REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.

NOVI CIVIC CENTER - ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 WEST TEN MILE ROAD

 

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m.

 

 

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford noted there is a Michigan Municipal League forum scheduled in Brighton for April 22, 1998 and added that it would not conflict with the ice arena site visit scheduled for that same evening.

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Mayor McLallen requested that they add RRRASOC - Mike Csapo prior to Item 3. Public Services.

 

 

CM-98-04-113: Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended

 

 

Vote on CM-98-04-113: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

 

 

PURPOSE OF MEETING - 1998-99 Budget Study Session

 

 

PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW: Page Numbers

White Yellow

 

Book Book

 

 

1. Planning Commission (Ĺ hour) 119 24

 

Eda Weddington, Planning Commission Chair, advised they are requesting just less than $70,000.00 and noted the main item of increase is the Master Plan update. She added there is also a $2,000.00 increase under Conferences and Workshops, and a proposed elimination of the Special Emerging Issues budget.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked whether training conferences are beneficial for Planning Commissioners? Ms. Weddington believes that taking the basic training that is offered would be very helpful for new commissioners because it will provide a good background for them. She added she believes they are fortunate to have Birchler/Arroyo as one of their consultants because they provide much of the basic training.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the Planning Commission has not approved an amended budget to remove Emerging Issues as a line item; Ms. Weddington agreed.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo understands the land use update, residential density and the thoroughfare plan are all a part of the master plan update; Ms. Weddington agreed.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what does the Planning Commission propose to do with the $12,000.00 under Communications and Liaison? Mr. Wahl advised the funds will pay for project, zoning and display maps. He added that they sell many of these maps to the public.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo was curious about why they listed this under Communications and Liaison. Mr. Wahl advised maps are considered to be a part of communications.

 

Ms. Weddington added that the cost to produce the project map twice a year is $6,000.00; the cost for the mounted color display maps used for meetings is $3,000.00; and the remainder of the budget is the cost for the quarterly printing and update of the zoning map.

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked what is the status of the wetlands and woodlands map update? Ms. Weddington reported the update has not progressed as they had hoped and added that she understands the person who was working on this assignment has left the project. She further added that the Planning Commission just authorized expenditures from the Emerging Issues budget for this project.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo recalled that the original proposal was to put these maps on CAD. However, she understands when Dave Bluhm consulted with Margaret Jolin, they decided they would put it on the GIS system. At that time, Councilwoman Lorenzo believes Ms. Jolin was working on some other priority items and the project was never completed. Councilwoman Lorenzo now understands that the project will be produced on CAD as they originally proposed. Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how much has the Planning Commission allocated from the Emerging Issues budget to accomplish that task? Ms. Weddington recalled they spent approximately $6,100.00.

 

Councilman Schmid asked whether the amounts in the estimated columns are amounts carried over from the other columns or are they truly an estimate? Mr. Gibson replied they are supposed to be a true estimate. He added that although in this case there was some difficulty in projecting the estimates, he understands that the amounts are what the Planning Commission expects to spend.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what is the amount budgeted for in the Public Participation Program? Mr. Wahl reported that amount is for the Community Attitude Survey and is a part of the Master Plan Update.

 

Mayor McLallen suggested that they consider renaming Communications and Liaison to Map Publishing.

 

 

2. Community Development (Ĺ hour) 121-122

 

Mr. Kriewall reported one key change proposed for this department and for the Building Department is the hiring of a Director of Developmental Services to oversee both departments. He added that the main focus of this position is to attempt to address some needs that they have identified over the past several years. He explained this position will coordinate and facilitate the entire developmental service arena because of the great developmental pressures faced by the community. He added the departments have also demonstrated a need to add further support staff at a lower level to relieve some pressure from the day to day operation. He further added that the position will be budgeted 50% in the Building Department and 50% in Planning and Community Development.

 

Mayor McLallen asked what is the salary for this position? Mr. Kriewall recalled the maximum is $63,000.00.

 

Mayor McLallen advised that she has some concerns relating to the job description and asked that they clarify what the responsibilities in the department are. Further, she noted that the description states that the duties of this position will be focused on the administrative level and not the day to day operation of the two departments.

 

The Mayor then asked what functions will the Planning and Community Development Director be accountable for once it is moved over and under in terms of the reorganization of the department? Mr. Klaver believes this position will operate similarly to that of Tony Nowicki, the Director of Public Services. He explained that although Mr. Nowickiís staff represents his different departments, he is the one that holds the staff meetings and sets overall direction for administrative standards. Mr. Klaver further explained that this position is not designed to provide daily assignments for building inspectors and will be more focused on administrative matters. Mr. Klaver advised one of their concerns was that there needed to be more attention paid to advanced problem solving to provide more administrative direction. He explained that this position will be instrumental in administrating direction and although he will not be instrumental in putting out day to day fires, it will involve some long term strategy planning.

 

Mayor McLallen believes part of the job is putting out the day to day fires. Mr. Kriewall would see this position as a safety valve for someone to turn on when they cannot seem to get the right direction from a particular department.

Councilwoman Lorenzo is not convinced that adding another managerial/administrative level is the answer. She explained it has been her feeling for a long time that the Planning and Community Development functions should be split and managed separately. She further explained the problems she has seen is that each portion of that department is vying for attention and consequently, the entire department is suffering.

 

Councilman Schmid concurred with Councilwoman Lorenzoís comments, and added he does not believe the job description is clear and concise.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what responsibilities will be passed over to the new position from the Director of Planning and Community Development, and the Building Officialís positions? Mr. Kriewall advised that the Building Official currently reports to the Director of Public Services and he now would basically be reporting to another individual.

 

Councilwoman Mutch understands that the transition would benefit the Director of Public Services; Mr. Kriewall agreed and he believed that has been a concern because of Mr. Nowickiís tremendous work load. Mr. Kriewall added that he also believes there is some missing coordination between the Planning and Building Departments.

 

Councilwoman Mutch understands that this new position would coordinate work in both departments so the departments can accomplish more; Mr. Kriewall agreed.

 

Mr. Klaver asked that Council realize that in addition to the growth that Planning, Public Services and the Building Department have seen, they have also started some valuable initiatives that did not exist ten years ago. For example, Mr. Klaver believes Mr. Nowicki is exercising a higher level of control and coordination over JCK activities than what the city exercised in the past.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked whether they think creating an overall supervisory type position is better than adding more staff? Mr. Kriewall believes the dollars are better spent at a higher level. He explained he does not believe they will accomplish what they set out to or instigate change if they added someone at a building inspector level or at a junior staff planner level. He also does not believe they would have the cost savings and restated that he believes they will get much more for their money by hiring someone to coordinate the entire process.

 

Councilwoman Mutch believes no matter how well the supervisor performs the job, he will still need staff to accomplish the work. Mr. Kriewall believes Council has historically perceived this problem to be at a managerial level and that is what they are attempting to address.

 

Councilman Kramer would like to see a better parallel and division of responsibility drawn between the Director of Public Services and the Director of Developmental Services. Mr. Kriewall believes they can provide that information. Mr. Klaver interjected, they used the Public Service Director job description as a pattern for the new position.

 

Councilman Kramer understands they have taken some staff action within the Planning Department. Mr. Wahl explained they have reclassified Khanh Phamís position from a Community Development Specialist (a union position) to a Community Development Coordinator (a non-union position). Mr. Klaver added they also upgraded another position to a Planning Clerk.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford believes this is a step in the right direction and noted it was somewhat initiated by Council. Further, he believes it makes more sense to have the Building Official, and the Director of Planning and Community Development under the same jurisdiction because of their interrelationship. Mayor ProTem Crawford added that he would agree that they need a better job description for the new position.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked where does Economic Development fit in? Mr. Wahl explained it would fall under the Community Development Director.

 

Mr. Klaver noted if they chose to, Council could separate the Economic Development Coordinator at some later point in time.

 

Councilman Kramer hopes that the new person would have the expertise to partner with and assist the Director of Planning and Community Development, and the Economic Development Coordinator in their individual special projects or programs.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo would be interested in seeing a typical day charted in the Planning Department that would depict what each person spends time on each day to more clearly understand how great the work load is in that department.

 

Councilman Schmid restated that he believes Council still needs a clearer understanding of the responsibilities of this position. Further, he believes if they asked the people involved to chart their work, they would come up with a list of almost one hundred items that they do.

 

Mayor McLallen noted Planning and Community Development has added a car to their budget.

 

Mr. Wahl reported their planning program has become very strong by upgrading a clerk position to Planning Assistant with someone with a Masterís Degree in planning. Mr. Wahl advised it is their intent to maintain and improve the quality of the departmentís service to the Planning Commission and City Council, improve follow up with the consultants and help prepare information utilized in the community.

 

Mr. Wahl reported they currently have seventy five projects in process and added Steve Rumple is primarily responsible for the administration of these projects. Mr. Wahl further reported they are proposing to augment the day to day site plan process with an update of the Site Plan Manual.

 

Mr. Wahl advised they are proposing $10,000.00 for engineering services because the Consultant Review Committee concluded that rather than supplement the engineering retainer for Planning Commission requests, that this formula will better help provide that service.

 

Mr. Wahl believes Council is already aware that the department expects to take on the responsibility for architectural and sign review.

 

Mr. Wahl reminded Council that they have promoted Khanh Pham to a professional level position and he hopes that he will take over some of his day to day responsibilities so that he may expand his responsibilities in other areas. He further noted that Mr. Pham is coordinating the Capital Improvement Program that used to be a consultant function. In addition, he is also the road grant coordinator and is actively involved in road planning functions. Mr. Wahl added that the Economic Development Program is the departmentís most recent initiative.

 

Greg Capote advised he has been working closely with the Economic Development Corporation and noted they are currently meeting every other month. Mr. Capote reported their discussions consist of what are they going to do as an organization to accomplish the communityís goals to diversify the tax base and accomplish their mission statement. Mr. Capote noted they are currently in the process of constructing a booth, publishing a brochure and developing a marketing kit for their economic development program to attract industry that would diversify Noviís tax base. Mr. Capote reported a final copy of the kit will be ready for the first EDC meeting in May and that he will provide individual copies of the kit to Council members. He added that he would like to pattern an economic development map after Oakland County and the City of Southfieldís maps.

 

Mayor McLallen noted that the EDC currently has a small amount of funding. Mr. Capote advised although they do have approximately $24,000.00, the EDC has been spending some of it to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce and added they had also been working with the Main Street project a couple of years ago. However, he advised that the EDC has no source of cash flow at the moment. Consequently, that is why they are coming before Council with a request for further funds during the budget process.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether the engineering costs are limited to engineering? Mr. Wahl replied these funds are primarily allocated for work performed by JCK or other engineers.

 

Councilman Kramer noted there are funds allocated for Main Street West and Town Center/Grand River that he interpreted to be for people contracted to support projects and so forth; Mr. Wahl agreed and added they have specific work programs and specific outside consultants that the cityís consultants typically work with (i.e., Beckett-Rader).

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether there is a contract prepared when they hire people from the outside? Mr. Wahl replied that has not been their policy. Mr. Wahl added they have used this particular approach in the Town Center District since the city has employed him. He noted that the amount of money varied because it depended on how much work was being done.

 

Councilman Kramer noted this item has not always been in the departmentís budget. Mr. Wahl agreed and advised that it has been in the Planning Commissionís budget during some years.

 

Mr. Wahl reported that the Main Street West Study is a special design and engineering study, and the others are for support for consultantís to work on projected assignments that may arise during the year.

 

Councilman Kramer understands that these three items are items to expand the departmentís capability of doing work by contracting outside people; Mr. Wahl agreed. Councilman Kramer finds this very worthwhile.

 

Councilman Kramer supports the indication that the department is working well with the EDC and Chamber of Commerce. He added that because he believes the EDC is not really extending their funds at this time, he would support giving them a match for the upcoming year and watch how they progress.

 

Mr. Capote is concerned that once the EDCís funds are spent, there is no way to replace them. He added that the City of Novi is at the breaking point of putting work into the map to help make the community an engine for economic development in terms of a tax diversification standpoint. Further, although it is his opinion that the EDC will potentially receive cash from the private sector in the future, he restated they will have no cash flow until that point.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that the Town Center line item is going from the Planning Commissionís budget into the departmentís budget and that they are doubling it. Mr. Wahl advised it has been in their budget on and off for a number of years.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked for a further explanation about the plans for Main Street West. Mr. Wahl replied he believes they need to be co-active in the development process in terms of the public sector because they want to see a certain quality of development and added that they should not wait to react until the developer has laid out his roads. Mr. Wahl advised that Main Street West is the final segment of the ring road from Grand River through several properties, including the Trans-X area and then connecting to Main Street at Novi Road. Mr. Wahl advised although this project was funded last year, they had not been able to expend the energy on it as they had anticipated.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo understands that much of the allocated funds had gone into the proposed ordinance revisions of the sign ordinance. Mr. Wahl replied that much of their time and energy had gone to that, but he is uncertain as to what the expense was and what was not included in Main Street West.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned about spending this much time, energy and money on Main Street at the Planning Department level for a private developer. She thinks there comes a time where the Planning Commission and Council decide in which form they want things to be done; if anything.

 

Mr. Wahl believes this has gone far beyond a single developer. He explained that Mr. Saven has just spent a tremendous amount of energy working with the entire sign ordinance which had not been reviewed since 1984. Mr. Wahl agrees this has been a major effort, but added that he thinks Council made it clear that improvements were needed, and they needed to expend the commitment to develop a better process and product.

 

Councilwoman Mutch thinks the advantage of having an aggressively assertive economic development initiative is that the city will be connecting with those businesses that the city would like to see come into the community.

 

Mr. Wahl concluded by saying that he believes this is the first time in thirteen years that they organize and staffed the department in a way that he thinks it should be. He added that he believes they can now move forward with those things that Council would like to see implemented in terms of development in Novi.

 

 

BREAK - 9:00 until 9:15 p.m.

 

3. RRRASOC - Mike Csapo

 

Mr. Csapo advised he would like to discuss what they are proposing for 1998-99 in terms of RRRASOCís relationship with Novi. Mr. Csapo reminded Council about the work they do in Lansing, with SEMCOG and with Oakland County in terms of representing Noviís interest. Mr. Csapo believes that is important despite the fact that Novi is what they call a subscription-based community. He explained through RRRASOC and Noviís recycling efforts, they continue to work together toward driving costs.

 

Mr. Csapo advised the current member contribution for Novi is $28,964.00 and is based upon the 1990 census. He reminded Council that the membership cost was $50,000.00 in 1991 and therefore, they have realized almost a 50% decline. Mr. Csapo believes they have been able to reduce that number because of smart management and because of economy of scale.

 

Mr. Csapo reported during the past year they also have offset those costs through the payment of a Host Community Management fee of $21,000.00. He explained this fee accounts for the cityís continual management of the DPW drop off center.

 

Mr. Csapo further reported the RRRASOC board asked him to provide a more thorough analysis of the site because they have realized that the cost of the DPW site exceeded their earlier expectations . Mr. Csapo advised they view recycling as a necessary public program, but because of the nature of recycling they have a little more responsibility to run it more like a business than like a typical public program. Consequently, they want to take a sharper pencil to the program.

 

Mr. Csapo advised they also want to look more closely at the types of items they accept at the site and what they cost on an individual basis. In analyzing some of the materials accepted at the site, they concluded some items were not cost effective. Consequently, they recommended that they continue operating the site as is, but with the exception of cardboard (i.e., boxes), paperboard and household batteries. Further, they also recommended that the city hold an annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day that would be open to all communities. He explained the more people that come, the lower the net cost will be to the City of Novi. Mr. Csapo advised RRRASOC is looking to reduce some of their gross costs at the site, while keeping the bulk of the site open.

 

Mr. Csapo advised they would also like to reduce their Host Community Fee from $21,000.00 to $10,000.00. He explained Noviís net cost for RRRASOC would then increase from $9,000.00 to $20,000.00. Mr. Csapo advised in addition to all of RRRASOCís work in Lansing and their educational and county efforts, RRRASOC would continue to assume all of the costs at the Novi site. Mr. Csapo reported RRRASOC will have assumed approximately $60,000.00 in vendor costs for this year and if these proposals go into effect, they will still have to assume approximately $40,000.00 in vendor costs in addition to approximately $5,000.00 that they spend on their newsletter sent to Novi residents.

 

Councilman Schmid understands that the newsletter is also sent to other communities. Mr. Csapo agreed they use this letter in all of the communities, but added that they customize the newsletter for each community, .

 

Councilman Schmid asked how is RRRASOC financed? Mr. Csapo replied they are financed through member contributions.

 

Mr. Kriewall believes Novi has benefitted from RRRASOCís recycling effort. He explained if Novi ran their own recycling it would cost the city $60,000.00 plus a $30,000.00 membership.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked how much will Hazardous Waste Collection Day cost the city? Mr. Csapo believes the cost is $25,000.00 for one day at the DPW facility, but noted it is free to residents if they can provide proof of residency. He added that the vendor would charge on a per car basis on a graduated scale. Consequently, the more cars that come, the lower the per car cost would be.

 

Councilwoman Mutch recommended that they coordinate the Hazardous Waste Collection Day with the Fire Department. She added that she believes many people may not realize that some items they store in their homes can be a potential hazard. Mr. Csapo agreed and added it should be a community wide effort.

 

Mayor McLallen understands the $75,000.00 request includes costs associated with Hazardous Waste Collection Day; Mr. Csapo agreed.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether any of the residential waste contractors dispose their recyclable products with RRRASOC? Mr. Csapo replied that some do, but added that it amounts to a small percentage.

 

 

4. Public Services (1 hour)

 

 

A. Forestry 99-100 13

 

Chris Pargoff reported that the budget figures are the same as the previous with the exception of the carry over for tree maintenance and equipment. Mr. Pargoff noted they are not getting a truck this year.

 

Mr. Pargoff believes that trees are the ultimate futuring element of the community. However, he added that they do not necessarily provide immediate gratification. Mr. Pargoff advised that trees are living organisms that need extended care when young and throughout their life to remain safe and strong for the benefit of their human benefactors. Without this expenditure, Mr. Pargoff reported these trees might become hazards that may need to be removed or require severe treatment that might shorten their life expectancy. Mr. Pargoff then thanked the staff members for their help in Noviís tree program.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why is Cemetery Maintenance and Rouge Clean-up under Personnel Services? Mr. Pargoff replied DPW workers provide those services. He added they are in the process of trying to recruit volunteers through advertising that has not yet been published in the Novi News for the Rouge River clean-up. He noted that the cemetery clean-up occurs once to twice a year and the DPW workers do the mowing maintenance.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how many "good" trees does $10,000.00 buy? Mr. Pargoff replied approximately $6,000.00 of that amount is spent on balled and burlap trees and $4,000.00 is spent on the seedling trees that they store at the DPW yard and are used for future use on the streets.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether there is any comprehensive plan for major/minor subdivision streets? Mr. Pargoff reported that the subdivision streets are all paid for by developer contributions.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether there are any plans for the major collector streets? Mr. Pargoff reported their program has been primarily to plant the trees in areas where they can provide that service in the most economical way possible. He advised they planted some trees along Taft Road in front of Yorkshire subdivision this spring. In addition, he advised they will continue their efforts along Novi and Decker Roads this spring by planting some balled and burlap trees and some whips.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford understands a balled and burlap is a two to three inch tree; Mr. Pargoff agreed. Mr. Pargoff added that they can get in twenty whips for one balled and burlap tree and even if they lose more than half of them, they have accomplished twice as much work with the whips than what they can accomplish with the balled and burlaps.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked which tree is heartier? Mr. Pargoff believes the balled and burlap is heartier, but restated they are accomplishing more with the whip in terms of cost.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford is concerned about the half hazard look they are creating along Novi Road and therefore, he wonders if the 10,000.00 request will significantly improve that area? Mr. Pargoff replied that the $10,000.00 is allotted for the replacement of damaged trees in older subdivisions.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford would like someone to look at the entire city.

 

Mr. Pargoff reported Council denied a proposal that was put forward by Mr. Nowicki and Ms. Lemke for tree planting along the roads proposed to be paved as part of the 1990 Roadway Bond Program. Mayor ProTem Crawford would like that revisited. Mr. Nowicki interjected, they would like to include landscaping in all of their roadway projects. He added that they have been able to get MDOTís participation in federal road paving projects.

 

If there is a Council consensus, Mayor ProTem Crawford restated he would like the tree program reconsidered so they can reexamine the issue during next yearís budget.

 

Mr. Nowicki added he would like to bring this matter back before Council if they have funds left from the 1996 Road Bond Program.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford would also like staff to readdress what they have already done for Councilís reconsideration although he added that he does not believe they will be allotted a sufficient amount of time to present it during this yearís budget process. Mr. Nowicki advised they will relook at the tree plantings along all the major roads and provide that cost in two weeks.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether they have expended all the money in the tree planting fund that development has paid for? Mr. Pargoff advised monies received from developers are specific to that development.

 

Councilman Kramer understands developers sometimes pay directly into the tree fund. Mr. Pargoff agreed and advised they will be using some of that money for planting along Twelve Mile this year. However, he noted that is not a complete planting of Twelve Mile Road.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether there would be a substantial amount left in the tree fund that they could use instead of leaving it in the fund? Mr. Pargoff replied that is very likely, but added he has been very reluctant to use these funds because it has a specific purpose.

 

Councilman Kramer suggested that they look at using this money because that is what it is there for. Mr. Pargoff advised he will review the tree fund to determine whether they can apply these funds to the cityís tree planting program.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether they are developing a grand plan for tree planting along Twelve Mile Road? Mr. Pargoff replied they developed a plan for Twelve Mile that Council approved approximately a year and a half ago. Mr. Nowicki interjected, they will provide a copy of the plan next Monday.

 

Councilman Kramer added that he supports the idea that they include costs associated with landscaping when the city constructs roads and sidewalks.

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked that Mr. Pargoff also provide the balance of the developerís tree account to Council.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo suggested that they solicit Rouge River volunteers on the cable channel. Mr. Pargoff advised he is working on that with Mr. Martin.

 

Councilman Schmid asked whether Mr. Pargoff could get the trees planted if Council were to approve $50,000.00 for additional trees? Mr. Pargoff does not believe they could get them planted this year because of the availability of trees. He explained that because the market was so strong, that the farmers had not planted the amounts of trees necessary to get the kinds of trees into the tree planting nursery system. He added that he has been approached by several wholesalers who advised they would appreciate getting tree lists by this fall for next spring rather than waiting until the beginning of the year.

 

Councilman Schmid sees a lot of unspent money in this budget and he would like to see the trees planted. Mr. Pargoff advised there is an issue with the process itself that he would have to discuss with Mr. Gibson and Ms. Kalinovik. Mr. Pargoff reported if they advised they could work it out, he would try it.

 

Mr. Pargoff reported he believes the key budget item is personnel and he would like additional help with the hauling, tree inventory, locating areas for tree plantings within subdivisions, and trim work.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked for further explanation about the continuance of wetland education of the city forester. Mr. Pargoff advised that item was carried over from last year and since he is no longer involved in plan reviews, that would no longer apply to his position.

 

Mayor McLallen understands that would also apply to the coordination of efforts between the wetlands, building construction and site development; Mr. Pargoff agreed.

 

Mayor McLallen noted she does not see a line item for one of Mr. Pargoffís most valid goals, Tree Trimming and the Hazardous Tree Removal Program; Mr. Pargoff advised they budgeted $30,000.00 for that under Tree Maintenance.

 

 

B. Building 109-110 20

 

Mr. Saven reported the department has taken a proactive role in all the communications from the department. He advised they have recently developed a cable program about constructing residential decks that will be aired next week. Further, he reported they have also taken a proactive role in developing an operations manual that discusses everything one needs to know about the Building Department. Mr. Saven also reported that one ordinance officer, at her own initiative, took a proactive role in developing the Soil Erosion Symposium that was open to the entire State of Michigan.

 

Mr. Saven reported the major issues within his department are associated with communication. He then explained the department is scheduled to be evaluated by ISO (Insurance Service Organizations - an organization that evaluates services rendered for public safety) and because communications is a major part of that evaluation, he feels the department has taken an aggressive role in addressing that issue. Mr. Saven added if the department receives a good rating, it will also reduce the rates for all new construction.

 

Mr. Saven added that many issues they have been working on are ready to be implemented and the improvements will address many of those issues within the department. He further added that much of the training costs allocated in the budget are associated with these issues.

 

Mr. Saven noted another large debt item is related to computers that will provide readily accessible plan information to homeowners.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo is concerned that there is a lack of ordinance enforcement after five oíclock and on weekends, and asked whether there is any intention to request additional personnel or adust staff for that purpose? Mr. Saven replied they currently have ordinance officers working during the day on Saturdays and added that the Police Department handles matters after five oíclock.

 

Councilman Schmid asked for further clarification for the Conferences and Workshops line item. Mr. Saven explained they are in the process of upgrading their Sierra System and added that Sierra operates out of California. Mr. Saven believes his entire staff needs to be involved in this upgrade and therefore, he would prefer to bring the training in rather than send staff to California. Mr. Saven added that the $20,000.00 is part of ISOís requirement for conferences and training. He explained ISO requires that 2% of the departmentís budget be allocated in this area. However, Mr. Saven noted whether the department uses it all is another matter.

 

Mr. Saven advised that he is watching his staff very closely and believes he is very close to having to add another clerical staff member because of the increasing number of building permits.

 

Councilwoman Mutch recalled that they raised the personnel issue last year and reminded Mr. Saven that they would prefer to add another staff person than receive complaints from the citizens.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what kind of cooperation does the department get from the Police Department in enforcing the cityís ordinances Mr. Saven replied that they have been very cooperative.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the cityís needs require that they hire another weigh master? Mr. Nowicki believes one weigh master is sufficient and that the hiring of another person would not support itself.

 

Mr. Klaver interjected, the involvement of the police department is based upon a misunderstanding about the nature of the fees. He explained the police department had understood that there is a limit to a punitive fee, not knowing that this is more appropriately considered to be a compensatory fee. Mr. Klaver further explained after the city attorney reviewed it, they thought the collection of large fees would have to be done by the police department. However, it was later determined that they were incorrect and that it was actually a misinterpretation of the nature of the fee. Once they resolved that confusion, they left things as they are. However, Mr. Klaver added they are currently assessing the fee structure.

 

 

C. Ordinance 111-112 21

 

Mayor McLallen understands one ordinance officer is lobbying to get the National Ordinance Enforcement Convention to the City of Novi in 2001; Mr. Nowicki agreed.

 

 

D. D.P.W. 115-116 22

 

Craig Smith advised he is proposing to develop an annual maintenance calendar for the streets in which he will prioritize the schedule of all of the maintenance activities. To accomplish that goal, Mr. Smith is requesting an additional DPW foreman because he would like to divide the work into two categories (roads and storm drain system).

 

Mr. Smith advised they are proposing to add a new saline additive system for the winter maintenance to increase the effective temperature range of the salt on the ice. Mr. Nowicki interjected, this system will be used at intersections where heavy icing occurs.

 

Mr. Smith further advised that he anticipates a labor increase for patching the older roads. He explained that because the city is moving into a road replacement program that they realize they must continue the patching program until the roads are rebuilt.

 

Mr. Smith reported he has been receiving many requests for clean up along the roads and added he is disappointed that the roads are not adopted as they should be. Therefore, he is working within the community to try to recruit local groups or businesses to adopt the roads.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether the County can take care of their roads? Mr. Smith advised that Novi is split in terms of Oakland County maintenance. He explained part of Novi is serviced by the Southfield yard and the other half is serviced out of Milford. Mr. Smith advised he meets with both yards regularly and they provide maintenance when requested. However, Mr. Smith noted that both yards have a sparse crew at this time.

 

Mr. Smith reported he has requested that they lease a sweeper for the department. Mr. Nowicki interjected, they have a contractual street sweeping contract at this time. However, he added that because of the way the community is changing, they are unable to keep up with the sweeping on a contractual basis. He further added that a sweeper operated in house would supplement the contractual services. Mr. Nowicki advised that not only would it be used in subdivisions, but they could also use it for maintaining the Civic Centerís parking lot and for special events. Further, Mr. Nowicki reported they are also looking at ways to charge the cost of the sweeper back to the builders for sweeping subdivision streets that are under construction.

 

Mr. Kriewall advised when he attends municipal gatherings, they are encouraged to share these special kinds of equipment with other communities.

 

Mr. Smith advised he has contacted Walled Lake, Wixom and Farmington Hills, and he agrees that they can share many of the costs and labors with these communities. He added that he will pursue this further.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked how much road could they sweep during a typical eight hour day? Mr. Smith believes they could sweep much more than one subdivision during an eight hour day, but noted it is critical to understand there are limitations in terms of times when they can sweep. Mr. Smith believes that they could just follow the trash haulers when they sweep and added that the cost would be approximately $3,000.00 for a subdivision like Meadowbrook Glens.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if DPW employs temporary help? Mr. Smith replied that they hire temporary help during the summer because they have several programs that last only through the summer. He explained one program is a large joint crack sealing program and another is a lot of additional lawn cutting. However, he noted they are limited as to the type of activity they can assign to their temporary help because they cannot operate the heavy equipment.

 

Councilman Kramer understands there are sufficient funds allocated in the budget to cover the summer program; Mr. Smith agreed.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked how much do they pay their temporary help? Mr. Smith replied that they raised the hourly rate to $7.50 this year, but noted that finding good labor is difficult.

 

Mr. Gibson asked that Council look at the bottom of the budget and noted that the DPW and the Municipal Garage budgets are really pass through money. For example, he advised that they capture the DPW costs and then based upon the actual hours worked (i.e., major street or local street fund), they pump it back out. He advised another example is if the estimate for the overtime is high, then the estimated dollar is low as far as what is going to be billed out is also high so that the net will not be very substantial out of the General Fund.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo is interested in seeing a copy of the DPWís full maintenance program. Mr. Smith advised that they are currently in the process of developing the storm maintenance program and noted they are going start with an inventory. He added that although there is already a program in place, it is not as comprehensive as he would like.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether there is a plan in terms of how often they (i.e., catch basins) will be maintained? Mr. Smith replied that the plan is to follow the paving program and he believes that should keep his staff busy all summer.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the Capital Outlay line item is for maintenance? Mr. Smith replied the $10,000.00 for the bike trails is for standard maintenance. He added that they are going to divide that work with the staff and with a contractor.

 

Mr. Gibson noted that one capital item was missed that they would recommend that it be added back to the budget. He reported they would like to add $40,000.00 back for a sign computer. Mr. Smith interjected, it is a lettering machine that cuts out the letters in any size or style for the all the cityís signs (i.e., street signs, zoning ordinance signs, specialty signs). He noted they are currently doing it all by hand and the size of letters is limited.

 

Councilman DeRoche asked whether they can contract the sign work because $40,000.00 sounds like a lot of money. Mr. Smith advised he is currently spending $16,500.00 on signing supplies and that amount includes contracting some vendors for specialty signs. Therefore, he believes the sign machine will quickly pay for itself. Further, he advised they can do work for other communities.

 

 

E. Municipal Garage 117-118 23

 

 

F. Funds

1. *Major Street 127 n/a

2. *Local Street 128 n/a

3. *Municipal 129 n/a

4. *Drain Revenue 136 n/a

5. *Drain Perpetual Maintenance 137 n/a

 

* = Tabled until Budget Meeting scheduled for April 23, 1998

 

 

6. Water and Sewer 167-168 n/a

 

Bruce Jerome reported they are an enterprise fund in that their operation is supported by water sales, sewer treatment and user charges. Mr. Jerome reported their operation is in excess of $9.0M and the department currently has 10.5 employees with 9,596 customers in the system. He further reported that they purchase in excess of 1.6 billion gallons of water from the City of Detroit. Mr. Jerome stated of the $9.0M+ budget, over $7.0M in revenue is generated through sales of water and sewer treatment costs. Mr. Jerome reported the city currently owns, operates and maintains more than 160 miles of water mains. Further, the city maintains just over 2,250 fire hydrants and 5 pressure reducing valves. In addition, they have more than 150 miles of sanitary sewer with 5 lift stations.

Mr. Jerome reported they are proposing to add an additional field person, in addition to one person in the office.

 

Mr. Jerome further reported that the water and sewer rates were last adjusted in August 1997, and added that he and Mr. Gibson are in the process of reviewing operating costs annually. At this time, Mr. Jerome stated although they know the water rate will increase, the water system is a little more complicated. He explained that the City of Detroit often treats the cityís waste, but on its journey to Detroit the waste passes through both the Oakland and Wayne County systems and noted that they currently do not have the pass through costs for either county. Mr. Jerome added that he spoke with Mr. Porter from Oakland County and he was hoping to have some numbers within the next month or so for the Huron Rouge portion of the county system. Mr. Jerome reported that the good news is that they can anticipate a slight reduction in Noviís cost for the Walled Lake system. He explained they attributed the reduction to the growth in that particular branch of the system and the efficient operation of the plant.

 

Regarding the physical inventory, Mr. Jerome reported they will have some construction projects for next year (i.e., 2 miles of 16 inch water main the Wixom Road and Eleven Mile connection to the school, 1Ĺ miles of 24 inch water main for the Taft Road extension, 2 additional pressure reducing chamber style systems and miscellaneous special assessment projects).

 

Mr. Jerome reported he has spoken with members of the Detroit staff and they are hoping to require an additional meter as soon as next year. He explained when they developed the by pass on Fourteen Mile Road they installed preliminary piping for that system so as Section 1 develops, they will have another meter connection available. He added as Detroit extends their system to the west side of Walled Lake and ultimately to the City of Wixom, Novi will have a 24 inch meter connection. Mr. Jerome added they have also begun discussions with Detroit about the installation of the booster pump within the City of Novi which would greatly help to resolve the low water pressure issue during the summer months. Further, Detroit has also been very receptive to Noviís request to storage on the system as it is expanded to Wixom.

 

Concerning sewer, Mr. Jerome reported there are various construction projects (i.e., Taft Road extension and running the sewer from Beck Road to Wixom road).

 

Mr. Jerome reported their request for an additional maintenance person is to supplement the maintenance on the sewer system. He added they are required to perform certain maintenance tasks on the system under a federal abatement order and consequently, they are forced to do much of their routine maintenance under overtime. Further, they are requesting an additional clerk/typist to provide support to the Civic Center staff because of the heavy work load.

 

Mr. Jerome further reported they are also requesting the replacement of one truck, one service vehicle and a one ton dump truck. Under Minor Equipment, Mr. Jerome reported they are requesting a hydraulic jack hammer and a portable submersible trash pump to use on the lift stations.

 

Councilman Schmid would like a list of all new capital equipment.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:25 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

 

Date Approved: May 4, 1998