position more efficiently and effectively and there are fines associated with that. Last months monthly report the Weigh Master issued violations in excess of $10,000 just in those 30 days alone. Right now approximately a third of the evaluation tickets should be returned to the community and then from that the judge decided whether they wanted to release the fines or however they want to dispose of the case in a manner that they feel is appropriate.
Councilman Schmid asked if Council could get a report back on Thursday from the attorneys as to what the problem was and what could be done about it?
Mr. Nowicki said the problem weíre faced with is that it turns out that it is now worth the gamble for a trucker hauling materials to try and break the law because if he went to court and got just a fraction of the fine when heís allowed to haul that additional weight to his end destination the money he made more than compensated for the ticket.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said the way he saw it, and was he correct, that we only have a Weigh Master working 20% of the time.
Mr. Nowicki said not now. Now we have him full time.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what the 20% was?
Mr. Saven said that was during the time when this was being developed because we did not have the opportunity to get him into the 100% time. It had went through some changes.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said but we donít have anything on that we just have the 20%.
Mr. Saven said correct.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said based on this if some one was working 20% of the time and they got about a third of their evaluations we make roughly $100,000 a year with a full time Weigh Master returned to the city?
Mr. Nowicki said potentially that could happen.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said if thatís a fact whatís the market out there. If we had two Weigh Masters could we bring in $200,000 and more importantly make sure our roads arenít getting ripped up.
Mr. Nowicki said that was the intent behind Councilís move last year to bring this position full time and protect our investment in our road system and in July of last year we went through the internal process of hiring an individual on as Code Enforcement Officer and all of those took place when they were finalized. About two months ago Officer Swope was able to go on full time on his Weigh Master functions.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it was possible in a couple of months, if itís justified, to come in and say to Council if they hire another Weigh Master they could generate X thousands of dollars a year?
Councilman Mitzel said last year one of the goals and objectives was to develop a monitoring format for general ordinance enforcement and communicate whether there were specific problems. Last August they submitted to Council a monitoring program using forms and one of the parts was if there were any specific recommendations or short comings that solutions be recommended this spring. He asked they would be trying to take advantage of the GIS system and start tracking whether there were certain areas that needed more routine ordinance enforcement? Is that going to be continued forward in this budget?
Mr. Saven said they would look at the overall program and what they would be able to do once the GIS system was on line.
Councilman Mitzel said it sounded like they would look at what the GIS could do for them. In the mean time, what mechanisms are in place to insure that happens?
Mr. Saven said he understood what Mr. Mitzel was saying. Some times we deal with issues that are very hot. Especially in the area of development.
Councilman Mitzel said in the current budget proposal are you allocating resources to allow you to take care of fires but yet making sure that everything else doesnít fall by the wayside. You could still do your routine inspection of areas making sure the whole city is covered?
Mr. Saven thought they would generate more activity throughout the city based upon the complaints.
Mayor McLallen thought the department did have something that would help Mr. Mitzelís position. Your Ordinance Officers do have territories that they keep an eye on. It is not as though people arenít on a regular basis assigned to look at specific areas of the city.
Councilman Mitzel said he was trying to follow up on Councilís formal vote last year which was to develop a comprehensive program of enforcement. He thought that a comprehensive program meant that every thing was covered but still be able to take care of the things that were hot issues. He said it sounded like they were constantly responding to complaints only and not issues concerning construction. Maybe they donít have a chance to do that and that kind of flows in to what was presented.
Mr. Nowicki said they had asked about a comprehensive snow removal program on all of the bike paths and sidewalks that are along the main thoroughfares and major mile road in the community. So on that basis, he asked Mr. Jerome to take a look at what it would cost for a storm event to plow the snow.
Mr. Jerome said it was approximately $1,700 per storm event. He said it was hard to budget storm events but based on experience of the amount of snow that we have throughout the winters and what they did on the roads they estimate.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what a storm event was?
Mr. Nowicki said on the roads it is different and it depends on what level of service you want to get to. Right now it is about 2 inches.
Mr. Jerome said there could also be freezing rain or sleet.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said it could go into hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the snow off the sidewalk. Do other cities do that?
Mr. Nowicki said when he worked in Monroe they did but it was very limited and it was only through apartment areas and through some dedicated bike path that funded one of the rivers. It can get extremely costly.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they started doing that and there were any problems with it did the liability increase?
Mr. Nowicki said once you start maintaining it and that level of expectation is there, yes you do incur certain liabilities. As it is now, the attorneyís opinion says the City would not be libel for the natural accumulation of ice and snow on the walks and paths.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Nowicki did just allude to an attorneyís opinion saying that the level of maintenance that was given at this time was an acceptable risk.
Mr. Nowicki said he didnít want to say it was an acceptable risk. Maybe the attorney could say that but he thought that once you start maintaining it and there is an expectation that it is maintained .
Mayor McLallen said what was proposed was an expansion over and above what was done now.
Mr. Nowicki said it was not really proposed it was brought to Councilís attention. He said they didnít have the manpower to do it.
Mayor McLallen said there appeared to be support for the inspections to be in compliance but no support for the snow situation.
Councilman Schmid asked if there was a policy regarding blacktop or concrete?
Mr. Nowicki said no. He thought that Councilman Mitzel requested that be looked at through Design and Construction Standards Ordinance Review a couple months ago.
Councilman Mitzel said that was for the width but not for the material.
Councilman Schmid said they should be consistent and have a consistent policy regarding blacktop and concrete.
Mayor McLallen thought at one time back in the mid 80's the original sidewalk and safety path were called sidewalk and safety path as two different things. She thought that the west side of the roads were asphalt and the east side of the roads and interior subdivisions were sidewalks. She thought on the main roads there was a definite east side west side.
Councilman Mitzel said the Mayor was correct on the east side west side but the Design and Construction Standards allowed that the wider ones be bituminous or concrete. The standards allow it to be either one.
Mr. Nowicki said based on comparable sections of surface. The same thing on the interior roadway systems as long as the structural number is derived from the base material and the surface itself is comparable.
Councilman Mitzel said Cedar Springs 1 and 2 has asphalt roads and Cedar Springs 3 and 4 has concrete roads.
Councilwoman Mutch said if your running or rollerblading or doing something that has more contact with the surface she thought it did make a difference. She also thought that there was a whole sidewalk repair program going on now where if there is a certain variation in the level because of the settling of the concrete section it had to be replaced. She couldnít imagine what differences there might be when trying to abut bituminous against concrete.
Mr. Nowicki said in those cases where itís interior to the subdivision or any place else, where itís a repair to the road right of way they have the right of way permit. The materials that had to be used as specified on that permit would be like materials.
Councilwoman Mutch said for instance if you have large acreage piece like the Ten Mile and Taft area where itís in the perimeter of a subdivision and surrounding a large piece of public property like a school there will be a long stretch of sidewalk probably used in connection with that building as much as it was used as a connection between destinations that are some distance from each other. In that case maybe it would be more a part of a path way system and end up being less expensive. Then when you have things that would have foot traffic like a retail area, library or whatever then youíre going to want the other.
Mr. Nowicki said one of the things they did when re-drafting the Design and Construction Standards , and itís updated every few years, was on some of the bituminous paths where they deteriorate there will be settlement and roots coming up through there. We are now adding to the Design and Construction Standards that a base material would have to be placed and prior to this it was just placed on the ground. They are modifying the Design and Construction Standards as these things are encountered.
Mr. Kriewall asked if this would mean the residential construction?
Mr. Nowicki said it was for any type of construction where they put bituminous surface down would need a base material.
Mayor McLallen stated Mr. Nowicki shared with her a letter from a resident on Quince Road off of Ten Mile Road requesting that a citizen be able to participate in constructing a sidewalk. She asked if the City could provide the engineering authorization could private individuals and private organizations assist the City with the manual labor? Itís very costly if contracted out and this gentleman is concerned about a short piece of sidewalk and he has offered to participate at some level with it. At this point we donít address that possibility at all. She said the sidewalk question would be pick up later.
Mayor McLallen said there is a request for increased funding that was not addressed in the existing administrative budget for increased mowing. That will need to be addressed when we get to the final issue. There appeared to be consensus for the $7,500 and then the next item was removing the concrete up at Lake Shore lake property.
Mr. Nowicki said they were asked to take a look at that and see what it would cost to remove some of the concrete that is in the area, the old bituminous pavement and generally go through that area and try to see what is considered a hazard. Mr. Jerome looked at it and estimated approximately $53,000 to remove all of the excess material, catch basins, a couple retaining walls and add materials as needed, restore it, grade it and seed it.
Mayor McLallen asked if this would all come under a special category or special operations?
Mr. Nowicki said it came from special projects.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why that particular item wouldnít be taken care of if and when there was a project developed on that parcel? Wouldnít that all be included in the restoration of the site for the project?
Mayor McLallen said itís the if and when and this was one that she particularly pushed for. She said she had walked that site for two summers and each summer it became more and more unsightly and itís the largest piece of open ground in that area. She felt it was insulting to the citizens and while if and when may come that ground will still be unsightly if something wasnít done with it now.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what do we propose to do with it? If we didnít clean it up, grade it and seed it then what would be done?
Mayor McLallen said at the moment thereís concrete, half pieces of basketball poles and a half graded road the kids have tunneled under and itís really a lovely miserable place. She said if $53,000 would clean up and restore that area to a pleasant view of the lake, that is one of the significant pieces of property this City owned and itís treated like a dump. We invest no resources in that property at all. Yet, we talk about it as a future multi million dollar something but in the meantime she didnít feel it should be treated as a stepchild.
Mayor McLallen said we either need support for that or bury it. These were special Council initiated things that apparently Mr. Nowicki felt were things the Council asked for and itís up to Council to give them life or not.
Councilman Schmid said his concern was once it was cleaned up, graded and seeded then what would be done with it? If itís left as a park then thereís a whole new ball game with maintenance and control. You just canít have a vacant piece of land unless you have control of it.
Councilman Mitzel said people use it as a park now and it would be a lot better without the broken glass, etc.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if it were cleaned up would it lessen the liability?
Mr. Nowicki said what it might do was lessen the potential opportunity for anything to happen. The areas that could be hidden from view now may not be that way in the future.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if it was possible to do some of the heavy removal disposal work? Then maybe as some sort of community project do some of the restoration work and make that a community focus. No matter whatís going to be done up there it wonít be done in the next couple of months anyway so why not have a season where it looked half way decent and is somewhat safe?
Mr. Kriewall said the concrete and asphalt should probably be removed first and then assess the situation. Thatís some pretty heavy duty concrete up there and would probably take a day to break it and some special equipment.
Councilwoman Mutch said once things are dug up that might be a lot chunkier ground to work with.
Mayor McLallen said these are issues that Council had been concerned with overtime and by the time this gets to wrap up a decision would have to be made which of these we want to continue with.
Mr. Nowicki said they had been approached by the City of Wixom to participate in the extension of their bike paths from their easterly City limits east of Beck Road and through the Speedway Gas Station on Beck Road and Pontiac Trail and maybe a little spot along Beck Road. They said the cost would be anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. Mr. Nowicki responded they would bring it to Council during the budget process.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Nowicki to rate this and let Council know exactly how long it is?
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if that was on the vacant corner of Pontiac Trail and Beck Road?
Mr. Nowicki said on the corner of Pontiac Trail and Beck Road there is a Speedway Gas Station. Beck Road takes a jog to the east and thereís the station and itís in the City of Novi. So thatís where theyíre asking that extension to be.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it would serve our residents at all? Let them take some of their tax dollars from the Meijers store.
4. A. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS.
Mr. Jerome advised council members that DPW personnel do work for other departments within the city. The field employees who work for other departments are charged off to other departments.
Mayor McLallen said the budget for the department is a million one.
4. C. WATER AND SEWER
Mr. Jerome said half of his time was charged to Water and Sewer and half to Public Works.
Mayor McLallen asked for any further questions about Water and Sewer. There were none.
2. SCHEDULE OF SPECIAL MEETINGS
Mayor McLallen said in order to wrap up the preliminary presentation of the budget a meeting is proposed for Wednesday, April 17, 1996 at 7:30 PM to go through Finance, Libraries, Parks and Recreation and Treasurers office.
Mayor McLallen said the big areas that were outstanding was data processing which is a proposal for a newly created department, Parks and Recreation and the Planning Commission. The others can probably be handled expeditiously. The question is did Council want to do that in two meetings or in one meeting with a follow up wrap up.
Councilman Schmid thought there was no way to get through it all in one meeting plus a wrap up. He thought it was appropriate to give these people sufficient time to talk about their departments. It is the one time they have and he didnít think they should be rushed.
Mayor McLallen said she agreed and said Council needed to know more about their departments and needed to see them more than once a year. The problem was mixing their successes and their challenges in with the budget makes the budget process itself more than the process. She wanted to find a way to get the Council more acquainted with them. Maybe on a quarterly basis, or certain times before our meetings invite them in so that we did know them more. The problem is the budget is fairly straight up and so our challenge is not to review their successes and challenges but how weíre going to fund what the administration had brought forward.
CM-96-04-137: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; That a Special Meeting be scheduled for the purpose of aBudget Study Session for Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 PM.
Mayor McLallen said it looked like there was two more schedulings of department heads. The Council appeared to want one single meeting where they would decide whatís in and whatís out. So it appeared that there was a minimal scheduling of three.
Mayor McLallen said there will be a meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 25. There is already a meeting scheduled for Monday, April 29.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Mayor McLallen asked when Council could schedule a personnel review for the City Clerk. Under her hiring last summer she was hired and told she would be reviewed within a specified amount of time, which has passed, and her performance would be rated. Council has not done that.
Councilman Mitzel said last fall Council had a draft of the review process. He said he and the Clerk had discussed it and Mrs. Bartholomew was to provide some comments on the process that was proposed. He said the evaluation form could be used and it could be discussed in executive session.
Mayor McLallen asked if it was in form enough to be discussed Monday night?
Councilman Mitzel said it had been submitted to Council once before and Mrs. Bartholomew would have to be asked if itís ready.
Mrs. Bartholomew stated she had been trying for the last two weeks to look at it. She indicated if a deadline were given she would do it.
Mayor McLallen asked if a deadline should be given and have it as a discussion item on Monday and then on the 24th meeting schedule an Executive Session.
Councilman Mitzel said Council could adopt the form Monday night.
Mayor McLallen said the sense of urgency was that the position was created and the party was hired under a specific premise. Everyone was getting into something new and the funding level was such that if she improved there would be an adjustment to her funding level. If that doesnít happen when she goes into the budget process she possibly could miss out on what was put out at her hiring as a possible different funding level. For Council to live up to our portion of the bargain we need to bring her forward. Council didnít want her to miss an opportunity if the Council is happy. Council told her that they would do this and they had not done it.
Councilman Schmid asked how the Council planned to deal with the budget needs of the Police Department?
Mayor McLallen said there was a update from the City Manager tonight and it has the dollar signs for all of them and there are eleven of them that have some expectation from Council.
Mr. Kriewall said he didnít know if they would have an exact proposal by Monday but they would move in that direction.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:11 PM.
Transcribed by Charlene McLean