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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2001, AT 7:30 PM
NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:37 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
The following were added under Mayor and Council Issues.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo added Consultants Review Committee Rotation Member as #4.
Member Kramer added General Storm Water Permit as Item #2 and the Neighborhood Service News Letter as Item #3.
Member Bononi added City of Novi contributions to MEDA Proposals as Item #5.
Member DeRoche added Michigan Political Leadership Program as Item #6.
CM-01-01-01 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-01-01-01 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
Mayor Clark, State Representative Cassis and State Senator Bullard presented Kay Schmid with proclamations for her service as County Commissioner for District 17.
Andrew Mutch commented for this and future tax abatements, Mr. Lemmon, City Assessor, prepared a report that clearly highlighted the tax revenues that would be generated by the Expo Center. He thought it was important to review the report and not overstate the tax benefits generated by this development. It would generate $32,000 in revenue for the City as opposed to $13,000 for vacant land. The important distinction was the vacant land would not generate extra costs for services such as police calls, etc. The Expo Center would and he asked if the cost of that was fully appreciated? Mr. Mutch noted Mr. Bowman agreed to donate $500,000 to the City as part of the abatement agreement. While generous it should be weighed against the fact that the total tax abatement received would probably be in excess of that. It would be interesting to compare what types of jobs and businesses would benefit compared to another applicant such as Tower Automotive. When looking at the salaries of their engineers and the types of jobs and revenue they would generate he thought it was clearly in line with what our tax abatement policy was promoting. Finally, there had been a lot of talk about the Ice Arena losing money but the Ice Arena is not just about dollars and cents. It brought benefits to the community and businesses but when discussed it was always about money. He thought it was broader than that and suggested bringing that same discussion to tax abatement and discuss the total dollars and totally understand the cost to the City. He said there would definitely be benefits to this construction but asked if the cost was truly understood and suggested discussing the total cost to the city with the tax abatement.
Paul Sherbeck, Simmons Orchard, was opposed to granting the Exemption Facilities Certificate and felt it would be giving away millions of dollars of taxpayer money. He believed government subsidies were counter-productive. Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus knew targeted business incentives did not work and supported a five-state joint resolution seeking an end to tax abatement where States and communities would be pitted against one another. He felt it was time for Novi to get out of the business of subsidizing business. Mr. Sherbeck felt the application by the Novi Expo Center proved his point that the tax abatement policy had no substance. He listed criterion regarding A, B, C, F and O of the tax abatement policy citing failure to fulfil the policy requirements. He commented the application did not pass the criterion and asked that abatement be rejected.
Kay Houser, resident, also opposed tax abatement. She resented that the Mayor was quoted, in the Free Press, stating that most residents were pro tax abatement as she had yet to speak to one resident who agreed with the tax abatement. She was angry that the traffic signal at 10 Mile and Taft Roads was installed before getting one at Meadowbrook and 10 or 9 Mile Roads where numerous accidents had occurred.
Mayor Clark responded he had never made a statement to the Free Press or anyone else and the signal at Taft and Ten Mile Roads was placed there at the repeated request of the Novi High School for the safety of the students. The Meadowbrook and 10 Mile Road intersection was slated for improvement and was a part of the road bond package.
Toni Nagy represented Lakewood Park Homes and stated they did not feel tax abatement would benefit the residents. The residents did not feel the jobs created would entice the people employed there to move to Novi, they thought the roads, lighting etc., would be done at taxpayer expense and in general tax abatements were not fair to the residents.
Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk, read a letter dated January 8, 2001 into the record from Jeff Bowdell regarding tax abatement.
Dear Mayor Clark;
Due to a prior commitment I am not able to attend this evenings City Council Meeting. If possible I would like this read by the clerk on my behalf during the public hearing for the request for the tax abatement requested by the proposed new Novi Expo Center, or at least passed out to the rest of the council members.
After reading the Jan. 7, 2001 article in the Oakland Press by Daniel Duggan I was compelled to voice my opinion regarding this issue. First as you may or may not know I have worked for a local government municipality for the past 13 years and am also a former president of the City of Novi Homeowners Association. In this time I have watched many political campaigns blossom and fall. I have also witnessed countless issues come to the various town hall meetings both with and without strong grass root support, in all of the cases the councils and boards acted in a manner that they individually feel would be the best overall for there community. Each and every Councilperson, Senator, Congressman, State Representative and the like are elected by and for the people. The fact that this article questions the integrity of our elected officials is preposterous. I feel an article of this type is a slap in the face to all voters who believe in the election process. In America itís one person one vote and may the candidates with the most votes speak and act in the best interest of our Community, our State, and our Country. It is even more unbelievable to me that someone would think that a legislator and the city council members would overlook the best interest of our State and Community for a 300 or 500 dollar contribution to their election.
If someone or some other political body thinks that a given politician is corrupt or unscrupulous make sure they are not elected or re-elected. In the meantime please continue to cast your council votes based on the wise decision making abilities entrusted to you by the voting majority of Novi residents.
CC City Council Members, City Manager, City Clerk
1. Introduction of Public Works Director Ė Mr. Benny McCusker
Mr. Helwig introduced Mr. Benny McCusker, new Director of Public Works. Mr. McCusker came from the City of Wixom with 30 years of public sector experience.
2. Road Improvements: Novi Road Intersections at 10 Mile Road
and Grand River Avenue; 12 Mile Road "Gap"
Mr. Helwig indicated that the construction timetable for Novi Road was more ambitious than the Oakland County Road Commission first realized. There would be extensive environmental and right-of-way acquisition efforts, which would slow down the progress. The intersections of 10 Mile and Novi Roads and Novi Road and Grand River Avenue west to the RR overpass to be started in 2002 would be completed in 2001. The section of Novi Road between those two intersections, which was to have started in 2002, would still start in 2002. The 12 Mile Road gap to be started in 2004 would be completed in 2001 along with the other section of 12 Mile, which the City has involved with a special assessment district. He felt the strategic session that Council held with the road commission was instrumental in a quick response and relating funds to the priorities that this community had set.
DEPARTMENT REPORTS - None
ATTORNEY - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo removed Item D.
CM-01-01-002 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Consent Agenda Items A, B and C.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-002 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
A. Approve Minutes of:
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
CM-01-01-003 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the Resolution for the Issuance of an Industrial
Facilities Exemption Certificate, with Agreement for the Novi
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented she would not support the motion because she felt the resolution was premature and that Council should be discussing the broad implications of the land use decision. She felt the threshold was too low in the tax abatement policy and it should have been like the City of Troy who has a $40 million investment and a minimum of 500 new jobs. Also, tax abatement consideration was for the OST development and not for this type of development because it generally brought in a high tax base with very low traffic generation and limited demand on City services.
Mr. Nowicki said most of the infrastructures with regard to water and sewer already existed on Grand River Avenue so there would be no cost to the City to extend those utilities. The $500,000 would be used to address traffic improvements at Grand River and Taft Road and could run about $250,000 to $300,000. Also, $5 million would come from Build Michigan III to improve that section on Grand River Avenue from Beck Road to the CXS Railroad tracks. Additionally, the Novi voters approved $4.25 million towards the improvement of Grand River Avenue within those same limits.
Member Bononi asked what about anything that might be needed downstream to accommodate storm water runoff and who would pay for the signalization for all the entrances? Mr. Nowicki said it would be the developers responsibility. She asked Mr. Helwig if he agreed. Mr. Helwig agreed they should be, however, whether it would be covered by the $500,000 he could not attest to.
Member Bononi asked if the applicant would not pay more than $500,000 then where are we?
Mr. Helwig said they would keep negotiating as to how those costs would be fairly attributed. He said their role as staff was to minimize the impact on the taxpayer from any development. Member Bononi said if the negotiations were not successful and the cost associated with finishing the project was more then $500,000 was it a basis for denial of their rezoning?
Mr. Fisher said it would be worthy of consideration as part of their rezoning.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Lemmon if the land remained vacant how much would the land value increase in percentage in the event that the interchanges were finished and the Grand River improvements were complete?
Mr. Lemmon said he had previously estimated that and if the development went in currently, the land value in that area was about $2.00 or $2.50 a square foot. Once the development went in he estimated the land base would be between $7.00 and $10.00 a square foot. He thought the land value would triple once the development was in.
Member Bononi questioned whether this placed the residents first because there were too many unknowns. Council was discussing a gift back to the Expo Center of $255,622, a taxpayer who currently pays just $18,000 plus in tax, and an administration who had been unable to say that this $500,000 was going to be sufficient. She would not support the proposal.
Member Csordas said it was incorrect that the $500,000 would not cover the amount of the tax abatement. The eight years of tax abatement would total $255,622. He said Mr. Lemmon projected that the vacant land would generate $312,830 and revenues with the project completed would generate $1,562,382 over a 20 year period. He asked Mr. Lemmon if that was revenue to the City, schools, county or college? Mr. Lemmon said it was to the City alone. The project would also pay school taxes, which exceeded the level of taxes they would pay for the City mileage rate. Member Csordas asked if the $1.562 million could be doubled for taxes paid to the school district? Mr. Lemmon said it could be tripled. Member Csordas asked if it would include the amount of taxes paid to the county? Mr. Lemmon said it would not. Member Csordas asked what he thought that amount would be? Mr. Lemmon replied the Countyís mileage was around 4.8 so it would be safe to say it would be over $1 million, conservatively, over the 20 year period. Member Csordas asked what about the O. C. colleges? Mr. Lemmon said they would be about one fifth of this number.
Member Csordas said over the next 20 years, conservatively, there would be $5 million worth of taxes to the City, schools, county and community colleges. Mr. Lemmon said that would be very conservative. Mr. Lemmon said the existing Expo Center building would still pay approximately $18,000 a year. Member Csordas said it would be about $5 million over 20 years for the abated amount of $255,000 plus contributing $500,000 to the roads.
Member Csordas thought it was Councilís responsibility to insure the financial success of the City and to hold down the relative taxes that residents paid by attracting new businesses in town. He felt it would be fiscally irresponsible to throw the abatement tool away and chase business away from the City. People are moving to this City because of the way it looks and a Master Plan that protected the City. We need to compete. Business is good for the City and it pays our taxes otherwise we would not have the beautiful community we have. He commented that this was not a scheme to give away money but a tool to use to insure the fiscal success of Novi. As far as the irresponsible and inflammatory article in the Oakland Press, thanks primarily to the Mayor and members Council, this is the most open and honest City Council he could imagine. Every step of the process and everything that had been done from hiring Mr. Helwig on up had been done in the public. Member Csordas said every e-mail and phone call he had received regarding this project had been favorable. There have been 26 favorable letters for this. These are letters from residents, business and the school system. This is a win/win situation for the City of Novi.
Member Kramer agreed with Member Csordas and reiterated the benefits of the project regarding the $5 million from the State. He commented the project would be a spark plug for development of that area and Novi would retain a quality corporate citizen. The Expo Center had worked in partnership with the residents, non-profit groups and the people of the City as a willing partner and they would continue to do that. He reminded the Council that any rezoning discussion was focused on land use and not on site plan or cost. It was time to move forward.
Member DeRoche said he was very vehemently opposed to the tax abatement policy and did not think it was worded well and the basis of it was off. He also opposed the MEGA Board requiring Novi to grant tax abatement because of their interpretation of a law that required Novi to give tax abatement as opposed to other local consideration. He felt it should be put in place regionally for governing bodies to lower taxes for all of the people who pay taxes in the area. While he maintained his general opposition to tax abatement, specifically those pushed by the MEGA Law of 1995 in this State, he did not think Council should shrink from considering this proposal. He found it difficult to find a down side to this project and felt this one made Novi a net winner. He would support this project but encouraged Council to join with him in the opposition he had with tax abatement in general.
Mayor Clark asked if Mr. Bowmanís project paid at a different rate than a homeowner? Mr. Lemmon said for the Cityís millage rate it didnít matter whether it was homestead or non-homestead because every property paid 10.54 mils. Mayor Clark asked what the homestead exemption provided the homeowner? Mr. Lemmon said the State, in passing Proposal A, reduced millage for school purposes throughout the State down to 24 mils and every property was supposed to pay that. However, homeowners could get a reduction on their principle residence down to 6 mils. They are abated 18 mils on their principle residence. Commercial, Industrial properties, second homes, etc. all paid the 24 mils. Mayor Clark asked if the 18 mils benefited all homeowners of a principle residence? Mr. Lemmon said absolutely and tax abatement to homeowners would go on for as long as it was their principle residence.
Mayor Clark commented we have vacant land that might not be demanding city services but it was not generating much to pay the City bills either. The question was who paid the bills? Do we spread the risk or do we put it on the shoulders of the homeowners in this community? We are attempting to be fiscally prudent and responsible in terms of our obligations to this community as a whole.
Mayor Clark referred to the article in the Oakland Press and said nothing could be further from the truth. Everything is done at this Council table, on cable in the glaring light of publicity for all to see and participate in. He asked that the press be fair, impartial and correct. He did not know when business suddenly became our enemy because without them we would not have the quality of life we enjoy today. Mayor Clark would support the motion.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-003 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Standards for secondary emergency access, paved driveway, bike path, and
Carl Creighton, Attorney with Brasheer, Tangora, Gallagher, Creighton and Amin was present with Brian Devlin of Ludwig and Associates. They were before Council seeking a variance from the Design and Construction Standards regarding a secondary emergency access to this site and a certain delay in the installation of the ultimate paved driveway, bike path and greenbelt plantings required by the code. They were not requesting a waiver but a delay until the ultimate relocation of 12 Mile Road was substantiated. Mr. Creighton noted they were withdrawing one request which was the waiver from the construction design standards requiring a 36 foot driveway and a waiver of curbs and gutters. In discussions between the consultants they found that request was not necessary because the Design and Construction Standards did allow them to begin at a 36 foot wide and to ultimately taper over time and they could live with that. They were asking only to waive the strict requirement of a secondary emergency access. The parcel is 240 feet wide by 1,800 feet deep and it was not physically possible, given the existing improvements on the property, to provide a second driveway. The landowner to the east owns approximately a 20 acre parcel that is both Industrial I and 2 and is currently a golf driving range but would ultimately be designed into a higher and better use. The owner was not interested in burdening his parcel with an easement to provide emergency access so they do not have the possibility of coming up with a secondary access. The Fire Chief didnít feel it would ever be necessary given their current use for that secondary access. They were asking for a common sense waiver of the requirement of the immediate installation of the permanent paved driveway, bike path and greenbelt planting requirements. They would post a bond to be sure those things were done once the 12 Mile Road relocation was determined and they could determine where the curb cuts should be and where the improvements should lie.
Member Csordas commented that Items 3, 4 and 5 were reasonable requests and that they would completely comply with City policy after the construction of 12 Mile Road. Mr. Creighton said that was correct and they were working with consultants to assure that their site plan met all of the requirements.
Member Csordas asked if he had stated publicly that he had been unable to secure an easement through neighboring property? Mr. Creighton said he had in his opening statement.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if this anticipated use was a permitted use in this underlying zone? Mr. Fisher commented he reviewed this with Mr. Arroyo who indicated that the proposed property was a split zoning and part of it was zoned Industrial and would permit the use.
Member Bononi asked if what was proposed to be done was substantially different from Section 2001 (5) (D) or 2001 (10)?
Mr. Arroyo said the property had split zoning. The front has I-1 zoning and the rear part where the structures are and the concrete crushing operation took place was I-2 zoning. The uses Member Bononi indicated would clearly fall under the I-2 General Industrial District as a principle permitted use.
Member Bononi disagreed because it was not what the Zoning Ordinance said. It said the "manufacturing of cement" not recycling of cement. It said "ready mix or transit mix concrete" and not recycling of concrete. She had a problem with this because there are considerations of a lot of dust that becomes airborne in these operations if not regulated appropriately. There are water table contamination considerations and noise level concerns. She asked if these concerns had been met?
Mr. Arroyo said they provided a preliminary site plan that had been reviewed and the final site plan had not been approved yet for this project. They are aware they had to meet and adhere to all of the performance standards for the industrial uses within the Zoning Ordinance. She asked if there were any MDEQ permits either applied for or granted for this site? Mr. Creighton said the permits to operate from the MDEQ had been applied for and obtained. The activity would be strictly regulated with respect to dust control and noise and it was a sprinklered operation and all of those concerns have been taken care of. He said they currently operate in Novi on Meadowbrook Road between Eleven Mile and Grand River and have for many years. This would be a transition to leave an inappropriately zoned area, that they were grandfathered in, but they found the best possible location they could so they could stay in Novi. Member Bononi commented it was imperative that the language in the ordinance be corrected immediately to address other applications. She did not believe it was a permitted use and would not support the request.
Member Kramer asked if the building use changed in the future would there be a tie back to a review of the site plan in case some other use might require a secondary access? Mr. Arroyo said yes, if there was a change of use and improvements were necessary it would go through the review process and the Fire Department would comment on that and they might not have the same recommendation for a different use.
Member Kramer asked if it was proper to tie the necessity of secondary access to the site use and operation. Mr. Arroyo said yes, and suggested it might be appropriate if they grant the waivers that it be conditioned upon it being attached to this use and not any other use. Member Kramer requested this be attached to the motion when made. He asked if it was unusual that a land use was not foreseen and written in an ordinance? Mr. Arroyo said it could be looked at as similar to other uses permitted in the district or, in this instance, the other option the City had was to go under Paragraph 11 in the I-2 principle permitted uses which is the catch all. It read "any other use which shall be determined by City Council upon recommendation from the Planning Commission after a public hearing is to be of the same general character and the Council may impose required conditions." Member Kramer asked if this proposed use, in his opinion, was closely associated with the ordinance and provisions? Mr. Arroyo said the I-2 District would be the only district where this would be an appropriate location and he thought it was consistent with the impacts found with other I-2 users.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said Council had not received any recommendation and had not reviewed this use and asked why it had not come to Council? Mr. Arroyo said in this instance it depended upon interpretation. He thought when looking at this in review by the staff and Planning Commission they felt it was generally consistent with other uses provided for and could be permitted as similar to other uses in the district. She did not feel the Planning Commission had that sort of discretion and expected Mr. Arroyo and Mr. Fisher to make those recommendations. She shared Member Bononiís concern and was disappointed Council didnít have the opportunity to consider or act on this. However, the land use issue was not before Council this evening and she would support the request but objected to the way this was handled.
CM-01-01-004 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the variance from Design and Construction Standards
for secondary emergency access, paved driveway, bike path and green belt plantings until such time that 12 Mile Road is completed,
subject to all of the consultants recommendations and with the condition that any future land use change would be re-examined with regard to secondary emergency access and subject to final site plans being approved and all applicable performance standards being fully met and all applicable other regulations and permits being secured. Also, a bond would be posted.
Member Bononi took exception that catchall ordinance language was responsible for Planning. There is a long held planning and case tradition that uses that are called are permitted and uses that are not called are not permitted.
Mr. Fisher recommended the addition of the posting of a bond as part of the motion. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, maker of the motion and Member DeRoche, second to the motion, agreed.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Creighton if the bond would be a problem? Mr. Creighton responded the bond requirement was part of their request for waiver so there was no objection. It was their understanding that it was to be cash in the nature of a performance type bond so that the improvements would ultimately be made. It was not cash in the sense they would determine the cost and put the cash on deposit.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-004 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
Timothy Stoepker was present to represent the Ford Motor Land Services Corp. He advised they were seeking a variance from the Mining Permit Ordinance under Section 29-65.
The subject property has received a preliminary site plan and special land use approval from the Planning Commission for the development of the Jaguar of Novi Store. Numerous soil borings were performed and it was determined that the area contained significant amounts of landfill material. In the 1940ís the site had been used for a gravel mine and approximately until 1952 the site was used as a municipal landfill and deposited with unstable materials not suitable for construction. There was no way to construct a building on the site in a stable condition without removal of the soils. A letter had been submitted from NTH and signed by Mr. Johnson indicating there were two scenarios for development of the site. One was the proposal before Council, which was the removal of materials without the use of pilings or deep pile foundation and the other, was the removal of a similar amount of materials with a deep pile foundation. The engineers are of the opinion that the only suitable method was the one he was presenting. Mr. Stoepker noted Malco Environmental Construction Company had been selected for the development of the site.
Mr. Stoepker addressed questions and points of Mr. Schlickís memo. Mr. Stoepker said regarding the use of Buckeye Utility within the area, NTH had met with Buckeye and the construction procedures were addressed and they approved of their method for the site. He said their excavation did meet with their procedures.
Mr. Schlick questioned the significantly buffered water meter pit located in the area. Mr. Stoepker said the area would be buffered and the soils would remain adjacent to the water meter pit and there would be no excavation in the immediate site.
Mr. Schlick questioned the soil borings and water table and Mr. Stoepker said 28 borings were performed on site and only one showed a slight amount of water. They were now within the water table aquifer based upon the borings.
Mr. Johnson, NTH Consultants, advised Council that the borings were taken for environmental purposes for the standard Phase I/Phase II baseline environmental assessment that involved the property owners. They were also taken to determine the bottom of the solid waste material.
Mr. Stoepker stated standard earth moving equipment would be used relative to normal excavation. No oversized mining equipment would be utilized in the operation. The back filling would be done with a step by step method, which would be remove and replace, remove and replace, etc. As the bad material was removed it would be replaced with the granular fill which would then be compacted for construction purposes. The slope of excavation would be one on one and because of the weather conditions, a granular material was selected because it was more compactable during this time of year.
Mr. Stoepker said a Soil Erosion Permit was applied for on December 13, 2000.
Mr. Stoepker noted the central question was whether there was a hardship or circumstance which merited the granting of the variance. He said the intent was not to mine the intent was to build a building and mining was not permitted within the zoning district and the only way to build on the site was to remove the landfill soils and replace them with granular material that would allow for construction. Essentially, without this, there would be no construction on this site whether it was this use or any other use permitted within the zoning classification.
The second section of consideration was whether the variance was necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of the substantial property right of the applicant. Mr. Stoepker said without the granting of the variance construction would be essentially limited to a small portion of the north side of the property and the substantial portion of the property to be developed on 10 Mile and remaining portion of Haggerty could not be constructed.
The third element of the variance was whether the granting of the variance would be detrimental to the public welfare, health and safety or injurious to other property. He said this would not be mass excavation but excavation in incremental steps and replacement with granular material. The attempt in developing the excavation plan was to buffer from any utilities and to discuss specific issues, which they were asked to do with the Buckeye Company. They had adjusted and adapted the equipment to meet the standard excavation concept. The benefits were that the land would be cleaned up and they would be able to construct a building that had been approved by the Planning Commission.
Mr. Stoepker answered the question of whether the variance would further the purposes of the Article. He said the intent of the zoning ordinance was to prohibit mining in most general areas of the community. Obviously, the intent of providing for variance is to identify those exceptions and this is one of those exceptions and does meet the intent. It would allow for construction on the site where significant soils are bad. The expense would be tremendous to remove these soils and replace them with proper soils. They would do it because without this procedure there would be no construction on this site.
Mr. Stoepker believed they had met the criteria for the granting of a variance and asked that Council do so. They spelled out in the application the time period involved and stated they would like to commence immediately.
Member Bononi asked that the landfill waste content be described. Mr. Johnson said it was municipal solid waste that was deposited prior to 1952. They had not opened it up but had met with the disposal company, Woodland Meadows. If in the process of excavation they encountered anything that had volatiles in it or tire type materials it would be isolated, set aside, tested and if necessary disposed of at EQ and Hazardous Waste Site.
Member Bononi asked how long they had been aware of this situation? Mr. Stoepker thought they were aware of it when the site was acquired because it was so identified. The extent of that was not known until the borings were done. Mr. Johnson said borings were done in March and October. Member Bononi asked if that was prior to receiving approval from the Planning Commission? Mr. Stoepker said that was correct. Member Bononi asked why this was not brought forward then? Mr. Stoepker said because they did not have jurisdiction over this issue. Member Bononi asked if the site was designated a contaminated site by the Oakland County solid waste people, the Oakland County Department of Health or the MDEQ? Mr. Stoepker said not that they were aware of. Member Bononi asked what kind of permitting they would need to remove this material being they did not know what it was? Mr. Stoepker said the permitting was first a permit from Council and to the extent that there are any materials found on the site that are governmentally controlled they would be tested and disposed of in an appropriately licensed environmental facility with appropriately permitted contractors.
Member Bononi asked how many single axle tandem truckloads would be coming through the Haggerty Site to remove 32,000 cubic yards? Mr. Johnson said for standard gravel trains it would be twelve trucks a day making five round trips which would be 60 a day, five days a week for six to eight weeks.
Member Bononi felt there was not a lot of information on the application. She requested more information under D regarding the type of soils to be brought in. She was also concerned about the degree of wetness because it was a construction limitation and would also be looking for more detail under E regarding the manner in which it is the proposed to fill or mine the soil and the equipment they proposed to use. She was looking for the scope of services in the manner in which they would be bringing that about and felt it was required by the application. She requested that under G they inform Council what their experience in that regard is and specifically in removing solid waste. She also pointed out that H had to be completed, as the permit required. Member Bononi asked for a definite answer on I regarding whether a permit for mining or filling purposes had been revoked. Mr. Stoepker said there had been no mining at this site. She asked if they owned the property? Mr. Stoepker said they did.
Member Bononi asked Mr. Fisher if a Soils/Mining Permit was appropriate for this particular application? Mr. Fisher could not answer the question and would have to study it.
Member Bononi asked that action on this item be postponed until more complete information on the materials were brought forward including the results of the borings and a report.
CM-01-01-005 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION DEFEATED:
To postpone action until more complete information on the materials
brought forward could be obtained including a report on and results of
Mr. Stoepker asked Mr. Johnson to describe how the materials would be removed from the site.
Mr. Johnson responded this was not a clean up and there would be some solid waste material left in place. The intent was to excavate down to native soil immediately under the building and then taper back at one on one. They would also excavate under the utility trenches and remove all the trash in the very shallow western portion. The contract they put out and under which Malco was selected was a 4-inch thick document, which contained all the boring, logs and test results and could be provided to Council if they wanted to see it. It was not attached to the application because of its bulk. The contractor had already met with the Buckeye people and the Buckeye pipelines are almost 50 years old and between 7 and 11 feet below ground and the proposed limits of excavation stayed outside of the Buckeye easement completely. Buckeye would have their representative on site during the excavation and it would be done in small incremental areas. They would not open up the entire area. They would start at the west side and work counter clockwise around the site and backfill with MDOT Class 2, which was a granular material of sand and gravel from a quarry of totally clean material. They selected it because at this time of year it was difficult to compact clay.
Member Bononi asked that all these materials be brought forward and thought the engineers, consultants and legal counsel should have them. She asked about the impact to the land and what the plan was for controlling dust, vapors and storm water run off and its impact on receding waters?
Mr. Johnson said the contractor had been required to cover any exposed waste everyday at the end of the operation to control odors. The Soil Erosion Control Permit applied for December 13th addressed surface water run off with the contractor and also addressed the possibility of the contractor encountering water that had come in contact with the waste. If that happened he would be required to remove it, store it, test it and if appropriate apply to the Detroit Sewer and Water Department for a discharge permit, if not appropriate they would haul it off site to a treatment plant.
Member Bononi commented there was a history of land use requirements to be brought forward and was concerned as to why that did not happen in this case at the point of rezoning.
Mr. Stoepker said this was the procedure that was reviewed with staff prior to filing the application. He said under the broad definition of soils within the ordinance soils meant topsoil, subsoil, gravel, rocks, stone, coal, earth or any other minerals of like nature which are approved by the City engineers and which are not regulated by Article 5. He said it was determined for them and it was why they filed under this procedure. The matter had been reviewed with both Birchler & Arroyo and Mr. Schlick and both engineering firms recommended approval of the application. Since the excavation exceeded the normal amount contemplated because of a condition they didnít create they were before Council.
Member Csordas stated he would not support the motion. He thought this was a huge win for the City and thanked the applicant and commented he appreciated their plan to excavate.
Member Kramer commented the information provided was skeletal but it had been backed up with discussion and an alternative motion would be approval subject to their providing the details requested. He asked what the haul route would be and what provisions they had to maintain the dirt on the roads and the dust?
Mr. Johnson said there would be a flagman at Haggerty Road and the contractor was proposing to install a gravel road inside and the exit to Haggerty Road was currently paved with asphalt and then the trucks would go south on 8 Mile to I-275 to Woodland Meadows Landfill. He said the contractor would have a street sweeper on site. This was in the contract with the contractor. Mr. Kramer would not support the motion to postpone.
Member Bononi did not understand how something could be approved when they didnít know if it was a permitted use.
Mayor Clark said while he shared the concerns of Member Bononi he agreed with the comments of Members Kramer and Csordas. This would be a benefit to the City to get 46,000 cubic yards of contaminated fill removed from the City. It made good sense and was an economic benefit to the City. If all of the indicated precautions were taken he saw it as a positive situation for the City of Novi. He would not support the motion to postpone.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-005 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
CM-01-01-006 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the request for a variance from the Mining Permit
Requirements of Novi Code, Section 29-65 as required by Ordinance or any other entity claiming authority over the project which would include the Oakland County Health Department and Solid Waste Management Department and MDEQ and subject to the applicant
providing the requested additional material found in the minutes
of the meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked that the requested information include confirmation from legal counsel that this was a permitted use and that it include confirmation from Mr. Schlick that all of his issues had been fully addressed. Member Kramer agreed.
Member Bononi requested that all applicable permits from Oakland County and the MDEQ be included and an impact statement with regard to the activity be provided. Member Kramer asked if an impact statement was an ordinance requirement? She said she was talking about the impact to the surrounding community during the period of the activity and she thought it was an ordinance requirement. Member Bononi said in the Storm Water Control section Council would find that erosion and sedimentation controls had to be in place and specific controls with regard to the removal of special materials had to be in place.
Members Kramer and Csordas agreed.
Mr. Fisher suggested Mr. Helwig receive the requested materials and delegate it to the appropriate departments.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-006 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas
Mr. Helwig noted at the December 18th Council meeting they had reported on a meeting held December 15th with representatives of the Oakland County Road Commission regarding winter maintenance services, snow plowing and deicing on county roads. Council authorized on December 18th to further pursue, experiment and try to bring back as much information as possible about our levels of service and what the financial ramifications would be for a one year experiment. The City would provide the services on Grand River Avenue, Novi Road and Ten Mile Road and receive the standard payment from the Oakland County Road Commission based on lane miles, which was determined to be $59,374.36. This would be for an entire winter and not a prorated share. He said Mr. Nowicki provided extensive information but this was something that we would learn as we go and better information would be available. Mr. Nowicki had indicated he would need an equipment operator, an additional mechanic and would need to acquire or lease an additional large vehicle. Mr. Helwig said the citizens must come first and he thought they had suffered under the present arrangement and felt it was time something was done. A lot would be learned this winter and staff would be more complete and comprehensive in the budget document looking at the entire picture of basic services year round. These costs would not be covered by this payment from the Road Commission but it was his suggestion that we start now to build up these dollars to enhance our capability to better serve and direct resources. He felt under the leadership of Mr. McCusker a higher standard would be seen in residential areas. If salt had been out on the major roads we would not have had to deploy as much personnel and equipment to deal with the major roads and it could have been deployed to enhance our neighborhood services. He noted Mr. Nowicki said this would equate to 450 hours of service maintenance and should be more than enough.
Member Kramer asked, under "Other Operational Changes, #3, what "formal contractual arrangement with private contractors" meant? Mr. Nowicki commented it would be an emergency supplemental role if unable to meet the goals of Council. Contractors, under contract, would immediately respond to Novi ahead of other communities or projects. Member Kramer asked if the needed equipment was available for lease? Mr. Nowicki stated they would have to order a piece of equipment for lease either from Michigan Cat or AIS and in the interim he suggested another road grader or loader with a 12 foot blade on the front.
Member Kramer asked if he had the capability to procure that resource for our use this winter? Mr. Nowicki said a large dump truck would not be available. It would have to be another form of construction equipment. Member Kramer asked if he could fairly assess a program this winter? Mr. Nowicki thought they could put together a program to evaluate what was received from the County and make a value judgement on what they could do to provide. Member Kramer said we now have one storage facility and one pile of salt. Mr. Nowicki confirmed this. Member Kramer asked if that was sufficient or was there access to additional salt and salt storage? Mr. Nowicki said they had supplemental suppliers of salt and Mr. McCusker provided another outlet through the Ford Motor Company if needed. We also have a State contract and take deliveries everyday and salt can be secured from R.R.R.A.S.O.C. as well.
Member Bononi commended Mr. Nowicki on the document and felt that it made a good case for this proposal. It was an honest look at what we do well and not so well. She asked how adding one piece of equipment, a mechanic and one person could improve the current level of service to residents? Mr. Nowicki said the piece of equipment has the capacity for salt nearly double what we have now, which meant the operator would be on the road for longer periods of time. It also has a larger blade and plow body, more power and it is able to push heavy snow. She wanted to know who did the best snow removal of a municipality the size of Novi in this area because they might have a lot of hints we could use and she thought the sharing of information was important. The 16-18 hours after a storm event as a bench mark was one that she did not want to expose and wanted it to be upgraded, especially with the new equipment.
CM-01-01-007 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the consideration of a one year maintenance agreement with the Road Commission of Oakland County for snow and ice removal operations on Novi Road, Ten Mile Road and Grand River Avenue.
Member DeRoche commended Mr. Nowicki on his work and this undertaking and also Mr. Helwig for tackling a longstanding problem.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo thought it was unfortunate that this was as good as it was going to get for this season. It would be an improvement and she would support the motion.
Mayor Clark noted he would support this as well and noted that in the last week he had received 3 or 4 phone calls at home commending Mr. Nowickiís efforts.
Mr. Fisher noted that on the contract, VIII, the effective date of the agreement was stated to be 2000 and should be 2001.
Mr. Helwig said the contract was meant to be retroactive to October 1, 2000 to receive the full allocation for this winter.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-007 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche
Richard Burgess, Corporate Officer of Tower Automotive and Richard Gaul, resident of Novi and employee of Tower Automotive were present representing the applicant. Also present were John Wazok, Global Technology Leader and John Linga, Finance Leader and their account representative from Ernest and Young to answer any question regarding tax issues.
Mr. Gaul explained that Tower Automotive did a variety of things that had to do with structural systems integration. They did frames and engine cradles, suspension modules and systems, body structures and assemblies, Class A surfaces and modules and a complete body and wipe. They have the largest array of structural products in the industry. In 1993 they were a $61 million company and in 1999 they were a $2.1 billion company and as of 2000 they were closer to $2.3 billion. Their business motto was to "Grow Through Acquisitions" and they had done 16 acquisitions and partnerships over the past 7 years and they are all over the globe.
Mr. Gaul stated they wanted to bring in a division of Tower Automotive called Tower Research into Novi. The three areas of Tower Research were advanced lightweight materials, advanced material joining and advanced simulation. There had been more pressure to make vehicles lighter, more fuel efficient and safer and this was one way it could be done. It was actually a space frame fabricated completely out of aluminum and a variety of different vehicles could be done off of a common frame. Robots would be used to do welding, cutting and forming. They could, with computers, simulate crashes and understand what happened with a crash without having to go out and do the prototype and use the data to make the design safer.
Mr. Gaul said the expansion would provide 75-125 technical jobs and average in salary between $50,000 and $115,000. The jobs would be high tech high wage jobs and the employees were engineers, scientists and members of the North American Leadership Team. The current operation in Novi has 383 full time employees and had an annual fully fringed payroll of $40 million and with the new employees would rise to about $50 million.
Mr. Gaul said the forecasted real and personal property tax obligation for the year 2000 was $190,000. If the project was brought into Novi it would be an additional $90,000 to make a total estimated real and personal property tax obligation of $285,000 for year one. These taxes would stay pretty stable because they would reinvest in equipment approximately every three years.
John Wazok was responsible for global technology and worked at the Novi facility. Tower had to communicate with all 36 of its facilities worldwide and as a high technology company they did have a wide area network. He explained their high-speed global communication set up with the T-1 connection and their backup disaster plan. The most important thing was the OST Corridor benefit. AT & T and the local service providers would not speculate on this infrastructure. They needed someone to want and use the infrastructure before they would invest. When Tower moved into its current Novi facility it took six months to get their first T-1 connection. That was the waiting time without infrastructure. Mr. Wazok said they were proposing that all future activities in the OST start with AT & T and make them aware that there would be more requirements for T-1 connections into the corridor and it would be a benefit to the new companies coming in. The backup plan also has additional T-1 capacity that could be available for new businesses.
Mr. Burgess thought what was important was their commitment to community. Their core values are something they live and are not just a statement on the wall. He said their 13,000 colleagues were deeply involved in community in each of their locations. Their corporate philosophy was that they made no contributions to political candidates or organizations. Every cent of Tower Automotive contributions were funneled to locations and each location determined how best to enrich the local communities. For example, in Milwaukee WI the manufacturing location was actively involved in school system sponsoring Junior Achievement in the local community. In Kentucky the Tower facility won two awards in 2000 from the community for being an outstanding community supporter for work in the local community. Colleagues were involved in the adult literacy program actually teaching people to read as well as making contributions to the local foundation. They also won Toyotaís Supplier Philanthropy Award last year for their work in the community as well. Last year they won an industry award as the top supplier for environmental responsibility, environmental leadership and practices.
Mr. Burgess said Towers commitment to the Novi community would be the establishment of a new Park Development Fund, which would benefit the residents of Novi and would be one way of living that value of enriching the community. They would be establishing co-op intern programs in conjunction with the local school system which was critically important to expose people to careers, technical training and on the job experience that could impact young people for the rest of their life. They would also donate workstations to the schools as computers became obsolete for their work, as it would still be outstanding equipment for teaching and practical experience. They would also seek membership and involvement in the local Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Burgess said their commitment would be retention guarantee, so Council could support the project with confidence. They would stay in the City with the support the City provided. The MEGA tax credits are site specific and would require them to stay in Novi to be eligible and the term of the tax credit was for 10 years. The Novi facility would also serve as the future growth of the Tower Automotive Leadership Center, which would be the focus for their U.S., Canada and North America operations. They are committed to being a good corporate citizen and Novi would see a positive impact from Tower Automotive in this community.
Member DeRoche said the MEGA Board was whom they had to apply to for the tax abatement, and it was the lion share of the taxes that were being abated and most of it was on the State level. Mr. Gaul agreed. Member DeRoche asked if they were aware of the specific actions Council was considering tonight? Mr. Gaul said yes and representative Larry Gormanzano was present from the MEDC tonight. This was voted on and approved by the MEGA Board already. They gave them a 60 day period to finalize their local support.
Member DeRoche asked Mr. Gormanzano what the MEGA Board voted on? Mr. Gormanzano said they voted to approve the $5.6 million credit. Tower had made a number of investments around the State and the MEGA Board wanted to move forward with it. Member DeRoche asked if they had done this kind of approval before? Mr. Gormanzano said they had recently with some of the high tech ones where it was mostly personal property types of issues. Rather than delaying things because of the holidays, they just moved ahead and reversed the sequence. They were aware of the telecommunications investment as opposed to tax abatement. There was no requirement it had to be tax abatement but it did have to be local participation. The law required local participation. Generally tax abatement had been easier and in many cases cheaper for cities than other types of things because its foregone revenue for out front cash outlays. Member DeRoche asked what was the least expensive local participation he had seen? Mr. Gormanzano said where it was personal property it had been tax abatement. Livonia had a similar type of project and it ended up costing them about $26,000 a year for three years because it was all personal property and there was no building expansion.
Member DeRoche asked if Tower would consider moving their operations to other cities or other states if Council approved this. Mr. Gaul said they would not if this was a favorable resolution.
Member DeRoche agreed with the argument being made by the applicant that a T-1 hub being dragged to this location would be of benefit to Novi. He understood the reality of the T-1 and the benefit it would have to our entire effort. He felt there was a good argument for telecommunications being looked at in light of infrastructure. This applicant is asking for a series of trade offs and we hold the key to them getting access to a much larger piece of the pie than what Council is considering tonight. We are being asked for a $64,000 contribution over three years at the same time the MEGA Board was fully aware of their offer to donate $50,000 to our Park Fund giving the city a net difference of $14,320 over three years. Regardless of what this was called it was a positive net gain and Council needed to take it very seriously.
CM-01-01-008 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the letter of intent.
Member Kramer thought the project was a plus for the State, County, neighboring communities and most importantly for Novi. He thought Tower would be a good corporate citizen.
Member Bononiís comments were not directed as much to Tower Automotive as to the system to which they are working and her objection to being held hostage to that system. She was referring to the $5.3 million being leveraged without taxpayer consent and all of this money literally coming from them. Also, how the local support was determined from a development authority of un-elected people who did not have to tell Council what their criteria was for determining what enough was. She felt it was not a sound way to do business to pit cities against each other and to pit councilpersons against each other and she was concerned whether or not the whole thing was constitutional. She thought it might be time, with a few no votes, to send a message to Lansing about their either concrete or arbitrary decisions of these non-elected persons to decide our local fate. Every time we make these decisions we are gambling with our future.
Member Bononi thought this particular applicant had made a very good faith effort to give something back to the community. However, with regard to another self inflicted or self imposed MEGA rule we canít even ask for an equal amount. If Tower Automotive were offering a matching contribution of $64,320 with regard to what they propose to do to offset the cost of the infrastructure she might be able to support the motion. Under this circumstance there was no way she would support this proposal.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo agreed with Member Bononi. She felt this was not only a tax abatement but also a tax exemption and felt it was un-equitable and did not want to set precedence of subsidizing lesseeís who did not own the building and provide only personal property tax to the City. She said the letter was incorrect because it said we were pledging and we canít make that pledge until May of 2001. Mr. Fisher said that was why he wanted to make sure that the Resolution was being adopted. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said then the pledge would not take effect until May assuming that at least five members of Council when approving the budget in May agreed to this. Mr. Fisher said everyone would have to understand that the City had not adopted its budget yet for the next three years and therefore initially it was a letter of intent in terms of what the City, in good faith, intended to do. She said when the budget was approved Council could decide to not move forward with this expenditure so it was not really a commitment at this time. Mr. Fisher said Council was making a good faith statement of intent. She said Council was not pledging anything. Mr. Fisher said they were pledging to the extent they could, which meant that as each yearís budget came up they had to approve the budget. She asked if Council decided not to approve this expenditure in May would we have legal problems? Mr. Fisher did not think so. She understood a pledge to be an obligation and asked if they were committing to an obligation? Mr. Fisher said if the Resolution was sent together with a statement as a package; the Resolution clarifies that it is subject to the regulations made and provided for the approval of the Cityís budget. She said the Resolution and the letter were not in sync. Mr. Fisher thought to the extent that the letter was a statement of intent it was fine.
Members Kramer asked how many votes were needed to pass this? Mr. Fisher said four.
Mayor Clark said it was not tax abatement; it was an investment in our own future. We finally come up with an OST District and have a company that is here and a major employer that wants to bring another 100 high tech/high skill jobs to the community. We are making an investment of $21,000 a year for three years and that is it. The agreement provided financial guarantees so if they leave we are protected. Towerís current real and personal property taxes for the year 2000 were estimated at $190,000 and the expansion was expected to bring in an additional $95,000 a year for personal property for a total property tax obligation of $285,000 per year. They are in a leased building but whether they are there or not the person that owns the building was still paying property taxes. Do we want to force another major high tech company to cross the corporate limits of this City and go to Farmington Hills or somewhere else? If we send out signals that business is not welcome it wonít be long before we will not be a community business aspires to come to. The biggest benefit was when that line was in. The very thing we were trying to encourage would be enhanced because business could tap into it. It would be an added benefit to the community in terms of high skilled jobs and taxes and an investment in our future. Mayor Clark would support the motion.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-008 Yeas: Clark, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
CM-01-01-009 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the alternative memorandum received by Council this evening.
Member Bononi asked what punch list items were, define what the items are that preclude these
streets from being detailed and what criteria had JCK used to determine that these streets were
sufficient for use to be included with this information. Also, she wanted the amount of the
proposal brought back to Council.
Dave Potter, JCK, said the amount recommended to be bonded was about $35,000 and was
based on a couple of major items. For Cabot Dr. they estimated there was about $10,000 worth
of items. There was a detailed punch list which he would provide copies of to the
Clerk for Councils review. There was also a general number estimated at about $25,000 for the
paving of the approach on Haggerty. That work had been done but because of the weather,
they could not determine the full extent of the construction so they were recommending that the
$25,000 also be bonded.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-009 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
Mr. Helwig said Chief Shaeffer had provided a background memo and he had provided a cover memo. Since they had not yet been successful in receiving one of the Cops in Schools Grants from the U.S. Department of Justice they had discussions with Dr. Lippe, Superintendent of Schools about the spirit of this partnership. He had conveyed the conceptual preference of splitting the cost 50/50 retroactive to the beginning of this school year. He reviewed this with the Board of Education and they concurred and Mr. Helwig told them he would take that concept, to City Council. Pending Councilís deliberation, he would formalize an agreement for Councils final consideration. Mr. Helwig commented they hoped to be successful receiving the grant in the future.
Mayor Clark said the Cops Program was going to receive substantial additional funding in the next fiscal year in the Federal Budget, which would enhance our chance of receiving the grant.
CM-01-01-010 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve funding the City portion of the High School Police
Liaison Officer and that the program be evaluated by the school
District and the Police Chief at the end of the year.
Member Kramer requested the program be assessed at the end of the year and would like to know the joint effectiveness of the program before funding the second year. He requested the school district and the Police Chief do the evaluation and added the request to the motion. Member Csordas concurred.
Member Csordas asked Chief Shaeffer what happened if the grant was not obtained and if the commitment from the Novi Community Schools did not continue past the first fiscal year?
Chief Shaeffer thought it would be appropriate for Council to consider it as well as the Novi Community Schools with the understanding that no grant had become available.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was disappointed that it was implemented without explicit approval of Council. She was concerned about crossing jurisdictional and funding boundaries. It was not a municipal financial responsibility or function to provide anything for the schools and she did not feel it was an equitable situation because all taxpayers are paying the $28,125 and not all of them would receive the benefit. She felt that because it was a school program the school district should pay the full cost during the time that the officer was assigned to the schools. She was also concerned that there was one less officer on patrol during school hours. She asked Chief Shaeffer why a patrol officer was assigned instead of a detective? Chief Shaeffer said the detective group was a lot smaller than the pool of patrol officers and typically patrol officers man school liaison programs. She was concerned with the requirements of Cops in Schools that the funding must be used to hire new additional school resource officers above and beyond the number of sworn officers that an agency would fund with State or local funds. Law enforcement agencies may not reduce their State or locally funded level of sworn officers and we have already done that so didnít we disqualify ourselves when this program was implemented? Chief Shaeffer could not give her an answer. However, he had talked with Ms. Smith-Roy, the City Attorney, Washington and others and he had made it clear that this was a temporary assignment and not an addition of a new person assigned as school liaison officer. Chief Shaeffer said the officer was still assigned to patrol and was on loan to a school liaison program.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said if this was approved the program was being fully funded. Chief Shaeffer said it would still be a temporary assignment and the only time he would have a definitive answer was when and if they announced the grant and could talk with that grants administrator. She said the officer went through training for school liaison and if the grant were received he would have to go back to patrol and a new hire would have to be trained and committed to this position. Chief Shaeffer said the officer would be assigned on a permanent basis to that position and a new hire would replace him in patrol. She did not think the City was in the position to be donating services to the schools.
Mr. Helwig stated he told Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo that the Chiefís judgement with his right of assignment this fall was that he felt this temporary assignment was in the best interest of the community. Mr. Helwig thought the City made a good faith application and did not hide behind the fact that it was not accepted. It was his understanding that it was not rejected but held in abeyance pending additional funds. He did not think their standing in line for funding under the program was being jeopardized.
Member Kramer said it was a program for the youth of our City and an investment in our community and its youth. The program would enhance the school life community but its purpose was to enrich and help youth solve problems. He would support shared funding.
Member Bononi thought it was a problem of dedicating our interest to our children in the schools and seems to be a real problem with regard to internal structure. We do not have a grant expert who constantly surfed all the opportunities for our fair share. There are zillions of grants out there. There are grants that could bus students from different schools to a school to receive certain benefits and she was really interested in this. She wanted to see Council do a couple of things in this interim year if Council approved this. Member Bononi would look to echo Member Kramerís question with regard to an audit as to the benefit and efficacy of this program. Secondly, to investigate her question that civil rights to receive educational benefits should be equal to all and under this circumstance she did not think it was. Not having a person to get us our fair share and look at more then one source of funding was a problem. She would support this for one year only.
Member Csordas commented he would support this and saw no challenge in moving forward with this program especially for the safety of the children but wanted to know the effect of the program prior to funding the second year.
Mayor Clark felt it was a matter of health, safety and welfare and our responsibility did not end when we put them on the school bus and he did not want any Littletonís on their watch. Of all the things money was spent on in this community he could not think of anything where money could be spent more wisely than on our children. He appreciated Councilís concern about how effective this program was but the children are the future and the legacy we leave and they must be protected.
Roll call vote on CM-01-01-010 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Council members voted for the candidate of their choice to fill the Council vacancy.
Clerk Cornelius tallied the vote and announced it was a unanimous vote for Victor Cassis.
Mayor Clark asked that a formal letter with the results be sent to Mr. Cassis. Also, it should request that he attend the Council meeting of January 22nd and asked the Clerk to provide him with a packet. The first order of business that evening would be his swearing in. He requested that a formal invitation be sent to the members of the bench of the 52nd District Court to invite them to the swearing in.
Member DeRoche asked if it made sense to invite him in an ex officio capacity? Donít we have Council interviews before that meeting so, as a courtesy, he could hear them before the meeting? Mayor Clark agreed and said that could be indicated in the letter.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said a letter should be sent to all the other applicants thanking them for their interest.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo pulled the item for Fried, Watson and Bugbee as she felt they had started charging the City increased rates from October 16th through the present. She had spoken with Mr. Fisher who had suggested that Council could direct administration and legal counsel to attempt to renegotiate a more reasonable rate. She asked Mr. Fisher how to approach this and if Council should reduce it by 7.7 hours in this submittal? Mr. Fisher felt it should be confirmed that no understanding had been arranged. Mr. Helwig stated it had come as a surprise to them. Mr. Fisher said it would be appropriate to approve the amount less the increase and then discuss with them the fair amount. Certainly, at the end of their watch it might have been appropriate to increase their amount to some extent and he thought it could be the subject of a cordial discussion.
CM-01-01-011 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Warrant No. 588 less the hours of increase for Fried, Watson and Bugbee and direct the administration and legal counsel to
undertake discussion to renegotiate a more reasonable rate.
Member Kramer said the letter did offer an explanation and he felt it was reasonable. We paid them a combination of retainer and reduced hourly fee. Whether their increase to the level they request is a reasonable offset to them not having a retainer for the time they put in should be subject to that discussion.
Vote on CM-01-01-011 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Discussion of Joint Meeting with Farmington Hills Re: Youth Council, 4 Lane
Boulevards, E-Agendas, MEGA grants.
Member Kramer would give Council a copy of his write up to Mr. Helwig. He talked with a councilperson from Farmington Hills at National League of Cities and they have some interesting programs that he felt Council would benefit a lot by learning about them. They have an active youth council and they are sent to the National League of Cities conference each year.
Farmington Hills was going to implement traffic circles along 14 Mile Road and Member Kramer wanted to know how and why Farmington Hills had accepted the design, what their philosophy was, etc. He thought Council would benefit from that and it might help as they consider target applications in our City. They would also put in a narrow four lane boulevard and this might be a preferred design where we need a higher capacity road in a residential neighborhood. They have Council E-Agendas and we could have discussion with their Council about how it works out and the benefits of it. There are other inter-city subjects and he proposed Mr. Helwig should talk with their City Manager and put up a proposed agenda and have a profitable, focused, learning discussion.
There was consensus of Council to have Mr. Helwig speak with the Farmington Hills City Manager. Mr. Helwig commented he did have a lunch coming up with Steve Brock in the next couple of weeks.
2. General Storm Water Permit Fertilizer Application
Member Kramer said in December there was correspondence from JCK regarding General Storm Water Permit Fertilizer Ordinance. There was a prototypical ordinance that dealt with ways to regulate and put into ordinance form control of phosphorus levels in fertilizers used in watersheds. Member Kramer requested sending this to Ordinance Review to see if an ordinance could be put together for Novi. Mayor Clark thought this was an excellent idea.
3. Neighborhood Services Newsletter
Mayor Clark commented this was an outstanding idea and publication, which would allow the City to communicate with the various homeowners associations and vice versa. It could also generate other possibilities such as the city helping some of the homeowners associations set up a web site so they could get information. Member Kramer said this would be from and through our neighborhood coordinator, Cindy Uglow, and would be another avenue of communication with the community.
4. Consultant Review Committee Rotation
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said in discussion with Mr. Helwig today they concluded it was time to rev up this committee again for this year. Members were on a rotational basis for a two year term and Member DeRocheís term was about up. Member DeRoche commented it was a three year term but there were three members up for election at the same time and two of them were not elected so there was a turn over of 2 people this time. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said Member Bononi had agreed to fill in for Member DeRoche this budget year. Mayor Clark requested the Clerk give Council the list of committee assignments at the next meeting and Council could reassign them at the next meeting as an action item.
5. City of Novi MEDA Proposals
Member Bononi thought this might be a fine time to investigate a more formalized internal process by which Council entertained abatement and retention requests. She had concerns about language in some of the documents that Council had that referred to "administration determined". She meant no disrespect but at the point that the requests come into this house there was no more logical place for them to go than the administration. However, she was concerned about getting a procedure going that this was a judgement call that required communication to both bodies. It needed to include a lot more communication than we have received up until now. She suggested requiring a cost benefit analysis and also tonight we were told that Livonia was able to proceed with one of these requests with three checks for $26,000 contributions so what predicates that? She felt it was time to get a more polished process. Member Bononi wanted consensus to direct this to Mr. Helwig and Mr. Pearson to look into a process where there would be a certain number of criteria to look for at the point that someone comes in and asks for this. There was consensus.
6. Michigan Political Leadership Program
Member DeRoche said this was an annual event coming up on February 22 at Laural Park in Livonia, which was a very large and amazing event with over 800 people attending. Governors, Senators and about half of the legislature attend. The speakers this year are Bill Bradley, who was a presidential candidate, Jack Kemp, Vice Presidential nominee a couple years ago. Member DeRoche sat on the board of this program, which was through Michigan State University, and 24 fellowships were granted per year and 24 weekends for people to learn leadership and policy. He asked for Councilís support and advised tickets were $100.00 each and he would be happy to coordinate Council Members or people in the community.
Debbie Bundoff, 12 Mile Road, asked if there was a timetable for the roads to be completed, as all three are major roads? Mr. Helwig said the Oakland County Road Commission would let the contracts but we would have some input and would try to get that information out to everyone as soon as they know and would try to avoid conflict points as much as possible. She asked if there was a timetable for the non-gap part of 12 Mile Rd.? Mr. Helwig said we are managing that project and it was scheduled for completion by the fall of 2001. The intersection work often times could proceed with fewer problems than the 12 Mile Road widening where there are land reductions and it could often proceed off to the side. She asked if there would be work on the overpass itself? Mr. Helwig said that was discussed and the contract was to be let by the road commission in April.
COMMUNICATIONS - None
CM-01-01-012 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adjourn the meeting at 12:30 AM and enter into executive session.
Vote on CM-01-01-012 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ____________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: January 22, 2001