View Agenda for this Meeting

Joint Meeting
Charter Township of Northville
City of Novi

DATE: April 10, 2000

TIME: 7:30 PM

PLACE: 41600 West Six Mile Road

Call To Order: Supervisor Henningsen called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM

Pledge of Allegiance:

Roll Call:

Northville Township Board of Trustee:


Richard Henningsen, Supervisor Russ Fogg, Trustee

Sue Hillebrand, Clerk Marv Gans, Trustee(absent)

Mark Abbo, Treasurer Bill Selinsky, Trustee

Bill Pomeroy, Trustee


Novi City Council:


Richard Clark, Mayor Hugh Crawford(absent)

Laura Lorenzo, Mayor ProTem Louis Csordas

Michelle Bonomi Craig DeRoche

Edward Kramer


Also present:


Ron Cavallaro, Engineering Consultant, Ayres, Lewis, Norris & May

Don Weaver, Director of Public Services, Northville Township

Novi Attorney Dennis Watson

Doug Pakkala, JFK & Associates

Anthony Nowacki, Director of Public Services, Novi



Purpose of Special Meeting:

Director of Public Service, Don Weaver gave a brief history of the Quail Ridge drain issue.

He said that he had attended a Novi City Council meeting on March 2nd, to discuss the causes of the failure of the Quail Ridge drain in Northville Township and develop a methodology for sharing the cost of repairing the drain.

The Quail Ridge Subdivision was constructed in 1979. The drain existed within the subdivision property along with two ponds. After construction of the subdivision, the drain was to be relocated and the ponds filled.

It appears that the drain was relocated as proposed, except through the ponds. We understand that the ponds were not filled, at the request of the new homeowners.

In 1990 the Township received its first complaint regarding erosion of the drain. A brief chronology of events that occurred since that time (supported by attachments) is as follows:

February 17, 1992-The Township commissioned their engineering consultant, Ayres, Lewis, Norris & May, Inc. (ALNM) to investigate problem and results of their investigation is contained in a letter.

April 9, 1992-ALNM contacts Novi's engineering consultant (JCK) to request they investigate what measures could be taken upstream (north of 8 Mile Road) to lessen the storm water impact.

April 14, 1992- JCK reports that there is no opportunity to place any detention facilities upstream.

May 8, 1992- ALNM reports to the Water and Sewer Commission that the Novi DPW would present a possible cost sharing option if the proportion of flow from the City was identified.

March 15, 1993- Township requests Novi prepare a plan and restore the drain.

September 29, 1993- Novi City attorneys suggest an Intercounty Drain be established

December 19, 1994-- Intercounty Drainage Board meets and authorizes an engineering study.

December 23, 1996- JCK reports to the City that the drain was not properly constructed within the subdivision and that the City should not participate in financing improvements.

January 27, 1997-ALNM rebuts JCK's conclusions.

February 5, 1997-City of Novi declines to participate.


Since that time the Township has obtained support from Wayne County and petitioned the State to create a Chapter 21 Drainage District. Since two governmental agencies support the establishment of a drainage district, it will be formed, with or without endorsement from Oakland County or the City of Novi.

Once the district is established, it will determine the appropriate cost share.

Unfortunately, the Chapter 21 Drainage District takes a long time to develop. It would be beneficial to reach a voluntary agreement with the City for their financial participation.

Mr. Ron Cavallaro, Ayres, Lewis, Norris and May, spoke stating that he has been investigating some funding sources and he would like to explain some of the options that are available. Back in 1996 after doing a study of the project he had come up with three items that needed to be constructed to alleviate the erosion problem. They are; construction of the drop structure to eliminate the high velocity coming from the Eight Mile culvert, restoring the stream banks through vegetative and other type engineering practices, and two ponds need to be reestablished along the eight hundred feet of drain along Eight Mile Road. Generally all problems occur within this area. These are the problems that are outlined in the 1996 report. Northville Township and the City of Novi having participated in the general storm water needs permit have the possibility of obtaining special needs funds through RPO. There will be funds available this fall. How it will be handled is that each community along this sub-water shed will lay out their project. The sub-water sheds themselves will decide who get the funds and how much. If there are more requests than there are funds available, they will cut down each communities share.

There may also be funds available from the Clean Michigan Initiative, after speaking with the MDEQ, their staff said that funds will not be available until this summer. We are waiting for the rules for obtaining funds from this source.

The MDEQ/EPA, Section 319, non-point source funds have been available for years. In the latest discussion with them, they have indicated that their thoughts are not that they may even include as part of the Clean Michigan Initiative with one single application permit to handling both this fund and the Section 319, non-point source fund. They may be available sometime this summer or fall. The fund that will be available first will probably be the RPO fund which will be available this fall. Generally the fund through the RPO will be a 50/50 split , and the MDEQ split will likely be 60/40. Work done prior to receiving the grant would not be covered.

Mr. Weaver said he would suggest that the course of action that should be taken would be for the City and Township Engineers get together and make a joint recommendation for the design scope, the allocation of cost between the City, Township, and both Counties. Then determine if the Counties are willing to voluntarily participate.

Mr. Anthony Nowacki, Director of Public Services for Novi stated that the City has been studying this problem for quite some time, and he agreed that the two should look at it together and see what can be worked out.

Councilwoman Lorenzo asked Mr. Cavallaro if this project could began earlier than this fall? It was her hope that it could get started sooner than that. She said she felt that this is a health, safety and welfare issue, and a degradation of a valuable resource. In her opinion, both bodies should work together and resolve this problem in an expedient manner. She was hoping to be able to advance the project and get reimbursed through the grants, but after listening to Mr.Cavallaro, it doesnít sound like that is a possibility.

Councilmen Csordas said after reading a letter from JFK & Associates it was clear to him that this was a Northville issue, not a Novi issue. The Developer of Quail Ridge Subdivision didnít do a proper job and Novi should not have any responsibility in underwriting the project. One option mentioned is that the City could pay for 100% of the drop structure which would decrease the flow, and Northville Township could pick up the rest. If the total project is somewhere in the area of $400,000.00 and Novi would be responsible for 80% of it, he said he just could not agree to this.

Council member Lorenzo said she would like to put a motion to the City Council on the table.

A motion by Lorenzo to approve the City of Novi to voluntarily participate with the Cities engineering firm and the Townshipís engineering firm to fine tune any engineering that needs to be done in order to prepare the plans for grant application, and the findings to be returned to both bodies within thirty days, second by Bononi.

Ayes: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: Csordas

Absent: Crawford Motion approved

Councilmen DeRoche stated that he agreed with most comments made by the other Council Members, however there will be some contention among them as to what Noviís responsibility is. Ideally it will be a split after grant monies have been awarded. We realize that there is a drainage problem here, and that there are two sides to the story. It seem that this is an appropriate time to work together and resolve the problem. He went on to say that he hoped the Board didnít misinterpret what is being said. And, ideally it will be a split after grants that benefit both communities. He said it may be frustrating to Novi residents that the Council is pursuing this drain problem, but we have the recommendation from both Northville Township and Novi consulting firms with both saying that funding mechanisms should be pursued. He added that until everything is explored he didnít think Novi should commit to anything, and he would like to ask the Township to set aside Chapter 21 until all alternative venues have been explored. It would be in the best interest of Novi citizens if this matter were settled between the two bodies that are present here tonight.

Supervisor Henningsen asked for a motion from the Northville Board of Trustees.

A motion by Hillebrand to authorize the Northville Township engineers to work with the Novi engineers to come up with a design for the Quail Ridge drain and return to the Board with the findings within thirty days, second by Abbo.

Ayes: Henningsen, Hillebrand, Abbo, Selinsky, Pomeroy

Nays: Fogg

Absent: Gans Motion approved

Mayor Clark said that if they were to let Chapter 21 proceed, both communities would end up paying more than they would if they were to cooperate with each other and pursue the grants. If we get a 60/40 split each community will be responsible for a 20% share, and if we get a 50/50 split then both communities will get a 25% share of the costs. With those issues set aside we should move forward with the design issue at the same time as the grant applications are moving ahead.

Treasurer Abbo said he would like to tackle the responsibility issue right up front and try and determine the share that each community will be responsible for, so that when the final cost is determined all arrows are pointed in the same direction and they can proceed as quickly as possible.

Mayor Clark responded that if they were to receive a 60/40 or a 50/50 grant that would make it economically palatable for both communities.

Trustee Selinsky said he is very encouraged that both Boards can sit at the same table and agree that there is a problem and that it needs to be solved. There are homeowners in the audience and he hopes that they are encouraged by what they hear. His question would be who exactly will design the solution and what is the design schedule?

Mr. Weaver said that the Northville engineers have already been working on the problem, so he would hope that they could utilize the work that has already been done. Mr. Cavallaro could meet with the City engineers and see what comments or suggestions they have. If we could get ready with the design and have it ready for the fall, it will look as though we have a sound basis for the cost estimates and this should set well with the grant application.

Councilman DeRoche said to get back to what Treasurer Abbo had spoke of earlier he was not prepared to agree to any split until the studies have come from the engineering consultants. He asked if he understood right that the engineers would study the problem and return with their opinion on how the costs would be split?

Mr. Weaver answered that this was the plan.

Treasurer Abbo said that he appreciated the comments from the Novi City Council, and he hoped they would understand that the Northville Township Board felt that with both bodies working together, outside of Chapter 21, they would get the job done quicker and cheaper. However, this has been on-going since 1990, and the only reason they would want to continue with the process of Chapter 21 is that this Board has a responsibility to their residents. If this process should get derailed, we need a plan "B" in place so that we donít have to start from the beginning and prolong it for another 3, 4 or 5 years. If the City of Novi wants to make an irrevocable affirmation of completing this project, we might consider setting aside Chapter 21. Unless this is done, prudence dictates that Chapter 21 not be set aside.

Councilmen DeRoche said he understood that Mr. Abbo was speaking to the best interests of his citizens. However, it would be in the best interest of Novi citizens that Chapter 21 not continue. And he would ask for a vote from his Council to ask Northville Township to hold off. He said he understood if the Board did not agree and take the advise, but he was still going to ask the Novi Council for a vote.

Treasurer Abbo said he hoped the City understood that the Township has agreed verbally not to pursue the issue until all options have been explored.

Resident Nick Doinidas, Quail Ridge asked to speak, stating that he has lived in Quail Ridge for 15 years, and when they first moved in there was never a water problem. It was around 1987-88 that they started experiencing water problems. It was his understanding that it is primarily due to the heavy construction on the north side of Eight Mile. Until the building started everything seemed to be functioning properly.

Bill Walsh, Quail Ridge resident, said he used to have a small pond behind his home. Now the erosion is so bad that decks are washed off of their foundations. He said he moved into this home in 1984. The culvert below Eight Mile supplies an incredible amount of water when it rains. An island has been washed away. The dam has been completely overcome. This did not happen in 1984, but started sometime after that and keeps getting worse. He said he would also like to thank Novi for their cooperation and let them know the residents really appreciated it and hoped that the process continues.

Councilmen Csordas asked Mr. Douglas Pakkala, from JCK & Associates for clarification of his letter where he stated that the site was not stabilized and the builder did not do what he was required to do.

Mr. Pakkala stated that after looking at the original drainage plans if the drain was constructed and the lots graded as shown on the original approved construction plans, it would appear that a majority of the problems that are currently being experienced may not exist. Quail Ridge was approved in 1979 and the developments on the Novi side were approved prior to that. He said that although 78% of the land involved is on the Novi side, he did not feel that Novi should be responsible for that percentage of the costs.

Councilmen DeRoche said he realized the Townshipís position, but he would still ask for a vote from his Council.

A motion by DeRoche that the Township of Northville respect that it is in the best interest of the residents of Novi to negotiate the Quail Ridge drainage issue outside of the Chapter 21 process, and it is therefore the policy of the City of Novi to oppose continuing the Chapter 21 process until all grant funding options and other negotiations have been exhausted, second by Csordas.

Ayes: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi

Absent: Crawford Motion failed

Audience Participation:

Supervisor Henningsen asked for any other comments for the audience.

Dan River, Quail Ridge resident, addressed the Boards stating that they really needed to witness the water when it rains in order to fully understand what the problems are. He said that anything the developer did or didnít do did not account for the amount of water that comes rushing out of the culvert beneath Eight Mile. It is a torrent, and he would appreciate anything that can be done.

Trustee Selinsky said that when we get down the road where we have a proposal in front of us and we know what our respective obligations are, it may be that Mayor Clark will get the opportunity to speak with this development company, who is now working in Novi, about making a contribution fund.

Adjournment: 9:00 pm

A motion by Treasurer Abbo to adjourn, second by Clerk Hillebrand.

Ayes: All

Nays: None Motion Approved



Respectfully submitted:

Sue A. Hillebrand, Clerk




Recording and Transcription

Jan Balogh, Deputy Clerk




Sue A. Hillebrand, Clerk


Date _______________________


Approved May 15, 2000 by the Novi City Council.



Richard J. Clark, Mayor