REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1999, AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:37 PM
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Cub Scout Pack #50
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi (absent/excused), Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Crawford added Item #10 under Matters for Council Action – Part II for setting a meeting date for City Manager interviews.
Mayor ProTem Lorenzo commented on Item #B under Consent Agenda concerning scheduling of an executive session after the regular meeting of December 20, 1999 for the purpose of Property Acquisition. She asked if their intentions were to add union negotiations to this item? Mr. Kriewall answered yes along with pending litigation. Mayor Clark added both issues to the consent agenda item.
Member Csordas added a customer service reply card as Item #3 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Kramer added a request for cable cast progress report of the Parks and Recreation Commission as Item #4 under Mayor and Council Issues.
Mr. Kriewall added Quail Ridge Chapter 21 Drainage to schedule a meeting date under Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-99-12-350: Moved to Crawford, seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Agenda as Amended
Vote on CM-99-12-350: Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
Member Kramer mentioned the Consultant Review Committee for the current session had an initial meeting on December 20, 1999.
1. Special Presentation of a Merit Award from the Center of Joint Public Service – Mike
Mr. Mike Csapo thanked the Mayor and commented it was nice to address Council. He is the General Manager for Resource Recovery and Recycling Authority of southwest Oakland County. The purpose is to serve the eight member communities, of which Novi is one and help the communities leverage economies of scale to make a more fiscally sound environment responsible solid waste management program. He is appearing before Council as a member of the advisory council for the Center of Joint Public Services. The Center’s mission is to identify and facilitate inter-governmental cooperation. The City of Novi household hazardous waste program has been awarded with a merit award from the Center of Joint Public Services. The City of Novi had the first hazardous waste day last year and it was a great success. A remarkable situation happened after the Novi program because other member communities participated in a cross-municipal boundary, which allowed communities to go to other community events. Mr. Csapo stated the award is the 1999 Outstanding Joint Public Services Project-Merit Award for the Household Hazardous Waste Collection. The award is shared with Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Walled Lake and Wixom. A special note goes to the City of Novi because Novi was first last year in getting involved with the program. Mr. Csapo presented the award to Mayor Clark.
1. S.A.D. # 155 – Twelve Mile Road, Novi Road, Donelson Drive and I-96 Westbound Off
Mr. Ward thanked the City staff and consultants for an outstanding job in cooperating on the issue. The purpose of the hearing is to consider moving the SAD along the process route. The SAD is on Resolution #5 out of seven. During the hearing for Resolution #4, there were concerns expressed by various members of Council regarding the formation that the SAD had taken.
Mr. Ward said the resolution that was passed basically read, if the City of Novi passed any form of road bond funding within the next 15 years, that the City’s 20% share of the SAD, would be part of the funding program. There was concern over this conversation. He is prepared to present to Council a revised proposal for their consideration. It is being proposed that the 15 year period be reduced to a 5 year period. Secondly, it is proposed that the SAD be done in two elements. The first element is $7 million and the second element is $1.2 million. The City’s 1.2 million dollar obligation would only be repaid if any road funding bonds were passed that include the Beck Road Interchange, Novi Road or Grand River. If the City has any desires to do any bond funding beyond these three major roads, the City would have no obligation. If the City desired to pass a smaller issue for the upgrade of Ten Mile and Novi Road, that could be done with no obligations.
Mr. Ward commented 12 Mile Road is in need of improvements. It is operating at a D level currently and it is known by traffic consultants that the intersection of 12 Mile and Novi Road is going to go to an F level. Mr. Ward commented Ramco would start acquiring the property that made up the 70 acres. He requested that Council consider these suggestions.
Mayor Clark opened the Public Hearing.
Mr. Richard Bond of 46700 Nine Mile addressed Council with concerns about the December 6, 1999 Council meeting because he thought after the election that it was clear that residents want Council to work with them. He does not believe the residents should be in a position to pay for road bonds for a developer, but he would like to offer some alternatives. If 12 Mile Road needs to have improvements west of Novi Road, maybe it is because of the new development going in. An alternative would be for the developer to pay for all the improvements. If a developer is going to put in a large shopping mall that brings in lots of traffic, they are the ones that are going to profit and the residents should not be paying for their profit. If this is not an option to Council, the second alternative is to limit the term to possibly two bond elections or 5 years. Mr. Bond did not believe the Council, future council or residents should be hostages to a developer. The last alternative is to consider what is to be repaid. The $1.2 million was to be paid back 15 years in the future. $1.2 million in the future at a present value theory is about $700,000 today. The City should give them what the present value is to what is being asked for several years down the road. Mr. Bond asked when Council takes a vote to consider the residents and stated he did not feel 12 Mile Road was the biggest priority.
Asa Smith commented on the November 2, 1999 election that residents spoke a loud and clear message that the residents did not want any out of pocket expenses. This message must be listened to by City officials, Council and especially the developers who wish to do business in Novi. The citizens do not want another large mall complex. Traffic is a main concern. This includes proper parking, road infrastructures, drainage and traffic control. The citizens should not be forced to pay for the developers opportunities to do business in Novi. The boulevard and widening of 12 Mile Road east and west of Novi Road to Dixon Road should be the responsibility of Ramco. Mr. Smith again stated the citizens should not be burdened with the road bond cost for the development of this project. No contributing funds should be applied to this project or other projects developed along 12 Mile/Meadowbrook to the Beck Road Corridor. This project in its present state will leave the citizens with a balance of $1.2 million to be paid back to the developer in passing any road bond issue. Novi residents did not create the additional traffic so why should they pay? Additional funding from Dixon Road west to the proposed Beck Road Interchange will be required. Where will this money come from? Mr. Smith suggested that other alternatives be sought such as state or federal grants. The citizens are growing tired of constantly putting out money. He would like a road project with street lighting, proper signalization and landscaping. A project the City would be proud of with no cost to the citizens.
James Korte of Shawood Lake commented that at the last council meeting this major development was about $85 million. Why are we arguing over $1.2 million and who is going to spend it? He does not want to pay for any of this development or pay for any of the money that the developer is going to make. The developer is taking a grid locked road and making it a bigger mess. The area does have to have some work. He referenced an item on the agenda regarding the approval for a Design and Construction Standards variance? They should build to whatever the design standards are? For anyone involved in this project to get any variances is unacceptable.
Carol Crawford 22135 Beck Road said she is extremely disappointed about the 12 Mile issue and the way Council has handled the road bonds. She commented in past years many residents have been very disappointed on the direction the City has taken. She thought the election of new Council Members and Mayor and the voting down of the bond issue sent a message. The residents do not want to do road projects that do not benefit the citizens. 12 Mile will not benefit the City and she believed no money should be spent on it. The City has paid for every development road for the last 6 to 10 years. Mrs. Crawford stated like the speakers before, they do not want to pay for any developmental roads. They also do not want another road bond issue. The residents do not want to pay for 12 Mile Road. Mrs. Crawford commented when she was living on 12 Mile Road she contacted the City for help with a problem on the road. She was told it was a county road and the City could not help her. The City told her to contact the county and they would take care of it. Her response now is to call the county and let them pay the $1.2 million.
Yakov Ilyasov of 45859 Lathum Drive commented he drives along Novi Road between 10 Mile and I -96 twice a day and he would benefit from the development of this road. He voted against the last proposal basically for two reasons. The minor reason is because of the 53 million dollar judgment against the City. Should the City lose the appeal this 53 million dollars could grow to 73 million if more interest is added and the taxpayers will have to pay it. He does not believe it is a good idea to go back to the pockets of the residents. The major reason he voted against the bond was the fact that it had a number of uses which would not benefit the citizens of Novi. The 12 Mile Road Project is one of those projects.
Mr. Ilyasov commented the traffic around Novi Town Center and Twelve Oaks Mall is very congested. It is a problem to get on I-96 at Novi Road. The City is building another mall, which will bring more traffic in the area and make it even worse and the residents have to pay for this. He commented the City is asking residents to pay for bringing in more people shop in the City so the developers can make more money.
Mr. Ilyasov mentioned the mess on the county roads in January after the snowfalls. Increasing the number of county roads will make maintenance even worse on the other roads. He thought Council should not make the residents hostage to this development by signing any agreement to put this issue on a ballot during the next 15 years or even 5 years.
Mr. Ilyasov stated the last election showed the residents want a Council that will listen to the citizens. Should Council sign this deal, during the next 5 years this proposal will always be on the ballot. He does not believe the City can survive 5 years without passing a road bond. But in this case the City would not have any choice. If the City wants any road improvements they will absolutely have to have 12 Mile Road, which is a bad deal for Novi. If developers are so eager to give Novi citizens the opportunity to decide whether the residents want it or not, during the next 5 years or even 15 years, every time there is a road proposal put this road proposal as a separate issue on the ballot.
Mayor Clark closed the Public Hearing.
2. Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Dan Davis said the annual application and Public Hearing came before Council in November. Whenever the opportunity arises where the issue has to be revisited or reprioritized or reallocate money, there needs to a Public Hearing and Council action. The request is to reprogram $27,280.49, which was originally programmed for sidewalk improvements along East Lake and South Lake Drives.
Mr. Davis said the City had gone out to bid on several occasions and because of the climate of the market place and size and scope of the project, the City was unable to solicit good bids for the actual construction of the work. At one time there was a bid over $400,000, which the City rejected and they tried to bid it in conjunction with City road funds, under the direction of Tony Nowicki. Unfortunately, the contractor did not want to complete the project with the prices he had given, which Council had approved because of federal guidelines dealing with Davis/Bacon payroll requirements. This is a very detailed report that insures the contractor is providing labor at a fair market wages.
Mr. Davis commented the City has been moving through the process, Mr. Nowicki and the road program is ready to actually see the work of these walkways completed next year under the year 2000 road program. The engineering and design work has been completed, which will be incorporated within that work. What is being requested by Oakland County, who administers the program, is to see Novi use all the money as far back as possible to get it expended.
Mr. Davis mentioned the greatest activity that the City has seen over the last 18 months to 2 years has been in the area of minor home repair. The emergency rehab activities that the City provides to the residents, specifically in northern Novi, but are available throughout the entire City for income eligible residents who own their homes but have needs of furnace, roof, and window replacement. What is being asked is with the undisbursed funds of $27,480.49 is to reprogram to two areas. $20,000.00 would go to minor home repairs and the $7,280.49 would then be put into the account for administration of the program.
James Korte of Shawood Lake addressed Council with comments on the history of what the South and East Lake safety paths are all about. This project was started about 6 years ago and has made no progress. This City with federal grant funding has done everything possible not to spend the money in the old end of the City.
Mr. Korte commented when he chaired the Walled Lake Sector Study the minimum bid was JCK for engineering. HCD funds can be used to pay for testing and studies. It is not illegal that the $23,000.00 was paid from the fund. He asked JCK, they have been paid about $75,000 out of the fund and there are still no paths. If Council is not going to do this project let the people know. The traffic in many areas is worse than before and the pedestrian traffic is growing.
The reallocation of the monies is going to minor house repairs where it should have been all along. Mr. Korte gave some examples of homes that needed repairs. It appears to be a big thing that the five water mains have been put in but that is what the money is for. The northern end of the City is tired of begging. Mr. Korte said about three more houses would be using HCD come spring to bring water into their homes.
Mr. Korte commented that $7,000 is being reallocated for administration. In 1997 that was paid and he would like to know how many times that has to be done? The bike and safety paths are a tragedy.
Mr. Korte stated there is a house on Austin Drive that still does not meet City code. The City Building Department passed it and the house has a water meter. Mr. Saven and Ms. Conley were informed of the situation and no body seems to be disturbed.
Asa Smith of 1294 East Lake Drive commented on the public grant programming. The funds are available to the City of Novi for the uses that are deemed necessary. These funds are available through population growth and certain sections of Novi are different like north old Novi and this is one of the main reasons this fund even exists. The citizens of north old Novi especially along Walled Lake and Shawood Lake have various situations, which have been addressed by the previous speaker. There are also health and safety issues in the north old Novi area. There is inadequate street lighting, dirt roads that need paving, water mains, a lake that needs constant attention and the traffic problem on South Lake Drive to identify a few. The area that most qualifies for these funds does not seem to be benefiting.
Mr. Smith mentioned there is a funding mechanism the City uses that is known as Act 51. He stated monies to the City via state and federal government to be used on road upgrades and maintenance in areas such as north old Novi. This area has yet to realize usage of any of these funds for projects. The area is only hearing SAD’s and residents need to realize they are paying for all the costs of the projects with no help. Mr. Smith suggested that Council and City officials review the funding mechanisms mentioned and apply monies where they are needed.
Mr. Davis mentioned for the use of these funds for emergency rehab or minor home repair to contact him at 248-347-0400 and he would be glad to discuss the opportunities that might be available.
1. CITY MANAGER
Ed Kriewall mentioned the emergency departments have been preparing for the Y2K event and thought it would be appropriate for the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Director of Public Services to come forward and briefly outline for the community what has been done. This can assure residents that the City is close to a complete state readiness.
Tony Nowicki commented the staff is confident that the services under the control of Novi jurisdiction will go on uninterrupted. Novi does depend on Detroit Sewer and Water Department for both water and sanitary sewer services but Novi maintains and operates our own particular individual system. On our systems, Novi has sanitary sewer lift stations and water pressure reducing valves and other regulators. Novi has generators that are capable of operating the sanitary sewer lift stations. All of the lift stations have at least 2 hours worth of storage so if there are any problems the generators can be cycled from station to station to make sure there is no sewer backup in basements. Mr. Nowicki again stated the City of Novi depends on Detroit Sewer and Water Department and they will be providing the service. Novi does not have any pumping facilities but has been assured by Detroit Sewer and Water Department that they are in compliance with Y2K.
Mr. Nowicki stated Novi has a secondary fuel source for equipment and trucks in case there is a snowstorm. The City has diesel fuel and gasoline in the event of a power shortage. Emergency stop signs have been prepared in case traffic signals go out or other electrical problems. Four people will be available at the Department of Public Works and Water and Sewage Department the night of the event. Along with himself, there will be a foreman available at the time of the event to respond appropriately.
Fire Chief Art Lenaghan stated a lot of the equipment is computer oriented. The Assistant Fire Chief did all the work for the preparation and he did an excellent job. The Fire Department has received letters verifying from various sources that they are in compliance and their service should not interrupt service in Novi.
The Fire Department has a checklist in place for each station. Starting with the day shift people, they will make sure all the vehicles are fueled, all the chargers, batteries and spare batteries have been charged. All portable storage cans will be filled and checks of the stations will be made. The night shift will start and run all the vehicles and anything else that has a motor will be started and ran. The station generators will also be tested to make sure there is power at all the fire stations and test all the EAD equipment.
Chief Leneghan continued to explain that all the radios would be checked starting with portables, mobile radios, the backup at Station #1 will be tested and the radios on the southwest Oakland County frequency. Tests have also been scheduled with the hand radio units on the medical units with Providence Hospital and check in with the various police agencies. Once these checks are done and the department has made sure everything is operating the department will have staff at the station.
Police Chief Doug Shaeffer commented the Police Department has prepared for items that might be less under the control of the City. Specifically the telephone systems are 911 and non-emergency numbers, electrical systems, the radios, the computer systems and the gasoline services for the vehicles. The worst situation for the community would be the loss of the telephone capabilities. If the telephone system is not available the citizens lose the capability to summons the police, fire or ambulance services. The department is planning to station emergency vehicles at major intersections around town to be visible to people but it restricts the departments capability to respond to an emergency situation because the people will have to seek out the police.
Chief Shaeffer mentioned the good news is that the telephone companies have told the department they are prepared and have tested their systems. However, in terms of electrical systems, they have also told the department that there will not be an outage. In the event that there is an outage there are backup systems in place for emergency generators. The department will be able to power the telephone and radio communication systems and have lights available in the communication center. The radios are in good shape and they are not date dependent according to the vendor. However, in the event that radios should fail at the station and the DPW lot, there are backup generators to power the systems. There are also hand held transmitters if all else fails and the officers will still get the call in the field.
Chief Shaeffer stated the computers were tested as recently as last week. The computers are fine under the Y2K environment and the software vendor and hardware vendor will be available all through the night as well as in-house staff.
Chief Shaeffer stated gasoline would be available in case the pumps do fail but the vehicles will be fueled before the change of the hour at midnight. In terms of manpower the department is staffing up the communications unit with three additional people. If there are problems the department will have the capability to retain them to supplement the manpower along with the communications manager who will be on location.
Chief Shaeffer explained the patrol commander would be on duty along with three additional officers. Another step taken was not allowing any comp time or personal business time to be taken by officers that evening. The department will be able to scale down in the event that nothing exceptional occurs and the three additional officers will be allowed to go home after a period of time. He commented himself and other staff will be available through the night and he will be checking regularly with the department.
Chief Shaeffer requested the community not call 911 after midnight to make sure the telephone system is working. He stressed if the residence has a dial tone on the phone it works. If a citizen is in need of an officer call; otherwise do not flood the circuits on 911 and cause the department to miss an important call trying to come into the control center.
Greg Capote briefly went through the outline that was presented to Council from the Economic Development Corporation. This was done through a Council request earlier in the year that a work program be presented to the Council and that Council approve the work program. Council would have an idea what the perimeters are, which the EDC has decided to take upon itself under the realm of Economic Development.
Mr. Capote commented the memorandum does explain the circumstances of which the EDC stands as far as issuing tax exempt bonds. The EDC for some time has been trying to take on a new role. He has been an advisor to that board and they are anxious to more forward on a number of topics.
Mr. Capote said the first goal the EDC has established during their last two meetings are to market and attract desired types of business to develop in Novi for the purposes of diversification of the tax base. What the EDC would like to do is continue to meet on a regular basis. EDC meets the first and third Thursday of every month. The first meeting is at 7:00 am and the second meeting is at 6:00 pm. Possibly at the evening meeting there will be a committee meeting with 2 or 3 members of the EDC and they would break off and work on each item under the goal. One of the things that have been done in the past is to work with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. The EDC did pay for a membership to the Regional Chamber, which is considered a regional economical development partner along with the state and county. In addition to the subcommittee, the EDC would like to work with the Planning Commission and their subcommittees. The EDC would like to become more aware of how the committees operate and if asked, and if Council finds appropriate, provide some input to the committees and on through the Planning Commission and City Council. The EDC would also like to be involved with the Ordinance Committee as an advisor and provide comment and input to the committee when the Council and or Ordinance Review Committee discusses issues that EDC feels relevant.
Mr. Capote mentioned next is to establish inter-local agreement with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. There is a contract agreement currently under review by the City Attorney and what this agreement would do is provide a position of the local Novi EDC at a state level. Michigan’s Economical Development Corporation is a newly established entity formed in April of 1999. The MEDC is a powerful organization that makes recommendations to the state legislature on matters of economic development. If this inter-local agreement were entered into, it would provide the City of Novi a seat on the Board of Directors of this state organization.
Mr. Capote commented the second goal is business retention, expansion and visitations. This would be a committee of a couple members of the EDC that would look into conducting a business survey of local businesses and involving the Novi Chamber of Commerce, soliciting their support and assistance as being familiar with the issues that are relevant to economic development in conducting business in the City of Novi. In addition to conducting a survey with the Chamber is the business recognition of existing businesses. The state focuses on companies of 100 employees and greater. Any time the state, county, utility or the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce contact a business, it is usually when there are 100 or more employees. What the EDC would like to do is contact the companies with 100 employees or less and recognize the businesses that provide a contribution to the community or do something special within their industry or have made a great achievement to the Novi Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Capote mentioned to cover future and current trends in economic development policies that tie in with the state, county and utilities, there is a utility consortium that discusses issues of tax abatement, such as the recent changes to P.A.-198, which is now P.A.-140.
The third goal is to study issues that are important in emerging issues to economic development for the City of Novi and develop implementation strategies when appropriate to the Mission of the Novi EDC on behalf of the City. This would be conducted by a committee of the EDC and they would potentially look at funding options in seeking support from various economic development partners to help market programs if they were applicable to Novi.
Mr. Capote commented job training and education has been brought up in the past during economic summits. The EDC feels this is an emerging issue. There are a number of organizations that are working on this issue with the state, county, community colleges and universities.
Mr. Capote continued with the review of Brownfield Legislation for the possible establishment of a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. A BRA is something that has been discussed in the past. This legislation does permit an EDC to function as a community Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and it may be an issue that needs to be reviewed by the EDC.
The tax abatement polices is an important issue. The EDC would like to be a holder of information for study and report them to the City Council. "Smart Parks" is a state designation in which the state comes up with marketing techniques, trends and ideas and solicits local support. He believes the Council should be aware that a T.I.F.A. (Tax Increment Financing Authority) might be part of the Smart Park Program.
Mr. Capote addressed the issue of Certified Industrial Parks. Currently there are no certified industrial parks in the City of Novi but there are several parks that the City would like to have certified, especially along 9 Mile Road.
There is money in the budget that was approved previously to do a couple of marketing pieces. Mr. Capote showed a brochure to Council where the money and design that put the brochure together came out of the Planning and Community Development Department budget but mostly the design work came from the EDC. A budget request was put together about a year ago, which was approved by Council and the EDC started working with another vendor on a larger project with a Marketing Kit for a more detailed brochure. He displayed to Council a rough draft that the EDC would like to put together to use at trade shows in conjunction with the state and county. The EDC is basically an advisory committee to make the citizenry aware of what all the organizations that were mentioned are doing for economic development. The EDC would like to finish the rough draft of the brochure and present it to Council for review before it goes to final print.
Mr. Capote mentioned the EDC has also taken a look at making recommendations to the Council regarding entry signs. The Master Plan does mention some design criteria for signs and their placement but the EDC has also decided to hire JCK & Associates to make some recommendations to Council regarding entry signs.
The purpose of this discussion is to see if there are any comments or concerns by Council before the outline of the work program is resubmitted within the next 45 days in detailed form with specifics.
Mayor ProTem Lorenzo is looking forward to the gathering and sharing of information because it is very important. However, she does have some concerns in the areas that have been mentioned. She is not sure if it is the EDC’s responsibility or appropriate for the group to become involved in recommendations for signage to the Council. She has concerns with anything that involves City policy in terms of tax abatements or any type of policy decisions that were being made. Mayor ProTem Lorenzo commented in terms of gathering information regarding any topics that have been mentioned, she said EDC is more than welcome. In terms of any decisions or any representations to anyone she has concerns. In her opinion the Council is the only body that makes policy in Novi. It might be appropriate for EDC or another commission to implement Council policy, but in terms of the actual policies or presentation of policies being made, that comes from the Council body.
Mayor ProTem Lorenzo commented on terms of the Articles of Incorporation and asked the City Attorney to check the list and see if some of the areas of inter-local agreements that involve policy decisions, have any limitations or prohibitions within the articles.
Member Kramer liked the report given by Mr. Capote. He was pleased with the EDC’s work plan and commented the group has a good outline and he encouraged that the plan be developed further. He believes it is important for EDC to define the working relationship necessary to implement through and with Council.
Mayor Clark thanked Mr. Capote for the report and commented Council is looking forward to seeing the finished report in 45 days.
Mr. Watson commented that the agreement Mr. Capote spoke about did arrive at the office on Friday. He was reviewing it and whether the EDC has the authority to enter into it or not is one of the issues that is being reviewed.
Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore Drive, thought the widening of Nine Mile Road to three lanes east of Novi Road to Venture Drive could be beneficial and could be used for truck traffic. This would keep truck traffic away from the residential part of Nine Mile Road. She said truck traffic must be directed to travel on the new road and be enforceable. She would not support widening this section of road unless there was a stipulation for the no left turn signs.
She did not believe that the ring road on the east side of Grand River was a priority. She thought that road was designed for the developers who would eventually build there. It is unnecessary for moving traffic through Novi. She did not think the track lighting was effective. She felt, possibly with the County, Grand River needed to be widened and better timing on the lights. She stated the County, or whoever is responsible, needed to be held accountable to perfect the track systems. This is particularly noticeable at Eight Mile and Haggerty which involves two counties and four cities.
Ms. Kocan said any direction the City takes in regard to the roads should benefit the citizens that live here and not just those people who drive through or shop here.
Ms. Kocan said around Thanksgiving Meadowbrook Lake residents received notice that there was to be a public hearing the following Wednesday. However, City offices were closed Thursday, Friday and the weekend. The library did not have a copy of the packet; the packets were mailed but did not get there. She could not find out what was on the agenda because there was no one to talk to. She came to City Hall on Monday to look at the packet but the packet had gone to the library and so there was no packet at City Hall to look at. The Planning Department said the packets would now be hand delivered. She felt the City should take great effort to see that notices to residents are received five working days in advance of any public hearing and leave enough lead time for residents to contact City Hall if they have questions. She did not understand why the Planning Department agendas were not on cable.
Ms. Kocan said in September or October she recommended that City Council look at the possibility of adding a level of appeal to the special land use decisions. This has not been commented on yet and she brought it up so that it is not forgotten.
Ms. Kocan said the meeting right after the election she was disappointed to hear some Council Members were willing to discard the ordinances for the benefit of a large corporation. She believed the ordinances should be enforced equally. If ordinances are faulty or ineffective change them but do it through the proper procedures.
She thanked Council for scheduling the special meetings in Council Chambers; she has attended meetings in the activities room and it is awful. She liked the Departmental Reports at the front of the agenda and the additional Audience Participation at the end of the Council meetings.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor ProTem Lorenzo removed Items #D and #E.
F. Approve Claims and Accounts:
To Approve Consent Agenda as Amended
Vote on CM-99-12-351: Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Request for approval of Resolution Number 5, S.A.D. # 155 – Twelve Mile Road and
Other Roadway Improvements, and granting of Design & Construction Standards
Tony Nowicki mentioned on December 6, 1999 the Council adopted Resolution Number 4 for the SAD process. Resolution Number 5 would direct the City Assessor to prepare a Special Assessment Roll for the project, which distributes the cost associated with the project to the various benefiting properties. Resolution Number 5 also indicated that Council has approved the plans for the project. The plans do require some variances and Rod Arroyo is present to discuss those.
The variances are associated with some pavement widths, right-of-way and existing easements. This variance was initially approved by Council during a site plan process a number of years ago when it was first brought forward to Council. The second time it came before Council with the variances it was not approved pending submittal of additional information from the developers to the Planning Department. This information was been provided to the Planning Department and the consultants do feel comfortable with recommending approval of the variances.
Rod Arroyo commented on the Design and Construction Standards wavier that impacts on two issues. The first is the width of the right-of-way or the use of a right-of-way. What the applicant is requesting is that an easement be used along the south property line of the subject site to put the road within a Detroit Edison easement. Then along the west property of the development they are going to be dedicating one-half of the 70 foot right-of-way and the other half will be placed within an off site easement that would then be available for future dedication. The reason for the east/west request is because the applicant is requesting that the Donelson Drive extension be treated like Donelson Drive was originally constructed along the south side of what was the Sheridan Hotel, which he believes was originally constructed within a Detroit Edison easement. The request is that type of treatment be extended and his understanding is that Detroit Edison has agreed.
The east/west roadway along the southern boundary of the property is proposed to be 28 feet back to back, which is a two lane section rather than a three lane section. This is also true for most of the road along the west side of the project except for the approach to 12 Mile Road. Most of it will be a two lane section. The primary reason for both of these is that the property boundary along the south abuts the I-96 freeway and the Detroit Edison easement. If the west bound on ramp for I-96 is ever moved there could be a third lane added from the main boulevard entrance. The two lane roadway is appropriate for the westerly roadway along the west property boundary.
Member DeRoche commented that when the road needed to go from two to three lanes the development would pay. Is this going to be a City dedicated street or development owned street? Mr. Arroyo said his understanding is they will be dedicated public streets. Member DeRoche asked what assurance does the City have that the third lane would be paid by the development? Mr. Arroyo answered there are a couple ways that would happen. One is that within the Design and Construction Standards there are specific warrants. Left turn lanes have to be added if the volume is high enough on the through road and the turning traffic is high enough. Then the developer is essentially required to add the lanes unless they are willing to prohibit left turns. Based on the fact that all the property west of the subject site is zoned OST he is assumed it would be fully developed. There will be significant turning movements into the property and there is the likelihood there will be a need for a left turn lane as the westerly property develops.
Member DeRoche said his understanding is that the project does not need to have a third lane at this time? Mr. Arroyo said the third lane would add a turn lane and that a center turn lane is not really needed until the development to the west occurs. Member DeRoche said the specific reason why the easement was for half of the road on the westerly portion was because that was necessary to make the development four sided mall instead of a strip mall. Mr. Arroyo stated that is correct. Since the road runs along shared common boundary, it was thought that half of the right-of-way should come from the development and the other half would eventually come from the development to the west.
Mayor ProTem Lorenzo commented she would not be supporting Resolution Number 5. She would appreciate it if the petitioners are going to provide the Council with alternatives they would do so prior to receiving the information in the packet. Then members could adequately consider the alternatives and the public would be afforded the opportunity to see it in writing. The citizen who spoke made valid points and she shares their concerns and feelings. The other roads that have been asked to be included in the road bond are obviously very important for the City of Novi. Roads that the citizens of Novi may at some point might be willing to approve on a road bond for improvements. She is not willing to have Council’s hands tied or ask the citizens to subsidize the improvements that are needed to facilitate the development.
Member Kramer asked who owns Beck Road, Grand River, Novi Road and 12 Mile Road and 10 Mile Road? Mr. Arroyo said Beck Road is a City road, Grand River, Novi Road, 12 Mile and 10 Mile Roads are county roads. What are the typical uses of these roads? Mr. Arroyo said they are arterial roadways. Member Kramer asked what that meant? Mr. Arroyo answered they primarily carry through traffic. Member Kramer asked if the citizens of Novi drive these roads? Mr. Arroyo said yes. Member Kramer asked if they are driven regularly? Mr. Arroyo said he would say yes.
Member Kramer asked when it becomes necessary to improve these roads, what is the funding mechanism? Mr. Arroyo answered it can be a combination of elements. Most common for major improvements is the use of some form of federal funding. It normally involves a high degree of federal funding with local matches. Member Kramer asked what is the typical city matching requirement on these roads? Mr. Arroyo stated it is typically about 20%. Member Kramer asked why is the City required to match funds to improve these types of roads? Mr. Arroyo explained it is basically a federal policy that there be a local match so that there is a local commitment to improving the roads. Member Kramer commented that the roads he mentioned are arterial roads because they carry through traffic and self generated traffic. All the roads will need improvement over time and the basic funding mechanism will cause the City to contribute about 20%. The City does use the roads but are getting four to one contribution on improving the roads. If the City fails to improve the roads, the citizens can become frustrated. Member Kramer believes the roads should be improved appropriately but the City cannot ignore the need to improve these roads. Each of projects will benefit the citizens in the City of Novi at some level. If Novi does nothing and develops no further, traffic will increase on all the roads mentioned due to development outside the City of Novi. The City will still have to participate in the improvement of these roads to keep the citizens satisfied. What is proposed is an 80-20 match, which is very similar to what the state or county road improvements would do. This is a county road and the county is not supplying the money to do the roads. If Novi contributes the normal 20%, the City will get the road improvements done now, which will be cheaper in terms of current dollars. Member Kramer asked who would manage the construction? Mr. Nowicki said the City would manage the project.
Member Kramer commented he might not necessarily choose to spend money on this as a single project. As far as improving the arterials of the City he believes this is reasonable and beneficial of the citizens as improving the other roads, all of which over time will need improvement. He will support the motion.
Member Csordas commented on the change from 15 years to 5 years on the road bond issues and including this issue only if Novi, Beck and Grand River Roads are included. He asked if this resolution would change and Mr. Nowicki said it would.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Kriewall if there were discussions with the City and this developer years ago at the City level in regards to a verbal obligation or request to develop this road? Mr. Kriewall said he does not think there was any firm commitment but the Council was under the impression that the City would fund 20% and that is why that particular number and project was in the last bond issue. City Council approved this so they knew that was where the money was to go.
Member Csordas asked Mr. Arroyo to review the intersection of Novi and 12 Mile Roads and how this intersection stands on the measuring scale for serviceability without the proposed development. Mr. Arroyo said he believes the intersection is either D or E at this time and is closely approaching F. The applicant mentioned the intersection would operate at an F without this particular development moving forward which is true. One of things that the applicant was required to do in their traffic study was to look at existing traffic and add on traffic from other developments that have been approved but not been built and evaluate conditions at that level before adding on the traffic from their project. This background growth analysis showed that this intersection would be at a level service of F because the average delay exceeds 60 seconds per vehicle. This is one of the main reasons why Council is seeing significant improvements at all approaches of this intersection included in this SAD package.
Member Csordas agreed with Member Kramer will support the motion.
Member DeRoche asked if the county was approached?
Mr. Nowicki advised the county had been approached on all road improvement projects. They said if it does not fall within their priority list they would not contribute. However, if they have a project that does not fall within Novi’s priorities they still require a 10% match from us.
Member DeRoche asked who Mr. Nowicki communicated with at the county? Mr. Nowicki advised it was the county programming staff. Ramco-Gershenson had also talked with the county to see if they could free up some engineering time, traffic signal work and he did not think discussions on that issue had closed yet.
Member DeRoche said there is a county commissioner who resides in Novi and he would assume that she was fighting to get the money for the county roads. He was interested to see some sort of formalized request and response from the county as to what their position is. Before a decision of this magnitude is made there should be a firm no from the county.
Mr. Nowicki said if this were passed he would draft a resolution of Council and put it on the next Council Agenda seeking the road commissions assistance in this matter. He felt that would carry a lot of weight.
Member Crawford concurred with the three previous speakers and their comments. He asked if there was anything that could be put into the resolution, after it is amended, that would allow them in the future to participate in this S.A.D?
Mr. Watson said yes. Council could add, "if there was an alternative source of funds other than from a road bond issue could be used as well."
Member Crawford thought it was important to add because he did not want their participation excluded.
Mayor Clark stated he had the same concerns that Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo had. He said it was not the local traffic that is creating the problem and congestion especially around the holidays. He said the question was how to fund this in an expeditious and appropriate fashion and get the job done. He was concerned with voting on the resolution that was before Council that essentially has the same provisions as before tying the city’s hands. There has been a proposal to shorten the time frame but he thought there might be other alternatives that might be pursued such as if this is to be on a bond proposal in the future that it be on the ballot as a separate item.
He thought the resolution was not in the proper form to be voted on. For the record he did not fault Mr. Nowicki in this regard because he has had his plate more than full taking care of other matters that are of great importance to this city. This is not a criticism of him or his staff. The road bond proposal would be discussed at the end of January and he felt it should be brought back then as Resolution #5 at the next meeting or the second meeting in January. Mayor Clark said this would give the administration and petitioner time to discuss the matter in greater depth, refine it and bring it back to Council.
Member Kramer thought the purpose of the fifth step was to prepare a special assessment roll, approve the project plans and variances. He asked when the funding agreement had to be solidified and if Council should hold up step 5 to have that solidified?
Mr. Watson said it was Resolution #7 that established the S.A.D. and the terms under which the Council would go forward with the S.A.D.
Member Kramer said within the process there was still room to fine tune the agreement portion and Council would not accept the agreement with a motion this evening.
Mr. Watson said no, although, the language in the resolution sounded like language that the Council was not intending to go forward with.
Mayor Clark said this matter is to important to the community to act hastily and try to reshape this resolution at the table tonight. He thought Mr. Watson, the administration and the petitioner should be afforded the opportunity to fine tune this item and bring it back to be addressed appropriately.
Mr. Watson said he took notes from the presentation by the property owner and understood the jest of what they were proposing but he was not prepared to site language to Council for that resolution.
CM-99-12- Moved by Lorenzo,
Died for lack of support.
Member DeRoche said it was his understanding that Council was involved in negotiation up until the seventh resolution and that resolution would put in place what was adopted that night and the rest of this was the process.
Mr. Watson said he would not call it a negotiation but a process of City Council considering what to do with the S.A.D. It is proposals put on the table by Council to which the property owner has the opportunity to object or not object and have input at each of the public hearings. The Council then considers whether to accept any objections or comments that they have made and whether to incorporate it or not into the resolutions.
Member DeRoche thought there was a lot of concern about this project in the community. People in the community take ownership in the city, city administration and the elections that are held. He thought the reason the road bond failed was trust in government and the financial responsibility of the $53 million judgement. He said the message he got from the citizens was most want the road done but did not want to pay for it. That is the challenge to City Council, to provide the leadership in negotiations.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Watson if it is important to the residents and aids Council to keep this process going was he saying Council could not do something as drastic as crossing off what was unacceptable and not obligate the City to anything in this and pass Resolution #5?
Mr. Watson said it could be done but Council would end up modifying it with subsequent resolutions.
Member DeRoche said to take out the City’s responsibility altogether, if it is in their interest to advance the S.A.D. then do it without what is objectionable to the Council Members that are objecting to it today.
Mr. Watson said Council would have the ability to modify what was being done in the sixth and seventh resolutions. He did not want to see Council try to draft that end point tonight and try to adopt it tonight.
Member Kramer said paragraph two talks about the cost of the project and its allocation and this is subject to the verbal discussion. Perhaps, to get through this evening is to delete paragraph 2 realizing that it needed to come back with what was voiced verbally for further discussion at steps six and seven. Does that still leave step five if paragraph 2 is deleted?
Mr. Watson said he did not think it should be eliminated completely and thought he knew what Member Kramer was requesting and could edit it. Mr. Watson said it would simply say that the total cost of said public improvements is estimated to be $8,200,000.00 which is to be paid by special assessment upon the property specifically benefited as more particularly described in Exhibit B attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Member Kramer said that would continue the process as step 5 and leave this open item for further resolution.
Mr. Watson said that is correct.
Mayor Clark said Council is talking about the potential of spending over a million dollars of the taxpayer money at some point in time. He felt they were getting involved in a rush to judgement.at the eleventh hour on the spur of the moment when they might have potential exposure of over a million dollars. He did not think Council should do this to the City Attorney as well. Another couple of weeks to get to Resolution 5 would not be the end of the world.
Mayor Clark said the petitioner talked about beginning to assemble the parcels of property so obviously he did not have them all yet and the Mayor did not know what the rush to judgement was if this came back in proper form.
Mr. Ward said this was something they had talked about for three years. This was not coming up late tonight. There were some members of Council that specifically told him when he was there for rezoning that if he did not put the road in he would not build a shopping center. It was an obligation to put the road in and we all understood the rules.
Mr. Ward said Resolutions 5 and 6 were supposed to be heard tonight and they are critically important to them. Their financing to start closing on the land a week from Thursday was based on the fact that Resolutions 5 and 6 were completed and only seven was to carry over into the new year. They were told ten days ago that Resolution 6 would be dropped and that there were issues on Resolution 5.
Mr. Ward did not ask that this happen tonight and if Council wanted to discuss it fine. He said the handouts were at the City last week and should have been in packets for Council consideration. He said Resolution 5 should not be held up to incorporate these suggestions until Council looked at them. He said they very much needed Resolution 5 passed tonight.
CM-99-12-352 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To adopt Resolution 5 as recommended by the City
Attorney with his verbiage for paragraph 2.
Mayor Clark said then paragraphs 3, 4, 5, and 6 as presently drafted would remain the same.
Member Crawford had no problem with that.
Mr. Watson asked if the motion included the Design and Construction Standard variances?
Mr. Kriewall thought it should be a separate motion.
Member Crawford thought the motion addressed everyone’s concerns. It does not lock us into anything and he did not feel it was a rush to judgement as this has been before Council for three years. He thought it was important to continue the process.
Member DeRoche said the language obligating the City to any participation in this S.A.D. is now removed. Mr. Watson said that he was correct.
Roll call vote on CM-99-12-352 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
Nays: Clark, Lorenzo
Mayor Clark asked if there was a motion regarding granting Design and Construction Standard variances?
Member Kramer asked for verbiage for that.
Mr. Kriewall said that the Design and Construction Standards be varied based on the recommendations of the consulting engineers.
Mr. Arroyo said in Council packets is a letter from Ramco-Gershenson dated December 16th addressed to Mr. Nowicki where they outlined why they were asking for the variance.
Mr. Arroyo said they are asking that the east west extension of Donelson Drive be constructed within an easement rather than a right of way and that the roadway width be 28 feet instead of 36. For the north south road along the western boundary be constructed within half right of way, 35 feet of right of way on one side and 35 foot easement on the other. Also, that the Design and Construction Standards variance be granted to construct a 28 foot wide road instead of 36 feet wide from the southern boundary up into the very first entrance into the project south of the first restaurant pad.
Member Crawford also wanted, as a part of his motion, Member DeRoche’s concern regarding how the third lane would be attained if necessary in future years.
Mr. Arroyo said it was really not connected with this development. It would be associated with the development that takes place to the west. It is the north south roadway and those turn lanes would be added by those property owners. They are providing their portion of the right of way already and are constructing two out of the three lanes.
Member Crawford asked if there was future development to the west then they would be required to provide that third lane?
Mr. Arroyo said they would be required to provide appropriate turn lanes as warranted by the Design and Construction Standards.
CM-99-12-353 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
That the proposed Design and Construction Standard variances
with reference to S.A.D. #155 – Twelve Mile Road and other roadway
improvements be granted.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-353 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
Nays: Lorenzo, Clark
2. Request for Final Plat Approval – Willowbrook Farms Subdivision #2, SP97-45,
Property located in Section 24 near the southeast corner of Grand River Avenue and
Mike Kahm said this was the second phase of a three phase development that tied into phase #1 out to Meadowbrook Road. One of the conditions of the Phase 1 approval was that when there was a connection to Meadowbrook Road as a secondary point of ingress and egress they would place a berm over the stub street that connected to Joseph Street. It is their intention on approval of Phase #2 to install that berm.
Mr. Watson requested, if this matter was approved, that the approval be conditioned upon his review of title work for the project. He said they had not received it yet.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if the "Clomars" had been received?
Mr. Kahm said they had not received a letter back yet from F.E.M.A. but they had received word that they are reviewing the package and that that package had been accepted as complete. It is now a matter of waiting to get their technical review back. It was his understanding, based on a review letter from J.C.K., that those lots in Phase 2 that do fall within the flood plain boundary as described on the map will not receive building permits until the letter of map revision is received.
CM-99-12-354 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To grant Final Plat Approval for Willowbrook Farms Subdivision #2,
SP97-45.I subject to all of the conditions in the letters from the consultants and subject to the City Attorney’s review of the title work.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-354 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo,
3. Request for Board and Commission Appointments Ballots to be submitted to Clerk
Mayor Clark said the ballots have been given to the City Clerk.
Mrs. Crawford wanted to speak about property acquisition. She said when acquiring road land and other things for the City she hoped as a Council and Mayor particularly close attention is paid to the appraisals and offers that are put before Council and that each is questioned very carefully. She hoped that Council would see that the people offering the amounts of money do not intimidate the citizens of Novi as they did in her case, the Woodson case, the Dinser case and others. She said it was not necessary to save $1.00 or $20,000 to get the reputation that this City has on property acquisition. The citizens worked hard for their land and they should be treated with dignity and respect. They should not be threatened, as was the first thing done by the people offering the money. The threat that it would go to court, that the land would be lost one way or another and the City would win. In a few cases lately the City has not won and in the Woodsen case instead of threatening them they could have been given a fair price. It would have been settled much more cheaply then the $250,00 the City had to pay. In the case of Dinsers, they were threatened with a problem and once they looked into it there was land available near it. She asked Council to pay very close attention to what was being done by the people who acquire the property.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
4. Results of Boards and Commission Balloting
Mayor Clark announced the results:
Board of Review Lee BeGole
Election Commission Heidi Dean
Historical Commission David Lussier
Parks and Recreation Jennifer Kerbrat
Zoning Board of Appeals Gerald Bauer and Brian Fannon
Mayor Clark stated Ms. Kerbrat also requested the Historical Commission but did not receive a majority vote. She is also being considered for Housing and Community Development and could serve on both commissions.
CM-99-12-355 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To defer appointment to Housing and Community Development until after the February interviews.
Vote on CM-99-12-355 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
5. Appointment to Planning Commission
Mayor Clark recommended Victor Cassis for consideration of Council.
CM-99-12-356 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Victor Cassis to the Planning
Vote on CM-99-12-356 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
6. Request for Adoption of a Resolution, Re: State Tax Commission Utility Multipliers
Mr. Lemon, City Assessor, said the citizens of the State of Michigan paid for a study commissioned by the Tax Commission in regard to Personal Property Depreciation Tables.
The State Tax Commission adopted some of them. Some of the multipliers they adopted were given to them by the utility companies. The utility multipliers all result in about a 25% to 30% reduction in utility properties. Mayors, equalization directors and assessors around the State felt that the multipliers as accepted by the State Tax Commission are illegal and unconstitutional and they felt they needed to mount some kind of unified effort to have the multipliers reviewed again. Nancy Cassis has discussed this with the State Tax Commission and is well aware of this. Mr. Lemon said he had been in meetings with Dennis Archer, Gary Vanco, Bob Vandermark and other equalization directors and mayors and there are basically three approaches. The multipliers can be accepted as given and reimbursements would need to be made, each case can be fought in court which is a very expensive and drawn out process or a unified effort can be made regarding this.
Mr. Lemon said part of making a unified effort would entail passing a resolution and getting it out to representatives and senators. He said Novi is being asked to contribute to part of the defense fund and our contribution would be approximately one and a half percent of what our annual exposure is. Our annual exposure is approximately a $75,000 reduction to the General Fund of the city. The one and a half percent represents about $1,025.00. He asked Council for the passage of a resolution to be forwarded to senators and representatives and that the city join this effort and authorize $1,025.00 towards the defense fund.
Member Kramer asked if the amount of exposure that the city was looking at was city and school district or city only. Mr. Lemon said it was city only. Member Kramer asked if the school district was being asked to contribute? Mr. Lemon said the school district had been approached but he did not know if they agreed to contribute.
Mr. Lemon said when the State Tax Commission authorized the study it was 1996. So starting in 1997 all the utility companies started putting these cases in abeyance so that whenever it was decided in the future it would be applied to them. So basically, we are sitting with all these utility cases from 97, 98 and 99 and soon 2000 would be added to those.
Member Kramer asked if this was a budget line item or was there a fund that was appropriate to draw this from?
Mr. Lemon said he did not know where the money would come from. The Finance Department had created a line item.
Mr. Kriewall said it could come out of consulting and appraisal fees.
Member Kramer said Member Crawford informed him that there is a line item number and this is a recommended source for that.
Member DeRoche asked if the Michigan State Tax Commission was the legislature?
Mr. Lemon said no.
Member DeRoche asked if the legislatures would like Council’s help?
Mr. Lemon said the defense fund group is the City of Detroit, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw Counties, Kent County, the City of Grand Rapids and other communities. They are trying to spearhead this.
Member DeRoche asked if we were on the spearheading side of this or the following side of this?
Mr. Lemon said he tried to stay reasonably involved and had hosted a couple of State Tax Commission and Defense Fund meetings here at the City.
Member DeRoche said when picking sides he wanted to be sure they were picking the right side. He said he valued the opinion of Nancy Cassis who was the Tax Policy Chair of the State House and she lives in Novi. He was concerned that the right thing was being done.
Mr. Lemon said Representative Cassis was very concerned about the issue and in January she would be meeting with the Chairman of the State Tax Commission as well as other members of that commission. Mr. Lemon said Representative Cassis had talked with him about this situation and she asked that he attend some of the meetings. She is very involved in this.
Member DeRoche asked if Nancy Cassis wanted Council to pass this and would it help her in whatever she is doing to help the City of Novi?
Mr. Lemon said he had asked Ms. Cassis if she endorsed doing this. She is aware that this is being done, she has not objected to what the assessors and equalization directors, Mayors and other communities are doing. She has not expressed any concern that this is out of line.
Mr. Kriewall suggested bringing this issue back with comments from Ms. Cassis.
Member Clark said she is going to have a meeting in January and Council could address it then?
Mr. Lemon said he would ask Ms. Cassis to draft something regarding this.
Mayor Clark suggested tabling this matter until the meeting in January. He asked if one of the options was if nothing was done refunds would have to be made based on the new formulation that the State Tax Tribunal came up with. It appeared to him that the City could be looking at about $300,000.00 for the combined years.
Mr. Lemon said that was probably correct.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Watson if the utility companies met with the State Tax Commission, in private, and presented their own depreciation tables and the study that the State Tax Commission commissioned was basically rejected in favor of those by the utility companies are they not subject to the Open Meetings Act?
Mr. Watson said he was quite certain they were subject to the Open Meetings Act.
CM-99-12-357 Moved by Kramer, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone this item until January 10, 2000.
Vote on CM-99-12-357 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
7. Request for approval of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment No. 18-156 – An ordinance to add the definitions of "Floor Area, Gross", Floor Area, Gross Leasable and Scenic Drive" to Section 201 of Ordinance No. 97-18, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance; to amend the definition of "Floor Area, Usable" contained within Section 201 of said Ordinance; to amend Subsections 402.1 and 2505.12 and 2507.3 of said Ordinance; to amend Subpart 1905e of said Ordinances; to amend footnote (B) of Section 2400 of said Ordinance; to delete excess verbiage, permit hospice care facilities as a special land use in the RM-1 and NCC Districts; delete the PD-2 and PD-4 options; amend land area requirements for child care centers; allow the waiver of the berming requirements in the I-1 District and provide new loading space requirements - II Reading and Final Adoption
Mayor Clark said on November 3, 1999 the Planning Commission adopted a motion to send a positive recommendation of the Zoning Ordinance Text Amendments. On December 6, 1999 this matter was before Council and received an approval to unanimously adopt the First Reading of the proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendments.
Mr. Arroyo said the changes that Council requested since the First Reading have been incorporated in the present draft. The amendment that would have allowed parking in the front yard for churches has been deleted and the amendment that would have allowed for assisted living and hospice care facilities in the NCC District has also been deleted.
CM-99-12-358 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Second Reading and final adoption of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment No. 18-156.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-358 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark,
8. Request for approval of Ordinance No. 99-99.12 an ordinance to make secondary
access a requirement of the Fire Prevention Code – II Reading and Final Adoption
CM-99-12-359 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That Ordinance No. 99-99-12 to make secondary access a requirement
of the Fire Prevention Code, Second Reading and Final Adoption be
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-359 Yeas: Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark, Crawford, Csordas,
9. Request for approval of Ordinance No. 124.12 an ordinance to make the requirement
of a paved emergency access driveway a non-waivable provision and to cross
reference the secondary access with Sec. 15-25– II Reading and Final Adoption
Cm-99-12- Moved by Kramer,
To approve Ordinance No. 99-124.12
Died for lack of support.
Member Kramer asked if the only change to the Ordinance was the indication of no variance?
Mr. Watson said there was also a cross reference to the Fire Code Provision that was just adopted.
Member Kramer asked Mr. Watson about the merit for no wavering being written into the ordinance.
Mr. Watson said right now in the Design and Construction Standards City Council has the authority to grant variances. This would effectively remove that authority from City Council and Council would not be allowed to grant a variance from this particular provision under any circumstances.
CM-99-12-360 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
That Ordinance No. 99-124.12 be approved for Second Reading and Final Adoption be approved deleting the sentence that says "under no circumstances may the paving requirements be waived or receive a variance."
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she would not support the motion because this motion maintains the status quo and she was not comfortable doing that after having Fire Marshall Evans give a discussion of this at Ordinance Review Committee. She asked Fire Marshall Evans if he could see a case where a waiver would be given for some demonstrated undue hardship?
Fire Marshall Evans said there could be an occasion where that could come up. The stance the Fire Department has taken has been that the secondary access had to be paved and they have not wavered on that. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Fire Marshall Evans to restate his comments of Ordinance Review as to why he felt so strongly about this issue.
Fire Marshall Evans said the purpose for the emergency secondary access is in case the primary access is cut off. If the only route in is to be to drive across grass that hopefully has an adequate base underneath it we are adding a lot of "ifs" to an equation that is already in a bad situation such as fire, medical emergency or police emergency inside of the complex.
He said if the fire apparatus should become stuck in the secondary access all the other apparatus that is responding could not get into the complex. Now, the primary and secondary accesses are blocked. There is a question of maintenance. How does someone require the plowing of grass in the winter? How do you evaluate the condition of that five, ten or fifteen years down the road where it is very easy to evaluate the condition of asphalt. He said the Fire Department strongly opposed the use of grass pavers and it was approved by Council in March that the Design and Construction Standards were changed to require the secondary accesses to be 18 feet wide and paved.
Member Crawford asked if the grass pavers are maintained do they work. Would they support 25 tons?
Fire Marshall Evans said that was an engineering question and he was not qualified to answer.
He said he has never seen a submittal from a contractor addressing that issue.
Member Crawford thought there needed to be language in the Ordinance that addressed the proper construction, maintenance and the proper identification because there are probably occasions when grass pavers should be an option. He said he would not vote to eliminate the waiver.
Member Kramer agreed with Member Crawford and also felt that Council should go after signage and maintenance requirements of roads that were not paved as the next increment of work on this Ordinance.
Member Crawford asked Mr. Watson if the opportunity for a waiver were granted would it be available for the residential area that was not necessarily the developer or landowner.
Mr. Watson said the applicant for the variance would normally be the person who is constructing the project. Member Crawford asked what if the residents of the subdivision wanted grass pavers; can they petition for a variance?
Mr. Watson was not sure. There are sections in the Zoning Ordinance that refers to an interested party or aggrieved party. He would find out.
Member Crawford said if it gets that far it needs to be an important part of it. He said not only the developer or the petitioner but affected interested parties needed to be part of it.
Mayor Clark thought this Ordinance needed to go back to Ordinance Review for additional work.
Member Kramer stated he would be willing to have his motion adjusted.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-360 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
CM-99-12-361 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To send to Ordinance Review with all comments to be considered.
Roll Call Vote on CM-99-12-361 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
10. Set meeting date for City Manager Interviews
Member Crawford said the intent of the December 30th meeting was to interview in house people. Ms. Conley can not make that meeting and he was not sure that Mr. Nowicki or Mr. Babinchak could attend.
CM-99-12-362 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To interview two people on December 30th at 7 PM if they are available. Also set a meeting for January 6th at 7 PM to interview two or three candidates and January 15th at 12 PM for interviews with out of state candidates.
Member Crawford felt that the interviews should be limited to one hour and fifteen minutes.
He stated that Member Kramer suggested January 15th at noon would be a good date for out of state candidates.
Vote on CM-99-12-362 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
Mr. Kriewall reminded Council that the City Appreciation Party was also on the 15th so Council might want to set a time to end the interviews.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought the meeting should end at 5 PM and Council concurred.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
D. Adoption of Resolution, Re: Recapture of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Member Lorenzo removed this item. She said it was indicated there was a balance of $73,680 for sidewalk improvements and asked what the sidewalk improvements were?
Mr. Davis said it was an accumulation of funds for two fiscal years and the sidewalk improvements would be for East Lake and South Lake. He said over the last couple of years they had tried to accumulate dollars to fund the project; they would now be recaptured and then it would be decided where they would be spent.
CM-99-12-364 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt the resolution regarding Recapture of Community Development Block Grant Funds.
Vote on CM-99-12-364 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
E. Adoption of Resolution, Re: Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo removed this item. She had a question about the reprogramming of the funds. She said Mr. Davis had said South Lake would be incorporated in the road project when South Lake Drive was resurfaced and she asked when that was anticipated?
Mr. Davis said Mr. Nowicki had indicated he was also looking at the year 2000 for South Lake Drive.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked what his response was to Mr. Korte’s questions regarding the continual administration fees?
Mr. Davis said in some communities the administration program and the cost of the reimbursement does fund positions to administer the program separately. Mr. Davis said he does not get additional compensation as it is incorporated into his job responsibilities. He said they have tried to minimize the use of administration funds to return more of the dollars back into actual hard projects back to the community. He said they were limited to 20% of their total allocation on an annual basis which has been running at about $107,000 for the last five years. He said they are well below that 20% even by allocating and reprogramming $7,000. They have not funded that allocation during their annual application period for a few years. He thought this current year, 2000, was the first year in about three that they had funded administration for any dollar amounts.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked Mr. Davis to speak to Mr. Korte’s concerns about J.C.K. and their fees, engineering inspections, etc.
Mr. Davis said all the fees associated with the project and work associated with any engineering were before Council previously. All those activities did not go for naught; Mr. Nowicki is using those engineering designs, easements have been acquired along those areas to actually build out the project and that was also part of those costs.
CM-99-12-363 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt the resolution regarding Reprogramming of Community Development Block Grant Funds.
Member DeRoche asked why this money needed to be reprogrammed?
Mr. Davis said it was undisbursed funds from 1995 and they had, over a couple of years, tried to spend it by virtue of the bidding process and so forth. Last year he had asked for a waiver to give them one year to get the project completed. Undisbursed funds would be subject to recapture by the county so they wanted to use them. The recapture would be December 31st.
Member DeRoche said he would fight to keep the $7,000 outside of the reimbursement for the administration and spend that in either the North Novi Park or on a house if possible. He asked why this was not possible?
Mr. Davis said those funds need to be obligated and for a specific use by the end of this year.
Member DeRoche asked if it could be reallocated again after this year?
Mr. Davis said it could not. However, the recapture funds of $73,000, could be redistributed in anyway the Council desired. He said, as a committee, they needed to decide how the funds were going to be spent. He thought the money should be spent on smaller projects.
Vote on CM-99-12-363 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. City Manager Recruitment Process
Mayor Clark said the meetings had already been set.
2. Police School Liaison Officers – Mayor ProTem Lorenzo
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was concerned that there was no action taken or direction given after this item was brought to the table by Member Crawford. She said Council asked for information and received it and a memo from Chief Shaeffer on 10/25/99. She thought the Chief and Mr. Kriewall and Council got ahead of themselves in actually approaching the school board with the possibility of a cost sharing. Secondly, she was getting the impression that the school district and school board was not in favor of this program. She was concerned that Council was inserting themselves in a school board function and policy and not necessarily a municipal function and policy. She was not sure it was the municipalities’ place to decide whether Police Officers should be placed in the schools, to convince the schools of the need or to pay for Police Officers in the schools.
She felt that the municipal part of the city had been very accommodating through participation in and sponsoring of the D.A.R.E. Program in the schools. A policy of community policing has been established through the Bike Patrol Program. If Council desires to pursue this then Council needed to give direction to Mr. Kriewall to move forward with this. If not then Council should not pursue this. If Chief Shaeffer wanted to present this at budget time then the Council would discuss it. She did not want the school board to think that Council was pressuring them into a policy they were not comfortable with. She felt it should be the parents who talk to the school board about initiating such a program.
Member Crawford said he has seen this program in action in other communities and with consensus of Council had asked, during the last budget session, that the Police Chief look into this. A couple of months ago he asked what the status was and asked again, with Council consent, if Council could have a report on this. Chief Shaeffer looked into this situation. Member Crawford suggested there were many alternatives for funding through grants, General Fund Budget, etc. He had seen this demonstrated as a success in many communities. He said it was a joint program and Council would not impose anything upon the school board or school district that they did not want to participate in. He thought to bring it to their attention was totally appropriate. Chief Shaeffer had preliminary discussions with school administration and a few board members. Any reluctance on their part was in understanding it and funding is an issue. Member Crawford said the letter said, "no commitments were made". He felt a suggestion of 50/50 funding would be appropriate and he hoped Council would continue to concur and allow the Chief and anyone else that needed to pursue this. If the discussions are fruitful it would be brought back at budget time and would not be implemented until next school year. He felt it was on track and did not want to see anything that would jeopardize it. He said it was an outreach of the community policing program that Council endorses and what better place to start then in the school system.
Member Kramer said during the Mayor’s Exchange day with the City of Troy their police chief spoke very highly of their program. This program has been recommended strongly and it seemed worth pursuing and when the discussion came up Council certainly supported that investigation.
Member DeRoche felt they had to be careful when starting negotiations, as informal as they are, about talking numbers without Council support. This program could benefit the students, parents and the community. He said he would continue to support this. This Council has stated they want control over the policy and give their approval before those processes are initiated.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if Police Officers would be provided for all four school districts?
This is why she believed this is a school board and school district issue. She felt there were inequities with this. She hoped that no one left this meeting and continued talking to the school district as if the City was definitely going to participate.
Member Crawford said he would hope there would be continued discussion with the school district and hoped the Chief did not get the message tonight that this Council wanted to stop any further investigation. He was aware there were several other school districts in the City and we can not be all things to all people. The Novi High School and school district is totally enclosed within this City and this program is designed primarily for a liaison person in the Novi High School and not all school districts.
Member Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer how much money the three year grant would be for? Chief Shaeffer said the typical grant was funding $75,000 over a three year period for an Officer.
Member Csordas asked if it would be his intention to rotate the officer through the school district or have that person just in the high school? Chief Shaeffer said the typical school resource officer or school liaison officer program works by placing an officer in a particular school, most often in the high school, occasionally in the middle schools and very rarely in the elementary schools.
Chief Shaeffer said for Novi he would propose assigning an officer to the high school but the officer would also be available to go to the middle school if the need arose. The primary assignment would be at the high school level.
Member Csordas asked if there were any school districts around Novi that have a program like this? He said every school district except Northville and they are planning it for September of 2000 at their new high school.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked who paid for the program in the other school districts?
Chief Shaeffer said some were shared 50/50 and some were paid by the department or by the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked who paid in Northville? Chief Shaeffer did not know. Sometimes the schools and the city split the cost and in other cases the city funds the full amount. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked for a break down of the surrounding cities regarding how their programs are paid for.
Mayor Clark concurred that this sounded like a worthwhile program. He said children today are faced with challenges and risks in school that the rest of us could not even dream of in our youth. He would be in favor of anything that might benefit them the community and provide a safer learning environment. He said the Chief understands he has not been given any direction to unilaterally make any financial commitment at this time or in the information gathering state and he felt it should be pursued.
3. Customer Service Reply Cards
Member Csordas said a memo had been passed out to Council Members earlier and attached was his proposed draft of a Customer Service Reply Card. He felt it would be an excellent tool of communication to the citizens of Novi, could also be used in regard to consultants and a cost effective means of communication.
He recommended the card be given to the City Manager to be forwarded to the appropriate departments and then copies should be made to Council. This card could be displayed on the reception desk in each department. These cards would be addressed to the City Manager and would have prepaid postage. He asked the Council to consider this and would ask the City Manager to pursue this.
Member Crawford thought Member Csordas had an excellent idea and he would support his motion and hopefully that would be direction to the City Clerk or appropriate person to get some of these made up. Mayor Clark asked that someone find out the cost of printing the cards with a mailing permit and he agreed it was an excellent idea. Member Crawford suggested that Canton Township had a nice reply card and perhaps the City Clerk could call them and request a reply card from them.
Member Kramer suggested it would be better to get a monthly summary on the results of the cards instead of copies of individual cards.
Member DeRoche said this was great for the Consultant Review Committee and would be very convenient when trying to correct a problem with a consultant.
Member Crawford felt that the card should not say "City of Novi Resident Reply Card", because the intent was to give the card to anyone who did business with the City. He suggested it be called the City of Novi Customer Reply Card.
Member Csordas suggested a time frame of 30 days to implement this and to have a report back at the last meeting in January.
CM-99-12-365 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That the Customer Service Reply Card be forwarded to the City Clerk for printing arrangements and to determine the cost of a postage paid card.
Vote on CM-99-12-365 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
4. Request for Parks and Recreation Cable Cast Progress Report
Member Kramer said he wanted to hear from Parks and Recreation regarding the Cable Cast Progress Report. Mr. Kriewall said it could be done now.
Mr. Davis said the commission had been looking at the Cable Casting issue. The commission as a whole is very supportive of the concept as it applied to public related issues such as public hearings on park development, master planning and capitol improvement type of functions. The question and concern during the discussions was the formatting and the issue that the commission as set up now by Charter is strictly an advisory body to City Council. The Parks and Recreation Commission questioned whether, as an advisory board, they wanted to Cable Cast for the general meetings. It is a valuable tool as they go through the Public Hearing process and the park development plans and they are supportive of that but for routine meetings the question came up regarding their advisory role.
Mr. Davis said the direction of the last meeting was to share this information with City Council and see what further direction Council wanted to take.
Member Crawford asked if funds were allocated in the budget? Mr. Kriewall said there are funds available.
Mr. Davis said it was not an issue of funding from their perspective.
Member Kramer said when Council deliberated it previously there was an acknowledgement that the Parks and Recreation Department and Commission has more interfacing with citizens then any other group in the City. The more the citizens are involved the more they can be aware of programs that are initiated and where information is coming from. He said it is funded and if the Parks and Recreation Commission is looking for encouragement to implement it he requested that Council give them that encouragement.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo concurred with Member Kramer.
Mr. Davis said Mr. Martin was attempting to find staff and felt that it had been rectified and they were looking at a January implementation. Member Crawford asked when the meeting in January was? Mr. Davis said the 13th. Member Crawford asked when the first Council meeting was? He suggested that information be brought back and a motion be prepared.
CM-99-12-366 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
That Parks and Recreation begin broadcasting their meetings by cable beginning with their meeting in January 2000.
Vote on CM-99-12-366 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
5. Quail Ridge Chapter 21 Drainage Meeting - Schedule Date
Mr. Kriewall said Mr. Nowicki had given Council a list of dates that the Drain Commission Office would be available for a meeting. The dates were in Council packets and he asked if there was any preference on a date. Mr. Kriewall said this would be an informational meeting for the benefit of the residents and anyone else interested. It could go as slow as needed or as fast as needed.
Member Kramer asked if February would be a problem? Mr. Nowicki said no.
Mayor Clark said the recommendation is that Mr. Kriewall and Mr. Nowicki return to Council with dates in February.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
CM-99-12-367 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adjourn the meeting at 12:21 AM.
Vote on CM-99-12-367 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Lorenzo
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Tonni L. Bartholomew, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ____________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: January 10, 2000