REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1999, AT 7:30 PM
ACTIVITIES ROOM – NOVI CIVIC CENTER – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: None
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA
Scheduled Executive Session for property acquisition immediately following the meeting.
CM-99-04-098: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Kramer, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Agenda as amended.
PURPOSE OF REGULAR MEETING
1. 1999-2000 Budget Study Session
Mr. Patrick Burnett, President of the Library Board was introduced. Mr. Burnett hopes Council will accept the proposed 1999 - 2000 Budget being presented, the Library Board accepted the budget on April 15, 1999. An additional sheet was provided with more information on the revenues.
Mr. Burnett introduced Mr. John Chambers, past President, Mrs. Victoria Dickieson, Treasurer, and Mrs. Brenda Evans, Library Director. Mr. Chambers and Mrs. Evans are responsible for preparing the Budget being presented, questions may be directed to them.
Mayor McLallen asked about the projected increase in the revenues.
Mr. Burnett responded the increase is based on anticipated taxes.
Member Mutch asked about Township taxes for Library use.
Mrs. Evans responded the Township had been in arrears, but rectified the situation in 1997, and since that time they have received funds.
Mr. Chambers stated Township taxes are an equivalent to what a taxpayer in the City of Novi would pay for the same service.
Council Members briefly discussed the over due book fines totaling $23,000.
Member DeRoche stated he is aware of the many plans for the Library; what are the specific things that the Library Board would like to accomplish this year with the Budget? It looks like there is about a ten-percent increase over last year.
Mrs. Dickieson responds the increase is an eight point nine percent increase.
Member DeRoche commented other budgets are below six or seven-percent. Again, are there specific things for adoption this year?
Mr. Burnett stated the only item significantly different is the budget for consultants which is necessary to pursue Library planning, other than the new Library planning, the increase is for normal raises and additional personnel.
Member Schmid asked what the Other Services and Charges category includes.
Mrs. Evans answered it includes Education Training, Workshops, Major utility accounts, capital outlay which is primarily computers, furniture; tables, shelves, and workstations.
Member Schmid wanted to know the projected size of the new Library based on build out.
Mrs. Evans responded it is projected to be seventy to eighty thousand square feet. The current Library building is at twenty-three thousand feet.
Member Kramer questioned the Personnel Services account. He asked if it contains enough money and will the amount stated get through planning the new building?
Mrs. Evans stated yes, plus some for internal support for a Computer Technician. The Board also feels they need to add a part time facility maintenance person. The other changes in the Budget are for a part time Children’s Librarian, and an additional part time Specialized Services person; someone to work with those who have disabilities that need adaptive technology; i.e. use of the internet for those who cannot hear or see.
Member Kramer questioned Mrs. Evans if the amount budgeted for the new Library also covers building design, architecture, and plans?
Mrs. Evans commented the funds are in a consulting account, under Other Services and Charges.
Member Mutch asked about the Gifts and Donations account. She felt it was a strange category, there was a big estimated jump in the 1998-1999 Budget that apparently did not materialize.
Mrs. Evans stated they actually did receive it. In this current fiscal year Pauline Druschell received an honor. It came with a $3,000.00 stipend, which she donated to the Library, this was not known about at the beginning of the year when the Budget was being prepared. It was an unexpected addition to the Gifts and Donations account. The $3,000.00 was applied towards a projector, the one used the night of the dinner meeting with Council.
Member Mutch commented it does not look like they have a 1998-1999 actual figure. It only shows $500.00.
Mrs. Evans responded the Library Board has not amended that line item, they have actually over collected.
Member Mutch asked if the Friends of the Library, or the Library itself ever had a discussion about a public giving campaign, maybe for the bond issue election?
Mrs. Evans stated the Friends of the Library does give the Library money, between $5,000.00 or $6,000.00 a year. The Friends of the Library purchase items for the Library from their own account. The Friends of the Library are a tax free fund raising group. This year the Friends are supporting the children’s summer reading program and machinery. Items donated by the Friends of the Library are not inserted in the Library Budget they keep their own bank account. It is a 501C3 fund.
Mr. Chambers explained the items are given to the Library in materials that are purchased by the Friends of the Library instead of the giving it a dollar value gift.
Member Mutch said she would like to know the amount given by the Friends of the Library.
Mrs. Evans asked if Council would like an annual report?
Member Mutch said a report would be good. She would like to see in the report how much was donated in materials or services. She is concerned how it will look when they go to the public asking for support on a Bond issue for an incredible amount of money.
Mrs. Evans stated the Library Board has been talking about funding a lot lately, especially with the need to accumulate funds for the Election Campaign.
Member Mutch responded it would not have to be money, publishers can be encouraged to donate items for the reading program.
Mrs. Evans stated that that is another good point, the Library receives support from the merchants. The merchants donate supplies and materials "in kind".
Mayor McLallen asked if it could be added to the formal budget document for Public Relations purposes, maybe in the big overview book, on the Library page?
Mr. Les Gibson, Finance Director, responded it can be recorded in a narrative form and indicated which items Friends of the Library contribute.
Mr. Edward Kriewall, City Manager, asked what is the estimated usage of the library by Lyon Township residents.
Mrs. Evans responded Salem and South Lyon just built a new District Library at Eight Mile Road and Pontiac Trail Road. The financial support for the Library comes from more than one entity. Generally when a new facility opens, there is a rush of use to the facility, sometimes use tapers off, and people go back to the other neighborhood Libraries. Salem/South Lyon has not traditionally been a major user of the City of Novi’s services. It also seems to be true of Walled Lake, there is not a heavy reciprocal usage. Northville and Novi tend to have a great deal of crossing back and forth because we belong to the Library Network.
Mayor McLallen thanked all of the members of the Library Board and Mrs. Evans for the excellent job they do on behalf of all the citizens of the community. It is probably one of the most highly visible, and highly used yet least talked about facilities. The Library does not get a lot of major press really pushing for it, and yet it is one the things for quality of life people choose to seek out in a community. Obviously, the usage figures attest the Library is a very important part of the community and extremely well managed. Thank you for a year of good work.
Member Mutch asked if the Library Board has made a site selection for the new Library?
Mr. Burnett responded the Board has met, for information purposes, with the Bond Attorney, and expects to have a meeting in the beginning of May with the Architect. The site the Board is looking at is on Taft Road, just south of the High School. When the Board has their "ducks in a row" they will come back to Council with the information.
PARKS AND RECREATION BUDGET
Mr. Dan Davis, Director of Parks and Recreation, started the discussion about the Parks and Recreation Budget with Personnel Services. He has recommended a one-position increase, previously discussed with Council, a Media Specialist. The Media Specialist would be a service coordinator it is the type of position to focus in on some of the variety of things that would be in the marketing department. As you are well aware, Mr. Kriewall and Mr. Gibson deleted this item at the City Managers level. Mr. Davis would like the opportunity to repeat the Parks and Recreation’s case at the City Council’s table to share this information with Council.
The title was Special Services Coordinator position, the salary and benefits would be in the neighborhood of about $50,000.00. The justification for the position is; Parks and Recreation is finding themself in a community continuing to grow and the need to provide more services within the existing staff levels. The residents want information and want it now. Finding a way to get information out to the public has been a challenge within the constraints of the existing staffing. Finally, within the existing staffing levels, the elements of coordination, promotion of programs and services keeps spreading out, covering recreation, parks services, senior citizen services, senior citizen transportation, senior housing, and after school recreation programs are becoming difficult to do. What they are looking to do with this position is to have someone develop and implement a marketing plan for the department, to coordinate and promote the facilities and services provided and the new ones they are going to provide in the future. The Special Services Coordinator would also to seek sponsorships, gifts, and corporate donations. The Parks and Recreation Department does not have a centralized focus on sponsorships, gifts, and donations; the coordinators are all doing it on their own, so there is a lot of duplication of efforts and each of the coordinators are going to the same businesses over and over again. What the department envisions with this type of position is a focal point to handle information, one person and one direction. This position will assist with development and review of the Department Master Plan, and to assist Mr. Davis in getting information out to the public. This will be a changing and updating process on a frequent basis as the Department is going through the grant applications and things of that nature. The Media Specialist will develop and implement program evaluations dealing with community service organizations and groups. These areas are all continuing to grow. Mr. Davis feels these areas are unique to a typical Parks and Recreation Departments. The Department also delves into other areas of special services that some of the other communities within the Metropolitan Detroit area or State do not touch. Some just focus on recreation and others only take care of park operations, and the YMCA handles recreation. Where the City of Novi’s Parks and Recreation Department is an all encompassed recreation and park service delivery agency, we need to have an expansion of personnel to do that, and again within our existing structure we do not have the capabilities. For the Media Specialist position, Mr. Davis is looking to be funded at the start of the year, or at the very least, options for mid-year implementation. He wanted to put this position on the table so Council members are aware of the direction he is taking with the Department, and what some of the needs for personnel services are.
Mr. Kriewall would like to respond briefly as to why the Media Specialist position was eliminated. During the Council Goals session there was identification of a Grants Coordinator to be implemented. We felt some of the functions mentioned today, coordination of sponsorships, gifts, and corporate partnerships, these are things the Grants Coordinator would actually be performing. When you look at some of the duties outlined, implementation of a marketing plan, coordination of promotion of the facilities and services, coordination and development of program brochures, daily monitoring and updating of the web site, coordination of video promotion service, many of these needs are going to be taken care by the creation of a Video position that Council discussed the Public Information Department. Hopefully, enough time will be alleviated for Mr. Martin to spend more time on the Web site and some of the things he needs to be doing. At this time they felt a lot of the duties initially can be transferred to the new positions and for that reason the Media Specialist should be eliminated at this time.
Mr. Kriewall feels the City is not ready for this type of a position at this time. The more Parks and Recreation promotes the services, the more demand and need is created for the Department. They will need addition staff and programming. It is almost a no win situation. Where the staff is already strained at the present time and the programs are marketed, the staff will become more strained. If we know they are challenged from a financial standpoint in terms of operating revenue, maybe we need to get that whole thing back in focus and in sync before we take off in a new direction with programs. For those reasons we eliminated the Media Specialist position.
Member DeRoche feels it would be a good idea to have these services provided to the Parks and Recreation Department, but they should be set up for each Department under the Public Information Department. His second observation is after five years of college, there are a lot of people who are qualified to do this type of work below the pay rate.
Member Kramer appreciates the initiative Mr. Davis has taken, but is inclined to agree with Mr. Kriewall. A grant writer/public information person can cover a portion of the job. He asked if they have put together any total operations program for additional personnel support for total operations.
Mr. Davis stated they have not put together any type of program.
Member Kramer asked how much of the present staff is involved in the day to day running of the Parks and Recreation Department?
Mr. Davis responded all of the staff picks up bits and pieces of the promotional aspects of the Department. They do have some resources available with outside agencies, such as JCK, the Department of Public Works and others from the consultant pool.
Member Schmid has a question about where the revenues are listed.
Mr. Gibson stated they are on page one hundred three, at the top.
Member Schmid stated he is curious as to how other cities handle these issues. How did Parks and Recreation come up with this position?
Mr. Davis responded actually a few of the larger communities, Ann Arbor, Troy, Southfield, and Oakland County have something similar. They do have a different twist to them, depending on the specific needs of the community.
Member Schmid questioned the various appropriations in the Parks and Recreation Budget of four hundred thousand dollars a year.
Mr. Davis stated the four hundred thousand dollars comes from a General Fund transfer that makes up the largest portion and addresses the request, which is part of the CDBG program. Basically two park areas are lacking, Community Sports Park, two hundred thousand dollars, at this site, we have it broken down into landscaping, fencing for ball fields, sidewalks along Napier Road and parking lot security lights. At Eleven Mile Road and Wixom, again two hundred thousand, we have ball field fencing, backstops, and three ball fields under construction at this site. A hundred thousand dollars for six tennis courts we built in conjunction with the School District, with six additional courts being provided by the School District and fifty thousand dollars for a combination basketball/multipurpose plate. We anticipate the ball fields at Eleven-Mile and Wixom will be done this year when construction is finished on the schools being built.
Mr. Kriewall stated at the joint meeting Parks and Recreation has demonstrated a great capital need. Mr. Kriewall does not see a bond issue or millage on the immediate horizon the focus is really on trying to give the Parks and Recreation Department as much of the capital as Council can this year. Hopefully the budget will hold the department for the next year or two. Than in a couple of years the City may have to deal with a subsequent bond issue or operating millage. The way it is starting to look now, the road bond issue will be on the ballot this year, and the Library Board may be on the ballot next year with another bond issue or millage.
Member Schmid questioned the completion of the restrooms.
Mr. Davis said there are two restrooms in final design and construction should begin this spring at the Community Sports Park. There is nothing planned at the Eleven-Mile and Wixom Road Park other than what the School District has planned within their operation. I believe they have some comfort stations near some of school facilities as well. Those will substantially complete those two park locations, other than some issues with community service organizations about shelters.
Member Kramer had questions regarding the Rotary Park and Community Sports Park. The parks are supposed to be on the receiving end of the Picnic pavilions from community service groups. The Community Sports Park has facilities, but there is nothing in the budget for putting in facilities at Rotary Park, water, or any other facilities. Will there just be an overhead shelter?
Mr. Davis stated right now just an overhead shelter. With the amount of use the Rotary Park received, it is a balance of do you need to have permanent structure out there or is a temporary facility sufficient. In the future there will probably be some need for a permanent comfort facility.
Member Kramer asked if a pavilion is erected that encourages eating, there will be food preparation and water will be needed.
Mr. Davis responded he has not budgeted any money for Rotary Park.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Davis to check into a modest level of service that can be provided for the pavilion in Rotary Park, just to make it a functional place.
Mr. Davis answered in some of the locations they do not have the luxury of water service or sewer service and no pavilions. One option for Parks and Recreation, obviously they do have four hundred thousand dollars in the budget, after final bidding numbers are in, if there are monies left over, re-appropriating some of those in that direction. A small unisex comfort station facility with running water probably would cost between ten and twenty thousand dollars for construction. It is definitely something that can be looked at based on appropriations.
Member Mutch stated Mr. Kramer somehow went from talking about the new position to another page all together, she does not feel it is the time to talk about the parks.
Member Mutch asked if Mr. Davis could describe again the kind of things that are done in the department by different people there, in terms of solicitations, sponsorship, gifts and support of that kind. If you can do this, there may be a slightly different view of what your needs are than what is being described. She understands a Grants Coordinator does only about one to three percent of what is being talked about here.
Mr. Davis answers he can quickly run through the department. Ms. Heather Pieri and Mr. Scott Mercer are Recreation Coordinators of the Adult/Youth Programming. Ms. Pieri and Mr. Mercer go out on an annual basis and solicit team sponsorships for the youth athletic programs, which would be soccer, T-ball, softball, and special events such as punt, pass, and kick. Corporate sponsorships will be around $250 - $500 for those teams, through out the year; that can be anywhere from $50 - $75 annually. Mrs. Troshak on the other hand handles Special Events; i.e. Chilly Willy, and the Concert Series. Mrs. Troshak is communicating with Ford Motor Company, Providence Hospital, some of the major players in corporate sponsors we seek for the bigger events. Myself, I am out working with the community service organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Jaycees, to do things like the picnic shelters and community type of activities. Mrs. Kathy Crawford specializes in seniors. She is working with the Providence Hospital, and EMS, soliciting van donations, and financial donations for the senior activities that are provided. We are all out there soliciting, which has grown and evolved over the years as the staff level and needs have grown.
Member Mutch stated that from the comments made by Mr. Davis is he assuming there is going to be a new position. If there is not, where does that leave the department?
Mr. Davis answered right where the department is today. There is also a concern about the web site because it is coming on line in the next few weeks. The department has given numerous pages to the consultant, from the brochure, it is all updating, let alone the stand-alone repetitive things that need to be revisited.
Member Mutch responded someone else could take the information and use the technology stuff and put it on the Web site. Someone in the department needs to gather up the information and make a decision of what is going on the Web site.
Mr. Davis commented, to keep the web site effective, the site needs to constantly change.
Member Mutch stated she would like people to rethink what was presented. Also to give thought to the salary range for a Special Services Coordinator.
Mr. Davis stated the salary range given is salary range and benefits. The benefits side of the package is about $15,000. The actual salary range is $35,000 to $40,000.
Member Mutch said she is suggesting a pared down version of the asked for position. She knows we do not like to add people, but it seems to her that an extra person would greatly increase the departments’ efficiency.
Mr. Kriewall has a comment on the raising of revenue portion of the argument. He would rather see the grant coordinator go to Ford Motor Company and raise $50,000 for Parks and Recreation every year and spend it where it is needed. The worst thing a community does is to look for the "give aways" from the companies such as Tom Holzer Ford, Marty Feldman. Our welcome is worn out all over the place, service organizations and the City solicits donations. He would rather invest the money in a Grant Person whom once a year makes a hit on Coke-a- Cola, or Ford Motor Company for money and distributes the funds.
Member Mutch agrees in part with Mr. Kriewall’s statement. She has been on the asking end. However, she knows for example, Ford Motor Company, does not give you a $50,000 check to do whatever the heck you want to do. You come to them with a specific proposal, and that proposal is for X number of T-shirts for the children to play in Novi, the response will be are you kidding me, the parents can pay a few extra dollars to register the children for softball. There is a place for large corporate giving for big impressive projects. This is what the companies want put in the promotion materials, that they have given to these specific programs, not office supplies. More importantly, the department can do something to minimize our own duplication of effort. This is what the businesses are saying, there are different people from different programs all individually and independently hitting up all the same businesses, and each of the groups not being aware the others have been there. You do not want to get to the point where they refuse to give to anyone because they have been hit on so much. There is a place for small businesses in particular and moderate level donors who want to give within the community, that is something they like to do.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Davis knows the value of the time the professionals spend in this kind of "Beggars ‘R Us"? Do you know the value of the return, what is being received in gifts and donations?
Mr. Davis responded not off the top of his head. At this time, they are doing the spring/summer solicitation for the youth sports. They do not like to hit them up because other folks out in the community are soliciting. The donations are generally repetitive business. He agrees with Member Mutch regarding how the businesses see a value in the donations, as small as it seems, there is an advertising value to them. There is a place in the community for this type of advertising dollar to be spent within Parks and Recreation.
Member Mutch agrees with the Mr. Davis’ comment about advertising value in donations to the Parks and Recreation Department.
Mayor McLallen stated she does not think anyone confused the value of the donations, it is the cost to the City, and the Council may be able to discuss another way to achieve the same end.
Member Schmid knows the Mayor wants to get off of the subject, but has a question for Mr. Davis. Do you receive sponsors for all the teams? He feels the businesses may get tired of getting "hit" all the time. They make a living just as all of us do.
Mr. Davis responded, yes, for the programs the Parks and Recreation Department provide, such as T-ball, softball, and soccer.
Mayor McLallen has one more statement on the sponsors’ issue. Every corporation, in their annual budget program, sets aside X number of dollars, in various categories, for donations. Would there be any benefit, a one-time event come to us on one day, let us maximize our people. The department is going to show you all our programs we need advertising for in one smorgasbord. The businesses know how much money is budgeted in a year. Here are fifty million ways you can spend it in our city and we promise you it will be the only time we are going to talk to you.
Mr. Davis answered the department does try to solicit at the particular time of year when a particular function occurs. It still is not concise where we do a bulk function and describe all of the things we have available for sponsorship, or donation opportunities and putting that out to the community. This type of function is doable. The key question is, he guesses, is maximizing the departments soliciting opportunity. The department can do just what we are doing now and be okay.
Mrs. Troshak comments in the Program Division, that is one of the main goals, to keep the cost down for the customer. By soliciting donations Parks and Recreation does not have to add extra dollars for a T-shirt.
Mr. Davis has additional explanations for the Parks and Recreation Budget. Besides the $400,000, there was $74,000 as part of the CDBG, which Council has seen before, and is self-explanatory. Mr. Klaver and Mr. Davis have previously discussed, as Council is aware, the new school recreation program Ms. Dilg coordinates. The after school recreation program is under a Title Five Program and moving along. Administratively, Mr. Klaver, and Mr. Davis have discussed the coordination of the activity with the Executive Director and the Coalitions Board itself. Mrs. Troshak is involved with this program as well, and the transition would make sense to move this operation under Mrs. Troshaks’ direction for recording purposes and coordination of benefits. Ms. Dilg reports to Mrs. Troshak not anyone at the Police Department. Again, we are looking at a transition time frame, the monies set aside that were funding the Executive Director’s position were County Grant monies have expired. This particular funding cycle does not come back again until October. We are still uncertain if there is going to be any additional funding for that type of program.
Mr. Klaver expanded on this briefly, we are reacting to the discussion Council had with us, that came up in the General Administration Budget back on April 8th. We will look at the activities Ms. Belter has been doing for the last, approximately, two years. Most of her work was the preparation for the grant renewals. The balance of the activities are focused upon the overall administration of the after school program and the activities grant at the Police Department, both of which are running into a penalty now.
Member Schmid asked if he is suggesting Ms. Belter is with Parks and Recreation.
Mr. Klaver responded no, it is not a City position, it is a grant funded position the administration is looking to eliminate the position and absorb those responsibilities within the existing Parks and Recreation Department staff.
Member Mutch wanted to round out the picture. The situation is the person funded under the grant, which holds the position now, happens to also be a person with the Coalition. Whatever the Police Department activities were that the Chief felt justified in applying for the grant is done, correct? What I want to be clear about, does the person have a position, paid or unpaid with the Coalition, she would continue to work for the Coalition, paid or unpaid, with their funds, however they are able to get them, not City funds.
Mr. DeRoche asks if it is a volunteer or a paid position?
Member Mutch answered at this point, the Coalition itself is a paid position under the County grant fund, but she is not included under the Federal Grant.
Mr. Davis responded as Mr. Kriewall has said, the administration thinks the grant coordinator position within the City will help. Is it going to be a catchall to accomplish all the functions that are even necessary to bring all these grants together? There is some transition time envisioned where the Executive Director will still be on board for some limited opportunities.
Member Kramer had one question under Administration. Is there funding in the Budget for Cable Casting the Parks and Recreation Commission meetings?
Mr. Davis stated he believes it is budgeted. There was an interest expressed by Council to cable cast the Parks and Recreation Commission meetings.
Member Schmid stated he doesn’t remember Council making a decision like that.
Mr. Davis responded he had seen the information in the Public Information Director’s Budget. The items the Parks and Recreation Commission felt strongly about, are when we have Public Hearing opportunities for Master Plans for particular Parks or community wide interest items. The value of actual cable casting the Parks and Recreation Commission General Meetings is questionable. The meetings are open to the public and there is limited participation at the meetings, unless there is a particular issue of concern to a neighborhood area. The Commission took the attitude that they do not really care for it, at the same time if there is something that is a priority, they would do it.
Member Kramer stated he does not think any of the bodies that initially comes into the broadcasting care for it. One of the Zoning Board of Appeals members stated that that is the connection to the public.
Member Mutch stated it does not matter if it is a lot of money or not, they should not be operating under the assumption that this is a Council directive, when as Member Schmid points out, we may have not talked about it.
Mayor McLallen interjected it is time to move the discussion on to the Building and Grounds.
Member Lorenzo asked about an Engineering Consultant for $2,000. What do you plan on?
Mr. Davis explained it is for looking to update the Master Plan, and updating the mapping of all the park locations which will cost a few dollars.
Member Lorenzo asked about signage at the Rotary Park and Audubon Property. Location signage, letting people know this is a park, where you can come in, where you go.
Mr. Davis stated there are signs at Rotary Park in two locations, one on Nine Mile Road farther to the west by the Audubon Property, and a sign on Roethel Drive where the active areas of use are. What the Parks and Recreation Commission envisions, now we have ownership of the Audubon Society Property, is getting out and having the eastern edge of the property defined as City property. We are also working with Mr. Chris Pargoff, City Forester, because some of the areas have the Rouge River flowing through.
Member Lorenzo asked if Mr. Davis does plan on having signage installed.
Mr. Davis commented the signs would not say it is a separate park, the Commission believes the land should be a contiguous part of Rotary Park.
Member Lorenzo asked if it would be addressed within the next couple of months?
Mr. Davis answered yes.
BUILDING AND GROUNDS
Mr. Davis started the presentation with Personnel Services on page sixty-nine in the Budget Book. There is a new person budgeted, a Building Supervisor position. There is one during the day, Monday through Friday. The Parks and Recreation administration is looking for the new Building Supervisor position to cover evenings and weekends. This person would provide the same services the daytime Building Supervisor does. City Hall operates seven days a week, twelve to eighteen hours a day, there is heavy use. Even though they do a great job, there is a safety concern for the people who are high school or college age in this position; also the responsibility of dealing with the volumes of people who do use the building. He feels strongly about the department having an adult supervisor on staff with the part time people. The trade off is a reduction in part time salaries, of about $18,000.
Other services and charges have the biggest increase. Most of it is absorbed within the replacement of the parking lot. Mr. Davis stated he has tried a new approach this year, he did not put it in the Budget. It is a $500,000 anticipated expenditure. Also the automated doors in the front of the building are "pushing" twelve years old, and the maintenance staff is having a problem getting replacement parts for the gear mechanisms. These are the doors facing the large parking lot. The maintenance staff is looking at a total replacement of the whole door system, around a $10,000 expenditure. There are also miscellaneous carpet replacements and other things like that.
Mayor McLallen asks if there is a higher incidence of chair breakage in the Council Chambers? It looks like a lot of yellow tape showing up. What is going on with this?
Mr. Davis responded they are just wearing out, the allen screws in the wood assembly are getting "stripped", and it has been difficult getting replacement parts. Repairs have become a problematic issue, taking one chair out of the row for repair is difficult, you have to take out the whole row of chairs. There is a design problem.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is a point in time that we should replace the whole works with something more substantial?
Mr. Klaver responded he does not think we are there yet, maybe in the next couple of years.
Mr. Davis restated in a few years we would replace the Chamber seating after the parking lot is done.
Member Mutch has one concern not thought about too much, but maybe more attention should be given to it. The building does get used all of the time, people coming and going. What do we have in place for security, or if something where to happen at night? Does the night desk person just hit the phone for 911?
Mr. Davis answered basically that is the primary procedure. On heavy nights we do have more than one person on staff, on lighter nights though we do not want to be over staffed. One of the nice things that does occur though, closer to ten or eleven o’clock, the maintenance custodial staff, which is a contractual service, is coming in at that time. They are actually starting at about the same time we are closing up, so there are other people in the building, they may not be readily available at the counter, but are in the building.
Member Kramer asked if money has been budgeted for any architectural services to the Fire Station Four building, if the Parks and Recreation Department uses it and a new location for the Fire Department is found?
Mr. Klaver stated the reuse of Fire Station Four would be discussed next year.
Mr. Kriewall answered the two uses on the horizon, is the potential senior citizen bus location, or just maintenance garage for Parks and Recreation, they are very tight at the current location.
Member Kramer stated the senior bus garage sounds interesting. You see them in the parking lot here at the Civic Center.
Mr. Davis agreed keeping the senior vehicles out of the elements would help extend the life expectancy of the vans.
Member Lorenzo has a question for Mr. Kriewall, it is an item that actually came up during the last Capitol Improvement Committee Meeting. Regarding the parking lot estimates from JCK, do we know that that is a legitimate estimate or is it just an estimate? It is stated as $550,000, is it on the high side?
Mr. Kriewall answered the estimate is probably accurate.
Mr. Davis agreed with Mr. Kriewall that the quote is accurate. There was a full-blown evaluation done three years ago, and came in just over $420,000. The new figure has been adjusted for inflation and construction increase.
Mr. Gibson interjected the number being used is $500,000.
Mayor McLallen asked is this is for all the black top from Ten Mile Road all the way back to the playground structures?
Mr. Davis commented it is the parking lot near Ten Mile Road, the drives and the back parking lot, it stops before you get to the ball fields.
Member Schmid asked what you are going to use $12,000 for building Improvements at the Fuerst Farm?
Mr. Davis answered it has been dumped into this budget, it has been a budgeted item to do spot boarding.
Member Schmid asked if Mr. Davis has the ground responsibilities for the Fuerst property?
Mr. Davis answered Ms. Conley has the responsibilities for the Fuerst Property now, he does not recall off hand what Mrs. Conley had summarized.
Mr. Davis introduced Mr. Ward, Chairperson of the Community Clubs. Mr. Davis passed around updated budget sheets to those in the Budget book.
Mayor McLallen commented the fund that grabs everyone’s attention is the Net Operating profit at a deficit.
Mr. Davis commented the Community Clubs have been working for the last couple of months, tracking revenues, expenditures, and the projections, the budget shows a deficit. The reasons identified are the late opening, because of the wall construction problems. Two months worth of summer programming registrations had to be refunded, other expenditures for opening, having staff on board and training them. Opening the third week in August started us off with a deficit. Secondly, there was an effect on the two main profit centers in the facility, the Pro Shop and Concessions Stand. The Pro Shop, because of the non-opening, left people who were skating for the first time at this facility to look elsewhere for their equipment purchases. This caused a substantial loss of profit from within the Pro Shop area. The same thing applies to the Concession Stand area, that facility did not open until October. At this time we are not looking at a full year of revenue for the facility, in some cases it is down to seven or eight months. How the debt is going to be addressed has been the focus of the Community Club Board for the last couple of months. The first thing done, was to control spending as we go through the end of the fiscal year. The management company for the Ice Arena,did have a full time staff member who was terminated. Mr. Davis recommended Sunrise Management not fill the position, but utilize temporary salaries, which is cost saving. The Community Club has asked them to look at other means of controlling expenditures, such as not purchasing any equipment that is not necessary. On the revenue side, we are looking for ways to make sure the programming, services, and sign ups for the activities are meeting projections. Mr. Gibson and myself have been trying to track the numbers to get a better feel on how to correct this, the answer won’t be apparent until the end of the fiscal year. Whatever the deficit number is will be rolled into next year and added to the expenses. When next years price rates are set, the Community Club wants to raise the rates, but still remain competitive. This is to bring in more revenue to offset not only the normal operating expenses but also make up a substantial portion, if not all, of the deficit being experienced. It will not be until the end of June, until we can get a firm handle on what the actual final numbers are. For further cost savings there is energy conservation, shutting lights off, turning the thermostats down making sure other things are shut down. Mr. Davis has spoken with Mr. Ward and the Board, and it is the desire, goal, and objective of the Board to be a self-sustaining facility and operation. How it is done will be a struggle, but it is a challenge they will take on.
Mayor McLallen asked if the Ice Arena Board is looking to the General Fund for additional support?
Mr. Gibson answered the General Fund in effect will be loaning the amount of loss to the Ice Arena.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Gibson is speaking of the previous loans, and if they have been paid back.
Mr. Davis stated the amount is also included within the projections.
Member Lorenzo asked if the $63,000 is included in the $291,000 figure.
Mr. Gibson answered it is not in the $291,000 figure, it is included in the next years.
Member Lorenzo commented the Ice Arena expects to be running in deficit in 1998-1999 and 1999-2000?
Mr. Davis responded the Board is plugging numbers in, we do not know what the actual number will be, originally we estimated the deficit at $160,000. The number is not static as expenditures and revenues come in. When things settle down we will be including the $63,000, the deficit number for this year, into next years budget. Hopefully the Board will be able to adjust the ice rates and provide the programming that will generate the dollars. The other issue we have to watch for is that we do not raise the ice rates to a level where people will not use the facility.
Member DeRoche asked when did the Ice Arena officially opened?
Mr. Davis responded August 23rd.
Member DeRoche commented he wants to make sure the math is correct. Member DeRoche knows the deficit number was a loan for $63,000, which is how it was described. For what reason is that carried into this budget year as opposed to being tacked on as a loss for this year? Do we benefit from that as a City?
Mr. Gibson stated it does not make any difference. Accounting wise it went through the system as a transfer with the idea the amount will be paid back. The planned recovery, the number $970,000 requested in the budget, is the combination of everything the Board is going to try to do to get the Ice Arena back in line. If the Council takes the $63,000 transferred in a previous year, you add in the current loss of $291,000, add in the current debt, which is $615,000, this adds up to the recovery number.
Member DeRoche asked what the $615,000 current debt is?
Mr. Gibson answered the amount is the normal debt service required.
Member DeRoche also would like to know what the revenues were at the Ice Arena for the past thirty days. He assumed there was an increase in the last thirty days to where the revenue projection from the booklet $137,000 to $1,511,000 is the projected revenue to $1,689,000 that that was tied to revenue increase recently, not just something was made up. You are working with them on actually budgeting this.
Mr. Gibson responded the numbers had been refreshed as of April 19th, just a few days ago. Mr. Davis made a quick review of the information.
Member DeRoche asked if Mr. Gibson and Mr. Davis are working together on actually budgeting for the Ice Arena. Or does Mr. Davis give you the numbers, than you tell him what you thinks makes sense for the budget. The last eight months of operation brought in roughly $104,000 a month, and now we are budgeting it at about $140,000 a month in revenues for the next twelve months, after this June 30th.
Mr. Gibson responded that is correct. It is a seasonal thing, and the Ice Arena was not open for the first two and one half months for trying to annualize the receipts through March 1999.
Member DeRoche interjected what he said was if it was bringing in $104,000 for eight months, that was the average for those months, forget the seasonal. We are now saying for next year over twelve months the average is going to be $140,000 per month, that means some months might be $205,000 some months might be $97,000. But the average will be up forty percent this year from last year. That is the projection for the budget.
Member Schmid asked Member DeRoche how many months did he use for last year?
Member DeRoche answered eight, just rough math, from August 23rd to April 19th is roughly eight months divided into $835,000 is roughly $104,000 a month.
Mr. Davis commented we are looking at ice rate increases, from $25.00 to $35.00 an hour, increased use, and additional programs.
Member DeRoche commented he understood the Ice Arena was built for less money than what was originally thought, and then the "wall thing" had to be dealt with.
Mr. Gibson responded the Ice Arena was virtually a break-even situation, we have only $20,000 or $30,000 left out of the bond proceeds and all of the interest earned.
Member DeRoche asked if the left over bond money could not be plugged into the budget in any way?
Mr. Gibson commented the money would be.
Member DeRoche asked if the money has been included in this year’s budget for revenues?
Mr. Gibson answered the left over bond money has not, it will not show up as revenue but will affect the cash flow.
Member DeRoche asked if the left over bond money has reduced the expenses.
Mr. Gibson commented no, it is a carry over.
Member DeRoche phrased his question differently. Is the left over bond money part of the cash flow already?
Mr. Gibson answered yes it is.
Member DeRoche stated again from a normal business practice, there is $30,000 extra in their cash flow now, so if we stopped operating today there might actually be $30,000 more than has been spent.
Mr. Gibson commented the Ice Arena is anticipating a deficit situation, as of June 30th, of $291,500 in effect it is going to be $20,000 or $30,000 lower than that number because we already have money in the bank carried from a previous year. As Mr. Davis has indicated, they really will not have a total handle on the revenues and expenditures until June 30th. There are some other situations that will enter into final figure, inventory adjustments that will be made for Pro Shop’s supplies, and concession supplies, not a lot of dollars.
Member DeRoche believed the Ice Arena was supposed to make $70,000 the first year, what was the planned income to be the second year?
Mr. Gibson stated at this point, to break even is planned.
Member DeRoche, restated his question, how far off from the income goal is the Ice Arena? Was that supposed to be $170,000 this year?
Mr. Gibson responded he doesn’t recall $170,000 number. Last year’s approved budget showed the City would have received $24,800 in the clear.
Member DeRoche responded he is getting the $170,000 number from the original plan proposed, two years ago, for the Ice Arena. The point of getting back to zero is obviously the primary overriding goal. It is also a goal for the people that supported this, to go the extra mile, and get back to where $170,000 in the good, for the Ice Arena to be self-sufficient and a moneymaker for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Mr. Gibson stated one thing is going to happened with this major catch-up effort, which has to occur this next year, the following year the Ice Arena will not have the catch-up efforts, there will be some profit. It is a one-time catch up effort.
Mr. Kriewall confirmed Mr. Gibson’s statement regarding income flow, the Parks and Recreation Administration is asking for a one time expense. Once the Ice Arena gets over the lump, it will not occur every year, as long as the inflow exceeds the operating expenses.
Member DeRoche stated he understands money and depreciation. He is talking about the actual cash of $750,000. If the plan were followed, we would have $700,000 more than we now have. This is all I am trying to note here, you make the zeros A but B is the expectations of being somewhere else.
Member Mutch asked about the budget under program expenditures, it appears expenditures have not been requested, is it programs that are not going to be done, learn to skate, figure skating, skate rental, and skate sharpening?
Mr. Gibson responded Program Expenditures are listed on the previous page, second line from the bottom, as $81,500.
Member Mutch does not feel her question has been answered; are these activities that are not done? Are they Pro Shop related?
Mr. Davis answered they are activities, this year they are totaling up to about $6,500. What the expenses are for are program expenses, patches, and things like that under figure skating activities. As Mr. Gibson pointed out, next year there is $81,500 budgeted to do some of the same things plus expand into some other areas of programs.
Member Schmid had a question about the supplementing money thing, does the City charge interest on the money, I understand it comes from the same pocket, it is still money that is not designated for the Ice Arena.
Mr. Gibson stated Council could determine if there would be interest charged. That was not in my plan.
Member Schmid stated the Ice Arena was bonded for X amount of dollars, at eight and one half mills, there was a blunder by the engineers, architects, or contractors, someone blundered and there was a wall that caved in. The caved in wall cost the community $40,000, and delayed the opening two months. Who is paying the amount spent for the caved in wall?
Mr. Gibson responded the extra money spent is coming out of the bond issue.
Member Schmid commented he has asked at least seventeen times, and has never received an answer, I would like a legal opinion as to why the money is coming out of the bond. His opinion is the contractor should pay the extra money needed for the caved in wall. Legally the contractor should pay, if not, Member Schmid would like to see the reasons in writing that it should not come from the contractor.
Mr. Kriewall commented they do have a written legal opinion, and will get a copy for Member Schmid.
Member Schmid asked if the City has an as built contract for X amount of dollars.
Mr. Davis answered the City has a guaranteed design build, guaranteed maximum price contract.
Member Schmid interjected just because the City bonded more should not be influenced by the fact that the contractor did not do what he was supposed to do.
Mr. Davis responded about the concept, as reviewed in a letter by Mr. Watson, City Attorney, was even though the Ice Arena was running ahead financially, there is a guaranteed maximum contract provision. Under that provision there is the ability for the contractor to reclaim any type of correction type of work, as long as he provides the finished product under the GMP, guaranteed maximum price.
Mr. Kriewall stated they the City Administration are not happy with that portion of the written agreement. After discussing it with Mr. Watson, a conclusion has been reached that the guaranteed maximum price may be a flaw in the contract.
Mr. Ward spoke up that he is the Chairman of the Community Clubs. He wants Council to be aware that for the last three of four months, the Community Club has been watching the numbers and usage. The income portion of the Ice Arena project comes from limited sources. There is a youth hockey program, figure skating operation, and Adult Hockey program. There is discussion with the management company at the Community Club meetings about the adult hockey programs not producing anywhere near the projected amount. Explanations offered have to do with what time ice was available and other arenas have opened up. The management company is trying to figure out how we can accommodate these competing interests. The Ice Arena can receive more dollars per hour for the ice from adult hockey programs. If we give the adult hockey hours starting at eight or nine o’clock in the evening, there would be a substantial number of people from the youth hockey program, asserting they want the earlier use. The Community Club is trying to figure out to what extent some of these projections may not have been as accurate as they should have been. The Community Club is very concerned where the numbers were and where they are, ice rates will have to be adjusted up, as much as reasonably can, and not lose the customers the arena has. The Community Club needs to work with the management company to control the expenses.
Member Schmid asked how the Community Club feels about the Sunrise Management Company.
Mr. Ward responded he is an attorney, and wants to say the correct thing. In his mind it is an open question. They have an annual contract, which states thirty days and out.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Ward’s opinion regarding the adult hockey programs.
Regarding the adult hockey program, Mr. Ward stated he is also optimistic, but he also wants to be realistic also. There have been some big dollars put into the hockey program for adult hockey, if the estimate was not reasonable to begin with, than we should sell off the ice time to some other group. The children in the youth hockey program are on the ice until about ten o’clock in the evening.
Member Lorenzo questioned if the rates for the youth hockey program are the same as the adult hockey program?
Mr. Ward answered the Hockey Association pays the prime rate. The adult hockey program was projected at an even higher dollar per hour rate.
Member Lorenzo reiterates about giving the adult hockey programs prime time, or better hours, you may have people screaming in here, but the bottom line is the dollars.
Member Crawford stated you may wipe out the total youth hockey program.
Mr. Ward stated he is unsure if there is a demand for adult hockey, at the higher hourly rates. A decision has to be made, does the Ice Arena give it to youth hockey or adult hockey. Speaking for himself, Mr. Ward does not think the adult demand is as high as it has been suggested. He wants to do an experiment by calling the Sunrise Management Company to task and tell the company you wanted earlier hours for adult hockey, you have them. In a year from now when Mr. Schmid asks me the same question, I could give a definitive answer to Council whether they are doing the job or not. Mr. Ward is afraid they won’t be able to sell the extra hours, either because they aren’t performing or the demand really isn’t there. If the Community Club does that, a lot of dollars have been lost. He does not think the Youth Hockey Aassociation will do anything drastic, just scream and yell at Council, Mr. Davis and himself. The Youth Hockey Organization is ready, organized and will go to a facility than can use them. If the Ice Arena takes away five or six hours from them, they can buy the time at suburban, or some other place.
Mr. Ward is optimistic because the Ice Arena has a couple of extra months to operate this year. There is a concession stand open through out the year, a substantial amount of money was lost from the delayed opening. A lot of money was lost from the Pro Shop. There was a program titled the Initiation Program in the Hockey Association, which was three or four hundred children ready to purchase a full package of equipment. One might be critical of the management company for not having the equipment ready for purchase. If there are three or four hundred children next year starting in the Initiation Program, hopefully the Pro Shop will have those sales of equipment. If the Community Club needs to raise the rates, it needs to be done fairly, the Hockey people cannot be hit for a twenty-five percent increase and figure skaters ten percent.
Member Kramer commented about areas that have been identified where increased revenue is expected this year.
Mr. Davis stated the numbers being projected are coming from the Sunrise Management Company.
Member Mutch questioned projected numbers versus reality, and is there a demand for adult ice hockey, is there a market for it?
Mr. Ward stated the Community Club has been very critical of every proposal and projection that has been made. The Community Club has been questioning the projections and explanations, and the management company’s marketing efforts for the spring hockey and figure skating.
Mayor McLallen commented the Council meeting was running extremely late, obviously this is a good citizen watchdog group, and the Council is the tax paying citizens who are overseeing the Ice Arena who have a vested interest in turning this situation around. The Mayor asked if there were any other critical issues that needed to be covered.
BREAK at 9:50 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Police Chief Shaeffer said the Police Department plugged in a new computer system, they are seeing some dramatic activity changes. We are getting better facts, such as the types of crimes in town that is occurring. The computer is helping to verify the location of these crimes. We have never before, because of he volume of the data, been able to ask the question, what those places are. There is sufficient data coming into the computer system now to help the administrators decide where to devote resources, the place that had fifty-two crimes per year or the one that has one crime every three years. The computer system is so new that the Police do not have enough data in the system to compare crime rates between years. This is cumbersome to the Police in the sense that we can not say if crime is going up or down, or if Police are making an impact in certain areas. In terms of numbers of crimes we can categorize it in many different ways. One other thing we have been able to do with the computer is track and count calls for service, the calls have gone up eleven percent, a significant increase. He attributed the increase to the new computer system, and the officers feeding more information into it. Chief Shaeffer has given the last five years call for service increase of thirty-seven percent he feels this number is reliable for the trend in the City of Novi, a seven percent range.
Chief Shaeffer stated the Police Administration is very proud of the actual budget submitted. The Police Department has only risen point eight percent compared to the total budget rise of five point four percent. The new Police budget is only about $250,000 more than in previous years, this includes several new items. Most importantly, as spoken of previously with Council, is the Federal Grant for four police officers. An official, official response has not been received yet, but the police have been told they would in fact receive them. With those officers and the Federal Grant included, we are still only $250,000 over the current years budget. If the four police officers and the Federal Grant were removed from the program, the new budget would come in $40,000 less than the current years’ budget.
Chief Shaeffer, referred to Principle Reasons for Change, asked Council to follow along with him, than questions can be answered. The first item is four police officers, a $195,000 expense item, Chief Shaeffer stated Ms. Borders told him without the Federal Grant, it would be in the range of $250,000. Also contained in the amount are the additional wage increases received by officers every year, negotiated step, and benefit increases. These are the only two high dollar items. Under supplies, $23,000 has been removed, the radios were purchased under this years’ budget. Other Services and Charges increase are attributed to the new officers in the grant.
Ms. Borders stated the Other Services and Charges for the new officers covers the training and the new hire physical.
Chief Shaeffer resumes the discussion with Capital Outlay. There is a paper shredder in dispatch needing to be replaced, the current one is old. The Police Department is required to shred all messages between law enforcement agencies and State databases. The reverse 911 communications equipment, has been removed, it may be covered in the building bond. The reverse 911 equipment allows the police to call back to the community. Also a crisis response telephone was asked for, it is utilized by the negotiations team. It is used by the response team about five or six times per year, when someone has barricaded themselves with guns and refusing to come out. This particular system allows the police to take total control of the barricaded person’s communications equipment. The barricaded person cannot call newspapers, radios, mom and dad, the only people they can call and speak to are the police, and they cannot hang up on the police either. If there is a speakerphone in the home, the police can communicate or listen through the system as well. The crisis response telephone gives the response team more latitude, especially in a hostage situation and not knowing if someone is injured or life is really being threatened.
Member DeRoche asked how many hostage situations the city has in a year.
Chief Shaeffer responded the police department has not had any in eight and a half years.
Member Schmid stated he is anxious for the explanation of the next budgeted item, a tractor with snowblower.
Chief Shaeffer explained a small John Deere with snowblower is being requested. Member Schmid is welcome to come over and drive it. Currently a small hand held snowblower is used.
The next item is the desktop projector, which is utilized with a computer. The police needed to borrow one for the press conference held recently. The desktop projector is a very useful tool for making presentations. The desktop projector is very graphic, illustrative, progressive, and entertaining. The projector of course would be available for use throughout the City until the purchase of another one can be justified.
Chief Shaeffer explained the in-car video system. This item has been seen on television, in the press, and in a lot of the movies where a small camera is mounted in a car and the recorder in the trunk. This unit records incidences officers encounter, such as a traffic stop, where it turns into a big fighting and shooting scene. The tape than becomes legal documentation. The amount of money asked for will outfit about half of the police cars. The police prefer to do all of the police vehicles.
Mr. Kriewall stated the money had been removed because it is not a high priority item with the City Administration.
Member Schmid asked if this type of equipment remains steady in price or is it dropping rapidly.
Chief Shaeffer responded the video equipment in not dropping in price. The equipment has been in existence for about eleven or twelve years, and has a great value to police officers as evidence. An example would be the use in conflicts where the officer is accused of brutality. The police than just push the play button, and than it is immensely clear what happened, there are no more he said, she said. When you speak to other police forces this is the first thing spoken of, than they also talk about the evidence value in going to court, for drunk drivers or those kinds of things.
On to the vehicles, the two new police cars are for the new hires, one car for every two-patrol officer team. The six replacement patrol vehicles are for the black and white vehicles simply running out their mileage and time to replace them. The sonic cars are undercover replacements. The police are purchasing used cars. The undercover police officers like to keep them in rotation so the vehicle does not become well known.
Mayor McLallen asked about the price difference between the narcotics sonic car and the Sergeant’s sonic car.
Chief Shaeffer explained this is the Sergeant’s first issue car with no trade in, the narcotics current sonic cars will be traded in on the purchase of another car, keeping the costs lower.
Mayor McLallen wanted to know how many police vehicles are in the current fleet?
Chief Shaeffer responded about seventeen black and whites, nine detectives, and two burned out black and white vehicles, seven spares plus four staff cars.
Mayor McLallen stated the cars do not last more than a year and a half, with about eighty thousand miles. It seems the City buys cars constantly, but I know you can only buy them at certain times in bulk.
Mr. Kriewall added the City does fairly well, the "older" cars are auctioned, and end up being taxicabs in New York. He has also heard some end up in Saudi Arabia.
Mayor McLallen noticed the Police Department has a major processor listed, the RISC 6000 processor. She would like to know what it is.
Deputy Police Chief Rasmussen states the RISK 6000 processor is another computer that runs the computer network as a backup. The computer is redundant, if the current system goes down; the RISK 6000 automatically takes over. There have been two system failures this year; it was down for over twenty-four hours. The police had to revert to doing everything by hand, when the system is repaired, a lot of time is spent loading information back in.
Mayor McLallen stated it is a $9000 insurance policy.
Deputy Chief Rasmussen answered in some respects yes.
Member DeRoche was surprised the computer was implemented without a backup system.
Chief Shaeffer commented they went through the Citizens Committee. There was quite a discussion whether there should or should not be a back-up system. The preponderance of evidence all pointed to the fact that systems are becoming so reliable there was no longer a need to have a back up.
Member DeRoche stated he has never heard of someone who depends on a computer network that did not have the exact same thing running at the time.
Mayor McLallen asked about the three additional laptop computers.
Chief Shaeffer stated people in the Police Department utilize the laptops. The Automatic Vehicle Locator program is a sophisticated program on the police computer system. The program integrates with the cars and with the computer systems. AVL, meaning Automatic Vehicle Locator, is the ability to watch on a screen, in dispatch, or the Chief’s or Deputy Chief’s office, where the police cars actually are.
Member Kramer noticed $60,000 happens to be a very convenient number. If Council will look at the in car video, the missing number is $60,000. He would like to know if Chief Shaeffer is open to the idea of either the in car video or the Automatic Vehicle Locator program.
Mr. Kriewall stated the Automatic Vehicle Locator program would increase the efficiency of the Police Department.
Chief Shaeffer commented one other clear advantage to the Automatic Vehicle Locator program is dispatchers can see graphically who in fact is the closest available car for a high priority call.
Mr. Kriewall believes it will save manpower.
Member Kramer was not trying to stir up a hornet’s nest, but the fact that the numbers was so coincidental, he thought he would offer the opportunity for discussion.
Chief Shaeffer moves on with the Video Arraignment Project, it was instigated at the Novi Police Department. The police would like to have the prisoners lodged in the Oakland County Sheriff’s jail, that will be arraigned at the 52-1 District Court, arraigned over a video system rather than physically transport the prisoners to the Court. The Sheriff brings the prisoners to the City jail, our police than transport them to the District Court and wait until the Court can process them, then bring the prisoner back to the City jail and rebook. This is a time consuming activity that can take place between the Oakland County Sheriff’s jail and the District Court without the City’s involvement.
Member Mutch asked why the City of Novi is paying for the video system, would that not be something paid for by the Court even though effects us?
Chief Shaeffer responded it appears the County will not pay for it this year. The County would develop the system and implement it this year.
Member Mutch commented that we wait around and work on trying to get the system perfected.
Member DeRoche asked if the County pays us for using the City’s facility, or is it a cooperative arrangement?
Chief Shaeffer answered the video is for arraignment. The idea came from the City’s detectives being able to talk voice to voice and show documents at the same time to the County Prosecutors Office.
Member DeRoche understands that, he thought the District Court does a round up for several communities. The City’s jail is the one used by the District Court prisoners for other communities, is there not payment for this?
Chief Shaeffer said the City receives payment from Wixom, and South Lyon.
Member DeRoche comments that the City is already receiving payment, the video system is reducing our expenses of processing, without passing the savings to the other communities.
Member Mutch restated the facts, as she understands them. The prisoner starts out at the Oakland County Jail, the City sends an officer there to transport the prisoner to the 52-1 District Court for arraignment, and transport the prisoner back to the Oakland County Jail. With the Video Arraignment System, the City sends an officer to the Oakland County Jail for the arraignment, the officer than returns Novi. There is not this back and forth business.
Chief Shaeffer explains the current procedure is the Oakland County Sheriff runs a shuttle for the City of Novi. Once the Novi Police have arrested the person, a shuttle takes the prisoner to Oakland County Jail to be booked. The prisoner needs to be arraigned. With the video arraignment system the Sheriff’s officers would take the prisoner out and stand him in front of a camera, the judge would say "Are you Mr. Doug Shaeffer", and you would reply," Yes I am". The judge would than ask, "You are being charged with the theft of $5,000, how do you plead? Guilty or not guilty"? The Sheriff can than return the prisoner back to the cell.
Member Mutch asked if the Novi Police needs to be at the Oakland County jail at all?
Chief Shaeffer responded that we do not have to be at the Oakland County jail. The way the system currently works is the shuttle brings them from the Oakland County Jail, and the prisoner is put in the City of Novi’s Jail. The Novi officer takes them out of the City’s jail and over to the District Court, and stands around waiting for the arraignment. After the arraignment he brings the prisoner back to the Novi jail waiting for the Sheriff’s shuttle to take the prisoner back to the Oakland County Jail.
Member Mutch stated the video equipment we are paying for would than be in Pontiac, not at the City of Novi.
Chief Shaeffer responded the video equipment would be here at the 52-1 District Court and at Oakland County.
Member Mutch wanted to know why the cost is not being shared with other communities or Oakland County.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there was a cable connection between the local District Court and the Court in Pontiac? Is it a videoconference?
Chief Shaeffer did not know the answer to that question. We have instigated a program like this several years ago. It works well between the detectives and the prosecutors office, so why not between the Sheriff’s office and the Judges.
Member Mutch stated everything about it makes sense except for the City of Novi paying for it. Why not everyone who benefits by it contribute the purchase of the equipment.
Mr. Kriewall asked if the equipment should be coin operated?
Mayor McLallen states having the equipment would be a net gain for the City of Novi. How much are we spending now transporting the prisoners? I understand the controversy with the City of Novi being the sole financial source for the video system. If the other communities are not willing to pay at this time and it is costing us twice as much in transportation, is not $15,000 better than the $30,000 plus time lost with officers going to the Court. It takes a minimum of two hours to go to the District Court at $50 an hour. From a cost savings it is a more efficient way.
Chief Shaeffer had one other thing to call to the Council’s attention. The County does not have the video system fully developed yet, they believe the system will be done this year, but are not sure. If the County does not finish the video system, the money will be returned to the City of Novi.
Mayor McLallen stated the Council has three different scenarios to work with. They can omit the amount all together, pull the money out for a budget amendment, or budget as in the past and not use money.
Member Kramer said the Chief indicated the video system was primarily for communications from the county jail to the courthouse. Does this mean our police would not keep anyone in the city jail who is awaiting arraignment?
Chief Shaeffer answered the police officers try to move them out of the city jail and into a long term jail facility as soon as possible.
Member Lorenzo wanted to know if Novi Police take prisoners from South Lyon or Wixom and transport them to the County Jail.
Chief Shaeffer stated just until the Oakland County Sheriff shuttle shows up, we house them until that time. The City of Novi Police do not transport the prisoners.
Member Schmid asked the Chief about money and cars that are confiscated, about $20,000. It does not appear you are hitting a lot of drug dealers, certainly not picking up any cars or whatever. Please explain.
Chief Shaeffer said the explanation is in the amount of money that is not being seized. If the history is looked at, assets, and forfeitures with law enforcement across the country have shrunk dramatically over the years. The drug dealers have learned to use a borrowed car, rather than one they own, or they work from a hotel, not their own house. Those kinds of funds and assets we used to be able to see are few and far between. On a rare occasion the police make a large hit, with a large amount of money or significant assets of some other type.
Member Schmid asked how many officers are in the sonic program, and is this still a good program?
Chief Shaeffer said six officers. This is still a very aggressive program and doing good things.
Mayor McLallen asked if anyone had comments in any of the major areas or big issues for the Police Budget.
Member Lorenzo commented she is looking for money to purchase the video cameras for the vehicles, she has watched enough of the television program "Cops" to know it is very beneficial. Member Lorenzo would like to know if the video equipment could be purchased through the forfeiture fund. She knows the match finger printer had been purchased through the fund.
Deputy Chief Rasmussen stated the fingerprinting machine specifically allowed the Police Department to use forfeiture funds in the grant under the Federal guidelines. Most times the money cannot be used unless there is a provision for the use.
Member Lorenzo questioned the $10,000 for the D.A.R.E program. Can money be utilized from the forfeiture fund for the car video?
Chief Shaeffer explain one criterion the police need to be very careful of is current monetary funds cannot be supplanted. Asset forfeiture funds have to be devoted to the war on drugs.
Member Lorenzo asked if catching drug people with police cars and the video camera would be working, does this qualify?
Chief Shaeffer believed the balance is around $40,000 at this time. The Police Department has done several things with the forfeiture funds; they have started and maintained the Canine Program. The narcotics officers borrow from the fund for their "buy" money, on occasion the officers need to come up with $2,000 flash cash to make a "narcotics purchase" and the sonic cars were originally purchased with the forfeiture money. Council approved all of these expenditures.
Member Kramer stated according to the accounting sheet before them, there is $44,000, and a balance of $12,000 is recommended. Council can consider an expenditure of about $30,000 from the forfeiture fund if there was an appropriate drug related expense. Possibly some of the funds for sonic cars, and D.A.R.E. can be reallocated from these funds.
Mayor McLallen asked if there were any other issues that Council needed more information on.
Mayor ProTem Crawford stated that today he attended the Michigan Municipal League Conference in Mt. Morris at the High School. In the Mt. Morris High School they had a Liaison Police Officer, the Mayor of Mt. Morris, the High School Principal, and Superintendent, spoke highly of the program. Has the Novi Police Department ever considered this type of program? What about funding?
Chief Shaeffer has had numerous discussions with the school about a Liaison Program. The school is willing to look at the program but not implement it. Chief Shaeffer said he could give the High School no choice about it, they will have an uniformed police officer there, which means the City, would have to pay for it.
Mayor ProTem Crawford spoke of the Mt. Morris High School having a grant for the Liaison Program, he did not know what the name of the grant, or program is. He said this type of program did "peak his interest", and thought this might be something Novi would like to try to do.
Chief Shaeffer mentioned there is grant money available for these types of programs.
Member Mutch wondered about the bike patrols the Novi Police now has. Would the bike patrols we do have on school property be a foot in the door? As much as Council thinks it was wonderful, there were big out cries. The public wanted to know what the police where doing at a football games.
Chief Shaeffer said the liaison program takes at least a full year to gain acceptance.
Member Mutch feels with the bike program we are past that point. In general what else can the police be doing around the schools for general security?
Chief Shaeffer commented the school liaison program is a worthwhile program, the officers work in the schools, and there is a surprising amount of information they come out with. There are some unique situations children are in, and will look for someone they have confidence and trust in to share the information with.
Member Mutch agreed with Chief Shaeffer.
Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted to know why there was not any overtime being allocated to the bike patrol this year.
Chief Shaeffer answered the overtime from last year was grant money.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the bike patrol program would be cut down.
Chief Shaeffer said there would be a cut back in the total number of hours, at those more significant events were the Police, and types of situations that demand a bike officer, you will not see a lapse. Just a minor cut back, nothing significant.
Chief Shaeffer commented the Chief of Police from Wixom has been in meetings regarding Dispatch Services. South Lyon has been very cooperative in the meetings.
Member Lorenzo had seen a letter from the Mayor of Wixom, in the Spinal Column, looking for regional dispatchers for the Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake and the City of Wixom.
Mr. Kriewall replied Wixom has hired Plante and Moran to do an analysis for their City. He feels there is some interest for the City of Wixom to hook up with Walled Lake and Wolverine Lake. He and Chief Shaeffer met with the City of Wixom to address some of their concerns. Mr. Kriewall brought up at that meeting the prospect of doing a regional authority. Some communities become very defensive in doing their own dispatching.
Member Lorenzo said the content of the letter from the Mayor or Wixom implied he would prefer autonomy.
Chief Shaeffer added a comment, the Chief of Wixom prepared a list of complaints, and shared it with his boss, and demanded they go elsewhere or start their own dispatch. This list of complaints was never shared with the City of Novi. If we knew what they are, the dispatch manager or myself would be willing to work on a resolution. The South Lyon Police Chief has come to us with his complaints, and we worked things out.
Mr. Klaver sat in on a meeting with Mr. Michael Dornan, the Walled Lake City Manager, where Mr. Dornan shared the response to the regional dispatch issue, and the Plante and Moran study. It was indicated to me that he was going to recommend against it and he was satisfied with our services.
There being no further business before the Council the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 p.m.
Kathleen S. McLallen Tonni L. Bartholomew
Susan E. Blumer
Approved: May 24, 1999