SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1998 AT 7:30 P.M.

NOVI CIVIC CENTER ACTIVITIES ROOM - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

 

ROLL CALL Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche (arrived 7:53 p.m.), Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid

 

 

ALSO PRESENT Ed Kriewall, Tony Nowicki, Jim Wahl, Tonni Bartholomew, Rod Arroyo, Joe Kapelczak, Dave Potter and Jim Mortimer

 

 

PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING:

 

To review the Potential Road Program Study/Traffic Improvement Plan.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Kevin Brady - understands the road improvement project is a massive job and is glad that they are looking at a city wide approach. He would also hope that the city keeps the aesthetics of the community in mind and realize that they do not have to make every road five lanes. He would also like them to realize that some improvements are major improvements and keep in mind that when they make certain improvements at the interchanges and at the intersections that connect to other communities, those improvements will change the dynamics of the road system within the city. He explained the roads will have different demands concerning traffic. He continued by stating if they consider that, then it may influence their opinion on the way they will look at how traffic flows. Mr. Brady believes the city tends to focus a lot on the east-west flow of traffic and he would prefer that they view the road system like a spokes on a wheel and concentrate on the interchanges by allowing better access (i.e., Beck Road). He believes the interchange improvements will have a different flow than east-west and will have more of a north-south flow like a spoke on a wheel. Further, Mr. Brady believes that the city may consider LDFA (Local Development Finance Authority) and although it was changed because of Proposal A, he understands that if a major industrial development comes in they can have agreements for a local development finance authority that will capture the countyís winter millage. He explained if the county is unable to provide the funding for the road improvements, he believes the city has an argument to say that they are bringing in a major industrial development and the city needs road improvements to service that development. Consequently, Mr. Brady believes they can fund these road improvements through the LDFA with an agreement that the city can capture the countyís winter taxes to pay off part of the bonds for the road improvements. Mr. Brady then asked Council to look at "new urbanism." He explained that comes down to looking at trying to create road systems that have a more calming effect on the community, especially around residential districts. Mr. Brady asked that the city look at other communities that have separated their town into industrial zoning, into residential zoning and commercial zoning so that those areas can have different dynamics regarding traffic needs.

 

 

Warren Jocz - 40755 W. 10 Mile Rd., asked that Council keep in mind that the intent of the traffic review reports is to only address traffic and the goal is to look at some futuristic volume to try to move traffic as smoothly and as fast through the community as possible. Mr. Jocz is concerned that if Council only looks at the sum of all these improvements at every mile road, the improvements will not do anything to bring the community together and instead they would create physical divisions throughout the community. He believes the result will be many little subcommunities that are one mile square. Mr. Jocz added that the city has spent much time and effort looking at things like sidewalks to try to bring the community together and he feels that expecting children or families to cross five lane thoroughfares every mile just to go to another subdivision is unrealistic. He agrees with Mr. Brady that the city should take more of a community wide approach that tries to balance out more of the negative impacts that result from laying this much pavement. He added there are cities that have successfully used calming techniques successfully to address their traffic problems.

 

Mayor McLallen ask Mr. Jocz to put any specific comments he may have in writing.

 

 

Dana Howe - agrees with the comments made by Mr. Jocz and Mr. Brady, and suggested that they could perhaps develop a ring road to divert traffic around the city instead of through it. Ms. Howe knows they have problems with all of the corridors in the city because they are very small, congested and in poor condition. Ms. Howe would like to see an overview of the previous two road bonds and what was accomplished with that money. She would also like to know whose idea it was to rename West Road from Pontiac Trail to Twelve Mile Road.

 

Mr. Nowicki advised that was part of the recommendation of the Taft Road Extension Committee to provide the area with one continuous corridor from Twelve Mile and Pontiac Trail.

 

Mr. Kriewall added that they tried to convince the City of Wixom to change the name of West Road in their community and they declined. He explained if Wixom had done that, Novi could have left the West Road named as West Road. However, he added that it would have become really confusing if they had to name West Road, North-South West Road or East-West West Road as a continuation of West Road.

 

Ms. Howe believes that the roads have not kept up with the cityís growth and the corridors are in need of major improvements.

 

 

1. Introduction

 

Mayor McLallen stated part of this meeting is to determine how they can maximize the available resources and identify other potential resources. The Mayor believes Novi has a very rare situation in that it is bisected by the major egress roads for the western portion of metropolitan Detroit. She added that Novi also has major access to north-south roads. Further, Mayor McLallen advised that Novi has an emerging major access in its western region at Beck Road. She explained that Beck Road will be much more than Haggerty Road ever was and right now, it is a city-owned road.

 

 

Councilman DeRoche arrived at 7:53 p.m.

 

 

2. Current Road Project Status Report:

 

Mr. Nowicki advised that the 1990 Road Bond Program has been completed for three years and there is a series of roads included. He explained those roads were Eleven Mile Road, Wixom Road, right-of-way acquisitions for the Crescent Boulevard Extension, and right-of-way acquisition and design costs for the new Taft Road Extension as well as dollars for the Twelve Mile Road and Meadowbrook intersection. With respect to the 1996 Road Bond Program, Mr. Nowicki reported there are a number of projects currently underway and some that are not. He reported West Road is in the process of being resurfaced and rehabilitated from where the new Taft Road Extension will tie into West Road north of Pontiac Trail. He added that project is in design at this time and is scheduled to go to construction upon the completion of the Taft Road Extension. He explained once the Taft Road is completed they will go to West Road and have a continuous work belt corridor from Twelve Mile Road to Pontiac Trail. He added that the intended purpose of that is to relieve some traffic on South Lake Drive and the only real way to do that is to have a direct route from Twelve Mile Road to Pontiac Trail. Mr. Nowicki reported the Taft Road Extension is currently under construction and the contractor is moving very rapidly so they can anticipate the completion of the project in either July or August of 1999. Mr. Nowicki added that improvement will include the road work, the bridge, the water main, the wetland mitigation and the sanitary sewer.

 

Ms. Howe asked whether there is a deadline for the wetland mitigation? Mr. Potter advised that the mitigation is almost completed.

 

Mr. Nowicki continued by stating that the paving of Meadowbrook Road from Twelve Mile to Thirteen Mile Road and all the storm sewers are in place, the road has been cut to grade, the base is in place and they are now proceeding through the wetland area and they are looking at a spring completion for that improvement.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether traffic can travel on Meadowbrook Road through the winter months even though it will still be dirt? Mr. Nowicki said traffic will be able to travel through that area as soon as they get through the wetland area and stone the road. He believes it may be completed within the month, but it depends upon the weather.

 

Mr. Nowicki reported the Crescent Boulevard Extension is the small piece of road between the existing Crescent Boulevard and the Category A Grant. Mr. Nowicki explained they are combining the Crescent Boulevard Extension with the Category A Grant and the Oakland County Road Commissionís bridge replacement. He added that it will be bid as one package through the County and MDOT in hope of getting a better price. He added that this improvement will lessen the disruption in traffic and maintenance to the back of local businesses. Mr. Nowicki reported they hope to bid on that in January 1999 and the entire project will take approximately one year to complete.

 

Councilman Kramer asked whether they have determined what the detour routes will be to ensure there are other roads to handle the rerouted traffic. Mr. Nowicki believes JCK has been working with the Oakland County Road Commission and SEMCOG about detour routes.

 

Councilman Kramer wants to be certain that they do not improve the detour roads during the same period. Mr. Nowicki advised that they are aware of that.

 

Mr. Nowicki reported that the majority of the $2.5M subdivision repairs are completed. He added that this was a very positive program and would recommend that when they move forward with this bond program, that they continue to put money in these major types of subdivision rehabilitation programs. He continued by stating that the money the city has from Act 51 for street funds will not keep up with the improvements needed for subdivision roads. Therefore, Mr. Nowicki believes some of these repairs need to be funded through a bond program.

 

Mr. Nowicki advised that the Ten Mile and Wixom Road Signal was the first project for the 1996 Road Bond Program. He reported they had estimated the cost for that program to be approximately $50,000, but after working with the Oakland County Road Commission, the cost owed for that project was $18,000.00.

 

Mr. Nowicki reported there is construction currently at Nine Mile and Beck Road, and they hope to have that project open this fall. He advised that the contractor is pouring curbs at this time and once they are done, fill will be added where needed. Mr. Nowicki continued by stating that Edison will come in to set their poles for the signals and then the Road Commission will install the traffic signals.

 

Mr. Nowicki reported that they postponed the signalization for Nine Mile and Taft Road pending completion of the Nine Mile and Beck Road traffic signal and intersection work. He added that they will delay the project for five to six months in order for the traffic patterns to stabilize so they can conduct another intersection analysis for Councilís review.

 

Mr. Nowicki reported that they received bids for the Eleven Mile and Beck Road intersection improvement and signalization yesterday. He added that improvement was packaged with the Eleven Mile and Wixom Water Main and Sanitary Sewer Project. He noted that they are still working some right-of-way problems, but they are moving forward and anticipate construction in 1999.

 

Mr. Nowicki advised the city was successful in obtaining a Category A Grant for the intersection widening and signalization at Nine Mile and Novi Road. He noted the grant is approximately $500,500.00 and added that this grant makes this improvement an MDOT project. Mr. Nowicki added that JCK designed the improvements and coordinated all of the relocation with Detroit Edison and the bid was awarded to Angelo Iafrate. Mr. Nowicki reported that the city requested MDOT to postpone the project until next year because if they began construction at this time it would impact the holiday shopping traffic. However, Edison will work through the winter to relocate their utility lines.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the cost is affected when they postpone a project this way? Mr. Nowicki advised that the cost is not affected.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo understands they will install the SCAT System at the Nine Mile and Beck Road intersection; Mr. Nowicki agreed.

 

Mayor McLallen asked what is the bottom line? Mr. Nowicki replied that they have not prepared a detailed analysis yet. However, he noted there were some savings with the Taft Road improvement and he recalled it was approved at Councilís last meeting.

 

Mayor McLallen asked what will they do with the unspent money? Mr. Nowicki reminded Council that they approved a resolution that did not permit any further road work with the unspent money from the last road bond and instead that money would go back to pay the debt. Mr. Nowicki advised that they could do the same thing or they could put the money into road rehabilitation in the subdivisions, identify some safety projects or use it to make the matches through the tri-party program.

 

Councilman Kramer asked what were the amounts for the past two bond programs. Mr. Nowicki recalled the 1992 program amounted to $19.0M and the 1996 program amounted to $18.0M. He added that both had fifteen year terms

 

Ms. Howe asked whether the all the improvements for the 1990 program have been completed. Mr. Nowicki replied that all improvements except the Taft Road Extension have been completed.

 

3. Transportation Improvement Plan

 

Rod Arroyo noted he provided a copy of the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) in tonightís packet material. He continued by stating that he would begin by providing a summary overview, and then provide some history about those recommendations that are included in the report. Mr. Arroyo reminded Council that there have been two past Transportation Improvement Plans; one in 1989 and the other in 1995. Mr. Arroyo advised that these reports attempt to identify the needs over a ten year period. He noted that there is a small likelihood that all of those improvements will be built over a ten year period and that is why prioritization becomes a very critical part of the process. As requested by Council, Mr. Arroyo reported that they have divided their report into two time periods. He explained there is a short term analysis over the next couple years and then a longer term analysis over a three to ten year period to give Council an idea about what improvements are most critical from a timing perspective. Mr. Arroyo advised that the cost numbers in the TIP were prepared with the assistance of JCK & Associates. He pointed out that the numbers reflect only construction costs and they do not include right-of-way or engineering costs. He noted there are a couple of corrections that he will point out as he comes across them. Mr. Arroyo reported that they tried to come up with a way of ranking the improvements by asking those city officials who deal with road improvements to provide their priorities. Mr. Arroyo advised they used that information as a basis to rank road improvements. Further, Mr. Arroyo reported that they were asked by Mr. Nowicki to provide a more objective process and they attempted to do that in the ranking process. Mr. Arroyo noted they list the improvements in priority order by category (i.e., new roads, road widenings, paving of roadways and intersection improvements) and they are also listed by the road agency that has the authority over the road.

 

Mr. Arroyo advised they used a formula for the road widenings that is also used by the Road Commission that takes the existing volumes divided by the number of through lanes and subtracted by the existing volumes then divided by the proposed number of through lanes. Mr. Arroyo explained this formula gives a higher priority to roads with the higher volumes.

 

Councilman DeRoche noted there is no consideration given to roads in terms of the human factor. Mr. Arroyo advised that the ranking formula provides a guideline and they normally address the human factors during discussions.

 

Mr. Arroyo began with the Road Widenings: 1998 to 2000 and reported there have been several road widenings on principally county roadways. He advised the improvement that ranked the highest was Novi Road between Ten Mile Road and Grand River Avenue. Mr. Arroyo reported that the estimated construction cost is $9.4M and the cityís share is $1.3M. In addition, Mr. Arroyo reported this project is going through the federal funding approval process, the design has been completed and construction is scheduled in the year 2001. Councilman Kramer understands that improvement will occur after the completion of the Grand River bridge; Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported that the second improvement listed is Haggerty Road between Ten Mile and Eight Mile Roads, and is an $8.0M improvement.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the third improvement listed is Ten Mile Road between Haggerty Road and Novi Road, and is currently being studied by Council. He noted that the type of improvement for that area has not yet been decided, but added that they currently propose that the improvement be a five lane section. Further, the projected cost estimate is $10.0M and the city share is $200,000.00. Mr. Arroyo pointed out there are ongoing studies for this area and one option is to develop a four lane boulevard.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the fourth improvement is Twelve Mile Road between Meadowbrook and Novi Road and a four lane boulevard is proposed. Mr. Arroyo reported the estimated construction cost is $5.5M and the cityís share is 20%.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the fifth improvement is Grand River Avenue from Haggerty Road to Novi Road with estimated construction costs of $10.0M and the cityís share is 20%.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the sixth improvement is Grand River Avenue from Novi Road to the CSX bridge with estimated construction costs of $930,925.00.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the seventh improvement is Fourteen Mile Road between Haggerty and Novi Road and is a part of the M-5 project with an estimated construction cost of $1.95M.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the eighth improvement is Grand River Avenue between the CSX bridge and Beck Road with an estimated construction cost of $9,784,000.00.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the ninth improvement is Grand River Avenue between Beck Road and Twelve Mile Road with an estimated construction cost of $4.0M.

 

Councilman Schmid asked whether these projects have funding. Mr. Arroyo advised they have funding for 1, 3 and 4. Mr. Nowicki added that 4 has federal money.

 

Councilman DeRoche asked when can they expect the funding so they can move forward with the projects? Mr. Kriewall they are uncertain about when they can expect funding. Mr. Nowicki advised that they have received design dollars for 4.

 

Councilman DeRoche understands that they theoretically have funding, but practically, they do not have funding.

Mr. Arroyo advised if the city submits an application for federal funding, they must prepare an application for the Road Commission who will then prepare their own prioritization listing county wide by using a complex formula. He added the county will contact the different municipalities about their priorities as they prepare their prioritization listing.

 

Mayor McLallen believes 9 is a priority because it addresses rerouting during construction. Mr. Arroyo agreed that another construction project drives 9.

 

Mr. Kriewall expects the Road Commission to take care of those improvements because it is their road.

 

Mr. Kriewall added he believes the construction will begin for 6 in 1999.

 

Councilman DeRoche believes the traffic conditions on Twelve Mile Road is the main problem in Novi.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford understands that the priorities are listed according to an objective formula; Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford believes they need to compile a more realistic listing and that they need to factor in what they already know about the individual improvements. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how can they include some of the more subjective ideas? Mr. Arroyo believes that listing will be arrived at by tonightís discussion.

 

Councilman Kramer understands the calculations are based on todayís volumes; Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Councilman Kramer understands that they still have a functional traffic model. Mr. Arroyo does not believe there has been anything done to that model in many years.

 

Councilman Kramer believes many of the roads listed will be impacted when M-5 opens and asked whether those projections were included? Mr. Arroyo replied that was not projected, but they know there is likely to be an increase on Fourteen Mile when M-5 opens.

 

Councilman Kramer understands there would also be a reduction in traffic on Haggerty Road as a result of M-5; Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Councilman Kramer believes as they make improvements on one road, the traffic conditions will change on the other roads and therefore, the priority listing may change.

 

Mr. Arroyo agreed and added that they factored it only in a limited sense. Mr. Arroyo explained that Haggerty could have been included on this listing because of its high traffic volumes, but instead, they added it to the longer range listing because they knew the volumes would drop. Mr. Arroyo advised that the total amount for the first nine improvements amounts to $59.6M and the new grand total amounts to $190M.

 

Mayor McLallen understands that everything is factored on todayís needs instead of what they know is projected and that is what put them in this position in the first place; Mr. Arroyo disagreed. He explained the reason they base it on todayís needs is because that is the information they must use to justify the improvements for road funding. Mr. Arroyo advised when the Road Commission makes their recommendations to SEMCOG they look at what the current situation is and that is one of the most important considerations

 

Mayor McLallen asked whether there is any way to change that? Mr. Arroyo believes they have the ability to identify which roads are going to see major shifts in their traffic volumes due to other circumstances. Mr. Arroyo explained there are some major improvements that are going to impact volumes and he believes they can look at those based upon analysis.

 

Mayor McLallen stated everyone to the north, south and west of Novi travels through Novi to access the freeway and asked how is that factored into these roads. Mr. Arroyo replied that will be addressed in some respects by the Thoroughfare Plan.

 

Councilman Schmid asked whether they have considered constructing additional exits into 12 Oaks Mall. Mr. Arroyo replied that is being considered. He noted that the state will not agree to additional exits for now because it really depends upon the situation on I-96. However, he added that the state has agreed that they would look at some of those things in the future.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why donít they prepare one plan that addresses both transportation and thoroughfare because both concern roads? Mr. Arroyo replied there are major differences between transportation and thoroughfare. He explained the TIP is very specific and is intended to identify prioritization for detailed road improvements with a limited time frame. However, Mr. Arroyo advised that the Thoroughfare Plan is a long range, twenty year document and its purpose is to look at how development in the community and surrounding areas impact traffic volumes on the roadways.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford believes that they cannot consider a long term plan at this point and that they need to factor in some of those projections that are currently excluded from the TIP. Mr. Arroyo said they have those documents so that they can look at those situations.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford noted that a five year projection is not included in this document.

 

Mr. Arroyo agreed that there is not a specific volume projection on all the roads for a five year horizon. However, he added there is an alternative. He explained in collecting the information that they tried to create existing volumes and look at some of the improvements identified by the traffic studies conducted for individual projects based on a three to four year horizon.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked whether they looked outside the city as for projections and volumes? Mr. Arroyo said that is a part of the long range Thoroughfare Plan.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford views the TIP as a snapshot of what is there right now and he does not know how they plan for the future based on this information. Mr. Arroyo replied they can analyze what is out there right now and identify problem areas. He continued by stating that once they identify problem areas, they can begin the funding process.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported that the next category includes private funding and they are primarily improvements identified as part of the West Road Project, the widening of Novi Road between I-96 and Twelve Mile Road, the improvement to Donelson Road, the widening of the westbound off ramp from I-96 east of Novi Road and the widening of West Oaks Drive.

 

Mr. Arroyo advised that the final component addresses city roads with public funding and they have identified Beck Road from Ten Mile Road to Grand River.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if the cityís contribution is 20%? Mr. Arroyo replied that depends on whether the city qualifies for federal funds.

 

Councilman Kramer asked what is the probable timing frame? Mr. Arroyo replied that it is not in the specific budget as far as he knows, so it could be a two year frame.

 

Councilman DeRoche asked about the expressway ramp improvements proposed for Beck Road. Mr. Arroyo believes it will be seven lanes; Mr. Nowicki agreed.

 

Mr. Arroyo advised that the next section addresses new roads for 1998 to 2000 and that most of these are roads that they are completing. He advised they include the ring road in the Town Center area, the eastern section of the Crescent Boulevard Extension to Grand River (corrected cost amounts to $7.7M) and Main Street West which is the extension of Main Street west of Novi Road onto Grand River.

 

Councilman Kramer asked what is the projected timing and the cityís portion? Mr. Arroyo replied that for city roadways the dollar depends upon whether the citizens approve the road bond.

 

Mr. Kriewall stated the costs for the Crescent improvements seem extremely high. Mr. Potter advised that improvement required a lot of organic material.

 

Mr. Kriewall believes that they may only need a couple of lanes between Grand River and Eleven Mile Road, and that they need to look at some different cost alternatives for that cross section. He added they can probably get away with three lanes between Eleven Mile and the Wyndham Hotel.

 

Mr. Nowicki asked whether they can run it down to Eleven Mile Road right now. Mr. Kriewall does not believe that is possible because he understands that the Fire Chief is planning to use that road as a major access for his new fire station. He stated that this is his top priority for road improvements because they must provide the fire station with access to the community. Consequently, it needs to be built as soon as possible. He noted that it was funded by a private bond issue. Mr. Kriewall further noted that the city also has some tremendous economic development potential for some of the other property in that area.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked whether there is any potential that the developers could pay for those improvements. Mr. Kriewall does not believe so because they cannot really assess anybody. He added that city property borders the road and there is nobody to assess between Grand River and Eleven Mile Road.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported that they have identified four improvements at county road intersections: Ten Mile at Novi Road, Novi Road at Fourteen Mile, Haggerty Road at Twelve Mile Road and Grand River at Novi Road.

 

Mayor McLallen asked whether the ramp improvements can be paid for by the developer? Mr. Arroyo believes there is potential for that and should be something that they should discuss (Grand River and Novi Road intersection).

 

Mr. Arroyo reported intersection improvements for county and city intersections include: Ten Mile Road at Beck Road, Ten Mile Road at Taft Road, Ten Mile Road at Meadowbrook, Beck Road at Grand River, Taft at Grand River Avenue, Novi Road at Nine Mile Road, Beck Road at Eight Mile Road, Cranbrook at Ten Mile Road and Novi Road at Fonda Drive.

 

Councilwoman Mutch advised that the high school parking lot entrance is so close to Ten Mile Road that the number of cars turning from Ten Mile that need to get into the southbound left turn lane on Taft backs up onto Ten Mile in the early morning because of the heavy northbound traffic. She asked whether it is feasible to move that entrance further south? Mr. Arroyo stated that if it turns out that a signal is warranted at Nine Mile and Taft, it will probably help that situation because it would create gaps in traffic and reduce the constant flow. Mr. Nowicki added he will discuss that issue with the schools.

Councilman Kramer asked whether they should be considering items 3 and 7 or should they be a part of the Ten Mile Road widening? Mr. Arroyo replied that 3 is already underway.

 

Councilman Kramer suggested that 7 should perhaps be in conjunction with the solution of the road. Mr. Arroyo believes it could be, but it is dependent upon the timing.

 

Councilwoman Mutch suggested that Willowbrook may be a better alternative instead of Cranbrooke. Mr. Arroyo replied that he included Cranbrooke because it is better designed to handle the traffic to and from the collector roads through the subdivision and that they may direct school traffic down Cranbrooke also.

 

Mr. Arroyo advised that the next section includes road widenings in the year 2001 through 2007 and that most of these improvements are already in the que. He reported the improvements under state and county roads include: Haggerty Road from Grand River to Fourteen Mile Road, Ten Mile Road from Novi Road to Wixom Road and Twelve Mile Road, west of Dixon to Beck Road.

 

Although they have M-5, Mr. Arroyo still believes Haggerty Road should be five lanes or that they should consider four lanes. He noted Commerce is looking to develop a four lane boulevard.

 

Mayor McLallen believes they should look at off site road improvements that the OST developers can provide right now. Mr. Arroyo agreed they should discuss that because the timing is good.

 

Mayor McLallen would like this discussion to take place within the first ninety days of the new year and understands that they would be discussing the easterly portion adjacent to Farmington Hills; Mr. Arroyo agreed.

 

Councilman Schmid is concerned about trucks turning and asked how do they determine the spacing? Mr. Arroyo advised that the median has to be wider for the turning radius of the large trucks. He continued by stating as an alternative, they could use a narrower median and line up the crossovers with driveway entrances so that the trucks can actually use part of the driveway entrance for turnarounds.

 

 

Mr. Arroyo reported road widenings for city roads include: Beck Road from Eight Mile Road to Ten Mile Road, Meadowbrook Road from Ten Mile Road to Twelve Mile Road and Thirteen Mile Road from M-5 to Haggerty Road.

 

Mr. Arroyo believes this is a good time to decide which roads make sense to be developed as boulevards and which ones should be five lanes.

 

Councilman Schmid believes five lane roads prohibit pedestrian traffic. Concerning Grand River in the Main Street area, Councilman Schmid believes it would be virtually impossible to cross over to the Town Center. He believes they should start thinking about how they can make Novi a more pedestrian orientated community. He explained if they developed boulevards, a pedestrian could at least cross two to three lanes fairly easily. He suggested that they develop boulevards from not only a pedestrian standpoint, but also from an aesthetic standpoint.

 

Councilman Kramer has been supportive of this concept for several areas and particularly for those areas located in residential areas.

 

Councilman DeRoche supports the concept of boulevarding unless there is a reason not to and added that it should be a city policy.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the next section includes road paving projects from 2001 to 2007. Mr. Arroyo advised these could be completed at almost any time because they are city gravel roads that are in need of resurfacing. Mr. Arroyo reported the improvements are identified as: Nine Mile Road between Beck Road and Napier Road, Garfield Road at Nine Mile Road, Delmont Street and Delmont. He continued by stating that the county road is Napier Road from Eight Mile Road to south of Grand River Avenue.

 

Mr. Arroyo reported the adjusted grand total for all the projects amounts to $190,000,000.00

 

 

Break - 9:37 p.m. until 9:46 p.m.

 

 

4. Potential Bond Projects:

 

Mr. Potter summarized the MDOT projects by advising that the I-96 barrier project is almost completed and I-96 will be resurfaced from Kent Road to Novi Road next summer.

 

Councilman Kramer believes it is critical not to improve the Grand River bridge while MDOT resurfaces I-96.

 

Mr. Potter advised another major project that is moving forward is the I-275 reconstruction improvement; it is approximately a $60M project over two years. Mr. Potter believes this project could have some potential impact in Novi because the detour will include a portion of Haggerty Road.

 

Mayor McLallen asked whether they have included the Eight Mile Road exit in their plan? Mr. Potter is not certain, but he does know improvements will be made from Five Mile Road to I-96.

 

Mayor McLallen does not believe that Six and Seven Mile Roads share the same problems as Eight Mile Road. Mr. Potter advised that he will look into that.

 

In regard to the Oakland County Road Commission projects, Mr. Potter understands that Novi Road from Ten Mile to Grand River Avenue is in preliminary design, but the right-of-ways still need to be acquired.

 

Mayor McLallen asked how many are potential bond projects? Mr. Nowicki stated it amounts to basically $20M.

 

Councilman Kramer believes they need to fund projects as they come forward.

 

Mr. Kriewall advised that Administration has prioritized those that need to be funded (i.e., Beck Road/I-96 Interchange, Haggerty Road).

 

Councilman DeRoche does not want to say what he wants done after he is told what needs to be done; he would like to create a separate list of what needs to be done.

 

Mayor McLallen believes they need a deadline.

 

Mr. Kriewall would like to stress the importance of taking advantage of available federal funding.

 

Councilwoman Mutch would like to see Councilís preferences on all the items.

 

Councilman DeRoche agreed and restated he would like to create a wish list before they are told what they must do.

 

Mayor McLallen stated that they already know that the window is only open on some of these for a certain amount of time. She continued by stating that they are going to have to come up with either the local share on these or they will not be able to participate.

 

Mr. Kriewall stated it would appear that the first four will be included in the next bond issue and he expects that they will occur within the next four years. However, he added what they do not know is how many federal dollars will be available.

 

Mr. Kriewall believes the traffic volumes on Beck Road are now greater than they are on Ten Mile Road and that the traffic is worse between Eight and Nine Mile Roads than it is south of Eight Mile Road. He advised everyone is headed north and they are now almost in a crisis situation.

 

Mr. Kriewall advised that the Crescent Boulevard Extension is very important to the community and will bring economic development to the city.

 

In regard to Main Street West, Mr. Kriewall believes the timing of the relocation of Fendt is on schedule to happen within the next year. He continued by stating that he understands a deal is pending and that they need to address that.

 

Mr. Kriewall advised the Ten Mile and Taft Road signal improvements are needed, and that some Delmont and Dinser residents would like to see their roads paved.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked why would Delmont and Dinser be included in the bond issue? Mayor McLallen asked why wouldnít they use a S.A.D? Mr. Kriewall explained that the city is prohibited from special assessing any roads.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo believes the public needs to be included in this process since it is the public who will vote on the road bond issue.

 

Mr. Kriewall advised the survey that originated from the Planning Department indicated that road improvements ranked as the biggest need in Novi.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo believes that is true in general, but she is not sure the needs are specific. Councilwoman Lorenzo has two philosophical concerns. She explained she is concerned about the premise that it is the City of Noviís responsibility to facilitate motorists from outside the community and that the public should be involved in the process. Councilwoman Lorenzo questioned whether anyone really believes that any Beck Road resident really wants a five or four lane highway. Councilwoman Lorenzo believes the residents want to know what is driving these improvements and what kind of identity is Novi trying to serve in this community.

 

Mayor McLallen stated it is difficult to get the people to the Civic Center to hear their opinion. She reminded Council that only eleven residents attended their recent Town Hall meeting and added that although tonightís meeting was advertised, the residentís attendance is low.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked whether the other members believe that Council has a responsibility to offer a plan to the public based on the whole community or should they present a plan that Council feels comfortable in saying this is a city wide solution. Councilwoman Mutch does not think it is very responsible to set up a wide open situation where people who have very specific interests, impact the entire plan. Councilwoman Mutch believes Council has a responsibility to look at the whole plan, to hear from individuals and fit that into what they have already looked at.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo is not saying the public should be able to say they can have whatever they want. She believes it is a good idea for Council and Administration to go through this exercise, but at that point, she believes that going to the public with these lists would be prudent.

 

Mayor McLallen stated that is what they do.

 

Councilwoman Lorenzo believes Mr. Jocz said that roads needed to be in context with their surroundings. Further, Councilwoman Lorenzo believes quality of life is where one lives. In addition, Councilwoman Lorenzo would like to know who says Novi is a regional community.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford said Novi is a regional community whether they like it or not.

 

Councilman DeRoche believes Council needs to provide the direction and he thinks the process they follow is appropriate. He continued by stating that he believes he now has enough information to start working toward a bond issue, but that it will not be ready for the public until Council finishes their work.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford agreed and stated they are currently in the process, it works and he does not know of any other better way to do it.

 

Councilman Kramer understands the process, but he also believes the priority with the public is for the city to fix the overall traffic problems. Councilman Kramer believes they need a mix and that the total may need to be higher than $20.0M. In regard to the Transportation Plan, Councilman Kramer believes a complete road plan needs to include landscaping, trees and sidewalks, and they are not mentioned in the plan. Atlhough, Councilman Kramer would like to fix the problems, he believes they need to focus on the timing.

 

Mr. Kriewall believes the city has been fairly rigid on some of their last bond proposals and they do not need to be. He explained if the federal funding should lag for some of these projects, they could set these projects up so that those funds could roll down to the next priority. In other words, Mr. Kriewall believes they need a little more flexibility to move some of these projects because they are not really fixed.

 

Councilman DeRoche does not like the idea of flexibility except for projects that have federal funding.

 

Councilman Kramer believes they should use all of the sources available to them.

Mr. Kriewall stated some of these projects have a low potential for federal funding.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the city has some discretionary money? He then asked what happens to the funding from Act 51. Mr. Kriewall replied those funds go toward operating the DPW because there is not a city, a village or a township that could run their public works department without Act. 51. Mr. Kriewall said that is the reason they have the one mil and that is why they have to vote for bond issues. He continued by stating what really hurts them is the other Don Young Charter Amendment that prohibits a municipality from special assessing subdivision resurfacing and pavement replacement.

 

Councilman Schmid stated as Novi continues to grow, he believes one of their objectives should be to improve the timing on the SCATís system to keep up with the growth. He explained he does not want to spend money on yesterdayís technology and that they should keep a watchful eye on the SCATís system. He restated that he still believes they should seriously consider boulevards.

 

Councilwoman Mutch agreed that they should consider boulevards. She also agreed that the process works well. However, she wishes that the public would become more involved. Councilwoman Mutch asked how does Novi compare with other communities? She asked whether a $20M road bond is typical?

 

Mr. Kriewall replied that unfortunately, Novi is facing the same situation that Troy did approximately ten years ago. He explained that history indicates they spent a tremendous amount of money for about a ten year time frame and Novi is probably moving into that same era.

 

Councilwoman Mutch believes the numbers in Novi are much greater than they were before and the demand on the roads is much greater. Further, she reminded Council that $20M will not buy the same amount of road that it could buy three years ago. Councilwoman Mutch also believes they need to be careful about how they package the road improvements. She added that it is their job to provide a plan that addresses large and small problems and make sure it works. Further, she believes that they also need to consider the pedestrians and therefore they should address sidewalk needs and landscaping. She believes they need to think about people and not just cars on the road.

 

Councilman Schmid recalled that one developer recommended that developers get involved. Councilman Schmid advised that the developer seemed to think that developers would get involved from the very beginning if they knew that up front.

 

Mr. Bowman believes the major problem is trying to assess the vacant land. Mr. Bowman supports preplanning and that while vacant land is there, a plan would be beneficial to development.

Mayor McLallen believes there is still a desire to create a personalized list of priorities. However, the bigger issues that the Mayor sees that came out of tonightís meeting is the higher discussion about aesthetics and consideration of the pedestrians. She then added that they must also be realistic because the aesthetic amenities also have costs associated with them. Further, she believes they must be realistic because the school board and library are both looking to move forward with bond issues next year. Mayor McLallen asked Council members to bring their lists forward to Mondayís interview session and include the movement of traffic, the fixing of current problems, and the amenity and design issues.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:40 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

Transcribed by:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Holmes

 

Date Approved: November 9, 1998