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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello – absent/excused, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member DeRoche added under Mayor and Council Issues, discussion regarding
CM-02-11-317 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-02-11-317 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
1. Presentation of check from Providence Hospital for purchase of a new
senior transportation van - Sr. Theresa Sullivan, Providence Mission and
Ethics, Rob Casalou, President and Lou Martin, P.R. Director
Rob Casalou and Lou Martin were present to make a gift to the City of $40,000 to go towards buying a new senior transportation van. He said they enjoyed collaboration with the City in getting the seniors to where they need to be. Having handicapped access is part of their mission and part of the City’s mission also.
Mayor Clark, on behalf of Council and the community, thanked Providence Hospital for the outstanding job that they do in this community, for their commitment and support and the tremendous job they do at Providence Park and their main facility in Southfield. Lou Martin noted Kathy Crawford and Randy Auler were to be commended as well in their efforts
2. Financial Audit Presentation by Plante & Moran for Fiscal Year ending
June 30, 2002
Joe Heffernan and Scott Jansen were present from Plante & Moran. Mr. Heffernan noted the presentation is put together by the Finance Department. Mr. Heffernan said there were no inconsistencies or deficiencies to report. As auditors, they sample the records in order to give an opinion. On average there are 10 to15 minor adjustments to the report and in Novi there are zero adjustments as the City has an excellent Finance Department.
Mr. Jansen spoke about the General Fund Revenue trends. During 2002 there was an increase in property taxes. However, although the City was able to generate additional tax revenues, they did it without having to increase the millage rate so the growth in the revenue was as a result of about an 8 to 8.5 percent increase in growth and taxable value.
There is a decrease in State Shared Revenues because of all the problems the State is having with their budget deficit and operating budget. The bad news is that this decrease is expected to continue into the year 2003. The projection for the City of Novi would indicate that State Shared Revenues would be about $4.4 million. However, there are anticipated decreases to this figure, which could be between 5% and 10%. The other category of revenues indicated that licenses and permit fees stayed relatively constant. The decrease was a result of the reduced rate of return on investments because of the difficulties of the market.
General Fund Expenditure Trends- The police expenditures remained relatively constant over the last two years. However, if you took an average of the last two years it would show a 6 to 7 percent increase, which would be reasonable. Those increases would be a result of salaries and wages. The Fire Department has an increase of about 19% over the prior year as a result of increased wages, union contracts, retro pay, and the hiring of new firefighters. General government expenditure increases were primarily a result of legal costs and in other expenditures were primarily salaries and wages in the DPW, Building and the Planning Department, which would be consistent with a growing community.
General Fund Fund Balance – Mr. Jansen said this fund showed a $4.7 million balance at the end of June 2002. This is approximately 22% of general fund expenditures. A good minimum of fund balance expenditures is about 10% so the City is in a healthy position with their fund balance. Also, the increase from 2001 to 2002 was very much in line with the budgeted goal, which was to increase fund balance by about $300,000.
Water and Sewer Fund Operations – The revenues experienced an increase during the year because of a dry summer, new customers and a rate increase. The rate increase was equal as a percentage of the rate increase that the City of Detroit passed on.
Taxable Value and Population Trends – increase in population and increase in taxable values. Increase in taxable values has risen on average of about 8 to 8.5% over the past few years and it showed a steady constant upward trend in the increase in population.
Municipal Tax Rates - The ranges in the millage rates go from a low of 7.5 mills to a high of 26 mills. The City is the 6th lowest at about 10.5 mils among all Oakland County tax rates by comparison. Novi has been able to do this primarily because of a high taxable value per capita and a solid base of commercial and industrial customers.
Mr. Heffernan said the following comments were just reminders or informational issues. None are recommendations that the City had done anything inappropriately or that something needed to be corrected.
Other items covered were GASB 34. The entire document will look different next year, as it will also include a 5-7 page analysis. The Governmental sector will still be reporting but will have full accrual statements. State shared revenues have been cut in order to balance the State budget and might be cut again.
Telecommunications developments – There have been significant developments in terms of how Michigan operates with Internet broadband providers. Prior to this law every City or Township was on its own to work up an ordinance of how to allow these users to come in, what’s appropriate to collect fees for the ROW and this law will create the Michigan Broadband Authority which would have everyone pay the same fee. This will work because SBC/Ameritech would also start paying, so the pot of money would be much larger even though everyone that is paying it is at a lower rate. The Michigan Broadband authority would split it 75% with Cities and 25% with Townships and they would use the miles of roads and population as the best method to distribute it to the different cities. He didn’t know when the money would come in, but thought it should be by December 31, 2003. The City will have to make some changes to its ordinances to reflect the new law.
Mr. Heffernan said, based on the age of the software, the City might be looking for new software in the next 3-4 years and should look at it from the viewpoint of changing the way things are done to fit what the software would do. Some communities have started combining software selections with redesigning their business processes to match the software that they chose. It is a very different and harder way to select and implement software and makes it a much bigger task, but in the end it is much more efficient.
Member Csordas asked about the Telecommunications Revenue Sharing and whether the miles of roads would be County roads or all roads in the City? Mr. Heffernan said they would exclude the county roads through the City and look at the major roads and local roads that go through the City. This is the same formula that is used for the Act 51 distributions to our major street fund and local street fund.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said the 2006 Tax Rate Comparisons on page 6 doesn’t show the services that are rendered by these different communities are not reflected and asked what it meant? Mr. Heffernan stated in general the theory is lower millage rate communities are more competitive but agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Bononi that more or less services could affect numbers.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
$650,000 received from the Taubman Company as local match for 12 Mile "Gap"
Mr. Helwig noted that the Taubman Companies made good on their promise to provide the $650,000 local match for the 12 Mile Gap Roadway improvements. The completion of this project is projected to be by Memorial Day 2003. This all relates to item 6, Cost Participation Agreement, on this agenda. The Road Commission received a very good contract price for all of that work to be done. It is a real pleasure to have such an outstanding community partner who would come forward with this type of commitment and make good on that commitment. It is significant that Twelve Oaks Mall and the parent company are very much involved with our community.
Mock Disaster Exercise held on November 19th
Mr. Klaver said a Mock Disaster Exercise was conducted to test our emergency preparedness. The scenario was that the Civic Center was hit by a tornado and would be unusable for six months. Providence Hospital, Community Emergency Medical Services, fire department, police department and volunteer victims were involved. Each department was asked to prepare a business plan on how they would operate for six months and duplicate records. Mr. Klaver thanked everyone for their cooperation.
Mr. Pearson updated a matter brought to Mayor Clark over the weekend that dealt with Haverhill Subdivision on 14 Mile Road. Mr. Pearson followed up on this with a representative from the homeowners association. There has been an ongoing drainage issue between Commerce Township to the north and some of their outfall that goes through our community in Haverhill. He said Commerce Township is in the process of reviewing options for an engineering solution to address drainage concerns. They are expected to file with the MDEQ for a permanent solution. He and the homeowner’s association president would make a site visit next week to look at some of the issues where water had come up in a detention/retention area and caused tree damage. He would look at that with Mr. Printz to see what could be done to help mitigate that and they would follow up with Commerce Township to get their participation and support in some of the fixes.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked what it would take for Commerce Township to remedy this situation? Mr. Pearson stated the options would include either replacement or modifications to a culvert that is restricting the flow and causing the water to backup in Haverhill. It could be expansion of that, it could be a channel through the detention area in Haverhill that would allow the water to move faster and not bloom out so much. She asked why this has been delayed on the part of Commerce Township? Mr. Pearson felt they were looking at all their options and it has been a long process. Mr. Pearson said they had been looking at this since around July. Member Csordas noted we should research all options for Commerce Township to pay for this and not have the burden passed on to the taxpayers of Novi let alone the people who live in Haverhill.
Mr. Fisher stated he was directed to prepare two ordinances and submit them to Ordinance Review for urgent consideration. Mayor Clark asked him to bring this up since the Ordinance Review Committee meeting was canceled so another Ordinance Review Committee meeting could be set up between now and the meeting of the December 16th. The meeting was scheduled for December 9th at 6:00 p.m.
Jim Urban, representing Haverhill Subdivision, reported on drainage issues in their subdivision including the timing and what they saw as future steps to resolve the problem. He passed out photos to Council. He pointed out the wetland area that flows from Commerce Township. He stated culverts were installed without permits or notification of affected citizens on the Windsor property. Additional flow came from the north due to the turning on of the Commerce Township Water Treatment Facility. At present, those levels are about 1.3 million gallons per day and the permitted level of the plant is 3 million gallons per day and it was his understanding that the plants capacity, with future modifications, could be 8 million gallons per day. He felt the culverts were restricting the flow and the increased flow itself combines to raise the water level in the wetland from 0" to 2" inches to 8" to14" levels with the installation of the culvert and addition to the flow. Mr. Irvin displayed photos of what the area originally looked like and then photos of the standing water and dead trees.
Culverts were installed in September 1999 and in the spring of 2001 residents noticed changes. They specifically spoke with Commerce Township Supervisor Tom Zoner and Lauren Crandall of Giffels, Webster and were told they would look into it. He noted it has been 12 months. The solution currently being engaged by Commerce takes two forms. One short-term solution is resetting the culvert at the proper elevation that would prevent it from blocking the flow. That would be approved through the DEQ permitting process. Also, a dredging of a creek between some culverts to maintain the appropriate grade to facilitate drainage. It is viewed by the Giffels engineers that this would accommodate the drainage from 1 to 3 million gallons per day flow. He thought additional dredging would be needed through the Haverhill wetlands to maintain a dedicated channel to handle the flow. There are also erosion problems that stem from this problem. After fixing the problem, all the dead trees and dead growth have to be removed and they need to look at longer-term restoration, beautification and reparations plans.
Mr. Irvin had concerns about an effective denial of use, impact on wildlife and birds, an influx of muskrats and increasing noise from 14 Mile and Williams International without foliage. Other issues are concerns about the dedicated stream through his neighbor’s property and the erosion that might occur with the heightened flow level, also Commerce was looking to secure an easement kind of access to the Windsor and Sorgin property to maintain the solution. He asked for a timeline extended as to when the solution would be taken care of, the cleanup be completed and what sort of restoration program would be put into place. This process has been difficult with all this
finger pointing and municipalities not doing what they said they would or people misrepresenting things to see what they could get away with. He said they were told by the Giffels engineer that there might not be a solution to the problem because the water might not leave the site fast enough. Yet, we look across the property and see a 12-foot
drop from one end to the other we know that water can leave as fast as it wants. He felt the statement was an effort on their part to misrepresent the issue and see if they would back down. This kind of thing happened many times. He was frustrated with the finger pointing directed at Sharon Sorgin as the property owner who has to grant access anytime modifications are made and she would like the respect due her, to be asked and involved in the process that takes place on her property. He found the finger pointing on any level of cooperation from Ms. Sorgin has been a hold up of sorts and that is an unacceptable statement.
Mayor Clark asked Mr. Helwig to set up a meeting with the Commerce Township Supervisor and convey to him our level of displeasure, with a problem like this time is of the essence. A similar problem happened in Novi when water was coming from Novi and going through Quail Ridge in Northville. We stepped up to the plate and solved that problem expeditiously. If Commerce Township does not want to work with us the same thing can be done that was done in Quail Ridge, which is to have the county establish a drainage district and assess who is responsible for what. He felt with 1.3 million gallons of water a day is coming out of Commerce Township he thought the responsibility would lie with Commerce Township. He asked for a report by December 16th.
Wayne Hogan had talked with Mr. Auler but wanted Council to know his concern with the playground equipment in Power Park. The services that Mr. Auler explained to him were great and going over the ADA requirements was always good because the highest ratings they have are not acceptable. He asked that there be appropriate parking for the persons with disabilities so they could access the playground. There are 318 parking spaces in Power Park but only four handicapped parking spaces. Mr. Hogan would like to see some additional spaces on the south side of the Power Park lot as well as where the playground area is and on the far west and south lot. He asked that Council be sure that the pathway on 9 Mile be adequate for wheelchairs as well as Amigos. He was concerned about the use of the words "non-motorized" regarding the pathway as handicap equipment such as wheel chairs are often motorized. He suggested adding the words "exception for an amigo, disability related motion vehicle and wheel chairs.
Also mentioned that election sites had been a problem and the one on Meadowbrook hadn’t been accessible and he brought it to the attention of the Mayor Clark and Ms. Cornelius. Mr. Hogan said construction had been dragging for months and months. Immediate action was taken and the lot was repaired and other things that made it inaccessible have been taken away now. However, some of the repairs they have done since then have taken away some of the accessibility and he asked that that be looked at. He thanked Mayor Clark for the quick response to repair the north entrance to City hall. He asked that there be parking spaces with van access on both sides and that they not be put against curbs.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi removed Item A, Council minutes of November 12th.
Member Csordas removed Item D.
CM-02-11-318 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Consent Agenda Items B, C
and E through K.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-318 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
B. Schedule an Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of November 25, 2002 in the Council annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Adoption of Resolution for the Deficit Reduction Plan for the Novi Ice Arena.
E. Re-approval of Liquor Licenses for:
1.Don-Ter Seafood, LLC dba Jake’s Fish House
2.Carrabba’s/Metro Limited Partnership
3.Bamboo Club, Inc.
F. Approval of Western Wayne County Fire Department Revised Mutual Aid Agreement.
G. Approval of Traffic Control Order 02-27 for the installation of a 25 MPH speed limit sign on northbound Ennishore at Nine Mile Road in the Meadowbrook Lake Subdivision.
H. Approval to purchase one (1) Valve Operator for the Valve Exercising Program from Jack Doheny Supplies, Inc., the low quotation, in the amount of $4,850.
I. Approval to apply for and accept, if awarded, a Detroit Edison Tree Planting Grant, in the amount of $4,000.
J. Approval of the Power Park Playground proposal to Continental Leisure Sales Midwest (including acceptance of matching grant) in the amount of $58,847.53.
K. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 637.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – PART I
1. Approval of Awarding Resolution for the sale of $24,720,000, General Obligation Street and Refunding Bonds, Unlimited Tax, Series 2002, including the authorizing documents and bond purchase agreement.
Mr. Helwig commended Finance Director, Kathy Smith-Roy, financial advisers Mssrs. Neiman and Bendzinski. The timing could not have been better for this refunding and the issuing of our final $8,395,000 of Year 2000 Road Bond Debt. If looking at the
interest rates the overall net interest cost is 3.799% and the net present value savings on this first item is just over $700,000. When financial projections for the issuance of Year 2000 Road Bond debt were made we were using a projection of an interest rate of 6.5% so the savings to the community is an extraordinary result. Kathy Smith-Roy said the effective interest rate they received spoke for itself, the community, and the stewardship that we have taken during the budget process.
CM-02-11-319 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Awarding Resolution for the sale
of $24,720,000, General Obligation Street and Refunding
Bonds, Unlimited Tax, Series 2002, including the authorizing
documents and bond purchase agreement.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-319 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
2. Approval of Awarding Resolution for the sale of the $2,280,000 City of Novi, Michigan Transportation Fund Refunding Bonds, Limited Tax General Obligation, Series 2002, including the authorizing documents and bond purchase agreement.
CM-02-11-320 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Awarding Resolution for the sale
of the $2,280,000 City of Novi, Michigan Transportation Fund
Refunding Bonds, Limited Tax General Obligation, Series
2002, including the authorizing documents and bond purchase
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-320 Yeas: DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
3. Consideration of Avalon Subdivision, request from William Roskelly for Final Preliminary Plat approval. The subject property is located in Section 24 on the north side of Ten Mile Road between Haggerty and Meadowbrook Roads in the R-4 (One Family Residential) District. The developer proposes a single-family subdivision with 25 lots. The subject property is 9.49 acres.
Member DeRoche said this had passed unanimously through the Planning Commission as well as the Council and is consistent with what he expected to see.
Member Lorenzo asked what the permanent water quality measures were on this project? Also, she asked if the landscaping details were still to come? Mr. Pearson said there was an engineering submittal that would come with plans. She asked if it had received the final landscaping review? Mr. Pearson said it had not.
Ms. McClain said, regarding water quality control, there are two types of sedimentation basins required. Normally, in a subdivision one of the lots is required to be a temporary sedimentation basin during construction and that is what the JCK letter is talking about. Typically that lot gets sold at the end and at that time it is filled in as most of the area has been grassed in and there isn’t as much need for sedimentation control. There would still be storm water control for sedimentation. They are doing it as swales in the backyards and they do have a basin the on site that they are still using and those measures would be permanent.
Mr. Roskelly addressed the landscaping and said the all changes have been made and the City has them.
CM-02-11-321 Moved by Landry, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Avalon Subdivision, request from
William Roskelly for Final Preliminary Plat approval. The
subject property is located in Section 24 on the north side of
Ten Mile Road between Haggerty and Meadowbrook Roads in
the R-4 (One Family Residential) District. The developer
proposes a single-family subdivision with 25 lots. The subject
property is 9.49 acres
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-321 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Csordas,
4. Consideration of Zoning Text Amendment 18.174 to amend Article 24, Section 2405, of the City of Novi Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, relating to open space preservation, in order to encourage the long-term preservation of open space and natural features and the provision of recreation and open space areas in accordance with P.A. 179 of 2001. Second Reading
CM-02-11-322 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Zoning Text Amendment 18.174 to amend Article 24, Section 2405, of the City of Novi
Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning
Ordinance, relating to open space preservation, in order to encourage the long-term preservation of open space and natural features and the provision of recreation and open space areas in accordance with P.A. 179 of 2001. Second Reading
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-322 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
5. Approval of easement from Detroit Edison for Sanitary Sewer Improvements along Twelve Mile Road for a total of $4,675.00. (Sandstone Sewer Extension).
CM-02-11-323 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve easement from Detroit Edison for
Sanitary Sewer Improvements along Twelve Mile Road for a
total of $4,675.00. (Sandstone Sewer Extension).
Member Lorenzo said she had concerns with the supply interruption clause and she
asked what kind of liability they were looking at per occurrence? Mr. Fisher said
essentially this is a situation that we face as a City each time we cross property owned
by Detroit Edison. In this case, it is a passive sanitary sewer and in another matter
pending, it is an actively used roadway system, which is a different case. Essentially,
liability for business interruption as a result of any situation caused on that roadway, or
in this case in the very unlikely event that anything would happen, damages could be
very substantial. For example, if a plant stopped for four days, there would be the
possibility of a claim for loss of revenues for those four days. The potential claims are
very high and the likelihood of an event is low but none the less, it is there and it is a
liability that is faced by communities throughout Michigan in connection with these
crossings over Detroit Edison properties because they are steadfast in their insistence
that they are held harmless on them. In this situation it is a perpendicular crossing of
Edison property where they have overhead lines and we are going to put an
underground sewer in there, very passive, so he didn’t anticipate it being an issue here
and he understood that issue needed to be addressed elsewhere.
Member Lorenzo asked if it included residential customers? Mr. Fisher said it was
really a business situation. Residential, barring some unforeseen situation but primarily
it is a business interruption. Mr. Fisher said they scrutinized the agreement in the road
circumstance and met with Edison and they were dead against making an adjustment.
She asked if it was a new clause? He said that he was not aware of it being new.
Member Lorenzo said she would support this given the advice of the attorney but in
other circumstances she probably would not if there were any other choices.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if Mr. Fisher had any kind of record of how many times
DTE has exercised the right to levy charges against municipalities since they are a
publicly traded company? Mr. Fisher said he was not aware of any, but that didn’t mean
it hadn’t occurred.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-323 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
6. Approval of Cost Participation Agreements with Road Commission for Oakland County for Twelve Mile Road Reconstruction and Widening and Right-of-Way Acquisitions (SAD 155 and "Gap").
CM-02-11-324 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the Cost Participation Agreements with Road
Commission for Oakland County for Twelve Mile Road
Reconstruction and Widening and Right-of-Way Acquisitions
(SAD 155 and "Gap").
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-324 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Clark
Nays: Bononi, Lorenzo
Mr. Fisher said the money was previously allocated so only four votes were needed.
Member DeRoche asked if it was always five or just two thirds. Mr. Fisher said it
requires five votes to allocate money.
7. Consideration of MERS Benefit E (2% COLA increase for retirees.)
CM-02-11-325 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the MERS Benefit E (2% COLA
increase for retirees.)
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-325 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – PART II
8. Approval of Change Order No. 1 to the Section 1 & 12 sanitary sewer extension contract with Lawrence M. Clarke, in the amount of $302,465.
Mr. Helwig said this item had been before Council previously and Council was asked to revisit
it with the Oakland County Drain Commissioner’s office and that has been done. Mr. Pearson
could report on the details of that meeting. There is appropriate correspondence indicating
that the Change Order is required to accommodate the pump size and we have been notified
by the contractor that if this is not approved by next week the City would be charged daily non
working mobilization fees. Mayor Clark said the increase in the costs was generated by the
county demanding a pump of a certain size and capacity. Mr. Helwig said that was correct and
it was after it had gone out to bid and they were reviewing the bid documents and felt it was
necessary to change the pump size. Mayor Clark wondered if this had anything to do with the
fact that there was a county pump failure in the Maples of Novi a few months back that
resulted in litigation. Mr. Fisher said he knew there was a pump failure with regard to pumps
just like this and he thought they changed specifications to avoid a repetition and that is what
they would defend on if pressed. Member Landry stated he would reluctantly approve. Mr.
Fisher said this would require five votes.
CM-02-11-326 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Change Order No. 1 to the Section 1 & 12 sanitary sewer
extension contract with Lawrence M. Clarke, in the amount of $302,465.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Pearson about the lack of communication about a standard
change, which she felt for municipalities, was a duty for anyone who held such authority over
projects and our finances to report to us when they have changed a standard. She asked if
they did inform us at any time and if they have committed to do so in the future. She was
looking for a fair accounting with regard to notification of costs.
Mr. Pearson replied that they confirmed that there was not a written standard or manual and
literally the design change came as we submitted our final construction documents. They
reviewed it internally and one of their managers who had this experience with a pump failure
was faced with a middle of the night situation of making a repair and dictated this design
change as part of their internal review. It could not have been seen, on our part, before we
submitted it to them. She said she was talking about the time lag or lead time that they
foresaw what decisions they were going to make. From the standpoint of being interested in
promoting working partnerships that the Drain Commissioner’s office has approached this
body for access for easements, for which we granted without charge, because we felt it was
our duty to keep the process rolling with regard to the interests of the community. She hoped
that situation would not happen again as all it took was a phone call. She thanked Mr.
Pearson for his efforts.
Member Lorenzo asked if there has been a standard change at this point in time? Mr. Pearson
said the standard is when the plan is submitted. This body’s decision and referral to go back
to them and press again was helpful and felt that they made the point of the difficult spot this
put everyone in. He said the City would increase communications about future projects and try
to find out if there have been more changes between now and the next time. Member Lorenzo
said she would reluctantly support it and felt that Drain Commissioner McCullough should be
contacted and perhaps appeal to him in this situation.
Mayor Clark noted he would also vote for it reluctantly. This is a perfect example of this
Council sending a resolution when Mr. McCullough wanted to set himself up as the super
drainage czar, if you will, this is a good example of why that resolution was very timely and
right on point but in a round about way because their pump failed, guess who’s paying for
it in the long run.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-326 Yeas: DeRoche, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
9. Approval of Resolution authorizing Mayor and City Clerk to execute Agreement with Michigan Department of Transportation for Nine Mile Road Non-Motorized Pathway Grant, in the amount of $128,000.
CM-02-11-327 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Resolution authorizing Mayor and City Clerk to execute
Agreement with Michigan Department of Transportation for Nine Mile
Road Non-Motorized Pathway Grant, in the amount of $128,000.
Mr. Pearson said, based on Mr. Hogan’s comments, the "non-motorized" is a term of art from
the State and these plans have all been reviewed by the State agencies and our own for full
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked for the total cost of the project. She said she had
communications on previous bike pathway projects and on this one again from residents
who are concerned about the magnitude of these projects from the standpoint of they are not
simple bike path projects. They seem to accelerate to include all sorts of site improvements
including culvert replacements and many other things that obviously you come upon when
pricing the job. But from the standpoint of an overall cost of $303,000 for a bike path of 2,950
feet and a boardwalk that is 215 feet, it seemed like a very bloated price. She said what she
had done in response to the residents comments she looked into some isolated and obviously
in a vacuum prices with regard to RS Means, which is a standardized engineering cost
analysis volume and she came up with prices for the concrete of between $71,980 to $95,000
and a boardwalk cost total of something under $30,000. She realized there was a Federal
grant attached to this but was very concerned that a simple project finds itself re-engineered
into what one resident called her and asked if we were designing another Mackinaw Bridge.
This person is an engineer, a cyclist and takes great issue with regard to what this project
costs. When using the rule of thumb that a mile of roadway with curb and gutter costs a million
dollars you can see where this cost does cause concern. She asked why, when these prices
are submitted with regard to bids how come we don’t look at them very carefully and reject
them? Mr. Pearson said there was open competition on the bids. He said they originally
looked as a means of getting this project out and built, that has been on the books for a long
time, doing it as a Change Order to the Ten Mile work. They looked at that option and got a
quote which came in at $310,000. So by going out for bids we have saved as if it was done
as a Change Order to the Ten Mile work. Additionally, the concrete work is less expensive
than what was awarded with the Ten Mile work. There was open competition on this contract
and there were three bidders. As a grant project, there had to be exhaustive reviews with the
State but he didn’t know if that added to it. This is not a simple project and it is being designed
to last. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi said having it out on bids considering what the scope of the
project is doesn’t mean it was a well thought out project with regard to keeping the cost of the
project at a minimum and yet providing a fully functional bike path for everyone to use. She
thought the prices were very, very high and in looking over what’s provided here, she would
have to be convinced that this is all necessary. She had a further concern from cyclists
whether or not the joints that we have in concrete are safe with regard to usage as a bike
surface. She believed firmly in looking at this and looking at all the pricing and the quantities
that are contained in it, that in order to do anymore bicycle paths, they ought to be really
looking at this from a policy standpoint. Looking at what we want and including what we need
to get good job without making this a free for all. She would not support the project.
Mayor Clark concurred on the remarks about this path having some unique features. He had
walked from McDonald Ford in Northville to Turtle Creek coming down Novi Road to Nine and
east on Nine to Nine and Meadowbrook. He said there were some engineering challenges
including some wetlands that had to be crossed. This is not simply a situation of where we
have 3,000 plus feet of flat ground that we are pouring concrete on. It is much more than that
and the longer these things are put off the more they are going to cost us. The sooner we get
caught up, the sooner we won’t be dealing with situations like this. It is needed and the area
residents supported this and he would support it. It’s needed, it’s long overdue and it is a
Member Lorenzo asked if the Municipal Street Fund costs had been reduced accordingly? Mr.
Pearson said we have the grant for $128,000 and they are paying the balance of the $250,000.
He said we paid for engineering costs, land acquisitions, etc. She would support this because
Rotary Park is in the area and it provided access to commercials areas and businesses.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-327 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Csordas, DeRoche
10. Approval to award the Nine Mile Road Pathway Project to the low bidder, Jackson Contracting, in the amount of $249,201.14.
CM-02-11-328 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the award of the Nine Mile Road Pathway Project to the
low bidder, Jackson Contracting, in the amount of $249,201.14.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-328 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry
11. Approval of Grading Permits and Drainage Easement from Theresa A. Lynn Trust and Dwight T. Lynn Trust for a total $2,285-Grand River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge.
CM-02-11-329 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Grading Permits and Drainage Easement from Theresa
A. Lynn Trust and Dwight T. Lynn Trust for a total $2,285-Grand
River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge.
Member Landry exited the Council Chambers.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-329 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Lorenzo
Absent: Capello, Landry
12. Approval of 2003 Schedule of City Council Meetings.
CM-02-11-330 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the 2003 Schedule of City
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-330 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Lorenzo, Clark
Absent: Capello, Landry
Member Landry returned to the Council Chambers.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Council Minutes of November 12, 2002 – Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi had corrections on page 14 at the beginning of the second paragraph where comments regarding partnership that she made were eliminated, and she requested that they be included at the beginning of the paragraph. Also, in the above paragraph, she believed that Mr. Helwig answered her question that there were individuals that were designated that met with the school representatives instead of the pronoun "they". She wanted that included in the minutes. The next to the last line in the first paragraph there is a phrase that says "City Administration reviewed it" and she thought that Mr. Helwig referred to who in-house reviewed it and she wanted that included. Third paragraph on the page, mid paragraph, the first word is anything and she thought it should read any time in the immediate future.
CM-02-11-331 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the Council Meeting of
November 12, 2002 be corrected and returned to Council at
the next regular meeting on December 2nd.
Vote on CM-02-11-331 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
D. Approval to award proposal for actuary study on retiree health insurance
provisions to Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company, the low bidder, in an
amount not to exceed $11,000. – Member Csordas
Member Csordas stated he worked with one of these actuarial firms on a large Taft Hartley plan that he administered that is nine times larger than the group that we have here, which means it is nine times more credible for actuarial numbers. He said they had just done a study and they had just come back to them and told them that for the next three years the trend in medical is 16 to 18%, based on that particular plan that is much larger and much more credible. The trend in prescription drug benefits is going to be 20 to 22%. Ten years ago it was much, much lower but you see a lot of that mentioned today and it is high on everyone’s list in being able to provide their employees and the retirees with benefits. He said for that particular plan, nine times larger, would probably come in about a 20% increase in medical benefits for the next 3 years. He thought the question was not how much more was needed because he thought it was 20%. The question was how to afford it. He felt eventually changes in plan design and contributions from participants would be needed just to maintain the fund and keep it going. He asked if that the purpose of the study is see how much increase you want to apply to the trust or fund to support medical benefits for the retirees for the next three years.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that wasn’t the intent of the actuary report. The actuary study they are requesting is that a calculation be determined for each group based on a percentage of payroll that we should be contributing. Her concern is that the union
groups have changed since 1994 and she was not confident that they were using the right percentage of payroll. Currently she is using 2 to 5% of their payroll, which is set-aside in the fund. The annual contribution has been approximately $300,000 to $400,000 for 262 employees averaging about $1,000 to $1,500 per employee per year. Member Csordas felt strongly the trend in health care would be 20%. Ms. Smith-Roy said we are only attempting to fund the costs and not the liability, but had increased it less than 1% per group. She wanted to be sure that they are in line and making the appropriate contribution through the budget process. Member Csordas recommended that she increase the contribution as he was convinced that it would increase over the next 5 years 20 or 25% per year. Ms. Smith-Roy said she was uncomfortable because of the computations based on population and if unions use this information as we come up with negotiations, it would be very healthy to have a fairly accurate percentage of payroll, as it could be a negotiating tool. She said Segal did the last actuary study because they did the actuary studies for MERS. Gabriel Roeder has now been awarded that bid and therefore that is why their rate is lower. They have the most current data as a result of doing our pension contributions. Member Csordas asked if
she thought a 1% increase would be rational based on her past experience. She said it was hard to say but any contribution made would help in the future. She didn’t think they were over contributing but thought it was prudent to make a contribution every year. She thought the actuary was critical last time and the range was much larger as a percentage of payroll than she would have anticipated.
CM-02-11-331 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve award proposal for actuary
study on the retiree health insurance provisions to Gabriel,
Smith & Company, the low bidder, in an amount not to exceed
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-331 Yeas: Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Extension of the Landon Company’s violation for wetland cleanup behind
Target - Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo saw no valid reason to extend their request and moved that no extension be granted and that Landon clean it up. There was no second to the motion.
Mayor Clark said their extension was only until the end of December and he asked that Council bear in mind that all of the debris in the wetland wasn’t placed there by the Landon Company. It has been there for a long time and he felt that more is accomplished working in a spirit of cooperation.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked Mr. Helwig if he saw any reason why the end of December deadline could not be met. Mr. Helwig said he didn’t. She asked if he thought the request from the standpoint of what needed to be done would be sufficient
time to get their contractors ducks in a row for whatever they needed. Mr. Helwig thought it was more than sufficient time. There is urgency to this. The company is taking it very seriously and they think it will be a six-figure contract to clean this up. They want a little more time, they are communicating with the DEQ and they are doing due diligence by every indication that we have. She asked if he was intending to take appropriate action in the event that does not occur? Mr. Helwig said he was.
2. Resignation – Member DeRoche
Mayor Clark stated if interviews were done during December, Member DeRoche would be present but could not vote on any possible appointment to Council. His thought was to get a date of resignation tonight and then get appropriate notices published for interviews.
Member DeRoche said he would appreciate attending the interviews. He advised Council that his intention was to resign at the conclusion of the December 16th meeting.
He had an interest in being sworn in prior to taking office January 1st by the Clerk of the House.
Mayor Clark asked when the notices would be done? Ms. Cornelius said an advertisement could be in the paper for December 5th. Mayor Clark asked Council when they would like to meet for interviews. Council agreed to meet for interviews on December 17th and Member DeRoche would delay his resignation until the conclusion of the meeting on December 17th. Member Lorenzo said she would not attend the meeting of the 17th and suggested the 19th. Council concurred and Member DeRoche’s resignation would be effective at the conclusion of the meeting on the 19th.
CM-02-11-332 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a Council meeting for December
19th to conduct interviews for Member DeRoche’s Council seat
and to accept his resignation at the end of the meeting.
Roll call vote on CM-02-11-332 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche, Landry,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council the meeting was adjourned at
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ____________________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: December 2, 2002