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REGULAR MEETING OF THE
COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
SWEARING-IN CEREMONY – Mayor Csordas, Council Members Gatt, Nagy, Paul
Oath of Office to be administered by 52nd District Court Judges: Honorable Dennis N. Powers, Honorable Brian W. MacKenzie and Honorable Robert Bondy
Judge Powers called the ceremony a "great moment" for a number of reasons. Our country still allows people to be elected to public office by the vote of the people, which is extremely important and should never be forgotten. He said it is important for people to get behind the people who will be "pulling the cart" for the City for the next few years. Judge Powers recognized State Senator Nancy Cassis and Mayor Clark, who were in attendance. He urged those who did not vote in this year’s local election to get out and vote in the next election. It is a mistake for people not to get involved and pay attention to their local governments. He recognized all those in attendance who had served, or were currently serving, in the armed forces. Judge Powers also recognized County Commissioner Hugh Crawford, a former City Council member.
Judge Powers invited Mayor-elect Csordas and Council members-elect Gatt, Nagy and Paul to speak very briefly to the audience before being officially sworn in.
Member-elect Gatt thanked everyone. He stood before Council in January and while that feeling was humbling, it did not compare to how he felt that evening. He promised to do his best, every minute of every day.
Member-elect Paul said, "I asked for your trust, and you gave that to me. I will hold it close, and appreciate the opportunity to serve the Novi Community."
Mayor-elect Csordas said the opportunity provided to him was overwhelming, and said he appreciated everyone’s support. He has high expectations and high hopes for Council. He appreciated Mayor Clark for being a mentor and setting the role example for future mayors.
Member-elect Nagy thanked all those who had served before her, as they helped to form what is currently the City of Novi. She appreciated everyone who voted in the recent election, noting that she was born in a place where people could not vote. She promised to honor her commitment to serve in the City’s best interests.
Mayor Csordas and Council members Gatt, Nagy and Paul were sworn in by 52nd District Court Judges Dennis N. Powers, Brian W. MacKenzie, and Robert Bondy.
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Boy Scout Troop #407
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Landry, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Doug Shaeffer – Police Chief
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Don Tilton – Wetlands Consultant
Benny McCusker – Public Works Director
Nancy McClain – Engineering Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Lorenzo had 5 items to add to Mayor and Council Issues: Meadowbrook Town Homes; Removal of Ash Trees; Status of the Novi Promenade Wetland Cleanup; PASER Update for the 2004 Neighborhood Street Program; and Post Bar Incidents.
Member Paul added South Lake Drive and the Shawood Canal as one item to Mayor and Council Issues.
Member Gatt added Recognition of Officer Edgars, who had just returned from serving in Kuwait and Iraq, to Mayor and Council Issues.
Mayor Csordas added December 15th Council meeting to Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-03-11-353 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-353 Yeas: Csordas, Capello, Gatt, Landry, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
MAYORAL APPOINTMENT OF MAYOR PRO TEM
Mayor Csordas appointed Member David Landry as Mayor Pro Tem of the City Council.
PRESENTATIONS - None
1. 2004 Community Development Block Grant Fund Program
Mayor Csordas opened the public hearing. Mr. Klaver presented, on behalf of the Housing and Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee, the recommendations for the Community Development Block Grant Program for 2004. He recognized the members who serve on the Committee: Marianne Digiusto, Sarah Gray, Tom Lindberg, Jerry Ross, and Richard Vahlbusch. He also recognized Melissa Place and Marina Neumaier from the City of Novi as the administrative staff who help to run the program.
As a result of the 2000 Census, which is applicable for the first time in 2004, the Committee had an additional $9500. Of the additional money, $3000 went into public services being provided by Haven, $3000 is being recommended for the Youth Assistance Program whose demand has increased dramatically, and the remaining $3500 is recommended for inclusion in the Minor Home Repair Program, which has been exceptionally popular.
Mayor Csordas noted that there was a notice of a best practice award somewhere in the packet. This spoke to the tremendous effort that Mr. Klaver and everyone who has served for or on that Committee has done for the City.
Mayor Csordas noted that in the interests of providing a timely meeting format, the City had decided to respectfully do everything that it can to provide the opportunity for anyone to speak at a Council meeting. He said that at other City Council meetings, everyone has the opportunity to speak, but with a time limit. Novi City Council rules specify a 3-minute time limit for audience participation, and persons speaking for a group are allowed 5 minutes and should recognize all others in the group. The City Clerk will set a timer for audience participation segments to notify speakers to wrap-up what they are speaking to.
John O’Brien, Chairperson of Novi Youth Assistance, thanked the Mayor and Council for the opportunity to speak about the Community Development Block Grant Fund. He thanked the Committee for accepting Youth Assistance’s request for funds. As the City of Novi grows, the demands on Youth Assistance’s programs also grow.
Claudia Walter, Novi Youth Assistance Caseworker, congratulated the new Mayor and Council members. She thanked Council for its support, and said she looked forward to meeting with Council in the future.
Mayor Csordas closed the public hearing.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE – None
Mayor Csordas noted that he and Council members had a letter in their packets from the Government Finance Officers Association, advising the City of Novi that the panel has voted to award the City’s budget document the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the current fiscal period. The Mayor said that in his 7 years of civic duty, he believed the City had won the award every year. He assured all of the people who put the document together that the City Council truly appreciates their work.
Mayor Csordas noted that Council members had also received in their packets a letter of appreciation from Alex Allie thanking Tom Lovelady and Jim Burke of the City’s Water Department for responding to a broken water pipe and shutoff valve in their home. Council also received a thank you letter from Bob and Marie Plank, thanking Marina Neumaier for block grant funds.
2. CITY MANAGER – Grand River Avenue Bridge over CSX railroad tracks – reopening ceremony is Friday, November 14 at 10:00 AM (gather at west end of bridge)
Mr. Helwig said administration was delighted to announce that in conjunction with the Oakland County Road Commission, the entire community is invited to the new bridge opening ceremony. Businesses and residents are all invited to the event, with the opportunity to walk across the bridge and help dedicate the historic marker. The bridge itself will be open to traffic in the early afternoon on Friday, November 14th. The City appreciates everyone’s patience on the project. The only reason that the bridge was completed was the dedication of Council and the Oakland County Road Commission, as the State was only able to pay for 75 feet of the approach work, in addition to the actual bridge itself. He thanked Senator Cassis and the State of Michigan for the $5 million economic development grant that has enabled the City to widen Grand River Avenue from Beck Road to the bridge.
Mayor Csordas said that Senator Cassis has been a wonderful representative for the City at the State level. In the City of Novi, Nancy Cassis’ name is often mentioned in conjunction with her husband, Victor. Mayor Csordas said he was also delighted to see State Representative Craig DeRoche in attendance, as he is another person to have come from City Council who is doing a great job of representing the City.
Mr. Helwig said there is now a crane on the south side of I-96, adjacent to the Beck Road bridge. The construction for that bridge began during the previous week.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
David Ruyle, 40474 Mill Road Court East, offered his heartiest welcome to the new Mayor and members of City Council. Mr. Ruyle joked that it was appropriate that a Navy personnel was sworn in as Mayor of the City on the Marine Corps’ birthday.
Frank Brennan, 23876 Heartwood, noted that there is a shortage of personnel on the ZBA, as the Board lost its alternate 4 months ago and lost Mr. Gatt when he won a seat on Council. He asked Council to prioritize this need and to review the resumes on file for the ZBA for at least one, if not two, appointments.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to place this item on the top of the agenda for the Wednesday meeting, and also noted that two Planning Commissioners would need to be replaced as quickly as possible, as Ms. Paul and Ms. Nagy also won Council seats in the election.
Cindy Gronachan, 21668 Garfield, noted that she was also on the Zoning Board of Appeals. She said it takes time for new members to acclimate themselves to the ZBA. Ms. Gronachan said that if anyone was interested in applying for the ZBA, the alternate position is a wonderful way to "get your feet wet". The ZBA receives its cases two weeks in advance, unlike Council, and receives a maximum of 15 cases per month. There is ample qualified assistance through the City of Novi to assist anyone interested in the position, and she highly recommended that any interested person contact Maryanne Cornelius.
State Representative DeRoche congratulated Mayor Csordas, as well as Mayor Pro Tem Landry. He pledged his ongoing support to work with Council. Representative DeRoche thanked Chief Shaeffer for helping him to place more defibrillators in every police car. The House passed a resolution enabling more police vehicles to have defibrillators as the Health Code was amended. Representative DeRoche thanked Council and administration for their continued support on the issue.
Mark Pehrson, 24724 Fairway Hills Drive, thanked Mayor Csordas for his efforts in sponsoring the Goodfellows canned food drive. He also thanked the volunteers of the City that help to make it so great. Mr. Pehrson also encouraged everyone to bring their canned goods to the opening of the Novi bridge.
Senator Cassis congratulated Mayor Csordas, Member Paul, Member Nagy, and Member Gatt on their election, especially for the way they conducted their campaigns. She said she could feel the harmony and warm welcome in the room, noting that she and Representative DeRoche both came from Council and will continue to be there for Novi. There is no higher reward in public office than to have been given the people’s trust. The new Mayor and Council are following in the footsteps of a great Mayor, Richard Clark. She applauded those involved for the completion of the bridge, and said she hoped to see everyone at the ribbon cutting. She wished everyone to know that she and Representative DeRoche want to do all that they can for everyone on the Council, as well as the community.
Commissioner Crawford congratulated the new Mayor and Council members. He said the 3 new Council members are in for a "wonderful experience."
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Gatt removed Item I for discussion.
Member Paul pulled Items B and C for discussion.
CM-03-11-354 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-354 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Lorenzo, Nagy, Gatt, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. October 20, 2003
D. Approval of request from 27355 Cabaret Drive LLC, to accept the water main and additional Cabaret Drive right-of-way over parcels 50-22-15-126-017 & 50-22-15-126-018 in the Timber Creek Office Park Condominium development as public utilities, along with all easements and documentation required by the City of Novi for such acceptance.
E. Approval of request from Key Industrial Development LLC to accept the water main constructed to service Unit 7 of the Beck North Corporate Park-Novi site condominium development as a public utility, along with all easements and documentation required by the City of Novi for such acceptance.
F. Approval of request from G.R.O. Management LLC to accept the water main constructed to service Lots 36, 37, 38 (f/k/a Lots 30-34) of the Beck West Corporate Park site condominium development as a public utility, along with all easements and documentation required by the City of Novi for such acceptance.
G. Approval to accept the Conservation and Preservation Easement and the Ingress/Egress Easement for the Wilshire Abbey Subdivision.
H. Approval of Emergency Access Stub Easement, Affidavit providing Notice of Easement in Escrow, the Escrow Agreement, and Memorandum of Agreement relating to Escrow of Meadowbrook 8 Emergency Access Stub Street Easement and all documents required by the City of Novi to facilitate such.
J. Approval of Resolution Number 6 – Special Assessment District Number 168-West Lake Drive Water Main Extension, setting Public Hearing Number 3 for December 1, 2003.
K. Approval of Resolution Number 6 – Special Assessment district Number 169 – West Lake Drive Paving, setting Public Hearing Number 3 for December 1, 2003.
L. Approval of Massage Business License for Ivy Garden Therapeutic, located at 42010 Grand River, Suite B.
M. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 660
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Resolution authorizing 2003 Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds, in the amount of $2,330,000 (Maybury/Tuscany/Singh Sanitary Sewer)
CM-03-11-355 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution authorizing 2003 Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds, in the amount of $2,330,000 (Maybury/Tuscany/Singh Sanitary Sewer).
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-355 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
2. Approval of permanent sanitary sewer easements from The Archdiocese of Detroit for Special Assessment District 170 and the sanitary sewer construction to service the Our Lady of Victory Church Parcel Numbers 50-22-32-400-013 and 50-22-32-400-014.
CM-03-11-356 Moved by Paul, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve permanent sanitary sewer easements from The Archdiocese of Detroit for Special Assessment District 170 and the sanitary sewer construction to service the Our Lady of Victory Church Parcel Numbers 50-22-32-400-013 and 50-22-32-400-014.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-356 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
3. Approval of permanent Sanitary Sewer Easement from Ingeborg C. Zayti Revocable Living Trust over Parcel Number 50-22-32-400-012 for Special Assessment District 170 sanitary sewer construction.
CM-03-11-357 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve permanent Sanitary Sewer Easement from Ingeborg C. Zayti Revocable Living Trust over Parcel Number 50-22-32-400-012 for Special Assessment District 170 sanitary sewer construction.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-357 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
4. Approval of the request of Claudio Rossi of Mirage Development for approval of the Final Plat for the Wilshire Abbey Subdivision. The subject property is located on the west side of Beck Road, between Nine and Ten Mile Roads. The applicant is proposing a 29 lot subdivision.
CM-03-11-358 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request of Claudio Rossi of Mirage Development for approval of the Final Plat for the Wilshire Abbey Subdivision. The subject property is located on the west side of Beck Road, between Nine and Ten Mile Roads. The applicant is proposing a 29 lot subdivision.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-358 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, congratulated Mayor Csordas and Council members Paul, Nagy and Gatt. Mr. Wizinsky updated Council about the debris behind his home that is proposed to be buried in the conservation easement there. He showed photographs of the site to Council, which he said displayed a substantial amount of concrete and wire, as well as some undistinguishable items, and a telephone pole. Since the last Council meeting, he has had the opportunity to speak with several people at the DEQ, as well as Dr. Tilton, Mr. Helwig, Mr. Pearson, and Dave Maurice, regarding the Land and Development’s plan to bury the substantial amount of debris in the wetland of the conservation easement next to his home. All MDEQ permits are conditioned on the basis that all approved work is not in violation of local ordinances. He quoted the permit, saying "This permit does authorize or sanction work which has been completed in violation of applicable federal, state, or local statutes." Novi’s ordinance does not permit the burial of debris. In Dr. Tilton’s letter of February 5, 2003 to Clay Pearson, he reviews 3 options for the restoration of the wetland: the third option, to cover with soil and seed was recommended by Dr. Tilton. However, only the first option, the removal of the debris, meets Novi’s own ordinances. In a meeting the previous week, Mr. Helwig was unable to confirm how the decision was made to approve a consultant’s recommendation which violates the City’s own ordinances. Mr. Wizinsky does not believe administration has the authority to approve a process that is in violation of Novi’s ordinance. He asked for Council’s assistance on the matter.
Mayor Csordas called the photographs of the debris "very graphic", and asked Mr. Helwig what Council could do to obtain help from the State with the situation.
Mr. Helwig said the City has been trying to facilitate a resolution to the matter. It came up more than a year ago, and at that time his inclination, having previously worked in a City with many abandoned factories and similar cases, was to remove the material. The City is not the property owner, but is trying to facilitate the cleanup in good faith. The developer has balked and feels that it inherited that situation which is not their fault. Dr. Tilton reviewed all of his analyses on the site, which has been shared with the Michigan DEQ, the goal being to create a cattail marsh on the site that could support wildlife and would act as habitat. The rubber conveyor belt material would be removed, the rebar coils removed, the concrete lifted and placed without any crushing to provide a more level environment, and there would be containment plans for water, silt fencing, and other work. The site would be seeded with a cover crop for stabilization, which is preferable to a wetlands seed which would take up to a year to germinate. Mr. Wizinsky was very concerned with onsite supervision of the work, and administration has been through such cleanup before with the arsenic removal for Sandstone. Not until the end of the meeting with Mr. Wizinsky did it become apparent that Mr. Wizinsky will not be satisfied unless all of the material is removed. Dr. Tilton feels that complete removal would create more damage to the site than the approach that has been selected.
Member Lorenzo questioned whether this was the proper time and place for Dr. Tilton to speak regarding the issue.
Dr. Tilton said he would support what Mr. Helwig had presented that evening. He wanted to make sure that Council understood that the reason that so much of the concrete was visible was because the water level in that wetland was down about 3 feet, though it is beginning to recover because of more normal precipitation levels. If the concrete is flattened out so that it does not protrude up as much and cover it with 6 to 8 inches of topsoil, a cattail marsh can be created over the top of that concrete. This would render the site a much more valuable wetland than it currently is. Once the site is covered, under normal precipitation patterns, the wetland will have 6 inches of water over it, so all of the material will be rendered invisible.
Kathy Mutch congratulated Mayor Csordas and the new members of Council. She understood how much work it takes to campaign, and how exhilarating sitting at the Council table can be. Ms. Mutch said she would speak on the Island Lake agenda item. If Council decides that the best interest of the City would be for the structure at Island Lake to be taken down and moved elsewhere, regardless of where it goes, to have it removed and used as it was intended as a barn would be the top choice. To have the structure used as a barn in a regional facility, a resource that the people of the City can use, such as Maybury, is excellent. She reminded Council that once the barn is taken down, the City will have little control over what happens to the structure. When she had previously asked what materials Council had been provided with to make the decision, she was told that Council members had only received a brief description of discussion at a Planning Commission meeting, but did not have any of the minutes of the RUD agreement and the barn were discussed. Council needs to be aware of the thinking that went into the restoration of the barn. If there was not a benefit for the City being discussed, the barn would not even be in the agreement. She hoped Council could find a way for the barn to be of direct benefit for the residents of the community who will live with the increased density of the Island Lake development.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
5. Consideration of Ordinance No. 03-81.21, an amendment to Chapter 33, Traffic and Motor Vehicles of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to adopt by reference as it exists now and in the future the Michigan Vehicle Code to comply with State Statutes. 2nd Reading
CM-03-11-359 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Ordinance No. 03-81.21, an amendment to Chapter 33, Traffic and Motor Vehicles of the Novi Code of Ordinances, to adopt by reference as it exists now and in the future the Michigan Vehicle Code to comply with State Statutes. 2nd Reading.
Member Capello asked if a 3rd Reading was necessary to pass this Item. Mr. Fisher said a 3rd Reading was not necessary, as the Item would pass with the approval of the 2nd Reading. Member Capello asked when the motion would take effect. Mr. Fisher replied the ordinance would take effect 15 days after passing it. Member Capello asked if during the interim, all of the violations were being prosecuted under State law, which Mr. Fisher replied was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-359 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
6. Consideration of the request from Toll Brothers Development to amend the Island Lake Residential Unit Development (RUD) Agreement, Site Plan 03-15, for the fourth amendment to the original agreement. This amendment would allow for the removal of the barn on the property and its subsequent donation to an organization in the Novi area.
CM-03-11-360 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve request from Toll Brothers Development to amend the Island Lake Residential Unit Development (RUD) Agreement, Site Plan 03-15, for the fourth amendment to the original agreement. This amendment allows for the removal of the barn on the property and its subsequent donation to Maybury State Park, the placement of a marker at the relocation site providing a history of the barn, and performance guarantees that in the event Toll Brothers does not reconstruct the barn on the Maybury State Park site, those funds shall be available to reconstruct the barn elsewhere within the City.
Member Lorenzo noted that she was a member of the Planning Commission when the RUD came forward and was approved for the site. The barn preservation, though it was something that the Planning Commission and Council had forethought, is for the residents of the RUD, not the residents of Novi. The barn was to be used as a community building for the residents of Island Lake homes, which is one of the reasons that she had approved the donation. The barn is not publicly owned, is not on City or public property, and thus the entire community will not benefit from the barn existing on the site other than knowing that the structure will be preserved. A greater sense of value is derived from knowing that the barn would not only be preserved, but would also be used for its historic and authentic purpose as a barn. In going to an organization, the barn would be for the greater good of Novi and of the entire region.
Member Lorenzo said she would like to see some form of marker or plaque outside of where the barn will exist, providing some of the facility’s history, such as that Toll Brothers donated it, that the barn was in Novi, and some other history such as the time period of the structure. This would prevent the barn from losing its entire historic location value.
Ron Boshaw of Toll Brothers Development said his company would be very happy and proud to do so.
Member Lorenzo said she appreciated this, as well as the generous and gracious donation of the barn. The rebuilding process is already beginning at Maybury State Park, and the Novi community should feel good about contributing to this.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said his understanding was that it would cost approximately $60,000 to dismantle, move, and reconstruct the barn. He asked if Toll Brothers had committed to paying this cost. Mr. Boshaw replied that his company had committed to the cost. Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it was certain that the barn would go to Maybury State Park, which Mr. Boshaw said was correct. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that with this commitment, he would echo Member Lorenzo’s comments that given the tragedy that occurred at Maybury, the interests of the community at large would be better served with the structure as a functioning barn. He would support the motion.
Member Nagy said she supported the motion, appreciated the plaque, and appreciated the fact that Toll Brothers would pay the costs for the dismantling and relocation. She asked what would fill the barn’s current site at Island Lake.
Mr. Boshaw said parking and picnic areas for the residents are proposed for the site, with the main use of a boat launch and docking for the residents of the Island Lake community.
Member Capello said he agreed with the previous speakers. He was on the Planning Commission when the City adopted the RUD ordinance. Toll Brothers had a great deal of input into the ordinance, and it was the company’s suggestion to leave the barn. The company was going to develop a park around the barn, and the barn was in such great shape that it would be utilized for residential use. The barn will be put to a much better use by being relocated to Maybury, where it will fill a greater need for the community than at Island Lake. He still had concerns regarding the commitment of Maybury State Park, the DNR, or the State of Michigan, that they are accepting the barn. He asked if Toll Brothers had anything in writing to show that the State will allow the barn to be moved to Maybury.
Mr. Boshaw said there was a letter in Council’s packets from the Northville Community Foundation formally requesting and accepting the donation of the barn.
Member Capello said this was not the same as the State formally accepting the barn onto its land, as the Northville Community Foundation does not own land in Maybury State Park. He said he would like to see more detail from the State about the barn.
Mark Cryderman of the Northville Community Foundation said the Foundation has a formal, signed lease agreement with the State of Michigan to operate the barn independently as a working farm. The land is State-owned, but the State will have nothing to do with what is going on at the farm, as this is completely controlled by the Community Foundation. The Foundation has full authorization to move any buildings, as it sees fit, onto the property to make it a working farm.
Member Capello asked if Toll Brothers is paying the entire cost of tearing down and rebuilding on the property that the Foundation oversees at Maybury. Mr. Cryderman said this was correct as he understood it.
Member Capello asked Mr. Fisher if, since the City was amending the site plan, Council could have some kind of performance or financial guarantee in the motion that in the event Toll Brothers does not put the barn up on the Maybury site, the City can have the funds available to put the barn up there or elsewhere if the Maybury agreement were to fall through.
Mr. Fisher said the amendment would require a written agreement amendment, as well as a site plan change. If the applicant was agreeable to such a security arrangement being written into the agreement, this would certainly be feasible.
Member Capello asked if Toll Brothers would have any objection to such an amendment. Mr. Boshaw said his company would be happy to agree to the amendment.
Member Capello asked Member Lorenzo if she would accept the friendly amendment, which she agreed to. Member Nagy also agreed to the friendly amendment.
Mayor Csordas noted that he also agreed with all of the previous comments.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-360 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
B. Approval of Traffic Control Order 03-12 for the installation of a sign No Through Trucks Over 10,000 lbs. on eastbound and westbound Nine Mile Road between Beck Road and Taft Road.
Member Paul asked where trucks will be able to turn around when they are not able to utilize the section of Nine Mile Road.
Mr. McCusker said that currently, the truck route is Haggerty Road to Nine Mile Road. During construction, larger trucks from other areas would come down Taft Road and get stuck in subdivisions. The signs will alert them before they get to that point on Nine Mile from the Novi Road side and stop the semi-trucks from meandering through a residential neighborhood.
Member Paul asked where the trucks will be able to turn around. Mr. McCusker replied that the trucks will be able to go straight down to Eight Mile Road and take that road back out.
CM-03-11-361 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Traffic Control Order 03-12 for the installation of a sign No Through Trucks Over 10,000 lbs. on eastbound and westbound Nine Mile Road between Beck Road and Taft Road.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-361 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
C. Approval of South Lake Drive License Agreements for the placement of conduit pipe under South Lake Drive
Member Paul asked about the depth of the underground pipe, and the placement of the pipes for the five residents on South Lake Drive.
Mr. Helwig noted that Ms. McClain had been processing this. There have been a great number of these pipes approved, and these residents decided late that they wanted the underground pipes.
Ms. McClain said the pipes were probably placed at the end of the previous week, as these were all at the east end of the roadway. Construction on South Lake Drive went from west to east. The depth of the conduit puts it below the depth of the roadway structure. There are 6 inches of asphalt pavement and 9 to 12 inches of aggregate. The conduit is being placed below that, which allows the City to know where all of the conduits are underneath the road, and allows the City to control the depth and keep it out of the roadway. At times, there have been conduits put in previously that are just-under the roadway surface. The South Lake Drive method allows the City more control over the conduits.
Member Paul asked for the time frame for the placement of the conduit for the five residents.
Ms. McClain said that if they had not already been placed, they would be placed in the next few days.
CM-03-11-362 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve South Lake Drive License Agreements for the placement of conduit pipe under South Lake Drive.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-362 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
I. Approval to award bid for written test for Lieutenants and an Assessment Center for Sergeants to Jack Clancy, the low bidder, in an amount not to exceed $3,500 (Lieutenants test) and $7,000 plus a not to exceed amount of $3,000 for reimbursables (Sergeants Assessment Center).
Member Gatt asked Mr. Helwig if there was another promotion scheduled in the Police Department.
Mr. Helwig said the City had performed the promotion for Lieutenant, which opened the opportunity for Sergeant. The City is processing the payment of the voucher for Lieutenant, as this was not properly processed in advance.
Member Gatt said he wanted to make sure there was not another promotion for Lieutenant. Mr. Helwig said the Item was for Lieutenant Molloy.
CM-03-11-363 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award bid for written test for Lieutenants and an Assessment Center for Sergeants to Jack Clancy, the low bidder, in an amount not to exceed $3,500 (Lieutenants test) and $7,000 plus a not to exceed amount of $3,000 for reimbursables (Sergeants Assessment Center).
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-363 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Meadowbrook Town Homes – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo noted that residents of the Meadowbrook Town Homes development have come forward with concerns about their neighborhood. She requested a report responding to her questions by the next Council meeting.
Member Lorenzo asked what the outstanding and unresolved building code, ordinance, and site plan violations were regarding Meadowbrook Town Homes. She questioned why these concerns went unresolved or unnoticed during inspections prior to temporary certificate of occupancy and certificate of occupancy. She asked what the timetable was to resolve those issues, and inquired what recourse the City has in providing "incentives" for the builder/developer to comply without any further delay.
Member Nagy asked why the concerns have taken 1 to 2 years for a resolution on the City’s behalf. She asked what recourse the City has taken with the developer, and requested that a history of administration’s action with the developer be provided to Council.
2. Removal of Ash Trees – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo recalled that she had brought this issue forward approximately a month and a half before. Council had received information in a recent packet that the City currently has a balance in the tree fund of $133,577, which includes a budget amount of $50,000 in the tree fund’s maintenance fund, with $40,000 of that $50,000 remaining. She proposed that on the next meeting’s agenda, Council should consider using some of those monies to hire a contractor to go out and remove more ash trees. When constructing the budget, Council members had information that it would take an estimated $45,000 to remove 100 trees. The City has $40,000 left in the tree maintenance fund, so if Council took an additional $50,000 for a total of $90,000, 200 more trees could be removed during the winter season. If there was consensus on Council, she desired to ask administration to bring forward a proposal for the next meeting to go out to bid for the removals, and a budget amendment to allow this to happen.
Member Nagy said she agreed with Member Lorenzo. There are 180 ash trees at her housing complex, and they are removing them with specific companies. She said that for 71 ash trees removed and stumps ground, they paid $20,655. She wished to provide the City with some names to help in the bidding process.
Member Capello asked if the City had services available in house to remove the trees without contracting the services out. Mr. Helwig said the City now has 2 forestry technicians, who are also overseeing planting. Given these numbers, outside support is truly needed for the volume of trees needing removal. The removal of ash trees is very specialized, skilled work, and workers must be certified for their proper removal.
3. Novi Promenade – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said she had two concerns with the item. On October 2nd, Council received a memorandum indicating that on September 18th, an agreement was signed with an engineering firm to provide construction administration and inspection work. At that time, the review of construction bids was being finalized. She asked what the current status of that project was.
Mr. Pearson said that Landon is prepared to execute the plan, which has been approved by the DEQ. The issue that has been raised more recently was a fear of being caught up in additional DEQ reviews or approvals. Landon had gotten word that there would be something coming related to something more than concrete and rebar. That afternoon, he had received information that the Landon Company is prepared to move forward. They are going to modify the proposal slightly with a note to cut off the exposed rebar and remove the rubber and concrete, which puts this in the category of the material that can be covered. Landon has been waiting for the DEQ to say what the company should do. No word has come, so the company is ready to move forward.
Member Lorenzo asked if the there was a date forecasted for the completion of the project. Mr. Pearson replied that Dr. Tilton and Landon would go to the site that Wednesday, at which time it will be known when the contractor will begin and complete the project.
Member Lorenzo asked if Dr. Tilton’s services will be billed back to the Landon Company. Mr. Pearson said that was administration’s plan.
Member Lorenzo asked Dr. Tilton if he believed the proposed construction to be the least intrusive method to protect and preserve the wetland, which Dr. Tilton said was correct. Member Lorenzo said that Mr. Wizinsky’s concern was the appearance of the site, which "looks like a dump." Mr. Wizinsky said he was more concerned that he could not find in the City’s file, nor the DEQ’s, the results of any testing or any inventory of all of the materials. He said he would feel more comfortable if the site was drained, took an inventory of the materials, and then made the decision of what to do.
Member Lorenzo asked if such an inventory had been taken by the City.
Dr. Tilton said a thorough review was done, but was not included in his report. When he first saw the site, it was completely dry and could be walked across. He was able to do soil borings throughout the entire wetland area, and literally find the limit of disposal. They dug soil pits to depths of 36 inches and confirmed that they were looking at undisturbed soil horizons with no fill material. In the wetland restoration area itself that is planned to be buried is pre-stressed, concrete panel material. There is no visual evidence of soil staining, damaged or stressed vegetation due to any kind of chemical, and no soil odor, which are all types of Phase I investigation techniques. His recollection about the telephone pole was that it sat outside of the area that is to be restored as wetland, but it would not be a problem to cut that up and remove the pole in the process of removing the cable. A visual inspection had been done, including shallow soil borings in the area. All of the material that he plans on covering will be below the mean water level so that a wetland can be established.
Member Lorenzo asked if there was anything that would prohibit Council from approving Landon’s proposal to work on the wetland.
Dr. Tilton said that the DEQ permit must be modified, which has been done by letter. He had done the same thing to the City permit, so the material can be placed in the wetland as part of the underlying permit.
Member Lorenzo asked if Mr. Fisher had examined the City’s ordinances to make sure that Council would not violate its own ordinances in doing the work. Mr. Fisher said he had not examined the ordinances, but Mr. Schultz has been working more closely on the issue. Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Fisher to confirm this. Her biggest concern was the time that the cleanup has taken. She asked who was actually responsible for the cleanup needed on the site, and how long the cleanup should take to accomplish.
Dr. Tilton replied that once a contractor begins the work, it should be completed within a week or two, weather permitting. He noted that after the concept was agreed on, the DEQ had to amend the permit, which took about 2 months. When the letter was finally completed from the DEQ, it was again in the hands of Landon. He and Mr. Pearson have been pushing Landon to go ahead with the work, but the company has expressed a desire to delay the work.
Member Lorenzo asked Dr. Tilton to tell Landon that the City Council wants the wetland project completed. She said that if the work is not done in 30 days, she would be asking the City Attorney for any legal action that could be taken about the site.
Member Nagy asked Dr. Tilton when the seeding would be done on the site. Dr. Tilton replied that the site would stabilized for the winter with silt fencing and erosion control measures, and the site will be seeded early in the spring. He noted that the concept of dormant seeding the site will be discussed with the contractor as an alternative to seeding in the spring.
4. PASER Update for 2004 Neighborhood Roads Paving Program – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said that Council had received memos on October 15th and October 24th, one from Nancy McClain, and the other was a copy of a letter sent to residents of Walden Woods I indicating that the City is considering updating its PASER report next spring. She was concerned with delaying the actual road improvements by waiting until next spring. She was disappointed that the actual road paving did not begin until very late in the season. Optimally, the City should be paving in June, July and August, and everything should be completed by the time school begins in September. She suggested that if the City does need to update its PASER report, administration should come back to Council at the next meeting with some kind of report to go out for bids, or whatever is needed, so that the process does not begin in the spring.
Mr. Helwig noted that the PASER system is the City’s pavement management program, which it did not have until 2001. Council authorized a system to develop a pavement management program, and a firm from Canada actually scans the City’s streets to develop a rating of 1 through 10, with 10 being newly constructed, excellent condition, and 1 being deplorable, dilapidated condition. As the neighborhood street repaving program has progressed, the PASER system has been used as a guide. The 1’s, 2’s, and 3’s will have been repaved by the end of this month, and next year the City will begin working on the 4’s. Mr. Helwig said he would definitely like to perform a PASER analysis every 2 years. However, because of current financial circumstances, he did not recommend it for this year’s budget, but would recommend it for the upcoming budget of July 1st. Administration is going out to bids for emergency generators next week. Ms. McClain feels that the existing PASER system has sufficient workload for next year’s program that will be sent for Council’s review soon so that the appropriate borings can be done before winter sets in.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Helwig if he was contemplating waiting until the spring to do an updated PASER, and then do the road improvements. Mr. Helwig replied that administration feels it has sufficient information and backlog for next year, and then come to Council during its April fiscal budget deliberations with a recommendation for the new PASER report, if Council so desires.
Member Lorenzo asked when the roads that administration is currently looking to repave will come to Council for confirmation. Mr. Helwig said these would be presented for the November 24th or the December 1st meeting.
Member Paul noted that she lives in Westmont Village, which is currently under construction. That process has taken a great deal of time, and there will be an increased cost for that project because of timing. Blankets and hot water will now be needed for that work, and linseed oil will be poured over the concrete. If the City can avoid doing such work into the fall months, it would benefit everyone. If Council decides to go forward with the project, based on the previous PASER scale, it is important that Council have those bids perhaps at the start of March, and continue moving this forward so that the first bid can begin in the spring. The State of Michigan does not pour concrete after October 1st for this reason, and the City does not have much money to pay for the extra measures needed for late-season road work. After the road has been placed, it cannot be salted for several months, meaning the road cannot be salted if there is an ice storm during this winter. This has happened in several other subdivisions, including the Wintergreen subdivision. She hoped the City would learn from this project and not have it happen again.
5. Post Bar Incidents – Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said it was brought to Council’s attention on March 17, 2003 to approve a Class C liquor license for this new establishment on Main Street. At the time, the owners had been involved in previous establishments, and there had been some violations which were reported to Council by the Police Department. There was some general concern on Council’s part to grant the liquor license. After some discussion, she had asked Mr. Fisher if there was a way to put conditions on the permit. Mr. Fisher had responded that the City would put the applicants on notice, they would be monitored, and Council would consider these things to be violations in the future and retain the right to bring them in for review. Unfortunately, over the past few months there have been two incidents posted in the Novi News that prompted her to ask administration for additional information.
Member Lorenzo noted that the City had unfortunately received calls for service. Several issues concerned and disappointed her. She said she would be asking for more specific information, particularly regarding a weapons violation, liquor law violation, 5 Part B incidents, local ordinance arrests, and the 30 visits that have been necessary from the City’s Police Department. She said 88 incidents in the past three and a half months is very disconcerting to her. She commented that she was almost sorry for having approved the liquor license. The owners had assured Council that they had everything under control. She had read in the newspaper that Chief Shaeffer was going to be forwarding the one issue that occurred recently, where a 23-year-old man was so intoxicated that he could have died from alcohol poisoning. She said she wanted the owners to be called in, provide an explanation, and explain what they will do about these problems. She wanted to know about what the Liquor Control Commission can or cannot do on the issue. While she will be reasonable in giving the owners an opportunity to explain their circumstances and get their act together perhaps in 30 days, she said she would ask for another report in the next 3 months. If similar problems continue, she will make a motion to have Mr. Fisher do whatever is needed with the Liquor Control Commission. She is very willing to allow the owners to respond and react as needed. Beyond this, she said the problems are totally unacceptable and was very concerned.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Chief Shaeffer if there have been any Liquor Control Commission violations at the Post Bar.
Chief Shaeffer replied that the Post Bar recently had a violation in which officers found a very intoxicated person in front of the Post Bar building. Through their interviews with friends and the limo driver, the officers determined the man had just exited the Post Bar. He had recently met with the managers of the Post Bar the previous Wednesday to address this issue and some others of concern to the community. The managers explained that they had ejected the gentleman an hour before the officers arrived, and maintained this position. The Liquor Control Commission will have an opportunity to deal with that particular violation, and the Post Bar is entitled to a hearing before the Commission.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if this was the only alleged violation that the Police Department was aware of since the facility opened. Chief Shaeffer responded that he believed this was correct. Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that in his mind, the police calls to an establishment and the Liquor Control violations are two different things. The Liquor Control Commission has the jurisdiction to do something about one, but does not have the jurisdiction to react to the other. He said he would look forward to any report that the Police Department would put out, and would look forward to any response by the Post Bar.
Member Nagy asked Chief Shaeffer asked how many patrol cars the Police Department has out in the City during the busiest hours at the Post Bar, on the weekends. Chief Shaeffer said the Department has increased its enforcement during that time at that area. Officers are encouraged to spend a great deal of time in the area during those hours, and supervisors are paying a great deal of attention to the facility during its closing hours as well. Department supervisors have spoken with the Post Bar’s managers and expressed concerns about the high numbers of activities that the Department believes are related to the establishment.
Member Nagy said she understood the distinction between a violation and police being called to the scene. As a matter of public safety, she was concerned that someone in another area of town many need an officer, but that officer would be prohibited from serving a person because they are at the Post Bar. Having been in that area on a Friday evening, she commented that the situation is very serious and a matter of public safety. Even if the City had more police officers, it would still be a serious situation. She noted the City does not want intoxicated people driving. She would like to see something done by the Post Bar.
Chief Shaeffer reiterated that he had met with the Post Bar the previous Wednesday, but was unable to provide a memo of that meeting to Council in time to be in the Thursday packet.
Mr. Helwig commented that the memo had been given to Council before the meeting.
Chief Shaeffer said that attached to the memo is a list of proposals that the Post Bar and Grill has initiated at their own volition, prior to the Wednesday meeting. He noted that the Police Department is not ready to "let them off the hook, by any means." Any citizen in the community that has a dire need for police in an emergency situation will get one. The Department will literally strip itself of all other lesser-priority items in order to service the needs of an emergency situation. The Police will do everything possible to ensure that the citizen will receive assistance, including calling assistance from other communities if necessary.
Member Nagy said she appreciated this, and did not mean to imply that the Police Department could not service the needs of the community. The Post Bar seems to be an area that requests a lot of calls, and this is not fair to the taxpayers of the City.
Member Gatt commented that the 88 incidents number was deceiving, as 30 calls were "99-41", meaning these were cases where an officer might stop by just to say hello and be seen at the establishment as a friendly reminder that the area is being patrolled. He suggested that the 88 incidents number be reduced by 30, which is still a high number. If what he read in the newspaper is correct, the man who was arrested the previous week had 0.35 blood alcohol content, and was taken to the hospital. If the Post Bar had kicked him out an hour earlier, he still had an extremely high level. He asked Chief Shaeffer if there were any plans to place undercover officers in the facility at various times for a few weeks. This is a trouble spot, and the City does not want such a reputation. He noted that the Post Bar houses a radio show on Monday nights, and the facility receives a great number of people from outside Novi, many of which have been causing such troubles.
Member Paul said she liked the idea of preventing some problems in that area, possibly by putting somebody undercover. However, the cost to the citizens is a concern to her. The City is down police officers already, as FBI regulations say the City should have a minimum of 78 officers. The City currently has 65 officers. She was concerned with overtime costs stemming from undercover work, and wondered whether the Post Bar would cover some of the bill. She did not feel it was necessary for the citizens to pay for something that the Post Bar is having a hard time with.
Mr. Fisher noted that the Post Bar has a Class C license. Technically, the Liquor Control Commission has the final action if there will ultimately be revocation. On the other hand, the rules that apply to a Class C license provide that the City may provide notice and conduct a hearing. The City has two criteria for revocation in its ordinance. One is a violation of the restrictions on the license set forth in a particular section of the City’s ordinance, spelled out in Section 3-14(i). The second is maintenance of a nuisance upon the premises, which is much broader. He has not yet researched exactly whether or not there are limitations upon how that interpretation is made. If the City conducts a hearing and there is sufficient evidence to find that there is a violation of one of the ordinance sections or there is a nuisance on the premises, the City may request the Liquor Control Commission to revoke the license. In that event, the Liquor Control Commission shall revoke the license – this is not a discretionary act by the Liquor Control Commission, but is rather the City’s decision. However, the Liquor Control Commission must take the action. If the City does consider this a serious matter and Council has the contemplation that perhaps there is a nuisance being conducted on that premises, it would be appropriate to do an investigation, let the Post Bar know that the City feels there is a nuisance and explain what it is, thus putting the Post Bar on notice. If the City does have a hearing in the future, there will be no surprises.
Mayor Csordas said he had noticed a very large Jack Daniel’s bus parked in the street in front of the Post Bar that was not only blocking a fire hydrant, but blocked half the street as well. He commented that he could not imagine the City having issued a permit for this. He said he agreed with Council’s comments. The City wants to be reasonable with the community’s business establishments, but this is rapidly escalating to serious issues. He said Mr. Fisher’s recommendations were excellent. The Post Bar needs to know that Council is very concerned about their activities. Mayor Csordas requested that Chief Shaeffer "stay on" the Post Bar and continue keeping Council informed on the matter.
CM-03-11-364 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City Attorney to notify the Post Bar that in the future, Council may exercise its right to conduct an investigation should the types of events of concern continue. Council believes the establishment to be a nuisance. Mr. Fisher shall perform a minor amount of investigation to find out exactly what the activities of concern have been, and investigate the incident of a Jack Daniel’s bus being present at the establishment.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if what Council was voting on was whether to instruct Mr. Fisher to notify the Post Bar that in the future, Council may exercise its right to conduct an investigation. Council is not conducting an investigation right now, but may exercise its right for an investigation in the future should the types of events of concern continue.
Mayor Csordas said it was his impression that this was what Council was voting on.
Mr. Fisher said he wished to include in the motion that he would perform a minor amount of investigation to find out exactly what the activities of concern have been, and include that as an indication that Council feels this is a nuisance.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Fisher if he felt the information that Council currently had sufficed as a minor investigation. Mr. Fisher said he would like to "go below the surface" to get some of the details of what the police visits have been. Mayor Csordas said he would appreciate Mr. Fisher inquiring about the bus during his investigation.
Member Nagy said she understood Mr. Fisher to say that because of the Class C license, the City would have an opportunity to conduct a hearing. Mr. Fisher replied that this was correct. Before the City can take any action on a revocation, it must conduct a hearing and provide a notice of the action, reasons for the action, date and time of the hearing, and allow the establishment to present evidence – in other words, a due process hearing.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-364 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
6. South Lake Drive – Member Paul
Member Paul noted that South Lake Drive is currently under construction. She had driven over the Shawood Canal bridge recently for the first time, and found the bridge to be a very tight space to fit her regular-sized van across. She questioned how the City could expect to get a snow plow across the bridge if her van could barely fit across the structure. A resident had spoken to her and expressed concern that they could not fit under the bridge. Previously, residents were able to get under the bridge with a snowmobile. Before the construction, the bridge provided a 4’ 10’’ gap under with to fit. Following the construction, a person must lay flat in a canoe to fit under the bridge. She expressed concern with the City possibly impeding water rights-of-way, as many people use the canal going to or from Walled Lake. She asked what the DEQ is doing regarding the impeding of water rights.
Mr. Helwig asked Mayor Csordas if he would like administration to report back in the off-week packet, which Mayor Csordas said would be fine. Member Paul said this would be fine. She wanted to consider the cost of dredging under the bridge, as this would not be a large dredging project. She also requested information about the snow plow issue on the bridge.
Mr. Helwig noted that there is a Shawood Canal bridge south of South Lake Drive, which is just finishing and will open soon. What Member Paul spoke to, as he understood, is referred to by administration as the culvert for Shawood Canal to empty into Walled Lake, and administration would report regarding this site.
Member Nagy said she had received a complaint from a resident about some flooding in the area. She requested information in the report about whether all the easements are granted, so that the water can flow into Walled Lake, away from South Lake.
7. Officer Edgars – Member Gatt
Member Gatt noted that Council had received a note from Chief Shaeffer which discussed Officer Ayren Edgars. Officer Edgars is a man who risks his life every day for the people of Novi. He is rather new on the force, having hired-in just before Member Gatt retired. Officer Edgars went away to an active war zone in Kuwait and Iraq, and has been gone for more than 7 months. He is returning home and coming back to work for the City, which presents the Council, citizens, and Police Department an opportunity to recognize his service. Member Gatt suggested doing something "very special" for Officer Edgars when he returns.
Mayor Csordas said the City would be sure to do so, and thanked Member Gatt for bringing forward the issue.
8. December 15th Council Meeting – Mayor Csordas
Mayor Csordas noted that Council is scheduled to meet on December 1st and December 15th. He must be in Washington D.C. on December 15th at one of the health boards that he sits on. He asked Council whether it would mind moving the meeting to the 8th or the 22nd. The Mayor said he did not want to miss one of the first 3 meetings of the new Council.
Member Paul said the 8th of December would be preferable for her, as she will be out of town on the 22nd.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry suggested that administration may want more than one week’s separation between a meeting on December 1st and December 8th. If Council will conduct business, it may want to give the community more time and provide more time to administration for compiling packets and other materials. He suggested the 22nd of December as the alternative date, but said he could attend either meeting.
Mr. Helwig noted that Council had tentatively scheduled December 8th for boards and commissions interviews. Council is certainly not limited to Mondays for meeting times.
Member Capello asked the City Clerk if she had any idea how many interviews Council had scheduled for December 8th. Ms. Cornelius replied that there were currently none scheduled, as her office would begin advertising that Thursday. Member Capello suggested doing the interviews at 6:00 or 6:30 p.m. and conducting the regular meeting at 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.
Mr. Helwig said the City must complete the closing of its Special Assessment District bond sale between the 15th of December and the end of the year. This could perhaps be accomplished at a special meeting with just one meeting, which would involve accepting an interest rate and approving the final closing sale of the bonds. However, administration definitely needs Council’s attention sometime in the second half of December.
Member Capello asked if the meeting had to occur between the 15th and the 22nd.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the 15th was the last date the sale could happen in order for the City to take delivery by the 30th.
Member Capello asked if the meeting could take place on the 8th instead of the 15th.
Ms. Smith-Roy said Council could do this, but it would cause the interest rates to be higher because it would occur before the time period. The City must allow people to have the bond official statements for a certain period of time.
Member Capello suggested the 18th, as there is no longer an Ordinance Review Committee meeting scheduled.
Ms. Smith-Roy said she thought she could change the date on the first agenda item that Council approved that night. The first agenda item specified the sale date. However, she could not guarantee that the City could take delivery by the 30th.
Member Nagy asked if this would cost the City additional interest.
Ms. Smith-Roy said this would not cost the City additional interest, but would cost the developer.
Mayor Csordas commented that he did not want to inflict such costs. He said he would simply miss the meeting on the 15th.
Ms. Smith-Roy said the 18th might be fine, but the 1st agenda item just needed to be changed. She said she could just not guarantee delivery by December 30th. There is nothing "magical" about taking delivery by the 30th – she had thought this was Council’s intent. It allows the City to get tax-qualifying exemption because it is under the $10 million level. Next year, if the City does bonds for other reasons, administration wants to stay under the $10 million level.
Mayor Csordas asked if December 16th would work for Council, to which no one objected. He thanked everyone for their indulgence.
CM-03-11-365 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To change the date of the regularly scheduled meeting of Council from December 15th to December 16th, 2003.
Roll Call Vote on CM-03-11-365 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
Paul Sherbeck, 24547 Fairway Hills Drive, congratulated the new Mayor and members of Council. He wanted to know what the new Council’s commitment was to the previous Council’s promise of no more road bonds for 5 years. He also wondered what Council’s commitment would be to help the Mayor keep his written promise that no new taxes are necessary. The State government has made it easier for local governments to play a "tax shell" game on citizens. He invited citizens to look at the website www.michiganvotes.org. State representatives and senators have been adding to the ways that cities such as Novi can sneak in tax increases. He urged Council to not only keep taxes at current levels, but to decrease them.
Mayor Csordas said that Council is committed to living up to the previous Council’s promise regarding the road bonds. Council members are all tax payers as well, and will do whatever possible to hold taxes down. Novi is a growing community. Built-out cities face far more challenges than Novi or other growing communities. The City operates a very fiscally responsible budget, with a surplus. Council is committed to maintaining this as best it can. There will be revenue sharing issues that will need to be addressed soon. The City is doing the best it can to prepare itself for that likely situation. He hopes that through proper management and good business practices the City will be able to keep up with that. He said Council would never "sneak in" a tax on the residents of the City of Novi.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 9:56 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King
Date approved: November 24, 2003