View Agenda for this meeting



MONDAY, AUGUST 30, 1999, AT 7:00 PM



Mayor Pro-Tem Crawford called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen (absent/excused), Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo (absent/excused), Mutch, Schmid

ALSO PRESENT: Edward Kriewall, Kerreen Conley, Dan Davis, Dennis Watson, Heidi Hannan





Matthew Quinn spoke of the Aetna Fountain Project on the northeast corner of Novi Road and Grand River. The design of the fountain was forwarded to the Ad Hoc Committee. The Ad Hoc Committee presented a couple of different schemes to Council with a recommendation. Ralph Nuniaz, the Architect Designer, will reveal the various fountain designs and answer questions regarding designs, proposals and costs.


Mr. Nuniaz, President of Design Team Limited, thanked the Ad Hoc Committee, City Council and the Planning Commission and consultants for their assistance on the three designs. The first proposal is a large-scale tree plantings, with a sixteen-foot diameter fountain in the center. The fountain is a cube with the City crest on all sides and the jets above. The Council asked the Ad Hoc Committee and Design Team Limited to go back to the drawing board and design something more ornamental and in character with the City of Novi. The cost was approximately $400,000.


The second proposal is 40 foot in diameter, for half of the fountain and in the center is a raised aerial with three high jets on a separate controller. At the back of the circle there are two tiered planting beds with paving designs around the circle. The elevation is between eight and twelve feet high and about sixteen feet in height from the top pavement. There will be trees in the foreground to give the fountain balance. This is all custom built and finished concrete work. This fountain, with concrete work done on site, the cost estimate is about $350,000 including 9 jets, internal lights and illumination of back wall with the crest of the City. This is proposal two and the recommendation from the board.


Mr. Nuniaz said a benefit is that the controllers could control both levels of water jets. During the winter months these would be turned off allowing for a large seasonal Christmas tree light display in that area. There is 15 feet in diameter between the fountain edge and the outer planting curve that would allow utilization of the plaza area for the Fifties Festival Race Car, etc.


The planting remained the same through all three concepts.


With the third alternative the plaza changed a little. This is a 40 foot fountain with the original stonework with the cube like the first concept. Over the last couple of months the capabilities were secured to produce a larger fountain feature. The fountain is 40 feet in diameter, two foot four inches in height and consists of a large pool with a spray ring 16 feet in diameter and allows water to come in and shoot down. Three additional jets were requested that would shoot about 12 feet in height. Because this was a kit and pre-made and assembled on site it is approximately $560,000. One problem with this is during the winter months come this fountain is down and what is left is a pool which is similar to what is at the other entrance to the Novi Town Center.


Mr. Nuniaz said all three proposals were presented to the civic groups and their recommendation was also the second concept.


Member Schmidt said regardless of which fountain is chosen there will be no expense to the City.


Mr. Kriewall said the City might have to advance the money and engage in a program of selling paver blocks and bricks, similar to Ypsilanti, Bay City, etc. Families, companies etc. would buy these blocks or bricks and their name would be put on them. He said the City might have to finance this fountain for a maximum of five years at an interest rate of about 5%. The money could probably be recovered in about two years because larger bricks and pavers would be provided so that corporate sponsors could participate.


Mr. Kriewall said Novi lacks a statement of community quality and pride and this would be a focus for the entire community. We are taking a former gas station site and reclaiming it as a centerpiece for the community.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if the entire project would be paid off through donations?


Mr. Kriewall said it would. The urgency on this project is that the Aetna Company has moved forward with their designs for the park area and they want to go into final design so construction can start this fall. Their target is to have this park in place including the fountain by mid summer of 2000. They are requesting Council’s conceptual approval to continue with the architectural development of a particular fountain.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if that was what they were looking for tonight? Mr. Kriewall said in two or three weeks they would present an amendment or addendum to the agreement Council had already approved with the Aetna Company. It will spell out the specifics of the fountain and the cost break down, etc. We are very confident that all the paver blocks would be sold.


Member Kramer met with representatives of civic groups to test the waters for support. He thought it was positive feedback but there was not enough time in one week to turn around and get a concrete commitment. He hoped to maximize the community effort through service groups and community based organizations and to be heavily driven by that sector in terms of brick sales.


Mr. Kriewall said the goal is to start marketing the bricks as soon as a more defined architectural picture is available. The bricks and pavers should be selling in the next 60 days. He felt it was important to move ahead with approval of one of the concepts. He said through the process the committee and every one else has supported the more elaborate fountain.


Member Mutch said the idea of having a municipal fountain has been discussed at least as long as the Town Center was proposed. It has had a lot of feed back in the community but there was never a place or a way to make it happen before now. The fountain idea came out of the 30th anniversary committee made up of staff, Council members and citizens who wanted to be involved in doing something special for the 30th anniversary of the City. That evolved into a millennium project that future generations can look back on. She said this is not a Council initiated project, it is a community initiated concept with support from the business community and indications of support from community service organizations as well as individuals.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if it was Councils consensus to move forward with the recommendation of the committee. Mr. Kriewall asked if it was specifically for the nine jet proposal and was told it was. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said Administration would come back with more finalized ideas.



    Mr. Davis appeared before Council to discuss the Ice Arena Contract with Suburban Hockey and three adjustments to the contract. During the process Suburban had additional changes.


    Council members had an updated draft document with eight changes for discussion.


    1. Page 1


    Add - under item #1, Facility and Program Management Responsibilities. In sentence #3 "the Novi Ice Arena in an economically sound manner, consistent with the best interests of the CITY (which include reduction of the facility deficit as expeditiously as possible), and SUBURBAN will have full authority to do so." The balance of the paragraph is identical to the previous document.


    Mr. Davis said they incorporated the suggestions of Council to identify and spell out our desire to retire the deficit component as expeditiously as possible.


    2. Page 2


    Subsection C – "Suburban shall lease ice time and space within the facility," provide expertise was deleted.


    Member Mutch said when it says "Suburban shall lease ice time and space within the facility, including the operations of the pro shop, and concession areas." When you say including, is that a reference to the leasing of space for the operation of the pro shop and concession area?


    Mr. Davis said they would be charged with providing the service of leasing out the facilities for functional uses including those two areas.



  3. Page 2


Still under subsection C – Add - "Suburban shall have the authority to sell advertising at the facility or enter into sponsorship agreements on behalf of the City."


4. Page 3


Subsection H - Add – "The City Council hereby grants the authority to execute agreements for the rental of ice time at rental rates consistent with the approved annual budget."


Mr. Watson said previously it said "The City Council may grant the authority". By doing it here that avoids the necessity of doing a separate resolution to do it. This is so they can rent ice without coming back to City Council with each rental agreement.


5. Page 4


First paragraph midway down: Add - "The budget shall include the establishment of a reserve account for current and future capitol expenses. The initial budget shall include as capital expenses expenditures for computer software for an accounting program and a rink management system program and expenditure for skate sharpening equipment."


In a presentation of Mr. Anastos’ business plan he expressed the need for these items to help assist him in providing an economically run facility generating revenue. These are accounting and cost control issues and revenue generation issues.


6. Page 5


Add - First paragraph, first sentence at top: midway through the sentence, "capitol reserve". This establishes if and when revenues exceed direct expenditures the capitol reserve which would be included with the budget and debt service payments.


7. Page 10


  1. This item has been added. It is a mutual termination clause.


  1. Page 12


City’s Representative – Mr. Davis’ name was deleted from the first line of the paragraph and replaced with the position title. Further on this sentence was added: "Except as otherwise stated in this Agreement, the City Representative shall be SUBURBAN’s contact person at the CITY for purposes of fulfilling its obligations under this agreement, including the resolution of day-to-day operational issues."


This clarifies for both parties a direct communication link between the City and Suburban.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford called for discussion on the changes.


  1. Add – Under Facility and Program Management Responsibilities. First paragraph after Novi Ice Arena, "in an economically sound manner, consistent with the best interest of the CITY (which include reduction of the facility deficit as expeditiously as possible), and SUBURBAN will have full authority to do so." No questions or comments

  3. Delete - Subsection c – "Suburban shall lease ice time and space within the facility," provide expertise was deleted

    Member Kramer said under the terms of the Bond Sale it is permissible to lease out the operation of the pro shop and the concession area.


    Mr. Davis asked Member Kramer to notice the last sentence of the subpart reads, "All arena operations shall be in compliance with Internal Revenue Service revenue procedure 97-13. " Mr. Davis said this explicitly deals with this issue.


  5. Add – "SUBURBAN shall have the authority to sell advertising at the facility or enter into sponsorship agreements on behalf of the CITY, subject to any existing contracts and obligations." No questions or comments.


4. Add – subsection H – "The City Council hereby grants the authority to execute agreements for the rental of ice time at rental rates consistent with the approved annual budget." No questions or comments.


5. Add – Under Item 2, Financial Reporting and Money Management, second paragraph page 4, "The budget shall include the establishment of a reserve account for current and future capitol expenses. The initial budget shall include as capital expenses expenditures for computer software for an accounting program and a rink management system program and expenditure for skate sharpening equipment."


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked for further explanation on the cost and how this would be funded.


Mr. Davis said the computer software component includes accounting software and rink management software provides a preliminary cost estimate for these programs. The cost estimate is $45,000 from a company called Frontline Solutions who has worked with Suburban. The estimate includes the computer touch screen components, accounting inventory control reporting mechanism, etc. These would provide better inventory control and day to day reporting for not only inventory within the pro shop or concession but also the ability to lease ice time on a consistent basis where the schedules are done on the computer. This will generate reports as to how the rink is doing on a day to day basis as opposed to using manual operations and waiting for monthly or six week reports. It is a large capitol expense. When looked at from a long term payback it will provide very valuable information on how the facility is operating on a day to day basis and allow us the opportunity to track all the operations of the rink.


Mr. Davis said the purchase could be viewed in a couple of other ways. This could be a direct purchase but it is a large ticket item. There are other opportunities available and we need to further explore leasing opportunities and installment purchase contracts. He will explore these different options and present them to Council for review and action.


The other component is the skate sharpening machine. When the facility opened it used a dupliskate machine. The machine had numerous problems with the computer board that controlled the settings. This has been corrected. However, there is an ongoing perception problem within the facility for that machine. There is another unit called the Blade Master and it is very well regarded and known throughout ice skating facilities and is what Mr. Anastos is recommending. He is looking into purchasing a used Blade Master machine and selling the existing machine to re-coop some of our capitol expense to off set the new purchase.


Mr. Davis said they are looking for ways to minimize the total capitol outlay that is vital to Suburban’s successful take over of the facility. This is equipment that would stay with the City of Novi and would be a long term investment in getting this facility turned around in an economical feasible fashion. Member Kramer asked the cost of a new Blake Master machine and Mr. Davis said it was $10,000 but they would look for a used machine to get started with.


Member DeRoche asked if Mr. Davis thought these items were important to the success of Suburban Management being able to accomplish the goals they have set? Mr. Davis said absolutely.


Member DeRoche agreed. He was surprised that the facility was not computerized already and asked if he thought the facility should have had computers before this?


Mr. Davis said it was something that after operations started in review with the Finance Department, Kathy Smith-Roy, suggested that this was an item that we should seek further information on as a point of sale, cost control computer system that provides better accounting practices. Mrs. Smith-Roy questioned it early on from a City perspective but it was not something the previous management company pushed for or recommended. It should have been done a long time ago.


Mr. Davis said the Parks and Recreation administration staff, including himself, has been in the facility for six days now. He thought from a cost containment, inventory control stand he could see how numerous problems had occurred. With the new system in place the return on the investment would be greatly enriched back to the community.


Member DeRoche commented this would be of help at budget time determining how much money was made on skate sharpening, pro shop, etc. As a hockey player, Mr. DeRoche said, you have to be able to have confidence in the skate that you are skating on and rely on the rink equipment. If skaters cannot rely on good equipment they will remember that for a very long time and it will be a detriment to doing business at this facility.


Mr. Davis said the skate sharpening is a component of the total pro shop sales activities. If people do not go in to get skates sharpened they will not be picking up their tape, sticks, mouth guard, etc. They will buy these things where they get their skates sharpened.


Member DeRoche was glad that the contract was acknowledging Suburban’s request for these things they want to implement to make this a successful venture between them and the City.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford commented he had the opportunity to see the system in operation at Suburban and it handled everything from a hot dog to a contract with the Hockey Association. It all goes in the computer for a daily print out and it is inventory control. He said it was amazing and thought the money would be returned on the investment soon.


Member Mutch agreed and said it would give Council a snap shot of the financial condition at any point along the way and not just at budget time.


Member Schmid said very soon Council would be getting an updated budget for these items, which would provide their cost, and possibly another budget would handle the additional expense.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it was possible it could come from the Building Authority because there still might be funds left there for capital.


Mr. Kriewall thought there might be some money left over to pay for some of these expenses.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said there are computers in the facility but this is more of a software issue.


Mr. Kramer said there might be money available in the Building Authority because there had been money set aside for additional landscaping and a few other things and we might be able to reprogram that for some of the cost.


Member Mutch wanted to return to discussion of the addition to #4 on page 3. She

pointed out by Council granting authority to execute agreements for the rental of

ice time does not mean Council would have no say at all. It is part of an annual budget

and we could provide input if it was too low or too high. They have an annual budget

that Council reviews.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it would be consistent with a bottom line budget.


6. Add - Page 5, second sentence, following "If and when revenues exceed direct expenses, the capital reserve No questions or comments.


Mr. Davis said in the long term operation of the facility there will be replacements of

compressors, zamboni, roof and any type of physical structure to insure the asset

remains an asset to the community. They would be prudent to set aside on an annual

basis, a capital reserve account that they can tap into to address concerns as they

come up. When the time comes through the budget process, Suburban can say it is

an issue of capitol concern and we want to make sure there is money to tap into.



7. Add – Subsection d on page 10 – Mutual Termination: This Agreement may be terminated at any time without termination fee, penalty or liquidated damages if the parties so mutually agree." No questions or comments.


8. Item 8, City’s Representative, page 12 – Replacing Mr. Davis’ name with the position title, "Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation". Also add "Except as otherwise stated in this Agreement, the City Representative shall be SUBURBAN’s contact person at the CITY for purposes of fulfilling its obligations under this Agreement, including the resolution of day-to-day operational issues."


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford explained this meant that everyone else is not going to talk to

Suburban just the Director.


Member Schmid asked where Community Clubs came in?


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said they were not addressed in the document.


Mr. Davis said they are a Council appointed advisory board and they become the eyes

and ears of the facility. They would deal with Mr. Davis and he would share their input

with Suburban on a monthly basis. In a true sense they become the advocacy group

for the ice arena to work in harmony with Suburban to make it a successful operation.


Member DeRoche said while Suburban is specifically to communicate with the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Director is not empowered to direct them in any aspect of running their business. That is laid out in this contract.


Mr. Davis agreed.


Member DeRoche said, to clarify, the Council should acknowledge that Suburban was hired to run the business and make the business decisions. Community Clubs and the Director are in place for good advice and their own expertise but Suburban is empowered to run the facility.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford felt Mr. Davis would be relieved with that as a clarification. He has Parks and Recreation to run and does not want to run the ice arena as he has for the past couple of years.


Member Mutch said the Director is the person who has the responsibility to notify Council directly or via the City Manager. If he sees any part of the contract that is not being upheld he is responsible for bringing his concerns to Council.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford agreed. He commended Mr. Davis and Mr. Kriewall for their diligence and for turning this situation into a positive.


CM-99-08-225 Moved by Schmid, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the contract as presented.




Member DeRoche stated he intended to support these changes to the updated

contract. He thought the changes were very positive and the clarifications

regarding management structure were important and would help Suburban be



Member Kramer said he would support the motion and it was the result of a lot of diligent work by dedicated people.


Member Mutch agreed and would also support the motion. She asked when Suburban would actually take over the operation?


Mr. Davis said transitioning would take place over a two week period. The contract goes into effect September 1. Obviously, they will need some lead time to hire staff but they do have people in mind.


Member Mutch asked for a progress report on a fairly frequent basis for the first few months?


Mr. Davis said he would include it in his monthly report.


Vote on CM-99-08-225 Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

Absent: McLallen, Lorenzo


  1. Boards and Commissions Application, Interview and Appointment Process:


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said this is to consolidate some of the appointment dates.

Mrs. Bartholomew recommended that the Boards and Commissions be consolidated and not scattered throughout the year. Therefore, more timely appointments can be made.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said Community Clubs was deleted from this accidentally and Mrs. Bartholomew had a suggestion as to when Council might want to do that.


Mrs. Bartholomew said Community Clubs was overlooked and was scheduled for the November interview cycle for terms ending with the annual meeting. It is done by resolution. We are suggesting that a resolution be drafted for that one to coincide with Parks and Recreation interviews and a number of other boards and commissions in March. That would bring it down to three term expiration times a year in January, March and June.


Member Kramer said all boards and commissions would line up on these three dates and there would be interview sessions closely preceding these dates.


Mrs. Bartholomew said the interview dates now are in February, June and November.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said interviews could be done in November to appoint the January and March people.


Mrs. Bartholomew said they could not be taken down any more than three days because some of the boards are appointed by State Statute and it is out of our control to change those dates.


Member Kramer asked if the interview sessions were aligned so that they would be timely with regards to these three appointment dates?


Mrs. Bartholomew said that could be done now. The February date is right between the two boards as Mayor Pro Tem Crawford suggested November would probably be a good time to appoint both January and March boards.


Mr. Kramer asked Mrs. Bartholomew to look at what was currently scheduled for interviews and recommend which board to do at which time. He suggested if Council agreed on the three appointment dates that Mrs. Bartholomew look at the interview schedule and arrange it to be supportive of the three dates.


Mrs. Bartholomew said that would be our intent as well; she was suggesting possibly going to a May and a November interview schedule.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said that would probably work well.


Member Kramer said the other boards and commissions that are not on this list are already January, March or June.


Mrs. Bartholomew said that was correct.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said Council would also consider 3B, which is the Board of Review, which is in Ordinance form so an ordinance process with a first reading and could do a second reading tonight .


Member Schmid asked how many times they would be interviewed and are the appointments going to be made in January, March and June?


Mrs. Bartholomew said that is when the terms expire and are renewed.


Member Schmid asked how many times Council would interview for all of these?


Mrs. Bartholomew recommended they interview two or three times.


Member Schmid said he preferred three because it gave people a chance to become involved later if they miss the first two interviews.


Mrs. Bartholomew said the main concern of her office is when they are scattered all over the calendar they are hard to maintain. As far as the number of times Council interviews we have no input on that.


Member Schmid said this consolidation then would change their expiration dates so then it can probably be done in three. He felt it had to be specific and Council had to agree on the three times and spread them out as much as possible.


Mrs. Bartholomew said it was part of Council’s rules and it would stand until the rules are revisited. She said the dates that are standing are fine.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said November and May are already recommended. November would take care of the January and March people and May would take care of the June 30th. Another one could be done to gather other people and we can make that change ourselves.


Mrs. Bartholomew said Council would revisit their rules in November and at that time it would be appropriate to visit that item.


Member Mutch suggested an open house be scheduled to offer information pertaining to the different boards and commissions. This would inform people who are interested in volunteering for a board or commission an idea of what the purpose and function of their choice is.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford agreed this was a good idea it just needed the right event. If it was done in a booth in conjunction with the Chilly Willy Festival, for example, it might be useful.


Mr. Kramer strongly supported Member Mutch’s suggestion and proposed action be taken on this. He requested that the City Clerk propose and organize an annual event at an appropriate time before an appointment session. He felt that one representative from each board and commission should be available along with a few Council members to encourage and answer questions.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it was not a bad idea and the City Clerk could look into it but this is a special meeting and the suggestion can be made but we cannot take any action.


Mr. Kramer asked if a motion could be given? Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said it could not but this could be brought up in a regular meeting.


Mr. Kramer asked Mrs. Bartholomew to make it an item for action on the next agenda.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford asked if it was consensus of Council to have this as an action item on the next agenda?


Member Schmid said these things can be a lot of work, a lot of staff can volunteer and no body shows up.


Member DeRoche agreed with Member Schmid. He thought Council should proceed with what is on the agenda and good ideas can flow from this and be addressed at future Council meetings.


CM-99-08-226 Moved by DeRoche, Seconded by Schmid; CARRIED

UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the following:


  1. Request for adoption of Resolutions amending term expiration dates as follows:

    Election Commission January 1st

    Historical Commission January 1st

    Zoning Board of Appeals January 1st

    Economic Development Corporation March 1st

    Beautification Advisory Commission March 1st

    Construction Board of Appeals March 1st

    Cable Access Committee March 1st

    Commission of Parks and Recreation June 30th


  3. Request for approval of Ordinance No. 99-132.04 amending term expiration date for the Board of Review to be January 1st - I and II Reading

See Resolutions attached.




Member Mutch said the relevance of the discussion regarding community input is if these interviews are going to be consolidated and there are fewer opportunities for people to interview, then they should have the opportunity to know what these boards and commissions are. If they only have three opportunities a year instead of a half of dozen or more then there will be fewer people to draw on and this would affect the way she voted on it.


Member Mutch suggested that the Communications Committee come back with a proposal for an open house type event for Council consideration and input.


Mayor Pro Tem Crawford said the Communications Committee would recommend something to Council at a future date.


Vote on CM-99-08-226 Yeas: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Mutch, Schmid

Nays: None

Absent: McLallen, Lorenzo


Member Mutch said the Fuerst Committee is scheduled to sunset on September 9th and there is no Council meeting until the 13th. She asked what Council could do to continue that committee. Mayor Pro Tem Crawford thought the committee would stay in effect and Mr. Watson said there would be something on the agenda to recreate the committee on the 13th. Council agreed the request to recreate the Fuerst Property Committee would be on the next agenda.


4. Customer Service Initiative – Mayor McLallen - Removed



There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.


______________________________ __________________________

Hugh Crawford Tonni L. Bartholomew


Transcribed by:



Charlene D. Mc Lean