View Agenda for this meeting


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2001 AT 7:00 PM


Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:06 PM.


ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,


Andrew Mutch, stated he was astounded that the City wasnít going to budget any funds for sidewalks and bike paths. He did research to see where the City stood with regard to other communityís expenditures, such as Portage, Midland, and Walker. Portage plans on $500,000 on bike paths, Midland is spending $250,000 and Walker is spending over $20,000 on bike paths and sidewalks. Felt there should be funds dedicated to these bike paths. Reminded Council there was a gap at Taft near Royal Crown subdivision.

City Manager Helwig referred to appendix D in the budget. Nine Mile pathway is $202,000, Old Novi Road pathway had $165,500 dedicated in this budget, S. Lake Dr., $1.2 million and would include some type of pathway and East Lake Dr will have bike path. The Taft Road bike path has already disintegrated between 9 and 10 mile and will be repaired. Mayor Clark noted itís $1,862,000 total for these improvements. To set the record straight, Portage is suburb of Kalamazoo and Walker isnít Novi and Midland has a corporate citizen Dow Chemical and many things that have been completed received financial means and volunteers from Dow Chemical.


Continuation of 2001-2002 budget discussion

Member DeRoche noted while being supportive of all public safety, he felt persuaded to be cautious prior to embracing a public solution with regard to emergency medical services. Wanted to be clear that while we were not yet ready to provide advanced life support services, these services can still be provided at the point where we are now with a contract. Felt that was the worthwhile endeavor for the City to take as step one. Eventually Novi will get into the full program of providing advanced life support but the expectation of doing that all at this time was not feasible. A very large portion of city funds was already allocated. He supports the Fire Chief in building his department, getting quality equipment, growing the staff and increasing pay for paid on-call, etc.


Member Bononi reiterated from the original goal of fiscal responsibility and top-notch service she thought the Task Force was loyal and targeted to the goal. She was interested to hear the same concerns from Council regarding assessment of what we have now and how to improve our service. No one on the Task Force or Council was swayed into thinking that simply because there was an amount of $650,000 we would spend it. They looked for fiscal parameters that forced them to be creative. A presumption that a fire department would be in charge of total ALS (Advanced Life Support) could be a choice. Even those communities that choose public safety have made a choice about ALS. Itís important to find a fit that is right for Novi and that responsibility is seen as being vested in the fire department. How we get there is the most important question. She and other members of the task force felt we could do this for the amount already budgeted. Funds could always be appropriated if necessary..

Member Cassis asked Chief Shaeffer about the items recommended by City Manager Helwig. Mr. Helwig noted his recommendations for approval were on page 66 of the blue budget book with a check next to them. Member Cassis felt these items were very necessary and supported this departmentís budget.

Member Kramer asked for update about defibrillators for Police vehicles. Chief Shaeffer said the American Heart Association had not made a decision yet. Member Kramer noted if the grant were obtained, funds would be returned. Also Member Kramer asked about the position of the Administrative Police Sergeant that was not recommended in the budget but in the interest of public safety asked for Chiefís comments. Chief Shaeffer responded that this position was a non-sworn position that had been transferred to a budget person who handles grants, etc. Without this position, they can manage the department, but desired to have this position put back into the budget to lift the burden of the work from the shoulders of his administrative staff and himself.

Member Csordas had distributed a sheet outlining the funds for public safety. Felt the $97,000 for a sergeant would be better spent for an officer on the street. Since we respond to 5 EMS runs per day vs. 1 fire per week, felt this was becoming an EMS department. Suggested taking 9 people on staff and training them for ALS and then implement with existing employees an ALS program which is where we are at now in reality because our firefighters are spending a great deal of time on EMS runs. Mentioned driveway re-paving and didnít view it as high a priority as other needs. The two new fire fighters and infrared heating, new uniforms, upgrade turnout gear and defibrillators made a lot of sense. The UPS, Uninterruptable Power Source, would be for both Police and Fire and served a benefit to both.

Member DeRoche agreed with Member Csordasí recommendations. There was a definite need for law enforcement and he was concerned over loss of Police Sergeant. Acknowledged to the Manager that Department Heads were responsible for grants. The Police Department might need some type of clerical support for assistance with grants. Felt that the Chief might need additional leeway of $50 - $75,000 for the Fire Department to upgrade training for ALS. Asked for consensus in adding that line item.

Mr. Helwig referred to the budget follow-up for public safety items. Mayor Clark stated if the $97,000 for an administrative Sergeant was removed and #4 were removed for $238,000 that would change the amounts.

Member Bononi spoke regarding the ability to negotiate zero additional cost for a dedicated vehicle if it could be done and still have the performance standards contractually we want with regard to response time. It would be a big ticket item they didnít have to consider. The minimum amount from what she heard in Task Force meetings was $249,000. Also the concept of the investigation of training existing staff in the ALS skills would depend on what it would cost. She would look for that decision to be included in this number once the Sergeantís position was removed. She found funds in the budget that could be used to augment any funding needed particularly in the drain fund.




Member Kramer requested that Chief Lenaghan return to Council with another request for additional personnel. Chief Lenaghan noted that if we pull 9 people from the 20 on staff there would only be 11 on staff for the entire city during the day shift. Everyone would have to respond to an incident and 60-65% are medical runs. Member Kramer asked the Chief to provide a list for each station, which are ALS trained, who does what and who could be deployed to work with the ambulance. Mr. Helwig suggested staff work on this and have another policy session on this. It would be nice to have reserves for training, Chief Lenaghan stated it would take up to $2,000 individually and could include overtime if training is mandatory. Member DeRoche stated the entire $60,700 could be used if necessary. Member Csordas asked if everyone was trained, would it meet the criteria of working toward certification? Chief Lenaghan said there is a bill in effect in Michigan that if you are working toward a full fledged ALS program, it could be started out with units in operation with one paramedic and one EMT. If within two years a program is up and running, that meets all the criteria. Member DeRoche did not want to be to specific with this because he had no idea what they would need because they need equipment, medications, etc. He wanted to put enough in the budget because they have to report to the administration before spending any money anyway. Member Cassis suggested waiting until the process was underway and leave the entire $60,700 for training. Now that this Council has wisely gone on record staying with a

mainly volunteer program, this has been the foundation of the community to utilize a volunteer commitment. He hoped the volunteers would be fostered, helped, and encouraged

Mayor Clark reviewed the items including a dedicated unit at no cost and contractual standards. Member Kramer asked about bids being lowered if the City contributes facilities Ė he would support this only if the City has a negotiation process. Member Cassis noted Troy does have a contract with EMS and asked if we could get these figures Finance Director Smith-Roy stated $60,700 would remain.

CM-01-04- Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:

To allocate $60,700 to a line item for the Fire Department

Training contingent on a proposal being presented by the


CM-01-04-092 Moved by Cassis, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve:

Paid on call/part-time firefighter hourly rate adjustments

Private ambulance dedicated to Novi ($100,000-220,000)

Add two full-time firefighter positions ($53,000 each annually)

Replacing station generators at Stations 2 and 3

Vehicle extraction equipment

Heating system replacement in apparatus bay area Ė Station 1

Automated external defibrillators (AEDís) Ė one for every police

Vehicle and two for the police building.

Communications power generator and uniterruptible power supply

(to service both Police and Fire operations equipment)

To not reinstate administrative police sergeant position and

To upgrade turnout gear.

To set aside $20,000 out of the $60,700 remaining for ALS Training

for nine members of the Fire Department.


Vote on CM-01-04-092 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo

Mayor Clark reviewed the section regarding roads of the white budget book page 173, appendix D2, showed the major breakdowns and various accounts involved such as major, local and municipal street fund, 1998 Street Bond Fund and the 2000 Road Bond.

CM-01-04-093 Moved by Kramer, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To accept the road package as presented.


Member DeRoche had asked for two years for a priority list for local street improvements. A major allocation wa being set aside for equipment to help make an objective decision but the board makes the decision as to whatís on that list Member Bononi agreed a plan of priorities was needed and asked when Council would receive it. Mr. Helwig responded the Pavement Management system would help them have a multi year plan for neighborhood street re-surfacing. Also the road bond must be implemented. We need a multi year dimension in all of our funds.

Member Kramer felt there were two priorities. One being what would be done with neighborhoods. The other is the priority within the road bond program. He noted Council supported getting the intersections done and within this budget the engineering would be done. Next year we should be prepared regarding the intersections and an up front construction plan. Mr. Helwig noted the intersection improvements include signal upgrades, which they hoped to get done this year. Member Kramer asked for a list to be returned to Council.

Member Cassis asked about improvements to Grand River between Wixom and Beck this summer because next year the Grand River Bridge would be completed. He asked what would the detour be? Mr. Helwig said the plan was to get through the holidays, demolish the bridge in January, and there would be no bridge until July 2002.

DPS Nowicki stated they hoped to have 12 Mile Road completed, then use it for the detour route and keep 10 Mile Road for residential use. The volume of traffic traveling south would use Beck Road. Mr. Helwig noted there are improvements to Taft and Beck Roads to be done this year and they would help the cause. Also noted Haggerty Road would be closed for repair from 12 Mile to Grand River for 135 days.

Member Csordas asked about page 173 in white book, which showed the $1,475 million taken out of fund 406? Mr. Helwig responded out of that balance of $1,573 million, the balance would be $98,000.

CM-01-04-093 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo

City Manager Helwig said this was the appropriate place to discuss the Judgement Trust Fund General Fund balance and on through some of the other emergency equipment not considered in Public Safety.





CM-01-04-094 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept the recommendation of the

Judgement Trust Fund. To amend that the insurance line item money, that are not direct premiums, be reallocated to the Judgement Trust Fund so this becomes a working fund and we are increasingly self insured.


Member Cassis wanted to put whatever could be squeezed out of the budget into the Judgement Trust Fund to build it up.

Member Kramer thought they should promote the rainy day fund as a combination of the General Fund balance and Judgment Trust Fund. Finance Director Smith-Roy stated it was a reserve fund and the rating agencies did consider the balance moved to be in addition to our General Fund.

Member Kramer asked for an accounting sheet that detailed last year and the present year of the Judgement Trust Fund, the last year/this year total of the General Fund balance, insurance and then the total of all.

Vote on CM-01-04-094 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


CM-01-04-095 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To increase the General Fund.

Vote on CM-01-04-095 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


CM-01-04-096 Moved by Csordas, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To purchase, from the Capital Improvement

Fund, one Tandem Truck with plow for $150,000.

Vote on CM-01-04-096 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo





CM-01-04-097 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To replace four (4) Public Safety vehicles for the Police Department for a total of $109,740 from the General Fund.

Vote on CM-01-04-097 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo

CM-01-04-098 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve one (1) Police Officer for Traffic Enforcement at $30,000 to be paid from the General Fund.


Member Kramer asked if this was an addition or a continuation from last year. Mr. Helwig said it was an additional police officer.

Vote on CM-01-04-098 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


CM-01-04-099 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve one (1) heavy equipment operator at $25,800 to be paid from the General Fund.


Member Bononi asked what the dedicated responsibility of the equipment operator would be? DPS Nowicki said during the winter months the operator would plow snow and during the summer assist the crack sealing crew, working on the road grader or to help with storm drain maintenance.

Vote on CM-01-04-099 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


CM-01-04-100 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve one Master Mechanic to be paid $60,000.

Vote on CM-01-04-100 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo



CM-01-04-101 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve one (1) Tornado Siren Duel Power Source, $18,000, to come from the Capital Improvement Fund and that the Administration come back with a study on the rest when the next budget session convenes.


Member Kramer requested on behalf of Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, that the administration approach the County and see if there was an arrangement to get battery backups for tornado sirens. Member DeRoche thought it would be appropriate for the Mayor to either entertain a motion to fund seven tornado sirens, because it was Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzoís intention, so this Council could vote on it or not. Then she would not have to do it when the full budget came back to her.

Vote CM-01-04-101 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


Mayor Clark said there were two items: Equipment upgrades to Cable cast meetings from the Capital Improvement Funds at $60,000 and Election Equipment at $5,525.

CM-01-04-102 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To approve $60,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for equipment upgrades to cable cast meetings and $5,525 for Election Equipment.


Member Bononi fully supported the election equipment. In reading the information regarding cable cast meetings she did not feel confident about the equipment they would be receiving for the $60,000. She was looking for a radical improvement in the service received for a $60,000 cash outlay.

Mr. Helwig said the recommendation was to go entirely to digital, which is state of the art and contingent on work Time/Warner must do to enable our digital to reach its fullest impact in transmitting. This $60,000 plus the $20,000 in this yearís budget for the switcher would take care of our end of that.

Mr. Klaver said we wanted to update the switcher, which is ours, and the modulator, which is Time/Warner. Next year the focus would be on the cameras and equipment used to drive that system and beyond that it would be all the miscellaneous equipment, decks etc. He wanted to allocate a small portion of this to bring in a consultant. S.W.O.C.C. was going to have a consultant look at their system as they set up a new studio and he would like that consultant to come and evaluate our equipment we have selected before sending out a bid package.

Mr. Helwig said the actual bids and awards would come back to Council for discussion.

Vote CM-01-04-102 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


Member Cassis noted one of the pillars of our foundation in this community has been the use of consultants such as attorneys, planners, bond attorneys, accountant, wetland and woodland, risk services and many others. Consultants have served us well but last year we went out for bids and replaced our attorneys. He noted there was a proposal to change our culture in this community in the area of engineering consultants to go in-house. He felt this was a radical step to take and it needed further airing, time, experience, and deliberation. Asked that we not forget that this was a service that was a pass-through from developers and builders.

Stated if more accountability was needed, we should demand better service. If that did not work, then we could go out for bids as we did for attorneys. Bringing more people on payroll means larger bureaucracy with all the benefits, more space, storage, staff support, and turnover and human resource management. If Council was insistent about bringing this in house, then let it be done gradually and prudently. He would like to job descriptions and their use to maximum efficiency. While speaking with Mayor Stine of Troy and Mayor Fracassi of Southfield, they preferred to have outside engineering. He asked that Council not sacrifice a sound economic record for change sake. Accountability he fully endorsed called for a phase in approach with annual evaluation and endorsement by Council.

Member DeRoche noted that while his interest was to hold accountability, he doesnít agree with everything in the proposal. It was the direction of City Manager Helwig but this Boardís discretion to give direction as to how much cultural change we want. He thought this was a very thoughtful well laid out objective proposal. He strongly felt there should be a staff engineer in the City. He is somewhat tentative with this proposal but definitely wants an engineer to begin working here at the City.

Member Bononi thought it was important to look at the numbers and the performance. In 1999-2000 JCK & Associates were paid $4,175,237, Linda Lemke and Associates was paid

$355,888 and Birchler & Arroyo were paid $352,176. This proposal would provide a City engineer and two civil engineering positions who would all be P.E.ís. One engineer would be thrifty for a City with the development pressures Novi has and two engineers would be the minimum to make this work. The Chief Engineer reporting to Mr. Nowicki would be paid $84,583 and it sounded like a couple of hundred engineers for $4 million plus. This was not radical. She was concerned with accountability and felt that the consultant review process had not done the kind of evaluation she would be looking for. She wanted to be sure Novi was getting the bang for the buck out of a $355,00 landscape architect. She felt they were overpaid and that the level of service had eroded over the years and could be from any number of things. Council was talking about a level of accountability in-house so when administration needed advice, they would have it. If you look at the numbers and then at the total number being proposed in order to put this proposal in place it made good business sense and was not a radical proposal. Regarding a registered landscape architect with experience, her office has been looking for one; now, the going rate is between $52,000 and $56,000. That was considerably less than $355,000. She had concerns about the number of persons that are being proposed for planning. For a City of this size, considering the people already on board, she would look for one fewer planning position. She could see experts would be used with regard to our master plan, traffic engineering, etc. Member Bononi would support this proposal to start somewhere with a program that can work.

Member Csordas stated he was a proponent of outsourcing but was not adverse to a shift in cultural change. He had reservations about bringing these functions in house. The cash flow models were very persuasive and made sense with the numbers and elimination of retainers. He would support a city engineer but would not support a civil engineer. He would support the GIS technician. He would also support a landscape architect based on the cash flow model. He would not support the plan review specialist because the one we have is literally an award-winning consultant and did a good job. He would be open to support two staff planners as recommended.

Member Kramer felt these proposals were more or less self-funding and the question was whether we support doing this with enhanced management and to get to resolution quicker and to improve accountability. He doesnít have performance issues with consultants. He supported the philosophy and but not necessarily the timetable. Noted we were dealing with consultants who have been with us for many years and have a large bank of knowledge. Felt that to set a timetable for this process was not something he agreed with and there should be time to develop working relationships. He supported the philosophy of the proposal. Benefits were substantial and the idea was to get to the goal smoothly. He concurred with Member Csordas.

Mayor Clark stated Council was looking for efficiency and economies of scale while being cost conscious. We have a tremendous amount of catching up and one of the ways to do it was by economically getting the most bang for our buck so that we can free up some critical funds for other areas. He had asked for and received the figures for the last ten years regarding studies. Expenditures were $1,036,409. The City has the studies and the personnel in house now who could use these studies and do it. The longer we put this off, the more it is going to cost. This would allow us some legitimate control over costs and would expedite getting some of these tasks accomplished. We will have dedicated people in house who for their entire work day would be thinking of one thing; getting these projects completed. He would support the proposals.

Member Cassis said there was a myth about a requirement for 20 plans. JCK stated they require 2 copies. Regarding the 4 million dollars, he felt this was misleading as it was a total of all projects for the city, roads, and others who bring plans to the city. Overtime can be very significant in allocating resources. He asked for hourly rates and JCK beat every other competitor in hourly rates and in response to quality and accountability, if we are unhappy with one consultant, bring them in to discuss the situation and if the consultant doesnít correct it, fire them. He asked if it was the process used with every other consultant in the City. Itís proven by those who have come to build in this community that we have done a good job so far. We have hired a lot of different personnel. We need a little time for stability and to collect our structure and put foundations and strength in it. He felt we need to use this coming year to see what each person in the planning department and engineering department does. Asked if we could use the people hired to add to our capability and efficiency of operations. Member Cassis wanted to save money for roads, infrastructure improvements, etc.. He would not endorse taking the risk of going down that road in one radical move.


Member Bononi took issue with two things. First that Council would look at a P.E. as an intern, or a learner or someone that required a great deal of time to hit the ground running. She could tell Council that was not the case. Learning the community takes time, but professional engineering skills are transferable. Secondly, looking at any change was frightening. However, if in a professional employment situation and through a team decision you are told that to enact a plan, it should be done. Not in a year and a half if it works out, thatís not the way a successful business operate and plans for their future. She had listened to criticism about micromanaging and she felt Council was getting dangerously close. We have a profession administrator there was no way she considered it radical or moving too quickly.

CM-01-04-103 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:

To approve the proposal brought forward by the City Manager to hire an in house engineer, division manager and two civil engineers as in Appendix C-1.


Mr. Helwig thanked Council for their candor, support, and fostering this discussion. He felt this proposal was needed to meet and exceed Council expectations. The past year has been a journey in trying to build and meet expectations in a constructive manner. There were management practices and work products that he thought did not meet Councilís expectations. They have involved staff who were no longer here or who have decided to leave and they have involved consultants. He thought there were several years prior to the last year where changes should have been made that were not made. He felt this team was carrying a lot of boulders form the past. Boulders where one appraisal was being made for property, engineers instead of attorneys were doing property acquisition, where true site plan review was not anywhere near the state of the art or the quality expectations of this community. He was trying to rein in a system with meager resources. We were not talking 17 professional staff or survey crews. We were talking about three engineers and setting a goal for comprehensive site plan review, which this community expects. There were practices with these consultants that go well beyond supportable ethics and didnít include competition and practices that havenít included proper oversight. He felt very strongly about this. This is not about the quality of how well we have been served. This is about looking ahead and trying to deliver a high percentage of what Novi can be with the goals Council has set. This staff has just begun to tap itís resources and if given the tools and the standard of accountability emerging here they will give products Council and the community would be very proud of.

Member DeRoche could not vote in favor of the motion and did not agree with the reduction of the planners.

Vote on CM-01-04-103 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Kramer

Nays: Cassis, DeRoche

Absent: Lorenzo




CM-01-04- Moved by Bononi, seconded by Kramer;

To adopt the proposal, Appendix C-2, the Planning Department, with the elimination of one staff planner and the plan review specialist.


Member DeRoche would not support the motion. We already have a Planning Department that has deficiencies and it needs the City Managerís commitment to a department we already have.

Member Bononi asked how many planners there were and how many weíre adding?

Mr. Helwig said Dave Evancoe is the Director and Beth Brock is the staff planner and there was one full time clerical. Mr. Capote was the Economic Development coordinator and is not in the planning department.

Member Bononi thought there was another planner and asked to retract her motion.

CM-01-04-104 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Kramer; MOTION CARRIED:

To adopt the proposal, Appendix C-2 the Planning Department, with the elimination of the plan review specialist.


Member Kramer would support hiring two people because he thought the department needed bolstering.

Member Csordas said for clarity there would still be the elimination of the retainer for the planning consultant. Mr. Helwig said yes.

Vote on CM-01-04-104 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, Kramer

Nays: Cassis, DeRoche

Absent: Lorenzo


CM-01-04-105 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:

To approve C-3 Landscaping as proposed.

Vote on CM-01-04-105 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche

Nays: Kramer

Absent: Lorenzo



Member Kramer asked if the Landscape Architect would be directed towards Parks and Recreation to work on the Park Development Master Plans and in conjunction with the Forestry Department. Mr. Helwig said they would.


Finance Director Smith-Roy noted there wasnít anything specific to vote on. The Parks and Recreation Department included the Forestry Division. The budget itself was our standard budget and there have been no major changes to the budget. There would be no additional personnel.

Member Kramer said in June or July when they understand the residuals, he would like to take another look at the Park and Recreation Department as none of their items had been funded.

Mayor Clark noted a Forester had been hired. Member Cassis asked what the Foresterís function would be?

Mr. Klaver said one of the major focuses of the Forester would be the street tree-planting program, which could be increased as they had done a very modest planting. A more substantial planting needed to be done next fall. The Forester would work on woodland issues that didnít involve our consultant. There were a lot of woodland issues that become neighborhood issues such as trimming and removal of trees and also, public education needed to be enhanced. The Forester would work year round with park technicians as well. He has a degree in conservation and zoology and had been, on a consulting basis, predominantly focusing on tree inventories, which required the identifying of species and viability.


Ms. Smith-Roy stated the Ingersoll Basin was $150,000 instead of $250,000. DPS Nowickiís proposal would be to take the difference and move it into the reserve that was accumulating for the Meadowbrook and Village Oaks dredging.

CM-01-04-106 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept Appendix D-3 with $100,000 reduction in the Ingerson Basin to be carried down into the

reserve being accumulated for the Meadowbrook and Village Oaks line item.


Member Bononi asked why that money would not be returned to the General Fund

as putting the dredging off for another year would not require great consideration?

City Manager Helwig said they were a long way away from funding this line item. The reserve is maybe, depending upon estimates, a third of the way there. Council had asked that there be more analysis done on that entire work program.

Mayor Clark said that allocation would bring the fund up to about $450,000 and some estimates for dredging and bringing the lake and reserve back to where it should be was in excess of one million dollars.

Member Bononi had talked with Mr. Nowicki about the importance of running all of these concepts by the Storm Water Committee and the Watershed Stewardship Group to make recommendation to Council. She hoped there might be some grant funding when this project begins that was not now available. She would like to see that money in the pool.

Finance Director Smith-Roy noted she could designate fund balance for that line item instead of showing it in the expenditure category so that way, it would be shown as not being a current year expense.

Vote on CM-01-04-106 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


City Manager Helwig noted that any rate increase would require an action at a Council meeting. Mayor Clark noted the City was passing through a cost and there would be no mark up to the City of Novi. Administration asked for direction to proceed to prepare this legislation to be returned to Council.

CM-01-04-107 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To accept Appendix C-4 as presented.

Vote on CM-01-04-107 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo


Member Kramer commented there was $1.2 million that was not expended that administration was going to make a recommendation on.

City Manager Helwig noted Finance Director Smith-Roy had inherited a lot of work in closing out SADís. The desire had been to start to build the funds for ongoing maintenance of future infrastructure so the $1.2 million would be preserved for future maintenance needs. Council does have the flexibility to encumber these dollars in a trust fund for maintenance or other purpose so the money does not get whittled away.

Finance Director Smith-Roy stated this was from storm water and road projects and some were funded with general fund money and would be the type of maintenance item that this would apply to. It would be for the maintenance of drains and roads that were completed with SAD funds.

City Manager Helwig suggested that there be some type of separate trust fund for these dollars that Council would revisit each year during budget deliberations and could not be unlocked without a vote of City Council. They would be far removed from operational road funds. Member Kramer said once SADís were in they become a City infrastructure. Council should discuss whether to split the fund with some going to roads and some to storm water maintenance.

Member DeRoche thought this would be an excellent foundation for the funds that he wanted to set up much like what Tower Automotive did. Member Kramer asked Mr. Helwig to bring back a more formal proposal with Finance Director Smith-Royís input as well. She had been thinking about a special revenue fund with limited access. It could be called a Special Revenue Special Assessment Revolving Fund. Funds that were not specifically identified to roads or drains would be put in it as the SADís were closed out.

Mr. Helwig introduced Appendix F. This was something that his staff felt was increasingly important to attract and attain the kind of talent we would like. For example, Ms. Neumeier, City Controller and Mr. McCusker, Director of Public Works, had accrued service that could not be counted for retirement purposes. Novi was one of the few communities that didnít have a reciprocal agreement where those years of service could have counted toward our ten-year vesting requirement. It was less than ten that this would relate to. Itís a long-term cost in terms of retirement benefits but they were recommending that we offer this as most of our neighboring communities do.

HR Director Gronlund-Fox reported that if Act 88 were adopted, it would allow new employees with prior municipal experience to bring with them their prior years of service to be combined with Noviís. Member Csordas stated he would need to know what it meant in dollars and cents.

Finance Director Smith-Roy stated the City asked our actuaries to do a calculation for us and were concerned why MERS had not addressed this before. The challenge was that it affects so few people that they really havenít associated a dollar with it. It would only go to vesting in our program. For example, if someone stayed in Novi for five years, they were vested in our program but their calculation is only based on their years of service here at Novi. We donít combine their service from the other communities . MERS and actuaries have not done a tracking of that because they had felt, to date, it had been nominal. They donít even use a percentage factor increase in our contribution factor for this because it has been such a nominal item. It was explained that Novi has a ten-year vesting period to qualify for the pension. Member Csordas asked if employees contribute to it? Ms. Gronlund-Fox said there had just been an increase in that pension where administrative employees contribute 2.29% of their wages into the system. Member Csordas asked if it was matched by the City? . The City provides a pension plan and each plan is dictated by the bargaining group. Member Csordas asked if some of the funding transferred over from their former employer. The reply was it did not. All Act 88 provided was if someone had five years with another community in Michigan and worked five years for Novi, they would qualify for the ten-year vesting. Mayor Clark said it was difficult for the public sector to compete effectively for the best employees with the private sector if you canít at least offer a benefit package that was attractive. Member Kramer asked if funds go with the employee after being vested here? Also, does it mean that the City incurs liability from the earlier pension? Mayor Clark also asked that Attorney Fisher to comment on pending proposals in Congress relative to portability. He said pending on what happened with that, it would supersede anything going on in the States and everyone would have to comply with it anyway. Member Kramer asked if an employee retired, would part of the funding come from the other City? Reply was yes.

Member DeRoche said the previous Council discussed this and it was determined that we had more to lose by adopting this because it would be more of an incentive for key people to leave but now itís a barrier for people coming here so Council would look at it differently.




Mr. Helwig said there has been no recommendation on creating the funds.

Mayor Clark said no formal motion was needed regarding this item. However, reading through this section and looking at the increase in terms of what was coming into the City, especially in our OST sector, it bodes well for our future and spoke well for economic development and the work that Mr. Capote had been doing.

Mr. Helwig said Item #2 was the creation of donation development funds to receive corporate donations.

CM-01-04-108 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:

To establish Corporate Donation Development Funds to receive corporate donations toward road improvements and telecommunications infrastructure.

Vote on CM-01-04-108 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer

Nays: None

Absent: Lorenzo

Mayor Clark said there would be a formal budget hearing on May 7, 2001 and the budget would be voted on and adopted no later than May 21, 2001.

Thanked Council for their diligence and the staff for all their hard work and input. The budget was one of the best the City had ever seen.



There being no further business before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:20 PM.




_________________________________ ______________________________

Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk




Transcribed by: ____________________________

Charlene McLean


Date approved: May 7, 2001