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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: Rick Helwig Ė City Manager
Craig Klaver Ė Chief Operating Officer
Clay Pearson Ė Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz Ė City Attorney
Benny McCusker Ė Public Works Director
Kathy Smith-Roy Ė Finance Director
Barb McBeth Ė Planning Director
Rob Hayes Ė City Engineer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Capello added under Mayor and Council Issues, Item No. 1, Scheduling of Main Street Rezoning Committee Meeting, and Item No. 2, Discussion of DDA that was in last weekís packet; Member Paul added Item No. 3, Library Board Follow-up, and Item No. 4, Vehicles; Member Lorenzo added Item No. 5, Follow-up on Stopinski Drainage Concerns.
CM-05-03-081 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-05-03-081 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
1. Appreciation Plaque to Richard Gaul for serving on the Planning Commission
Mayor Csordas stated that Richard Gaul could not make it this evening; Novi City Council wanted to present him with an appreciation plaque for serving on the Planning Commission. Mayor Csordas stated that City Council and the residents of the City appreciated the time Mr. Gaul spent on the Planning Commission and truly wished him well.
PUBLIC HEARING Ė None
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE Ė None
2. CITY MANAGER Ė None
3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė None
4. ATTORNEY Ė None
Mario Fundarski, 43185 Citation congratulated City Council, especially Member Lynn Paul, on the great job of trying to put together a Youth Council. He also wanted to remind people that the City Clerk did a great job on the update for Novi in reference to upcoming school elections. He stated that April 4th was the last to day to register to vote in the school elections. He said it was the first time under the new law that the election would be May 3rd and would be run by the City Clerk; another change implemented as a result of the new legislation was that all voters 60 years of age and older would automatically be mailed an absentee ballot. He invited people to Meet the Candidates night on April 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the ITC Center across from the Administration Building. He stated that signs would go up April 3rd, 30 days before the election, and he asked the residents of the City to be respectful of all candidatesí signs. He stated that the candidates would do their best to follow City code, but if someone didnít like the candidates, take the signs down but donít tear them up. He also stated in reference to the Novi News, there was a single editor, Calvin Stone, who made recommendations for elections; he stated that Mr. Stone was only one individual and his endorsements should be taken with a grain of salt.
Tami Bethune, Secretary of Walden Woods Subdivision stated that they were very pleased with the southern section of Arcadia Drive which had been rehabilitated from the ground up; they now had new cross-drainage. It was now a pleasure to come and go; she thanked Council for enabling that to happen and realized that the road bond was a large part of that. She stated that it was the fifth year of the road bond program, and they had submitted a request which had been reviewed and was under consideration, according to Assistant City Manager Pearson who had been very responsible in communicating with her and members of the subdivision. She also really enjoyed the Leadership Breakfast in January and was looking forward to the event in April which was the Natural Features Expo. She stated that they had waterways and heavily wooded areas in their subdivision, as did many subdivisions, and it was important to them to be a part of that.
Jane Gardner, 25858 Arcadia, brought pictures of her street. She stated that she was concerned about her street because it was 1) an eyesore, and 2) it was filthy dirty. She stated that the drains were plugged because of all of the dirt; she thought all of that stuff was what had been filled into the street over the last two or three years, and it was not really working. She stated that mostly it was a danger to cars and a danger for children; she was concerned with the depth of the cracks that they were trying to fill. She stated that if kids riding bikes hit one of the cracks, it would either pop their tire or they would be thrown off the bike. She stated if it was her sidewalk that some child hit, someone would sue her for that. She thought it was a huge, important issue that the streets be maintained such that they were safe. As could be seen from the pictures, the fill that was done this morning was a very temporary, very horribly messy fix. She was concerned about those three things. She would appreciate it if the City would look at the street as it took into consideration whether or not Arcadia was due for a revamp.
Margie Stone, 25895 Arcadia, stated that as she looked out her window, she could see that every crack was four inches wide and one inch deep and was filled with patches degrading so fast that she didnít even know they were there. She stated that street deterioration rubble was everywhere. She stated that she didnít know why or how the PASER rating of a 6 was assigned to Arcadia when she wouldnít rate it as high as a 5. She wanted to urge the City to inspect Arcadia Drive again before setting the 2005 Neighborhood Road Rehabilitation Plan.
Joseph Carlin, 25878 Venetian Court, stated that his concern was for repairs for Venetian Court to be added to the list for Arcadia. He stated that he had personally seen kids fall off bikes because of holes in the pavement; he thought it was something that the City should address in its 2005 road repair schedule.
Charmaine Jones, Old Dutch Farms Mobile Home Park, stated that she had passed out a letter of the things she wanted addressed tonight. She stated that the last time she was before Council, Member Lorenzo stated that the homeowners association was to have 30-day reports on the status of their park. She checked the City Council Minutes and asked if anyone talked about their park since meeting with them. She stated that she didnít think that anyone had, since it was not in any of the Minutes. She stated that she had a meeting with Don Saven, Building Department Director, in regard to more issues within the park; she stated that Mr. Saven said there were delays with the sewer connection. She stated that they had no set timeline on when they were supposed to have their sewer connected to the municipality sewer. She stated that she guessed that there was a set date inside the settlement that was set with Uniprop in the Cityís lawsuit against their park owners. She wanted to know if they could have a set date on when they could expect to have the completion of the project underway. Also, recently the MDEQ did an investigation of the park in November of 2004; the most recent issue was that the park was found in noncompliance not only for sewer but for water issues. She stated that the water issues were because of the firm capacity requirements that were required for their park owners to meet, and they were not meeting it. She stated that the private wells in the park were no longer meeting the firm capacity that was supposed to be passed out to all the residents; that was why the residents had low water pressure. She asked that in order for things to be accomplished and completed, the MDEQ and the Water Bureau had a compliance hearing with the park; the park was once again found in noncompliance. She said that this time the MDEQ said that they were not going to recommend renewal of their operating license. Once they had the compliance hearing, it was stated that they were going to have to follow a sketchy timeline on when they were going to put in the wells and upgrade the pumps to make it meet firm capacity requirements. She stated that the park owners kept doing little quick fixes here and there; she said that they did that on the sewer issues for 21 years. That was how long the State allowed them to do their quick fixes; she wanted to know how long it was going to take for them to do quick fixes to the park water pumps and water wells in order to get good, clean pure water in the park. She asked that all of Council follow up on water issues within the park, like it did with the sewer. She stated that they were going to get serious issues; she could guarantee that the quick fixes were not going to last. She could also guarantee that the MDEQ would probably find them in noncompliance yet again; it had happened many times before and they still had the same recurrences that were happening in the park. She stated that she had a resident here tonight who took pictures of bad electrical pedestals that were only getting worse in the park. She asked that the City stay on top of those. She stated that it was promised that they would get a 30-day report; it never came, and she was disappointed that the City allowed that to happen. She asked George to explain the picture. He said if you could see the shiny box inside the open part of the pedestal, that was a neutral bar where Edisonís lines terminated to. He stated that it had a potential to ground; there was a puddle underneath that pedestal. He said if a child were standing in that puddle and touched that bar, he would go to the hospital and might not come home. There was another pedestal that was even worse; it was approximately three and one-half feet from the ground with no cover on it. He said there were two wires going to the two terminals; between the two terminals were 240 bolts of electricity. He said if a child touched between the terminals, he would not go home. He stated that those were some of the issues the park was dealing with; supposedly the trailer park management had taken care of all of those issues. He stated that he just took the pictures yesterday. She stated that they had many more that were in the park that were still left like that.
Ms. Jones stated that if Council remembered when she spoke about the lawsuit that happened and when the City filed its initial first complaint, it included that the electrical pedestals would be in there as part of the problem to be resolved in the lawsuit. However, when the settlement was reached, those issues were taken out; she didnít know why. She stated that they needed to be addressed. She added briefly that the park association wanted to ask if the City would consider adopting PA 96 in its entirety into the City ordinance. She stated that there were five mobile home parks in the City of Novi; she stated that the City was already dealing with three of them. She stated that the City was already doing many of the things that PA 96 was doing; she asked Council to take that into consideration that it was much needed and it could be done.
Teri Fraser, Chateau Hometown, was there partially to back up Old Dutch Farms and ask the City to visit PA 96 State rules and adopt them into the ordinances of the City. She stated that with five parks in the City, their residents were a little more pleased now that the parkís owners had put almost $5-million into the park; they had City water, updated sewer and a lot of electrical and utility meter problems fixed; she stated that Old Dutch Farms should have exactly the same thing. She stated that the City needed to be diligent in those areas. She stated that as taxpayers, 20 percent of their lot rents went to pay property taxes on their homes; they paid City taxes and expected their parks, just like the other subdivisions such as condominiums and apartments, were given the same consideration for ordinances that everyone else was. She stated that they were not an island floating somewhere; they were a community within the City that had to comply with the ordinances, and the private property deal just didnít swing it anymore because every homestead was private property and had to comply with the laws, too. She stated that just because the park owners stated that it was private property, you couldnít come in here didnít mean it was so. She really appreciated that Ruth Ann Jamnick who just left the House of Representatives and was now the Supervisor for Ypsilanti Township had made a move in her township and they had adopted PA 96 in its entirety for their "ordinances" and she also urged other communities through the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Municipal Cities League to also adopt that. Manufactured housing was a big buzz in the State right now; there was legislation for changing areas of ordinances and enforcement. She stated that Novi has had enforcement of the codes since roughly 1998, and it wasnít really realized until 2001 when they brought it to Mr. Saven and to Mr. Helwig. She stated that with their diligence and the work of those gentlemen, they were able to get some things done in their community; she urged the City to adopt PA 96.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approvals/Removals)
Mayor Csordas stated that he would like to pull Item F, Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by a City employee.
CM-05-03-082 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
CM-05-03-082 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerkís Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Approval to renew Massage Business License for The Sports Club of Novi, 42500 Arena Drive.
C. Approval to renew Massage Business License for Visions Spa Salon, 26800 Beck Road.
D. Approval to renew Arcade License for The Putting Edge, 44125 Twelve Mile Road, Space C-100, with 5 (five) machines.
E. Approval to renew Arcade License for Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar, 44375 Twelve Mile Road, with 13 machines.
G. Approval of final payment to Sunset Excavating for I-96 Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project in the amount of $43,341.67.
H. Approval to purchase 135 meter horns for water meters from Gunners Meters & Parts, Inc., the low quotation, in the amount of $4,893.75.
I. Approval to award bid for towing contract to Keford Collision and Varsity Towing based on acceptance of City terms and conditions to function on a rotating basis.
J. Approval to extend the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Sport Clothing and Apparel contract for the 1st renewal contract period to American Silkscreen & Embroidery, the low bidder, based on the same terms, conditions and pricing submitted with original bid.
K. Approval to apply for the 2005 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program to provide 90% Federal Grant to acquire 40 self-contained breathing apparatus to replace breathing apparatus.
L. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 693
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Adoption of policy resolution affirming student ex-officio representatives on Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission; Historical Commission; Beautification Commission; Library Board; and Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee.
CM-05-03-083 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To adopt policy resolution affirming student ex-officio representatives on Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission; Historical Commission; Beautification Commission; Library Board; and Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he had a couple of suggestions; he certainly supported adopting that, but if you looked at the resolution itself, Item No. 2 says interview with Novi City Council. He stated that clearly the majority of Council agreed with that; he just wanted to add the language "and be appointed by a majority of the City Council." He stated that the reason was that technically the Library Board was at the Mayorís suggestion only; he didnít think the Mayor would object if the whole Council had a majority vote as to who the student representative would be on the Library Board. So he wanted to add to paragraph 2 under "Be it further resolved interview with the Novi City Council and be appointed by a majority of City Council"; and for paragraph 3 instead of "must be a sophomore", he believed the intent was "must be entering sophomore, junior or senior year". He suggested Council take out the word "a" and put in the word "entering".
Member Lorenzo stated that the maker of the motion was agreeable to the amendments.
Member Paul asked on Item No. 5, it said "serve a one-year term expiring on June 30th of each year" and she would like to add "and can reapply for a second year term" so that if someone was not interested and they would like to follow this interest for the following year, she would like them to be able to reapply for a second year.
Member Lorenzo stated that the maker of the motion was agreeable to that amendment as well.
Member Nagy stated that she agreed as the seconder of the motion.
Member Gatt stated that he would be voting no; he knew the motion would pass. He wanted to go on record to indicate why he would vote no. He noticed that City Council and Planning Commission were not on the boards; to him it seemed that Council was sending some students out to pretend that they were on the other boards and, in his opinion, they were demeaning those other boards by not putting them on City Council and the Planning Commission, Council was saying that they were more important than the other boards; he didnít think they were. Having said that, he would vote no; he liked later in the agenda where there would be a board of students who would meet regularly and then advise City Council on what they felt was necessary in the City.
Member Paul stated that she wanted to tell everyone that she appreciated all their support on this so far; she also wanted to mention that she did suggest Planning Commission. She stated that it was a State-regulated board, as well as the ZBA; therefore, legal counsel suggested that Council leave them off at this time on those two boards. She said that she concurred with that and removed those two at this time, so she understood; she stated that she was not trying to demean in any way any board. Her whole thought was to have the youths participate in their community so they could be ambassadors to go out and share what was happening on each board and commission and to get their perspective so Council could incorporate their ideas, not to say that they were not important at all; they just could not be a voting member because they were not 18 yet. Since the two boards that were State-regulated had State regulations to them, they decided to not do that at this time. Therefore, she thought the boards that Council was putting them on was the first step, and maybe, like other communities who did have people on Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, Council could look into that after they saw what interest there was.
Member Nagy stated that when Council discussed that, they intentionally stated the four Boards or Commissions to try it out, because the concern by some Members of Council was the packets in terms of costs as well as time of the staff. She thought they agreed that they would start with those four Boards and Commissions to see how it worked and how much interest it generated. She wanted to thank Member Paul because of all the work she put into it. She would be supporting the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-083 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Lorenzo, Nagy,
2. Consideration of rezoning request 18.644 of J. Bennett Donaldson to rezone from I-1, Light Industrial to B-3, General Business for property located north of Ten Mile Road and east of Novi Road, behind the Speedway Gas Station, in Section 23. The subject property is 1.92 acres.
Bennett Donaldson stated that he was there tonight to request the zoning change for the 1.9 acre parcel behind the Speedway Gas Station. He stated that they were typically industrial builders and office builders, medical builders; they were not big retail people, so they were embarking on one of their first retail ventures in the City, so some of the stuff was new to them. He stated that there were several things that were carryovers from their core business. He stated that as far as they could tell, it appeared that the B-3 was pretty tough zoning to get; he thought in large measure part of that might be because of the automotive type of uses that were allowed inside that zoning, plus fast food uses, both of which they had no desire to deal with. He stated that their goal was to build a small 10,000 square foot retail center. He stated that there was serious interest from Starbucks in that center; he didnít know for sure if that was going to happen, but they had expressed serious interest. He stated that they felt that the overall area was conducive to a B-3 zoning, since all four corners were B-3 with the exception of Walgreenís which was B-1; it was a little bit of an enigma because a drive-through usually was associated with B-3, but they understood why that happened; nonetheless, they felt that B-3 would be worthwhile there, especially since the Master Plan had specified local commercial there and B-3 was certainly that.
Mr. Donaldson stated that they felt that the Center would benefit the local area because there were the two gas stations, a wireless store that was currently no longer in operation. They felt that a nice center on that corner, especially since it was the going-to-work side part of the intersection; that was why Starbucks would be interested because the going-to-work side was characteristically where they were located. He stated that it would be a good location for Starbucks and a would also indicate a successful center for them; anytime you could put somebody like a Starbucks in your center, generally speaking, people followed that. He stated that he knew that was also what Council would be concerned about. He stated that there were other centers in close proximity that had had varied success; they felt that this center would have longstanding success, especially with that type of commitment from Starbucks. He stated that he also knew of a similar precedent that they knew of regarding the Hummer Dealership. He said there were a whole lot of differences but there were some similarities; one being that it was Light Industrial rezoned to B-3. He stated that it did receive staff approval, such as they had; he said it failed at Planning Commission but had City staff recommendation and was approved at City Council. He stated that those were the only correlations they could make regarding that; that was just to say that there was some precedence for that happening and they were on the same sort of track.
Mr. Donaldson stated that the site was pretty difficult in itself; it offered traffic challenges, which they understood and appreciated that the road widening had helped but did appreciate that there would be some conflicts that would be addressed. He stated that they were certainly willing to address those conflicts, such as measures, right-ins, right-outs, that sort of thing, trying to do what they could to make the intersection safe. Additionally, the site also offered some challenges due to the environmental problems with the site; the site was an old swamp that had about 50 feet of fill in it; it had been contaminated by the gas station, and they would also have to do some methane venting out of the site, so it would not be an easy thing to pull off, but they thought if they could develop it in a way that, working with staff, Planning Commission and all the other boards and bodies, they could really develop a nice center there and improve that corner.
Mr. Donaldson stated that they were working on another project in the City for another developer, and he brought a picture of what they were doing for them to give Council an idea of what they would plan for that corner. He stated that it was a larger center, but it was sort of the idea.
Mayor Csordas asked Barbara McBeth, Planning Director, to answer some questions before turning it over to Council. He noted that there were positive recommendations from all of the Cityís professional consultants and asked Ms. McBethís opinion.
Ms. McBeth stated that she wanted to show on the overhead the location of the property and describe it in more detail and provide some additional information as well. She stated the subject property contained about 1.9 acres located near the northeast corner of Novi and Ten Mile Roads; it had frontage on both Novi Road and Ten Mile Road; to the east was a building called Kern Industries; to the north is Henderson Glass; to the west across Novi Road was the Pine Ridge Shopping Center and the Metro Cell Building; to the south on the south side of Ten Mile Road was Walgreenís and some vacant land. She stated that the zoning map showed that the property was currently zone I-1, Light Industrial, as were the properties to the north and to the east; immediately to the southwest the property was zoned B-3, General Business, where the gas station was. She stated that also zoned B-3 were properties on the west side of Novi Road and on the southwest corner; to the south on the south side of Ten Mile the land was zoned B-1 where Walgreenís was located and OS-1 Office Service where the vacant land was located. She stated that the Master Plan for Land Use recommended local business uses for the subject property, as well as for the gas station that was currently there. She stated that the Master Plan was updated in 2001 for the Novi Road Corridor Plan; that was when the subject property was changed from light industrial uses to business uses. She stated that the properties on all four corners of Novi and Ten Mile were recommended for local business uses and to the southeast the Master Plan recommended a Special Planning Project area for the vacant land.
Ms. McBeth stated that there were both a planning review and a traffic engineering review that were prepared for the request. She stated that the planning review letter did recommend positive consideration of the requested rezoning to B-3 for the following reasons: the requested rezoning was in compliance with the Master Plan for Land Use which recommended business uses for the property; the requested rezoning to B-3 was consistent with the zoning to the southwest, the Speedway Gas Station and development of the property as a light industrial use would be independent of the other light industrial uses that were in the immediate area and in the Catherine Industrial Park; all four corners of the intersection were commercial in character and the requested rezoning to B-3 would be consistent with the other corners at the intersection.
Ms. McBeth stated that in addition to the information that was provided in Council packets, the Planning Department collected some additional information that it thought Council might like to see. She stated that it was basically taking a look at I-1, the existing zoning, and B-3, the requested rezoning, and the information was along the lines of the information provided in the fiscal analysis, the calculations were made for possible development in the light industrial district as well as for the B-3 district. In the light industrial district, the Planning Department calculated that a building of approximately 19,000 square feet could be constructed, and that area was less than perhaps some other parcels of that size because of the unusual shape of the property, the fact that the property had two frontages, and the ordinance precluded parking in the front yard for parcels less than 2 acres. As a comparison, the property immediately to the east, Kern Industries, was also approximately 19,000 square feet and zoned light industrial. She stated that the table displayed a taxable value for the adjacent property, that was just the real property value, the building and land only, excluding personal property, was $572,000 and the taxes paid for that property in total for last year were $30,000. She stated that it was just one comparable that the Planning Department used; she was sure there would be other numbers that could be used that the Assessing Department could assist, if needed. She said if the property zoned to B-3, the bottom line might be appropriate with a building of approximately 10,000 square feet. They found a comparison at the Wonderland Plaza with the L-shaped building only, consisting of approximately 11,000 square feet and that had a taxable value of $524,000 and taxes paid last year were $27,400. She stated that what might be interesting to note, too, was that both buildings were older structures and had capped value, but it was almost like comparing apples to apples because they both had capped values. Any new construction would likely be generating a higher taxable value.
Ms. McBeth stated that Traffic Engineering Review provided trip generation comparisons in the chart that was included. The Cityís Traffic Engineer, Steve Dearing, was present if there were any questions.
Member Nagy stated that she read the reviews from the Planning Commission; she said the Planning Commission did not recommend rezoning. She also read the reviews from the consultants, and she had a concern regarding the trip generation with regard to a shopping center versus the area which was I-1. She thought Council talked about the fiscal analysis; she didnít think it would be compatible with what Council was trying to generate in terms of taxes. She thought there were a lot of good comments made by the Planning Commissioners; she thought the B-3 was the most intense use; she thought that Council had been trying to avoid B-3 and talked about not even changing things to B-3. Also, she stated that there was no guarantee as to what sort of tenant would come into that property. She stated that she read that the applicant had talked to Starbucks, but again there was no guarantee. She also considered the fact that if Council were to rezone the property to B-3, the owner of the property could well turn around and sell the property to someone else. She thought there too many issues regarding that; she was concerned about the curb cuts; she was concerned about the setback from the intersection; she was concerned about the traffic that would generate. She stated that Ten Mile Road was a county road; it would not be five lanes; there was a portion of Ten Mile Road that was under construction right now. She agreed with Mr. Arroyoís assessment that this could generate some hazard; he said there could be a significant traffic problem. She didnít think it was a proper use for the area.
Member Lorenzo stated that Mr. Donaldson was more of an industrial land developer and asked Mr. Donaldson if he had marketed the parcel at all for industrial use.
Mr. Donaldson answered that the parcel itself didnít yield; generally speaking, when you had an industrial building, you needed a truck well; there was just no place to maneuver those semi trucks on a site like that. He said that was the conclusion they came to, what kind of use would fit in the site; the conclusion was if you built the building, there was no maneuvering on the site and set itself up better for a retail situation just because it didnít need to maneuver.
Member Lorenzo asked if Mr. Donaldson had provided the Planning Commission with a demonstration of that showing on some kind of a sketch that it could not be accomplished.
Mr. Donaldson answered no.
Member Lorenzo stated that she would have appreciated that because she appreciated his verbal comments, but from a documented standpoint would appreciate the demonstration being made on a blueprint to show exactly how it would or would not fit on that site. She could see from the traffic report that his traffic consultant did give comparisons with industrial; she didnít see verbiage in there from the traffic consultant or anyone else that said that there was a market study done or were other factors that he could not use the property as currently zoned.
Mr. Donaldson answered that there were people out there who could say that the parcel could be used for light industrial; he said they were not one of them. He said all they did was industrial.
Member Lorenzo stated that right now it was based on purely opinion, is that it?
Mr. Donaldson answered that it was based on opinion; it was based on economics. He said if you could get $5 a square foot for industrial building, you could get $25 a square foot for a retail building. Plus he had about $300,000 of site improvements: the pilings and the contamination issues that had to be resolved. He said all those things went into the formula; the formula spit out the answer which was that a light industrial or an office use was not feasible there. He stated that he was not the expert by any means; if some people wanted to try to make an industrial or office building work, they could have at it, but he didnít know how those numbers worked.
Member Lorenzo stated that Council did not approve the Master Plan; that was a function of the Planning Commission. Since she did not have any direct input or approval of that Master Plan, she did question, quite honestly, in generalities whether or not the City had enough diversity of land use in the City, particularly nonresidential versus residential or when you get to the nonresidential uses, enough of the higher tax-generating uses, enough diversity so that when the City was built out, it would be able to pay for itself. She did have some questions and concerns about that.
Mr. Donaldson stated that he thought her concerns were valid; he just thought that if we look at where the market was today, as far as industrial and office space was concerned, if you looked at the amount of vacancy on the industrial side and on the office side, and they did have vacancy on retail side, he wouldnít say that they didnít, but certainly the disparity was more evident on the industrial side, the warehousing side, the manufacturing side. He said the market was not there for those products right now.
Member Lorenzo stated that she appreciated the chart that Ms. McBeth put up and the qualifiers, the new taxable value obviously would be higher than the examples that she gave. She asked what kind of an I-1 building she was talking about.
Ms. McBeth answered that the comparable that was used was the Kern Industrial Building, which had approximately 4,000 square feet of office space in it.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was kind of like a combination, then.
Ms. McBeth answered yes.
Member Lorenzo asked how much that would be worth to us in todayís value.
Ms. McBeth answered the City Assessor was the one who assigned the values to developments, and there were so many variables involved, that was why she was careful to include as many qualifiers as she could.
Member Lorenzo stated that she appreciated that. In terms of the land use, she understood that her department gave Council some specific recommendations, but when she looked at that parcel and its relationship to the other parcels, in her opinion, she found more commonality and compatibility with the uses to the north, the northeast and due east than she did to the other three corners. In fact, to her when she looked at that corner and that parcel and the relationship to the other parcels, it was actually the service station as the odd building out. She stated that it was all a matter of perspective when you looked at that. She understood some of the relationship to the commercial, but didnít we in Planning also employ the philosophy that major roads also separate out zoning districts and provide for transition areas?
Ms. McBeth answered yes; that was one of the factors that they looked at. There were a number of factors that Planning looked at as well: what might be on the different quadrants on the corner, what the adjacent zoning and land use was, what the historic uses of the property had been; she said they took a look at compatibility, basically with the surrounding properties.
Member Lorenzo asked if it would be reasonable to say that the parcel was also compatible with the uses to the north, the northeast and the east?
Ms. McBeth answered that she could see that position as well, because the properties to the north and to the east had historically been used for light industrial uses and it might be possible to get smaller light industrial buildings or office buildings on that property, but it also lent itself to being a corner with the actual corner removed, but it also lent itself to being a corner property.
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood what Ms. McBeth was saying; she meant a larger corner property, although obviously the service station was a free standing structure of its own. She stated that the question was how large did she find the corner; how far out from the corner did you go. She stated that in her opinion she saw that she could integrate around the service station as a commercial use. Also, it didnít look like Kern or the subject property to the north were integrated to Catherine Industrial.
Ms. McBeth answered that was correct.
Member Lorenzo stated they were stand-alone buildings as well.
Ms. McBeth answered yes.
Member Lorenzo stated that with regard to the traffic, she shared concerns with the previous speaker on Council; just looking at the charts, a B-3 shopping center 10,137 square feet would generate almost four times the amount of traffic than a general office industrial use and almost nine times than a light industrial use for a 24-hour period, for a total peak hour period of PM, the shopping center would generate almost six times higher than light industrial. She stated that what Council had been trying to do in the City of Novi for several years was try to divert traffic from Ten Mile over to the Grand River Corridor.
Member Lorenzo asked Steve Dearing, the Cityís Traffic Engineering Consultant, with regard to some of the issues that were raised with the new configuration of Novi and Ten Mile Roads, particularly near the intersection, if she understood correctly that there would be no dedicated right-hand turn lanes on Ten Mile to Novi Road; she asked if they would be through lanes.
Mr. Dearing asked if Member Lorenzo was talking about the roadway improvements that were under construction at this time.
Member Lorenzo answered that was correct.
Mr. Dearing answered that he hadnít briefed on that particular issue; he stated that generically speaking, Ten Mile was being widened to a five-lane section. At this time, because of the constraints of right-of-way, he believed that she was correct that there would not be a dedicated westbound right-turn lane to turn north onto Novi Road at this time.
Member Lorenzo asked if that was the same as from Ten Mile making a left onto Novi Road as well.
Mr. Dearing answered that all approaches would have center lanes dedicated to left turns.
Member Lorenzo stated when you turn north from Ten Mile onto Novi Rod, there would not be any marginal access to any of the properties along Novi Road; there would be curb cuts.
Mr. Dearing answered that was correct; there would not be any frontage roads or anything like that.
Member Lorenzo asked if there would be any accel or deceleration lanes.
Mr. Dearing answered that once multi-lane status had been achieved, like a five-lane road, and there were at least two lanes to move through traffic, that alleviated a lot of the need for decel lanes into individual driveways unless the land use was particularly intense and had a greater demand for handling those right turns and getting out of the way.
Member Lorenzo stated such as a B-3 shopping center.
Mr. Dearing answered that it depended on the size; he said that was under 2 acres and the peak demand to make the right turn in would not be nearly as intense as larger parcels.
Member Lorenzo stated that was the peak demand, but when there were 1,534 24-hour trips.
Mr. Dearing answered that generally speaking, they looked at the peak hours because that drove the need for the most robust roadway system and off-peak, the roadways were generally well capable of handling the ancillary movements that occur during the day. If they design to either the morning or PM peak period, whichever was appropriate, if they could get the road system to work for those timeframes, off-peak was generally not a problem.
Member Lorenzo stated generally and asked if he could make that statement of Ten Mile Road today.
Mr. Dearing answered that a lot of what Ten Mile at Novi Road was experiencing, of course, was the construction-related disruptions.
Member Lorenzo stated that she didnít mean today specifically; she meant when the construction was completed. It was still more or less a two-lane road until you got to the intersection.
Mr. Dearing answered that she was right. Ten Mile would essentially be a two-lane road; it would be widening at the major intersections, such as Novi. The widening to a five-lane section would be extended both east and west of Novi further to the east, then the west, and the idea was that it was at the major intersections, because you had to share the pavement between the cross-traffic, that was where the congestion was related to; that was where you were limited by the technology of traffic signals.
Member Lorenzo stated that was why she expressed the concern that even though generally speaking the concerns were at AM and PM, when you had a road such as Ten Mile that was a two-lane road for miles that even at that intersection there would be so much traffic. Her concern was right turns in; she knew even from the industrial offices and they didnít have the traffic that this type of use would generate, that you were slowing down so that you didnít rear-end anyone. She was concerned that more of that would happen in a situation such as this where there was a high intense use and a popular use, perhaps, at that location that there would be a lot of rear-end collisions.
Mr. Dearing stated, for example if you were westbound on Ten Mile, you would come out of the two-lane section in the immediate area of the subject parcel where the road was widening to two lanes in the westbound direction; it was a relatively common human behavior that if you were actually on a through trip of any distance, especially if you were a habitual user of that roadway, you would know that once past the intersections, it went down to two lanes. He said drivers had a tendency in that regard to stay to the inside lane, and that people who would use the widening and go to the curb tended to be the ones that wanted access driveways or make that turn to go north on Novi. He stated that it was very common when you looked at roads that were two-lane widening to five and then back down to two, you donít get a balanced use of the extra lanes when you widen it for the major intersections. He said the drivers learn that the extra laneage was basically to help them get out of the through movement and make the turns at the major junction points.
Member Lorenzo stated that what she hoped to do was to make an amendment if it was not already in the motion that this be done by a development agreement, because she thought it was very important that, once the Council rezoned the property to B-3, it could be any B-3 use. She thought a development agreement would give City Council more control and more comfort level, not only with the specific types of uses within the center or on the site, but also a lot of the traffic situations would be best controlled. She knew the previous consultant suggested a pork chop at the Ten Mile entranceway, so she thought there were a lot of things that needed to be particularly addressed if it was to be used as a commercial site. She stated that would be the only way she would even consider such a rezoning would be that the applicant would be willing to do it by virtue of development agreement.
Mr. Donaldson stated that he had a question on the development agreement; he understood that the development agreement had gone by the wayside and had been replaced with a PRO.
Member Lorenzo stated not exactly; that was actually a different process. She stated that Council still had the ability to enter into a development agreement.
Mr. Donaldson stated that for this site, the development agreement applied better because there was one major component missing for the PRO on this site, which was that they were not able to offer something on the site which benefited the City, so the development agreement to dictate usage, as far as no coin car washes and McDonaldís and that sort of thing, they would absolutely be willing to do.
Member Lorenzo stated that from her perspective from a diversity standpoint and making sure that the City was able to pay for itself in the future, she would have preferred to see a commercial use that gave the City that type of use, such as the previous speaker said, a bank.
Mr. Donaldson stated that they did have a bank. Again, he stated that they could talk about all the uses, but they didnít have anything solid. They would not become solid until they got the zoning.
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood that, but she would consider that through a development agreement because it would give the City more control over the situation.
Member Capello stated that if that was a motion to rezone to B-3 subject to development agreement, he would second that.
Mayor Csordas stated that the City did have the availability for development agreements and PROís; they were two distinct differences.
Mr. Schultz stated that they were distinct issues, and to be honest, one of the reasons they proposed the PRO ordinance was to kind of get away from the development agreement.
Mayor Csordas stated that was why he asked the question, because he had been meeting with people a number of Saturdays that were confused and he was under the impression that staff was confused. He would like to say that both of those options were available to anybody who came here.
Mr. Schultz stated the development agreement was the tool that the City used on a handful of occasions that frankly came from the request in each of the cases from the developer looking for a way for the City to assist the developer and the rezoning and the limitations. Because, Mr. Fisher was quite candid about it a number of times, there was no great authorization in the zoning statutes for those development agreements, but they were very specific. The other side said they agreed to do it; the City replaced that, they thought and hoped, with the PRO process, the idea being not to push the envelope with regard to the development agreements. Since the City had passed the PRO ordinance, the State Legislature had adopted legislation that he knew that Council was at least somewhat familiar with for contract zoning. He said that the problem with that was that the statute itself that accomplished contract zoning, which was actually sort of the perfect thing for what they were talking about, to allow a use but exclude some other particular use, was flawed, in their opinion. He said there had been some proposals from basically the municipal attorneyís side of things to the developer attorneyís side of things in the hope that they could change the language of the statute and get it back up to the Legislature to make it the kind of tool that they were talking about tonight. The one thing that was clear in that State statute that was adopted after the Cityís PRO ordinance was that all of that had to come from the developer; that was really one of the reasons they were very reluctant to have any kind of discussion. He stated that the point he needed to make clear was that one of the things that they were concerned about with the contract zoning statute was if it was written so that it had to come from the developer, there was no other half that they could as a City request more than what the developer had put on the table. If that was something that Council was actually considering doing, and to be honest they were reluctant to go down that road but it was Councilís decision, he thought it was something that probably should not be discussed specifically tonight by Council. It would have to be something that the developer would have to think about and come back on his own with a proposal; he thought it was probably not the best thing for Council to be talking about. Secrest would like to see the development agreement; they would like to see those kinds of things limited. He thought that needed to come from the developer, and if it was going to come from Council, the way the law was written now, it was on shaky ground.
Mayor Csordas stated that he agreed with Mr. Schultz on contract rezoning; he stated that Council was not going to discuss that anymore this evening. He stated that in the future, Council could discuss that when he thought it was appropriate. He stated that clearly a development agreement was different than contract zoning.
Mr. Schultz stated that was the key point; the development agreement would be looked at a kind of contract zoning. It was really a tool that has probably been between the PRO and the new statute, and was probably something that Council was not looking at using unless it was talking about meeting that contract zoning statute. He knew that was something that really was in flux because the statute was brand-new and did affect development agreement concepts. He stated that if Council would like to think about that with this property, Secrest would like the opportunity to put something in writing.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would like to share with Council that he really agreed with that because the last two Saturdays that was all he had been talking about. He stated that he hadnít recommended anything to anybody, but there had been a lot of confusion regarding those two issues, not the contract rezoning but definitely confusing regarding if Council was still in the development agreement business or the PRO business; did one replace the other. His perception was that there was confusion at staff level; he might be totally wrong.
Member Lorenzo stated that without knowing what the use was on that property, if Council were just looking at that as a general rezoning, then she would have to say that she could not support it this evening, because it left the City too much open in terms of incompatible uses that would be inappropriate for that corner.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he respectfully looked at this differently than the two previous speakers; he would make a motion to approve the rezoning to B-3. As he looked at that, it was consistent with the Master Plan. The Master Plan was the document where Council told the world that was how it wanted its City to develop. He stated that the Master Plan said business; it was consistent with the Master Plan. It was consistent with the Novi Road Corridor Study that the City paid money for; B-3 integrates with the surrounding developments. He stated that the Cityís Planning Director told Council that tonight. There were some traffic problems; Mr. Arroyo looked at that and said the traffic problems were significant but avoidable traffic safety problems. He stated that at the time of Site Plan approval, the City could restrict right-in, right-out on Ten Mile Road; they could put a pork chop in there from Ten Mile Road so you couldnít turn left into traffic eastbound on Ten Mile Road and traffic coming out on the Ten Mile side would have to go right or west and wouldnít encounter having to cross backed-up traffic. The City Administration approved this; to him, it was an L-shaped parcel that had frontage on both Ten Mile and Novi Road, and that cried out for business and commercial use, rather than an industrial use. He stated that it was not very large, as the applicant indicated, with respect to potential industrial uses and it was right next to a B-3 use. The tax base, according to the analysis, was pretty much the same, I-1 or B-3, so he didnít see it as a very difficult point. He would make a motion to approve the rezoning from I-1 to B-3.
CM-05-03-084 Moved by Landry, supported by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To approve the rezoning request 18.644 of J. Bennett Donaldson to rezone from I-1, Light Industrial to B-3, General Business for property located north of Ten Mile Road and east of Novi Road, behind the Speedway Gas Station, in Section 23. The subject property is 1.92 acres.
Member Capello stated that he thought it was important that Council understood that the Master Plan had planned it for a B-3 use; when Mr. Donaldson first got up and stated that he did not plan to put in a McDonaldís, he would be 100 percent in favor of McDonaldís. He thought that particular intersection was a prime intersection where the families of Novi dropped off kids at the high school, at the Sports Center, at the hockey rink; they needed something in that area where fast food could be picked up to get the kids fed. He stated that it would be very convenient for the residents; he didnít believe that by putting in a McDonaldís there that it would draw additional traffic to that intersection. People werenít going to drive into traffic and out of their way unless they absolutely had to; they would go to the McDonaldís that was on the way to the location they were going. He stated that he supported B-3; he thought the drive-throughs were important for Starbucks, McDonaldís, or for the bank. The only reason that he would have liked to have seen it come back to Council as a contract zoning was because Council would have control over the site plan and be able to give suggestions. He understood why they needed that much parking because it looked like he had two restaurant sites; he just wished that he could do whatever he wanted because it was not coming back to us, but put a pad over on Ten Mile Road so there was not a sea of parking.
Mr. Donaldson stated that they had a plan that showed the bank as a separate building, which broke up that sea. He said only the bank worked, with two separate buildings.
Member Gatt wanted to reiterate that it fell within the Master Plan usage and it was recommended by our staff, by the City Planning Director and her staff. Therefore, he would have no trouble supporting the motion.
Member Paul asked if the space of the property on Ten Mile was more than 200 feet of frontage.
Ms. McBeth answered that it was less than 200 feet.
Member Paul asked about the frontage on Novi Road.
Ms. McBeth answered that she believed it was also less than 200 feet.
Member Paul stated that she had looked back at the Minutes where both Mayor Clark and Eva Weddington were concerned about the 200 feet. They had talked about the traffic in that corridor; the City had just paid a lot of money to improve that and now it was going to go ahead and stick a whole lot more traffic there. She stated that, in their comments, 200 feet of frontage on a main thoroughfare reduced the number of curb-cuts. She stated that now the City was going to have a gas station that had an in and out on both sides, and it was going to put less than 200 feet frontage on both Ten Mile and Novi Road for a B-3 usage that had a lot of commercial potential where there would be a lot of traffic. She asked what the front footage was on Novi Road.
Ms. McBeth stated that she didnít have the exact number for her right now, but she knew it was less than 200 feet. She wanted to tell her, too, that those Minutes were from 1995 when McDonaldís requested approval under the standards in the light industrial district; one of the standards for having a restaurant in the light industrial district was at least 200 feet of frontage on a major thoroughfare. That was the standard that they were referring to.
Member Paul stated that she understood and still shared the same concern. She said the reason she shared the concern was that the road speed was 45 m.p.h.; no one drove 45 m.p.h., it was usually 55 m.p.h. and people were flying through that intersection if there was a green light. Now there would be someone slowly turning without an accel/decel lane, and she thought there was a real problem and potential for safety issues. She didnít want to put public safety and welfare in someone elseís hands; Council was not looking at this from a developerís financial benefit, they were looking at it as what was the best benefit of quality of life for the City. She stated that she was very disappointed that they didnít look at the entire area of the light industrial; in her opinion, she thought there was a miss there. The second thing was, if the developer came forward and decided that it was too expensive because the land had to be remediated, she asked what if he sold; who knew who was putting what in. They couldnít have a contract zone; so at this time, there was no way she would say to put the most intense usage there without having a contract. She thought Council was putting the City in serious danger; Council wouldnít have any say over his possibly selling the land to another. She stated that the City had that done to it several times; there was a contract with someone, they sold the property and it came back with a more intense use.
Member Nagy stated that she was a little disappointed here because in reading through the Planning Commission meeting notes, she thought that the Planning Commissioners came up with a lot of good ideas. She said when they talked about the PRO, it was supposed to come from the developer, not from the City. Also, according to that ordinance, they were supposed to provide some sort of amenity; she thought that Ms. McBeth had a conversation regarding the bond property and now in here she kept seeing the PRO. Her biggest concern for not supporting this was that Council didnít have a concept plan or site plan before us; Council was speculating as to what this person may or may not put in. She stated that there were no guarantees; once it was left like that, it would always be left like that. She did have concerns; she was at that intersection an awful lot and thought that it was a health, safety and welfare issue. She knew that traffic there, even when there was not construction there, was horrendous. Secondly, there was a problem right at Pine Ridge; that was a very difficult strip mall to get into, and now youíre going to add a curb-cut onto Ten Mile Road not too far from that. She thought it would create problems, and she thought it would affect the safety of the City residents, so she would not be supporting the motion.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-84 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Nays: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
3. Consideration of Request by Singh Development for a variance from Section 11-278(b)(5) of the Design and Construction Standards requiring that pedestrian safety paths be placed one foot from the future right-of- way of 12-1/2 Mile Road.
CM-05-03-085 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Request by Singh Development for a variance from Section 11-278(b)(5) of the Design and Construction Standards requiring that pedestrian safety paths be placed one foot from the future right-of-way of 12-1/2 Mile Road.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-085 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
4. Approval to award a contract to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc. for construction engineering services for the West Park Booster Station for a fee equal to a fixed 2.0% of construction cost (estimated to be $21,928.92 based on the as-bid construction price for the project).
CM-05-03-086 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; MOTION FAILED: To award a contract to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, Inc. for construction engineering services for the West Park Booster Station for a fee equal to a fixed 2.0% of construction cost (estimated to be $21,928.92 based on the as-bid construction price for the project).
Member Nagy stated that she would not be supporting the motion because she thought that Council had a discussion regarding several projects where the design was done by one person and then the actual engineering was done by the other, and then eventually the engineering firm or the contractor would always come back requesting more money. She stated that the two that came to mind were Pioneer Meadows, where they requested $40,000 more, and South Lake, where the engineering company used part of the design that JCK did but they didnít really totally adhere to it and the City ended up paying more. She looked at the bid and looked at the $21,928.92 and she looked at JCKís bid which was $17,000-some more. She stated that in reviewing the history, one of the things that she remembered was that JCK designed a water distribution plan; they had more information. She stated that if the company that Council awarded the contract to had problems with the design or changes, they would be coming back and asking for more. She would not be supporting the motion; she thought that even though JCKís bid was higher, she thought they were the ones that really should be doing that.
Member Lorenzo stated that she had a similar concern, but only from the standpoint that Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick confirmed the feasibility of the design. She asked if there was a representative present.
Rob Hayes, City Engineer, answered that there was no one from Anderson, Eckstein there tonight, but that the City provided Anderson, Eckstein with the design documents so they were fully aware of all the drawings and specifications and they were given the opportunity to familiarize themselves completely with the project.
Member Lorenzo asked if there was anything in the bid that basically confirmed the feasibility of that; what she didnít want to happen was just what Member Nagy was concerned about. She wanted some assurances in the contract between the City and Anderson that they in fact would confirm the feasibility before they did anything else.
Mr. Hayes answered that by their submittal of a proposal, they had certified that they understood the project and that they stood by what was in their proposal. He stated that they had remedied the price concern by having a fixed fee that they only got reimbursed the amount of the contract price.
Member Lorenzo asked if they came back to Council and said that, now that they were into the project, they really needed to do some design changes, would they have the ability to be paid for those design changes.
Mr. Hayes answered that if they were design changes that were warranted that, either because of different conditions or something that could not have been foreseen by the previous consultant, then the City would offer them the opportunity to give a quote to do those design changes. As far as the construction engineering side of it, they were held to 2 percent of the contract price.
Member Lorenzo stated that he could assure Council that they were simply going to go out and construct according to design, yet there would not be any design changes to the project.
Mr. Hayes answered that he could not assure that. He stated that there were so many variables, it was hard to predict what the final product would look like.
Member Lorenzo stated that in terms of giving them extra dollars to spend, she wanted to limit the variables; she wanted to see something in there that if it was because conditions changed or if it was something that the previous designer could not possibly fathom, then she could understand that; but that was what she wanted to make sure in this contract. She didnít want to have happen what has happened before.
Mr. Helwig stated that what Member Lorenzo just described was the only basis for a design change; that was if you got in the field and you found something in the ground that no one could have anticipated finding. That was the only basis for a design change. He said that was the way the City was doing business now.
Member Lorenzo stated that since she made the motion, she would just put that in the motion, that the only design change was based on conditions that could not have been foreseen.
Mr. Pearson stated that he thought it would be helpful if Mr. Hayes could talk about what the nature of the project was; it was not a neighborhood road project; it was not a substantial drainage improvement, Pioneer Meadows was mentioned which obviously was, so he thought Mr. Hayes needed to talk a little bit about the City had bid the project, it was a fixed amount.
Mr. Hayes stated that, unlike the Neighborhood Roads Program, where the final product had not been completely defined yet, the City did have a defined product now, because it had the construction drawings prepared, as well as the specifications. He stated that there was a discreet product that the bidders bid on, and the next item was to discuss award of that contract; the City had a price for that. He stated that Anderson, Eckstein reviewed the same drawings and specifications to determine the number of hours that it would take them to do the construction engineering phase of the project, so the City had a very well defined project that was based on JCKís design.
Member Lorenzo stated that she appreciated the explanation.
Member Capello stated that just to clarify on Exhibit B of the fee proposal; he asked if it was a not-to-exceed fee of $21,928.92.
Mr. Hayes answered that it was a not-to-exceed fixed fee of 2 percent of the contract price of construction. He said if there was a change, it would only be because of unforeseen circumstances. He stated that Anderson, Eckstein would be entitled to perform construction engineering in the amount of 2 percent of whatever that change order amount was.
Member Capello stated he was looking because they went over it on one of the other projects, but he was looking at Exhibit B and under phase, it said not-to-exceed fee for contract administration services calculated as 2 percent of the as bid amount of $1,096,446. The very next box said total not-to-exceed fee and put a dollar amount in there. He read that to say that the City came up with the $21,928 as the not-to-exceed fee; how we came to that amount was that we used 2 percent of the construction bid. He asked why the City would use a not-to-exceed fee of 2 percent if 2 percent was going to move.
Mr. Hayes answered because they were trying to be consistent with the other contracts in that there was a fixed fee for construction services.
Member Capello stated that the City had problems with the other contracts before by using a 2 percent of the construction amount, because that was a figure that was going to move, so youíre really not saying not-to-exceed; you were just saying it was going to be 2 percent.
Mr. Helwig stated that the problem, referring to the South Lake Drive engineering firm, was that there was disagreement over what construction amount the percentage was going to be applied to. He stated that it could not be any more clear; this had the construction amount listed here with the fixed fee computation. It showed how you computed it. He said the disagreement on the other matter, which was the one the City had problems with was because there was a disagreement over what the construction estimate was and the actual bid. He stated that here we had the actual bid; it was a better way of doing business.
Member Capello stated that he understood, but on the other one they still had the same issue. He read this and it was not clear to him; if there were change orders, was the City still at a not-to-exceed of $21,928.
Mr. Helwig stated that in the previous example that he referred to, that engineering contract was awarded before the City had the construction dollar amount, so it was a percentage on the estimate, and when the actual came in, that was where the issue arose. Here, you had the actual amount, the only way that could change, and no one would do business with the City if it said this was it; he said it happened in real life, you go out and find something that no human being, as fully certified and experienced as they might be, could have anticipated. He said that was the only thing that could change that. It was a great way to do business; he was proud that Administration was handing it to Council in the way it was tonight; it couldnít be any more clear. He said they didnít want to mislead and say that it was 100 percent certain what the final amount would be, because something out there, that no one anticipated, could arise at that northeast corner that changed it.
Member Capello stated that it was perfectly clear to Mr. Helwig, but on paper it was not clear to him at all. He was not arguing with the way the City was doing this; he just wanted to make it clear that if the City was going to say that the fee was 2 percent of the final construction price, Council should just say that; they should not say that it was not-to-exceed 2 percent and should not have the actual dollar amount in there, say it was not to exceed $21,000, if in fact it could. He said all Council had to do was say the City was doing it at 2 percent regardless of what the construction costs were. He stated that was the problem he had was maybe they needed to change the form. Councilís understanding was that it was 2 percent of whatever the construction costs were, so if they came back to Council and said construction costs exceeded $1.96-million, they got more money; if construction costs for some unknown reason came back at $900,000, they got 2 percent of $900,000.
Mr. Helwig stated that was correct, but that had to be approved before it got executed. He said they couldnít just walk in and give the City a bill. That had to be approved before it was executed.
Member Capello stated that he understood that.
Member Gatt stated that a couple of months ago he thought he heard Mr. Hayes say that his preference would be that a design engineer and a construction engineer be the same, and asked why that was not the case here.
Mr. Hayes answered that because when they did the original procurement, the only phase that was included in the request for proposals was the design phase.
Member Gatt asked if that was the normal operation or was that just different.
Mr. Hayes answered that the normal operation, and in his opinion the preferred operation, would be to include design as study; if you had to do a study, design and construction services all in the same proposal packet.
Member Gatt stated have the same company do both?
Mr. Hayes answered that it made for a smoother transition if that was structured that way.
Member Paul stated that she called Ms. Smith-Roy, Finance Director, earlier to ask her about four projects that she could remember that the City had differing engineering firms for design and construction, they were Pioneer Meadows, South Lake Drive, Taft and Westmont. She had put on Mayor and Council Issues and asked Mr. Hayes approximately two or three months ago that she did not want to see a differing design engineering firm and a construction engineering firm because there were cost overruns. She wanted to ask Ms. Smith-Roy, Finance Director, what some of the projects were that ran over and approximately how much. She knew that she had given short notice, but she was just trying to recall from memory.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that for point of clarification that the Westmont Project appeared to be done by the same firm, URS Design and Construction.
Member Paul stated that she believed Ayres Lewis came back and asked the City for more money; she was pretty sure of that and it might have been tied in with more than one project. URS did the design and Ayres Lewis, she believed, had some oversight on some of that project that they had some overruns.
Mr. Pearson stated that he could answer that; Member Lorenzo was correct. URS did the design that was the extra 850 feet that the City added onto the contract. Ayres Lewis had the construction administration for the neighborhood roads that year; they wanted to oversee both projects, so they did oversee that, but they came back for more money because they had not been paid for any of the paperwork for overseeing that; and more so for Pioneer Meadows, which had already been talked about. It was not directly related because of any issues with Westmont Drive.
Member Paul stated that Phil Loud, who was the engineer, stated that there needed to be more core samples; they were not done in the right place and there were some problems with that. She stated that it was Westmont specifically that was one of the issues he spoke of the night that he was at Council.
Mr. Pearson stated that it all spoke to Pioneer Meadows.
Member Paul stated that she thought it was both; but, needless to say, she was just looking at what the costs were so she could have an understanding.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that back to Westmont, because their paperwork did not document the Ayres Lewis difference, so she couldnít tell Council what the cost difference on that project was. On Pioneer Meadows, the same problem occurred; there were three components of the project. The two components of the water main and the sanitary sewer did not run over; that was the only thing she could verify in that short of time. The roads were combined with other roads, so Administration would have to go through some additional information in order to separate Pioneer Meadows. She stated that Taft Road, she might be misspeaking, appeared to be done by the same engineer, JCK appeared to do the design and construction on that one. On South Lake Drive, the cost overrun on that construction was approximately $225,000.
Member Paul stated that she felt like she was left in a quandary because she appreciated the information, Ms. Smith-Roy and Mr. Hayes, but she felt really uncomfortable awarding the low bidder in this situation because of what she had made as a previous statement. She specifically said that she didnít want to award the design and construction to two different engineering firms; she would like them to be the same.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would support the recommendation of the Cityís professional consultants.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-086 Yeas: Lorenzo, Csordas,
Nays: Gatt, Nagy, Paul,
CM-05-03-087 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED: To award the contract to JCK for the construction engineering services for the West Park Booster Station in the amount of $39,660, with the fixed construction percentage of 3.62.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-087 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry,
Nays: Lorenzo, Csordas
5. Approval of contract for construction of the West Park Booster Station to the lowest responsive bidder, South Hill Construction, in the amount of $1,096,446.
CM-05-03-088 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve contract for construction of the West Park Booster Station to the lowest responsive bidder, South Hill Construction, in the amount of $1,096,446.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-088 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
Landry, Capello, Gatt,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 8:40 p.m.
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 8:55 p.m.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
6. Discussion of establishing a City of Novi Youth Council.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig if he wanted to comment on the memorandum.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration, in support of Council direction two weeks ago, took Member Paulís information, distributed it the next evening to Council to make sure everyone had that same research, and then he asked a group of City staff, led by Mr. Pearson and many of the Cityís younger professionals to fan out, including the Cityís newest police lieutenant who had been very involved in a number of youth advocacy relationships in the community, and others, to give some thoughts and to do some more research to try to order this so that tonight Council could go through a policy discussion and, upon deciding if it did have merit, perhaps flush out some of the details so Administration could bring a policy resolution back to Council. He stated that there was no pride of authorship; it was just try to fill in the blanks and give Council more thoughts and vision about how a Youth Council might operate in the community if Council wished to incorporate that in our structure.
Mayor Csordas thanked Mr. Helwig; he stated that he could see it was a very succinct document. He thought it addressed many of the things that were expressed; he saw that in bullet number one, it had addressed the one-year term plus the option to apply for a second, which Member Paul brought up earlier.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he was the one when this came up last time that asked for some more information; he said that was certainly responsive to his request. He stated that he was very pleased to see all the information, in particular the task and end results, because he was concerned that Council didnít create a committee that it didnít give specific tasks to. He stated that he was satisfied with that. He had one question. He asked how it would be decided on who was elected to the Youth Council. He stated that apparently they would write essays rather than interviews, but would the City Council simply review the essays and then have a paper ballot and decide solely on essays.
Mr. Helwig answered that it was strictly Councilís decision on how it wished the selection to occur. He stated that there was a process outline here; it would involve some significant commitment on the part of City Council and certainly staff to keep it alive. In his experience, he had seen some of those come and go; he had also seen some be very effective in terms of when they were given a major issue to wrestle with. He thought that Council could make the decisions of who participated any number of ways; Administration didnít want to presume a particular way.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would personally like to see an interview because, in his opinion, too many times when an essay was to be written, someone "assisted" with writing the essay; he thought a better flavor would be to let the people come to Council and get the full experience to interview. He stated that he would come for an extra session; whatever it took. He stated that some people were really put off to write an essay; they could write the essay, but he would really like to see them stand at the podium and tell Council why they thought they should be there and give Council an opportunity to select a well rounded group of people.
Member Paul concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Landryís comments; she would like to have interviews done also, for several different reasons. She stated that it was how Council did all of the other boards and commissions, and she wanted them to feel that they were the exact same as all other applicants who were adults. She would also like them to have an essay component, but some people were better at verbalizing and some people were better at writing. She would like to only have a $500 budget for this group. She talked with several other cities; their recommendations: one started out with $10,000, another started with $20,000, and then said $500 was enough. She stated that they could have T-shirts printed, then they could also do some literature if they were going to do some type of a fundraiser. That was all they needed; that was from two different municipalities. She stated that since they were in their infancy in Novi, she wanted to take best practice and only put $500 to the group. She also wanted them to work with the Community Relations Department; they had to have someone in the Administration that worked directly with people in the community. She also thought that they would have a lot of positive impact from this group; she would like them to have an opportunity to have a 10 or 15-minute monthly or quarterly reports on cable; that would also limit the costs and get this off the ground. They could summarize all their activities and have it on record. She stated that she would also like to see them have a Chair, a Vice Chair, and a Secretary so there would be three different leadership roles; they could alternate that if they would like.
Member Paul stated that she would like to have a motion for establishing a City of Novi Youth Council with interviews with City Council, an essay component be part of that, a $500 budget, and have it be for the age of freshman, sophomore, junior and seniors in high school, have them be Novi residents, and have them work with the Cityís Community Relations Department.
Member Nagy stated that she would second the motion, but wanted to amend that to be entering freshman year.
Member Paul stated that was fine.
CM-05-03-089 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To establish a City of Novi Youth Council, with candidates to interview with City Council and to have an essay component as part of the interview; to have a $500 budget; to be open to entering freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school; candidates to be Novi residents; and Youth Council to work with the Community Relations Department.
Member Lorenzo stated that she agreed with the two previous speakers and supported the motion. In order not to reinvent the wheel, she suggested that Novi follow the same model as the City of Troy in terms of how it could be written up and then Council could just plug in the differences. She also supported the limited budget amount; she stated that she was a little surprised by some of the comments in the information received back, because she disagreed that the only thing worth doing was if there was a lot of money attached to it. Other than that, she appreciated the information and supported it wholeheartedly.
Member Gatt stated that he wanted to go on record; he was very excited about this, thought it would be a big asset to the City, and he thanked Member Paul for all of her work. He concurred with all the previous speakers; he also wanted to thank Mr. Helwig and his staff of people here. They came up with a very detailed structured document here. Most of all, he wanted to thank Member Lorenzo for bringing up the budget; that was the only thing that took him back a little bit was the $10,000-$20,000 budget. He thought that $500 was a very worthwhile endeavor, and he could support the motion wholeheartedly.
Member Capello commended Administration; they had done an incredible job of putting all of this together with very little direction from Council. He stated that it addressed one of his main concerns; that was the tasks and the end results, so Council could give the students some direction when they got on the Council. He did have a concern, however; in the report they commented on the amount of staff time that it was taking to produce this and the continuing staff time it would take to supervise the youth. The six individuals that were on the committee seemed to be pretty high up in the Administration; he would like to see sometime in the future who Administration planned on allocating to do what tasks and how much time would be taken away from the regular duties and dedicated to the Youth Council, so there would be a little bit of control over how much the City would be spending staff-wise anyway.
Member Paul wanted to share what some of the other cities had been doing. In Farmington Hills and Farmington, it was a joint Council; they were raising $75,000 to erect a statue that was bumped over and destroyed. She stated that at another place in Troy they were doing rain gardens in different parts of the community for water purification, so they were really ambitious and had tons of energy. They actually ended up working very well and helping everybody on Council and in the community get some projects up and off the ground.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-089 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry,
Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
7. Discussion of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Resource Development Plan which consists of: (a) Park Naming Policy (b) Event and Program Sponsorship Policy and (c) Naming Rights Policy.
Mayor Csordas stated that there were representatives from the Foundation present. He thought he could speak for all members of Council that it was a good document except for the fact that on the Summary of Responsibilities, there was no City Council oversight or discretion; no one at Council agreed with that. He asked the representative of the Parks Foundation to come up. He asked if they would agree to, for example the Summary of Responsibilities where it said Parks and Recreation and Forestry Commission would have approval of naming a park or facility, he would like to see that be City Council.
Dave Staudt stated that he was Vice Chairman of the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission and was also Chairman of the Resource Development Committee that actually created that document. He stated that the Parks Foundation actually had nothing to do with creating document; that was done under the auspices of the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission. He stated that the Commission understood that Council would execute its discretion within the agreement that was a major part of the document. He stated there was no agreement in there; there was a summary. He stated that the Commission always felt that the City Council would have final authority on everything. He stated that the fact that it didnít get into that document clearly was an oversight on the Commissionís part; that was not the intention.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would like to see that changed; also under Item (b) on the same page as the Park Foundation, solicit, negotiate and secure naming rights agreements, he didnít see any problem with that but as far as approving those and final approval would definitely have to go to City Council, Council was actually the elected stewards of the Parks and the land and the City; he didnít think that any of Council wanted to abdicate that responsibility. He stated that if they changed the document on that page to reflect a control to City Council, he thought the Commission would have more support on it. He stated that it sounded like the Commission was totally in agreement with that.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that it totally agreed.
Mayor Csordas stated in the action plan, he had a question on the third bullet.
Vice Chairman Staudt asked Director Auler to come up to help answer the questions, because he actually drafted those pieces of the document. He stated that just to give an overview, they read a couple thousand pieces of paper about various foundations about their relationship with naming rights and some of the ups and downs about naming rights; there were a lot of issues out there about making parks too commercial, and they tried to incorporate that into the policy.
Mayor Csordas agreed and stated that the document was clearly well thought out; he had the opportunity to speak to Director Auler, and he explained a lot of questions that he had and he expressed some of the Councilís concerns over some of those parts of the language. He stated that Director Auler agreed with what they were talking about here, but on the action plan, bullet number three, secure operation fund support via a rollback of the park millage rate Headlee Amendment rollback, under funding opportunities on the second page there was reference to a park millage. He stated that there was not going to be a tax increase involved with that.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered not at all; the Commission was not even advocating that. He said part of that policy laid out some ways to fund parks, but that was not part of the policy at all; it was just a document that the Commission discussed as part of the resource development process.
Mayor Csordas stated that if the current rate was .3857 restoring it to 5 mills would in effect be a tax increase.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that he didnít think it was a recommendation; he thought it was just a highlight of possible things that the Commission could do as far as resource development.
Director Auler stated that it was the Commissionís intention to, under the opportunities section and the action plan, highlight opportunities that were there; it was not a recommendation one way or another. He stated that it was just capturing what was discussed in terms of the opportunities available, because some of the opportunities grant opportunities, establish an endowment, were things that the Commission could pursue; it would be the Councilís decision to choose to do them or not.
Mayor Csordas stated that he understood.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that it was in essence a restatement of many of the same things that were in the Community Recreation Plan that was approved several years ago; it was just a rehashing of the same things but not any type of recommendation. He said the only thing that the Commission was making recommendations on was the policy itself.
Mayor Csordas stated that he thought Council understood that it would change that to City Council with discretion over any spending; you spend the money here but as far as naming rights and all that other stuff, he understood how that went. He also understood that the Commission would lose its privilege of the nonprofit if it didnít follow the charter of that document and provide all the money to the City of Novi in some way, shape or form; it couldnít go to another city.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that in speaking on behalf of the Foundation now as the Secretary-Treasurer and taking his Commission hat off, the Foundation was created for a single purpose; that was to serve the City of Novi Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department and no other purpose. He stated that the Foundation had nothing else in its charter, its bylaws; that was the sole purpose for existence.
Member Paul stated that she wanted to give the information to Council that her husband was a member of the Parks Foundation, and she wanted to ask if people felt comfortable in her participating in discussion.
Mayor Csordas stated that he didnít think she had anything to profit from it.
Member Paul answered no; she just wanted to share the information.
Member Lorenzo appreciated all the hard work in going into providing the document to Council; having served on both the Implementation Committee of the Planning Commission and Ordinance Review of the City Council, she understood what it was like pouring through lots of material and then trying to draft something out of that. She also agreed with Mayor Csordas that unintentionally the City Council was left out of most of the process, but she understood that, from the Mayor, it would be corrected. She stated that she very much supported naming rights and sponsorship policies.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was her opinion that, based on the statement that unless the City Council were to receive a lot of negative feedback from the community, she would like to see Council aggressively pursue naming rights because the more Council pursued them the more aggressively it would have more money available to maintain, if not enhance, Parks and Recreation programs and facilities. She stated that one of the issues that needed to be discussed was how balanced or how aggressive Council wanted to be. For instance, the document actually separated out naming of parks, per se, and the naming of other park asset. She believed that honoring individuals who contributed was certainly a nice gesture, but it was without financial benefit. She said that in her opinion, unless Council had a lot of negative feedback from the community, she thought Council needed to take advantage of every naming opportunity that it possibly could with the parks. Having said that, obviously to the viewer who was watching, Council had standards incorporated into the document, such as "industries and businesses and corporations are not eligible if their business is substantially derived from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography, gambling or lewd and lascivious behavior." Other than those standards, which she fully supported, she thought Council should pursue an aggressive policy.
Member Lorenzo stated that with regard to the Park Foundation, she saw the role of the Foundation as one of soliciting, negotiating, securing, collecting and distributing to the City of Novi, and as the Mayor previously stated, the actual approval of any agreement would go back to Council after the negotiation was secured, then the Park Foundation would collect the monies and distribute all those monies back to the City of Novi Park and Recreation Fund. She stated that she would not want to see any administrative fee or any other fee tacked on by the Park Foundation; in other words, she wanted to see all the proceeds go back to the City of Novi to be managed by the City of Novi. She understood that there were different ways of doing that; out of all the funds collected, the City could, for instance if someone were to donate $2,000 or sponsor or purchase rights to a park bench and the park bench actually cost the City $1,000, the other $1,000 could be utilized in different ways. She said it could be put into a capital replacement fund so that in the future that park bench could be replaced or it could go into the regular Parks and Recreation Fund so that perhaps less monies would have to be allocated from the General Fund to the Parks and Recreation Department. She stated that right now the General Fund was subsidizing the Parks and Recreation Department by $657,000; obviously the more donations that were made, that park bench or whatever it was, as dollars came in that money could be used for either or. She stated that was something that Council needed to discuss as a group.
Mayor Csordas agreed with that; he stated that in speaking with Mr. Auler this weekend, at Councilís approval, maybe Mr. Auler could talk about endowment policies in his experience in other cities which really addressed what she was talking about.
Member Lorenzo stated that she thought Council really needed to discuss whether it wanted to put it in an endowment fund or a capital replacement fund, or whether the Council wanted to have ultimate flexibility to use. She said that because, going back to one of her first statements, by next November the next Council would probably have to go back to the taxpayers and ask the taxpayers if they wanted to continue with the millage rate that the City had now, which was 10.54 mills. She said if that didnít occur each year, the Cityís millage would decrease and the monies available would decrease; if that happened over a 10-year period, the City would lose close to 3 mills. She stated that it was a decade of uncertainty because the Council didnít know what the response of the taxpayer would be if they were asked. She thought it might behoove the future city Councils to any extra dollars it took in to allow that to be flexible; in other words, if Council did not have enough money, that they would still be able to maintain a Parks and Recreation Department as seen today with the programs and services that were seen today, because it was quite possible, depending on the dollars, that they might need to start cutting out programs and cutting staff, depending on what would happen in the next 10 years. She stated that was something that the Council really needed to discuss; did it want that flexibility of not necessarily committing that extra $1,000 that she spoke of to replacement fund but having it available to maintain the department, if necessary. She thought they needed to discuss that as part of the policy; what did Council want to go with, replacement/endowment or with the flexibility of having that money to operate the department if necessary. She stated that Council wanted to start thinking in that mode, because Council didnít know what the taxpayers were going to do over the next 10 years.
Member Lorenzo stated that with regard to some of the information in there, there were areas that she thought could be amended for clarity and that some of the things would just be better said in a different way. For example, on the first page of the Event and Recreation Program Sponsorship Policy, in the introduction, 1.1, it said "Novi Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department is faced more frequently as time passes with offers from individuals, families." She thought that would be better said by "frequently receives" because when said "is faced with", it almost sounded like a negative. She stated that to be faced with something like that was a wonderful thing that people were willing to donate; she thought it could just be said a little differently so that it came across as a positive and not a negative. She stated that there were also areas in there where she would change the "guidelines" to "standards," because they were standards, not guidelines that needed to be adhered to.
Member Lorenzo stated that she had a lot of those types of comments of things that might be said differently; perhaps the best way to do that was to get a clean copy and write in the margins and present it back to the Parks and Recreation Commission rather than go through page by page of amendments that she might have.
Member Lorenzo stated that there was another area that needed some discussion, the community sports teams. Section 10 of Community Sports Teams; she wanted to make sure that she understood it correctly. She read, "Businesses and merchants may sponsor community sports teams, soccer, softball, etc., and are not subject to the sponsorship policy"; she asked if she read that correctly in that they would not have to abide by the standards of the business substantially not deriving from the sale of alcohol.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that they would have to comply with those standards.
Member Lorenzo asked why it said, "are not subject to" then.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that it was an item that, quite frankly, they didnít know on the seven-day period, because the sports teams played year-round, if that was an item that Council wanted to approve, the Commission would be bringing those to Council all the time, so the Commission wrote it that way. He said they could certainly change that to comply.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was not about who approved it; if the Commission right now approved something less than seven days, as long as Council had a policy that the Commission adhered to, she didnít have a problem with that. She stated that what she was asking was if the policy said it was not subject to those standards, then she would have problem with it, because anything in that, in her opinion, would have to abide by the businesses not being eligible that substantially derive from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography, gambling or lewd and lascivious behavior; she wanted to make that perfectly clear that had to be the standard for anything that the Commission or Council as a group or anyone else did on behalf of the City of Novi.
Member Lorenzo stated that it talked about employees being able to wear T-shirts; "no employee is required to wear clothing with corporate logos or advertising.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that sometimes when there was a large event and if there was a corporate sponsor for that, they might wish to have, as part of the package, T-shirts that were supplied to the staff and the staff wear those at the event.
Member Lorenzo asked if the City got paid for that advertising.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that it was part of the sponsorship package.
Member Lorenzo stated that she had two issues with that: First of all, "no employee is required", she liked that because she would not want to put anybody in a difficult position. She said the issue became twofold: should City employees during business hours be advertising for corporations.
Mr. Helwig, City Manager, answered that it was a basic Code of Ethics; City employees shouldnít be doing it.
Member Lorenzo questioned the wording "no employee is required to wear".
Mr. Helwig answered that he didnít write that; that should not be in there.
Member Lorenzo stated that she didnít think so, so letís remove it from there. She was going to say that, even if they did want to do that, the amount would have to be much higher in order for her to agree to have someone wearing the advertising logo on there; she didnít know what the "package" was but it would have to be very substantial for her to even consider that because it was free advertising.
Mr. Auler stated that it was the Commissionís intention that they would never have those on their shirts.
Member Lorenzo stated that there was no employee participation; itís not that itís not required. She thought that the section should read that there was no employee participation permitted during business hours; obviously, what that employee did on his or her own time was entirely up to the citizen at that point because they were no longer employees after hours.
Mr. Helwig stated that there were a lot of events that were not held during traditional City of Novi work hours, and if they were in any way even perceived as representing the City of Novi, no way.
Member Lorenzo stated that she looked to Mr. Helwig for those types of policies. Remember, Council talked about that a while ago; whether Council would listen to the Administration or make its own policy in that case. She stated that she would listen to the City Administrator in that case.
Member Lorenzo stated that to clarify, under the summary of responsibility page, if there were going to be approval necessary to name anything, including a park, that state as a recommendation to the City Council, not an approval by the Parks and Recreation Commission. She said that would be the same if the Department wanted the Council to approve anything for greater than seven days; if there was to be a body that needed to approve beyond seven days, that should go back to Council. She stated that anything where there was an approval necessary should be a Council approval other than the up to seven calendar days that the Director did it to even this point in time.
Member Lorenzo asked Vice Chairman Staudt if it was the intention of the Park Foundation to charge the City an administration fee.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that it was not an administration fee. He explained what the City needed to do. He stated that fundraising was not free; there was a cost to fundraising, whether it was printed materials, postage, whatever, and there needed to be some kind of reimbursement. He stated that was something that he saw could be handled in a contractual agreement where it basically stated that those were the reimbursable items. He stated that if it became a large enough sum of money and a big enough policy, he suspected the City would have to have at least part-time staff to do that, not at the Cityís expense. He stated that at the end of the day, if they were talking about $20,000, $30,000, $50,000, right now the Novi Parks Foundation had very few direct expenses. He stated that they were all volunteers and 100 percent of the money it was raising was going back in; some of the Board members themselves had contributed, but they had never taken a contribution from a non-Board member and used it for anything other than putting it in the bank. He did see that there were some funds necessary from the Park naming right funds that it would raise to go back to pay for some of the expenses. He said he did not call that an administration fee; he just called that direct reimbursement of expenses.
Member Lorenzo stated that she called it an administration fee, and she had a concern about that because the Novi Park Foundation was incorporated and was a totally separate entity from the City of Novi. She stated that they were talking about utilizing in the sense that Council was there tonight in talking about naming rights policies or sponsorship policies; they were talking about utilizing purchasing assets that were going to belong to the City of Novi and were going to have to be maintained by the City of Novi and at some point replaced by the City of Novi. She had a real concern about a cut coming off the top of any funds that the City would be able to raise based on the use of our publicly owned, City-owned assets, because then the City was not deriving full benefit of those assets. She thought in terms of that policy, there were a number of ways Council could do that, and particularly those that might be fixed; in other words, if you had a number of items for purchase or sponsorship, as she used the park bench, if the you put a dollar amount on there and then just went to solicit for those that might want to contribute that, that was probably not going to be a difficult thing as far as negotiating, because there was really nothing to negotiate. She stated that might be even doable by staff, a volunteer group, or a task force. She didnít want to get into business with another entity. If she were going to get into business with another entity, it might not be this 501c; it might be another one that charged less of an administration fee or not charge us at all. She stated that she had a great concern about that becoming part of this policy; to her, the policy was to increase non-tax revenue. She stated that the City of Novi needed every single dollar that it could use from its assets, which were the Parks and Recreation facilities. She stated that the City could not afford to be giving another entity or another corporation any part of those funds; she said the City was looking at having three less mills by the year 2015, so that would be a total deal breaker. She stated that she would not be able to approve that with the Park Foundation, based on that; she would still be able to approve a policy, but the policy would not include the Park Foundation.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that no matter who did that, he spoke from experience sitting on five boards and chairing several, whether the money came from the General Fund to pay for the marketing materials or from the funds that were raised, somebody was going to pay for those. He said there was no such thing as raising money for free; anybody who thought that was wrong.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was who was managing the dollars, though; she said if the City was going to do its own fundraising, producing brochures and things like that, then obviously throughout what happened here in the City, it had public relations people. She stated if the City was going to use General Fund money, then the City might as well have staff doing that. She didnít know how much money they were talking about; maybe the City would want to hire a part-time person to do it, she didnít know. She stated that if the City was going to pay somebody else to do it, she would pay someone within this organization or volunteers on the outside more than go to a company, because that was basically what the City was doing, going to a corporation and asking them to do fundraising for us. She stated that they were all volunteers here; she said she got paid $15 a meeting, and she spent a lot of her own paper and time. She said that was the difference and asked if the Park Foundation really had a commitment to do this or was it a commitment to do it only if the City reimbursed them. There were a lot of volunteers here, and she had a concern with that aspect of that because if it was purely volunteer and being done in that spirit, then she didnít expect to ask the City of Novi to pay for or reimburse any type of the things. She looked to this as who was going to do it for the City as purely a volunteer effort, or else she might as well pay a staff person to do it if the City was going to do that or bid it out. She stated that was a deal-breaker for her because the City needed every dollar. The City needed to manage those dollars if we were dealing with City publicly-owned assets.
Member Nagy stated that one of the things that she found interesting was the Detroit News editorial today; she thought that what she would like to see first and foremost regarding the Foundation was the corrections in the newspaper that were incorrect. She stated that the editorial today said that the City of Novi only gave the Parks and Recreation $88,000; that was incorrect. She stated that already one of the problems she found was that there had been incorrect information disseminated to the newspapers. She stated that she called Director Auler on Friday and got into a great discussion regarding foundations; she asked Director Auler to explain to Council from his past experience how foundations worked; she didnít think a fee was out of the question.
Director Auler stated that in other communities that he had worked in had park foundations as separate entities, not for profit corporations, 501c3, and the purpose of those foundations had been exactly what this foundation was created for was to solicit, seek, negotiate, secure funds to support the park system within Novi. He said it had worked a couple of ways in other communities. One, they had a contractual agreement with the City Council, if naming rights were involved, that they were negotiating the deals and bringing those deals to the table and then Council approving those deals, then the money was in the foundation account and was allocated for the purpose of the foundation, which was to support the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission. He stated that it could be restricted funds or unrestricted funds; restricted funds meaning for a specific project that the money was contributed for, or unrestricted funds where the money was not designated for a specific purpose at the time of the donation and it could be utilized for requests from the Department or the Parks and Recreation Board or Commission and City Council for a project or an item that would be needed to help serve the community better with Parks and Recreation services.
Director Auler stated that he had worked with foundations both that had had an administration fee for naming rights and without an administration fee for naming rights.
Member Nagy asked what the fee amount was.
Director Auler stated that it varied; it had been relatively small, but in those situations the foundation had been around for a long time and had a significant amount of funding in place. He stated that it was generally five percent or less. He stated that with another foundation he was associated with, there was not an administration fee; the administration fee was charged for how the foundation operated. He stated that there was that money that was raised outside of the sell the naming rights, so if the foundation held a special event to raise money, a portion of that money would be utilized for the operation of the foundationís expenses, marketing, brochures, direct mail.
Member Nagy stated, for example, if Novi Parks Foundation was going to have a get-together for kids at one of the Cityís parks, it would expend an amount of dollars to disseminate the information and then when the money was raised, it would take the amount it spent, but those were things you would see broken down as a bill.
Director Auler answered that was right. He said it was really the fundraising activities, the events that the Foundation would do, for example might be a golf outing. He stated that a portion of those proceeds would go towards the administration of the Foundation, so it could do the mailings, the marketing, the brochures and so forth, to provide the service to the community. He said the remainder of those funds would be available for funding programs or projects for the Department.
Member Nagy asked Director Auler, when he was in those cities where they had the Parks Foundation, if he went out for bid or did the foundation come to him.
Director Auler answered that he didnít think they ever went out to bid; it was the foundation that was created for the purpose of supporting those park systems.
Member Nagy stated that was its only purpose.
Director Auler answered yes.
Member Nagy stated that the Novi Parks Foundation was created, and the Novi Parks Foundation was not going to Plymouth to say it would raise funds for them.
Director Auler answered that was correct; that did not happen. He stated that he could not speak for the Foundation Board, but he thought it would concur that it was not the intent; it was in the articles and the bylaws.
Member Nagy stated that she would like to have Director Auler discuss with Council, because she was quite impressed with the legacy that he left at his last place of employment, was the fact that once the Foundation was established and once the monies started coming in, at the present time she thought it had $10,000, he talked about the endowment. She liked about the idea of the Foundation was that when it received a lot of money, a certain portion of endowment was put away, which meant that it could maintain and repair, so the City wouldnít get back to where it started, which was right now, which was it might be funding Parks and Recreation $600,000-$700,000 a year, but it couldnít get back to the point where the City was now where it needed money just to maintain.
Director Auler stated that was correct. He stated what they did there and would hope to do here. He said they had a lot of work to do; for example, they hadnít priced out what items would be available for a sell or what that price would be or what those maintenance costs associated with that were. He said they knew what some of the maintenance costs with the facilities and would have that or what it cost per acre or what it cost per ball field to maintain or shelter or so forth. He stated that they didnít have all the items done to that point, and they had been working on developing a replacement strategy in terms of costs associated with that. He said once all the tools were in place, you come up with that dollar figure and essentially that dollar figure would include the price of purchasing the new item, say itís a park bench; it was the price of purchasing the park bench, the installation and so forth, as well as included in that price was money that would go into an endowment fund or some other fund that was invested and earning interest. The interest off that would be used to pay the annual maintenance costs associated with maintaining that park bench, and then the life expectancy of that park bench would then be amortized over that period of time so that amount of money when it was time to replace the park bench was there and there wasnít an additional burden placed on the General Fund operating budget for the Department.
Member Nagy asked if it was the Commissionís intent to put away a little bit for all those things just stated, or was it really going to go right into what was needed immediately in terms of expenditures of funds.
Director Auler stated that he didnít believe the Foundation Board had discussed that particular topic yet; there was a lot of work still to do. He stated that what the Commission was trying to do this evening was to have some good discussion regarding the naming rights policy that it discussed originally very briefly in the Joint Meeting in December and had indicated the Commission would have something back in March.
Member Gatt asked Vice Chairman Staudt why the Foundation was founded; what was its purpose.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that the purpose was quite simply to raise money other than tax dollars to basically "bridge the gap"; he said they had so many gaps; they had gaps in what they needed for capital improvements and for operations. He stated that, as Director Auler stated, the Foundation was very early on in that process. He looked at things in little battles. This past Friday, the Foundation raised $1,000 that it was going to dedicate to a scholarship fund this year so that maybe 5-10 kids got to play baseball that wouldnít have; to him that was a major win. He said that someday hopefully the Foundation could fund that to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that was the Foundationís primary purpose.
Member Gatt asked what the reaction would be of the residents if they were to donate money to the Foundation that was created solely to raise funds to bridge the gap and that money was put into the General Fund to be used at the discretion of the City Council.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that there were two sides to that; the monies that the Foundation raised separate of the naming rights policies were off the table. He said they were things the Foundation Board would make decisions on separately. He stated that he didnít know necessarily that the citizens were going to make the major contributions to the naming rights; it would be more likely businesses and not necessarily local businesses, but at the end of the day his experience had been that if you use the money for other than what you pledged it to be, for example, if a local business paid money to maintain a ballpark at Powers Park and the City let the park go to pot, and the Foundation had the money and it was being spent out of the General Fund for snow plowing, what was the incentive for them to put their name on something that was a wreck. He said the money had to have a direct reflection; it needed to go back to the facilities; it needed to reflect on their business. He stated that the Foundation had to always think about that; he said any naming rights they sold, whether for a business or an individual, reflected on the giver. He said if the funds werenít returned back to the facilities where the money was given, they would not have those funds very long. Eventually, businesses would say it was not worth the investment, it didnít reflect well on them, and therefore they would not do it.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that he hoped it was not a consideration of Council to give the money back to the General Fund; if it was, then Council was right, the Parks Foundation should not be involved. He stated that the Foundation would not be interested in raising money for the General Fund; it wasnít created for that purpose. To him, it was a moot point; the Foundation would never get that far. He stated that they didnít necessarily as a Foundation ask for the naming rights; that was something that during the Joint Meeting they talked about and thought was a good idea. He stated that they werenít advocates of it from the very beginning; he argued that maybe they needed to think about it a lot further. He stated that the Foundation had many community leaders that were sitting on the Board right now and they expected that it would get a lot more interested people as time went on. He said it was always the issue; as the money went up, the interest went up. He stated that two or three years from now, if the Foundation had $500,000, City Council would be very interested in it.
Member Gatt asked if he agreed that City Council should have the overview and the final say in any decision that the Foundation would make as far as naming rights or anything else.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that anything that was the property of the City, the final decision-maker should be the City. He said one of the reasons they brought forth the policies from the Park Commission was because they didnít exist. He said they had been doing some of the sponsorship things; they had been doing park naming for many years in the City of Novi without a policy. He stated that the Commission brought the policy forward so that it could be reviewed and there would be a guideline to go on in the future.
Member Gatt asked how many hours his group had met.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered hundreds of hours.
Member Gatt asked, as far as the costs incurred, what kind of money he was talking about right now.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that the Foundationís expenses to date were somewhere in the range of about $800, of which 100 percent had been covered by the initial donations made by two Board members of the Foundation.
Member Gatt asked, as time when on and the monies got larger, then certainly the expenses of raising funds also increased.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that there was an expense to raising funds, and as he had a chance to sit back and reflect and listen to Director Auler, it was not out of the realm of possibility that the Foundation would raise funds from its other endeavors to administer the naming rights policy. He thought it would be extremely unfair to ask an organization to do that 100 percent.
Member Gatt stated that he agreed with him; he stated that he had some experience in raising funds. As a police officer for many years, they hired companies to raise funds for them, and he thought he alluded to that during the Joint Library session last week that for every dollar that the citizens gave to the Novi Police Department, the police officers actually got about 15 cents; the other 85 cents went toward the fundraiser, so there was a large cost involved in raising funds. He was sure that that kind of percentage was what they were talking about; the point was that it cost money to raise money.
Vice Chairman Staudt stated that honestly it would be his goal to give 100 percent back to the City; however, having spent many years doing that, he didnít think it was unrealistic to use 3 or 4 percent of what was raised for direct expenses.
Member Gatt stated that whatever the percentage was, he was only talking about the actual dollar.
Vice Chairman Staudt answered that was correct; right now 3 or 4 percent was not a lot of money. In the future, it could be a considerable sum. He stated that the oversight provided by Council on a regular basis on the naming rights block of business he would expect it to be very serious and very long-term in that there would be an agreement in place that would give the right and responsibilities of Council to dictate the kinds of money spent for the program and what could be removed from it for expenses.
Member Gatt thanked Vice Chairman Staudt and stated that he wanted to make a motion to postpone any further discussion on this until the Foundation in working with the Parks and Recreation Commission could come back with a document that would more properly reflect what Council was proposing tonight; he thought Council had heard the direction from several members and knew the concerns that Council had; he would like to see a document that addressed those concerns.
CM-05-03-090 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION WITHDRAWN: To postpone further discussion until the Foundation, working with Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission, came back with a document that addressed those concerns.
Mayor Csordas stated not until everyone had a chance to talk.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that in the spirit of giving some feedback to the group that put the document together, please accept his comments in that spirit; he believed that was what Council was here for tonight so that perhaps a more specific document could be raised. First of all, keep in mind the context in which the policy was raised. He stated that the City Council recognized the dilemma; everyone recognized the dilemma of shrinking funds for City services. He stated that Vice Chairman Staudt referred to it as a gap; it was clearly a widening gap. He stated that they had to get creative; he stated that City Council requested that the Foundation and the Commission come up with a naming rights policy. He stated that City Council made a lot of requests, and as he recalled, Council requested they come back in 90 days and you did it! He said they were one of the only groups that had done it. He stated that was amazing. He asked them to please donít stop doing what they were doing; please donít be insulted.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he didnít personally think that facilities should ever be commercially named. He stated that Community Sports Park should be Community Sports Park or it should be some former superstar of the City; he didnít think it should be Comerica Sports Park; that was just his opinion. With respect to naming rights, he thought Council had asked the Foundation and the Commission to come up with a policy; the way he would envision it would be for the Foundation, the Commission to do the work, rather than Council get into some huge argument over whether Council was going to name this ballpark this or that; he would rather see, sort of like the Planning Commission where it held a public hearing and then sent a recommendation to Council. He would like to see you do the work and Council have veto power over it; he stated that a lot of people up here said Council should have control. He stated that his view of control was veto power.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that as far as the dollars, he agreed with Member Gatt; he would not ever want to see anybody solicit funds that went into the General Fund; he stated that the reason Council asked them to solicit this was that the City was not in the business of soliciting money from those entities it regulated. He thought the Foundation or Commission should have a very large say over where the money went; he totally supported the outline that Director Auler gave, a donor could make restrictive funds to go to a particular facility or unrestricted funds. He would support a proposal where there was a pool of unrestricted funds and every year, perhaps at budget time when the City Manager and staff came up with recommendations for Parks and Recreation, because you were so successful that there would be hundreds of thousands of dollars in the fund, the City staff would like to ask the Foundation if it could use x amount of the unrestricted funds to waters and ball fields or do something like. He stated that he would rather have it in a pool that Council requested that you use it in this fashion or that fashion.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that ultimately in talking about costs to raise dollars, you werenít talking about raising hundreds of dollars; they were talking about you raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. He wouldnít expect the Foundation to do it on the cheap; he would expect them to be first-class all the way. He would expect the Foundation to hire professional help if it thought it was necessary; anybody who had tried to raise seven figures knew that you couldnít do it without a significant cost. He would fully expect the Foundation to do that or, in his opinion, donít even start down the road. He stated that it wasnít about bake sales; it was about hitting the big hitters for large dollars, because that was the gap that had to be filled. He stated that Member Lorenzo was right; the gap was ever widening, but if weíre going to do it, as the City Manager said, letís do it right.
Member Paul stated that she wanted share some of her concerns about the impact fees and why it was in the document. She understood why the impact fees were in there but that, to her knowledge, was a state-regulated decision; Council could not enforce that or even suggest it. Also, in that same venue, it talked about mainly rapid growth and how you had a tax or a fee involved in selling a new home, but there was also a component which was a real estate resale fee. She stated that the hotel/motel tax, approximately a year ago she brought the idea up and it hadnít really gone anywhere, maybe when you were looking at that you could give some suggestions, and this could come from Parks and Recreation Department or Administration of where Council wanted to go with that. She stated that there were a lot of states around the country that were doing hotel/motel tax and different cities around the state.
Member Paul stated that under naming rights, general principles, it stated that it "wishes" to support; she would just state that the Foundation "supports" the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. She stated that she was looking at several different things for naming rights as a separate whole entity of this Park Foundation. She believed that the Park Foundation was created for all the right reasons, and she thought the statement of the gaps of functionability as a City to have snow plowing, operation fees for cutting grass was extremely important. She stated that the City parks did not shine like other communities; to her it was the jewelry in our City. She stated that the City needed to do a better job because really nice parks and really nice trail systems brought people high quality of life and it helped with the resale of homes, which was the main reason people were here, the schools and resale of homes.
Member Paul stated that for a point of clarification, maybe the City didnít do an administrative fee for the naming rights and leave that separate; she posed that as an idea for you to go back to the committee and ask. She stated if the City didnít have naming rights as part of that, you were not going to have the funds. She stated that you could have the funds but maybe not charge an administrative fee for where the City had its park assets.
Member Paul stated that under guidelines 5.0, 5.6 states "the naming rights the police-regulated businesses, religious and political organizations or companies whose businesses were substantially derived from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography, gambling or lewd and lascivious behavior." She really wanted to spell out what "substantially" might be, because if it was 20 percent of alcohol sales was their revenue, then you might look at TGI Fridays or Red Robin; they were restaurants but had an alcohol component. She wanted to understand where the Foundation would like to go with that component. She stated that Lucky Strike was more of an alcohol sales, so that would be clearly an understanding from her point of view that it would not be something that she would think would represent the youths of the community. She stated that on Attachment A, she wanted to talk about the naming rights. She stated that she didnít have a problem with naming different parks or streets in the parks or soccer fields, baseball fields, flowerbeds. She stated that in Northville, there was a pacifier tree; someone took pacifiers after their kids gave them up and hung them on the tree with little name tags on them; she said there were so many creative ideas.
Member Paul stated that if the Cityís costs were so extreme that it was supporting the General Fund with $700,000, it had nothing to do necessarily with the Foundation. She wanted the Administration to look at where costs should be for programs for the youth and other programs offered. She asked if the City needed to look at that cost enhancement; she knew they made an adjustment when they came here, but if the City was still taking $700,000 out of the General Fund outside of this Foundation and outside of naming rights, maybe the City needed to look at the program costs. She thanked everyone for the hard work; she knew a lot of time was put into it. She stated that maybe they were disappointed that it possibly be postponed, but she thought if Council put in all of the verbiage that it wanted to put in there, she thought they would have even a better document. She wished the Foundation much success; she thought that they would raise millions of dollars with Director Aulerís direction and success in the past.
Member Capello stated that he had no comments.
Member Lorenzo stated that she wanted to clarify that she was never speaking about putting the money into the General Fund; it was always the Parks and Recreation Fund. She just wanted to make that perfectly clear.
Mayor Csordas stated that a statement was made earlier that maybe City Council might not be interested in the Parks Foundation; he believed that City Council was very interested in the Parks Foundation, because frankly they were the doers that came forward with a good idea to support the Cityís parks, and Council thanked them for that. He stated that the motion was made to postpone; that wasnít going to happen, because when Council was done with it, Council would have achieved exactly what it wanted to do, which was to have an open discussion on it. He said that everyone would have their chance. He thought they were getting it done here.
Mayor Csordas stated that Member Lorenzo did clarify that the fundraising, the money that was raised through the Foundation, clearly had to be spent on Parks and Recreation; he thought the benevolent cause that the Foundation had for probably low-income, he was sure it had criteria on that, he was looking at Vice Chairman Staudt but talking to everyone as far as appreciating including Director Auler and people in Parks and Recreation, what they had done; he thought it was a great idea. He stated that Director Auler had talked to him about endowment funds; the numbers he talked about were very impressive and he thought it made a lot of sense. He said there had just been a lot of good stuff going here. He thought that an administrative fee was appropriate and probably necessary; he thought that five percent was probably on the low side and could be doable. He thought that if they raised $100,000, that to do that for $5,000 would be pretty doable and respectable. He said if the target was a $1-million campaign, and he thought they were big thinkers and doers, although it sounded difficult, if you were going to spend $50,000 to raise $1-million, that made a lot of sense to him. He stated that they all knew that fundraising cost money. He stated that the administration fee clearly defined to spend for the benefit of the Foundation just made sense. Funds must be spent to the Parks and Recreation issue; that was clarified.
Mayor Csordas stated that it had afforded him to have the opportunity to speak with some very interesting people in this community that he didnít have the chance to do that before. He stated that, of course, the Providence Hospital Community Sports Park probably would make a lot of sense; he was sure that someone was talking to them already. He thought that the Husky Lakeshore Park might be a good idea; he said he would give them a name for Husky. He thought that the International Transmission Rotary Park was a doable thing, and he would give them the name. He thought that the SBC Novi Ice Arena was doable; he would give them the name. He said people had called and asked about that kind of stuff. He thought the Toll Brothers Picket, whatever park; they had called with an expressed interest on getting involved in the community. He stated that the list went on, and he would give the names of the entities and the people who had asked. He believed they were genuine offers to come forward, and they were looking for opportunities; he said it looked like a great opportunity. He thought it was a great group of people doing a very good cause; it made sense in business, so it would make sense in government. He thought the Tom Holser Ford Park Bench for $50,000 would be a great idea.
Mayor Csordas stated that it was a great discussion and thanked everyone. He asked the City Councilís forgiveness for not postponing it. He thanked them for a great first step; he said they were actually farther along than the first step, and he would do what he could to help and support them.
Member Gatt stated that he would withdraw his motion to postpone; Member Lorenzo as the seconder withdrew her second.
Mr. Helwig asked Council, he thought it was the sense, to ask appropriate individuals and groups to make their corrections so that it could appear on a future agenda for review and adoption.
CM-05-03-091 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize changes to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department Resource Development Plan document and to come back for review and adoption.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-091 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
8. Consideration of Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.193, to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Ordinance 97-18 as amended, for the purpose of adding Section 2523, Unlisted Use Determination, to allow the City Council to determine in which, if any, zoning district a unique or unlisted use belongs. SECOND READING
Mayor Pro Tem Landry wanted to make a correction. He stated that the ordinance was entitled "Unlisted Use Determination" and there was some discussion at the last hearing to put in the phrase in the first paragraph under Section 2523 "no such use may actually exist at some location in the City". If it does, it was not an unlisted use. His concern was that the exception would swallow the rule; Member Capello raised that issue and he was concerned with Grand River. He shared Member Capelloís concerns, and he would like to see something done with Grand River, he just didnít think it should be done in this ordinance. He would like to respectfully ask the maker of the motion to accept a friendly amendment to withdraw that phrase so that the ordinance was limited solely to unlisted uses.
Member Nagy stated that she would accept the amendment.
Member Paul stated that she would also accept the amendment.
Mayor Csordas stated that for clarification, that was the language even though such use may actually exist at some location in the City.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was fine to take it out; it was an attempt again to address that issue. From his perspective, if it was not listed, it may exist; the ordinance was intended to address where it was not specifically called out in language in the ordinance.
Mayor Csordas asked, you mean between a church and a monastery? Saturday discussions were very interesting.
Mr. Schultz stated that the intention was not to change the concept of the ordinance which was still only dealing with uses not in the list of permitted uses in any district.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he respected that intent; he believed that a very sharp lawyer would look at this ordinance with that language and say he could put a gas station wherever he wanted, even though that gas station existed in another B-3 or whatever it was, you say in Section 2523 that he could go to Council and ask Council to agree to it even though it existed somewhere else. He stated that maybe he was wrong, Mr. Schultz, but he was afraid of that, so he would like to avoid it.
Mr. Schultz stated that he was not arguing with that.
CM-05-03-092 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To Approve Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment 18.193, to amend the City of Novi Zoning Ordinance, Ordinance 97-18 as amended, for the purpose of adding Section 2523, Unlisted Use Determination, to allow the City Council to determine in which, if any, zoning district a unique or unlisted use belongs, SECOND READING, as amended to remove language "even though it may actually exist in some location in the city."
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-092 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
9. Approval to award the Spring 2005 Street Tree Planting bid to Crimboli Nursery, Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $109,000.
Member Nagy asked if it was for replacement of the ash trees.
Mr. Helwig answered that 160 of the 400 were replacements for ash trees in order to comply with the Cityís grant reimbursement; that was the way he understood it.
Member Nagy stated that the subdivisions listed and, with all due respect, she thought that Cedar Springs should be one of the subdivisions; she stated that when you went down the street, there was nothing down there. She asked who made the determination for the subdivisions; were they starting at a certain segment of the City. She stated that they were all brand-new subdivisions.
Randy Auler stated that the subdivisions that were listed were trees that the City was required to plant under the previous ordinance; the fund was coming from the escrow account. He stated that they were new subdivisions where the City had to plant the trees or trees that had died under the warranty period. The 160 trees were part of the grant that the City received from the State; they were planting those based on date of removal that they had done with the ash trees. That was how the City was going about that.
Member Nagy asked Steve Printz, City Forester, where the dawn redwood, a deciduous evergreen tree, to be placed.
Mr. Printz answered that they would be placed along streets; they actually performed quite well as street trees.
Member Nagy stated that the Cityís past forester came over to Cranbrook and planted some deciduous evergreens, dawn redwood, and the residents in her subdivision and other subdivisions called and asked if they had dead Christmas trees on the medians, because in the winter they were rather unattractive. She asked if they were going to be right on the street.
Mr. Printz stated that the dawn redwoods would be planted as street trees in particular cases; he stated that certainly the City did not plant all dawn redwoods, but there were a few that would be planted as street trees. He had actually talked to several residents, for example in Chase Farms, who actually were very fond of the dawn redwood trees; they said they performed quite well under stressful conditions.
Member Nagy stated that, with all due respect to the past forester, the trees were now all dead and had never been replaced. She stated that what she was looking for was that those were the trees that had the guarantee and they died; that came out of the Street Fund and it was up to the City to replace those dead trees.
Mr. Printz stated that a lot of the trees if they died within the first year, each replacement had a one-year warranty on it as well. He stated that if that tree died within that one-year warranty, they had another year as well; so, technically, that could extend for quite some time.
Member Nagy stated that she just wanted to make sure that it was not for the emerald ash borer only.
Mr. Printz answered that they were for all the trees.
CM-05-03-093 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award the Spring 2005 Street Tree Planting bid to Crimboli Nursery, Inc., the low bidder, in the amount of $109,000.
Member Capello asked if some of the money was from the past where developers actually posted their bond for the street trees and it was the CityĎs obligation to plant to those trees; that was why they were going in certain subdivisions.
Mr. Printz answered that was correct; that was why the City had specified those particular subdivisions.
Member Paul stated that she had a letter from Ron Fantino, which she forwarded to Mr. Auler. Mr. Fantino had stated that he was very upset that the trees were removed over a year ago and would not be replaced until the fall. He understood that he would need to participate in the cost, but having to wait for the City to ponder what was evident was ludicrous; he asked that she share his comment with Council. She would like an idea of when Council would get more information of the trees that would be replaced.
Mr. Auler stated that the Commission had reviewed a tree replacement proposal and had provided a recommendation on that; they would be preparing a motion sheet and looked to bring that to Council for consideration hopefully in April.
Member Paul asked if that would be like the first part of April.
Mr. Auler stated that it could be the first meeting, yes.
Member Paul stated that she would like to see it move forward so that they could actually look at spring plantings, not just fall.
Mr. Helwig answered that he would like to focus on the budget in April; he had talked with some Council Members and had not had a chance to talk to her because everyone was aware that citizens had been contacted about a partial payment toward tree replacements and so forth, and have that as a standalone policy discussion after they were done with the budget. He thought they would have a clearer understanding of what was in the Tree Fund, what the Cityís obligations were, so coming out of the budget Council would not be focusing on everything facing the City, including the fiscal analysis that had been referred to tonight, and zero-in on the tree matter May/June more. To get that done and to make that operational for a spring planting, he didnít think it could be done well. He stated that it was a significant policy shift for the community in terms of what was coming to you, and he would like to weigh in on it and certainly have Council be able to focus on that with full attention rather than be diverted. He stated that there were a lot of significant issues for Council to deal with in April before it could get to it, in all due respect, if he might suggest that.
Member Paul appreciated that and saw his point; she would like to have Mr. Auler or him respond to Mr. Fantino and explain to him the timeframe and the reasons for it.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-093 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
10. Approval of Change Order No. 1 to Lawrence M. Clarke, Inc. for West Park Drive Water Main Extension Project in the amount of $141,782.85.
CM-05-03-094 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Change Order No. 1 to Lawrence M. Clarke, Inc. for West Park Drive Water Main Extension Project in the amount of $141,782.85.
Member Capello asked if that was the Change Order that started out at $205,000 and was negotiated down to $141,000, and they were not going to do the work until the Change Order was approved.
Mr. Helwig answered that was correct.
Member Capello asked if they would accept the $141,000 and then do the work.
Mr. Helwig answered yes; it was being imposed by Detroit Water and Sewer Department.
Member Capello just wanted to make sure that if Council gave them the $141,000 that they would do the work.
Mr. Helwig answered yes; he said it was farther as you approached Pontiac Trail, just for location, on West Park Drive.
Member Paul stated that it sounded like they were constructing a deep pit on West Park Drive and asked if there was a component that would automatically shift the metering vault information to the DPW department so that they would not have to go on site to check that or was it going to Detroit Sewer or was there nothing like that.
Mr. Helwig stated that she was talking about the reading information.
Member Paul answered that was correct.
Mr. McCusker, Public Works Director, answered that it was a regular metering pit and would in the future be able to hook to the Scada systems; it would be prepped for that. He stated that they didnít have the Scada board right now to read it at the DPW, but in the future they hoped to read all the meters throughout the City in the pumping stations.
Member Paul stated that all the information would be there.
Mr. McCusker answered that it would be hooked to the Scada system, but it would not do just regular reads. It would tell if there was a problem and they would be able to read the culture flows in the future when the City had a real Scada system throughout in all the stations.
Member Paul asked when he hoped for that.
Mr. McCusker answered that they had programmed into the Capital Program $250,000 for a number of years to encompass all those different activities for all the metering facilities they had to read.
Member Paul stated that would be at the City pumping stations.
Mr. McCusker answered yes; PRBís, pumping stations, meter pits.
Member Paul asked how many there were around the City.
Mr. McCusker answered that there were three different metering locations, but then, again, the City also had sewer metering locations throughout the City.
Member Lorenzo stated that after reading the detailed brief history it appeared that the right hand didnít know what the left was doing, in a sense, and she wanted to know why North Haven Wood Subdivision and this project coordinated. She wanted to know whose responsibility it was.
Mr. McCusker answered that part of the problem was the City of Detroit; Detroit had separate contractors that had to do certain activities off their water main, and the City had to wait until they completed their portion of it before the City could do theirs. He said the problem at that point was DíAgostini, who was the Detroit contractor, had numerous delays in the 42 coming off Pontiac Trail. He stated that the positive note on the whole thing was that Detroit changed its standard during the whole process. The Venturian meter cost more than double what the Mag meter does, so initially the City would have paid more money anyway. Because of the delays in the process and Detroit changing its standards, it was actually saving the City money.
Member Lorenzo stated that North Haven Woods Subdivision went in after the initial bid and during this with Detroit water. She stated that somebody here should have been monitoring this.
Mr. Hayes, City Engineer, stated that the project commenced directly after bidding, and the pipeline installation portion of the project progressed just as scheduled and finished that up by the end of 2002. He stated that it was the process of getting shop drawings submitted by the City contractor for the meter involved and getting Detroit Water and Sewer to review and get those approved. He stated there were two different design iterations that JCK had to perform.
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood the delays; her question was in the third paragraph of the brief history, "Clarke began staking for the metering pitís excavation in November 2004, and in the process discovered that site conditions in proximity to the pit location had changed substantially" because of North Haven Woods Subdivision. She asked how the City allowed that to happen.
Member Nagy stated that it said in the report that specifically "site work associated with North Haven Woods Subdivision, which was constructed after contract award, conflicted with the metering pit location."
Member Lorenzo stated that she understood that it was after the contract was awarded, but somebody should have alerted North Haven that the situation was underway.
Mr. McCusker answered that North Haven was always aware that the meter pit was going in and there wasnít a final design or a final size on the pit. He stated that the water main was constructed and a gate belt was put in so that the City could enjoy that piece of the 42-inch main off of Pontiac Trail, our 24.
Member Lorenzo stated that Clarke had to protect or replace sidewalks and landscaping near the pit; the question was why did the City allow sidewalks and landscaping to go near a pit.
Mr. Helwig stated, in his humble opinion since he had run that route many times, it was as tight as you could have it; there was very little room there in the public right-of-way where everything from landscaping, sidewalks. The meter pit was almost right on the road, right now; you could see it as you went back there.
Member Lorenzo stated that the process allowed North Haven Woods Subdivision to put those things in there; she was saying if the City knew the meter pit was going in there, why did the City do it.
Mr. Hayes answered that part of the problem was that based on Detroitís final approved version of this metering vault, they required a much larger vault, widthwise and lengthwise, to include a separate 16-inch bypass pipe that took up a lot more room than what the City had originally encountered. He stated that the City didnít know what the final design version was from Detroit until October of 2004.
Member Lorenzo stated that he was saying that it required a larger area and by the time that was known, they had already put the sidewalk in; originally, the City thought there would be enough room between a sidewalk and the pit, was that it.
Mr. Hayes answered yes.
Mr. McCusker stated that if you looked at the original drawings, the City was actually in the storm drain system down off the road, it was an open ditch down there, and the City thought it would all fit. He stated that when the final design came in, it was not even close.
Member Lorenzo stated that was because of design changes that were made.
Mr. McCusker answered that it was because of the design changes in the vault and the design changes in the type of meter that was going in.
Member Lorenzo stated that was Detroit Waterís call?
Mr. McCusker answered that was correct.
Member Lorenzo stated that was all she wanted to know.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-094 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Paul, Csordas, Landry,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
F. Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by a City employee Ė Csordas
In looking at the form, Mayor Csordas asked if the Cityís policy was to award services for the generic thing.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox, Human Resources Director, answered that generic would be if they did not work for another municipality; she was not quite sure why generic was chosen on this because he did actually work for another municipality.
Mayor Csordas asked if they talked about that before and thought that it did not make a lot of sense; it actually was like if you didnít work anywhere, you could buy the generic time.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox stated that Councilís direction was if an employee had worked somewhere for at least a year, she believed, fulltime, that they could purchase the generic time.
Mayor Csordas stated that he saw 11 months and asked what the thought process behind that was.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that he worked with his previous employer for 11 months, so he could not have purchased, because he did call her back when Council made its decision and ask if he could purchase more than the time he actually worked, and she indicated that he could not. He purchased as much as he could.
Mayor Csordas stated that the total actuarial cost there would be paid by the employee.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that was correct; the employee would pay that.
Mayor Csordas asked what the upshot of that was.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that he would put 11 months towards his time when he could retire, so he could retire supposedly 11 months earlier with the formula.
Member Capello asked in the form where it said total actuarial costs and additional credit and services, down in that paragraph, it stated that "the employer shares the balance of the actuarial costs not paid by the member". He asked if there were any costs to the employer here.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered no; the employee picked up the total cost of what the cost was to purchase those months in this case.
Member Capello stated that where it said "for example, results in an employer contribution of 583" does not apply.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that she believed it did not; the City was not responsible for any costs for purchasing the years of service.
Member Capello stated that was what he thought; he was not picking on this particular applicant. He just wanted to make sure it was consistent with the Cityís policy.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox answered that it was consistent with the Cityís policy.
CM-05-03-095 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by a City employee.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-095 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Schedule Main Street Rezoning Committee Meeting Ė Member Capello
Member Capello stated that a couple of years ago, Council established the Town Centre Rezoning Committee and the Committee was waiting until some activity happened over on Main Street before they actually had any meetings. He understood now there were some plans that were being brought to the City; he thought it was time for that Committee to meet. He would like Administration after Easter Break to schedule a meeting for the Committee.
Mr. Helwig stated that he received information today from the new owner of property on Main Street; Administration would be distributing that to Council. He had not had a chance to review it or get familiar with it, but would send that out Thursday and would then like to see how Council wished to proceed. He stated that if he could list that under Managerís Report for the next City Council meeting, Council would have a chance to look at that. He stated that it was still somewhat conceptual but it was a little more real than it had been; he stated Council may or may not wish to proceed with the Committee. He stated that Council might wish, in fact the attorney representing that group contacted him in January and wanted Council to have a two-hour work session on that as a City Council in January. He stated that he told him absolutely not, that City Council had all kinds of things scheduled, plus give some background material that Council could review and could transcend a lot of extra meeting time and so forth. That finally was delivered; he wanted to give Council time to look at that and decide how to proceed.
Member Capello stated that he would rather have sat down with the developer before he ever put a pen to paper to share some ideas, because they really came up with that Committee because they wanted to change some of the problems that they had on Main Street; the further along they got, the more difficult it would be make ordinance and zoning changes that Council really wanted to change. He would rather meet as soon as they could before the process got too far down the site plan approval process.
Mr. Helwig stated that it was strictly concept now; they had not made a formal application.
Member Capello stated that was why he would rather meet at the concept stage than when they got into the formal application stage.
Mr. Helwig asked how about if Administration listed it in two weeks and got Councilís direction, was that fair? Under Managerís Report.
Member Capello answered no; he would rather get a meeting scheduled in two weeks with the Committee and let the Committee get together.
Mr. Helwig stated that he needed a majority of Council to tell him, because he had not had that sense of direction from Council in the past.
Member Capello stated that he kept bringing it up, and the Committee, as he understood it, had been waiting for Mr. Helwig to say they had somebody that was talking about doing something on Main Street. Now he was told that they had been talking to him for the last couple of months; he would have been involved in January.
CM-05-03-096 Moved by Capello; MOTION DIES FOR LACK OF SECOND: That the Committee get together a week or so after Council was back from Easter to have a Committee meeting.
Member Nagy asked for clarification as to who was on the Committee.
Mr. Helwig stated that with all due respect, he had not had one conversation with him. He took issue when an attorney called and asked for two hours of Councilís time without one piece of information.
Member Capello stated that he was not talking about a proposal, a site plan approval or a work session; he was talking about their Rezoning Committee that was formed two years ago getting together and talking about looking at the Town Centre Ordinance.
A brief discussion followed as to what committee was formed two years ago and who was on it.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to find out who was on the Committee, when it was formed, whether it was sunsetted and give Council some clarity; if he could come back to the next meeting and let Council know, they would talk about it again and go from there.
Mr. Helwig stated he would do that.
Member Capello commented that he had never in all of his years in City government had to have a vote from a body to schedule a committee meeting on a committee that he was on; that was absurd. When you were on a committee and wanted to have a committee meeting, you scheduled a meeting; you didnít go back to the body and ask if you could schedule it.
2. DDA Discussion Ė Member Capello
Member Capello stated that a while back Council asked for information to see what the process was and the benefits of creating a DDA and the four quadrants of Grand River and Novi Road. He stated that last week in the off-week packet, Council received a packet from the City Attorney outlining the benefits of a DDA, the benefits to the district and the process to move forward. He stated that Town Center was looking at revamping and adding some additional sites to their area; there was somebody coming in on Main Street; the Expo would be moving, so something would be happening in that quadrant, and no word had come forward in regard to what was going to happen at Fendt. He thought Council needed to be proactive and look at what it took to create a DDA in that district, what benefits to the district and what benefits to the community at large. In accordance with the documents that Council had received from Administration, it seemed that the first thing to do was just to pass a resolution of intent to create a DDA, which then brought information back to Council, at that point in time Council could begin to discuss the boundaries of the DDA, somewhat what Council wanted to accomplish within the DDA and by creating the DDA and moving to the next step. He thought they needed to pass the resolution of intent before Council could take the next step forward.
Mr. Schultz stated that the resolution of intent typically had some elements in it from the statute that were laid out in writing; he didnít know whether the motion might be better to direct a resolution to be prepared for consideration.
Member Capello stated that was what he was going to do.
CM-05-03-097 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; MOTION FAILED: To have Administration with the assistance of the City Attorney come back to Council with a resolution of intent to create the DDA, including in that resolution the language which the City Attorney had suggested in his last report to Council dated March 8, 2005.
Member Lorenzo asked if that was Mr. Sherbeckís question, and the Mayor said no, that Council would not be considering a DDA.
Mayor Csordas stated not that he was aware at that time.
Member Lorenzo stated that she could not support that; she didnít even know how Council could even talk about a DDA. Once again, which she mentioned when Council talked about goals, which basically diverted money from the General Fund and put it back in an area, she didnít know how Council could be talking about that when she just discussed this evening the fiscal impact analysis which said as of next year the City would lose at least a quarter of a mil in the City and in 10 years possibly up to 3 mils. She asked how Council could be discussing diverting money from the taxpayersí City services to a business area. She stated that she could not support it.
Member Paul stated that she appreciated both Membersí comments, but after hearing that a foundation had just put hundreds of hours in to basically bridge the gap between operating expenses of City parks, that was just one little area of need. The City had police that needed to be hired, vehicles that were in dire need of repair. She would not be in support of a tax increase or in diverting taxes from the General Fund.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that if the City was going to develop Main Street, it might take a DDA to do that. He stated that as he understood what was being proposed tonight, it was to just draft a resolution to begin the process to investigate a DDA. He stated Council was not voting on the DDA tonight; they didnít know how much dollars would be diverted; Council didnít know any of that. It was his understanding that they were just looking into the issue, and he didnít think Council should close any doors before they knew all the facts about what was behind the doors. He didnít think it was a simple as saying a DDA would automatically take dollars away, so it was bad for the City. He stated that a DDA didnít have to capture all the dollars; it could capture less than all of the dollars. To him it was worth sitting down and simply looking into it; Council was not voting on it tonight. He would be in support of looking into it.
Member Nagy stated that she was always in support of looking into something, but with all due respect you can get on the internet and get a lot of information on your own. She stated that she wouldnít want to see, since we were at the point where we were going to do the budget, they were trying to save money, not spend money. She would not be supporting this.
Member Gatt stated that he agreed with Member Landryís comment to just look into it; Council was not voting on any issue at this time.
Member Capello stated that those who had spoken against the DDA tonight were those who had the least amount of knowledge of a DDA and the benefits to the City of a DDA; maybe those were the people who should get on the internet to find out what was going on. He stated that there were several different types of financing through the DDAís. The tax capture process, as he understood it, only captured the increase in the taxes which were created after the DDA was created. By creating the DDA, Council would create additional tax dollars that were not there today; those tax dollars would go back into the district, which created more money. He stated that it increased the Cityís tax base. That was only one method; there were several different methods. All that he was saying was that there might be additional tax dollars there; the City might be able to generate additional development which created additional revenue without taxing the citizens.
Member Lorenzo stated that she sat here in 1997 as a Council Member. It was in 1999 that the Council that she was a part of, discussed very detailed DDA; they did not go forward with it. With all due respect, she knew a lot about DDAís. She knew the typical way of doing it was to capture the tax dollars. She stated that the fiscal analysis projected that the City needed those tax dollars; so if that area was going to grow, the City needed that growth for the General Fund. She stated that they were counting on that growth; if they didnít have that growth, the City wouldnít even have the projections that were made in the fiscal analysis. She stated that the City couldnít afford to not get that money in the General Fund; by the same token, by probably next November, Council would be going to the taxpayers to ask them to continue to pay 10.54 mils. All of the Cityís taxes were going down by a projection of almost a quarter of a mil. Her suggestion was to tread very carefully when dealing with the taxpayers in the City. She didnít want to see City services cut and employees eliminated because Council was too greedy in what they were asking the taxpayers. She stated that sometimes it was the arrogance and greed of government that got them into positions that weíre looking at in other cities because they asked for too much.
Mayor Csordas stated that he didnít see a real problem of at least researching it to see the pros and cons of what it may or may not generate from the City. He agreed with the comments from many of the previous speakers but that should not take Council at least away from at least reviewing opportunities for the City. He stated that was really all it was; there was no action going to be made. It could come back and make absolutely no sense to a majority of Council and nothing would go forward anyway. It could be an opportunity to enhance the value and maybe the taxes overall of the City. Letís see if it benefited the City; if it didnít benefit the City, a majority of the Council would not support it. He asked Mr. Schultz and Mr. Helwig how much time would have to be expended to develop something like that.
Mr. Helwig answered that it could be done in an hour, prepare the resolution to declare the intent to create. He thought it was worthy of a very detailed City Council policy discussion before any of us were sent over the hill to bring something back that may or may not achieve the results that you desired to achieve. Everyone wanted the community to prosper; that was the unifying theme here and there was a lot at stake. He stated that setting the policy of where you wanted to go was extremely important. He stated that the City was getting inundated with requests, and they wanted to be responsive, but some things had to come to a close; they needed time to get organized. He stated that they didnít even have, as far as appropriating money, five Members of Council adopt the goals. He stated that was very distressing to him, and it didnít speak well for where they were going through the budget process or beyond. He wanted to see that get unified before the City took on something of that magnitude.
Roll Call Vote on CM-05-03-097 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,
3. Library Board Follow Up Ė Member Paul
Member Paul stated that when Council had its Library Board discussion she was hoping that they would have an hourís worth of discussion; it was very limited with the presentation that they had which was very well done. She wanted to have a follow-up comment. She stated that the school relationship with the City was impeccable and she didnít want that to be demeaned in any way. When she spoke of just getting an answer for the Library Board, what the Library Board shared with Council was that they had presented a proposal to the School Board. When she spoke with some members who were employed by the Novi City School District and also with some people in the community, that was not in fact what they understood. What she would like, she didnít want to paint any picture of the Board or the School being misrepresented, to have whatever the documentation that was presented to the School Board: what, when, how it was submitted to the School Board from the Library Board. She stated that would be very helpful to her.
Mayor Csordas asked if she was talking about the discussions about a land swap.
Member Paul answered yes. She stated that clearly the seven members of the Library Board made reference that there was a serious proposal that was submitted and that they were waiting for the information and that was what was holding them up in their fundraising. She wanted to make very clear to the taxpayers that she would like to see all $3-million collected from the Library Board. That would mean that the Library would have $3-million that they would go to the taxpayers with; that would then be decided by the voters what we would do with the Library. She would appreciate your help whenever you got a moment to do that.
Mr. Helwig stated that was a very important point because the City was by some asked to get involved to try to facilitate an answer from the School Board for the Library Board. He asked the Library Director following the meeting that he would be more than happy to help; they worked very closely with Dr. Lippe and everyone else. She stated that the ball was in the Library Boardís court to submit the final firm proposal and that they were going to work on it that night in the meeting following the Joint Meeting. He was out of town Thursday and Friday and asked her to give him a call today if he could be of assistance because he felt that was the spirit, as expressed by Member Paul. He hadnít heard from her, so he didnít know what the Board did following the Joint Meeting.
Mayor Csordas stated that the ball was in their court; he didnít know that he needed to go chasing after them for something.
Member Nagy stated that she appreciated the documentation that was provided to them at the meeting; she would have preferred to have had it to read, because there was not much discussion. She stated that she was a little disappointed that they were eight and one-half months away from the goal and so little had been raised; only $10,000 had been raised. She thought it would be nice to receive quarterly reports regarding the updates of how much funding was raised. She concurred with Mr. Helwig; she did think it was in the Library Boardís court to give information to Council.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he thought the Library Board would be more than happy to report to Council on the status of this; he just wanted to indicate that he thought the Library Board was the only board that had raised seven figures, with all due respect to the Parks Foundation; the Library Board raised $1-million and now we were criticizing them because they didnít raise more money than $1-million.
Member Lorenzo stated that with all due respect, it was her understanding that money was offered to the Library without solicitation. She did think it was important, the talking about raising of funds, for the same reason she had just talked about not having a DDA. She thought that if more of an effort was not undertaken by the Library Board, she thought the Library board ran the risk of a credibility problem with the taxpayers.
4. Vehicles Ė Member Lorenzo
Brian Burke, Parks and Recreation Commission, stated that he and Chris Quick, a DPW mechanic at a DPW yard, both had some stories about the vehicles. He stated that they shared the same theme that the fleet was in pretty sad state ad it was a pretty bad image, and there were some safety concerns. He stated that the Commission had recognized the need for vehicles and put forth the proposal for some funds to be allocated to get some vehicles in this upcoming budget. He noticed that in the 2004-2005 budget that the Parks and Recreation were slated to get two vehicles replaced, and that was not on the plan but was recognized that those vehicles did need to be replaced. His suggestion was that if they understood that they were going to have to replace some vehicles and can take advantage of some historic government price concessions that were available right now through Ford to the tune of $7,000, where they had acknowledged that the replacement cost on one of the GMCís to be $27,000 and could now get it for $24,400 and one that was slated to be replaced at $30,000 they could get down to $20,729. Again, some historic price concessions that he would like to ask that Council amend the existing budget so they could take advantage of the price concessions while they were available. They would not be available on a 2006 model year; there would probably be some concession but they didnít know what that dollar amount was. The cutoff for ordering the vehicles, if they were to wait for the budget to be approved and get the funds to order the vehicles, was April 1st.
Member Paul wanted to thank Mr. Burke; that was something that she was not aware of; she appreciated his expertise of how the City could actually save some serious money and would like to make a motion that Council have a special meeting this Monday very briefly to just look at the vehicles; otherwise, the opportunity to save $7,000 for vehicles was gone. She asked if Mr. Helwig wanted to weigh in on that; it was something that was a big tax savings that maybe the City could even afford another vehicle.
Mr. Helwig stated that certainly a special meeting was possible if that was the wish of Council; Ms. Smith-Roy, Director of Finance, had been working with the budget and the matter had come up and he thought she had some perspective that could be shared at this point.
Ms. Smith-Roy stated that they had done some research with regard to the lease purchase option, which she understood this was a different issue; this was a purchase issue. She guessed, in general, she had some concerns; the City hadnít budgeted the money yet. They could do a special meeting; she would like the opportunity for the City to look at other available government contracts that the City had through other purchasing options. She didnít know that they had looked at the very specific models that were quoted, so she would be a little bit leery about making a recommendation that quickly. She stated that they could probably come back with information by Thursdayís packet, but she would leave it to Councilís discretion, but it was very unusual.
Member Paul stated that she understood that it was very unusual and it would never be something that she would bring in this manner, but when someone said the City could save $7,000 per vehicle and April 1st was the cutoff and the next meeting was April 4th, there was a problem. So she wanted to present it to Council and she would be very interested to hear other programs. She asked if there was a possibility that if Council had the information in the Thursday packet that they could research it and decide if the City actually would look into the program.
Mr. Helwig stated that it was late and he wanted to cut through the chase; it sounded like a going out-of-business sale or something; he was very hesitant to go there. He stated that Administration was bringing to Council in 10 days their comprehensive budget proposal, and there were a lot of vehicles in there because they had not done that in the time he had been here. It was a City Council-adopted goal, by four of you, and he would like to go through a more deliberate process, with all due respect, he was sure Mr. Burke had the best interests of the City in mind, but he found it a little out of the ordinary in terms of how the City should be doing business for what would be a much larger set of decisions than a couple of vehicles.
Mayor Csordas stated that he agreed with that; he didnít see any reason to rush to judgment on that. He would be very interested to see the budget and the capital improvements program; he had sat through this would be six budget sessions, the previous five had been very sparse on vehicles. He stated that they had done what they could and the vehicles could be getting old but he wanted to see a formulated plan and see what the departments recommend; if they missed the opportunity, they appreciated it.
Member Nagy wanted to thank Member Burke and Member Paul for sharing this information, but she was going to listen to the Finance Director.
Member Burke stated that he wanted to comment; he didnít mean to make it come off like it was a fire sale and we had to do it right now. He said there would be government price concessions from now until the cows come home; it was actually, he sat down with Matt in the Parks and Recreation Department and figured out not what they wanted but what they actually needed and put forth a complete quotation, so it wasnít just some numbers that were picked at random. He didnít necessarily come before Council to say it was a now or never issue, because there would be government price concessions throughout the year and coming years.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would allow Member Paul to have the opportunity to make the motion and then they could look for a second and continue discussion.
Member Paul stated that she actually did and no one supported it.
Member Lorenzo stated that she agreed with many of the previous comments; she certainly appreciated the spirit in which Member Paul brought it to Councilís attention and the best of intentions of Mr. Burke, but she thought they needed to work through the process.
5. Stopinski Drainage Concerns Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo stated that her concerns were that, since apparently there were no engineering or other drawings of the improvements that took place at the park, particularly last year, and there appeared to be no before or after comparisons for Council to look at in terms of drawings, she was concerned that the elevation information that Council received on March 16th in the latest memo was not current; that it came from Oakland County numbers that were done perhaps several years ago. She stated that she didnít feel she had enough information to come to a conclusion of whether or not the park improvements were contributing to the Stopinskisí drainage issue. She guessed in the future she would appreciate that if the City was going to do park improvements that were adjacent to residential lots or actually any lots that the City did some type of engineering and drawings so that they a) have record of it, b) that the City knew from an engineer as to what impact might be going on out there by virtue that you do one thing and sometimes it affects another. She asked if the City had an engineer on staff that could shoot at current elevations; she knew that there were four engineers on staff, if she recalled. It was something she brought up when either the City engineer was either going to be replaced or the construction engineer, she said letís get an engineer on board who could do more than just a couple of things. She asked if the City had one who could do that.
Mr. Helwig stated that the City didnít have the equipment to do that; the City did no surveying of its own. The four City engineers were full to the gills with what they were doing; he would like Mr. McCusker to comment on the matter.
Member Lorenzo stated that her concern was that without drawings, without knowing exactly what the improvements were, without current and present and past elevations, she couldnít come to any conclusions.
Mr. McCusker stated that his crews did have a laser level and did shoot the grades off existing grades; there was a set of drawings that was supplied by Giffels for the entrance to the park, and they shot all those grades off those grades. The activity they did behind the houses in question was maintenance; they did nothing other than maintenance. They took a ditch that was filled with debris and cleaned the ditch. Unfortunately, Mr. Stopinskiís yard had a depression in it that was lower than his fence line and the ground was frozen; weíve had a real winter and two feet of frost and what happened was during that rain in the pictures you saw were taken on the 14th and 15th and we got an inch and a quarter of rain on top of frozen ground; literally the water cannot sink into the ground at that point; it runs to where it can. The temperature changed the next day 28 degrees in nine hours; it froze against his back fence line. Literally he has a depression in his yard that was lower than his fence line and that was where the water was migrating to and sitting. They did take elevation shots with the laser level off all the existing structures that they knew had been there and off Giffels drawing, going into the front entrance. The improvements in the park itself, they shot those grades off the drainage system that was on South Lake off Giffels drawings. He stated that when his guys did drainage improvements, they shot their own grades and had a laser level to do it.
Mr. Helwig asked Mr. McCusker if the water in his back rear yard depression was coming from his front yard and not the drainage ditch.
Mr. McCusker answered that was right; it was coming across his property and migrating in a depression in his yard. The ditch was lower than his yard.
Mr. Helwig stated that his conclusion was that they were done with this matter; it was not the Cityís business to go on private property. The City had finally got around to cleaning out a drainage ditch and scrub vegetation, that created conflict; it removed some privacy and they planted a lot of trees to counterbalance that and, respectfully unless Council wanted to spend more time on it, it was time to move on.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would buy that.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 11:33 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: April 4, 2005