|REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilwoman Mutch asked that they move Item 3 under Presentations to the top of the agenda.
CM-98-03-082: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To move Item 3 to the top of the agenda under Special Presentation
Vote on CM-98-03-082: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Mayor McLallen would like to add "Statement from Brandon Rogers" as Item 1 under Special Reports and renumber the other two items, and add "Pending Litigation" under Item ZZ on the Consent Agenda.
Mayor ProTem Crawford advised that Item 7 on Matters for Council Action - Part II and Item X on the Consent Agenda appear to be the same item. Mayor McLallen understands that they will remove Item X from the Consent Agenda.
Councilwoman Lorenzo would like to add "Discussion of the Visioning Proposal" as Item 3 under Mayor and Council issues.
CM-98-03-083: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended
Vote on CM-98-03-083: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
1. Allie Beth Martin Award presentation to Pauline Druschel, Assistant Library Director
Mayor McLallen stated it is an honor to recognize Pauline Druschel for this special award. She then introduced John Chambers, President of the Library Board.
John Chambers advised that Ms. Druschel has won the Allie Beth Martin Award from the American Library Association, Public Library Sector. Mr. Chambers reported that Ms. Druschel represents more than 25,000 librarians nationwide in the competition for the award. He added that she will receive the award in June at the annual conference for the American Library Association in Washington, D.C. Before the library presented their resolution, Mr. Chambers asked James Evenhuis to enlighten the audience on the award and its connection to the Detroit area.
Mr. Evenhuis advised that the Allie Beth Martin National Award has its origins in the greater Detroit area. He explained in 1975-76, Allie Beth Martin (Director of the Tulsa, Oklahoma Public Library) was president of the American Library Association. Mr. Evenhuis advised that she developed cancer and died on April 11, 1976 before her term of office ended. Mr. Evenhuis noted that the Detroit Public Library Director, Clara Statton Jones was president elect of the American Library Association at this time and upon Allie Beth Martin’s passing, Mrs. Jones took up the position as president of the American Library Association. Mr. Evenhuis added that Clara Jones was so impressed with the knowledge of books and public service demonstrated by Allie Beth that Mrs. Jones proposed to the American Library Association at its national conference in July 1976 that an annual award named after Allie Beth Martin be given to the top librarian nationwide who exemplifies the same excellence shown by Allie Beth Martin. Mr. Evenhuis added the Library Board is thrilled that Pauline Druschel is a recipient of the national award this year.
Mr. Chamber read the sentiment from the Library Board’s resolution and presented it to Ms. Druschel.
Senator Bill Bullard read the sentiment from the resolution he and Representative Nancy Cassis presented on behalf of the State of Michigan.
County Commissioner Kay Schmid read the sentiment from Oakland County’s resolution and presented it to Ms. Druschel.
Mayor McLallen read the sentiment from the City of Novi’s resolution and presented it to Ms. Druschel.
Pauline Druschel stated the award would not have been possible if it had not been for Brenda Evans because she was the person that nominated her for this honor. She noted that Ms. Evans encourages her staff to move forward. Further, if the Library Board had not generously supported the outreach program over the years, this kind of service would not have been possible.
1. Statement by Brandon Rogers
Brandon Rogers advised he has tendered his resignation as Planning Consultant to the City of Novi this morning with some sadness. Mr. Rogers has valued the opportunity to have personally served as one of the "Team Novi" in the state’s fastest growing city. Mr. Rogers advised it is time for him to spend more time with his family. He added he will still be available to assist the city after he officially leaves on June 30, 1998.
2. Visioning Proposal by Rod Arroyo, Traffic Consultant
Rod Arroyo first introduced a new member of their staff, Victoria Georgeau. Mr. Arroyo reported that Ms. Georgeau joined their staff several months ago. He advised that she is an associate planner and because she has quite a bit of visioning experience, she has been involved in this proposal.
Mr. Arroyo advised it is a pleasure to discuss the continuation of Novi’s 20/20 Visioning Project that began in 1996. Simply put, Mr. Arroyo reported that visioning is the art of looking at something that has not yet occurred and trying to come up with strategies to make that happen. Mr. Arroyo believes one reason visioning has become so popular in corporate America and within communities is because of their rapid growth. Mr. Arroyo stated some dramatic changes have occurred in Novi since 1990. He explained one out of every four people living in Novi today did not live here in 1990. Further, if they look at the commercial and industrial developments since 1990, Novi has more than $2.5M worth of commercial and industrial development. Mr. Arroyo stated these types of changes run deep within a community.
Mr. Arroyo reported visioning is a process that attempts to grab hold of change. He advised one thing they are trying to do is look at the big picture and then try to shape change so that it happens in a way that the community wants it to happen. Mr. Arroyo added this is why the visioning process involves the participation of a variety of people within a community.
Mr. Arroyo advised they propose that the visioning process occur over a series of five meetings. He explained the first meeting would involve the participants getting a chance to look at a variety of topics and issues. He said there would be background packets distributed that would give participants information on several various topic areas. At the second meeting, the participants would get an opportunity to look at trends and look at where the city is going. The third and the fourth meetings are the heart of the process where goals and objectives, and the individual groups would develop specific action strategies looking at specific topic areas. Prior to the fifth meeting, they would have the facilitators and the group’s spokesperson meet to finalize the vision statement and the actual action plan that will help make that vision statement become a reality. He added that the fifth meeting would also be a celebration where everyone has an opportunity to come together and listen to the group’s spokesperson present the results of the activity. However, he noted it would not be the end of the process, it would only be the beginning because they would still have to address the implementation process.
Mr. Arroyo advised the visioning process can be different from community to community. Mr. Arroyo reported that they prefer the idea of a compressed time frame because he believes it tends to create a sense of energy and excitement by doing it over a shorter period, and it also helps with the problem of attrition. Mr. Arroyo explained quite often when a visioning project is extended over a long period, they experience a lot of drop off.
Mr. Arroyo advised that he and his partner conducted their first visioning effort in 1989 shortly they started their firm. Mr. Arroyo advised they have now conducted visioning projects in communities in Oakland, Lapeer, St. Clair and Macomb counties. Mr. Arroyo stated they believe the process they have developed will help Novi carry on with the process that they began a couple of years ago and will hopefully lead to a successful visioning effort. However, he reminded Council that this would not be the end of the process, but that it would be the end of a short exercise. He explained the visioning process is something that requires continual review, action and implementation to take hold of change and try positively to influence it.
3. 911 Surcharge Report by Chief Shaeffer, Police Department
Police Chief Shaeffer advised because he has submitted several memos regarding the 911 study taking place at the county level, he thought that bringing Council up to date on that issue would be appropriate. Chief Shaeffer advised the Oakland County Commissioners are studying the E-911 System as it was originally implemented under 1984 legislation. He reported they have commissioned Plante & Moran to conduct a current study of the telephone and radio systems utilized throughout the county by the Public Safety Answering Point System. Chief Shaeffer noted included with that is the authority to assess a 911, 4% fee on the base telephone line costs which amounts to roughly .50¢ per line. He reported the fee would be distributed to the PSAPS throughout the county for equipment and personnel costs. Chief Shaeffer reported there are several members from the county who are directly involved in the study. He then introduced Robert Daddow who is head of Office and Management Budget for the county, Richard English from Plante & Moran, and Captain Mike McCabe from the Oakland County Sheriff’s office.
Bob Daddow advised there was a law passed that avails governmental units to take the opportunity of raising a surcharge on the individual lines of up to 4%. Concurrent with that, Mr. Daddow reported there was an unfunded federal mandate passed that every governmental unit must deal with. He explained the mandate with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 involves wireless communication going into the PSAPS. Mr. Daddow reported the PSAPS receive up to 20% of their incoming telephone calls using wireless phones and added that is increasing significantly. Mr. Daddow noted there is state legislation proposing to raise the fee up to .65¢ a month on wireless communications in addition to the potential of raising it 4% locally. Mr. Daddow advised while the county has a disproportionate share of wireless telephones, they will not get their fair share in terms of what they send to Lansing and the amount returning to the county if that legislation is passed. Mr. Daddow estimates that they will send approximately $800,000 or more to Lansing and only get half back.
Mr. Daddow reported that Captain McKay and Chief Dwyer met in the spring of 1997 to discuss the problems pertaining to the PSAPS. Mr. Daddow advised that the board initiated a project in the spring of 1997 and it did not get off the ground until September when he became involved. By that point, Mr. Daddow reported they selected Plante & Moran because of their involvement in the county’s MDT’s and some of the other projects the county has with regard to law enforcement. Consequently, Mr. Daddow believes it is a logical conclusion to include them as the consultant’s involved in the 911 study. Mr. Daddow noted they then conducted a survey in December 1997 with a draft report having been issued last Thursday. Mr. Daddow advised that the draft report is currently distributed for a two week open period for comment by all of the PSAPS and those individuals who are interested in reviewing it. Mr. Daddow stated they will close the comment period by March 28 to analyze the comments and move forward with the issuance of the report.
Captain McCabe stated he is one of the members of the ad-hoc committee assigned the task of looking at this problem. Captain McCabe reported that he and Chief Dwyer thought one of the primary focuses should include the communication between the public safety agencies. Captain McCabe noted there are approximately thirty two PSAPS and most recently one of the issues that the City of Novi was also affected by was the incident at the Wixom Ford Plant where they had thirteen police agencies that could not communicate with each other because they were all on different frequencies.
Mr. English of Plante & Moran advised that they are studying the current state of telecommunications infrastructure and the radio transmission system. He reported it appears that there is some uncertainty when they discuss 911. However, he believes they need to understand that there are two integrated, yet discreet components. He explained one is when a caller calls 911 and the second is a dispatcher that is communicating with a law enforcement officer through a radio transmission media. Mr. English reported some of the initiatives as part of this project were to perform a comprehensive review of the current state of 911 infrastructure, uncover strengths and weaknesses of a countywide communication system, and to look at funding alternatives to upgrade the hardware.
Further, Mr. English believes the public is misinformed about the 911 telephone system. He explained the system is an antiquated telecommunications system because it is supported by aging, obsolete equipment. Mr. English added they are currently reviewing the draft of their findings with various members of public safety agencies and the ad-hoc 911 committee members of the Board of Commissioners.
In addition, Mr. English believes they must also consider the radio systems. He explained they have numerous municipal agencies within the county with incompatible radio communication systems. Mr. English added that he believes that the Wixom situation raised the awareness of this problem so that it is not just one community’s problem, but rather the entire county’s issue that should be looked at.
Mayor McLallen asked that a copy of the draft report that went to the commission be forwarded to Council.
Mayor McLallen asked if the opportunity for public forums will be posted? Mr. Daddow replied that the ad-hoc committee offered the opportunity to secure written comments through two weeks from last Friday. Mr. Daddow understands they are sending copies of the report to all of the individual PSAPS and the ad-hoc committee members for comment.
Mayor McLallen reminded Mr. Daddow that Novi is not a part of those organizations and asked that they be kept informed because she understands that the ultimate support or non-support for the financial portion of this rests with this Council; Mr. Daddow disagreed. He advised that the determination of whether a fee is imposed is not at a Council level; it is imposed at the county level by the County Board of Commissioners. Mayor McLallen advised Council would like to have an informed response to the citizen’s questions.
County Commissioner Kay Schmid recalled that this proposal was before them three years ago and the County Board would not approve it. Commissioner Schmid recalled that they wanted to add 16% to the base amount of the phone bill at that time. Commissioner Schmid said now that this issue is back before them, they will be looking at the same report and she will try to keep Council as informed as she is because she values their input. Commissioner Schmid added that she views this charge as a tax and that it should go to a vote of the people.
Mr. Daddow noted there have been no formal recommendations taken for or against this issue. He restated they are still garnering discussions. Secondly, he clarified the 16% that Commissioner Schmid referenced are two break points in the legislation; 0-4% would be voted on by the Board of Commissioners and anything above 4% up to potentially 16% would be approved by a vote of the people. Mr. Daddow restated they have made no recommendations at this point and noted there are several different alternatives that they are pursuing that could mitigate or potentially even eliminate the need for the surcharge.
Commissioner Schmid asked when will the committee will come forward with a recommendation? Mr. Daddow replied it depends on the written response they receive over the next two weeks. If the response is low, Mr. Daddow believes they could have a recommendation at the April 9 ad-hoc meeting. However, if there are a number of comments that would have to be researched, then the April 9 meeting will serve as a review of the comments, they would then update the report and then come back with a recommendation sometime in early May.
Councilman Kramer asked how is the 4% calculated? Mr. Daddow replied the actual maximum amount is based upon the highest line charge as defined within the county. He added they have not yet come to any conclusions pertaining to that.
1. Novi Youth Assistance Mentors Plus Program presented by Barbara Holmes
Barbara Holmes advised Council that Novi Youth Assistance is currently revitalizing their P.L.U.S. Program under a new name, Mentors Plus. Ms. Holmes asked for Council’s assistance by promoting the Mentors Plus program to those constituents, businesses and professionals in the community that they believe could serve as a role model for one of Novi’s young citizens.
2. Proclamation to Michael John Garbacik in recognition of obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout
Mayor McLallen read the sentiment on the proclamation and presented the award to Eagle Scout Michael Garbacik earned as a result of his work to improve a remote backpacking campsite at Proud Lake.
1. S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street Water Main
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, advised there was a meeting held last week with many of the Maudlin residents that want to piggyback onto this S.A.D. She stated they are hoping that Council will continue the Public Hearing tonight for two weeks. She then asked that Council approve the postponement so the residents can get more information and meet with Mr. Jerome next week. Ms. Gray noted that she favors S.A.D. 149.
Mayor McLallen noted that staff recommends the continuation of this Public Hearing because the interest has increased from eleven original members to thirty eight potential members.
James Korte - Shawood Lake, is not nor will he be part of this S.A.D. district. Mr. Korte believes this is the first time that an S.A.D. is being looked upon as a per user building site or tap. Mr. Korte reminded Council that the Walled Lake Sector Study Committee fought this and added that their end of the city is not like the other end of the city. He explained because there are houses that have forty to one hundred twenty feet and one house even has three hundred feet, the only equitable way to do S.A.D.’s in his neighborhood is with a building site. Mr. Korte noted this is the first S.A.D. being considered along those lines and therefore, the city should set a precedent for all future S.A.D.’s within this area.
Jeffrey Baron - 914 Lemay, strongly supported the Eubank water extension and noted that they have included Lemay as part of it. Mr. Baron advised that the residents on Lemay have no problem with the postponement for the Maudlin residents since they know the more residents that participate, the lower the cost will be for each resident.
Linda Ann Kona - 905 Lemay, stated she is also speaking for Walter Radu who lives at 911 Lemay and they continue to support the plan for the water to go through their district.
Tony Kruvelis - 132 Maudlin, reports he supports the proposed S.A.D.
Mayor McLallen advised Council will not close the Public Hearing, but rather they will continue it to a date uncertain.
Councilman Kramer understands that the affected residents would be notified of when they will hold the continuation meeting; Mr. Jerome agreed. Mr. Jerome added that they met with the residents last Tuesday evening and they discussed the minimum of a two meeting format. He explained one was to find out how much additional support there was for the project and the second was to see how much support they were able to bring forward in the form of signatures on a petition. Mr. Jerome advised after they receive the final petitions, the assessor will need to certify the signatures and verify that they have the proper percentage of SEV as required by the ordinance. Then at that time, they will come back before Council. Mr. Jerome added they will be in contact with the residents throughout the process.
Jonathan Brateman - stated he is the owner of a commercial real estate company at 42705 Grand River Ave. Mr. Brateman first thanked everyone on Council and the Planning Commission who met with members of the Chamber last Saturday for the Economic Summit. Mr. Brateman believes there was an excellent exchange of ideas and noted this will be an ongoing dialog. Mr. Brateman added the Chamber will be holding their annual auction this Saturday evening.
Mr. Brateman reported he has an ad in Midwest Real Estate News this month and the banner headline of the ad is: "Novi - Michigan, Great Schools, Great People: An Ideal Environment for Your Company, Your People and You." Mr. Brateman reported the ad will run throughout the Midwest and he hopes it will attract good companies to the area.
On a personal note, Mr. Brateman and his family wish Brandon Rogers good health and success.
James Korte - Shawood Lake, advised there is a new house being constructed on the only empty lot on Shawood Lake. Mr. Korte advised he has no problem with the attached garage, but when the driveway is attached to the garage he believes it will need four to five feet of fill. Mr. Korte said if the house is constructed in this way it will cause flooding on his property as it occurred when the last house was constructed. Mr. Korte reported he asked to speak to the appropriate person at JCK regarding topographical issues and he spoke with someone that did not understand the fact that Shawood Lake has a drainage problem. He added he was told by this employee to take a set of plans of the house to an engineer to make sure no flooding occurs on his property. Mr. Korte advised when the house is constructed next to him and he gets water on his property, he will sue everybody.
Charles Tindall - 2453 Shawood, is opposed to the development of a golf course at the tree farm and asked Council to deny the funding for the feasibility study. However, since he believes Council will support the request, he asked Council to amend the request to state in the event of positive study results that they will take no action to develop the golf course without first seeking voter approval.
Linda Ann Kona - 905 Lemay, advised they have been living off South Lake Drive for almost two and a half years. Ms. Kona advised the traffic along South Lake is extremely heavy and she is concerned about the safety of the young children in the area. She asked Council to look at more enforcement or more stop signs to slow the motorists in this residential area.
Mayor McLallen advised this has been a long-standing issue and noted the city has added a stop sign, but believes the police department should step up enforcement in that area. She added the city has also looked at alternative routes, posting of speed limits and more stop signs. The Mayor advised that they are not overlooking the problem. She explained one of the Council’s goals this year is a citywide traffic improvement plan.
Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, stated she is still opposed to the golf course. She added that she questions why does the city need a feasibility study when the county just conducted a study for the golf course in Lyon Township. Further, Ms. Gray is questioning why the city is spending $63,000 for the pre-opening budget on the ice arena. She noted she would have said yes if the city had only asked her as a voter.
Ms. Gray reminded Council that the traffic control order items for Meadowbrook between Thirteen and the new elementary school on the Consent Agenda is for a Walled Lake community school. She also she has never understood why Hickory Woods on Novi Road has never had a school speed zone sign. She explained the speed limit is forty miles per hour and the cars fly. She asked Council to look into this at a future meeting.
Ms. Gray believes the problem in the city continues to be enforcement. She reminded Council that citizens have asked them many times for zero tolerance on the speeds on South Lake Drive because of the increased traffic due to construction. She added it is almost impossible to turn from South Lake onto West Road toward Beck Road with the volume of traffic coming from Pontiac Trail to turn left onto South Lake Drive. Ms. Gray is begging for Council’s help to resolve this issue.
Ms. Gray noted there is still an issue about Sunset Grill and noted there is a letter from her under Communications. She advised she will give her response to Mr. Morrone’s letter to the Clerk. Ms. Gray reported there is still a parking problem with the veterinarian clinic and she would like to have it addressed. Further, she would also request that the site’s improvements meet today’s standards. She added that the surrounding residents would like to see a paved parking lot with appropriate landscaping.
Mayor McLallen asked the City Manager to provide a report to Council addressing the citizen’s concerns about increased enforcement schedules for traffic on South Lake, signage for school zones (new elementary school on Meadowbrook and Hickory Woods), update on Sunset Grill building site and enforcement of the veterinarian clinic’s illegal parking at the Sunset Grill site.
Jeff Baron - 914 Lemay, advised he has lived on Lemay for approximately three years and reported there has been a very small change in regard to enforcing the speed limit along South Lake Drive. Mr. Baron noted they have constructed only one stop sign and he only sees a small improvement in police patrol. Mr. Baron added his biggest concern is about passing traffic and the safety of the children. Mr. Baron believes they need better participation from the people that actually live on South Lake and asked the city to consider adding more stop signs to slow the traffic.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Arroyo to provide an update for the lakes area people on the traffic situation.
Debbie Bundoff - Novi and Twelve Mile Road, referred to Items 2 and 3 under Matters for Council Action. Ms. Bundoff advised she spoke during the Planning Commission hearings as she will become a large part of the wildlife refuge for the displaced animals and birds, and she hopes they will carefully plan the buffering for this development in this part of the project. Ms. Bundoff reported that Society Hill is adjacent to more than one thousand feet of RA property, yet the buffering does not cover the entire one thousand feet. Although Ms. Bundoff understands the landscaping plan is part of the final plan, she asked that Council make certain that there is enough spacing if berms have to be constructed in the preliminary plan.
Further, Ms. Bundoff has concerns about the tennis courts planned for the southern portion of the project in terms of their proximity to the property line. Ms. Bundoff noted that she asked the applicant whether they could move the sidewalk on the south to the north side of the courts. She also has concerns about the adjacency of a PD-1 project next to RA and she has heard very little about the buffering between the two.
In regard to Item 3, Ms. Bundoff hopes they will plan a lot of the building with new designs to include lofts and so forth without putting a limit on the stories. Ms. Bundoff also hopes something is worked out with the proximity of her driveway to the project and reported that she has not received a response to any of the questions she raised at the Planning Commission’s public hearing.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor McLallen asked that they add Warrant No. 513-A for $75,847.00 as Item EE.
Mayor ProTem Crawford removed Item BB.
Councilwoman Lorenzo removed Item B.
Councilwoman Mutch removed Item A.
CM-98-03-084: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda as amended:
C. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-01, Yield sign for the Rochester approach to Nantucket - Greenwood Oaks Subdivision
D. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-02, Yield sign for the Holyoke Court approach to Holyoke Lane - Greenwood Oaks Subdivision
E. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-03, Yield sign for the Salem approach to Holyoke Lane - Greenwood Oaks Subdivision
F. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-04, Stop sign for Library Drive approach to Ten Mile Road
G. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-05, Stop sign on Yorkshire Drive at Jamestown Road - Jamestown Green #1
H. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-06, Stop sign on the Russet Lane approach to Hickory Grove Lane - Orchard Ridge Subdivision
I. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-07, Stop sign on the Laramie Drive approach to Eleven Mile Road - Walden Woods II
J. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-08, Yield sign on the Cheyenne Drive approach to Laramie Drive - Walden Woods II
K. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-09, Yield sign on the Glenhurst Drive approach to Laramie Drive - Walden Woods II
L. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-10, Stop sign on Lochmoor Lane at Eleven Mile Road - Lochmoor Subdivision
M Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-11, Revoke the 30 MPH Speed Limit on Meadowbrook Road between Thirteen Mile and a point one-half a mile south of the Elementary School
N. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-12, 25 MPH Speed Limit signs on Meadowbrook Road, between Thirteen Mile and a point one-half a mile south of the Elementary School
O. Approval of Traffic Control Order No. 98-13, Stop sign on Abbey Drive at Eleven Mile Road - Abbey Hills Subdivision
P. Approval of Budget Amendment 98-15 in the amount of $51,725 and Approval to purchase Live Scan Fingerprinting System from Digital Biometrics, Inc., in the amount of $51,725.00-Police Department
Q. Approval of Budget Amendment 98-18 - Assessing Department office reconfiguration in the amount of $5,800
R. Approval of Resolution directing Administration to develop an agreement with the City of Walled Lake to provide senior citizen transportation to Walled Lake residents
S. Approval of Michael E and Carol J. Crawford Grading Permit in the amount of $100 for the Nine Mile/Beck Road Intersection Improvements Project
T. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 18 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 13 for the Main Street Project - Grand River to Novi Road
U. Approval of Authorizing Resolution and MDOT Contract No. 98-5051 - RCOC’s Old Novi Road Resurfacing
V. Approval to Reschedule April 2, 1998 Budget Meeting to April 30, 1998
W. Approval to amend the 1997-98 personnel allocation with no change in budget amount - Community Development Specialist removed from the Teamsters Union to Administration and Clerk Typist reclassified to Planning Assistant
Y. Approval of Street Sign Agreement - Haverhill Subdivision
Z. Schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting, Re: Union Negotiations and Property/Right-of-Way Acquisitions
AA. Award Bid for Softballs to Dee’s Sport Shop in the amount of $5,611.25 and McNish Sporting Goods & Trophy in the amount of $2,394.32-Parks & Recreation
CC. Approval to amend 1997-98 Administrative Salary Ranges as presented
DD. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 513
EE. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 513A
A. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of March 2, 1998
B. Approval of Resolutions appointing DPW Superintendent Craig Smith as Street Administrator and City Traffic Engineer
BB. Award Street Tree Planting to Davey Commercial Grounds in the amount of $262,750.83-Forestry Department
X. Approval of Telecommunications Permit Agreement with BRE Communications L.L.C. d/b/a Phone Michigan
Vote on CM-98-03-084: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part I
1. Request for Postponement of Resolution No. 5 for S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street Water Main
CM-98-03-085: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request for postponement of Resolution No. 5 for S.A.D. 149 - Eubank Street Water Main until there is a response from the scheduled meetings and from the City Assessor regarding the roll to a date uncertain
Vote on CM-98-03-085: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
2. Approval of Preliminary Site Plan, PD-1 Option, Phasing Plan and Wetland Permit - Society Hill, SP95-44E
Mayor McLallen advised the developer has an approved site plan and he redesigned the project at his own initiative because he felt he could provide a better plan. The Mayor reported that the plan now includes a different configuration of the building and the removal of all the external garages by making them an internal feature to allow some improvement of the land balancing within the project. Mayor McLallen noted that the Planning Commission is giving a negative recommendation, but the Planning Department and consultants’ recommend approval of the site plan subject to compliance with the woodland’s permit approval conditions.
On behalf of Society Hill, Joe Galvin advised the new plan is a better plan for many reasons. Mr. Galvin reported the size and massing of the buildings were reduced from a five-story project to a three-story project and is more in keeping with a residential area. Further, it has resulted in less impact to the soil and consequently, it is environmentally better and will permit them to save more trees. Even though the plan is better than the approved plan, Mr. Galvin said they have a negative recommendation from the Planning Commission and he asked Council why are they in this position.
Mr. Galvin stated it is their view that the decision was not made on the basis of what is in place now and what is proposed to replace what is in place now. He advised they believe the decision was made on the basis that the Planning Commission would like to revisit issues that were worked through the last time the plan came before them. Mr. Galvin suggested that a better perspective would be how good is this plan in relation to what is in place today. With that comparison in mind and looking at the physical parts of the plan, it seems to Mr. Galvin that there is little question that when the amount of impervious surfaces are approximately the same, when the physical impacts are less, when they are able to save more trees, when the new plan is better for the environment and more in keeping with the human scale that the city wants, that it should be approved.
In regard to Ms. Bundoff’s concerns about the bike path near the tennis court and the proximity of the sites entrance to hers, Mr. Galvin advised they have deleted the most westerly tennis court and the path is being rerouted to the remaining tennis court. In addition, Mr. Galvin advised they have moved the entryway twelve additional feet to the north and because of the terrain, that is the maximum that they can do. Mr. Galvin explained they have attempted to mitigate all of the impacts that Ms. Bundoff talked about. He added that the tennis court’s lighting will be redirected so that it will not spill over onto Ms. Bundoff’s land.
In addition, Mr. Galvin advised they have added more stacking capacity (two-way stacking) because the Planning Commission expressed a concern about the stacking capacity between the club house and the roadway. Further, they have removed the garages to the north and will place them in an area with less trees.
In regard to the woodland permit, Mr. Galvin asked how can they appeal it when the Planning Commission did not say no; they said they would table the matter until Council made a decision. Mr. Galvin asked Council to take each of the recommendations and the tabling, approve the plan and grant the petitioner’s appeal of the woodland’s permit denial. Mr. Galvin added they are prepared to do meet Ms. Lemke’s four requirements as listed on page 2 of her letter. They are: use retaining walls throughout the project to save areas adjacent to buildings on sides and near rear patios to reduce excessive grades immediately adjacent, to use retaining walls and increase areas in islands to be preserved, to use retaining walls to reduce side slopes by detention pond along Novi Road and to plant replacement trees in disturbed areas adjacent to the buildings at sides and rear in close proximity to create effect buildings emerging from woodlands. Mr. Galvin would note that the conclusion that Ms. Lemke reaches is that previous plans were approved by Council and these modified plans are an improvement from the previous approved plans.
In addition, Mr. Galvin reported that Ms. Lemke goes on to say that even though she finds this to be an improvement, there are some other things she would like the petitioner to do. He advised they are listed on page 3 as follows: eliminate excess parking spaces, eliminate connection between the north and south, eliminate number of units and buildings, particularly in the northern portion of the site, and provide connection between two woodlands/wetlands, providing a contiguous uninterrupted natural area.
In regard to the excess parking spaces, Mr. Galvin reported they do not think it is a good idea to remove the parking spaces because they are the spaces for the clubhouse, but they would be willing to eliminate some of them.
Mr. Galvin advised the cannot eliminate the connection between the north and the south. He explained they intend to market the project as a single project and that Council should be aware that this sort of a unit lends itself much more to a condominium form of ownership than it does to a rental form. Mr. Galvin advised they are not committing to doing one as opposed to the other, but they are saying that this kind of unit sells better and is therefore, it is more likely to be a condominium project.
In regard to eliminating the number of units and buildings, particularly in the northern portion of the site, Mr. Galvin advised he does not believe that they can accomplish this.
In regard to providing a connection between the two woodlands/wetlands by providing a contiguous uninterrupted natural area, Mr. Galvin advised they are not sure whether it will do as much good as others think it will do. However, Mr. Galvin stated if the consensus is that this ought to be done, they will.
Mr. Galvin advised he anticipates that Ms. Lemke’s recommendation will not change and he believes it is acceptable since it is consistent with her last recommendation. However, he believes that even Ms. Lemke would concede that the proposed improvements make a better plan. Therefore, it is on that basis that Mr. Galvin asks Council to approve the better plan.
Councilwoman Mutch noted there are many optional items on the site plan and asked how optional are they? Mr. Galvin replied the optional curb cuts were placed there for a reason. He explained each of the cuts are to property which Mr. Sasson has considered purchasing. He continued by stating if he obtains ownership, he would wish to gain access to that site using the two optional curb cuts. In regard to the tennis courts, Mr. Galvin advised that one is optional and will not be built, and the other will no longer be optional and will be built. In regard to the compactor, Mr. Galvin advised that they will build it.
Mayor McLallen asked Ms. Lemke to comment on her February 9, 1998 letter. Linda Lemke reminded Council that this is a high quality woodland area due the species and the number woodlands on the site. She added the area is also a part of the Wildlife Master Plan and that the area is almost 100% woodlands. Ms. Lemke agrees the new design reduces the impact on the site by a better plan for mass grading and saving of additional trees, but it does not improve the impact to the woodland’s area. She explained if they overlaid the last plan with this plan, there is very little difference in the overall amount of woodland area. She restated it would save more individual trees because of the smaller footprints of the buildings and they would be able to manipulate the grades. Ms. Lemke believes by using retaining walls and replacement trees, they would be able to create a better looking development and one that would save more individual trees that would allow more individual trees to be replaced on the site.
Mayor McLallen understands that on behalf of the petitioner, Mr. Galvin has committed to accepting all four of the conditions on Page 2 of Ms. Lemke’s letter. Ms. Lemke said it is acceptable from the perspective that this is a better plan than the previous plan. However, she added there are still some issues that need to be worked out with final site plan review from a hydrological standpoint. Ms. Lemke explained she still has a concern about the putting of water into the various wooded wetlands and what that impact would be.
Ms. Lemke stated even though this is a better plan than the previous plan, it still has major impacts on the woodlands on the site because of the number of proposed units on the site. Further, Ms. Lemke advised she has suggested some of the other design alternatives which the ordinance has to have less impact into the woodlands. Ms. Lemke advised she has listed a few of them, but added there are others that could be brought forward. Ms. Lemke stated she has not recommended approval because she still feels there are other better alternatives that can have less impact on the environmental system as a whole.
Councilwoman Mutch referred to page 3 of Ms. Lemke’s report and asked whether she meant the roadway connection between the north and south? Ms. Lemke agreed and added that she was not referring to the wildlife culvert but to an idea that was brought up before under Item 4. She explained she was asking that the petitioner eliminate a portion of the building or units to provide a contiguous area.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked Ms. Lemke to explain the importance of the wildlife culvert. Ms. Lemke replied even though there is going to be impact to the site, there still will be wildlife movement based on animals moving from the north to the south and to the west. Ms. Lemke stated there will still be some animals on the site and a culvert in a specific area to the west and north of Building 6 would allow some movement of the smaller mammals on the site in that area from one wooded wetland site to the larger wooded wetland site to the west. Mr. Lemke explained it is a very simple process of using a culvert that is large enough for that and noted it has been used successfully in other areas of the United States and abroad.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked Ms. Lemke to comment on the excess parking spaces. Ms. Lemke understands the spaces would be in excess of the city’s parking standards and added she had asked Mr. Arroyo why they need so many. She advised that Mr. Arroyo reported that club houses are usually rented. However, she believes they may not need as many spaces if they do not rent the clubhouse to people outside of the development.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked where would Ms. Lemke propose to eliminate some of the parking spaces in terms of woodland preservation. Ms. Lemke replied she would look at that during the final site plan review to see how it would conform to the grading plan.
Councilman Schmid asked what is the ramification of the woodland’s permit that the Planning Commission chose to have it come back to them and is there any reason for it to go back before them? Ms. Lemke replied that the Planning Commission is looking for another design alternative. She explained they would like the petitioner to explore reducing the location of some of the units to preserve more contiguous area of woodlands on the site. Therefore, they are going back to the premise that another better alternative with less impact can be proposed for this site.
Councilman Schmid understands that the petitioner has agreed to almost everything Ms. Lemke has recommended. Ms. Lemke agreed Councilman Schmid’s understanding is accurate if they are comparing the last plan that was submitted with the plan that is currently submitted.
Councilman Kramer asked for a further explanation about Item 4 on page 3. Ms. Lemke replied that would require the removal of a portion of or a building to provide a larger open space between the two wooded/wetland areas.
Councilman DeRoche believes they are comparing whether or not this is a better proposal than what the petitioner has already been approved for. Therefore, Councilman DeRoche asked if this is a better plan than the last plan? Ms. Lemke agreed it is a better plan.
Councilman DeRoche asked if it is still a better plan without the four woodland conditions? Ms. Lemke replied it appears to be better.
Councilman DeRoche asked if it is a better plan without the other design alternatives? With the exception of the parking, Ms. Lemke replied the other design alternatives would make it better.
Councilman Schmid prefaced his comments by reminding Council that he did not support the rezoning of this property or the project based upon its density and traffic concerns. Mr. Schmid is concerned that they are eliminating many quality amenities to the project. He explained they are eliminating two to three tennis courts and he would think that for a project of this nature that one would like to have the recreational activities within the project to eliminate traveling away from the project. He is also concerned about the elimination of parking around the clubhouse because he believes it will be used a great deal. Councilman Schmid believes they should ask the petitioner whether he could eliminate one or two buildings to accommodate the amenities that he thinks are highly important to a quality project.
Mr. Rogers stated he agrees they need the parking to serve the pool and the clubhouse. Further, Mr. Rogers would like to see at least two tennis courts to accommodate the residents. He added that the courts are not oriented correctly and advised that they should face north and south.
Councilman Schmid would agree the plan has improved in many respects and asked if the petitioner can assure Council of at least two tennis courts. Mr. Galvin replied that they are trying to make it a prime project. He advised that they can put the tennis court back and realign them. Mr. Galvin also agrees they should leave the thirty two parking spaces. In response to Councilman Schmid’s suggestion to remove one to two buildings, Mr. Galvin advised they have looked at that. Mr. Galvin noted their reasons for not removing buildings are based upon economics, but they also believe when all is said and done that everyone will still conclude that this is still a better plan than the current approved plan.
Councilman Schmid noted that the original plan has 301 units, but the new plan has 310 units. It seems to Councilman Schmid that they could negotiate the number of units to make some space.
Mr. Sasson advised the entire configuration of economics changed when the buildings went from five-story to three-story. However, Mr. Sasson added when they build twenty five smaller buildings compared to ten larger buildings, the cost is greater.
Councilman Schmid asked whether it is possible to eliminate some of the units? Mr. Sasson does not believe they can push any more and try to get more units elsewhere on the site. He added if they could go into the wetland buffer like they did on the original plan, they may be able to. However, he added for the new plan they tried to cover some of those issues and tried not to go into the wetland buffer. Mr. Sasson added that amenities are also very important to him, but noted that in the original plan that the tennis courts were in the buffer. He advised that the Planning Commission made a point of the tennis court not being in the buffer and consequently, Mr. Sasson agreed to remove one of the tennis courts. However, if Council is concerned about amenities, then he would suggest that they add it back into the plan as it was before. In regard to the parking lot at the clubhouse, Mr. Sasson said the old plan had approximately sixty to seventy spots and a larger clubhouse. However, the new plan’s clubhouse is similar to the River Oaks clubhouse in terms of size. The reason they decided to do it this way is because they want the option to convert luxury apartments to condominiums. He explained if the project converts to condominiums, they do not want to have a large clubhouse that would cause astronomical costs and high dues.
Councilman Schmid said he would vote in favor of the project if they could reinstate the amenities without infringing additionally on the woodlands/wetlands. Councilman Schmid believes because they have increased the number of units from 301 to 310 units that a reasonable compromise would be to remove some of the units.
Mr. Sasson said it is possible if they can get the site plan approved as it is. He explained as they lay the site around the pool area and they find it is not working, then it may be possible to take a couple of units and create a better environment by constructing a smaller building behind the pool. However, Mr. Sasson noted in a sense he needs the building because it serves as a good buffer from the parking lot.
Councilman Schmid understands that Mr. Sasson is willing to compromise three to four units. Mr. Sasson replied he is not willing to compromise at this point, but he would consider it in the future.
Councilman Schmid asked what impact does the tennis court have on the woodlands as it currently sits? Ms. Lemke replied that the western tennis court goes approximately twenty feet into the wetland’s buffer.
Councilman Schmid asked what does that mean? Ms. Lemke replied they would probably have to fill that area.
Councilman Schmid asked if there is any other way to situate the tennis court if they moved the buildings? Ms. Lemke said they could not move the buildings any closer together. She believes the petitioner would have to reduce the number of units in the building by approximately six units. She explained that would then push it further east and would fit if it were orientated north and south.
Councilman Schmid asked whether that would provide tennis courts and perhaps some additional parking? Ms. Lemke replied it may provide additional parking.
Councilman Schmid believes they must maintain the parking at the clubhouse. Ms. Lemke understands there are eleven extra spaces and she is questioning that because she would like to save additional trees and woodlands.
Councilman Schmid asked Ms. Lemke what is the answer for the tennis courts if the petitioner does not want to move or remove buildings? Ms. Lemke replied from the wetland’s perspective, the Planning Commission strongly indicated that they did not want a tennis court in the wetland’s buffer. However, she added that does not affect her recommendation from a woodland’s perspective.
Councilman Schmid is questioning this because the petitioner wants the woodland’s permit waived and he was hoping they could come to some agreement.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether Council can act on the woodland’s appeal since the Planning Commission has not technically denied it? Mr. Watson replied that there is a section in the woodland’s regulations addressing appeals from the Planning Commission. However, it does not talk about procedural appeals. In other words, it does not talk about an appeal from a postponement or a tabling, but it does allow an appeal from the granting or denial of a permit. Mr. Watson explained any aggrieved party, whether it is a neighboring land owner or the property owner who has made the application for the permit when it is granted or denied, can take an appeal to Council. However, Mr. Watson advised this is not one of those situations. Mr. Watson explained that Council can act on everything else and then direct the Planning Commission to take action on the woodland’s permit. According to Planning Commission minutes, Mr. Watson understood it took forty five days to address the issues that had been raised and he believes they did it that way because they thought that some of those items might either be resolved or direction could be given based upon Council’s action.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that according to Ms. Lemke, that the Planning Commission wanted a revision of that plan. However, if they hypothetically adopted that plan, then their concerns are no longer valid because the petitioner will obviously not come back with another plan because Council would have approved this one. Therefore, Mayor ProTem Crawford believes that the woodland’s issue should not be in front of them so Council should direct the Planning Commission to act immediately on the permit. Mr. Watson agreed and added what they might do will be reflected in what action Council takes tonight.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands they cannot act on an appeal tonight because there has been no decision to act on it.
Mayor McLallen understands that if Council approves the plan and tells the Planning Commission that this is the only option, then the Planning Commission would have to hear the merits of the woodland’s permit based upon what is now an approved plan and they cannot change any of the conditions that Council has imposed upon the plan. Mr. Watson replied that the Planning Commission can impose conditions as a part of their granting a woodland permit and any approval, denial or conditions that they impose can be appealed to this Council.
Mayor McLallen understands that since the Planning Commission is meeting on Wednesday, Council can direct them to include this matter on their agenda. Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman Kramer asked what buffering is required between PD-1 and RA property? Mr. Rogers does not recall and added that is a part of the landscape plan review which has not been reviewed. However, Mr. Rogers recalled there is a screening requirement.
Councilman Kramer asked whether there is sufficient space provided to meet the buffering requirements? Mr. Rogers replied there is twenty feet and they would need twenty seven feet for a four and a half foot berm. He added in lieu of a landscaped berm, Mr. Rogers advised that the petitioner could construct a brick wall.
Councilman Kramer asked whether it would be appropriate to attach any conditions that design provisions be provided at the time of final site plan to accommodate the buffering requirements. Mr. Rogers stated they could include that, but noted they automatically check that during the final site plan review.
Councilman Kramer would like to request that the animal corridor be included as part of the approval. He added that he would also continue to support the parking spaces for the clubhouse. However, Councilman Kramer believes that the petitioner needs to review the tennis courts and that there is an opportunity to delete a number of the units on the southern end of Building 11.
Mr. Galvin agreed to look into the deletion of up to four units on Building 11 and the construction of two tennis courts with a north south orientation.
Councilman Schmid believes they can get a commitment to delete four units. Mr. Sasson interjected, he will agree to delete four units.
CM-98-03-086: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Preliminary Site Plan, SP 95-44E, PD-1 Option, Phasing Plan and Wetland Permit Approval and direct the Planning Commission to act on the woodland’s permit at their March 18 meeting to include Linda Lemke’s four recommendations, with the addition of an animal culvert and reduce 4 units on Building 11 to accommodate the second tennis court with acknowledgment that the buffering requirements be resolved to the south when they bring back the final plan
For further clarification, Councilwoman Mutch understands the individual rectangular spaces on the plan represent two units. Therefore, she would agree to finding a way to remove units from one end and put them on another building. She also thinks they should have two tennis courts and that they should perhaps find a way to construct another one at the north end because with this number of units that is an amenity that will reduce the demands for public facilities in an area where there are limited public facilities of that type. Further, if the parking around the clubhouse had been a separate parking lot, she would have been inclined to go with Ms. Lemke’s recommendation to reduce more parking. However, anybody who has ever had to use a club house knows the parking is necessary.
Councilwoman Mutch rhetorically stated that if Building 6 (near the wetlands) had been reduced by what would amount to four units, she believes it would have addressed her wildlife corridor concerns. In regard to the suggestion of moving units over to Building 1, Councilwoman Mutch noted there appears to be a detention pond in that area and therefore, is another reason why they should not try to redesign plans at the Council table.
Although she opposed this project at the Planning Commission level, Councilwoman Lorenzo will support the motion because the plan appears to have lesser impact particularly due to the necessity not to mass grade. In terms of the final plan, Councilwoman Lorenzo will be looking for confirmation that the impervious surfaces have not been increased over the previously approved plan. Further, she would not like to see additional impacts to the wooded wetland in that they do have the wildlife culvert in place. Councilwoman Lorenzo also concurs with Councilman Schmid in that Council should accept the petitioner’s offer to remove four units and added she would not support adding additional units in other locations.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands the motion is to remove four units and that part of the motion’s intent to direct the Planning Commission to act on the petitioner’s woodland’s permit at their next meeting.
Vote on CM-98-03-086: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
BREAK - 10:30 p.m. until 10:40 p.m.
3. Approval of Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-18.138, to amend Footnote (d) to Sec. 2400 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, and to amend that portion of the Schedule limiting height, bulk, density and area within Sec. 2400 of said Ordinance which pertains to the RM-1 District, to amend the Standards pertaining to Multi-family Residential Development - I Reading
CM-98-03-087: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Ordinance Amendment 97-18.138, to amend Footnote (d) to Sec. 2400 of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance and to amend that portion of the Schedule limiting height, bulk, density and area within Sec. 2400 of said Ordinance which pertains to the RM-1 District, to amend the standards pertaining to Multi-family Residential Development - I & II Reading
Vote on CM-98-03-087: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - Part II
4. Approval of Budget Amendment 98-17 in the amount of $10,500-Golf Course Feasibility Study and Award RFP to Don Childs & Associates in the amount of $10,500
Dan Davis advised they received twelve proposals and noted they are summarized in the back of the material within the report. After analyzing the proposals, Mr. Davis recommended Don Childs & Associates based on their overall professional qualifications, past experience of similar projects and the detailed scope of the work that will be required of this project.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked at what point would the city get involved with site analysis or initial design if they were going to incorporate an environmentally responsive golf course? Mr. Davis believes they are at least one or two steps away from that point. He explained the feasibility study will determine the market and financial feasibility of a municipal golf course within this geographic market. Further, it will also be the firm’s responsibility to review the city’s previous site master planning that was accomplished by another consultant. Mr. Davis added Don Childs & Associates will get into some preliminary site analysis work regarding woodlands, wetlands and so forth.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked the question because she understands that agencies like the Audubon International Signature Program begin as soon as they move dirt. Mr. Davis advised a lot of that is base information that the city can readily provide.
Councilman Kramer asked what is the process that the city is planning to follow? Mr. Davis replied the study will take sixty to ninety days to complete and then the city will lay out a plan based upon what that recommendation is. He advised if the recommendation is that a golf course will not be feasible, then Mr. Davis believes the city has to look at some of the alternative options that were brought forward of which some did not include a golf course. However, if a golf course is determined to be feasible, then the city would lay out some of the other issues regarding as to how they will do it, lease options, financing alternatives and so forth. He added there is also a public hearing process to share the results and noted that he understands that Council, and the Parks and Recreation Commission could jointly decide how they want to facilitate the process.
Councilman Kramer recommended that Council has a study session with the Parks and Recreation Commission so it is understood what the process will be. Mr. Davis agreed and added that no decision has been made as to whether they are going to proceed with a golf course or not. Mr. Davis believes they need to gather the facts to determine if there is a market for a golf course.
Councilman Kramer believes before they get the results back that there should be an understanding about how the city will receive it and what the process will be. Mr. Davis replied that they can work that out administratively within the next ninety days.
Mayor McLallen interjected, the process will be a part of this Council and therefore, Councilman Kramer’s request is really aimed at Council to direct Administration.
Councilman Kramer suggested that Council work out a process before it comes back before them. Mayor McLallen replied that is a point well taken.
Councilman Kramer added that he will support the proposal because he believes it is an important step in understanding the facts.
Councilman DeRoche understands that this is a feasibility study that includes the land use at the north park area. Mr. Davis agreed and advised they are site specific within the scope of services that outlines the north Novi Park proper.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether they are conducting feasibility studies for any of the other four options? Mr. Davis replied they are not and restated the feasibility study is only for a golf course component and noted that two of the other options did not include a golf course component. He added that the other options only include picnic areas and nature centers which do not typically require feasibility studies.
Councilman DeRoche understands Council requested Administration to seek these proposals and that it is not a citizen-led group; Mr. Davis agreed.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether there is a provision in the current Master Plan for the development of a municipal golf course? Mr. Davis stated the Parks and Recreation Master Plan includes a provision that states there is a potential that a golf course be considered as an amenity for parks and recreation purposes.
CM-98-03-088: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED: To approve Budget Amendment 98-17 in the amount not to exceed $10,500 for a Golf Course Feasibility Study and award RFP to Don Childs & Associates not to exceed $10,500.00
Councilwoman Lorenzo will not support the motion because she believes it is premature to move forward with a feasibility study when there is no indication that there is public support for a golf course on that piece of property.
Councilman DeRoche will not support the motion for similar reasons. Councilman DeRoche added he believes this proposed project will service a distinct minority of the citizens at the expense of all citizens. However, if it is determined that it is financially feasible, Councilman DeRoche will support that this issue go before the voters first.
Councilwoman Mutch asked what were the best alternatives for the development of the park property? Mr. Davis advised the master planning study determined that a land use that would fit on the site would be the best alternative. Mr. Davis reported that the Parks and Recreation Commission, through eighteen months of public meetings and so forth, came up with four alternatives of potential utilization options for the five hundred acres of park land. Mr. Davis advised that two of the options included golf course amenities along with the other recreational amenities that are generally found in parks (i.e., picnic areas, nature areas, walking areas, etc.) and the next step was to determine whether they should include a golf course.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the first report included the possibility of a golf course in two of its four alternatives, but that they were only addressing whether there was enough space or appropriate topography. However, she noted they were not addressing the actual economics or political feasibility of a golf course; Mr. Davis agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch then understands the next logical step is to determine whether a golf course would actually fit before they discard the option. Mr. Davis restated they want to determine whether there is a market and if they can support the market demand financially.
Councilwoman Mutch recalled the Parks and Recreation Commission was the body to first pursue the golf course alternative and present the idea to Council; Mr. Davis agreed.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is attached to the city’s Master Plan for Land Use or is it a supplemental document? Mr. Watson does not recall.
Councilwoman Mutch believes it would make a difference if it were attached. She explained if the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is developed by the Parks and Recreation Commission and is then presented to the Planning Commission and adopted, then a different argument could be made by saying there should be a municipal or private golf course within the city limits.
Councilwoman Mutch believes this is the next logical step because she believes the city has taken criticism for not doing this very kind of study before actually proposing a public recreational facility.
Councilwoman Mutch asked how much of this site specific information could apply to another site? Mr. Davis replied the general information regarding this specific site analysis is specific to this location. However, he added that the demographic information and the market assessment will be usable for any other site within the City of Novi.
Because the request involves a budget amendment resolution, Mr. Watson reminded Council that it requires the roll call vote of five Council members.
Roll Call Vote on CM-98-03-088: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
Nays: DeRoche, Lorenzo
Mayor McLallen understands this matter will be back before Council by July 1, 1998; Mr. Davis agreed.
5. Approval of Ice Arena Management Contract
Mayor McLallen understands the contract is between the City of Novi and Center Ice Management, and overseen by Community Clubs; Mr. Davis agreed.
Mayor McLallen asked whether the contract is for one year from the date of acceptance by City Council? Mr. Watson replied it is terminable after three years.
Mr. Davis understands the issue of the one year comes into effect where the budgeting for Center Ice is completed in one year increments to correspond with the approval process of each fiscal year. Consequently, the city requires that Center Ice provide the city with an operating budget that is reviewable by Community Clubs and/or Council.
Mr. Watson added that the contract is for five years, but it can be terminated after three.
Councilwoman Mutch asked where does the Building Authority fit in? Mr. Davis advised that the Building Authority is the agency appointed by Council that is actually overseeing the financing and the construction of the facility. He added at the end of the actual construction, the lease will take effect and the City of Novi will enter the lease with Center Ice Management.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the Building Authority played any part in the management agreement? Mr. Davis replied they did not.
Councilwoman Mutch recalled that during the Board and Commission interviews that a member of the Building Authority implied that there was a different understanding of what their role was and that it continued beyond the point of the completion of construction.
Mr. Watson agreed with Mr. Davis’ statement and added the Building Authority is essentially a financing mechanism so the city is able to sell the bonds and get the interest rate. Further, the statutes that create building authority’s require them to own the facility and therefore, the Building Authority will own the facility until the bonds are paid in full. He added the city will lease it and pay the money from operations to pay off those bonds in the form of rent. However, the city will be responsible for the operation of the facility.
Councilwoman Mutch understands the city leases the building from the Building Authority and any issues about revenue beyond the lease revenue to the Building Authority are between the city, the Community Clubs and Center Ice Management; Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman DeRoche asked who is Community Clubs now and who will they be five years from now? Mr. Davis replied Community Clubs is a City Council appointed board with staggered terms for nine members.
Councilman DeRoche asked who is Terry Seyler? Mr. Davis replied Mr. Seyler is the principal and the owner of Center Ice Management.
Councilman DeRoche asked if Mr. Seyler is involved in the building of the facility? Mr. Davis advised he is involved from a design standpoint, but noted a professional architect is working with the Building Authority.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether Mr. Seyler is an architect; Mr. Davis recalled he is.
Councilman DeRoche understands the city drafted the contract; Mr. Davis agreed.
Councilman DeRoche asked what incentive is there for Center Ice Management to keep costs down (i.e., janitorial, health insurance, bids, etc.) if the city is reimbursing them for all of their direct expenses? Mr. Davis replied the incentive is that the city will review the contract annually subject to the approved budget that is submitted. He explained if they are not performing efficiently, the city will not renew the contract. Therefore, the incentive is for them to maintain a management arrangement with the city in an efficient way.
Councilman DeRoche asked how much will Center Ice Management make per year under this contract not including the direct expenses that the city will reimburse them for? Mr. Davis replied they will be paid $92,700 annually or $7,725 per month. From that fee, Mr. Davis reported they are responsible for paying the general manager’s salary.
Councilman DeRoche understands the $5,725 budgeted for the manager is something that is included in the $7,725 figure. Mr. Davis replied the $7,725 figure in the contract covers the management fee for Center Ice Management and the cost of the on-site general manager.
Councilman DeRoche asked what other rinks are Center Ice managing? Mr. Davis replied they are not currently managing other rinks.
Councilman DeRoche asked how long has Center Ice existed as an entity? Mr. Davis does not recall but advised Novi and Center Ice have been in negotiations for approximately five years. He noted that Mr. Watson has conducted due diligence on the petitioner’s background regarding their ability to perform and Mr. Davis believes that the provisions that are within the management contract address those issues.
Councilman DeRoche noted one provision is a $500,000 Fidelity Bond to insure that performance. He further noted that a Direct Reimbursement Clause indicates that the reimbursement will include insurance and asked if that also includes the Fidelity Bond they are purchasing. Mr. Davis replied it does not and Mr. Watson concurred.
Councilman DeRoche advised his next concern is regarding the payments in advance of everything. He read Item 7 of the agreement and asked for further clarification. Councilman DeRoche understands the city is funding the start up. Mr. Davis agreed and added to handle all of the direct costs associated with the facility, the city is looking at approximately a $1.7M operating budget for the facility. Mr. Davis advised the city was anticipating setting up a situation where the city would advance Center Ice monies to be able to pay for that through the Finance Department. However, Mr. Davis reported they will probably recommend a situation where they run everything through the normal warrant process based on actual expenses instead. Councilman DeRoche advised he would support that.
Councilman DeRoche referred to Item 8 and understands the incentive for Center Ice is to make everything work within the revenue projections. Councilman DeRoche read "a" under Item 8 and believes that language is inappropriate because it does not give the city the opportunity to terminate the agreement. He then read the next paragraph and believes the city should not provide a ninety day advance written notice of their intent to terminate the contract because he believes if they want to terminate the contract immediately, they should have that option.
Councilman DeRoche noted that the city has the option of terminating the contract without cause under "b" with a sixty day advance written notice of intent after three years. He again asked why can’t the city just terminate the contract.
Councilman DeRoche asked what is the definition of Maleficence and Misfeasance under "c"? Mr. Watson replied it is neglect in operating the facility, committing wrongful acts, or being grossly negligent. Councilman DeRoche noted the city will still give them thirty days before they will terminate the contract under these circumstances. Councilman DeRoche believes if the problems are that serious, the city should have the authority to terminate the contract.
Councilman DeRoche asked whether Item 17 is a legal clause that is added by the attorney? Mr. Watson agreed.
Councilman DeRoche realizes that it is unlikely for the acts outlined in Item 17 to occur. However, he noted that the city does not include this clause in their bonds and therefore, he questions its inclusion in this contract.
Mr. Watson advised they can change any of the termination periods.
Mayor ProTem Crawford noted a typographical error under c on page 9 and believes "of" should read "or."
Councilman Schmid asked who is overseeing Center Ice? Mr. Davis replied he and his department will oversee Center Ice.
Councilman Schmid asked what is the responsibility of the Community Clubs? Mr. Davis replied that the Community Clubs will act in a similar fashion as the Parks Commission and will oversee the operation of the ice arena.
CM-98-03-089: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Crawford, CARRIED: To approve Ice Arena Management Contract as submitted
Councilman DeRoche would like to amend the motion to include the removal of "in advance" under b on page 7; change the word "advance" to "reimburse" under Item 7 on page 7; delete the remainder of the paragraph after the word payments under Item 8, a; change "ninety (90) days" to "sixty (60) days" and delete "During that period, if management is able to cure such shortfalls or to secure contractual business which will cure such shortfalls within a reasonable period of time, then the contract will not be canceled" in the next paragraph; change "of" to "or" and delete "upon receipt of written notice, Center Ice shall have thirty (30) days to cure said defects. Upon failure to cure said defects within that period, the contract may be immediately canceled without termination fee or penalty" and add, "the City at its sole discretion shall determine that the contract shall be immediately canceled without termination fee or penalty" under Item 8, c and remove Item 17 in its entirety.
Councilman Schmid is confused because he understood that this contract was agreed upon between Center Ice and the city. Mr. Watson advised there was a previous draft with Community Clubs that was approved by Council. However, Mr. Watson explained the initial reason for changing the agreement was because of the changing in the structure with the Building Authority serving as the financing agent and the city actually negotiating the agreement instead of Community Clubs. Mr. Watson further explained when that came about, Community Clubs also suggested a number of changes themselves.
Councilman Schmid asked if they should make the changes recommended by Councilman DeRoche now and then go back to Center Ice? Mr. Watson agreed they would go back to Center Ice and if Center Ice has a problem with any of the changes, they would come back before Council.
Councilman Schmid asked whether the document currently before Council was negotiated? Mr. Davis replied it was a negotiated agreement, but added he believes if they take this back before Center Ice and they do not sign the agreement, then they will bring this back before Council. However, Mr. Davis believes Center Ice will accept the agreement with the changes.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether the programs under Item 4 will pay for themselves? Mr. Davis replied they would pay for themselves. He added all program elements of the facility will be presented to Community Clubs for their review and approval so they can verify that the revenue projections against the expenditures for those specific programs will meet those obligations.
Although Councilwoman Lorenzo appreciates Member DeRoche’s amendments, she will not support the contract because she believes if Center Ice fails to meet its projected revenues that Novi citizens will be expected to meet the shortfall. Further, since the voters did not consent to this, she is not comfortable in supporting Items 5 or 6.
Mayor ProTem Crawford noted that this process has taken several years and the Community Clubs, the staff, the city attorney, the bonding attorney and other lay members have given this contract and its predecessor tight scrutiny. Consequently, Mayor ProTem Crawford is not certain how the changes will affect the agreement and he is reluctant to make those kinds of amendments.
Mr. Davis understands the advance payment of the $7,725.00 is a cash flow to pay the arena’s employees. Mr. Davis restated if Center Ice does not agree to the amendments, then Center Ice will be back before Council with their issues.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what is the time frame if Center Ice accepted the amendments? Mr. Davis replied they are becoming somewhat concerned about timing because the arena is approximately 65-70% completed and they have registered approximately 1,200 skaters for youth hockey. Mr. Davis added he will be meeting informally with Center Ice to discuss these issues tomorrow morning and if there are concerns, Mr. Watson will be involved to resolve them.
Mayor McLallen asked how much money will the city’s General Fund contribute to the project? Further, she asked whether money was collected during the hockey registration? Mr. Davis replied they generated $100.00 per participant through the initial registration for youth hockey. Mr. Davis noted that the hockey program is a separate group that runs itself and it is not monies coming into the ice arena’s revenue. He said they would see revenue once they begin to contract ice time for this group. Mr. Davis added the teams are committed to ninety two hours per week for twenty four weeks at which time they will begin invoicing the leagues as they get closer to the opening of the facility. Mr. Davis noted this revenue will reduce that obligation for the next budget item. However, Mr. Davis restated the Youth Hockey Committee is a separate entity away from the revenue stream of the ice arena itself.
Councilwoman Mutch understands that the youth hockey program has approximately $120,000 from which they will ultimately be paying for ice time. She also understands that two high schools will rent ice time and generate funds to pay for ice time. Mr. Davis stated when the ice arena starts contracting for ice, the revenue stream will start coming into the ice arena. He said when they invoice for youth hockey, that money will also come into the revenue stream and therefore, they will not have to use the city’s General Fund for those expenses.
Councilwoman Mutch appreciates Councilman DeRoche’s efforts because many of his concerns were the same concerns she had when the first agreement came before Council.
In regard to the city’s ability just to fire someone, Councilwoman Mutch thinks if she were on the other side of the contract she would want the ability to rectify any issues just as if she were an employee.
CM-98-03-090: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To amend main motion to include revisions as stated
Vote on CM-98-03-090: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, Lorenzo, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
Councilwoman Mutch will support the amendments and main motion because she knows the other party of the contract will have opportunity for input and if there are serious problems, they could make their case.
Vote on CM-98-03-089: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
6. Approval of Ice Arena Pre-opening Budget and Budget Amendment 98-16 in the amount of $63,100
Mayor McLallen understands this money is from the General Fund, does not compromise any programs or projects, and is reimbursable. Mr. Davis agreed and added it will only be utilized as needed based on the draw schedule and less any revenues brought in prior to June 30, 1998.
Councilman DeRoche asked if the payroll expense includes FICA and the other standard taxes? Mr. Davis agreed it does.
Councilman DeRoche asked what is the terminal budget for the Manager of Hockey and Operations? Mr. Davis replied the numbers in June are fairly close to what will be incurred for the following twelve months on a monthly basis. Councilman DeRoche wants to make certain that the management budget does not increase.
CM-98-03-091: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Mutch, CARRIED: To approve Pre-Opening Budget and Budget Amendment Resolution #98-16 not to exceed $63,100
Vote on CM-98-03-091: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
7. Telecommunications Permit Agreement with BRE Communications L.L.C.
Mr. Watson advised Novi and several other communities were approached and Walled Lake is anxious to enter a relationship with Phone Michigan for services. However, for Phone Michigan to do that, they need agreements to operate in the rights-of-way of each community. Mr. Watson reported they conducted a couple of meetings with various counsel for the communities and they have two major concerns. One is, they are requesting that the cities reduce the rate per foot in a pro rata fashion based upon the amount of the optic cable that is being actually utilized by the school district. From the city’s standpoint, Mr. Watson advised that any impact or use of the right-of-way is the same irrespective of whether it is on behalf of the school or not. Secondly, Mr. Watson advised they have requested a provision for the actual rate of compensation that is commonly known as a most favored status provision. Mr. Watson explained if Phone Michigan contracts for a higher rate with other communities, then the city should benefit from that higher rate. Mr. Watson reported Phone Michigan disagrees with the two provisions and is present tonight to respond.
Jeff Schneider reported he is present on behalf of BRE Communications (Phone Michigan) and noted Dave Rodwell is also present from the Walled Lake School District. Mr. Schneider reported they are present to answer any questions regarding a right-of-way agreement that would allow them to hang a single fiber optic cable on existing Detroit Edison poles. Mr. Schneider added that Phone Michigan and the Walled Lake School District will jointly own the cable.
Dave Rodwell advised the system will allow the school district to provide video and phone services, and data to all of the classrooms. It will also allow them to connect to the Internet and other data services. Mr. Rodwell believes it is an essential part of the school’s operation and it will help prepare the students for the use of these technologies as they move onto higher education and out into the working world. Mr. Rodwell added the system is a part of a bond approved by the citizens and the school is pleased to be in this relationship with Phone Michigan.
Mr. Schneider advised the document has been presented to what they call a "loose consortium" of attorneys that represented all of the municipalities or part of the Walled Lake group with the idea there would be a single agreement. Mr. Schneider reported they are now coming down to the issue of fee and their proposal is a .30¢ per lineal foot fee that would be prorated for the amount of fibers owned by Phone Michigan and the amount of fibers owned by the Walled Lake School District. Mr. Schneider added this is identical to what they are currently doing in Genesee County. Mr. Schneider reported the annual payment to the city would be $2,143.20. Mr. Schneider added that the Michigan statute states that fees have two components. He explained it should be based on the city’s cost based upon what is the cost for Phone Michigan to have a single fiber optic cable on existing poles in the right-of-way and should also be nondiscriminatory.
Mayor McLallen understands it is a very limited amount of linear feet. Mr. Watson advised that the cable would extend from the new school on Meadowbrook Road up to Thirteen Mile Road and Thirteen to Decker, then Decker to Fourteen Mile Road.
Mr. Schneider stated they are asking Council not to charge the school, but he understands there is no other community that they know of where the municipalities are charging the schools to have similar networks in a city right-of-way.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understands this system is only internal to the Walled Lake School District. Mr. Schneider disagreed and explained there are multiple fibers within the cable that can carry hundreds of thousands of phone calls. He added the idea of them doing this together with the school, they can significantly reduce the initial costs. In addition, Mr. Schneider reported Phone Michigan will maintain the cable which is important to a school district. Further, Mr. Schneider reported Phone Michigan will be using their cables to tie into Ameritech central offices to compete with them as outlined in the Telecommunication Act of 1996.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked where will Phone Michigan market their service? Mr. Schneider replied they cannot expand anything beyond what is on the map without coming before Council again; the agreement is only for what is currently before Council. Mr. Schneider explained that the federal and state governments want competition at the local level. He further explained that the fiber they want to hang goes to Ameritech central offices and under law, they are required to permit Phone Michigan to put of equipment next to the existing piece of equipment. The thought process is that the copper wire that goes to residences and most businesses has been paid for with monopoly dollars over many years and should be available for competition.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why doesn’t the Walled Lake School District use Ameritech lines? Mr. Rodwell replied they went out for bid and Phone Michigan offered the most cost effective solution. He noted that the Ameritech pricing was substantially higher.
Mayor ProTem Crawford is concerned about the erosion of the city’s authority over their right-of-way. He explained it is a city piece of land and it is the city’s responsibility to maintain it. Therefore, he is cautious about how the city gives up that authority without proper compensation and noted Mr. Schneider suggested that the city not be compensated at all.
Mr. Schneider understands that proper compensation is the issue and added the law states that the city should not make or lose money from this type of transaction. He added it should be based on the city’s cost and that it should be nondiscriminatory. He advised he is not saying that they should not pay the city; they want to make a fair offer. However, he is just trying to express what the state’s statute is.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the issue before them is to accept this agreement or have it reviewed and brought back? Mr. Watson advised that the petitioner would like the agreement executed. However, Mr. Watson stated he has requested further direction on those two issues from Council.
Mayor ProTem Crawford would like further clarification about the philosophy behind this and the opportunity to talk to some other people. Mr. Schneider advised this has been approved by the City of Walled Lake if Council would like to see an agreement. Mr. Schneider added they are facing a timing issue and the schools are anxious to move forward.
Mayor McLallen understands the issue before Council is whether the rate should be reduced in proportion to the amount of the infrastructure used by the school district. Mayor McLallen asked what would the reduction amount to? Mr. Schneider replied it amounts to 50% in Novi and added it is based upon the percentage of fibers owned.
Mayor McLallen understands that 50% of the line will be used by the schools and the remainder of the line is open to the free market under the conditions of the rest of the agreement; Mr. Schneider agreed.
Mayor McLallen further understands that according to the city’s attorney, it is still a line and the city does not really care who pays what because the city wants to be paid for the entire line. However, the issue before Council is whether they want to accept a reduction because of who is using the line. Mr. Schneider agreed and restated the issue is whether the city wants to charge the Walled Lake School District for their portion of it.
Mr. Watson explained that under Phone Michigan’s agreement with the school district that whatever the city charges that is attributable to the schools use of the fibers, will be reimbursed by the school district.
Mr. Schneider agreed that is in the agreement, but they will question whether that is something their company wants to do.
Mayor McLallen advised the second issue is whether they want to retain the rights to a most favored city status.
Councilwoman Mutch reminded Council that Novi Schools have fiber optic cables and asked what is the city’s arrangement with the Novi schools? Mr. Nowicki advised he must check that.
Councilman Kramer believes the request is straight forward. He explained that Phone Michigan is asking the city to subsidize the school district with tax money and therefore, he believes the request is unreasonable. Mr. Schneider disagreed with Councilman Kramer’s statement and noted where they do not have an educational partner, Phone Michigan pays .15¢ per foot.
Councilman Kramer would not support reducing the compensation and suggested that they limit the charge in terms of other communities involved in this immediate system.
Councilman Schmid asked how much money does the city collect from Detroit Edison for right-of-way access? Mr. Watson is uncertain.
Councilman Schmid asked if the city collects money from the cable company? Mr. Watson advised the city receives payment from the cable company because they are a franchise.
Councilman Schmid believes if the city supports the Novi School system that they should also support the Walled Lake School system.
Councilman Schmid asked how long is the contract? Mr. Schneider replied the length of the contract is for ten years and added as part of the negotiation they have inserted language to protect the city if the law were to change and they had to get a franchise similar to that of the cable companies, Phone Michigan would have to renegotiate the contract.
CM-98-03-092: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED: To approve Telecommunications Permit Agreement with BRE Communications as presented and subject to the attorney’s scrutiny
Mayor ProTem Crawford restated that the right-of-way is a limited commodity and it is the city’s responsibility to protect and maintain it. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is something in the agreement that the petitioner may need to get into the city’s right-of-way to maintain their infrastructure. Mr. Watson advised there is restoration provision in the contract. Mr. Schneider interjected, they are required to give fifteen days notice to the city’s engineering department for construction and added they would adhere to all of the city’s regulations. However, he noted repairs are often an emergency situation and they may have to notify the city after the fact.
Vote on CM-98-03-092: Yeas: McLallen, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
Nays: Crawford, Lorenzo, Kramer
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Items listed on the Consent Agenda which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approval of Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of March 2, 1998
Councilwoman Mutch referred to the last paragraph on Page 15 and advised "Erwin/Arkin" should read "Irwin Arkin."
CM-98-03-093: Moved by Mutch, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Minutes of Regular City Council Meeting of March 2, 1998 as corrected
Vote on CM-98-03-093: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
B. Approval of Resolutions appointing DPW Superintendent Craig Smith as Street Administrator and City Traffic Engineer
Councilwoman Lorenzo questions why they would have a DPW Superintendent as the City’s Traffic Engineer. She noted according to the ordinance, there seems to be quite an array of specific duties under the section about the traffic engineer. Therefore, she wondered if they are transferring those duties to Mr. Arroyo, the traffic consultant.
Mr. Watson advised Council is not transferring any particular duties to Mr. Arroyo. He explained Council is making an appointment.
Mayor McLallen added that Mr. Jerome has held this title for a number of years, but when they split the department last year the responsibility went to Craig Smith. However, the Mayor suggested that this may be an appropriate time for Administration to define what traffic engineer means in this instance because it does not have the same definition as the position that Mr. Arroyo holds.
Mr. Kriewall advised the position is more of an operational designation having to do with gasoline and weight receipts. He explained according to the ordinance, the city must have a staff member designated as a street administrator for this function. Mr. Kriewall noted that Mr. Jerome previously held this title.
Mayor McLallen understands that Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concern is about designating this position to someone who is not an engineer and whether there are any legal liabilities. Mr. Kriewall understands it does not present any legal liabilities.
Councilwoman Lorenzo referred to Section 31-141 and noted it refers to, "which is consistent with prevailing traffic engineering and safety practices" and Section 33-142 lists specific duties which would seem to relate to a certified traffic engineer.
Mr. Kriewall advised that Mr. Arroyo is not a traffic engineer in the pure sense of being an engineer. Mr. Kriewall noted in those instances where an engineering certification is required, the city uses a seal from JCK & Associates.
Mayor McLallen asked for further clarification from Mr. Watson. Mr. Watson advised that the designation is purely a function of the traffic code. However, in terms of the performance of the duties and whether that might encompass some kind of sort of liability because the person designated is not a licensed traffic engineer is not an issue since the city employs consultants whenever there is any issue about road design or if they need to conduct warrant studies.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether there is any overlap of duties? Mr. Watson understands that has not been the city’s practice in the past and assumes that will not be their policy in the future.
CM-98-03-094: Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Schmid, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolutions appointing DPW Superintendent, Craig J. Smith as Street Administrator and City Traffic Engineer
Vote on CM-98-03-094: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
BB. Award Street Tree Planting to Davey Commercial Grounds in the amount of $262,750.83 - Forestry Department
Mayor ProTem Crawford has been concerned over the last several years about the quality of the city’s street tree program. Mayor ProTem Crawford is assuming that the company contracted for the last couple of years is part of that problem. Further, he noted it was mentioned in the Forester’s letter that there were difficulties with this company in 1997. In addition, the company’s corporate office is located in Kent, Ohio which Mayor ProTem Crawford believes is too far away to resolve problems although the Forester assures Council that it should be all right this year. Mayor ProTem Crawford is not comfortable with that assurance. He believes because there are other local companies that he is not willing to give Davey a second chance because of the problems. Mayor ProTem Crawford would like to award the bid to Cut- N-Care, Inc. for $307,000.
Chris Pargoff admitted he had some concerns with Davey. He added there were two other bids that were contingency bids and one of those were for Davey (Contingency Bid 4-B). Mr. Pargoff advised they were concerned that Davey had not completed their program at the point of time that the city sought the bids that are currently before Council. Mr. Pargoff added part of that was Davey had not cleaned up the DPW yard where they had been storing plant material. After contacting the Ohio office, Mr. Pargoff reported the work was done the next day and he feels that as a national organization, Davey can complete the job. Mr. Pargoff advised Cut-N-Care is a local group and he believes they can also do the job. However, Mr. Pargoff added that he believes Davey deserves the opportunity to perform the job, but noted it will increase the city’s costs by approximately $41,000.
Mayor McLallen asked if the money is available in the Street Tree Fund? Mr. Pargoff replied that the monies for street tree plantings are from fees assessed against the builders at the time of subdivision plat approval and the escrow accounts are available for the extra $41,000.00.
Councilman Kramer recalled there was controversy approximately one year ago over the tree plantings along Novi Road because they were not maintained and asked whether those trees were a Davey project. Mr. Pargoff replied it was not a Davey project and part of that problem was that it was a fall planting which he recommended against. Mr. Pargoff noted the city no longer contracts fall planting projects because of the poor results they have experienced in the past.
Councilman Kramer asked Mr. Pargoff to elaborate on the problems the city has experienced with Davey. Mr. Pargoff replied there were some situations where they did not complete the job by the June 30 deadline and there was a fertilization program that they did not proceed within the fall of 1997. However, he added that work has now been completed.
Councilman Schmid would be willing to spend an additional $41,000 if there is good reason. Councilman Schmid understands that Mr. Pargoff made a recommendation in that he is comfortable that Davey can provide an acceptable service to Novi. Mr. Pargoff believes the assurance of Davey’s national vice president was substantial enough that he would follow through with the local branch of the company.
Councilman Schmid asked Mayor ProTem Crawford to be more specific about his concerns. Mayor ProTem Crawford is concerned that there were problems and he is not satisfied with what the street tree plantings. He is also concerned about having to contact Ohio to resolve problems when they could work with a local company. Therefore, he is not willing to give them a second chance. Councilman Schmid would agree with Mayor ProTem Crawford, but he sees no evidence that the trees are in deplorable condition.
Mayor McLallen asked whether Davey is involved with the Walden Woods II tree planting issues? Mr. Pargoff replied they were and added it was their first year for planting in Walden Woods II.
Mayor McLallen understands all of the trees are under bond and if the city does not continue to contract with Davey, the trees will still be replaced. Mr. Pargoff agreed any trees that have not survived would be replaced under the provisions of the specifications for the 1997 planting. He added the city is also withholding 25% of Davey‘s final total bid to assure that they will complete this work.
Mayor McLallen asked if the local company would purchase trees from a different source than the source Davey is using? Mr. Pargoff replied Davey was primarily getting their trees from one local wholesaler and the other companies used approximately three or four different wholesalers. Mr. Pargoff added he asked Davey’s wholesaler where several of the species were coming from and they advised that some of the Cut-N-Care trees were coming from the same locations as Davey’s trees were coming from.
McLallen asked whether Mr. Pargoff has talked to other cities or to those who have contracted them for large projects? Mr. Pargoff has not done that kind of research for Cut-N-Care, but he has for Davey.
Mayor McLallen asked if Novi is the only city that has experienced this problem? Mr. Pargoff replied some are more satisfied than others, but added some cities do not have foresters to evaluate the exact deficiencies that they may have in their program.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the bids reflect all five divisions as outlined in Mr. Pargoff’s January 20, 1998 letter? Mr. Pargoff replied they do not. He explained they are only looking at Division 1, 2, 3 and 5. He advised Division 4 was a contingency bid that depended upon the submittal of the letter from the 1996 and the 1997 bidders assuring the city that they were going to complete their programs.
CM-98-03-095: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, FAILED: To reject Davey Commercial Grounds bid for all divisions of the 1998 Street Tree Planting in the amount of $262,750.83 and award the bid to Cut-N-Care, Inc. in the amount of approximately $307,000.00
Councilman Kramer appreciates Mayor ProTem Crawford’s initiative, but he is not comfortable with the additional cost and therefore, he would prefer to work with Davey for another year.
Councilwoman Mutch asked whether any of the bids were received from a Novi company? Mr. Pargoff advised there were no bids received from a Novi company.
Vote on CM-98-03-095: Yeas: Crawford, Lorenzo, DeRoche
Nays: McLallen, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid
CM-98-03-096: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED: To award bid to Davey Commercial Grounds for all divisions of the 1998 Street Tree Planting in the amount of $262,750.83
Mayor McLallen would personally like to ask Council to direct the forester to provide an annual report on the Street Tree Planting program before this comes back to Council next year. The Mayor believes there is a lack of understanding about whether the program is successful, how many contracts are they working with and what kinds of results are they getting, how many complaints are they getting, how many trees are dying and so forth. Mayor McLallen believes the city is taking a great leap of faith based upon Mr. Pargoff’s recommendation with no background information before them. Consequently, it is difficult for Council to make an informed decision. Further, the Mayor advised that the city is putting Davey on notice that they need to improve their service in this community and they will have one more year to do that.
Mr. Pargoff agreed that he will prepare a summary indicating the success rate, the follow through and those kinds of issues that they try to address with the city’s contractors.
Mayor ProTem Crawford noted that the request is described as the 1998 Street Tree Planting and asked if any subdivision streets are included in the bid or are there other areas that the city must award bids for? Mr. Pargoff replied when he puts the bids together, he tries to divide them into three to four hundred trees per bid project in an attempt to get different contractors for each particular low bidder.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether another 1998 Street Tree Planting request will come before Council again this year? Mr. Pargoff replied another request will not come before Council and added that this includes Novi Road, Eleven Mile and so forth.
Mayor ProTem Crawford understood Mr. Pargoff to say that he had several contractors. Mr. Pargoff replied he had hoped to try to contract a different contractor for each division.
Mayor ProTem Crawford wondered if there was an economy of scale and there would be one person to contact if there was a problem without worrying about several different contractors. Mr. Pargoff stated since Davey received the low bid in each division, it has basically come down to the economies of scale.
Vote on CM-98-03-096: Yeas: McLallen, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
Nays: Crawford, DeRoche
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Request for an Appointment of a Third Member to Council Rules Committee and Schedule Meeting Date
Councilman Kramer volunteered to serve as a third member on the Council Rules Committee.
2. Adopt Council Goals and Objectives
CM-98-03-097: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by DeRoche, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adopt and publish Council Goals and Objectives
Vote on CM-98-03-097: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, DeRoche, Mutch, Schmid
3. Discussion of Visioning Proposal
Councilwoman Lorenzo stated she has received feedback from some participants in the previous visioning project in terms of city affiliated participation in the program. Councilwoman Lorenzo added that she has some concerns regarding the proposal for Mr. Arroyo to lead the facilitation. She noted her concerns have no bearing on her personal feelings toward Mr. Arroyo or his ability to lead the facilitation of the program. She explained her concerns are based solely on feedback that she has received from previous participants in terms of a company being involved that has a direct affiliation with the city. Councilwoman Lorenzo would like to see this program succeed, but she is concerned that possible participants may not become involved because of the fact that someone associated with the City of Novi will be in the lead position. Councilwoman Lorenzo then asked how many participants are necessary for this project to be a success and merit its continuation at a cost of $14,000.00.
Councilman DeRoche agrees with Councilwoman Lorenzo’s concerns about the city administration’s involvement in the program and noted that is one of the problems he is trying to rectify. He added the Steering Committee will have no local business persons, no city administration officials or Council members. Councilman DeRoche reminded Council that the city’s Administration asked to have this postponed because they did not believe they would have the staff or the time to move forward with this program. Councilman DeRoche noted he did not necessarily want them to oversee this program in the first place. Therefore, he had to look for someone else to do this with a confined amount of money. Councilman DeRoche understands there are people who facilitate the futuring/visioning process throughout the country, but they are very expensive. Councilman DeRoche advised their goal was to find someone to serve as a facilitator and clerically back up the work of the participants. Councilman DeRoche added his goal is to recruit two hundred volunteers and retain a facilitator to keep the program on track. Councilman DeRoche believes Mr. Arroyo has the personality and speaking skills to accomplish this task, and he further believes the fact that he is involved with the city should have no bearing. He explained as a facilitator, Mr. Arroyo has nothing to offer other than his experience in the futuring process. Councilman DeRoche reminded Council that the futuring process does not address tangible issues that need to be done right now. He added they specifically avoid planning issues. Further, Councilman DeRoche believes no matter whom they retain as a facilitator, that person still may be perceived as having an agenda. However, he added if a citizen has a problem with Mr. Arroyo, then they should become involved in the process.
Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether Councilman DeRoche has contacted any of the participants from the last program? Councilman DeRoche replied that is the next priority after this presentation.
Councilman Kramer thought Mr. Arroyo’s proposal was well thought out and clearly expressed. He added that he has a lot of admiration for Mr. Arroyo and that he will perform the job as the facilitator extremely well. Consequently, he will support the direction this program is heading.
Councilwoman Mutch advised she was involved in the futuring discussion even before they hired Larry Frey. She added she was also present when they brought in a professional speaker to discuss the process and because the fees are high, they decided they could probably do this themselves. In addition, Councilwoman Mutch is sure that anyone who has heard Mr. Arroyo present information on controversial issues knows he refuses to be drawn into the politics of a decision. Councilwoman Mutch believes Mr. Arroyo knows what the roles of the different bodies are and what his role is. In other words, Councilwoman Mutch believes that Mr. Arroyo provides the information for the discussion and allows that discussion to take place, and he does not attempt to influence it one way or another.
Mr. Kriewall reported MDOT has announced they are going to expedite the Beck and Wixom Roads interchanges along I-96. Mr. Kriewall noted they held a meeting approximately one week ago to find out what the city needs to do to cooperate with MDOT and move the project along. Mr. Kriewall advised one thing the city must do is move fairly rapidly to provide some local connections to whatever MDOT is planning to do in the near future. Mr. Kriewall stated the biggest problem facing Novi is the widening of Grand River between Beck and Wixom Roads in time for this project to take place because the city and the Oakland County Road Commission have no funding in place for this improvement. Mr. Kriewall noted that the Oakland County Road Commission indicated as part of their overlay and resurfacing program that they thought they could widen Grand River to four lanes between Beck and Wixom Roads as a temporary pavement to facilitate MDOT’s widening requirements. Mr. Kriewall understands that may be acceptable to MDOT and would also be a major cost that the city may not have to bear. In addition, Mr. Kriewall reported that the city also needs to provide some traffic data information to MDOT as to the traffic loading that exists in that intersection and that will require some analysis by the traffic engineers hired to monitor this project. Consequently, Mr. Kriewall reported the city must authorize this as a joint expenditure not to exceed $15,000 between Novi and Wixom, and possibly Providence Hospital. Mr. Kriewall noted that MDOT has indicated they are still on a fast-track and they want certain things to happen this calendar year. Mr. Kriewall added this cost could be funded out of the one mil road funds.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1 Letter from Joseph Galvin to Tonni Bartholomew, Re: Society Hill Woodlands Use Permit-Appeal.
2. Letter from John S. Lawrence, Novi High School, to Nancy Reutter, Re: Registering high school students to vote
3. Letter from John Serkaian to Bruce Jerome, Water and Sewer Department, Re: Salow’s Walnut Hill Subdivision Sewer Extension SAD 148
4. Notice from MML of Annual Regional Meeting on April 22, 1998 hosted by the City of Brighton
5. Letter from Sarah Gray to Terry Morrone, Re: Sunset Grill
6. Response from Terry Morrone to Sarah Gray, Re: Sunset Grill
7. Letter from James Korte to Terry Morrone, Re: Sunset Grill-13 Mile/Old Novi Road, Brent Beeshears-1101 South Lake Drive,
8. Response from Terry Morrone to James Korte, Re: Sunset Grill-13 Mile/Old Novi Road
9. Letter from Tri-Mount, Re: Walden Woods I Park drainage between Arcadia Drive & 11 Mile Road
10. RCOC Fast-Trac Information
11. Letter from Robert Higgins, Oxford Inn Tavern, Re: Rapid response of Police Officer Mark Stone to fire.
12. Communication from Khanh Pham, Community Development Dept., Re: Road Grant awarded-Nine Mile/Novi Roads intersection.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 1:10 a.m.
Mayor City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: March 6, 1998