|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE
CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig – City Manager
Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson – Assistant City Manager
Gerald Fisher – City Attorney
Art Lenaghan – Fire Chief
Nancy McClain – City Engineer
Tom Schultz – Assistant City Attorney
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Barbara McBeth – Interim Planning Director
Benny McCusker – Public Works Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Nagy wished to add items under Mayor and Council Issues; number one, "Charles Bedro"; number two, "John Richards"; and number three, "Fifty’s Festival."
CM-04-08-301 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-08-301 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
1. Community EMS donation of two Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to the City of Novi – Larry Ragnone
Larry Ragnone, Vice President of Community EMS, said he was in attendance to present to Fire Chief Lenaghan two brand new AED monitors for the use of the Fire Department. These monitors will help take the City’s emergency response service to the next step and make it even better for the citizens of Novi. Community EMS has been servicing Novi for a long time, and just updated its monitors to 12-lead monitors. Mayor Csordas presented Mr. Ragnone and Community EMS with a certificate of appreciation from the City of Novi.
Chief Lenaghan commented that he hopes the Fire Department will never have to use the AED’s, but if it does, the machines upgrade the Department’s emergency medical service. The Fire Department hopes to begin replacing the versions that it currently has with the updated versions. The City has worked with Community EMS for a number
years, and this has seen good cooperation. He said the Fire Department appreciates this type of support.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER - None
3. DEPARTMENTAL – Blackout: One Year Later – Clay Pearson, Carol Kalinovik,
Rob Petty, Cindy Uglow
Mr. Helwig noted that he had three items to highlight that evening. This past weekend, after many, many hours of preparations, two barns were relocated.
Mr. Klaver recalled that Maybury State Park lost a large barn and a number of animals in a tragic fire last year, at which point Toll Brothers, developers of Island Lake, agreed to move and pay the cost of moving these barns. This was done on Saturday, August 7th, beginning at 7:30 a.m. The barn was 43 feet high. The second barn, which was originally attached to the first, was moved separately and was a much easier move. The barns were moved down Ten Mile to Napier, and crossed under the large transmission lines at 9:30. The entire move was done by 10:45 and went very smoothly. The City had a lot of support from the utilities that donated their time. Sheryl Walsh handled a lot of the public information duties. Mr. McCusker was in charge of much of the signage issues to announce detours, and Nancy McClain assisted with utilities. The move went very smoothly, and hopefully the barns will be at Maybury for many, many years for the public.
Mayor Csordas commented that the move was an amazing engineering feat. He asked when the barns will be available for public use.
Mr. Klaver replied that there was an article in a recent newspaper that stated this time period would be nearly a year. There is quite a bit of foundation work and other restoration needed before the barn can be put fully into use. He wished to thank all of the residents along Napier, several of which allowed trimming of trees in front of their property, and went without power or use of abode for the period of time that the barn was being moved. The City greatly appreciates this, as well as all of the public support.
Mr. Helwig said that the City received an unusually nice set of kudos for Mr. McCusker and Ms. Cornelius, regarding accommodation and high praise for their work when they were called about a water main break near a sidewalk on Argyle Street. Residents called the problem in and very quickly the work was repaired. There was a follow-up phone call placed to make sure that the residents were satisfied; not only were they satisfied, but they took the time to write about the events.
Mr. Helwig noted that it is nearly the one-year anniversary of the blackout in August of last year. Like most communities, Novi has learned that there were things it would like to have had in place to better deal with such an emergency. City Council has made various decisions and appropriations of funds. That evening, led by Mr. Pearson, Cindy
Uglow, Carol Kalinovik, and Rob Petty, the team that has been tracking and implementing in particular the emergency generator upgrades and purchases, an update would be provided to the community of where the City stands, one year later.
Mr. Pearson noted that Saturday the 14th would mark the anniversary of the events of one year ago. At that time, he and Mayor Pro Tem Landry were at Fox Run Village when the lights went out. That was an unprecedented event in terms of the scope. By any accounts, the community’s response was standout. More than 25,000 bottles of water were distributed at various comfort stations. The City did as much as it could and then some in trying to keep information flowing to residents and operated its emergency operations center immediately. Since that event, administration wanted to see how it was doing and see what it could improve. A physical improvement that the City saw right away was with the backup power generation. The Civic Center had no backup power generators at the time of the blackout. The City was able to rent a trailer from Michigan CAT, and was able to get power up and running at the Civic Center. The Civic Center is well located, is a beacon that people know about and can gravitate to, and power is essential for operations there. That was the centerpiece in the recommendations that administration had brought to Council in December, which Council endorsed. Since then, as Mr. Helwig had mentioned, the City has been implementing these changes. That entire backup system is now up and running and at the ready in case anything else happens. The Senior Center was rewired, as some facilities needed extra wiring for the backup power generation. The City basically constructed a plug-and-go system where it can bring mobile generators and use those to get the City operational again. Administration also focused on communications efforts; together, Cindy Uglow and Sheryl Walsh have met a number of times with neighborhood leaders in how to get information out to residents when some traditional means, such as telephones, might not be available. The City utilized a lot of legwork during the last blackout with door-to-door drop offs, but this has been structured more by working with neighborhood groups. An emergency hotline has also been implemented and is at the ready. The City has worked with the comfort station committee, a resident committee consisting of resident volunteers will work these stations in the event of an emergency. The City has also identified facilities, including schools, that are available as backup and primary stations, depending on when an emergency might occur. Novi Middle School, Village Oaks Elementary, Walled Lake Middle School, Meadowbrook Elementary, and the Civic Center are all emergency stations.
Mayor Csordas thanked administration and volunteers for their support and making all the efforts come together. He inquired if the emergency hotline is specifically for blackout situations, or if it combines with some other kind of hotline in the community. He also asked how the availability of that number would be communicated to the community.
Mr. Pearson replied that the hotline is very flexible. Whatever the type of emergency, the City can place any message needed on that line. The number, (248) 735-5680 is something that the City will try to get out in its communications and ask people to have
available so that they know a number. If all else fails, people can call that number to receive an update.
Member Paul asked if the hotline number would be in the Yellow Pages in the future.
Mr. Pearson replied that administration could make sure that the proper information is updated.
Member Paul noted that water pressure was a significant problem during the last blackout. She asked what the one-year analysis was for the long-term plan for that pressure problem.
Mr. Helwig said that to be up and running on August 25th is the second water main crossing of I-96, which has been Council’s number one priority for some time in enhancing water pressure, particularly for the southwestern portion of the City. Earlier this year, Council adopted the water distribution water system upgrade master plan, which is the first time that document has been updated in many, many years. This year there are numerous elements, such as booster stations and the new line on Beck, that will be undertaken to further enhance the City’s water distribution system. The main thing that has happened so far is that second crossing of I-96; the City had been very vulnerable with just the one crossing of that interstate.
Member Paul inquired about the pumping station on Fourteen Mile and Haggerty.
Mr. Helwig replied that station is online.
Mr. Fisher wished to comment about the Wilshire Abbey subdivision final plat approval. On July 26th, Council approved that plat. Since that time, all the way through to the end of business the previous Friday, the City had received new information that he outlined in greater detail in correspondence that Council had received. One of the items in the letter was of confidential nature. The issue that he wished to discuss was the matter of the three conditions that the City imposed on the plat. At this point, in light of certain changes of circumstance, the City was requesting from Council to modify the approval from a condition that the three documents would have to be submitted before the Clerk is able to sign the plat, to allowing these conditions to be met afterward; in other words, having the plat signed now, allow the processing of that to be commenced at the State, which normally takes some 30 days or so; then work out the conditions in the meantime with the understanding that building permits would not be issued until those conditions were satisfied. The one condition that was the most difficult for the property owner to achieve related to obtaining a modified easement from a third party, who was the former proprietor of the plat, for construction vehicles to go through the emergency access during the build-out phase of the homes in the plat. Apparently the easement cannot be obtained. The City has discussed the notion that if there will be construction vehicles going through the adjoining plat, Cheltenham, to reach the Wilshire plat, there may be damages caused to the Cheltenham access way. Particularly in view of the fact that Cheltenham will build another house now on its lot three, there may be arguments later.
In order to most smoothly take care of this problem, and the City believes the developer of Wilshire would be agreeable to the arrangement, would be to have the developer of Wilshire post a bond right now in advance. When the matter gets to the end of the
process and a certain amount of the homes are built, an inspection shall be done on the roads. If the roads have any weaknesses or damages, the developer of Wilshire would then have to mill down the top layer on that road and repave it from Beck Road to the Wilshire property line. Then there would not be any arguments on that score. The request being made that evening was to modify the nature of the conditions imposed by Council to allow the plat to be signed now and have the conditions met before building permits, with the particular authorization to allow this arrangement for the milling and repaving of Cheltenham Drive, rather than obtaining the altered or additional construction access.
Mayor Csordas said he appreciated the report. It was difficult to read and comprehend all of the nuances in the documentation. He asked that Council have an executive session sometime to ensure that the City is not dragged into the middle of something else. The three properties have a long history of acrimony between the owning parties. Council needs to get all the necessary information, think about it, and do whatever it can to keep the City out of the middle of the dispute. He hoped that Council would agree to an executive session regarding the matter.
Member Paul said she supported the Mayor in his suggestion, as she does not feel comfortable changing the legal plat that goes before the State without having all of the nuances and decisions reviewed and decided upon. She does not want to make a decision of that caliber on just a moment’s notice.
Mr. Fisher noted that he did not blame Member Paul, noting that his office did not receive this information until the close of business the previous Friday, the 6th. Otherwise he would have presented the information to Council well in advance.
Member Paul said she appreciated the letter in the quick timeframe that it was coming.
Member Capello asked if there was a modification required to the plat.
Mr. Fisher replied that there was only a modification of the resolution that Council had adopted previously, requiring the conditions to be met before the Clerk actually signs the plat. What he was suggesting was to allow the plat to be signed with the conditions to follow. His assumption was that the Mayor and Member Paul were referring to the other aspect of the letter as well.
Member Capello asked if the County would accept the plat for recording without actually having any access. The development is basically landlocked.
Mr. Fisher said that based upon the Court order, and the dedication and acceptance that occurred at the last Council meeting on July 26th, the roads are public. As a result of the fact that they have been finalized on the strength of a court order that is subject to
appeal, that could all be modified. Until at least some time in the future, the roads will be public. There is a very slim chance that that status could change to private.
Member Capello asked Mr. Fisher if he would suggest scheduling an executive session for that evening to discuss the offer that was in his letter.
Mr. Fisher replied that if Council felt this was something that it even wanted to consider, then he would make that suggestion.
Member Capello said he did not want to consider it, but if anyone did want to consider it, Council should schedule the executive session so that it could move forward. He was referring to the offer that Council had until the next morning to respond to.
Member Lorenzo commented that Council and the City have gone "way above and beyond" what it could have or should have done in this instance. She was not even in favor of litigating, which she felt was on behalf of the developer in this instance, much less going any further than that. She said she may be willing to consider what Mr. Fisher had mentioned that evening, with regard to the alternative for the condition placed upon plat approval at the previous meeting, but was as far as she was willing to even consider this matter.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry noted that there is an Open Meetings Act requirement. There was a question of potential litigation involving Wilshire. He suggested that Council meet in executive session immediately after the regular meeting to discuss potential litigation with Wilshire, so that the citizens of Novi would know what Council was talking about. He asked Mr. Fisher if Council had the right to retire to executive session to discuss potential litigation matters.
Mr. Fisher replied that this session would really be to discuss the contents of his letter that relates to the rights and liabilities of the City.
CM-04-08-302 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To discuss the contents of Mr. Fisher’s letter that relates to the rights and liabilities of the City in executive session. Council shall reconvene to public session following the executive session.
Member Capello said that Mayor Pro Tem Landry had made a good point. The reason that he was not clearer was that he did not want to discuss litigation, but wanted to get the point out. The City has not done anything wrong. All the City has done is bend over backwards helping the parties. Council is on a fine line as to what it can discuss about litigation and what it cannot, but the City has nothing to hide.
Voice Vote on CM-04-08-302 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, said that for several months he has had a problem with selective enforcement of ordinances. This has to do with the greater area, the Erma walkway vacated area. He went through the Freedom of Information Act to find out who else in his subdivision was cited for same or similar violations, and was surprised to find that three others were. None of those were legitimate, as he feels his was also not legitimate. Numerous letters have gone to the department, and he picked up a letter that day from the department that tells him that the only person that can deem noxious
weeds is the City’s forester. Therefore, the City has an ordinance officer out telling him he is illegal without the capacity to be correct. In his specific situation, his property has been deemed noxious. Another letter went in quickly after that, which he did not have an answer for. It only took him 16 days to get the answer to what the Freedom of Information Act information said. In seven days, the City will come out and plow his property. He strongly suggested that the City leave his wildflowers alone. There are no dandelions, there are none of the awful thistles, as Queen Anne Thistle is not noxious; the primrose are not noxious; the wild bachelor buttons are not noxious; the sweet and sour clovers that feed the rabbits are not noxious. The only reason that he is involved with the situation is the same petty situation that has happened with Mr. Korte before. He does not know why it was listed in the correspondence, but Council received a letter showing how he has proven that the enforcement is selective. He questioned how he could prove that the plants are not noxious, how he could prove when feeding the wildlife that those things are not noxious. He has removed the noxious plants from that area. He only recently found out that the forester is the only person who can legitimately make anything noxious. He asked why the forester was not the person sending him the letters. He asked why Alan Amolsch was doing this, who legally "does not have a clue as to what is noxious or what isn’t." He demanded that somebody do something. If there is something noxious in that area that he is not aware of, as he has removed anything that to his knowledge is noxious, then he should be told about it and he will get rid of the plant. He asked that the City not bulldoze the plants down, or said there would be major problems.
Mayor Csordas noted that Council had received Mr. Korte’s letter, and said he had read the letter. That letter addressed some other issues, though he did not recall reading about anything being plowed under.
Mr. Helwig said that rather than commenting at that moment, administration could perhaps provide a report to Council that Thursday from Ms. Uglow and Mr. Printz. He said he could also have time to review the matter by that time.
Member Nagy said she had gone out and viewed the properties that Mr. Korte had cited. There is an island out there as well. There is a gigantic tree that is completely knocked down that is interfering with the water course. She would like to see the City’s enforcement be a bit more across the board, as there is City property on South Lake with the very same Queen Anne Lace that Mr. Korte had mentioned. She is a bit concerned, after viewing the other properties in that area, that Mr. Korte has a good point.
Dave Maychak of Lazoen Hay & Feed, said he had prepared a packet of letters and correspondence that he assumed City Council had received. He wanted to let Council know that he was available if there were any questions or comments, either at this meeting or at a future date. Also, he had spoken with Mr. Klaver and Mr. Helwig, and said they were very cooperative, and wished to thank them for their correspondence.
Mayor Csordas noted that Council had received Mr. Maychak’s correspondence.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Lorenzo wished to remove the warrant, Item H, for discussion.
Member Gatt asked if consent agenda item C, seeking approval to purchase rifles, had already come before Council, or if this was a different purchase.
Mr. Helwig replied that this was for the actual purchase. Administration had brought the policy issue to Council before.
Member Paul wished to remove item E for discussion.
CM-04-08-303 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello: To approve the consent agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-08-303 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve minutes of:
1. July 26, 2004, Regular meeting
2. July 26, 2004, Special meeting
B. Approval to enter into Executive Session in the Council Annex immediately
following the regular meeting of August 9, 2004 for the purpose of the evaluation of City Manager and City Clerk.
C. Approval to purchase (30) Sig Sauer tactical rifles, magazines, sights, mounts and
instructor, magazines, sights, mounts and instructor training from SigArms, Inc., sole source vendor, in the amount of $51,030.
D. Approval to purchase (18) Big Sky vehicle patrol rifle racks from the sole source
vendor Big Sky Rack, Inc., in the amount of $5,218.20.
F. Acceptance of the water main and sanitary sewer systems constructed to service
Ridgeview Centre and Ridgeview Centre II as public utilities and acceptance of all documents conveying such facilities to the City of Novi, along with all easements mandatory for City acceptance, as reviewed and approved by the City Attorney.
G. Approval of Resolution for Charitable Gaming License requested by Friends of the
Novi Library to hold a fund-raising raffle of a holiday quilt.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Recommendation from Consultant Review Committee to Award One-Year Traffic Engineering Consulting services to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment (with option for two one-year renewals).
CM-04-08-304 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award the One-Year Traffic Engineering Consulting services to Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment (with option for two one-year renewals), subject to the understanding that the consultant is requested at the meetings at which their reports will be discussed. The Planning Commission Chair and the Planning Director shall meet before meetings and exercise some discretion in deciding if a consultant must attend a meeting. Administration shall look into the charge for final site plan reviews and inquire if Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment would be willing to accept the contract with the decrease for this one charge; if not, the matter shall be brought back to Council.
Member Lorenzo said her concern was that if the City will continue to have outside traffic engineering, which she does support, it should be done with the understanding that the consultant needs to be present at the meetings where reports will be reviewed. She has had some concerns with regard to the situation previous to now with Birchler Arroyo. It was her understanding that Birchler Arroyo was not invited to many of the Planning Commission meetings, as well as Council meetings, when their reports were given for whatever project was being reviewed. It is essential for the Planning Commission and for the project that that happens. There is certainly value and benefit to having representation from those that actually prepare the letters and do the reviews. The dialogue that occurs between Council or Commission members and consultants helps to ensure that the City gets the best project that it can. If Council were to support and approve the consideration that evening, she would like to make it subject to the understanding that the consultant is requested at the meetings at which their reports will be discussed.
Member Nagy stated that she was amenable to this friendly amendment, as did Member Paul.
Mayor Csordas commented that he felt Member Lorenzo’s suggestion was a good idea.
Member Capello noted that the City pays hourly for attendance at meetings.
Mr. Helwig said he understood Member Lorenzo’s point. It is incumbent upon administration, working with the Planning Commission or whatever body is in need of a consultant’s advice, to manage that attendance so that the person is not sitting at a meeting for four hours, then at midnight does their work, with the City being billed for the entire time of attendance. He said he understood the spirit of the motion, and stated
that it is incumbent upon the Director of Planning or whoever is involved to ensure that things are scheduled as reasonably as possible so that the City is not wasteful in its expenditures.
Mayor Csordas said this was a good idea, and suggested that administration could set agendas appropriately.
Member Capello asked if there is a chance to have the consultants provide a flat-rate cost for attendance per meeting, rather than hourly.
Mr. Pearson said this request would involve going back to the consulting firm, as the flat rate is not something that the City advertises. If the billing were to go this direction, the City would have to look at how other disciplines are treated as well. There may be a traffic letter generated for every case, with the issue being very simple. The same thing applies to wetlands and woodlands concerns. There are separate disciplines that would be involved with this policy change. Administration will implement whatever Council sees fit, but he suggested that if there were concerns on the part of the Planning Commission, it has the opportunity to talk about what cases are actually coming up and which people should be in attendance. With existing contracts in other disciplines, it would be on the City’s dime for those consultants to be in attendance, and an hourly rate would be paid while meetings last possibly from 7:30 to 12:30 or another time.
Member Capello asked if this is a pass-through cost.
Mr. Pearson replied that the cost would not be a pass-through.
Member Capello said that even if the cost were passed on, it is not fair to have the consultants sit at a meeting for four hours, have them speak for half an hour, then charge the developer the four hours for that consultant. He sees traffic as being different than some of the other consultants. Items in a site plan can change between the initial meeting with the City and preliminary site plan, and even to some degree from preliminary to final, even though that the engineering required to get through the preliminary stages is almost complete, but there still is a lot of additional work to review. In traffic, it is known how many houses there are and how many square feet there are. At the time the preliminary site plan is approved, the traffic consultant has pretty much done all of their work; yet, the City is charging $300 to review the preliminary site plan and another $300 to review the final. He does not see very much difference at all from preliminary to final when it comes to a traffic consultant. He asked if there is a reason for the double charge for the traffic consultant to review the final site plan, after the preliminary has already been approved.
Mr. Pearson said his impression was that there is a different level of review and different items are looked at for the final site plan such as striping plans that would not show up at a preliminary site plan. These items would be more closely scrutinized at a final site plan.
Ms. McClain stated that Mr. Pearson was correct - there are different levels of things that happen. Usually with a subdivision at preliminary, a consultant is looking more at the traffic study and at the conceptual than the theoretical part of the design. There are
those calculations to see if things like left-hand turn lanes are needed. When the process gets to final site plan, a consultant is looking at the actual execution of those items. The fees have dropped about $100 on the fee for final for residential properties. The number stays the same for commercial and industrial, which is probably where the City has the highest turnover in comments, especially with getting those parking lots correct.
Member Capello commented that he did not see any change in fees from the current to what OHM did on a single item.
Ms. McClain replied that there is not a change in the current fees, but there are changes in the fees that are charged to the applicant. For preliminary approval, for a multi-family and single-family site condo review, the cost is $400, and $300 for final. She did not believe that OHM had any differences between the current fees and the proposed fees.
Member Capello asked what the consultant does additionally from preliminary review to the final review. It seemed to him that turn lanes, etcetera are consistent from preliminary review to final review.
Ms. McClain replied that there is more background work that goes into a preliminary review than with a final site plan review.
Member Capello asked for specific examples.
Ms. McClain replied that she could not think of any specific examples off the top of her head.
Bill Costick of Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment (OHM), referred to a few examples of the extra background work. Recently, his company did a very detailed traffic review for the Racino project in Romulus at the Vining Road interchange. Through several changes that occurred, there were a number of changes in the configuration of the buildings that would go with the Racino race track if it were to take place. The company’s traffic engineer had concerns about the different functions that would take place at the race track, which is a high volume traffic generator. They have been through a couple of different episodes of change in that cycle. That evening, Mr. Dearing, who heads the company’s traffic group, was in Ypsilanti Township where a very large condominium project was being considered. The developer in that case does not want to take on all of the improvements that are being required to move traffic safely. There have been changes from the beginning of that process, but the developer is still not accommodating all the items required by the township. There can be a number of changes in large projects.
Member Capello said that usually in Novi, by the time a developer receives preliminary site plan approval, the majority of the changes are done and accomplished. He was trying to find out what OHM would be charging for from preliminary to final, assuming that there are no changes to the roads and access. He asked what OHM would be doing for the additional money.
Mr. Costick replied that he assumed there would be two reviews: first, initial review of the plan, which may be altered in great detail; then, a final rendition of that plan would be prepared.
Member Capello asked if Ms. McClain agreed that there are major revisions from preliminary approval to final with regards to streets.
Ms. McClain replied that the City can have such revisions.
Member Capello asked if staff had checked with Birchler Arroyo and inquired why that company’s fees would be so much higher. He wondered if there was something else that that company would provide, or something that it would do at no cost to the City.
Mr. Pearson replied that as a courtesy, he had spoken with Mr. Arroyo that afternoon to let him know the recommendation, though he did not ask that specific question, more from the standpoint that everyone had the same package from which to submit proposals. There was not anything called out in the proposal about anything above and beyond.
Member Capello said he was curious because Birchler Arroyo increased their cost by a large amount, another 50% higher. That is a very large amount to not be doing anything extra for the pay.
Mr. Pearson commented that the company had used the same fee structure that had been in place for a number of years. He did not want to guess, but said the proposals were separate and sealed, and he did not feel that his earlier conversation with Mr. Arroyo was the proper place to ask.
Member Nagy said she understood that the City was trying to save money, but commented that having just come off the Planning Commission only eight or nine months earlier, there have been several projects where she felt there should have been a traffic review consultant in attendance, including the Sam’s Club item. With all due respect to the City’s engineers, they are not traffic engineers. She believes that the City needs a traffic engineer for very big projects. There were a lot of questions, for example, with the Beck North Corporate Park. The present Planning Commission Chair is very accommodating and polite with the Department, and usually has all of her questions up front. Since the Chair of the Planning Commission makes the agenda, she would assume that the Chair could discuss the matter with the acting Planning Director. Those people can make a determination on whether or not a traffic engineer is needed; then, other things on the agenda can be done, such as maybe moving where the item requiring the traffic consultant to the front of the meeting. She recalled from the Planning Commission that a rule which they agreed to was that the more variances requested, the lower a person is on the agenda. This helped to make developers start meeting the City’s ordinances. That is something that the Planning Director and the Commission Chair can discuss, as nobody wants to spend more money than needed. During her term, she felt that there should have been a traffic engineer present for several projects that were tricky, and some changes ended up being made anyhow. There are several new members on the Planning Commission; traffic is a very dry subject, and is likely not the first thing that members read in their packets. She does not
want to have any more commercial parking lots, such as some that the City currently has that are nearly impossible to maneuver around without driving over curbs and sidewalks.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that the concern raised by Member Lorenzo was certainly legitimate, as there are many meetings where there should be a traffic consultant present. However, he shares the views of the previous speaker, that the City should not automatically want the consultant present at every single meeting. The City does not do this for any other consultants, and he would not want to make that choice
only for traffic. If that is the direction that Council will go towards, it should do so for all consultants. If the choice will be discretionary, he would favor this. If the motion stood so that it would approve the Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment contract with a proviso to be present at every meeting, he would not support it. He would rather see City administration either report back to Council on a recommendation, or that Council adopt Member Nagy’s suggestion that the Planning Commission Chair and the Planning Director meet before meetings and exercise some discretion in deciding who needs to attend. He requested this suggestion as a friendly amendment.
Member Nagy accepted the friendly amendment request, as did Member Paul.
Member Capello asked Mr. Schultz if, because the responses were sealed bids, Council had to reject the proposal "as is", or if it could revise the fee structure in the proposal.
Mr. Schultz replied that as he understood it, the proposal would be for those instances where the Chair and the Planning Director determine that it is appropriate to have a traffic engineer, and this would be at an hourly rate.
Member Capello said he does not believe there is much work required to review the final site plan as there is for the preliminary site plan. For every one of these cases, the City is charging the same amount to do both, but there is not the same amount of work needed. He would like to see the proposal keep the fee as stated for the preliminary site plan review, but said the final site plan review fee should only be about a third of what the preliminary review is. Novi is one of the highest fee-structured cities in the tri or quad-county area, and the City needs to do something to bring its fees down. He asked if Council could reduce the amount that it charges for fees.
Mr. Schultz replied that Council could absolutely do this. He said his office, after the meeting, would prepare a professional services contract. It would be entirely appropriate to talk to Orchard Hiltz about that after the City has made some kind of determination as to whether that fee should, in fact, go down. It would not affect the bids that have been made or the process that Council was going through that night.
Member Capello asked for a friendly amendment to the motion to amend the fee structure in regard to the base amount for the final site plan review, such as for five acres or less for commercial/industrial, the price would be $100 instead of $300 so that the price per acre would remain the same. For example, from 5.1 acres to 15 acres, the cost would be $100, plus $20 per acre. Greater than 15 acres, the cost would be somewhere in the range of $150 plus $10 per acre, whatever that would work out to be.
He felt this would be fairer, considering the work that the traffic consultant would do for the plat.
Mayor Csordas asked if this would be appropriate after City Council would award a bid.
Mr. Schultz said he had two responses. Council controls the bid process. The City Charter provides a lot of discretion for determining which bid to accept. Aside from that, it appeared to him that what Member Capello was talking about was actually a reduction, rather than an increase. This figures into the idea of whether or not this could be negotiated with the low bidder, who then would theoretically be asked to do
something for even less money. That is different than negotiating increased compensation, and might raise the "fairness" question with some of the other bidders.
Mayor Csordas asked what the hourly fee is that is charged for site plan reviews.
Mr. Pearson replied that Orchard Hiltz’s fee schedule lists their senior traffic engineer at $125 an hour, which is outside of the fixed fee amount discussed by Member Capello. He said if it was the will of the entire Council, administration would have the prerogative to go back to the selected firm and inquire what they’d like to do, especially for large projects. This is the fee structure that has been in place, and Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment has proposed holding that in line. The City received two proposals for this item, and one of those was for 50% more than what Orchard Hiltz proposed.
Member Lorenzo said that having been a member of the Consultant Review Committee, they used to speak with bidders. She wished that the Committee had spoken with Mr. Arroyo about the proposed fees, as perhaps he might have been willing to decrease them. She does not disagree with Member Capello about approaching vendors and seeing if there is an opportunity for looking at some fees and coming to understandings about them, but she would also have liked this to have been done with Mr. Arroyo. As the City goes on with committees in the future, it is important to call vendors and discuss what is being proposed before coming to conclusions at the Council table. That evening she would support discussion with the vendor to see if there are opportunities for reductions anywhere along the line, not only in the line item for which Member Capello was interested, but anywhere along the line. Council is always interested in saving the taxpayers money.
Member Nagy asked if Member Capello’s comment was a friendly amendment request to the motion.
Member Capello replied that this was correct.
Member Nagy accepted the friendly amendment request.
Member Paul also accepted the request.
Member Capello said that perhaps Council should make a motion to postpone the item, in order to send it back to the consultants to see if they would be inclined to accept a
reduction. Council cannot accept such a change without a company ’s approval, anyways.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry remarked that there were two different things being discussed. Council had to be careful not to mix the two. The first thing under discussion was whether or not the Consultant Review Committee or any member of the City should negotiate after someone has submitted a sealed bid, and that bid has been opened. The question is whether Council should then engage at all in discussion of dollars at that point. The other thing being discussed, as he understood it, was Member Capello looking not necessarily at the bids, but at the schedule, and saying that the one particular charge, regardless of who the bidder is, is too high. That is a separate issue. The Consultant Review Committee never thought of or discussed Member Capello’s
idea. He did not necessarily disagree with it, and said it made sense to him, that if the final review does not require as much work and no one can explain the cost, to question why this would be paid. However, that is a different issue than the former issue. He suggested that Council take care of both of the items by having a motion to approve to award the contract to Orchard Hiltz with the proviso that administration look into the one charge, see if Orchard Hiltz would be willing to accept the contract with the decrease for this one charge, and if not, bring the matter back to Council. If the company would accept that one decrease, the contract would stand awarded.
Member Nagy and Member Paul both agreed to Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s suggested amendment to the motion.
Ms. Cornelius noted that the motion on the floor was to award the contract and have administration go back and look into the one charge, specifically. If the bidder is interested in agreeing to the request, then the matter would not come back to Council. If the bidder is not agreeable, then the item would come back to Council. The Planning Chair and Planning Director will determine if the consultant should be in attendance at a meeting regarding the traffic issues.
Member Nagy noted that her first motion was to award the contract to Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment.
Member Paul noted that Rod Arroyo’s proposal was four years long. That proposal has not increased in fee. The Committee looked at the proposal and there was an enormous increase, 50%, in all of these fees. The new bid, Orchard Hiltz, has many traffic engineers present, but only one traffic engineer was present with the previous firm. When there is a consultant that is not regularly scheduled for Planning Commission meetings or City Council meetings, often not the senior member is present at the meetings. With that comes the scenario of issues: one of those is that the person sent to some of the meetings had a very difficult time answering questions, either for the City Council or for the Planning Commission. She was not trying to slam the consultant at all, as there were many things that were very well done. The written information and the verbal information were sometimes very good with Mr. Arroyo. If Mr. Arroyo could not be present, there was often difficulty in trying to come up with a creative solution at the Planning Commission, or with Clark Street at the City Council level. The Committee was definitely going with the low bidder and was definitely going with a very large, experienced engineering firm that could have several traffic engineers present at a
meeting to represent the City. The Birchler Arroyo bid was not just quickly thrown out because of a lower number of available people, as there a number of very good, qualified people with that firm. Rod Arroyo is an unbelievable gentleman, very experienced, and very good at the table. However, that is not always what the City had. So, the City is looking at the firm as a whole. She hoped that Council would approve the bid. The final site plan proposal that Member Capello had brought forward was very good, and she hoped that administration could work something out. The three people on the Consultant Review Committee and the administrative staff really looked long and hard at the bids, and it was a very difficult decision because Mr. Arroyo has been with the City for many years. She would support the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-304 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas
2. Approval to award the contract for Design Engineering Services and Construction Contract Administration for SAD 172 Bentley & Blomfield Subdivision Water Main Extension to JCK & Associates, Inc. with a not-to-exceed fee amount of $48,167.00.
CM-04-08-305 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to award the contract for Design Engineering Services and Construction Contract Administration for SAD 172 Bentley & Blomfield Subdivision Water Main Extension to JCK & Associates, Inc. with a not-to-exceed fee amount of $48,167.00.
Member Lorenzo asked where the $48,167 would come from if the SAD does not go through.
Ms. McClain replied that the project is in two parts, as is the fee: design and construction/administration. If the project dies before it goes to construction, only the design amount is being charged to the City. Depending on at what stage the project dies, whether the residents decide not to go forward or City Council decides not to go forward, the billing stops at that time. The City would be liable for up to $23,080.
Ms. Smith-Roy noted that this money would come from the water and sewer fund.
Member Lorenzo asked if those who pay to the water and sewer fund would then be paying that bill.
Ms. McClain replied that this was correct.
Member Lorenzo said she had a major concern about this process. Once the City decides that it will spend this kind of money, the residents have to make a commitment, or not. She is a water and sewer user and does not necessarily want to subsidize people who decide that they do not want water and sewer somewhere down the line. She asked what the current process is in terms of the residents and the SAD process. She asked what those residents’ commitment level is at this point.
Mr. Helwig replied that those residents’ commitment level can back out, just like the City’s, until the process is to the final stages, or until the roll is prepared. This truly is a partnership. At any place that he has worked, the Council says it is in the public interest to have public utilities throughout the community. This is the most cost effective way to go about doing that of all the alternatives available. Yes, there is a risk, but the City welcomes these initiatives. Leveraging $23,000 provides significant gain in the public health, safety, and well-being. In the end, all of these utilities will have to be public utilities, and the City tries to avoid a crisis situation where it is ordered to make the utilities public and may totally have to foot the bill.
Member Lorenzo commented that she was not questioning the end result when the City does SAD’s. Her concern was with residents coming forward and saying, "Stop, we longer want it." That is a risk that those who pay into the water and sewer system are taking, which is what her concern was about. There would be less of a concern if the City was not paying this out to another vendor. In other words, if the work was being done in-house and the City was already paying an engineering department full time to do work, the City would not be paying any additional money. Another of her concerns was why the City was not doing this work in-house, when the project consists of three or four streets.
Mr. Helwig commented that everyone knows the breadth of the City’s capital improvement program. With three engineers, "We are kidding ourselves to think that we can do all the SAD’s." The City has utilized Mr. Coburn in that capacity for a recent SAD. There are absolute limits as to what can be done. Mr. Coburn has numerous water capital improvement program projects that he must assist on this year. This SAD won’t happen if the City does not leverage the money, and the process is at the beginning stages. Unless Council wants to add that capacity in the City organization, he does not have another alternative to offer.
Member Lorenzo noted that the City is down one engineer at the moment. She asked if administration was anticipating replacing a City engineer.
Mr. Helwig replied that this was correct. That is more a construction engineer and field inspector, not someone who would be designing projects like these.
Member Lorenzo said if the City was going to continue to hire a fourth engineer, perhaps it could hire a fourth person that has the capability to work on these types of projects.
Mr. Helwig replied that administration could definitely look at this possibility.
Member Lorenzo commented that if the City wants to keep a fourth engineer, then that fourth engineer should be capable of doing these types of projects so that the City does not have to spend additional money to have four City engineers and still go outside for these projects. She expressed concern that if this SAD does not go through, those who pay water and sewer are subsidizing a question that did not go any further. She said she would support the item that evening in hopes that it would come to fruition.
However, she believes that the City needs to start thinking about another SAD policy and having commitments from people, so that if the City will commit to spending this kind of money on a design, then maybe other people need to commit that they will follow through once they get an estimate.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if once a first resolution is passed by City Council on an SAD, Council has to approve it in order to stop it.
Mr. Schultz replied that for a city, the City Council always has the ability to impose an SAD, even if it does not have the 50% support. Essentially, if Council determines that the SAD is no longer in the interest of the City in the long term, it can at any point stop the process and stop incurring the fees. The problem being addressed is really
systemic. The statute that allows the special assessment process requires there to be a proven benefit of construction and physical improvement to the property that raises the value of that property. Until that is in the ground and done, the assessment cannot go forward. He said, "Council would be talking a policy, for at what point is the City Council going to say, ‘Even though we’ve lost majority support, we’re going to go forward with it because we’ve spent the money, sorry.’ That is a policy decision." This would want to be done on a case by case basis, which is really what Council was doing with resolution one and two.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry commented that Member Lorenzo had raised an excellent point about this issue. This is a systemic problem with the SAD process. Once residents come forth and state that they want the SAD, they will have a very difficult time convincing him to vote to stop it.
Member Paul said that in her nine months on Council, she has not seen any discussion about people backing out of an SAD. There have been some other SAD’s with water and sewer and people have backed out. Some SAD’s have been stopped in the process. She asked how many people have stated that they want to come forward on this SAD.
Ms. McClain replied that 55% of the affected residents support the SAD; there are 42 in support, 4 undecided, and 35 against or who did not sign the petition, who may be for the SAD but did not sign.
Member Paul noted that there is greater than 50% support at this current time. There is not much "fluff" in the budget, so there is not much money to "throw to the wind." She said the City has the ability to continue on with the SAD, once the City invests the $23,080, even if support falls to 45 or 48%. She agreed with the two previous speakers that once she gives her vote to go on with the process, she will have a tough time changing her mind to stop the process. She would support the motion with this information.
Mayor Csordas commented that the City produced a booklet on the process for Special Assessment Districts. He asked if there was a note in that booklet that says, "Once you start it, you may not be able to control the end, and you will still be on the dime when all is said and done." If that is not included in the literature, it would be a very good time to
republish that book. He stated that the point raised on the process is a great one in terms of policy. He would like to see that information up front in the booklet, that once you start, you can’t stop.
Mr. Pearson referred to the third page of Council’s packets, which showed number of hours involved in similar projects, as well as the different disciplines involved. There are different disciplines involved that the City does not have.
Mr. Schultz said that there may be particular cases where it turns out that dollar figures cannot be justified for a particular special assessment. This process will have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-305 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
3. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.173 to amend the ordinance to add a definition of "Fences" to Section 201, Definitions: D - F of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to amend Section 2515 Fences (Residential and Non-Residential) and to amend Section 2907 Porches; Decks, all proposed in order to modify the standards for fences within the City of Novi. 1st Reading
CM-04-08-306 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.173 to amend the ordinance to add a definition of "Fences" to Section 201, Definitions: D - F of Ordinance No. 97-18, as amended, the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, to amend Section 2515 Fences (Residential and Non-Residential) and to amend Section 2907 Porches; Decks, all proposed in order to modify the standards for fences within the City of Novi. 1st Reading.
Member Nagy thought that with the ordinance, the height of the fence would be six feet across the board, no matter what acreage a property had. She asked if she had read the new version incorrectly.
Ms. McBeth replied that the intent of the new ordinance is to ensure that the height is six feet uniformly.
Member Nagy asked if this would apply no matter what the acreage is.
Ms. McBeth replied that this was correct, with the exception of the lakefront lots, which have a maximum fence height of four feet.
Mayor Csordas said it seemed to him that the ordinance had gone to the Planning Commission, which decided to allow a fence with a setback in the front yard. He asked Member Nagy if this was what she was referring to.
Member Nagy said she wanted to make sure that all lots, no matter their size, will have fences that stand only six feet high, period.
Ms. McBeth noted that the Planning staff had made one change to that subsection, 1-B of the strikeout version, page two, which states "The restrictions of subpart A-2 above shall not apply to residential fences." That would imply that all fences would be subject to subsection one, which limits them to six feet in height.
Member Lorenzo asked if she was reading correctly that B basically negates six foot maximums on lots in excess of two acres, or lots with a frontage of at least 200 feet.
Ms. McBeth replied that from what she understood of City Council from its last discussion on the matter, the restrictions of that previous subsection that limit the fences in the front yard would still apply to lots in excess of two acres within a recorded plat, and lots with a frontage of at least 200 feet within a recorded plat. The City would not exclude the acreage parcels not within a recorded plat, which would be subject to the restrictions of not having a fence in the front yard.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-306 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
4. Approval of Resolution to authorize the first quarter Budget Amendment #2005-2.
Ms. Smith-Roy noted that administration had some good news for the year’s end. The estimated fund balance after the end of the year is about $5 million, which is about 20% of the estimated expenditures of $25 million for this year. The City prepared that figure a little earlier this year in preparation for a preliminary bond official statement. Administration is very pleased with this. Even with the reduction of the set-asides for pre-determined items, such as the $1 million set-aside for cash flow, the City is still at 14.4%, well above the 10% target rate.
Mayor Csordas said that according to a memo from August 4th, the amount did not seem like 14% to him.
Ms. Smith-Roy said that the beginning line of that memo states that, "The estimated beginning fund balance of $5,150,000…" which is about 20% of the $25 million general fund budget. If that is adjusted for items designated by Council, which is the capital reserve, the reserve for the building code, allocation to the appropriated budget for this year, as well as the estimated legal expenditures that were not budgeted, and the first quarter budget amendment, there is still a 14.4% budget reserve.
Mayor Csordas commented that this was good to hear. The one line that threw him off was "targeted 10% fund balance for 2004-2005."
Ms. Smith-Roy said that the $897,000 was available. The estimates going into the budget process were made up of two parts. The first, revenue, was about 1.6% greater than anticipated, primarily due to planning and engineering review fees. The second part was that expenditures were lower than anticipated. Those two items combined provided that additional $897,000 in funds. The City has actually identified the line items in the budget, and coded them with letters by the type of line item, whether a rollover item, a new item, or an accounting change.
Member Lorenzo said it was written in a memo, regarding the Public Works garage offices, that "It has become clear that these individuals need to be co-located." She asked what made it clear that this needs to occur, and why Council did not know this during the budget.
Mr. Klaver replied that this is something that has been talked about in the past. There have been many projects that the departments have shared together on. One current example is that the City is doing quite a bit of work to enhance the entrance at Lakeshore Park. It is very important that the City try to improve its communications. Snow plowing has always been a good example where, during a major storm, all departments get together. In the past couple years, it has seemed that there have been more and more partnership projects using different personnel. If Forestry has a busy period, such as after a storm, personnel will be moved back and forth where appropriate, all of which requires coordination.
Member Lorenzo said she recalled this discussion, but there was no mention of possibly doing this during the budget discussions.
Mr. Klaver said that as administration looked at how to improve the coordination, it felt this would be one of the significant ways to move the City forward.
Member Lorenzo commented that she would appreciate this as the very first thing coming to Council. "In other words, administration has a recommendation on something, here is why, here is what we’d like to do, here is what it’s going to cost. Does Council agree with it?" As opposed to seeing a warrant or a budget amendment, she would appreciate it if in situations like this Council receives detailed information on the item. Now, the City forester and the parks maintenance supervisor would no longer be in the same building as their director. She wondered how this would work in terms of the communication between those levels, and pondered whether Council would see future requests for the entire Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department to be moved to the facility and for the building to be expanded even more. She would not like to see a satellite location for all of the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department.
Mr. Helwig said the communication with the director will continue to occur because of regular staff meetings. There is the recreation focus out of the Civic Center, as well as a huge work program, that makes it important for the director to remain here. The director will go to the garage for day-to-day matters and will convene his staff on a regular basis.
Member Lorenzo asked if the commitment was to maintain, if not enhance, the communication within the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department; she wanted to make sure that the City would not lose anything by doing this.
Mr. Helwig commented that the gain in approving the move to the garage is to better coordinate what is going to happen out in the field on a daily basis. Communication was not occurring between supervision in Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and the supervision for DPW crews. All of a sudden, parks and recreation crews were being pulled out from under either the forester or the parks maintenance superintendent without their knowledge. This was causing some consternation and some difficulty. It is better to have those staff members closer to where the action is. The citizens will gain, and the overall community will gain.
Member Lorenzo said that as explained, she could support the request. She referred to the Lakeshore Park fence and grill replacement request. She said she appreciated all
of the photographs and explanation, but Council would certainly appreciate this being the first item that it receives in the future. She asked what has caused all of the openings in the fence.
Mr. Klaver replied that on the east side of the property is a combination of a design flaw where the ground drops off dramatically, and there has also been some erosion there. When the City constructs the new fence, it will be custom fit.
Member Lorenzo said she wanted to make sure that the City does a better job in doing that so that it does not continuously face this problem down the road.
Mr. Klaver said that the fence, being on the top of a hill, is subject to a lot of wind pressure. Snow plowing throws snow up against the fence. There are a lot of forces that come into play, and the fence has been there for a long time.
Member Lorenzo asked if the fence had been vandalized at all.
Mr. Klaver replied that there was no evidence of any vandalism.
Member Nagy asked Mr. McCusker if he had seen a set of plans for the updated DPW garage.
Mr. McCusker replied that his department had a small mock-up of the front of the building that everybody has been reviewing. This is just a basic mock-up of the original concept of the building, what is actually there now, and how the office spaces will be expanded.
Member Nagy recalled talking about possibly combining certain areas of the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department and the Department of Public Works at the first budget meeting this year. She asked if this addition to the garage will accommodate the City’s needs as it continues to grow, considering that additional staff may need to be added in the next five to ten years.
Mr. McCusker replied that this is to get the groups working together down at one office, and is a basic band-aid. In the future, as the staff grows further into the building, the larger staff will be maintenance staff. With the move, the forester and the parks maintenance supervisor would move down to the garage with their regular work crews; there is a joint clerical staff that is in-between; and there is a basic hallway now that will allow workers to talk with their supervisors every day.
Member Nagy felt that the move is a good idea. Prior to the budget, she thought there were some communication problems, such as the City Manager has indicated. However, she does not want to band-aid anything. She does not want to spend taxpayers’ money on anything that is not useful. She asked administration to look at the design, even if it costs a few thousand dollars extra, to design something that can accommodate years for five or ten years, since the City is so close to build-out. She wants to do something that is appropriate and will accommodate future growth.
Mr. McCusker noted that Nordstrom Samson Architects are the original designers of the building. Both buildings at the garage were always supposed to be expandable, and the City told the architects not to lose the original concept for expansion in the future. The City does not want to have to put in something now that it will have to remove in the future. There are no bearing walls in the space that they are going through now. Everything that is both south and east of where this is at is also expandable space in the future.
Member Nagy asked Mr. McCusker where he was referring to in the garage area.
Mr. McCusker replied that officials are talking about expanding the front vestibule across so that the front offices have natural light flowing in, going through where the Water Department sits now up to where the Sign Department sits. That is basically warehouse space now.
Member Nagy said she believes the City needs to do this expansion. She would like to see the actual blueprint for what the design looks like, and would like to make sure that the City was doing something right, not as a band-aid, even if it costs more money. She would support the request.
Mr. Helwig said that Mr. McCusker started out with a band-aid. When officials went out to the garage to meet, Mr. McCusker had marked out on the floor in the rafter area what possibly could be the office locations and a conference room adjacent to where the personnel sleep when they are in overnight for snow removal duty. The City needs to do this right, come down to the first level adjoining the existing office areas that are "just squeezed in there," and take the existing bay adjoining that and convert it to two functional offices, as well as add a conference room. Mr. McCusker has made this possible by creatively using the building across the yard, where one can drive in and load up for what they are going out for that day. This used to be a specialized function for parks and recreation in that bay. This increases the cost to approximately $35,000. What Mr. McCusker had proposed going upstairs was significantly lower in cost, but would have noxious fumes right above the vehicles where people would be sleeping, and it would be something that would not function long-term.
Member Nagy said she appreciated Mr. Helwig’s explanation. After some of the snow events that the area had last winter, the least that the City can do is make sure that its employees are not breathing in noxious fumes. She is glad that the expansion is being done, as it is needed and necessary. As the population grows, these departments will have additional needs.
Member Capello commented that it seems more than two offices and a conference room could be yielded from 3,500 square feet of space.
Mr. McCusker said that his staff fits up to nine people in the space that they are in right now. The file cabinets are out in the corridor outside, as they have so many files that they must hang on to. Those files must be readily accessible, but they no longer fit in the offices, so they are in the hallway where the trucks are parked. Also, by virtue of the terrorism act, the City had to secure the water records of the water data system that comes from Detroit. Staff commandeered the phone room, blocked it off, and put a lock
on it to suffice. That took more file space away, so they moved the file cabinets upstairs in order to accommodate. Staff also has a computer on which its timesheets are done on a daily basis. The men actually have to go into the office two at a time in order to fit, in order to put their daily timesheets on the computer.
Member Capello said he was trying to say that he believed the additional 3,500 square feet was needed, but felt that more than two offices and a conference room could be obtained from that space. If so, his real concern is that the City is asking for about $11 per square foot, which is pretty cheap. The market rate for tenant improvements today is $22 to $35 for nothing very elaborate.
Mr. Helwig noted that the expansion would be into an existing bay. Both of the offices can accommodate at least two people, so the expansion would be for four people, which builds in the opportunity for some growth, and a meeting area, which the workers currently do not have.
Member Capello said he understood that this was already an existing bay; he was talking about tenant space, where there would be walls put up and duct work done. It just did not seem that $11 per square foot could build out 3,500 square feet.
Mr. Helwig replied that the City is comfortable with this number, and figures that it actually has a $2,000 cushion.
Member Capello referred to the detail tab for personnel services. The total line shows a decrease of $173,690. He asked if that was a decrease or an increase.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the figure was an increase in expenditures, so it was a decrease in the fund balance.
Member Capello asked if that line affected any other numbers, or just that one sheet.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that it just affected that one sheet. This was just supplemental information to the detail attached.
Member Capello said that Lakeshore Park needs some work done, and it definitely needs a fence, as people with children at the beach do not want to constantly be watching their kids. It is hard enough to watch their children in the water, let alone to see if they are going to go out into traffic. Even though the City does not have a lot of money to do things, the City’s parks are below par for what residents should expect. He does not want to fix that park as a band-aid. A black vinyl fence will look much nicer than a cyclone fence, but that is the City’s only major lakeshore park, and he would like to see something more appeasing that performs the same function. The fence should have more pizzazz to it, rather than just a cyclone fence. He does not want to spend that money right now, and would rather look at it and see if the City can find more money to do something nicer. He does not want to wait "forever" and would like to see information back in 30 days or so. This was the only problem he had with the budget amendment, that he does not want to spend the money to replace the fence right now, in order to put something in nicer that residents deserve.
Mayor Csordas asked where the fence was located on the priority list for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry at budget time.
Mr. Helwig replied that, "It was waiting to jump out at us as we finished South Lake Drive."
Mayor Csordas commented that he had not seen the item on the budget.
Mr. Helwig said administration did not know where it was going to go with the fence. The fence is in deplorable condition. The City has expanded the beach area and was looking at how to safeguard that area. The previous week, he told the Department that it needed to work on the south side as well as the north side. It is ridiculous to have the premier facility go begging. The fence gets tremendous weather treatment from snow, ice, and related conditions, so it must be porous. In terms of priorities, this is a safety issue that administration did not know how it would deal with until it got to this stage. This is the kind of thing that the City needs to be attending to all year long. Administration does not necessarily know everything that it will have to deal with while Council is sitting in the budget session. The City would like to set an aesthetic example along South Lake Drive, and would also like to have something that enhances the safety there. Administration will bring Council several bid alternatives, including for north, south, galvanized, and black vinyl. Administration would like to be able to recommend black vinyl if it receives reasonable bids to support.
Mayor Csordas asked if it is one of the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission’s responsibilities to set priorities for budgets and activities. His point was that the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department seems to keep getting things that it did not ask for. Council received a memo that there was an additional request for $25,000 for ADA improvements, which was high on the priority list. Council had also approved $44,000 for the irrigation system, and the $16,000 for maintenance. Right after the budget was a request for $35,000 for a fence, etc. This was not even on the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry capital improvements list. He did not doubt for a second that the fence was needed; he just wondered what the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission and Department were doing.
Member Paul said she agreed with the $35,000 in regard to the need. The City has the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission to provide a recommendation and what their thoughts are. Member Staudt came forward in the budget and said they would like the availability to talk about this at that commission, decide if this was a priority, and if money should be allocated. Council gave the Commission $88,000, and the Commission provided recommendations to her, this is similar. She does not have the recommendation of the Commission, but they have ideas as to what their priorities are. She would like to hear from the Commission what their priorities may be.
CM-04-08-307 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To approve of Resolution to authorize the first quarter Budget Amendment #2005-2, with the removal of City Manager conferences and workshops for $2,500, Community Relations conferences and workshops for $2,300, General Administration supplies (desk chairs, aerial maps) for $5,000, Parks, Recreation,
and Forestry conferences and workshops for $2,300, and the Lakeshore Park fence for $35,000.
Member Paul commented that she hoped Council could have more discussion about the fence in the future.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the practical effect of the motion was moving to approve the request.
Member Capello said that what Member Paul had listed was what was not approved.
Member Paul said she had moved to approve everything that she had not taken out. She removed three workshops, aerial maps at $5,000, and the $35,000 for the fence. Hopefully, Council will receive the $35,000 fence recommendation from the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission in the future, and eliminate the others.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked Member Paul if she had basically asked the Commission to come back to Council with information on this fence.
Member Paul replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if the office expenditure for renovations at the DPW garage had been included.
Member Paul replied that this was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said he did not see the fence on any priority list for Parks, Recreation, and Forestry. The Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department needs so much money that an item like this would just be "lost. " There are fields at Power Park that need serious work. Hundreds of thousands of dollars need to be spent, and not just on Community Sports Park. An item like this might get lost in the shuffle. At some point, the City will have to grapple with how it wants its parks to look. He does not think the way to deal with that is to spend $20,000 here, $30,000 there. As with the Police Department, where the City has a program where it is adding one or two police officers per year, Council will need to look at a comprehensive parks and recreation program. When the City tries to deal with the program $30,000 or $40,000 at a time, he said, "This sort of stuff happens." He said he would support the motion, would look for direction on where this item falls in priorities, and Council will deal with it at that time.
Mr. Helwig wished to comment upon some of the other deletions, which he assumed were the University of Virginia leadership training program items. This is the third year of trying to get a couple of the City’s leadership group members through the University of Virginia leadership development program. Kathy Smith-Roy has attended, Benny McCusker has attended, Craig Klaver has attended, and Tia Gronlund-Fox has attended. Administration is trying to get two people a year to this program. This enables the City to have a common language and focus in leadership development. He respectfully requested that this be considered in Council’s judgment.
Mayor Csordas asked for some clarification on the removals. He knew that there were some workshops pulled, including the University of Virginia leadership item.
Member Paul said that under "City Manager", she eliminated the $2,500 there for conferences and workshops. Under "Community Relations", she eliminated $2,300, which is the University of Virginia leadership meeting and $5,000 for aerial maps. On the second page, under "Parks, Recreation, and Forestry", there was another conference for $2,300, and the maintenance and forestry item was for $35,000. Council’s discussion during the budget was to have all conferences that were needed for people’s credentials disclosed. Council allocated money for Tia Gronlund-Fox to have certain people attend those workshops. Now, the Council was seeing three more workshops that were added on, at a cost to the taxpayers of $7,600, which is a lot of money for three workshops. The City cannot spend $100 for Maryanne Cornelius’ staff to go an in-state conference. These conferences will have hotels and food bills attached to them.
Member Paul said that to her, in these tight budget times, these conferences are not a necessity. Council does not know where some priorities were, such as the fence. One experience that she wished to share was that, as a nurse, they would have one or two people attend a major conference. If she attended, she would come back and share whatever she learned with staff. They would implement those things, see if they worked, and then make changes if they didn’t work. They would not continue sending the same people to the same conference. She knows that the University of Virginia conference is probably excellent, but administration was looking to send seven or eight people. That cost, $7,600, for conferences that are not for credentials, was too much for her to support.
Member Gatt asked if the fence money would come from the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry fund.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that this was correct. The money would come from the fund balance in the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry fund.
Member Gatt wished to go on record as saying that education for employees is paramount. These conferences and workshops help to maintain the high level of
service that Novi’s citizens have come to expect. These conferences and workshops are important. Council just learned that the City has more money in the fund balance than expected. $7,600 is a reasonable amount of money for the programs that the City Manager has targeted for the conferences. He said he would support the budget amendment as requested, other than the fence, which he agreed should come back from the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission. He asked for a friendly amendment to the motion, to include the $7,600 for education.
Member Paul declined the friendly amendment.
Member Nagy said she supported the motion made by Member Paul. She agrees about education, but she has never seen anyone come back from the University of Virginia program with information that did anything. Council allotted $13,000 for Ms. Gronlund-Fox for conferences and workshops for the year. This is not a necessity for
certification of any kind. If this meant someone’s certification, she would support it. However, it is not, and it a week long and takes away from the amount of time being spent at the City.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-307 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello
5. Approval to purchase replacement Zamboni Machine for the ice arena for $31,266.04 (after trade-in).
CM-04-08-308 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to purchase replacement Zamboni Machine for the ice arena for $31,266.04 (after trade-in).
Member Paul asked if the money was coming out of the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department’s fund balance.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the money would be coming from the ice arena fund. The machine purchase would, however, require a loan from the general fund. However, the City is hoping to obtain its refunding bonds in the next month. If it does that, over the long term, there will be a savings. Additionally, the City is earning about 1.7% on its money right now. The lease agreements were 3.5% and 4% interest rate finance charge, so administration is looking for Council’ s support to temporarily increase the loan from the general fund.
Member Paul said she did not know the need of the Zamboni machine, and asked if the money was coming out of the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry general fund.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the money would come from the ice arena fund, which is a proprietary fund; it is not the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry fund. Suburban has supported that recommendation. The City has incurred significant maintenance costs on the current machine. The cost of a new machine is $60,000 and has about a 10-year life. The City has had its current machine almost five years and is getting $30,000 on a trade-in for it. This is the best financially sound decision for the piece of equipment.
Member Paul said that with that explanation she would support the motion.
Mayor Csordas remarked that, "Five years sure isn’t very long for this piece of equipment, evidently." He questioned why the City was buying the equipment from the same company. The City bought two Zamboni’s at the same time previously, and he inquired about the condition of the other machine. He asked if the "lemon law" applies to this machine.
Ms. Smith-Roy replied that the "lemon law" does not apply. About a year and a half ago, the City started a preventative maintenance program that obviously was not effective with this piece of equipment. However, the City is more hopeful for the other Zamboni machine.
Mayor Csordas said he understood and appreciated the lease analysis. He asked Mr. Anastos of Suburban to explain the "piece of junk."
Tom Anastos commented that the Mayor was correct; Zamboni machines are very expensive, but are very necessary to maintain the ice surface, which is the heart of the ice arena facility. The machine was an issue that the ice arena has been grappling with, along with several others. It seems that the other issues have been taken care of, but the machine continues to be an issue. The arena has been pouring lots of maintenance money into both units. One of the two finally just stopped. It would cost another $5,000 to replace the engine, and then there would still be no guarantee from the manufacturer or local distributor as to how it would perform. There are only two manufacturers of such machines: Zamboni is the "Kleenex" of the industry; the other is called an Olympia machine. Both are very good machines and are great quality. He said he could not answer whether the arena had "lemons" in this particular instance. They asked Zamboni about a year ago what they would provide on a trade-in, which at that time was under $20,000. Since that time, the company wants to continue to try to find a way to make the City happy, as they know the arena is unhappy with the machines. In other facilities that Suburban operates, they are using Olympia machines. One of the challenges at the Novi facility is that the structural area of the Zamboni room will not accommodate an Olympia, so they are limited as to their options. They did pursue both; the Olympia machine would probably be about $6,000 or $7,000 more. If it was his money, he would probably purchase the Zamboni machine anyways. The company is an industry standard, so the City happened to get a little unlucky in this case.
Mayor Csordas commented that this was interesting, as he thought Mr. Anastos would say he’d rather buy an Olympia for another $6,000. He feels that Suburban has done a fine job of managing the ice arena.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-308 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, said he wished to talk about South Lake Drive and the park. He questioned whether anyone knew what was going on there. When South Lake Drive went in, he believed that part of the prospectus was for the redo of the front driveway. Property owners had to do their front driveways. There was a massive puddle on the road that had been there for years, and he questioned why the City did not drain the puddle downhill and into the lake. Now, the City has dumped in load after load of dirt, and there is still a puddle. All of that did not solve the road’s problem. He understands that the tube was flooding. For the 32 years that he has been here, the tube never flooded, and he questioned how the flooding happened. He said the answer was that
the City redid South Lake Drive poorly. Then, because the entry was raised and work was done to the parking lot, all of the parking lot water is being dumped into Shawood Lake through the back canal. In emails that came from Clay Pearson, that is the direction the water always came from. However, in 34 years, the water never went back to Shawood Lake. Then, the City took the Kent Paul property, which was the western new purchase, and there are now retaining walls. Those retaining walls built up the hill. Now, fences must be put up on the retaining wall to protect from liability. The City put up the old fence on the far west side so that people cannot go into the beach area from the residential subdivision, which did not fit City code. He questioned what was going on and if the work would ever be done over there. There is a row of 12 to 16 evergreens on the west side underneath the trees, where they will never live. If those evergreens do live, they will be in the parking lot when they get big enough to be lovely, and they will have to be cut down. Somehow, something is not working correctly. Many years ago, someone said, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." The fix of South Lake has cost the City so much money at the park that it is ridiculous. The project is an ongoing cesspool of money, which is unacceptable. There was no reason for any of that work to happen.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II - None
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
E. Approval of Balancing Change Order No. 1 and Final Pay Estimate No. 4 for the
Shawood Bridge Replacement (Austin Drive over Shawood Canal) to Davis Construction, Inc. in the amount of $18,300.49
Member Paul asked if Council awarded the $18,300.49 what else would remain to be done and would this be the last amount requested for this project? Member Paul was very concerned that this project was over budget and felt that Mr. Korte’s comments were timely. She was grateful that Shawood Lake and Walled Lake were being looked at and that the roads have been constructed but several areas had to be changed in regards to the width of the road, sidewalks and the Shawood Bridge. Member Paul wanted a scope of this project, the amount of money spent, timeframe of work on the project, what remains outstanding and what is left in this persons bid.
Mr. Helwig stated they had done the best they could to identify this as it was identified in the Capitol Improvements Program. This is a separate Capitol Improvement Project and has nothing to do with the South Lake Drive project. The Shawood Bridge replacement was closed for the better part of a year because of its deplorable condition and this is the final pay for that project.
CM-04-08-309 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To
Approve Balancing Change Order No. 1 and Final Pay Estimate No. 4 for the Shawood Bridge Replacement (Austin Drive over Shawood Canal) to Davis Construction, Inc. in the amount of $18,300.49
Member Capello stated he thought the project had actually come in about $7,000.00 under budget. Mr. Helwig said he was correct.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-309 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
H. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 678
Member Lorenzo questioned Check #37909, Secrest, Wardle, Lynch regarding legal fees and hourly escrow. Member Lorenzo said Mrs. Smith-Roy told her the debt was from February and March in the amount of $11,248.96. She requested a written explanation in Thursday’s packet of exactly what the amounts are and why they have not been paid.
CM-04-08-310 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To Approve Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 678
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-08-310 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Naming of new park – Member Paul
Member Paul stated a previous Planning Commission member, Gwen Markham, had written asking that the park be named after her father and Member Paul felt the letter should be addressed by Council. Member Markham was instrumental in having Singh Development preserve a large portion of their property. It is not all zoned for parks and the Master Plan has not been officially adopted yet and she wanted to understand what is happening in that quarter. Member Paul said the preserve gave some parkland and there was land that the City owned there and now the Links of Novi portion from the Singh Developer. She asked if Council would have the chance to rezone this property and when that was done what was Council’s pleasure in naming the park.
Member Paul felt Mr. Balogna, a school board member, might like to be recognized as he started Parks and Recreation in Novi. There are also others who have been very involved in volunteering in Novi. She suggested to Council that an auction be held to auction the name off to the highest bidder. The money could be allocated back to the Parks and Recreation Department, a foundation or to the General Fund. She didn’t want to alienate anyone and felt this might be a good way to do it.
Mayor Csordas asked Council for a yes or no answer to whether parks in the City should be named after residents that don’t live in the City?
Member Nagy said she understood the sentiments of Mrs. Markham and that Council must consider former City Council members, Mayors and other participants in the City.
Even though Member Markham’s father was the County Executive before L. Brooks Patterson and he started the park systems, this is not a designated park or a county park. Member Nagy felt they should consider the totality of people dedicated to Novi. Member Csordas said her response was a no.
Member Lorenzo felt Member Paul had an excellent suggestion in auctioning the name off to the highest bidder, whoever they are and wherever they live, once that area is designated a park.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated he did not like the idea of auctioning off the names of parks. There should be some permanency. He had no problem with the naming of a park but his preference would be to name the park for someone who lived or worked in Novi. He thought there were only two things in the City named after anybody. One was the City Police Department building and the other is the play structure.
Member Capello didn’t know if he would approve naming it after a person and would prefer to send it to Parks and Recreation to be returned with recommendations.
Member Gatt agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry’s comments.
Mayor Csordas said he was sure Mrs. Markham’s father did a great job and thought that Oakland County should consider some kind of recognition since he played a significant role in that area. He said an auction was an interesting concept and he would have to think about it. He didn’t want to change the name of a park every year to the highest bidder. Member Lorenzo said the auction would only take place once. Member Csordas said his answer was no.
Member Paul said she appreciated everyone’s comments. She agreed Parks and Recreation could give Council recommendations but thought a one time auction would be the way to go. Singh Trail is going to be put in place with their name on it. If this is zoned all parkland in the near future it can be discussed again with recommendations from Parks and Recreation.
2. Eleven Mile No-thru truck traffic and sidewalks – Member Paul
Member Paul received a call from 11 Mile Road resident, Ms. Vedro, on a weekend regarding truck traffic on 11 Mile. The Police Department stepped in and started to enforce no trucks through. Then there was a concept of special privilege for the construction trucks on Taft Road to go down 11 Mile. She thought this had been resolved through administration. Member Paul was concerned about the safety of residents in areas that have schools and no sidewalks. There are several new subdivisions on the south side of 11 Mile and one on the north side of 11 Mile between Beck and Taft. She asked the administration to prepare a cost estimate for Council for a sidewalk on the south side of 11 Mile where Parkview Elementary School is. She was also concerned about the area on Wixom Road where the Middle School and Deerfield Elementary are because there is a portion from Delmont Dr. to the school on the east side of the road that does not have a sidewalk. She felt with Catholic Central being developed and Target being in place and Sam’s Club coming there would be a lot more traffic on Wixom Road. She said Thornton Creek on the north side of Nine Mile does
not have a completed sidewalk either. She asked for an evaluation of what the cost of a sidewalk would be at those schools and suggested the schools might like to participate in paying for the sidewalk at least on their property.
Mr. Helwig said the section near Delmont, along with the section on Meadowbrook and Ten Mile Roads was authorized by Council in this year’s Capital Improvement Program and should be completed as soon as possible. Those two are moving ahead right now. He stated estimates have been received on 11 Mile and Council has them in the adopted Capital Improvement Program coming up in future years. He said it would be their goal to move those forward after doing the fiscal analysis discussion with Council at the end of September. The only one there is no estimate on is Nine Mile Road.
Member Paul said there was very little footage that did not have sidewalks. Almost the whole area has been completed on 11 Mile except where the Fire Station is, in front of Parkview Elementary and in front of Hugh Crawford’s property. There might be a few more but it would be helpful if Council could at least consider moving these areas forward for the safety of the children.
Member Capello thought the school was expanding at Taft and 11 Mile Road to build a garage and perhaps they would put a sidewalk in. At 11 Mile and Wixom Road the sidewalk is school property and where the sidewalk ends is city property. The parks were developed and the sidewalks were not put in and money needs to be allocated to put them in, everyone else has to put sidewalks in. He said he had the same concerns in front of Park View Elementary who always puts sidewalks in but for some reason did not and we can bring that to their attention. He said the schools could not be asked to contribute because sidewalks on city property are our responsibility.
Member Lorenzo thought the schools should be asked to contribute because they should care about the safety of children too. She asked if the City had all the right-of-way necessary for these sidewalks connections? Mr. Helwig said he didn’t believe so and that’s why the estimate on 11 Mile is $150,000 to do those sections. Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Helwig to submit a report identifying areas where the City doesn’t have the right-of-way.
Member Nagy agreed sidewalks were needed in areas where the school children are. She thought when Asbury was going in and there were double tandem trucks going down 11 Mile that Council put a weight limit on the trucks were signs put up. She asked if there was a different set of standards for Asbury? She thought that when Asbury Park was going in they couldn’t use the double tandem trucks because of the weight. Mr. Helwig said he would check into it.
Member Capello said he didn’t want them on Ten Mile Road.
Mayor Csordas said there is a subdivision going in there and access could not be restricted.
3. Westmont drainage Neville property 24081 Westmont Drive – Member Paul
Member Paul said she had brought this forward previously and asked what could be done to look at the bids for the road improvements and address the lead in the catch basin. She thought Mr. McCusker was addressing it regarding the cost analysis and all the concrete roads where there are drainage issues. This resident had several things happen. Next to her the previous owner built to the edge of the property, put in a retaining wall made of timbers and landscaped to the very edge. Therefore, the swale has been changed with four pine trees. Then the City came out cut into the storm drain but only went down approximately 6 inches which is not below the water table. So, no water is working and they never cited the neighbor. These issues have not been clearly addressed by City staff and she wanted direction given to administration or the DPW director to talk with these people and to look at what could be done. Are we going to cut a new hole at the proper level and then these people could put it in? Member Paul wanted to know what was going to be done for this resident because there was a multitude of problems; not all are inherited by the City but there are a few that the City could address.
Mr. McCusker said he had a discussion today with Don Saven and the building inspector and the records were not readily available to find out when the citation for the neighbor transpired. He said those records were being pulled and that he didn’t have a record of the City doing anything on private property, which was part of the claim. He said they did have a remedy for what’s going on. Mr. McCusker said when he has all the information it will be given to Mr. Helwig to give to Council. He should have the information within the next week. Member Paul asked that the information be forwarded in a Thursday packet. She said Council often comes up with a remedy but it is not shared with the residents so she requested that someone communicate with this resident in written form.
4. Charles Bedro
Member Nagy said Mr. Charles Bedro of Pioneer Meadows has asked about his septic field and some of the lawn that was to be sodded and repaired. Member Nagy asked Ms. McClain, City Engineer, if she inspected the drain tiles? Ms. McClain advised they opened up the drain tiles last Wednesday. His wife came out as she chose not to wake her husband. Ms. McClain said she has pictures and the contractor and Tom Lovelady from the DPW was there to inspect the field and they did not find any problems. Member Nagy asked if they used a dye system to find the problem? Ms. McClain said no because his concern was crushed tiles. She said they opened it up, looked at the tiles and they were not crushed.
Member Nagy said, barring any unforeseen problems in the future, the resident is prepared to be satisfied with the results. She asked if his lawn had been replaced with sod? Ms. McClain said it was and she has pictures of that as well.
Member Paul said this resident had also e-mailed her and she had this placed on Mayor and Council Issues as a fourth item and removed it because she had the letter from Ms. McClain saying it had been addressed. She said she received another e-mail stating that he was not satisfied with the amount of sod and that it was not placed all through the property. She suggested sending the letter Council received from Ms. McClain to the resident would be helpful. Member Paul requested something be brought to Council
showing this is resolved because she didn’t like it when residents felt that their concerns were not being met.
5. John Richards
Member Nagy received an e-mail picture from Mr. Richards, a Novi resident, who built a house on White Pines in Autumn Park. She said there were no silt fences and the drain wasn’t covered and the dirt went into the sewer. She thought this was in violation of the ordinance and asked that it be checked.
6. Fifty’s Festival
Member Nagy said she went to the Fifty’s Festival Friday night and was amazed with the crowd and really enjoyed it. She wanted to thank Lori Kapelczak, President of the Fifty’s Festival Board, the Board of Directors, the Lion’s Club volunteers and all the other volunteers who are nameless. It was very successful. She would like to see a change in the signage for people coming in off the freeway who don’t live in Novi.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry echoed Member Nagy’s comments. He said the Fifty’s Festival would love to put up more signs but it was out of deference for the City’s sign ordinance and a concern raised a couple years ago about signs that they don’t. He asked that Council hold that thought for next year.
Member Nagy thought there was a special dispensation. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said absolutely and it could be done administratively. He said Mr. Helwig did an administrative waiver this year.
Linda Krieger, 44920 Byrne Drive, thanked Council for granting the relocation of the Novi Barn to the Maybury Farm Site. She said a lot of work still needed to be done but it would provide a continued good experience for children and adults of our agricultural heritage. She said hopefully those participating in the transfer of the barn would remember to dedicate a plaque as Member Lorenzo indicated to honor the occasion.
Council entered into Executive Session at 10:25 PM.
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 10:43 PM.
CM-04-08-311 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: That the three conditions Council previously placed on the approval of the Wilshire Abbey plat be changed only in respect to the timing. The conditions that Council previously placed before approval of the plat will now be conditions which must be met before building permits can be issued with respect to Wilshire Abbey. However, the one additional requirement that Council wants to place with respect to Wilshire Abbey plat is that before any building permits can be issued there must be a bond posted. The bond must be a sufficient amount of money to mill and repave Cheltenham Drive. After 90% of the homes are constructed in Wilshire Abbey, the City at that point will inspect the roadway. If the City determines that the construction traffic has damaged the road to the extent that it must be milled and repaved, the money to do so would come out of that bond.
Roll call vote on CM-04-08-311 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Mr. Fisher asked, for clarification, that condition on the milling and paving is in lieu of the obligation to secure the supplemental easement over the adjoining property. Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that is correct.
Mrs. Cornelius asked if she was now authorized to sign the plat and Mayor Csordas said she was.
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:59 p.m. and returned to Executive Session.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Steve King