|View Agenda for this meeting
REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo*, Nagy and Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Craig Klaver – Chief Operating Officer
Tom Schultz – City Attorney
Benny McCusker – Public Works Director
Kathy Smith-Roy – Finance Director
Barb McBeth – Planning Director
Rob Hayes – City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Capello added under Mayor and Council Issues Item No. 3, City Council Policy Relative to Employees Applying for Boards and Commissions or Running for Public Office, Item No. 4, Update on Council Request to the Planning Commission Relative to Revisions to the OST Ordinance in the Meadowbrook Road Facility North of I-96, Item No. 5, Update on Motion to Look into a Moratorium on the Tree Fund to Give the Developers Incentive to Give Cash to Use to Get Rid of the Emerald Borer Infested Trees.
Member Gatt in regard to Item No. 6 for Council Action, Appointment to Boards and Commissions, one of the spots was for the Historical Commission. He stated that there was only one applicant. He stated that the Clerk received another application today, and he requested that Council not vote on that Board tonight until they had a chance to interview the new person.
Mayor Csordas stated that he absolutely agreed; they wouldn’t vote on somebody they didn’t know.
CM-05-02-051 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-05-01-051 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
PRESENTATIONS – None
PUBLIC HEARING – None
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE – None
2. CITY MANAGER: 2005-2006 Budget Special Meetings Schedule
Mr. Klaver stated that Administration sent out a memo showing the dates from last year’s by way of reference. He stated that he was passing around a calendar for April; he thought it might be a helpful reference tool. He reminded Council that one of the reasons Administration shared last year’s schedule was because the bulk of the work done by the Finance Department occurred between the first and second meetings. He stated that traditionally the first meeting they received a lot of Council input and make a lot of amendments to the proposed budget, so it didn’t need to be exactly the three-week period but Administration would like to have a significant gap between the first and second meeting for those reasons.
Mayor Csordas asked if Administration was looking for maybe the first date to be April 9th in keeping with the tradition of starting full sessions on Saturdays, the 9th and the 16th. He asked if Administration was looking for more time between those two meetings.
Member Lorenzo arrived at 7:04 p.m.
Mr. Klaver stated that two weeks would probably be okay.
Discussion was held regarding meeting dates and the consensus was April 9th, April 16th and April 30th.
CM-05-02-052 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To hold 2005-2006 Budget Special Meetings on April 9th, April 16th and April 30th.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-052 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Mr. Klaver stated that Administration received a few questions regarding the Stream Bank Stabilization for Meadowbrook Lake. He stated that he met with Mr. Hayes; Mr. Hayes did a field visit, along with the engineers from Anderson Eckstein, and he wanted Mr. Hayes to give a very brief update in terms of some clarification on the proposal. He stated that he would pass around a memo which basically would highlight his remarks but more for the map that was there that he would be using for reference.
Mr. Hayes stated that his purpose here was to clarify some of the issues of stream bank stabilization adjacent to the Meadowbrook Lake site. He stated as part of the Meadowbrook Lake dredging project, there was a public information meeting on January 20th where there were several concerns raised regarding the extent of erosion, both upstream and downstream, of Meadowbrook Lake. He stated that they had the Walled Lake branch of the Middle Rouge to the upper left of the map; to the right was Ingersoll Creek. He stated that both t hose water courses fed into the north end of Meadowbrook Lake. He said at the base of the lake, there was a dam that it emptied out into, which was referred to as the Middle Branch of the Rouge. He stated that Administration’s intent with regard to the approach to address the erosion issues, they asked the City’s consultant, Anderson Eckstein to walk the site and to prepare a proposal, which was included in Council’s packet under action items for this evening.
Mr. Hayes wanted to clarify the intent of their proposal. He stated that they indicated that at points number one and two did not specifically require any active measures to address erosion; however, it was not explicitly stated but Anderson’s intent was to look at and come up with design solutions for the other points as it went south through that water course. He wanted to make aware that it was part of Anderson Eckstein’s scope and it was in their design fee. He stated that, as he would explain later, their design fee included coming up with the design solution for erosion control on the Walled Lake branch. He stated that the report showed that they didn’t identify any major control issues on the Ingersoll Creed but there were significant issues to the south along the Middle Branch.
Mr. Hayes stated that the two major questions that came to him through Council were: 1) would there be any measures looked at north of the Lake; the answer was yes. Administration would look at that stretch of the Walled Lake Branch. In addition to where the Middle Rouge emptied out of the dam, there was significant erosion there, and 2) had any previous engineering work been done to address stream stabilization; the answer to that was no. Mr. Hayes stated that JCK & Associates studied the Lake, the aquatic plants, as well as the sedimentation issues involved with Meadowbrook Lake; however, that was the extent of their scope. He stated that they didn’t look at any erosion issues in any of those other water courses.
Member Nagy stated that, to make it simple for members of the audience, the emails that were sent to Council regarding the stream bank north and south of Chattman Drive, would be addressed.
Mr. Hayes answered yes; he stated that would be evaluated by the City’s consultant and they would come up with a design solution that would later be implemented by the City’s construction contractor.
Member Nagy asked when JCK did its study, was it basically minus the stream bank; she asked if the Ingersoll company repeated the same study. She was concerned that JCK had already done a study and now funds had been allocated for another study to be done. She asked if Mr. Hayes had time to see whether there was any difference in the two studies.
Mr. Hayes answered that JCK completed the study that came up with the solution to the issue. They answered what the problem was; it was the severe sedimentation. They came up with the solution of dredging.
Mr. Hayes stated that Anderson Eckstein then took that and prepared the design plans and specifications so it could be bid out and so there was no duplication.
Member Paul appreciated Mr. Hayes looking into that. She stated that when she looked into the emails in talking about the Chattman area that it would be looked into. She asked if he actually saw the erosion that the residents were speaking of and that there were some issues that Council had to address.
Mr. Hayes stated there were some issues; specifically close to Chattman was where it appeared to be the most severe.
Member Paul stated there were two different residents that emailed Council, on was the Bartons and the other was the Pattersons; she believed the Pattersons were the ones where the pictures had approximately six feet loss of soil; she asked Mr. Hayes if there was definitely an issue that the City could rectify in that situation.
Mr. Hayes answered it could be rectified; however, it depended on what the definition of rectification was. He stated that the City couldn’t necessarily feel things in without getting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers; however, the City could kind of draw a line so there was no further erosion. He hoped he wasn’t speaking out of turn because the consultant would speak later, but that was generally what they were looking at was to stop any further erosion from occurring in those areas where there was the most concern.
Member Paul asked if Anderson Eckstein went that far north in that part of the Middle Rouge, so when Mr. Hayes saw the emails, he had to look further north to see that there was erosion in fact present.
Mr. Hayes answered that they walked the entire stretch; however, the way the proposal was worded, it didn’t explicitly say that they were going to look at from the map the points numbered 3 though 12; he clarified that with the consultant and that was their intent was to look at that long stretch from the points that he showed in the map. He stated that took them all the way down to Chattman.
3. DEPARTMENTAL – None
4. ATTORNEY – None
Lisa Barton of Meadowbrook Lake stated that she sent an email to Council to bring their attention to the JCK study that was done. She wanted to make sure that Council was aware of the issues that were in that study. She talked with the engineer who came to their property; he specifically said that the reason the area north of Chattman would be taken care of, as she mentioned in the email, was because there was a sewer cap that was critically close to the erosion and if that erosion continued one more foot, in his terms, "that sewer cap could blow and emit sewage into the Lake". She was very concerned that Council address the study that JCK did. She said the engineer had a large plan and went over and actually pointed that area out to her; she hoped that Council would look at that carefully and address any issue so nothing important was missed. She stated that it seemed like a very low cost to continue the project to take care of some real concerns.
Randy Patterson stated that he brought a packet of pictures of the property at 41626 Chattman where the erosion had occurred since they lived there the past year. He stated they had continually had soil falling into the creek there and the Walled Lake Branch feeding into Meadowbrook Lake. He stated that the pictures showed quite well the concern that they had. He stated that he was not aware of where the sewer cap was, now he was, and he was concerned about it because they didn’t want that to happen. He stated that more importantly, the property that they lived on was continually falling into the creek there; they would like to get that at least stabilized. He said that was good to hear that the City would be looking at that. He said at the same time, they had lost quite a bit of property falling into the creek; he hoped that they could at least get some sort of fill in there, as well as drainage, that was another concern from the other pictures that could be seen in the packet. He wanted to make sure Council had that at their attention when it went over all the issues.
Frank Duva, a neighbor of Mr. Patterson, stated that the other day when he received the memo, it stated that nothing was going to be done in the Walled Lake Branch that fed into Meadowbrook Lake. He said that because of that, he took pictures of the trees and the creek bed alongside the creek going all the way to the new subdivision being built up there; he noticed quite a few trees were either dead or dying. He stated that 50 percent or more of them were ash trees; he wondered what the development, along with the trees dying up there, would increase runoff, the speed of runoff and the height of the creek. He asked if there was any action considered for replanting or reforestation before the sub was developed or approval for the sub was made; he was sure there were federal and state programs that offered reforestation. He believed the MDEQ offered trees, saplings that could be replanted. He asked how come none of the situations were looked at before the sub was built.
Mayor Csordas stated that at Audience Participation Council would be happy to listen to concerns, but there would be no discussion or answers to questions.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-05-02-053 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-053 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerk’s Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of February 28, 2005 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Approval of request from Emagine Theater for Renewal of an Arcade License located at 44425 Twelve Mile Road with 16 machines.
D. Approval to renew Massage License for Hands on Health, 39575 W. Ten Mile, Suite 208.
E. Approval to renew Massage Business License for Gina Agosta, Inc, located at 39831 Grand River.
F. Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by one employee.
G. Approval to bid Public Works facility fire protection and potable water supply including:
H. Approval to awarded Softball Bid to I.S.A. Sports, the low bidder, in the amount of $4,432.60.
I. Approval to award bid for Aggregate Materials to the low bidder for each material type based on unit pricing.
J. Approval to award a contract for Design and Construction Engineering Services for Special Assessment District 173 – Connemara Drive and Galway Drive Water Main Extension to JCK & Associates, Inc., for a not- to-exceed design fee of $8,875.00 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 11.5% of construction cost (estimated to be $9,274.75) for a total of $18,149.75. JCK submitted the highest-rated technical proposal and lowest fee proposal for this project.
K. Approval to award the construction contract for Special Assessment District 172 – Bentley and Blomfield Subdivisions Water Main Extension to the low bidder, Troelsen Excavating Co., in the amount of $367,284.
L. Approval to award Tree Removal contract to the lowest qualified bidder, Owen Tree Service, for $30,520 for the removal of 350 trees plus $49,480 for removal of approximately 500 additional ash trees.
M. Approval to extend contract (1st renewal) to D&D Water & Sewer, Inc., the low qualified bidder, for water service connections through April 2006 under the same terms, conditions and pricing.
N. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 691
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Consideration of the request of Singh Development for final Plat approval for Willowbrook Farms, Phase IV, (fka Avalon Subdivision). The subject property is located on the north side of Ten Mile Road, between Meadowbrook and Haggerty Roads and will consist of 25 lots on 9.5 acres.
Mayor Csordas stated that before they started, he noted that Ms. McBeth, Planning Director, had asked Secrest Wardle to give Council an opinion as to whether it was appropriate to have this on the agenda; he quoted from the letter. "Your question was whether City Council could approve the Final Plats for these subdivisions in light of elapsed time; in our opinion, the lapse of time did not limit City Council’s approval authority, which was why it was appropriate to be on the agenda. In summary of the paragraph said in sum, the lapse of time did not in our opinion affect the City’s ability to approve the final Plats for these two subdivisions and should also not form the basis of a denial of those Final Plats." Mayor Csordas stated that he knew that all Council members read that, but he wanted to make sure that people in the audience knew that.
CM-05-02-054 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry as amended: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To extend the time for filing the Final Plat for Willowbrook Farms Subdivision subject to the increased plantings within the 20-foot setback.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-054 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Mr. Schultz stated that in connection with an approval, having looked at this, the letter went out with the packet, he thought it would be appropriate for there to be two separate motions, if approval was what the Council intended. He said the first would be to extend the time for filing the Final Plat until the decision tonight, and then a second motion would be for approval.
Mayor Csordas asked both Member Capello and Mayor Pro Tem Landry if they were okay with that; both stated yes.
Member Paul stated that she knew that there were several different parts of Willowbrook Farms and the Final Plat approval was just being extended at this time, even though it had been expired. She asked Ms. Smith-Roy if the financial guarantee actually apply to that phase at that current time.
Ms. Smith-Roy, Finance Director, stated that the financial guarantee did not apply at this time under the new rules because a portion would fall under the old rules. She stated that she would have to verify that but, because of the date and because the City was accepting that, it would fall under the old rules.
Member Paul stated that, since it was expired, she believed that part of it should come under the financial guarantee; she stated Council was trying to put in ordinances that were going to increase the City’s security, and she had a problem with not making that phase apply to the City’s new ordinances that had come into that time.
Member Paul stated that she read Mr. Schultz’ letter and saw that he was talking about most ordinance amendments, there hadn’t been a lot of changes. She asked if that also had some stormwater management and landscaping ordinances that had come unto play since the initial submittal. She stated that she wasn’t saying that the Council had to have every little part of the ordinance apply, but she thought since it was expired, this was not a new developer in the community; they were well aware of what the City’s guidelines and laws were, and she didn’t feel comfortable just waiving the laws and not asking them to meet the City’s financial guarantee in some of our landscape ordinance and some of the City’s ordinances for its stormwater management. She stated just to say it was okay, it was expired; she said the law said the Council had the ability to grant a variance; she understood that but Council put those ordinances in place to safeguard what they had in the City. She really wanted to ask if the City could have some landscaping added to the plan; it was right on Ten Mile and she was sure they could afford to beef up the landscaping to the front of the subdivision that abutted Ten Mile, which was the City’s major thoroughfare and also look at the stormwater management. She said the City had issues here with two different lakes that Council was deciding on tonight. She said they were either dredging or raking both to the tune of more than $1-million.
Member Paul stated there was more runoff because there was more development. She stated that Council was hearing about tree die-off; we’re hearing about more water flow and erosion that was caused from that. To have the developer put in more stormwater management control that could be worked out with City Engineering and then also to have our consultants and also landscaping could be added to the front of Ten Mile and still have it go through; time was money to the developer, and they wanted to move forward. She stated that she could understand that and was trying to be fair to them also. She said they had been a really good partner to our community; she appreciated all the things that Singh had done. She stated in this case, she didn’t want to shortchange the residents; she thought putting in some more landscaping on the front end of Ten Mile would be a very positive amendment.
Member Paul also believed that the City could have them have this phase be contingent with the financial guarantee; so that could be put as part of the motion. She wanted to add that as an amendment.
Mr. Schultz stated that with regard to the letter, it was short and kind of to the point because, from Secrest’s perspective, the answer with regard to the two ordinances that they identified in the letter, struck them as pretty clear. The stormwater ordinance and the landscape ordinance, and if they did not have attached to them some limitations, he could certainly understand the point Member Paul was making, but both of those ordinances were passed with the assumption that for developments this far along in the process, recognizing the cost and expense that it took to get that far, they were not going to be applied to developments that actually were that far along in the process.
Mr. Schultz stated that with a plat, it was more than just a site plan; that particular developer had been now to various departments of the State of Michigan twice for preliminary and now final plat approval, twice to three or four departments of Oakland County. He stated it was way more stringent than a typical site plan, if there was anything farther along than that, he wasn’t sure what it could possibly be. For the landscaping and the stormwater ordinances, what the City bumped up against was that they specifically said, with regard to the stormwater in particular and by policy set for landscaping, the City understood the hardship and the City would not apply it to those kinds of developments. He stated that kind of governed the answer; that was one of the reasons the letter was so short.
Mr. Schultz stated that he thought the question of the financial guarantee was a little different, though. He stated that he couldn’t say, as Council sat here tonight, that it was not going to require the postings that were now required under that new Chapter 38 for that development, when no physical improvements had yet been made to it. He stated that to the extent the City could, he would have to go back and look at the last paragraph that said who it applied to; it was mostly intended to catch where there had been physical development improvements. People who had to come in and post a bond, to the extent the City could, it would try to apply Chapter 38 to that if it fit at all within the language of the ordinance. He stated that the idea of not going back under that police powers ordinance to catch people who had gone so far in the development process, applied to all three but most clearly with regard to the landscaping and stormwater.
Member Paul thanked Mr. Schultz for his opinion; she did think Council should apply the financial guarantee to that phase and she understood that he was completely confident.
Mr. Schultz answered that if the City at all could, it would absolutely.
Member Paul asked if, in fact, the City could not apply the landscape ordinance because basically the plat had been approved by the State, could the City ask for the financial money that would be gained by meeting the ordinance, so offset it with costs; she thought that was one of the things that Member Capello put on in Mayor and Council Issues. She stated, say they only had to put in 100 trees, but if the new landscape ordinance applied to that phase, it would be 400 trees, so that they could pay for the 300 and put it in the Tree Fund.
Mr. Schultz answered that it was his understanding through conversations with Ms. McBeth that the only thing, leaving aside the stormwater because he thought it was too large an issue in terms of the changes that would require, the landscaping requirements would be in a 40-foot buffer area and it really wasn’t more landscaping, it was just more greenbelt area, not more planting but more area where the developer would not be building either stormwater or anything like that. Again, he stated that he landscaping ordinance was passed with the assumption that projects that far along would not be caught up in it.
Member Paul stated that the phase was not that far along.
Mr. Schultz answered that it was about as far along as you get in the approval process for a plat.
Member Paul stated that it was expired, also.
Mr. Schultz stated that he understood that it was expired and that essentially by extending, what the Council was doing was granting a variance. He said the variance relief and all of that got tied up; he stated that as a former Planning Commissioner, she knew that you could sometimes attach conditions. He stated that the language for the variance under the subdivision ordinance was very explicit; it was the authority to attach conditions that carried out the intent of the ordinance. He stated that the ordinance here, by its terms, was not intended to apply to developments that far along; he thought the City was missing the nexus of here was a condition that was intended to do what the ordinance required; they had a condition that would be adding something that the ordinance wasn’t going to require. He stated that was the difference here.
Ms. McBeth pointed out on the overhead the area that the landscape ordinance might have affected. She stated that on the bottom part of the page, was the Ten Mile Road and then the boulevard entrance that was proposed there. She stated that there was a 20-foot greenbelt along both sides on Ten Mile Road; she stated that under the current landscape ordinance, it would be a 40-foot wide greenbelt that was required. She stated that in talking with Lance Shipman, that was the only change that would be affected if the old landscape ordinance were tossed out and the new one brought in. She stated that might cause the loss of two lots because of the 20 feet; it was pretty tight already, so it would be pretty close.
Member Paul asked if the City could ask for more enhancements, say possibly more trees to the area and not the extra 20 feet; she asked Ms. McBeth if she could work with a developer in that aspect.
Ms. McBeth stated that they could certainly work with the developer in that aspect; she thought there were some existing trees along Ten Mile Road and the plan was to preserve as many of those as possible, but they could certainly be enhanced.
Member Paul stated that she would like to see if they could make an amendment; she knew they had to make a second motion for the financial guarantees to apply and then for the Singh Development to work with the City staff to enhance the landscaping as much as possible.
CM-05-02-055 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To attach conditions of financial guarantee and to increase the plantings within the 20-foot setback, and that they would agree to abide by the Financial Guarantee Ordinance.
Mayor Csordas stated that it was not an amendment to the motion. He said the first motion was just to extend it.
Member Lorenzo stated yes, but it was an amendment to the motion, as she understood it. It was an extension with conditions.
Mr. Schultz stated that as he understood it, it was a motion to amend the motion that was on the floor from Member Capello. He stated that, as they had seen with some of the recent plats that had returned to the City from the State, the State did not like to see motions that were less than clean on a plat approval. He stated that he understood that Singh had learned about that really essentially when they all did as of last week; maybe a representative could comment on whether or not they would voluntarily do that. He stated that would be preferable rather than trying to oppose it in a motion that Council had to then clear through the State and the platting process.
Mayor Csordas asked Clerk Cornelius to restate the amended motion.
Ms. Cornelius stated that Member Capello’s motion was to extend the time for filing the final plat for Willowbrook Farms Subdivision; it was amended to include the financial guarantee and work with the developer to enhance the landscaping.
Member Capello asked Mr. Schultz if the motion passed, it was just the motion to extend the time, which had the conditions on it. He said if the amendment passed, then the motion that was actually in front of Council would be a clean motion because it was just motion to approve.
Mr. Schultz stated that the first motion was the motion to extend.
Member Capello stated that it had the conditions on it.
Mr. Schultz answered if the second motion made by Member Paul passed and then the motion Member Capello made passed, it would be an extension with the conditions.
Member Capello stated that after that, if it passed, the approval motion would just be a plain approval. He asked if that would sit better with the State.
Mr. Schultz answered that he assumed that the motion that the State would most care about would be the motion to approve. Mr. Schultz stated that it was a motion that essentially granted a variance from the time limitation and was an extension.
Member Capello stated that what they were asking and saying we’ll grant the extension if they agreed just to beef up the landscaping within that same 20-foot setback and comply with the new financial guarantee ordinance, which he thought they would have to do anyway. He asked a Singh representative if those two conditions were acceptable.
Dave Zaitchek, representing Singh Development, answered that it would be acceptable to them because it would not change the layout of the project and it was something that they could work through and that the State would accept, also, as far as the platting process. He stated that they started construction; they were responsible to understand the ordinances and to work within the ordinance. He stated that they had not had problems in any other municipality as long as they started construction and continue progress on a project within the time period. He stated on this project, they did apply for a permit and completed the demolition on the site this past year. He stated that they had continued to make progress, routing the plat. As Mr. Schultz indicated, there was a lot of work. He stated that they had procured the rest of the permits; they had routed the plat all the way up to Council. He stated that as soon as it was approved by the City and got it signed, it just went to the County and the State and then they were done. He stated that they had asked for a preconstruction meeting; as soon as they post all the fees and bonds, they were ready to start construction tomorrow.
Mr. Zaitchek stated that they did start construction within the window and had been making progress toward starting; they were ready to start. On the other hand, he understood what Council was looking for; they were willing to work with the City.
Member Capello stated that he would accept the amendment to his motion to extend the increased the plantings and landscape amenities within the existing 20-foot setback and that they would comply with the current new Financial Guarantee Ordinance.
Mayor Csordas asked Clerk Cornelius for clarification; he didn’t think that Member Capello had the option; there was really a separate motion here.
Member Capello stated that he was accepting that as a friendly amendment to his motion.
Mayor Csordas asked Clerk Cornelius for clarification.
Ms. Cornelius stated that initially the motion was made by Member Capello and then Member Paul made a separate motion. She stated that they could have that as a separate amendment; she would let Mr. Schultz, the Parliamentarian, explain.
Mr. Schultz stated that Council could either vote on the motion that Member Paul made and had been seconded or Member Paul could withdraw that with the consent of the seconder, and Member Capello could incorporate it into his motion, the original motion for approval.
Mayor Csordas asked for Roll Call on the amendment.
CM-05-02-055 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To attach conditions of financial guarantee and to increase the plantings within the 20-foot setback, and that they would agree to abide by the Financial Guarantee Ordinance.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-055 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas, Landry
CM-05-02-056 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Final Plat for Willowbrook Farms, Phase IV, (fka Avalon Subdivision). The subject property is located on the north side of Ten Mile Road, between Meadowbrook and Haggerty Roads and will consist of 25 lots on 9.5 acres, subject to the conditions of the extension.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he wanted to make a quick point for the record. He voted to approve the amendment; he didn’t particularly agree with the City passing an ordinance that said it would not apply the ordinance to projects that were already in process, then somebody came before Council and it did exactly the opposite and try to get them to abide by the new ordinance. In his opinion, that just was not right. If the City said something, it ought to back it up. The only reason he supported it was that Singh Development agreed to voluntarily put some additional plantings in there; he commended them for that, and had they not agreed to voluntarily do it, he would not have supported it.
Member Nagy stated that she agreed with Mayor Pro Tem Landry, but she was a little disappointed in this regard. She stated that when she received the letter from the City Attorney, she called Ms. McBeth and asked her to put some of the information that was here, which was the timeline for Avalon Subdivision as well as a copy of the ordinance. She stated that she would appreciate in the future that would be included. She also believed that it expired in November; she was not sure when they purchased the property.
Mr. Zaitchek stated he was not sure; it was approved under a different owner.
Member Nagy stated that she was on the Planning Commission when it was approved, so she knew that it was approved.
Mr. Zaitchek stated that he believed it was purchased about a year before the expiration, October/November 2003; but he wasn’t sure.
Member Nagy stated that she didn’t want to make it incumbent upon the Planning Commission to notify people when something expired; she thought, with all due respect, the developer had developed tons of stuff in the City, so she thought it was something it should have known and dealt with.
Member Lorenzo stated that she appreciated the petitioner’s voluntarily acknowledging the requests by Member Paul and by her seconding that motion. Secondly, she thought it was extremely important that the City Council applied the ordinances fairly and consistently. She stated that from her perspective, Council could have had better advice up front; it was a variance to the subdivision act, because for all intents and purposes, the plat was expired. So by right, Council said to go back and start the process over. She stated that the ordinance allowed Council to grant a variance on the basis of extraordinary undue hardship or practical difficulty, which she understood and agreed with in this case. The ordinance and the variance also stated that the Council may vary the regulations, so that the substantial justice might be done and the public interests secured.
Member Lorenzo stated that if they had started the whole process over again, the proviso in the landscape ordinance that said Council wouldn’t apply it to people already through, didn’t apply because they weren’t already through anymore; they were starting from scratch. Based on that, the way Council looked at this was a courtesy saying it agreed that it was undue hardship, but in order for there to be substantial justice done to the public interest in securing the additional amenities and enhancements to the landscape ordinance and to its financial guarantees obviously was in the public interest. She stated that was the whole reason the City had the ordinances to secure the best interest of the public. She stated that if Council had wanted, they could have conditioned that; that was the way she looked at it, but she did appreciate the petitioner voluntarily complying with Council requests.
Mr. Schultz stated that, to be honest, the only reason he felt the obligation to say anything in response was because there was another one immediately following the next agenda item. He respectfully questioned whether or not the Council was considering that as a courtesy to either one of those developers, including the one up next. He stated that the variance language was pretty clear; the City would need a reason to say no, just like any other exercise of discretion that Council made. He said the only reason out there available was the change in the two ordinances which Council said was not going to be applied to developments that far along. He stated that the letter was short; sometimes they had to make a quick letter because the packet was going out, which was partially the case, but because sometimes it was from their perspective pretty clear. He wanted to make sure Council was careful; this was coming up in the next agenda item, and he didn’t think it was a courtesy. He stated it was an exercise of discretion that Council needed to do carefully.
Mayor Csordas stated that he agreed and understood.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-056 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
2. Consideration of the request of Singh Development for Final Plat approval for Churchill Crossing Phase III. The subject property is located on the north side of Ten Mile Road, between Novi and Taft Roads and will consist of 49 lots on 17 acres.
CM-05-02-057 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To extend the time for filing the Final Plat for Churchill Crossing Phase III.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-057 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt,
CM-05-02-058 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Final Plat for Churchill Crossing Phase III. The subject property is located on the north side of Ten Mile Road, between Novi and Taft Roads and will consist of 49 lots on 17 acres.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-058 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
3. Acceptance of Churchill Crossing Subdivision No. 1 Streets, Water Mains, and Sanitary Sewer, and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting 0.46 miles of streets, including Cavendish Court, Cavendish Avenue East, Cavendish Drive West, Churchill Boulevard, Thatcher Court, and Thatcher Drive as public.
CM-05-02-059 Moved by Capello, seconded by Paul; NO VOTE TAKEN: To accept Churchill Crossing Subdivision No. 1 Streets, Water Mains, and Sanitary Sewer, and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting 0.46 miles of streets, including Cavendish Court, Cavendish Avenue East, Cavendish Drive West, Churchill Boulevard, Thatcher Court, and Thatcher Drive as public.
Mr. Klaver wanted to make a point of clarification. He stated that there was a mistake made in mapping this; he wanted to verify for Council consideration that the correct lineal footage for the total here was 5199, for a total of .99 miles.
Mayor Csordas asked if Council was going to accept those, would there be any more construction traffic on the roads, as they were accepted.
Mr. Zaitchek answered that there would because there would be no way to get back to Phase II. He stated that first of all, we’re the developer and sold the lots to Multi and Lopiccolo, so there would be construction traffic by the builder’s contractors in Phase II and then in turn following, Phase III. He stated that there would be their construction traffic in Phase III. He stated the only way to get to Phase III is through I and II. He stated for that reason, the City had kept their right-of-way permit open with the bond outstanding on that, keeping that in mind that they were going to have to travel through.
Mayor Csordas asked if the City was sufficiently protected financially for accepting those streets and utilities, and then all of a sudden there was construction traffic continuing. He wanted clarification on that before Council voted.
Mr. Schultz stated that he could not answer without knowing how much the City had in terms of bonds.
Mr. Klaver asked Mr. Hayes to answer that question.
Mr. Hayes answered that the City was holding sufficient bond to protect itself should there be damages to the roadway within Phase I.
Member Lorenzo asked what the amount was.
Mr. Hayes stated that he didn’t know the amount off the top of his head.
Member Capello stated that the bond that the City was holding now, once it accepted the streets, would be maintenance bonds, correct?
Mr. Hayes answered that was correct.
Member Capello stated that maintenance bonds would be limited, so he didn’t think the maintenance bonds would cover construction traffic. He stated that the maintenance bonds would only cover defects and faults to the roads themselves, correct?
Mr. Hayes answered that a maintenance bond would be to cover any defects in workmanship or materials.
Member Capello stated that construction trucks going over the road and damaging it for houses built in Phases II and III wouldn’t be covered by the maintenance bond.
Mr. Hayes stated that there was also the right-of-way bond that Mr. Zaitchek mentioned that would cover any construction traffic damage.
Member Capello asked what the right-of-way bond was.
Mr. Zaitchek answered that it was $1,500.
Member Capello stated that was just the balance of the typical road bond, wasn’t it?
Mr. Zaitchek answered no; it was just a standard bond that the City had for right-of-way permit.
Member Capello stated that as long as the City had in process now an amendment to the Financial Guarantee Ordinance where they pulled their building permit on Phases II and III, that they would have to post a bond to protect all of the streets all the way out to Ten Mile Road. He didn’t think Council ever envisioned something like that when they gave direction to draft that bond; and more so, they were just concerned with the roads directly in front of the house. He stated that Mr. Schultz, when drafting it, might want to take that into consideration, too. He thought the City would have ample protection there because they put something like $20,000 per building permit, didn’t they?
Mr. Schultz asked if Member Capello was talking about in the ordinance amendment.
Member Capello stated in the ordinance amendment, the financial guarantee.
Mr. Schultz answered that he didn’t know that there was anything. He asked if he was talking about in the new Financial Guarantee Ordinance as it existed now.
Member Capello answered no, as Council instructed last meeting to prepare an amendment.
Mr. Schultz answered that their understanding, what they had met on and it would hopefully come out later this week for the Thursday packet, was mostly limited. He stated that could be helpful to the builder’s pulling additional bonding money in an amount to be determined as they pulled their individual permits, and it had the rebuttal presumption language that Member Capello talked about for damage in front of a particular building site. He didn’t think that there was anything in the draft that they were working on right now, he would be happy to talk about that at a later date.
Member Capello stated that actually thinking through this, it wouldn’t apply to that because it would only be pulling a building permit if the street in front of the house was s City street, so the City was not protected with that.
Mr. Schultz stated that there was nothing in the current Financial Guarantee Ordinance and nothing in the document that Secrest Wardle was working on in light of the comments at the last meeting that would address that situation. He stated that if that was something that Council wanted Secrest Wardle to consider, they would be happy to do that, but Member Capello was correct that the bonds that were in front of Council tonight were workmanship and materials, not damages for trucks rolling over the roads.
Member Paul stated that she was the seconder of the motion, and she would really like to have some discussion of the item. She stated that when Island Lakes came before Council, she shared with the group that she was very concerned that there would be construction traffic over the roads that Council would be accepting. She stated that in all of the City’s money, it kept getting squished a little more with the demands on the City services being higher. She a lot of concern about accepting those roads when there was going to be construction traffic over it for two-thirds left of the subdivision. She stated that originally when the Plat was proposed, they only went in off Ten Mile because off Clark Street there were residents that were very upset about having more construction traffic going on Clark Street. Then they looked at Cedar Springs, and they didn’t want the traffic going down that boulevard, now they only had one way in, which was unfortunate in this circumstance because now the City couldn’t take the construction traffic via another route to stay off roads that the City had accepted.
Member Paul stated that with all of the City’s shortfall in change in regard to road repairs and all the roads that Council had before it, from Chase Farms to North Hill, that had really significant problems. Council would have to have a really difficult discussion in the City’s budget to decide how it would reserve some finances for the City to do road repair. At this time, she would not be supporting the motion because there was no way construction traffic could be kept off at least three of the main roads. She stated that when it was completed in its entirety, she would be in support of it.
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Schultz if Council could do something similar that it did in the Nanda case or the Wilshire Abbey whereby if they were utilizing the roads for construction traffic, that they had to do additional bonding.
Mr. Schultz stated that she was talking about the resolution that was really kind of in the context of the court case and the court order; that was a lot easier to work out between the parties than just imposing it. He stated that typically what you looked to was there an ordinance provision that Council could point to require the posting of a bond. He stated that with no court case and no ordinance, as he discussed with Council on the Park Place thing, it was really the problem with requiring the developer to give more money. He stated that in Park Place, Council had the ability to say, and did say, you don’t meet our policy so Council was not accepting the roads. Here, Council had the City’s policy which did not require a bond for right-of-way and which appeared to be met because 100 percent of the homes on that phase were developed. He said the policy appeared to be met for accepting the streets; the City didn’t yet have a right-of-way bond approval. He stated he was happy to look at that language that Member Capello was talking about, but they would be kind of breaking new ground there and the Council didn’t have right now that ordinance authority. He said it would make him feel more comfortable defending that if he could point to a policy or an ordinance; that was the issue here.
Member Lorenzo asked if Council had an obligation to accept the streets tonight. She asked if it could be postponed or ask the petitioner if they would voluntarily produce a bond for the purpose of the additional construction traffic.
Mr. Schultz stated that the policy, which actually had been adopted and referenced in an ordinance, did not obligate Council to accept the streets once the policy was met; Council would need to articulate again the reasons why Council was delaying the acceptance since the policy was met.
Member Lorenzo stated that until the construction traffic was completed so that the City and taxpayers were not burdened with the repair costs.
Mr. Schultz stated that if the question to him was if the developer objected and said it wanted to stand on the policy as Council had adopted it and Council was obligated to accept, then we had to wait and see what developed from that objection. He wouldn’t have any objection to posing the question to the developer, "Was he interested in posting a bond in the event City Council accepted those streets".
Member Lorenzo asked Mr. Zaitchek if he understood the dilemma.
Mr. Zaitchek stated that he understood; he said unfortunately he couldn’t just volunteer that. He stated that they had gone through great pains; he said that the procedure just to turn over roads and utilities was very cumbersome. He stated that they had put a lot of man-hours in satisfying all the requirements, and all the feedback from the City recently had been that Council was very concerned about getting streets and utilities turned over in a timely manner. He stated that now they had gone to great pains to do everything they could to get them turned over, and it was a real surprise to see now that Council wanted to hold off. He understood the reasoning behind it.
Member Lorenzo stated that if they were done with the subdivision, then Council wouldn’t have a problem. She stated that when they were bringing in the gravel haulers and all of the other construction trucks that were going to make huge cracks in the road and then this Council or the next Council, and not too long the residents would come to a Council and ask for roads to be repaired and asked when they were going to get on the list. Then they had to cough up as taxpayers the money to do that; that was Council’s dilemma.
Member Lorenzo stated that she would be willing to postpone this and not deny it.
CM-05-02-060 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To postpone acceptance of Churchill Crossing Subdivision No. 1 Streets, Water Mains, and Sanitary Sewer, and adoption of Act 51 New Street Resolution accepting 0.46 miles of streets, including Cavendish Court, Cavendish Avenue East, Cavendish Drive West, Churchill Boulevard, Thatcher Court, and Thatcher Drive as public, based on the fact that there would be additional construction traffic on those roads.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-060 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Member Capello stated that Mr. Schultz, as he was looking at the Financial Guarantee Ordinance, he saw the other loophole issue that Council had. He stated that he was sure that the City allowed for phasing; maybe Council could say that if it allowed for phasing, in Phase II, you needed to post a financial guarantee beyond just the maintenance for roads in Phase I for construction traffic. He stated that it seemed like all of Council’s problems were because the ordinances weren’t covering the City; it was not the developer’s fault.
Mr. Schultz stated that he would be happy to look at that; that might not be ready for Thursday, but they would try.
4. Approval of contract extension to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick to provide streambank stabilization design and construction engineering services for the Middle Branch of the Rouge River south of Meadowbrook Lake in the amount of $12,900.
CM-05-02-061 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve contract extension to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick to provide streambank stabilization design and construction engineering services for the Middle Branch of the Rouge River south of Meadowbrook Lake in the amount of $12,900.
Member Nagy stated that she knew the Meadowbrook Lake dredging had been a long time in coming for the residents, and asked Mr. Hayes if the issue that Mr. and Mrs. Barton had regarding the sewer cap that was too close to the eroding area, was an area that he could answer or if it was a Mr. McCusker question. She wanted to make sure that it would not create another problem, and had anyone looked at that.
Mr. Hayes stated that he could not find the sewer cap that they referred to. He stated that there were other sanitary sewer manholes south of Meadowbrook Lake, where there appeared to be some erosion occurring around the structure that should be looked at, but that particular one he wasn’t familiar with.
Member Nagy asked, with regard to those sewer caps, the soil erosion process would ensue, would the sewer caps be looked at. She wanted to know if that was part of the study, and was that part of what they were going to correct, if there was a problem. She stated that she wanted to make sure that the study would be comprehensive enough that it addressed all the concerns of the residents, including Mr. and Mrs. Barton’s question regarding the sewer cap.
Mr. Hayes stated that the City consultant would focus on any areas of concern regarding erosion along the stretch of the Walled Lake Branch, west of Meadowbrook Road and then as well as the Middle Rouge Branch south of Meadowbrook Lake. He stated that as he previously identified, they showed the stretch of the river that the consultant briefly looked at during their reconnaissance, and they found some areas of concern. He didn’t believe the sewer cap in question was one of the ones that they found in their walk-through.
Member Nagy stated that she understood they were going to go out and do the study and report back to Council.
Mr. Hayes stated that they would prepare a design report that would identify in detail the most serious areas of erosion in those reaches of those water courses, and then recommend a design solution for each one of those areas.
Member Nagy requested that a copy of that report be provided to the President of the Association. She would also request that he point out to the consultant the sewer cap with regard to the Bartons in particular.
Mr. Hayes stated that he would. He introduced Jennifer Chehab of Anderson, Eckstein who prepared the proposal.
Ms. Chehab stated that part of their scope was to have a meeting with the local stakeholders, which would include the residents, and get their discussion out on paper. She stated that they looked at it in January with six inches of snow; there were things that they could have missed and those were things that, before they proceeded with a full-blown analysis and got a report back to Council, they wanted to make sure they had gotten the input. She stated that she had seen the emails and did look today at a location where the sewer cap may have been and unfortunately were not able to find it; there was also snow on the ground today.
Ms. Chehab stated that they would meet with the local stakeholders and intended to get Friends of the Rouge involved in some of that as well and public information, so they weren’t going to just blow forward without regard to anyone else’s concerns; she did want to clarify that it was always part of the scope. She stated that it wasn’t that clear in their letter, so she was glad to have the opportunity tonight.
Ms. Chehab stated that just points one and two, when they looked at those, they felt those were something that was naturally occurring, not really because of urbanization, and they wouldn’t look at those any further; but the other 10 data points north of the River were always part of the scope. She stated they were included in the price and so was the meeting with the stakeholders; when they did it for Village Oaks Lake and for Meadowbrook Lake, they had public informational meetings to discuss the issues and they would do that for this as well.
Member Nagy stated that she appreciated the way they were going about it, including the Friends of the Rouge and the residents; she thought that it would turn out very well.
Member Gatt stated that he wanted to make sure that they were going to work with the resident whose land had been eroding so long; maybe turn him in the right direction if permits were required from the Federal Government or the State, and help him as much as possible.
Member Paul had some questions for Ms. Smith-Roy. She stated that she had several conversations and wanted to share that with the residents and also with other Council members. She was not sure where design money and construction fee would actually come from; Ms. Smith-Roy explained a little bit to her. She stated that there was a millage for the Drain Revenue Fund, which was a tax millage, but there was also a second fund which was where it would come from, and it was called the Drain Perpetual Maintenance Fund. It was her understanding that was where the finances would come from.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that their recommendation would probably still take it from the Drain Revenue Fund; that was the fund that had the millage in it. She stated that they would probably continue to leave the Drain Perpetual Maintenance Fund alone for future maintenance projects, as long as there were still funds available in the Revenue Fund.
Member Paul stated that right now there was money in the Revenue Fund that Council could take the design costs from.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that there were sufficient funds in there.
Member Paul asked when it came forward if Council would have a chance to actually put some construction costs, if needed, into this same project; she stated that they were not depleting the fund.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that they were not depleting the fund. She stated that there was a tax millage that was associated with that fund; she stated that the maintenance costs were not using 100 percent of those maintenance costs, and the CIP did not have any significant projects in it to date that would require funds from that.
Member Paul stated that she understood that with the snow it was hard to see if there was a sewer cap or not; she was glad to hear they were going to look at it. One of the questions she had was what type of streambank stabilization were they proposing for the area by the Pattersons’ home where there was approximately six feet of soil that had been eroded.
Ms. Chehab stated that it was a proposal to look at those areas and make recommendations; at this point, she was not proposing anything. They did meet on the 20th with Mr. Pearson and Mr. Hayes about some issues that came up at the Meadowbrook Lake Homeowners Association meeting to look further upstream at some areas. She said they identified 10 areas upstream of the Lake that they thought needed to be addressed, but they hadn’t come up with recommendations at this point. She stated that what Council would be approving tonight would be for them to move forward and do that. She stated that they certainly would get the residents’ input about their specific concerns and would be able to make recommendation. She stated that obviously any recommendation made needed to be approved by Council; there would be permits necessary for any work done along the Rouge from FEMA, the DEQ and the Corps of Engineers. She said there would be time before construction was implemented to get all the issues, in terms of whether or not the City was going to just stabilize the bank where it was or if it was going to approve filling it back out to where it would be, which would be placing fill in a floodway.
Member Paul stated that when they were considering the design of that, she would like it to be as natural as possible, so that it would look like it was part of the original stream and also some plantings so that some roots could take place, so it didn’t occur again. She stated that she was sure they were going to consider that, but in the area with die-off of ash trees had occurred, it would be greatly appreciated.
Ms. Chehab stated that was one of their concerns more south of the Lake; there was die-off north of the Lake, but because it seemed to be a forested wetland, they would like to minimize the construction getting in and out of there, so you want to tread lightly north of the stream and do as much as you could without creating more of an environmental problem. She stated that south of there it looked like most of the trees in that stream were ash trees that had died off, so they had some ideas for getting Friends of the Rouge and River Day presentations; she knew that Aaron in Engineering had something set up for June for public information. She stated that they planned to get some other agencies involved with some of the plantings that could be done.
Member Paul appreciated their considering the residents, and she would like to preserve the health of the water also.
Member Nagy stated that she made the motion to approve this, but she wanted to make sure that her motion included north and south of Chattman Drive. She forgot to ask if the amount was still $12,900.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered yes.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-061 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
5. Approval of report by Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick for Village Oaks Lake water quality improvements and proceeding with bidding for 2005 dredging.
CM-05-02-062 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the report by Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick for Village Oaks Lake water quality improvements and proceeding with bidding for 2005 dredging.
Member Nagy stated that it was something that was long in coming for the residents of Village Oaks and the surrounding area. She had one question. She stated that it happened to be on the east side of the Lake, and the east side of the Lake fronts up to the park that Lakewood owned. She wanted them to know that they did not fertilize that area; when they had fertilized it in the past, they used low phosphate. However, one of the things in looking at that area, the bank itself was eroding. She asked if they studied that area at all.
Ms. Chehab answered that they did not include any sort of stabilization in their study, but they worked with ECT, Don Tilton, to talk about some of the things that they could do to minimize pollutants into the Lake; one of the things he recommended was maybe some public awareness and getting some of the Friends of the Rouge or River Day activities to educate on things people could do on their own property to create buffers and to try to slow some of the water down so you didn’t get some of that erosion. At this time, it was not part of the project; it certainly could be addressed. Their recommendation was to move forward, but they would need the approval from the homeowners’ association for access. She said they currently had a 10-foot wide easement, but that was not adequate for getting equipment in and out. Any damage that the contractor did getting in and out, they would have to restore.
Member Nagy stated that the last time four years ago when she was the President of their Association, it was 1.35 acres of pond muck, and their board turned it down. She said if there was any intention along that line to recommend that, she could guarantee them that their board would again turn it down. She stated that they had a pool there and people there during the summer. She was sure the board would be reasonable with access, but no pond muck.
Ms. Chehab stated that they would have to discuss that at the homeowners’ association meeting.
Mr. Schultz stated that he was somewhat reluctant to say this, but he had a correction to Ms. Chehab’s statement. What the documents on file at the Register of Deeds showed was actually a 10-foot easement in each of the side yards and a 20-foot easement along the lakeshore on every parcel, and an easement for maintenance in all common areas, which included the park. He stated that the City had probably a little more authority to do things than the engineer’s report indicated; having said that, though, he was certain that the City would work with the board to make sure that whatever was done that needed to be done would be sensitive to the obligations.
Member Nagy stated that she understood that; she was just stating up front that the last time the City asked them to put 1.35 acres of pond much because they had all that acreage. She knew that the 1.35 acres was not all in the easement. She said just because of the fact that she was sure they were going to look at how they were going to rake it and where they were going to take, she thought it was better for Ms. Chehab to know at this point what their board decided the last time.
Member Capello asked if the City was spending all that money to do that and if there was sediment at the bottom, wouldn’t the City be better off to use a better device than a weed rake.
Ms. Chehab stated that they had talked to several contractors about what types of things that they would use; they basically said that hydraulic dredging, even for organic material, would be what they would use. She stated that about four feet of organic matter built up in the lake; they took some depth measurements and in one area it was four feet deep, and 100 feet away it was seven feet deep, so it looked like there was some pretty severe buildup of organic matter.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-062 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Csordas, Landry
Absent: Member Paul
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
6. Appointment to Boards and Commissions.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would read the ballot so everyone knew: the Beautification Committee, the Board of Review, the Construction Board of Appeals, Election Commission, Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee, Historical Commission, Parks, Recreation & Forestry, Public Access Promotion Committee, and the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Mayor Csordas asked that the forms be filled out and passed to the left to the Clerk. He stated that while the Clerk was compiling the ballot results, he would move to the Mayoral Appointments.
The first one was the Economic Development Corporation: There were 4 appointments for 5-year terms; there was only one person seeking reappointment, that was Sandra Campione. Mayor Csordas recommended her for the term that expired 03/01/10.
CM-05-02-063 Moved by Landry, Seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To reappoint Sandra Campione to the Economic Development Corporation for a 5-year term to expire 03/01/10.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-063 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Mayor Csordas stated that for the Library Board there was one vacancy term expiring 03/01/08 and one term ending 03/01/08. Mayor Csordas respectfully requested that Council support his recommendation for reappointing Robert Cutler to the term expiring 03/01/08 and appointing Laura Casey for the term that expires 03/01/08.
CM-05-02-064 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To reappoint Robert Cutler to the term expiring 03/01/08 and appointing Laura Casey for the term that expires 03/01/08.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-064 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Mayor Csordas stated that he had no recommendations for the Planning Commission at this time. He asked that an interview process be posted and get that going. He stated that the Planning Commission still had eight people, and they could function very well like that.
7. Approval to bid replacement of roadway safety fence at Lakeshore Park (estimated $33,000 - $37,000).
CM-05-02-065 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve bid replacement of roadway safety fence at Lakeshore Park (estimated $33,000 - $37,000).
CM-05-02-066 Moved by Capello; FAILED FOR LACK OF SECOND: To table the approval to bid replacement of roadway safety fence at Lakeshore Park (estimated $33,000 - $37,000).
Member Capello stated that this was the City’s premier park, its beach; he wanted to see when the City spent money to do something that was needed with the fence but also that it was esthetically pleasing and something that Novi would be proud of. He stated they came to Council about two months ago and said they needed a fence; they were going to just throw up a cyclone fence; they said no, they would take a look at it and if it was something they wanted, they would find the money.
Member Capello stated that the other alternative was the aluminum fence, which wasn’t that much more money. He stated that it looked better and there was less maintenance; it acted as better security. He stated that was what he wanted to move toward but before he allocated any money, he would like to actually see a proposal and a rendering of what the City would get when it spent $45,000. He wanted to see what kind of landscaping; he didn’t think Council would just stick up a fence without any landscaping around the fence. He wanted to table it with instructions for Parks & Recreation to actually come back to Council with a plan with the aluminum fence.
Member Lorenzo stated that she struggled with this; she knew it was Novi’s premier park, but on the other hand she knew it could be many more thousands of dollars to spend on the more decorative fence. Also, she had concerns about liability with the more decorative fence because there were openings in between that; obviously it was a park and there would probably be a lot of kids in the area. She asked if a child could get its head caught in between one of those railings.
Mayor Csordas stated that it looked similar to the fencing that went around the daycare center on Ten Mile.
Member Lorenzo stated that she didn’t recall that one; she just wanted to make sure that it was a safe product for the application that they were using it. She stated that she didn’t mind postponing this; she just wanted that addressed to make sure that there weren’t any safety concerns.
Mr. Klaver stated that Mr. Auler, Parks & Recreation Director, was present and could respond to the question.
Mr. Auler stated that they addressed that with the company that provided that product; it was a similar product that was seen around pool enclosures. He stated that in many times it was the situation where a child could stick its arm through, but the rods were placed where there could not be a head entrapment or a body entrapment.
Member Lorenzo stated that they could stick their arms through but someone would not get hurt on that.
Mr. Auler stated that was correct.
Member Lorenzo asked how many more thousand dollars they were talking about.
Mr. Auler stated $8,000.
Member Lorenzo stated that was quite a bit of money.
Mayor Csordas stated $8,000 on the high side, something less than that on the low side.
Member Lorenzo stated that she was not sure that was the best use of the $8,000. She asked if anyone would really take notice of the fence; it was a fence. It was there to protect the outside from the inside. She stated that she would not support the postponement; she wanted to err on the side of caution in terms of spending the extra dollars. She stated that when Council went to budget this year, $8,000 would matter this year. She stated that she couldn’t support it.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he came to Council ready to support the recommendation for the vinyl-coated fence; Member Capello raised a good point, and he had just a couple questions. He stated there was a range there; he asked if the decorative fence could perhaps be only $2,000 more. He asked if the City had gotten any quotes; what was it based on.
Mr. Auler stated that they had contacted several contractors to give us an idea in terms of the pricing and what type of fence that they would recommend based on low maintenance cost, esthetically pleasing entry and security for the entryway to the park. He stated that they asked for black vinyl and then for a decorative type of fence material, and they gave prices within a range. They were indicated in the packet; the prices could go up as we got closer to the season, based on their workload and the bid process. He said they hoped they would stay within that price range; he stated that they felt fairly confident in their efforts in contact the contractors. He said they had spent a great deal of time with them trying to narrow down the price range that they felt comfortable bringing to Council this evening.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked why it was the staff’s recommendation for the vinyl-coated fence; was it because they didn’t think Council would give the money and you really wanted the decorative fence; or was it really your recommendation that for reasons he was about to tell him, he preferred the vinyl-coated chain link.
Mr. Auler stated that they had the same discussion at the Commission meeting as well; he stated at the previous Council meeting a couple months ago they brought forward a black vinyl chain link fence for the reason of cost; they thought at that time that decorative fencing would be more expensive and it was more inclined to increase in price as the spring and summer seasons got closer because the demand for that fence was higher. He had experience working with black vinyl fence in previous positions. He stated that it was esthetically pleasing, it blended in when there was a lot of vegetation in the park. That was why the original recommendation was for black vinyl. He stated that the Commission recommended if funding was available that decorative fence would be more esthetically pleasing with the entryway to the park and the improvements that they had made.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if there was any way that Council could postpone this to get actual bids, to actually see what the difference was or was it unworkable.
Mr. Auler answered that it was not a budgeted item, so they would need approval from Council, as he understood it, to go out to bid.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if that would cost a lot of money to do that.
Mr. Klaver stated that if Council was inclined to approve this conceptually, the only question was which material; the City could bid the decorative as an alternate so Council could come back with prices. He stated that the point at this stage was to get Council approval of the expenditure; if Council wanted Administration to bid the decorative fencing as an alternate, they could go ahead and go on that basis, bring the bids back, and Council could defer the decision as to which one it wanted to do once they had the actual bids.
Mayor Csordas asked how many motions were on the floor.
Ms. Cornelius stated that there were two motions on the floor; Member Lorenzo made the first motion to approve and Member Capello made a motion to postpone but she did not hear who seconded his motion.
Member Capello stated that there was no second to the motion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he thought that died for lack of a second. He asked if he could state what he wanted to do and then decide parliamentary how to do it. He would support approving this in concept and saying Council was committed to pay for a fence at the park and asking the City to go out for bids for a chain link fence with an alternative bid on the more decorative fencing, then Council could actually look at the bids. He said if it was $20,000 difference, he wouldn’t vote for it; but if it ended up within reason, he could support that. He asked if he had the option to ask for a friendly amendment of one of those motions.
Mr. Schultz stated that the easiest way was a friendly amendment to the motion to approve that was on the floor made by Member Lorenzo; failing agreement to that friendly amendment, he could propose an amendment that would then be voted on, if it was seconded.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would request a friendly amendment.
Member Lorenzo stated that the concern she had, two items down, Council was going to approve a budget resolution, budget amendment. She stated that Council had budgeted for the chain link fence; that was what was on there. She asked if Council could approve that and still go out for the bid as the alternative, and then if Council wanted the other, do a budget amendment for the additional dollars.
Mr. Klaver answered yes.
Member Lorenzo stated that was the way she would like to go. She didn’t want to put in the budget amendment more money than Council would be willing necessarily to spend right now, but she would like to see the amount, too. She didn’t know if she would be agreeable to that amount, but if Council could do it that way, that was fine.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that would be fine with him.
Member Paul wanted to point out a few things; sometimes you could do a combination of fences. If there was some vegetation, you could put the chain link in there, and the City could do the vinyl-coated fence that was little bit more decorative in the more visible areas. She stated that the amenities were very nice and would really enhance the lake area, if Council could possibly afford it. Secondly, she hoped that they could get it in a very timely fashion, because she didn’t want it to go past the May timeframe when the City was opening up the lake. She wanted safety as the utmost concern here, so if you could get it looked at in a very timely fashion and get it back to Council in two weeks, she would really appreciate it. She would like to see it in place in April, if at all possible. She would support the motion and hoped he could come back maybe even with a combination.
Member Capello stated that the City had a landscape architect on staff. He asked if Council could see the location of the fence and see some landscaping so Council really knew what it was dealing with when it came back to Council.
Member Nagy agreed with former speaker Lorenzo that it was not a budgeted item; she wanted to do it but wanted to make sure that it went on the agenda for the next meeting in March. She thought there were plenty of fence companies competing right now that the bids shouldn’t be that difficult.
Mr. Auler stated that the next meeting was next Monday.
Member Nagy stated that she wanted it the second meeting in March, then. She thought it was very important; at first she didn’t think they would need the fence, but she went out there and it was horrible. She asked when the City parks opened.
Mr. Auler stated that they opened Lake Shore Park for the beach operation on Memorial Day weekend; shelter rentals and reservations all began that weekend as well.
Member Nagy stated that the City could get it all done before the park opened.
Member Gatt stated that Novi was not broke; it was a city that was blessed. He would like to see its premier park look like the park it should look like. He would like to see the entranceways to the City look like they should look like, and they don’t. He would support a fence that would be grand and beautiful, and people would walk away saying what a nice city Novi was.
Member Lorenzo stated that she had one comment: it was all about priorities.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-065 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
8. Approval to bid the purchase of a stump grinder (estimated $25,000, utilizing $10,000 already allocated for rental toward purchase; balance of $15,000 from Tree Fund).
CM-05-02-067 Moved by Paul, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to bid the purchase of a stump grinder (estimated $25,000, utilizing $10,000 already allocated for rental toward purchase; balance of $15,000 from Tree Fund).
Member Nagy stated that about a month ago when this came up before, she requested that the Parks and Recreation Department get bids for tree removal with the stumps and without the stumps; she didn’t see any such bid in the packet. She asked Mr. Auler if he had obtained those.
Mr. Auler stated that they had, and the contractors or the bids that were on the Consent Agenda this evening for the tree removal had the bid tabulations in there. He stated that they asked for stump removal separate and stump removal as part of the contract. He said they recommended not having stump removal as part of the contract, as was presented this evening, because they only had about 16-20 stumps as part of what they were going to be removing that were along the street right-of-way. He said that most of the trees that they were removing right now were in the parks or naturalized areas adjacent to homes or abuts residential properties, so the trees would be dropped but the stumps would not be removed in the naturalized areas.
Member Nagy asked who would be doing the stump grinding.
Mr. Auler stated that staff would do that; Parks and Recreation had two forestry technicians on staff that were certified.
Member Nagy asked if that meant he would be grinding stumps in the parks, too.
Mr. Auler answered that the primary focus would be on the street right-of-ways with the street tree stumps, and then they would focus on the park stumps that were in more open areas, like in picnic areas, but in the naturalized areas they planned to leave the stumps.
Member Nagy asked why they planned on leaving stumps in the naturalized areas. She stated that she had a stump; it was still growing, there were still bugs in there. She didn’t understand why if the City purchased a stump grinder why the City wouldn’t grind it all the way down for the Emerald Ashes. She had one in her flowerbed which kept sprouting; if it was alive it could keep spreading the disease.
Mr. Printz answered that initially when the stumps tended to resprout, leaders wouldn’t necessarily attack the new growth unless it attained an inch or two in diameter; then it would attack that regrowth.
Member Nagy stated that unless the stump was cut down every other week, you would get reinfestation.
Mr. Printz stated that part of the problem was that Novi was in the core area; essentially, the bug was going to attack and kill every ash in this area. He said in a lot of cases the stumps were dead, but in some cases the stumps were still alive.
Member Nagy stated that they were sprouting on Cranbrook; they’re sprouting in other places. She wanted to kill that bug. She wouldn’t sit there and say let’s spend money on a stump grinder if the bugs were still attacking.
Mr. Printz stated that a lot of the stumps were in naturalized areas; there were heavy concentrations and it would be extremely difficult to get them back in the areas. He said that there was something else they could do; they could put a chemical on the stump to kill the stump.
Mayor Csordas asked what else it would kill.
Member Nagy stated as long as they were killed.
Member Paul asked Mr. Auler where he would be storing the equipment.
Mr. Auler answered that it would be stored at the DPW park facility and outside of the summer, they could store it at old Fire Station No. 4. The plan right now was to store it at the DPW park bay.
Member Paul asked if it would be inside or outside.
Mr. Auler answered that the plan was to store it inside; they were hoping to store it in the bay. If not, they would like to store it in the building across from the park bay, but they needed to work it out with the other pieces of equipment were stored in there as well.
Member Paul stated that she made the motion and wanted it guaranteed that it would be stored inside and not stored overnight outside at all, because the City has had three tractors stolen from Community Sports Park at $8,000 each; the City only got half the money back from the insurance. She stated that she didn’t want to spend $25,000 and have it sit outside to get rusted, number one; number two, was that she would not approve this unless there was a designated place where it would be. Number three, what was the plan on how the tree stumps would be removed and when. She would like to have a formalized plan from your department to state the number of trees and how they would be conquered, because there were several people very upset with the tree stumps in front of their homes. She wanted to know whose would be done, the number of items; she wanted the plan up front and when it would take place and when it would the City could get that completed. She asked also, when the City purchased that, would Parks and Recreation have continued education for the technicians to run the equipment; she wanted safety of the technicians who would run the equipment.
Mr. Auler answered that they participated in the safety training workshops internally, and they also attended workshops that were held within the area for training.
Member Paul asked if he would tell her right now that the stump grinder would be in a facility and it would not be stored outside at all.
Mr. Auler stated that it would be stored inside.
Member Paul stated that it would never be overnight in a park.
Mr. Auler answered that it would not be in a park overnight.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it was something that should have been done a long time ago; he stated that it was another $15,000 that the City would spend by 2010 if they rented it. He stated that, as he understood it, the life expectancy was until 2020 for the same $15,000, so the City got another 10 years with the stump grinder use if they pulled the trigger on this item. He stated that it was a no brainer; the money was coming out of the Tree Fund, correct?
Mr. Auler answered that was correct.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he wholeheartedly supported this.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-067 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Paul, Csordas, Landry,
9. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2005-8.
CM-05-02-068 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2005-8.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-068 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
10. Approval to award a contract to URS Corporation for design and construction engineering services for the Nine Mile Road water main extension between Kensington and Roberts Roads for a not-to-exceed design fee of $65,561 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 3.50% of construction cost (estimated to be $56,000); and for design services for the Nine Mile Road water main extension from Roberts Road to Napier Road for a not-to-exceed design fee of $9,093, resulting in a total contract of $130,654.
CM-05-02-069 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award a contract to URS Corporation for design and construction engineering services for the Nine Mile Road water main extension between Kensington and Roberts Roads for a not-to-exceed design fee of $65,561 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 3.50% of construction cost (estimated to be $56,000); and for design services for the Nine Mile Road water main extension from Roberts Road to Napier Road for a not-to-exceed design fee of $9,093, resulting in a total contract of $130,654.
Member Paul asked Mr. Hayes where the road would be dug up when they placed this water main extension.
Mr. Hayes answered that they would try to maintain the excavation for the water main as close to the center line as possible; there was a force main that ran in the right-of-way. He said that part of the design process would be to identify from the survey where that force main actually ran to get familiar with that alignment, and they had to maintain at least a 10-foot distance from that force main; it would be in the roadway.
Member Paul asked if it would be done in conjunction when the City did the reconstruction of Nine Mile Road.
Mr. Hayes answered no; it was separate from the Nine Mile Road construction project; this was farther to the west. He stated that the road would be chip sealed, though, following the water main installation.
Member Paul stated that she had hoped that they would be done at the same time, but in fact they would not overlay one another. She asked if the construction for Nine Mile Road had all been approved. She knew that they had delayed the construction of Nine Mile to be done because of Ten Mile.
Mr. Hayes asked if she was referring to Nine Mile reconstruction between Novi and Meadowbrook.
Member Paul answered yes.
Mr. Hayes stated that they recently awarded the design contract; they had their kick-off meeting to start the design process, and the consultant was working right now.
Member Paul had one suggestion; on Chase Drive, the City had many residents come forward with how bad that road was. Since Nine Mile was right at that Chase entrance, could the City look at just incorporating that front entrance, at least, in that project, since the City would be right abutting that area.
Mr. Hayes answered that it was possible.
Member Paul stated that if he could just look at that and keep it in mind when they were having that discussion; that was the worst part of the road.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-02-069 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Meeting with the Library Board – Mayor Csordas
Mayor Csordas stated that Council had discussed that before; he believed it was one of the short- or long-term goals, but with Council’s consensus he would like to ask Mr. Klaver, or whoever might do it, to talk to the Library Board to set a meeting.
Member Lorenzo stated that she spoke with Brenda Evans this week; she thought the Library Board would like to meet sooner than later. She stated that she looked at the calendar; they appear to have a meeting on March 16th, which was a Wednesday; she wondered if they might do the same thing that Council afforded with Parks and Recreation where they met with them on their date. She stated that they were meeting that night and Council could have a Joint Meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and then the rest of their business could be done after that. She stated that was an off week for Council.
Mayor Csordas asked if Council wanted to start at 6:00 p.m. and go to 7:00 p.m., so they could start their meeting on time.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that there were two schools of thought: one was to meet on their date; the other was to ask them to meet on Council’s date from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and then Council start its business at 8:00 p.m.
Member Lorenzo stated she would rather not, because Council meetings were longer than theirs.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated Member Lorenzo would rather have Council meet on an additional date.
Member Lorenzo answered yes, for an hour.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated he could do that.
Mayor Csordas asked if that meant they were paid for an additional meeting.
Member Lorenzo answered that they did; it was a joint meeting.
Consensus was reached to meet with the Library Board on March 16th at 7:00 p.m.
2. High School youths to serve on Boards and Commissions; examples would be Library Board, Parks and Recreation, Beautification and Historical Commission – Member Paul
Member Paul stated that she had had the luxury of discussing with the third grade at Novi Woods and the fifth grade at Novi Meadows; she stated that if the third and fifth graders could get some really interesting questions about zoning, she really felt that the City could have high school input and have them help shape the community.
Member Paul stated that she initially looked at the Boards and Commissions that they could serve; she would really like to see if Council could have applications through some of our high school students and also possibly, as some other communities had done, some type of essay that they wrote; that helped with writing skills; they would also be able to interview with Council and helped with speaking abilities; it would help them take a leadership role in their community.
Member Paul stated that she would like to start this and have it be a long-term part of the community and have our very wonderful school system be part of the civic duties that they had. She stated that she would like to have their input, because it was a group of people that hadn’t been tapped into as much as they could. She would like to propose that Council have the high school youths, Council could pick a grade and have them be part of the Library Board, non-voting members, possibly Parks and Recreation, Beautification, Historical Commission and Planning Commission. She stated that her main concern with the Planning Commission was the length of the meetings; she would like to give them, if they would like to serve on that Board, the luxury of leaving early.
Member Paul stated that she would like to implore that Council take some initiative that other communities had; some of the communities were Farmington Hills and Birmingham. She would really appreciate it if that was something Council would be supportive of.
Member Lorenzo stated that she believed it was a good idea; one thought came to mind, the young man who wanted to serve on the Woodland Review Board but because he was under 18, he could not serve. She thought it would give the students an opportunity to, in a non-voting way, serve on a Board or Commission and make them more aware of the government process and how it worked; hopefully it would get them interested enough when they turned 18 to feel a compelling reason to vote. She supported it.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council needed to think about it for a minute; he thought it was a great idea, and he thought it was one of those ideas that sounded wonderful and you sounded like Scrooge if you were against it, but there were a couple questions. He asked if a high school student was going to sit on the Planning Commission, did they get a packet and were they expected to read it; were they expected to go out and look at the sites as Planning Commissioners did; who would pay for the packet; did the developer submit another set of those gigantic plans for the extra member; was it the same member all year, so was the high school student expected every two weeks to read a packet. He stated that it was something they might need to discuss; he wasn’t necessarily against it.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he thought the Planning Commission would be the most difficult, although they all had packets. He stated that he didn’t think the issue was as easy as it presented itself. He was certainly not opposed to inviting the high school members to take part in some fashion, but he thought they needed to look at it a little closer.
Member Nagy stated that she thought it was a good idea; it was also an idea that had been implemented in cities around Novi, so it was not an impractical thing to do; she thought that things could be worked out and maybe Member Paul could do a little more research and give Council a more concrete presentation. She stated that she had gotten good feedback on Member Paul’s work with the elementary school children; she thought Member Paul was quite capable of working out the details and doing that.
Member Capello stated that he thought it was a good idea to try to get the young citizens in our City somewhat involved in government, not so much for voting purposes in Novi, but for future life to see what government was about. However, he thought Mayor Pro Tem Landry brought up some very good points that it was not all that easy to bring high school students involved in complicated issues, such as they dealt with at City Council, ZBA and Planning Commission, but if Member Paul was willing to come back to Council with a proposal of how it would work, maybe so it didn’t fail to start with, just a few Boards or Commissions, he was willing to listen.
Member Gatt stated that he, too, thought it was an idea that Council should explore, but he would like to see the School Board putting their agreement forth on something like that because when they got the kids involved, there was a lot of time taken away from their studies or other extracurricular activities. He stated that he was all for the youth in our community; maybe they should start off working for the School Board.
Mayor Csordas stated that it was an interesting idea, but Member Gatt mentioned exactly what he was concerned about which was first of all to talk to the Board of Education and school to find out what their opinion was of that. He stated that he truly supported the kids; they were bright and doing great stuff; he didn’t want to add time to the Planning Commission meetings; he did not want to add expenses, vis-à-vis more packets. He would be more apt to support people being on committees within the Boards and Commissions, but it was interesting; he would like to see the full proposal and find out what was going on. He stated that he didn’t want to add any costs; he didn’t want to add any time. He stated that he didn’t want to put a student in a position where maybe they were not comfortable because, as Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated, they all knew what a commitment it was to be at the meetings every other week or month, and that was for adults. He said it was a great idea; let’s think it out before Council did anything.
Member Paul thanked Council for its comments; she stated that she had thought it out, and that was why she hadn’t put Planning Commission down initially and just brought it up this evening. She stated that she didn’t know if it would be beneficial for them to be on Planning Commission because of the packet and the extent of the study; that was why she had mentioned the other four. She stated that she didn’t think they should have a different person every month, because that meant they would have one meeting; would they really get a grasp of just one meeting. She stated that she could see a semester or a year; a year for school was only eight months and didn’t include the Christmas timeframe. It also gave the students an educational opportunity to fill out an application and propose why they would like to serve on the Board or Commission; it would be a very big part of just understanding the process, and then coming before Council and possibly interviewing.
Member Paul stated that there were so many wonderful and talented people in our education system, and she would be happy to propose that to them and hear their ideas. For other people’s references, there were people that were in leadership positions in the high school that were on the School Board, and they presented every single time. She stated that it would be a different component; it would be a volunteer portion of their coming forward as something they wanted to do.
Member Paul stated that since it was done in other communities, she could easily research how they were doing it; she didn’t think they would have a large cost involved in making one more packet for Library Board or one more packet for Parks and Recreation. She stated that if Council wanted to start with those four Commissions that were smaller packets and maybe a little bit easier for people to digest and understand, she thought that would be very important. She thought the educational opportunities and the leadership opportunities could really enhance their education; that was her proposal. She stated that she would look into it and bring it back to the next meeting.
Mayor Csordas stated that no one disagreed; he would just ask that the first step would be to see the School Board to see what they thought.
3. Council Policy Regarding City Employees Running for Public Office – Member Capello
Member Capello stated that he and Member Gatt had talked about that on several occasions. He stated that a police officer, Jarrod Hart, had submitted a request to Administration asking if it would be a conflict if he ran for the School Board. Mr. Hart was the liaison officer in the high school for many years and had now moved on. Unfortunately, by the time any response got back from Administration, the time period to apply for the position had expired, so Mr. Hart could not apply for the School Board.
Member Capello stated that City counsel wrote a very good letter, except for the last paragraph, which led him to believe that it would be in unusual circumstances where a conflict would really exist. He would like Council to instruct Administration to come back to Council with a policy or procedure whereby employees who wanted to apply for a board or commission or run for public office had a means to get an answer from Administration and, if not, from City Council or on appeal to City Council if they were unhappy with the Administration’s decision so they could participate in our community.
Member Capello stated that he thought if people worked at the City and lived in the City, they should not be denied the right to participate as citizens on boards or commissions or elected positions; in fact, they probably knew more what was going on in the City than most did that drove out of town in the morning and returned at night. He was just asking to give them an avenue to come to Council to ask if they could participate.
Mayor Csordas stated that they did have precedence on that; there was a City employee that was on the Parks and Recreation Commission for a number of years.
Mr. Klaver stated for clarification, Administration got a copy of the report as soon as it came in and hand-delivered it to Officer Hart prior to his need to declare. Mr. Klaver stated that he wanted to make sure that it was clear, particularly to the public, that Administration did not direct Officer Hart as to how to apply with that, they simply shared the opinion from the City Attorney’s office talking about the potential for a conflict. He said it wasn’t his understanding that it prohibited him.
Member Capello stated that he wasn’t saying there was any fault; he just wanted to streamline that process so they had some direct avenues to get prompt clarification.
Mr. Klaver just wanted to clarify that he had the opportunity to declare for the office, if he so chose.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz for his comment regarding that.
Mr. Schultz stated that obviously they struggled with the opinion with regard to Officer Hart; he thought they got it out in time for him to make his decision. He didn’t know whether it influenced it or not; obviously, one of the things they said in there was that they were not the final word, the Attorney General or somebody else would probably make the final decision.
Mr. Schultz stated that he didn’t think it hurt to have a policy to let people know what the expectation was with regard to, say appointive office, but he would point out that one of the reasons that Officer Hart didn’t run into a problem running for an elective office was because it was not part of the local unit of government here in the City of Novi. Obviously, an employee who wanted to run for an elective office here within this unit of government would have to, under the applicable statutes, resign and could not hold both positions. He stated that appointive offices could be different depending on what the ordinances said for those positions; he said there were some where municipal offices could not be held; for example, by members of the Planning Commission; that came up not too long ago.
Mr. Schultz stated that it wouldn’t hurt; it would certainly be easy enough to come up with a policy that laid out what counsel thought the statutes and ordinances said; they could do that.
Member Nagy asked Member Capello if he was asking to come up with a policy as Mr. Schultz just said it, or was he saying come up with a policy where employees thereby could run for office or participate on Boards and Commissions.
Member Capello stated a policy consistent with Mr. Schultz’ letter so they had something to look at if they were thinking about it and a procedure to go through Administration and come to Council.
A discussion was held and the consensus was to ask Administration, with the assistance of Mr. Schultz, to come back to Council with a suggestion on the procedure for how to work it out.
Mr. Schultz stated for clarification that they were talking about appointive offices, elective offices being a different issue altogether.
Mayor Csordas stated that he didn’t think people that worked for the City should seek political office in any city; it was a huge conflict of interest. He said that was common sense; he would never support that.
Member Capello stated that he also wanted that for election to the School Board.
Mr. Schultz stated that they could address what the rules were for running within the unit of government a person was employed by.
Mayor Csordas asked if there was in fact a policy at the City that stated that if a person worked here, he/she couldn’t apply for a Board or Commission.
Mr. Klaver answered no. He stated that it was strictly a legal issue that, he understood, the employee raised, so Administration authorized the City Attorney’s office to issue an opinion on it.
Mr. Schultz stated that, even though they did not put it in the letter, they did look at the directive from the police department and from their perspective it did not prohibit that as outside employment that would have conflicted with his job as a police officer; the bigger issue obviously being the police liaison question that figured in a different way into the opinion.
Member Gatt had a few points of clarification in this matter; Detective Hart was not turned down by the Chief of Police when he requested permission. He stated that the Chief of Police, the way he understood it, referred it to the Administration who referred it to our legal department. Member Gatt also stated that Detective Hart was not the one that brought this matter to the Council tonight. He wanted to make that perfectly clear; it was something that Member Capello and he had talked about.
Member Gatt stated that when Detective Hart was given that legal opinion, it was the day before the filing deadline, so he really didn’t have any time to appeal any decision and being a good member of the team, just let it lie. He said they just wanted to clarify it for the future.
Member Gatt stated that one thing that Council was not aware of, an employee of the City did have the right to come right to Council on certain matters. He did think that the City Charter talked about an employee running for an elected office in the City was prohibited, but the School Board was not part of the City.
Mayor Csordas stated Administration had their direction.
Mr. Klaver answered yes.
4. Planning Commission Update on the OSG Ordinance – Member Capello
Member Capello stated that Council asked the Planning Commission to come back with some recommendations to increase the tax base. He stated that one of the suggestions that he had was to increase the height of buildings, some type of an overlay district in the area north of 96 between Novi Road and Haggerty Road, north of 96 along the M-5 corridor. He wondered what the status of that was.
Mr. Klaver stated that at a minimum Administration could report back in Thursday’s packet as to where it was with the process and when it would be coming back for Council’s consideration.
5. Update on the Tree Fund – Member Capello
Member Capello stated that another issue sent to Administration several meetings back was that the City had a lot of financial guarantees, either by cash letters or creditor bonds in the Tree Replacement Fund. He had suggested since the City had the Emerald Ash Borer and other issues that were confronting it now, he suggested creating some type of moratorium and go to the developers and say that they had $100 posted, give the City $60 now and put it into the Fund so the City had the cash to work with and the City would release the remainder of the financial guarantees.
Member Capello asked if anyone had followed up on that.
Mr. Klaver stated that he didn’t believe anyone had.
Member Capello stated that the City had several big developers out there and thought the City could generate some cash that was badly needed right now. He wanted a list from Ms. Smith-Roy as to who was out there and how much money, so they could make a decision if they wanted to make a proposal.
Mr. Klaver stated that Administration would look into that and report back with some options.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
RESULTS OF BALLOT – APPOINTMENT BY CITY COUNCIL
Beautification Commission – Celia Todd
Board of Review – Marjorie Nanian
Construction Board of Appeals – John Sheffer
Election Commission – Pam Superfisky
Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee – Dan Tyrrell
Parks, Recreation & Forestry – Karen Zyczynski
Zoning Board of Appeals – Cynthia Gronachan and Mav Sanghvi were both reappointed; there was not a consensus on the alternate
Ms. Cornelius stated that she needed some clarification on the Public Access Promotion Committee; Mr. Adler received four votes, but two terms were for ’07 and two terms were for ’08. She stated that she didn’t believe that would make it a clear-cut appointment without a consensus of the terms.
A consensus was reached for a term of ’07 for Mr. Adler.
Mr. Schultz stated that Council needed a motion to have that individual serve a term through ’07.
CM-05-02-070 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To appoint Mark Adler to the Public Access Promotion Committee to a 3-year term expiring 01/01/08.
Voice Vote on CM-05-02-070 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting to go into Executive Session at 9:35 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: March 7, 2005