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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Landry called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Landry, Mayor Pro Tem Capello-absent/excused, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul-absent/excused.
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Barbara Mc Beth, Director of Planning
Rob Hayes, Director of Engineering
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-02-036 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Member Mutch removed Item #1 of Mayor and Council Issues.
INTERVIEWS FOR BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
1. Bonita Trush Ė Library Board
Ms. Trush, a long time resident of Novi, stated she was a business coach by profession. She applied for this position because she had been inspired at a Novi Newcomer event and changes at the library. She said from a professional standpoint, said she strategizes a lot with her clients, and felt it would be a valuable skill to add to the board as they have a lot of decisions to make about when and where to move forward, what happens with changes to the library, etc. She was applied for this position because she wanted to give back to the community.
Member Margolis commented she remembered her from the Novi Newcomer event and she noted that Ms. Trush has an MBA from Wayne State. She said the Library Board is unique as it is a governing board not just an advisory board, and has final responsibility for the library budget, hiring, and review of the director. She asked what in her background qualified her for this type of board.
Ms. Trush said in the corporate world, before she started her own business which is going on its sixth year; she was in charge of budgets at all levels and profit and loss responsibility for an airport. The airport was run by Host Marriott and she was an executive branch director for that position, and was routinely asked to be accountable for budgets, and to work with other departments to see how their budgets all fit. She had done a lot of different board work, more informal than not, with the University of Michigan Dearborn Campus, and she was on their alumni association. She knows there are policies and procedures that have to be followed. She said regarding review, that was pretty much her life in management. She said, on a rotation, they reviewed their associates, and their associates reviewed them. In her business it is process improvement, going for the win win, and where and when it made sense. She routinely strategized and did for 20 years before she started her own business.
Member Gatt asked how she would answer the skeptic who says that libraries are a thing of the past because of the internet. Ms. Trush said she did a lot of the educating of her children through the library, and her children are four years old and already using the internet. However, the spoken and written word is power. She said what her son has gotten from the library far exceeds what he could have ever gotten from the internet. She thought the internet would always be supplemental, and would never be a replacement for the library. Her answer would be that it is not a very informed statement to be making.
Member Mutch asked, over the next five years, what services the library is offering or could be offering would she see as a priority to meeting the needs of the community.
Ms. Trush said she has been involved in many of the extra programs such as the Snack Tales reading program, the buddy system, etc. She thought the library was aware that they are serving a young community. For instance, Northville has a lot of programs geared toward their population which is overall older. We need to grow and evolve just as any organization does. In five years we might be looking at a different scenario. This is a large community of children, and we have to watch as programs evolve. Also, we are an aging population and their needs have to be met. She thought the library had done a great job of asking the community what they want so far.
Member Nagy said there were a couple of issues on the ballot, regarding the library, several years ago that failed. Then the Walkers approached the City and were generous enough to offer a million dollars, we were supposed to match that, and then they would donate another million. Since it is the responsibility of the board to do the fundraising, she asked if she had any experience raising funds of this magnitude.
Ms. Trush said, of this magnitude, not formally. However, when the alumni group for Dearborn formed they had to start an endowment, and had to raise $500,000 in a year. She said they did it, and learned a lot from professional fundraisers who volunteered their time. As far as raising funds and doing events, she has been in charge of a lot of those, and had a lot of connections because of her clients. She felt that fundraising had to start in the private sector, because she understood that there are limitations because of the competing need for resources. She saw it all the time with her clients. She said they would have to figure out a way to get aggressive in the private sector, and repair whatever happened previously. She said when the Council felt ready to move forward together with the library, then they could go forward and ask the people. However, first we have to look internally and see what we can do.
Mayor Landry asked if she could add or change one thing about the Novi Library what would it be.
Ms. Trush said she knew it was hard to get meeting space at the library, and she has clients that would actually pay for meeting space. She said she would add a meeting room that would create revenue for the library, because the goal is to be self supporting.
2. Sandy McCarthy Ė Library Board Ė Not present
3. Larry Kilgore Ė Library Board
Mr. Kilgore said he is 53 years old, married 25 years, and has a son and two daughters who are all off to college. He is now an empty nester, and it is time for him to reengage himself and get back on boards and commissions as well. His last board experience was as a young man, a building, information, and referral agency in the Wyandotte area. They started off small doing car washes, etc., then to grants and private fundraising. The agency went from a budget of zero up to just over $2 million by the time he left. He is a real estate lawyer and had his own firm in Birmingham for a number of years. For the past eight years he has worked as general counsel at Singh Development Company, and is aware of the activities that go on in Novi through his professional life. Mr. Kilgore has lived in Novi for six months.
Member Nagy asked if he had any experience raising funds.
Mr. Kilgore said at the agency the fundraising was being done primarily by the executive director for the first several years. They decided that it would be beneficial to engage the board in this activity as well. They composed a group that would do it willing, and they went out and got some good training for it. Once the training was complete, it became a lot more fun and it was neat to make up a list, go out and ask for the money, and actually get it. Member Nagy asked if he was aware that was the function of the board. Mr. Kilgore thought it was a very important board function, and if charged with the responsibility of fundraising then it would be smart to let incoming people know, because not everyone is willing to do fundraising.
Member Mutch asked, over the next five years, what services the library is offering or could be offering would he see as a priority to meeting the needs of the community.
Mr. Kilgore said he wasnít familiar with what the library is and isnít doing. One thing he said he saw in the community is that we have an elderly population, and a City independent living facility as well as others. He said a lot of these people are avid readers, transportation back and forth and organized times for seniors to use the library would be very beneficial. It would keep them engaged and reading, which would be good for them.
Member Gatt said with his background in management, business, and being an attorney, why does he want to be on the Library Board.
Mr. Kilgore said because there is a building project coming up and that is what he likes to do. Secondly, his good friend Mark Sturing is on the board and recommended it to him.
Member Margolis said the Library Board is the only board or commission Council appoints that is a governing board. They have final responsibility for the library budget, hiring and review of the director. She asked what in his background qualified him for those kinds of responsibilities on the Library Board.
Mr. Kilgore thought his law background brought a certain skill in dispute resolution, and a skill in decision making. He said they have to evaluate peopleís troubles, problems, and businesses all the time. He said when in private practice he was lucky enough to represent a lot of developers, in town and had interesting problems to solve and interesting decisions to both make and help people with. He said he would like the challenge.
Mayor Landry commented he really wanted to commend Mr. Kilgore for stepping forward after being a resident for six months. He thought that was excellent, and Council wanted to encourage everyone in this town to step forward and do their part for the City. Mayor Landry said he was impressed that Mr. Kilgore would want to step forward, and give back to the community. He thanked him for his honest, straight forward and very insightful answers.
4. Larry Czekaj Ė Library Board
Mr. Czekaj said he has been a proud resident of Novi for almost 18 years, and has been involved in the past and present with City commissions. He has been on the EDC Committee, and since 1993 or 94 he has been involved with the Novi Building Authority under which they undertook two projects, the Novi Ice Arena and Meadowbrook Commons Senior Center. Mr. Czekaj said he has spent a fair amount of time before Council for his homeowners association for various interests. He said he has three children in the Novi Schools two of which are in the high school, and has spent a fair amount of time in the library in the schools and the public library. He commented he has an elementary school student, and hopefully the decisions made today by the Library Board and Council relative to library services will be useful to his older children as well as his youngest child. He has spent a fair amount of time in libraries but probably not as much time in the Novi Library as he has in the college undergraduate, graduate, law libraries, and certainly had a sense of what it is like to have services available to him. His interests are somewhat diverse. However, his main interest in getting involved is that he sees the library at a crossroad with the well publicized fundraising efforts to do something for the existing Library, whether expansion or a new library. He thought the library has its own place in the community. A community of this stature should have a library and library services that are commensurate with the community and what the community stands for, which is learning, education and family. He looks at the library as a place of knowledge and learning, and it is a process that should and does evolve. In 15 years will there be PCís in the library as a strong point of the library or will it be an arts and cultural type programs. It is more of a meeting place for people to gather. He thought a library could offer a lot more to a lot more people than just coming in and checking out books, CDís or videos.
Member Gatt said Mr. Czekaj had answered his questions in his opening remarks. He thanked him for applying and said he supported his endeavor. Member Gatt thought Mr. Czekaj "nailed it" regarding what a library is, and what it will be in the future.
Member Mutch asked, over the next five years, what services the library is offering or could be offering would he see as a priority to meeting the needs of the community.
Mr. Czekaj said without having a good sense of what the administration at the library has, he was confident that they had a good pulse, and good sense of what the community needs are today. He hoped that the main focus would be to stay on the cutting edge and anticipate what those needs are. He said, from a personal perspective, the one thing he found lacking was a place for the pre-school age children. There are a lot of activities for them in a small compact location. He said there is a maturation process that is not quite there. He said he grew up in Dearborn, and used the Henry Ford Centennial Library. It was a wonderful place to go, and also a social environment. He hoped the high school and college age students would have that kind of environment in the Novi Library.
Member Margolis said it was wonderful to have such high quality people come forward to be on the Library Board. She said the Library Board is unique as it is a governing board not just an advisory board, and has final responsibility for the library budget, hiring and review of the director. She asked what in his background qualified him for that type of board.
Mr. Czekaj said he would look to his experience, presently, with the Novi Building Authority. He noted from a budgetary standpoint there has been a lot of involvement there. However, more importantly his undergraduate degree is in business, and he is a member of the bar. He said he spends his time as a business and reorganization attorney. He spends his time with troubled businesses, which he enjoys immensely. He said that involves someone not having enough income to cover their expenses or if they do they are shortly down the road to some kind of calamity, disaster or hiccup. He spends from 9 to 5 looking and talking about numbers and evaluating which way is the best way to go. One common theme he found in his business is most people do a good job of recognizing they have a problem, but they are somewhat blinded or afraid to recognize what the problem is. What he means by that is when looking at a company or organization, to really get to the heart of it, you have to take it apart bolt by bolt and nut by nut. He said nothing is sacred and everything has to be looked at from A to Z. Most people have blinders on certain sections of certain budgets, and you learn how to get through that as reasonably, rationally, and as practically as possible. He thought that with that mind set it would be a wonderful challenge, and one that he is certainly up to handle.
Mayor Landry asked him where he went to law school. Mr. Czekaj said he, also, is a member of the Detroit University. However, at that point it was known as the University of Detroit School of Law as opposed to University of Detroit Mercy.
Member Nagy said she appreciated him coming out, and was very impressed with the people here this evening. She was out ill but did watch the last interview session, and thought some very good ideas and suggestions made. She said he must know the history of the library, and that there were a couple of issues on the ballot, regarding the library several years ago, that failed. Then the Walkers approached the City and were generous enough to offer a million dollars, and we were supposed to match that, and they would donate another million. Since it is the responsibility of the board to do the fundraising, she asked if he had any experience raising funds of this magnitude.
Mr. Czekaj said he has, but not the type that Council was looking for. He said he goes the spectrum that he has been a wonderful fundraiser for the Little League Baseball, Hockey, Soccer, etc. On the other spectrum, he has been actively involved and ran campaigns for the United Way, and currently for the March of Dimes for various employers. Heís had his hand in political campaigns to raise and collect money, but as to a fundraising vehicle like the library board is presently involved in, heís never been involved in that type of endeavor. He thought it was a wonderful idea and he hoped it continued. However, from his perspective, a new library will not be built on fundraising efforts. He thought fundraising was needed, brought attention to the cause, and was a tool that served the purpose well. However, he felt to anticipate a $10 to $15 million project, the main focal point is to somehow package the program so that people get on board to ultimately support a bond millage. He thought it was needed and would be good for many reasons such as property values, family, etc. He thought it had to be something people could cherish and be passionate about. He suggested looking away from the books, because he has spent a lot of time in the library but it wasnít all happy time, and people tend to think of a library that way. He said it can be such a vehicle. It can be a catalyst and a meeting place, and something much, much more than just books. It is where your imagination can take us and hopefully, with that type of a mind set, and if the voting public can get behind it, itís going to take off.
Mayor Landry thanked Mr. Czekaj for coming forward. He thought his experience on the Building Authority could be invaluable to the Library in the stage that they are at right now.
5. Moira Robinson Ė Beautification Commission Ė Not present
1. Recognition of Novi Fire Chief Art Lenaghan for 28 years of service
Mayor Landry introduced Senator Nancy Cassis to make this presentation. Speaker of the House DeRoche was also present.
Senator Cassis said she first met this exemplary man when she was running for Council the first time more than 20 years ago. She remembered those days when some of them were looking at how they could assist the City and its Fire Department to become as efficient and financially independent as possible. She said they visited Troy and Livonia and the Fire Chiefs there had nothing but the highest praise for Noviís Fire Chief. She said Chief Lenaghan came from Livonia and they were sad to lose him. She said everywhere she went and met a Fire Chief they all knew the reputation of Arthur Lenaghan. Senator Cassis said over the 28 years in Novi, and 47 years in all of service. He has watched this tiny community grow into the exemplary first class community and City it is today. All the while, this Chief, has been a very humble man, as you all know, and she was sure that right now he was most uncomfortable.
Senator Cassis said she and Speaker of the House DeRoche are here tonight to tell him that the State of Michigan as well as the County of Oakland, and the people of the City of Novi owe him the greatest debt of gratitude for his many years of outstanding service. He has made our Fire Department par none. All the people he has worked with and under, including several City Managers and Police Chiefs mark him as a man of the greatest integrity, thoughtfulness and exemplary contribution to a City that he has called home. Senator Cassis said to Chief Lenaghan it is always hard to say goodbye, and the good news is that he is going to stay in Novi, but will now have time to devote to his children, grandchildren, his own interests, and things he has put off for so long because of all his outstanding service to our community and its citizens. God Bless you, Godís Speed, Carpe Diem, Seize the day, and may every good wish and happiness come to you in all the years ahead.
Senator Cassis said on behalf of herself, the Speaker of the House, and the Governor she would proudly present to him the State of Michigan Tribute.
Speaker of the House DeRoche thanked the Chief and said Senator Cassis really hit the right notes there in what an extraordinary person he is, and what an extraordinary job he has done for the Novi. He said as he has talked with Fire Chiefs around the State, and cities smaller and larger than Novi, he had not found a peer city, that with so many people, runs so efficiently. He said he had personally seen the Chief out on site, as many of us have when he is called to duty. Speaker DeRoche said he has seen him in circumstances that ended very well, and some that had much more challenging and difficult outcomes, but his professionalism and devotion to his job and his crew speaks well of him. Chief Lenaghanís leadership, when he goes out with his full time and paid on call people, their devotion, discipline and performance is a testament to the Chiefís leadership, skills, and the type of shop that he has run here in Novi. Speaker DeRoche said he hoped they could keep what the Chief has and build on it. It is going to be a lot of work, because when he ran the Fire Department in Novi it allowed him and his wife to sleep better at night knowing that Chief Lenaghan was on the job. Speaker DeRoche and his wife, Stacy, wished Chief Lenaghan the best in his retirement, hoped that he would stay in Novi, and never have to call his old department other than to have a cup of coffee with the guys. Thank you Chief for everything.
Mayor Landry said we are not the great State of Michigan; we are just the little town of Novi, but from the bottom of our hearts we thank you. He said he had the honor of speaking at Chief Lenaghanís retirement luncheon, and as he said then, the impressive thing to him was that the Chief didnít just stay on the job for 28 years. This town changed drastically and no one knows that better than the Chief. From 1978-2006 the impressive thing to him was that the job never outgrew the Chief, and the town never outgrew him. He said the Chief stayed with it, and made sure that our Fire Department grew as the town grew, and for every new business that came in and every new resident that came in the Chief made sure that this town was safe for them. Mayor Landry said that is the legacy of Art Lenaghan. Mayor Landry said as the Chief said this afternoon, as he has a shift change and moves on and a new Chief comes in, the new Chief is not going to have to clean up a problem and revamp the department because the Department is doing just fine. The new Chief is going to step in and move on with the Novi Fire Department, and that is a testament to Chief Lenaghan. Mayor Landry said on behalf of the citizens of Novi, he wanted Chief Lenaghan to know that wherever his travels take him he will always be the Chief of the Novi Fire Department. Mayor Landry read the proclamation of appreciation to Chief Lenaghan.
Chief Lenaghan said he wanted to thank everyone. When looking back on it he would like to say is that the community allowed him to be the Fire Chief of Novi for 28 years. He said he appreciated that and tried to do the best that he could. In closing, shift change is a Fire Department term. You come on in the morning and relieve someone. You do your shift and then someone takes your place and thatís a shift change. The dynamics are we never shut down. Just because one person leaves you donít shut the lights off and close the door, and that has always been one of the most fascinating things about the Fire Department. So, Chief Lenaghan said itís shift change here; heíd put his gear away and sign out. It has been a good tour, and he appreciated it and all the nice things everyone has said over the last few days. Thank you very much.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Pearson said on the March 6th agenda he would be asking Councilís consideration for scheduling the budget work sessions in April. He said they would put some material together by the next meeting of possible dates. He wanted to look ahead and note this was on the horizon. Mr. Pearson said they have received input from the departments,
and would be working with the intention of delivering to Council a good policy budget document at the end of March.
3. DEPARTMENTAL - None
4. ATTORNEY - None
Eddie Rhea, 42284 Fountain Park Drive, has been a resident for 34 years, and this is the first time he has had to come before Council. He said he had a problem, and the only answer he saw was to ask Council to become involved. He said he had been talking with Mr. Saven for the last six weeks. Mr. Rhea lives at the Fountain Park Apartments and Marty Feldman Chevrolet had spotlights put up that shine into his living room and bedroom. He commented he had to close his blinds or he gets a headache watching TV. Even though Mr. Saven spoke to them, their comment was that they donít get along with Fountain Park people, because they had to put up a berm and a fence. Mr. Wright said he is not a Fountain Park person he is a citizen and would like something done. They have over 100 lights, so to turn off one light shouldnít hurt them. He said he would appreciate anything that anyone could do.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson to follow up with this issue, and report to Council in an off week packet regarding the situation with the spotlight.
Charlie Staab, 41887 Cherry Hill Road, Chairman of the Novi Parks Foundation, gave an update on where their at with the foundation. He said there are two new board members, Brian Bartlett and Mark Adams. The board consists currently of 11 members. They recently established a six person executive committee. They have $37,000 in the bank, $1,300 was spent for music for the Choralaires, which is a group supported by Parks, Recreation and Forestry. Near the first of the year $4,500 was restricted for the Parks and Recreation scholarship programs; $16,000 was restricted for soccer field improvements. He said they were working with Novi Jaguars and City staff to determine the best suitable projects to fund with the money. $10,000 has been restricted for naming rights and marketing materials, and will be reimbursed when the revenue generated from naming rights are sold. Mr. Staab said they are focusing their efforts on funding small programs, and are looking for additional programs throughout the Parks, Recreation and Forestry operation. David Paul is the Chair person of the Inter Organizational Committee seeking opportunities to work with the organizations that are a part of the Parks and Recreation effort in Novi. He said various committees have been working hard on their big ticket item as they are ready to launch their naming rights. One has been working on identifying potential candidates for naming rights and talking with them. Another committee has been assembling the information and pictures necessary to create the marketing materials. Staff has been providing background information for the materials also. Their creative design is being donated by Pangborn Design. Linda Blair of ITC, one of our board members, made the arrangements for this, and they will donate services related to the creation of materials and writing of the copy. This will result in a savings of $5,000 to $8,000 and provide very high end materials. Ms. Blair and Mr. Staudt met with Pangborn and are currently working on the design. They are also working on getting paper donated which will result in an additional $2,000 savings. Mr. Staab said they are hoping to have the materials for the naming rights available by mid March. He said they would be calling on each Council Member to assist them and identify potential naming rights candidates. He said Thursday, August 3, 2006 will be the second annual golf outing at the Links of Novi. At the annual meeting in December, the Novi Parks Foundation announced the creation of an annual award. The award will be given to a volunteer with outstanding service, leadership, and support for staff and programs of the Parks, Recreation Department. The first award was given to Hugh and Kathy Crawford and all subsequent rewards would be in the name of Hugh and Kathy Crawford.
Mayor Landry said this was more of a committee report than Audience Participation, and on that note he would open it up to Council.
Member Nagy said she would like to remove Item 3 on the Mayor & Council Issues, Parks Foundation Report. She brought this item forward because it had been four months since they had signed the naming rights, and Council had not received a report. She remembered there was a funding effort and a certain dollar figure to be raised by the end of the year. Member Nagy said some of her questions had been answered. Member Nagy said she watched their meetings and noted there were items not going to Capital Improvements. Since their next fundraising would be in August, she asked that Council receive a quarterly update; Mr. Staab responded affirmatively. She would like to see the naming rights done as soon as possible and Mr. Staab agreed.
Mayor Landry said it sounded like Council would see them in 90 days, and Mr. Staab said they would see him sooner.
David Staudt, Vice Chair of Parks Foundation, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission and one of the founders of the Park Foundation, said the foundation itself was not created for Capital Improvements. The naming rights policy is limited to Capital Improvements. The Park Foundation is for anything that has to do with Parks and Recreation, including a scholarship program. He thanked the ITC for getting this design for them.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-06-02-036 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-036 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy
Absent: Capello, Paul
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Approval of request to renew the Massage Business License for The Sports Club of Novi located at 42500 Arena Drive.
C. Approval of request to renew the Arcade Business License for OíTooles of Novi, located at 24555 Novi Road, with eight machines.
D. Approval of request to renew the Arcade Business License for Emagine Theater, located at 44425 Twelve Mile Road, with eighteen machines.
E. Approval of request to renew the Massage Business License for Hands on Health, located at 39575 West Ten Mile Road, Suite 208.
F. Approval of request to renew the Massage Business License for Salon Agape, located at 43155 Main Street, Suite 310.
G. Approval of request to renew the Massage Business License for Salone Nadwa and Day Spa, located at 43236 Eleven Mile Road.
H. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2006-09.
I. Approval to donate used election equipment to Oakland County Clerk V.O.T.E. (Voting Opportunities Through Education) Project.
J. Approval to authorize City Clerk to sign and submit Grant agreement for new Qualified Voter Equipment.
K. Acceptance of Target site water main and sanitary sewer as public utilities; acceptance of Wixom Road right-of-way adjacent to the Target site; and, approval of the Target site storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement.
L. Acceptance of Willowbrook Farms Subdivision No. 4 water main and sanitary sewer as public utilities, and approval of storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement.
M. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 715
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Approval of Resolution designating certain City-owned properties as City
Mr. Pearson said this came up about two weeks ago. What is before Council, in terms of process, would be a City Council resolution to recognize the land that the City already owns, and has already been designated in our Master Plan for Land Use for park space, but to formally designate, by Council, as parkland. The next suggested step in the resolution is a referral from City Council to the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission. They would take the matter up, make a recommendation, and then come back to the Council as the approving body for the Parks, Recreation and Forestry plan to incorporate it. Then the City would be allowed to apply for a grant to look at programming for this, and to recognize it for what it is, City park open space.
Mayor Landry asked if there were four parcels for Council to consider tonight. Mr. Pearson said yes. Mayor Landry said they are Bristol Corners South, the City owned parcels located between Nine and Ten Mile Roads south of the Ten Mile intersection, and the Provincial Glades property.
CM-06-02-037 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Resolution designating certain City-owned properties as
City parkland, and to refer to the Parks and Recreation Commission
for inclusion into Parks and Recreation Master Plan,
Member Mutch noted he was very pleased that this would move forward tonight, and appreciated the staff for working diligently to bring this forward quickly. It is great to see that these City owned properties are finally being firmly designated as parkland. He said it has been a goal of his and a number of residents in the community.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-037 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Landry
Absent: Capello, Paul
2. Consideration of the request of Jeff James of SMJ Marketing for Normandy Hills,
for use of the Preservation Option and approval of the proposed Preservation
Option Concept Plan and approval of a waiver of Subdivision Ordinance
requirement for streets extending to neighboring properties. The subject property
is located in Section 35 on property west of Meadowbrook on the north side of
Eight Mile Road in the R-1, One-Family Residential District. The applicant
proposes a 13-lot single family development on 9.3 acres.
Jeff James was present to represent this project. He commented that he and the Engineering Department had worked extensively on this for this option, and it seemed to fit the property almost ideally with the open space, and matching up the access roads. There has been extensive work done on this especially by the Planning Department, who has been very helpful in coming up with solutions to some of the challenges they have encountered.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson if there was anything the administration wished to add to the written material. Mr. Pearson said no, the only item for background is the development option that they have chosen is unique. He said this option has not been used much in Novi, and it needed Council approval at this level.
Member Mutch said correspondence provided to Council indicated that Ms. Mc Bethís Planning Department had worked extensively with this applicant to try and preserve some of the natural features located on this site. He asked what other options were considered for this site, if any, and why werenít they used.
Ms. Mc Beth said the Planning Department did work extensively with this applicant, and early in the process the applicant had come in with a straight site condominium development. It had a long cul-de-sac and standard lot sizes, which was included in the packet and labeled The Bona Fide Plan, and that was as close as they could get to have a plan that met the requirements of a straight site condominium. She said there was a Sugar Maple stand in the northwest corner of the site. This Preservation Option was able to preserve that stand. She said they talked about other options but found that this Preservation Option was the one that
could preserve the Sugar Maple stand, and line up the emergency access with the adjacent Mirabella Estates.
Member Mutch asked if there were any other development options that this property qualified for. Ms. Mc Beth said they looked at Single-Family Cluster Option, and it didnít work because it didnít meet any of the qualifying criteria. She said they looked at the other options in the ordinance and found that this was the one that best fit the circumstances of this site. Member Mutch asked if it was the departmentís opinion that the proposed option meets the intent of the Preservation Option language in terms of protecting the woodlands on the site. Ms. Mc Beth said it is the Planning Departments opinion that it is the best fit for preserving the natural features on site. The applicant has met the requirements for reducing the lot sizes in an amount equivalent to the amount of area being preserved, and has agreed to preserve additional areas on site, above and beyond what the ordinance requires. Member Mutch asked her to show the area, on the map, that is being preserved, and she did, including the additional areas the applicant agreed to preserve. Ms. Mc Beth described all of the areas and their locations to Member Mutch.
Member Mutch asked where in the process did that proposal, the Conservation Easements, on the rear portion of the lot come forward. He asked if that was recently. Ms. Mc Beth said she didnít remember the exact date it was offered. She knew she had been working with the applicant for a considerable amount of time to preserve the existing woodlands on the site. Member Mutch said, on that point, the concern he had was that by placing the Conservation Easements on the lots versus an approach that actually removes those areas from the lots. He said the calculations for the Preservation Option the applicant used, it is to the degree that it allowed him to obtain approval, and meet the criteria of the ordinance. However, they didnít meet the intent of the ordinance, which is to maximize the preservation of the woodlands on site. He said 5% of the site in Conservation Easement and fractional amounts of the woodlands on site being preserved, doesnít address the intent as he saw it. If the applicant could move those portions of those lots out of those areas or reduce the size of the lots, which would be allowed, he thought, the Preservation Option allows them to go down to about 18,000 square feet. Ms. Mc Beth said thatís correct. He said they are currently averaging about 20,000 square feet. Ms. Mc Beth said the chart shows what is allowed in the R-1 District, what is being proposed, and the minimums being allowed with the Preservation Option. The R-1 zoning allows 21,780 square feet as a minimum with a lot width of 120 feet. The Preservation Option allows 18,000 square feet with 110 feet of frontage, and the applicants proposing 20,541 square feet with just over 113 feet of frontage. Member Mutch said there is still room for them to significantly reduce the size of these lots. Ms. Mc Beth replied there would be room to reduce the size of the lots to some extent. The staff worked very carefully with the applicant to make sure that the areas would be actually qualifying areas. Some of the areas we see as nice quality woodlands are not actually a part of the regulated woodland areas. The staff saw it as compromise to request that those areas be placed in a Conservation Easement for a total area of 1.6 acres of the site being preserved, although not all of the lot sizes are being reduced. Member Mutch said that number includes those backyard Conservation Easement areas. Ms. Mc Beth said thatís correct. He said then for any homeowner, on those lots, there would be a permanent restriction so they wonít be able to cut down a tree just because they donít like it there. Member Mutch thought, from a practical standpoint, that approach is problematic and a long term enforcement problem, because it relies upon the City enforcing action against individual homeowners. Whereas, if this is in a commons area, every lot owner in the subdivision has both the property interest, and a financial interest in insuring that their neighbors respect the conservation areas. He said he guessed, maybe, that was a policy statement.
Member Mutch asked if the area the drainage courses through to the south is the Quail Ridge Drain that we have had so many problems with in Northville Township. Ms. Mc Beth said she knew that the drain goes under Eight Mile Road into Northville Township. He thought that area to the south was the area that both Northville Township and Novi had spent a considerable amount of money to deal with runoff and erosion issues. He said there were some detention areas on site, but he was looking for some assurance this would not exacerbate a problem area that weíve already spent a significant amount of money on in the last five years to address. Obviously, compared to what was there before this is a fairly significant development, especially with the loss of a significant amount of the woodland cover based on the plan in front of Council. Ms. Mc Beth said the plan on display does show the storm water detention area which is immediately adjacent to that drain area. She knew the staff engineer had reviewed it, but it can be passed on for further consideration at final site plan.
Member Mutch stated he didnít think the option was being used to the extent possible. He also felt that from a policy viewpoint, there was concern about whether the residential development options, to deal with sites like this, needed to be examined. Novi has a lot of 5 to 10 acre sites that have a significant amount of regulated woodland. He said developments have come in and clear cut those sites, and there might be a little perimeter around the site, but we are not seeing significant preservation. If thatís a problem with our ordinances, then it is something that needs to be looked at. If this development is what we get with a Preservation Option he is not seeing much preservation, and it is not working as an option.
Member Nagy thought the previous speaker raised concerns of hers as well. One is that the Conservation Easement is on lots, and offered an example of why. There was a person in a subdivision whose lot abutted a wetland. They went in during the winter and cut the trees down and made an ice rink, and she thought there had been problems in another subdivision as well. She said that concerns her because she thought it would be an enforcement issue. She didnít think it was good for the homeowner or for the City. Member Nagy didnít believe this was the intent of the preservation ordinance, and didnít remember being on the Planning Commission and using it this way. She would have liked to see more preservation. Also, she went through the tree list and #330 is a White Ash with a status to save, but it has Emerald Ash Borer disease, so it should be removed. She #213, a Black Locust, is in very poor condition, has hard rot, but is going to be saved. She wasnít sure how they made the decision on which trees to remove. There are also some trees on their list to be removed that could be saved by pruning. She was also concerned about the intent of the ordinance not being met, and was not sure where the lot could be reduced to preserve some of the woodlands. She said she wondered if the radius of the cul-de-sac could be reduced and the corner lots, especially the huge one, to preserve more of those woodlands. She stated she wasnít sure it was possible but wanted to look into it. She didnít think a lot could be reduced from the front, but did think a reduction could be made around the cul-de-sac. She asked them to be sure the White Ash is removed.
Member Margolis commended the City staff and the developer for working so closely together on this. She thought they could take a look at this information and decide that, perhaps, it didnít meet the intent as far as we may read it, but she thought they had gone through a long process to work with the developer and compromise. Member Margolis thought where they get into trouble is going back and forth second guessing the professionals who have worked on this long term with the person that is trying to develop the plan.
CM-06-02-039 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the request of Jeff James of SMJ Marketing for Normandy Hills, for use of the Preservation Option and approval of
the proposed Preservation Option Concept Plan and approval of a
waiver of Subdivision Ordinance requirement for streets extending to
neighboring properties. The subject property is located in Section 35
on property west of Meadowbrook on the north side of Eight Mile
Road in the R-1, One-Family Residential District. The applicant
proposes a 13-lot single family development on 9.3 acres. Also,
based on Member Margolisí comments that she commended the City staff and the developer for working so closely together on this and that they could look at this information and decide that, perhaps, it didnít meet the intent as far as we may read it, but she thought they had gone through a long process to work with the developer and compromise.
Member Gatt commented that he wanted to echo what Member Margolis said. He said Ms. Mc Bethís staff had done a remarkable job under some trying situations, and he would support the motion. Member Gatt thanked Ms. Mc Beth and her staff for a job well done.
Mayor Landry echoed the comments of Member Gatt.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-039 Yeas: Margolis, Landry, Gatt
Nays: Mutch, Nagy
Absent: Capello, Paul
3. Approval of the request of the A.F. Jonna Company for approval of the final site
plan for Rite Aid, SP06-04. The subject property is 2.27 acres of the remaining
Vistas Planned Unit Development and subject to a consent judgment, located on
the south side of Thirteen Mile Road and west of Novi Road. The applicant is
proposing a drug store with two drive-through lanes.
Arkin Jonna of A.F. Jonna Development in Bloomfield Hills, was present and said he was proposing an 11,000 sq. ft. typical Rite Aid Drug Store. They had submitted the conceptual plan and engineering, and worked with the Planning Department to get to this point. He would be happy to answer questions.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson if the administration had anything to add to the printed materials. Mr. Pearson said to reemphasize, the governing review document for this is a Consent Judgment that the City entered into and is a part of the original Sandstone PUD property so it has that extra perimeter on. He said Council has a series of positive staff recommendations for consideration.
Member Nagy asked if the drug store has a sprinkler system inside. Mr. Jonna said it did not. She said since it might be close to a residential area why isnít there one. Mr. Jonna said they are not required by the Fire Code in buildings under $12,000 sq. ft.
Member Mutch asked if City staff worked with the applicant on developing the site plan in terms of layout of the site. Ms. Mc Beth said they did. There was a pre-application meeting in which the matter was discussed, and modifications were requested at that time. Member Mutch asked if the Rite Aid Drug Store was always located on this site. Ms. Mc Beth believed it was always, approximately, at that location. Member Mutch asked if there was discussion about moving the store on the site in terms of its proximity to the adjacent residential area. He noted that some of the problem areas that have been red flagged by staff, in terms of potential issues, seemed to be based on where the store is located. He asked if they had thought about moving the store closer to Thirteen Mile to address those concerns. Ms. Mc Beth said the site plan was driven by where the front door is located, and the desired location for the parking field. The applicant didnít want the parking behind the building in this case. She said they are proposing their typical model and floor plan. Member Mutch said he saw no sidewalk connection from Novi Road or Thirteen Mile to the interior of the site. Again, considering the proximity of the residential development is there any way to incorporate that into the site plan. Ms. Mc Beth said her staff had noticed that too, and agreed that would be a desirable attribute, and they will request that the applicant do that with the next submittal of plans. Member Mutch asked what was being done, in terms of the site plan, to address the concern regarding the overhead door location. Ms. Mc Beth said the location of the overhead door was on a small plan in Council packets, and was indicated in red on the west side of the building. There is a wall proposed and required by the Consent Judgment all along the westerly property line. A 6 foot tall brick on brick wall is proposed for that location, and staff determined that was the best possible location given that the drive through areas also needed to be located on one side of the store. It was preferred that those be a little farther from the residential area. Member Mutch asked if it was staffís opinion that would adequately protect the adjacent residential area from that use. Ms. Mc Beth responded that it was staffís opinion that the screen wall will provide some buffer, and protection for the adjacent residential area. Member Mutch said "some" and Ms. Mc Beth said yes.
Member Mutch said, regarding the brick on brick wall, the language in the Consent Judgment stated that where the wall faces the building it is not required to be brick on brick. He asked if it was actually brick on brick the entire length. Ms. Mc Beth said it is. Member Mutch said that is good and positive. He asked Mr. Schultz if their hands were tied by the language of the Consent Judgment regarding the overhead door.
Mr. Schultz said the language of the Consent Judgment is very general. It talks generally about the parties working together in good faith, and doesnít give a lot of detail on how to address a potential variance. He said they have given the interpretation that it is not something they would want to send to some other board or commission. The point of the Consent Judgment is pretty well established throughout, B-2 uses, this kind of use, with reasonable efforts on the part of the City to make sure that whatís generally contemplated
happens. He wished there were more definite standards, but there arenít. It would be a pretty complicated process if we didnít accommodate whatís proposed. Instead of going to the ZBA or to the Circuit Court, it would end up in an expedited arbitration process. So it is all kind of funneled and pointing towards kind of a commercially reasonable what do the professionals think about the issue.
Member Mutch asked what the nature of the truck traffic would be on the site. Mr. Jonna said there will be one, possibly two, deliveries from Rite Aid Corporate. They will use a 40 foot semi that would pull up adjacent to the building where the overhead door is. He believed it would be the largest truck to come to the site. There will be an in ground lift that actually moves up and down to the level of the truck. The other traffic would be normal vendors such as pop, beer, etc. and would be smaller semis. Member Mutch asked the amount of time the trucks would be on site. Mr. Jonna said he didnít know. Member Mutch said they know, based on past experience and other locations in the City, that unloading operations of this nature for an extended amount of times can be problematic depending on the time of day it takes place. He asked when the deliveries take place. Mr. Jonna said they are basically pallets of tote boxes, and he couldnít imagine them being there longer than 45 minutes to an hour at a given time. He said with the lift that they have in place it is a very simple process, and it would happen during normal business hours. Mr. Jonna addressed the overhead door and said they had looked at trying to move that door so it wouldnít pose an issue with the residents it is facing. The problem is that there is a drive through at the rear of the store for pharmaceutical use only. He said that is connected to where the pharmacy is, and the pharmacy in the layout is in the back of the store. Mr. Jonna said it is in the spot where it would be least offensive to the residents that abut it and anywhere it is put would have the same affect on the people next door.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Schultz if the ordinance would control the hours of delivery or is that superceded by the language of the Consent Judgment. Mr. Schultz said the hours of operation, those general applicable kinds of police power regulations would apply.
Member Mutch asked how this development fit into the context of an overall commercial development allowed. He said he knew the agreement went from 70,000 sq. ft. to 170,000 sq. ft. So, would this be reduced from that total, and would it fit into that total amount of commercial development allowed in Sandstone/Vistas.
Mr. Schultz said probably the numbers are better addressed by Tim Schmitt or whoever is working those numbers and paying attention as they get reduced. He said for the west side of Novi Road, the limitations are on the use and he thought this met those, and the size of the building which it also meets. In terms of the overall development, as those improvements come in you are going to have to do the match to be sure we donít go beyond the requirements, but he didnít know where that stands now number wise.
Member Mutch asked if this would be a part of that total. Mr. Schultz said it is a part of the remaining PUD area, what ever is left as they continue to develop.
Member Margolis again commended the staff for working so diligently on this. She said she appreciated all of the background given, and all of their work.
CM-06-02-040 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the request of the A.F. Jonna Company for approval of
the final site plan for Rite Aid, SP06-04. The subject to the following
conditions: 1) City Council waiver to allow an overhead door to face
the neighboring residential development, 2) City Council waiver for
the lack of interior building landscaping along the south side of the
building, 3) City Council finding that three stacking spaces for each
drive through lane is appropriate, 4) City Council finding that the
proposed elevations are comparable to those shown in Exhibit P of
the Consent Judgment and all of the comments in the staff and
Consultant Review Letters being addressed at the time of revised
Final Site Plan submittal.
Member Nagy asked if there were existing sidewalks on Thirteen Mile north of Camden. Ms. Mc Beth replied that she believed there was a sidewalk in that location.
Mr. Pearson said he runs and knew there was not an existing sidewalk on the corner of this parcel, but there is on the Camden property. Member Nagy said then if youíre jogging it will be in their parking lot and then you are going to hit what? Mr. Pearson said after this is built you will stay off of Thirteen Mile Road, because the sidewalk is shown on their site plan.
Mayor Landry said he would support the motion, and made a statement for the record. He said we are limited with the Sandstone Consent Judgment regarding this parcel. Also, the problem with the overhead door is if itís not put there the drive through will go there. If the drive through is there itís going to have a loud speaker to talk to their customers. He thought it was a lesser of two evils to put the overhead door there rather than a drive through with a loud speaker next to a residential area. He said that is how he understood the resolution of that issue. He commended staff and the applicant for working closely on this, and the applicant for working with Council on this matter.
Roll call vote CM-06-02-040 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Landry, Gatt, Margolis
Absent: Capello, Paul
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
4. Approval of request the Wyndham Hotel for:
a) from WNMB, INC. (doing business as the Wyndham Hotel) to transfer all stock
in 2005 12 Months Resort B-Hotel licensed business with Dance-Entertainment
permit, located at 42100 Crescent, Novi, MI 48375, from S. Kirk Kinsell (500
shares) and Anne L. Raymond (500 shares) as stockholders through transfer of
their shares of stock to new stockholder, Leslie V. Bentley and
b) from CH Realty II/Novi Hotel Operating, LLC and CH Realty II/Novi Hotel, LLC
(co-licensees) to transfer ownership of 2005 12 Months Resort B-Hotel licensed
business with Dance-Entertainment permit, located at 42100 Crescent, Novi MI
48375 from WNMB, Inc.
CM-06-02-041 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve request the Wyndham Hotel for:
a) from WNMB, INC. (doing business as the Wyndham Hotel) to
transfer all stock in 2005 12 Months Resort B-Hotel licensed
business with Dance-Entertainment permit, located at 42100
Crescent, Novi, MI 48375, from S. Kirk Kinsell (500 shares) and Anne
L. Raymond (500 shares) as stockholders through transfer of their
shares of stock to new stockholder, Leslie V. Bentley and
b) from CH Realty II/Novi Hotel Operating, LLC and CH Realty II/Novi
Hotel, LLC (co-licensees) to transfer ownership of 2005 12 Months
Resort B-Hotel licensed business with Dance-Entertainment permit,
located at 42100 Crescent, Novi MI 48375 from WNMB, Inc.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-041 Yeas: Nagy, Landry, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch
Absent: Capello, Paul
5. Approval to award the contract for the Village Oaks Hydraulic Dredging Project to Restoration Dredging, Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the low bidder, in the amount of $274,486.
Mayor Landry asked if Mr. Pearson had any comments.
Mr. Pearson said this is a project that they are looking forward to constructing. They tried to get this constructed last year and received zero bidders. He said nine bidders attended the pre-construction meeting this last time, and one bid was received. However, the one bid is from a qualified firm, they are very experienced, and within the budget allotment anticipated for this.
Member Nagy asked how the grass would get watered once it is restored. She thought pumping from the lake itself would work, because it would also be a good fertilizer.
Mr. Pearson said he didnít know if they went into that level of detail in the restoration plans, but could do that if it is not covered by an existing sprinkler system. He said depending on the time of the year a watering truck could be use, and they would require that it be done in stages. Then there would be a follow up in the fall to make sure it had held.
CM-06-02-042 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve to award the contract for the Village Oaks Hydraulic
Dredging Project to Restoration Dredging, Inc. of Bloomfield Hills,
Michigan, the low bidder, in the amount of $274,486.
Member Mutch asked if the proposal included the dredging around the perimeter of the lake. Mr. Pearson said they had identified the area that had the most organic material which is on the eastern side of the lake. Thereís also a request for administration to look at dredging the entire perimeter of the lake, a ten foot swath basically, and that was not included. The request came from several residents to improve their water frontage. He said they tried to get the contractor to bid on that alternate, but had no bidders so they were unable to deliver on that. Member Mutch asked if this could be bid out separately, or is it something that the City doesnít plan on pursuing outside the context of this proposal. Mr. Pearson believed that if they were going to get a bidder it would be through this kind of a process, but he wasnít sure they could get someone to do something small like this.
Mr. Hayes said the reason it wasnít bid on was because of the tight time frame they had on this contract. He said they were giving the contractor until Memorial Day to have the work substantially completed. There was a concern about getting it done in time if you take into account the entire perimeter of the lake. He said they could broach the subject when they meet with the contractor in the next week or so to see if they would be willing to provide us a price, and if he could do it within the schedule. Member Mutch asked what he would anticipate the additional cost to be. Mr. Hayes said he didnít have a good feel for it. Typically, a hydraulic dredger will work in water where there is a lot more draft, and this lake is really shallow close to the shore. He thought they would have to come up with a unique price. Member Mutch said he would look for that to be explored. The residents are going to be most directly impacted by this project, and as we head into Meadowbrook Lake it would be nice to see that addressed.
Member Mutch asked Mr. Hayes about the other area left out of the bid proposal. Mr. Hayes said they gave the bidders two base bids to bid on. One showed the staging area where the sediments would be dewatered on the park property proper, the other one would have been on the south boulevard lane of Village Wood Road. The one bid received, the bidder felt it would be easier to use the park property in lieu of using that one lane of the boulevard. Member Mutch said that does include the Alternate B that was the erosion repair along the park itself. Mr. Hayes said he was correct, and that they would repair the gulley erosion that has occurred on the eastern slope of the lake, and debris along the eastern shoreline will be cleaned up as well.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-042 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy
Absent: Capello, Paul
6. Approval to award a contract for Design and Construction Engineering for
Pontiac Trail Water Main Extension to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber for a
not-to-exceed design fee of $37,615 and a construction engineering fee equal to a
fixed 6.2% of construction cost (estimated to be $32,400) for a total of $70,015.
Mr. Pearson said this project has been in the budget, and involves filling three gaps in the water system on the north side of Novi-Pontiac Trail then looping back to Beck north. This is important to the system integrity in providing pressures, and also bringing several Novi residents into the system that are currently buying water from adjoining communities.
Member Gatt stated that Council had just awarded a contract to the low bidder to dredge the lake. He said the materials before him indicate another company whose bid is much lower than the company that Council is considering awarding tonight. He asked for an explanation.
Mr. Pearson said this is a professional services contract, and is different than what they just saw in terms of a commodity and providing an apples to apples. This kind of professional services contract looks at qualifications, which the design team is bringing to the table, and all with the intention of getting the best project, and saving the City money for the total project. We do award these on percentage of construction, and Fishbeck is the lowest percentage. He said when it is calculated out, based on what each of the design firms estimated as construction costs, there are different fees on that basis. However, if one estimate is half as much in cost and construction from the one firm, and all the rest of the bidders have it in the $600,000 range, one has to wonder about the one that is a third of that, and then apply that percentage to something that is more realistic. He said their recommendation was based on qualifications, and percentage of costs based upon construction.
Member Gatt commented that normally he would support the recommendations from the administration. However, he said he could not in this case. He believed that JCKís bid might be lower because of their knowledge, background and history in the City. Therefore, their cost estimates would be lower because they have much less work to do to come up with this bid. He would not support this proposal, but would support a motion to award this bid to JCK.
Member Nagy agreed with Member Gatt because JCK designed 90% of the water system for the City. She said they did a water study for Council and gave a presentation in 2004. She thought this was connecting up between existing projects; their cost for design is lower because they understand what they need to do as they have done it before. She was a little concerned about Fishbeck, because they were the people who worked on Meadowbrook Lake, and there were problems with the MDEQ. Mr. Hayes said no, it was a different engineering firm. Member Nagy said she stood corrected. Member Nagy said she also usually agreed with the administration, but not in this case. In past experience, Council gave the design of South Lake to another engineering company, and there were and are still problems. She said JCK did East Lake and there were no problems. She said she didnít want to go through that again. She thought they were within reason, and she had faith that they could do this.
CM-06-02-043 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; MOTION FAILED:
That the contract for Design and Construction Engineering for
Pontiac Trail Water Main Extension be awarded to JCK in the
amount of $39,200.02, with the fixed percentage of construction
6.95%, engineering construction estimate $220,000, construction
engineering fee of $16,844.02 and a not to exceed design fee of
Member Margolis said we are talking about a not to exceed design fee which is the set fee they will be paid for the design phase, correct? Mr. Hayes said yes. She said the larger amount for most of these bids is the fixed percentage of construction, correct? Mr. Hayes replied yes, during which phase they would provide on site inspection services, contract
Administration and a variety of other services to make sure the construction contract moves along smoothly. Member Margolis said that is based on a percentage of whatever the construction costs are. Mr. Hayes said for purposes of selecting a firm itís based on their estimate of what they think construction is going to cost. He said each firm came independently with an estimate of construction costs. Member Margolis said if the construction cost is different from their estimate the City pays them a percentage of whatever that construction ends up being. Mr. Hayes said the City pays them a percentage of the actual construction contract value. So if their estimate is way low or way high it doesnít matter because the City will pay them the percentage that they put in their proposal. Member Margolis said the total estimated fee is a not to exceed fee, correct? Mr. Hayes said no, the only thing that is set in concrete is the design fee. Member Margolis said right, but for instance, JCK suggested a cost estimate of $220,000, if the actual construction ends up being closer to the other bid amounts, say $525,000, the City pays them their percentage of that larger amount. Mr. Hayes agreed.
Member Margolis thought that was where, when looking at this as apples to apples, it makes it look like itís a much lower bid. However, she calculated it herself and said if you average the amounts of the engineers cost estimate of the other groups, which are all close in line, and you took their larger percentage you would end up with about a $37,000 construction fee. Mr. Hayes said that sounded about right. Member Margolis said that is her concern. She thought if they looked at just the lower amount they are not getting the correct figure. She would not support the motion, and was very concerned that they would estimate a construction cost of less than half of the lowest bid. She said all the other firms estimated over $425,000 for construction costs; JCK estimated $220,000, and that is a huge difference. Member Margolis said she would not support the motion.
Member Mutch said it was a difficult situation, because using that formula, if JCK came in at $37,000 for the construction fee they would still be the lowest total in cost for these other projects. On the other hand, we donít want to be in a situation where we are rewarding bidders for low balling the numbers, and having them come back in a situation where the cost would jump appreciatively. He asked if all of these proposals were within the budgeted amount for this project. Mr. Hayes said yes. Member Mutch said from a budget viewpoint, unless any of these proposals go significantly overbid, we are OK in terms of the dollars and cents. However, he was also concerned, process wise, insuring that the City is getting accurate numbers from the outset. Member Mutch asked, in terms of JCKís construction proposal, the thing that jumps out is that it is significantly lower than the others with the next closest being $425,000. He asked what about that number indicated that it wouldnít be an accurate or even in the ballpark. Mr. Hayes said in general, if he were to take a rough average of installing 12 inch water mains, and multiply that by 4,500 linear feet it would probably be close to $250,000 to $300,000. He said that is only one component of an overall project. Thereís mobilization, bonds and insurance, restoration and probably some pavement work that needed to be done in association with this project. He commented he saw a lot of things that were probably omitted from that cost estimate. Member Mutch said in terms of the other bid that came under the proposed bid, Anderson Eckstein and Westrick, it was fairly close, although they did have a higher fixed percentage of construction. He asked if there was anything else that set them below the Fishbeck bid. Mr. Hayes commented, to go back a year ago when they looked at how to select engineering firms or any professional services consultant, the decision was made to use qualifications based selection criteria. The fee is just one of several criteria they look at. Their project approach, scope, how they plan to staff the project, and past performance on other City projects are all key things in addition to fee work into this matrix. Mr. Hayes said in regard to Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick, they felt they under estimated the number of design hours that would be necessary to not only do the design, put the project on the plans and prepare the specifications, but also to do all the easement work that is required before it goes to legal. There are a lot of man hours that need to be committed and they felt they were a little low in their estimate. Member Mutch asked where those costs fall in, and Mr. Hayes said in the design stage. Member Mutch said if they under bid hours, itís at a fixed cost isnít it. Mr. Hayes said it is, and they would have to try to catch up during the construction phase. Member Mutch said he didnít want to see them underestimating, but from a dollar and cents viewpoint that really isnít on the City, is it in terms of the cost. Mr. Hayes said in theory no, but in reality yes, sometimes there is a lot of handholding his department has to do to try to correct omissions that a firm might have made because they under bid it. Member Mutch said then his feeling was that they would be cutting corners through that process to not lose whatever profit margin they had built in. Mr. Hayes said that typically happens when a firm underestimates the number of man hours necessary for the design phase.
Member Mutch said he would not support the motion. If these numbers were closer to the total he could support looking at the lower bidder. He said, looking at the numbers Member Margolis proposed, JCK would come in, even if the construction went far beyond their proposal, it would still be the lowest amount. However, he was concerned that there was such a significant difference. He said he couldnít over look that based on Mr. Hayes estimate of the construction costs involved. If comparing apples to apples he would be at least looking at them as the low bidder and approving the motion. However, he couldnít get past those significant numbers.
Mayor Landry agreed with the previous speaker. He commented that the bid selection process is a quality based bid selection process. It is not a matter of opening the bids and reporting on who is the lowest. Our engineering staff looks at the bids, evaluates them, and determines if they make sense. Then they report to the City on the basis of their interpreting the bids and gives the Council a quality recommendation. In this instance, they have recommended Fishback, Thompson, Carr & Huber who is, in their opinion, the number one quality bidder on this particular project. Mayor Landry said for the reasons stated by the two previous speakers, he would not go against that recommendation, and would not be supporting the motion.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Hayes, the very same calculation that he and Member Margolis discussed could be said of each one of those firms. Mr. Hayes agreed, and said the construction phase fee would be based on the percentage that they have indicated multiplied by the actual construction contract. She said if someone goes over the $525,000 the City will be paying the 6.2%, and Mr. Hayes agreed. Member Nagy advised Mr. Kapelczak of JCK that she made a motion to support his firm for this water main connection, and stated that his firm had done 90% of the water system design in the City. She asked if she was close to being correct. Mr. Kapelczak said he has been designing the Cityís transportation systems, in the water main area, with people still employed in the company since 1978. Then he was with Johnson Anderson since 1969, so it has probably been over 90%, except for what was designed by private development through subdivisions, etc. Mr. Kapelczak said he was the one who put the $220,000 on this. He said he would be very honest with Council, he drove the project, and he knew the project. Actually, Mr. Hayes hit it on the button. The pipe and fittings are about $30.00 a foot, and around $55.00 to $60.00 a foot for everything that he saw out there because there is a little cross country route, itís all ditch sections on Pontiac Trail, and contractors are hungry right now. If you bid this job before the summer time you will get very good prices. Mr. Kapelczak said if the City saw prices close to $300,000 that would be a lot of money, unless there is something out there that he hasnít seen when he drove the project. He said thatís where itís at. He said the obvious thing is when you look at the design, and he hasnít seen all the numbers, but his price is because he has everything in the office, and it would only take him three days of surveying in the field to do it. Then the rest of the documents he would have to produce and easement acquisition would be very easy because he has all the records. He said that is why the bid is what it is. Member Nagy said that is why she was supporting JCK. He has all the records, so naturally his design wouldnít be as expensive, and Mr. Kapelczak happens to be one of the best surveyors in the State. She said the very same calculation could be made for everyone else that bid. So, keeping that in mind, and keeping her past experience with regard to some of the projects that they have done, she still thought they were the best qualified, and they would stay within the budget, because he knows this area very well. She said she would stand by her motion.
Member Gatt asked Mr. Kapelczak if his $220,000 was a low ball or was it what he thought they would come out at. Mr. Kapelczak said he didnít see much restoration, and that was what would drive that price up. He said, to be honest, he thought he put bid $240,000, but the number that was punched in was $220,000. He really thought it would be about a quarter of a million dollars if it is bid early. The contractors are very hungry right now. When you bid early you get better prices
Member Mutch said he had a lot of respect for Mr. Kapelczak and didnít, for a second, question his skills and abilities in this area. He knows pretty much every water and sewer manhole in the City, much less the lines. He would be watching where the numbers come in, and would keep that in mind for future projects, because we have two conflicting opinions on where these dollars are going to break out. He said from the Cityís viewpoint if the construction costs do come in where Mr. Kapelczak anticipates, because they have a lower fixed percentage of construction that will be to the Cityís benefit. If the numbers come in significantly lower he would keep that in mind for future projects, because there is a significant dollar and cents savings here. However with the difference in the numbers he felt he had to go with the staff recommendation this time, but would be watching this closely.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-043 Yeas: Gatt, Nagy
Nays: Margolis, Mutch, Landry
Absent: Capello, Paul
CM-06-02-044 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Mutch; MOTION CARRIED:
To award contract for Design and Construction Engineering for
Pontiac Trail Water Main Extension to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr &
Huber for a not-to-exceed design fee of $37,615 and a construction
engineering fee equal to a fixed 6.2% of construction cost (estimated
to be $32,400) for a total of $70,015.
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-045 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Landry, Gatt
Absent: Capello, Paul
7. Approval of Change Order No. 2 to the contract with Jack Anglin Civil
Constructors, Ltd. in the amount of $64,386 for contaminated soil remediation at
the Haggerty Regional Storm Water Detention Basin project site (source of
funds Ė Drain Fund).
CM-06-02-046 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Change Order No. 2 to the contract with Jack Anglin Civil
Constructors, Ltd. in the amount of $64,386 for contaminated soil
remediation at the Haggerty Regional Storm Water Detention Basin
project site (source of funds Ė Drain Fund).
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-046 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Landry, Gatt, Margolis
Absent: Capello, Paul
8. Approval of an amendment to the agreement with JCK & Associates, Inc. in the
amount of $29,500 for additional construction engineering and environmental
services associated with environmental remediation at the Haggerty Regional
Detention Basin project site (source of funds Ė Drain Fund).
CM-06-02-047 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve an amendment to the agreement with JCK & Associates,
Inc. in the amount of $29,500 for additional construction engineering
and environmental services associated with environmental
remediation at the Haggerty Regional Detention Basin project site
(source of funds Ė Drain Fund).
Roll call vote on CM-06-02-047 Yeas: Nagy, Landry, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch
Absent: Capello, Paul
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Grant Application to Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Ė Member Mutch
Member Mutch removed this item.
2. Landscaper Replacement Ė Member Nagy
Member Nagy said she had been thinking about present and future finances, and the fact that our landscaper is going to another City. She offered for consideration and good analysis the difference between having an in house person versus what has been done in the past. In the past, a firm did our landscaping and woodlands. She asked that Council bear in mind that the review costs are pass through costs. She would like an analysis because she is concerned about the legacy costs. She said she had some e-mail exchanges and Ms. Mc Beth indicated that the landscaper, when he gets over burdened, uses Vilican Leman, and they do our woodlands as well. She said when she was on the Planning Commission Linda Lemke and
Associates did everything. She thought there might be continuity in the sense that any staffing change would not affect them. She said she would like to have an analysis for comparison. She said when Council first talked about in house they did talk about reviewing it, and since this position is now open it would be a good time to have a review of that on a financial basis. She thought an analysis would be best addressed by Ms. Smith-Roy. She didnít expect it right away, but since Council is talking about the budget she would appreciate.
Mayor Landry said the City landscaper has tendered his resignation and asked Mr. Pearson if we were in the process of attempting to replace that employee. Mr. Pearson said the ads have been placed, and he believed the first round of interviews, with three candidates, will begin this week. Mayor Landry asked if there was a target date to hire someone. Mr. Pearson said given the work load and the demands that we have an out side firm doing this in the interim, it did cause an extra degree of coordination on their part to keep up with the work load, and said their goal is to have a qualified person at the earliest opportunity.
Mayor Landry said he understood Member Nagyís request to be a suggestion that Council consider contracting this out on a contractor basis rather than an employee. Also, she would like to see an analysis, no rush, and that this could be dealt with at budget. Mayor Landry said his thoughts were that if we are already out there looking, interviewing people, and need somebody, if Councilís pleasure is to do this analysis it has to be done sooner rather than later. He asked who was doing this in the meantime. Mr. Pearson said the firm of Vilican Leman.
Member Margolis believed that long term these kinds of issues should be looked at, because Council needs to look for the most cost effective way to deal with City services. She said her concern is to delay to analyze at this point on one position will really cause a burden on many fronts. She would be concerned about waiting for an analysis to hire. She would support looking at this in broader terms of goals for all City staffing, and how do we meet the demands of our entire City in many positions. She thought that was a much broader goal and a much longer process.
Member Mutch said when the shift was made from consultant based review to in house staff review, there were initial projections made in terms of cost savings. He thought there was an initial report that showed how those dollars and cents broke out. He asked if there was an initial report to City Council after that report was implemented, and have there been any subsequent reports. Mr. Pearson said there was definitely an analysis through the quarterly reports the first year in. He couldnít remember the time frames were of each of those subsequent reports were. As he recalled, they did hit the numbers that they have. He said they are tracking just the revenue in, but have not done a comprehensive look at the entire process to make sure that the fees are where they should be in terms of covering costs. He thought this type of report had not been done for about a year. Member Mutch said he didnít support the move from consultant based to in house review. He didnít support this in large part because of the legacy costs that would be coming by moving staff in house. He also realized that though those costs alone arenít the sole determination of whether we have one system or the other. He wanted to insure that that move met not only the operational needs of the City, but also the long term financial needs of the City. He said the concerns he had about long term costs only grow every year when talking about pension and health care costs of maintaining City staff in certain areas. He agreed that it had to be looked at comprehensively and not focus on a specific position because there is a broader issue than that. Member Mutch thought it was time to revisit that, and for Council to have some updated information that not only reflected the direct costs of having the employees working, but also the related costs in terms of pension and health care costs. These donít necessarily show up in the budgetís fixed numbers but will cost the City long term. It might also lead us to revisit fee amounts if thatís appropriate based on what the administrations indicating. He echoed what Member Margolis said that this should be looked at broadly, and he agreed with Member Nagy that it is time to revisit it.
Member Nagy said the reason she brought this up was not to make this a narrow over view, but because it is the only position that is open. She thought that in view of the last couple of years in regard to the budget, unfunded liability, etc., and other costs raising it would be prudent to review these numbers for the departments at large that we have used consultants for in the past. She wasnít saying that this or that happens, but at the point we are economically, Council must review these costs, and it was something that was a goal of Council before. She would like to see this in general for departments that we have used consultants for in the past. She thought it would help the budget process as well, and she was not sure how long that would take. She also said that maybe they should look at the fee structures. She said this would be very important information to have for the budget meetings.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson how long it would take for the administration to generate a report, to dig out the old report that was done when the decision was made to go to an in house landscaper, and then to report what the dollars had been from that time up until now. He asked how long it would take just for a landscaper position to do that. Mr. Pearson said they would probably take the opportunity to do it globally like they had in those quarterlyís for each of the disciplines, meaning planning and engineering, going into budget. He said they had the revenue expenditures for all of those and he thought it could be done by the next quarterly report at the end of March. He said that would be in sync with budget deliberations and any fee adjustments, and anything else that they might want to do there. Mr. Pearson said there are the direct costs, the long term costs and then also the product we are delivering. He would want the opportunity to talk a little about that in regard to what we are able to deliver with our current alignment of in house/out house professionals that are doing these things. He asked if he could have until the end of March to do this.
Mayor Landry said, as he understood what Member Nagy was suggesting, is that we do not hire a landscaper until Council has an opportunity to review this information. He thought that was the issue that had to be dealt with tonight. Do we go that route or does Council say go ahead hire a landscaper but letís look globally, and look for that in the quarterly report or the budget. He asked what Council wanted to do.
Member Margolis said her initial comments were that Council had to move forward. She thought that when we get to the point, as a Council, that we are looking at individual positions we are not really setting policy. She said Council is starting to get in and look at individual positions. Member Margolis stated their job was to look globally at this issue. She said as a consultant herself, she thought that Council needed to look at what the cost is to have someone in house to manage the consultants. She would like this in the report also. It is important that there are people to make sure the consultants are doing what they say they are doing, and that also takes staff time. She said she was not saying she was against or for any particular position, but Council needs to take a look at this more globally. Member Margolis said she would not support waiting to hire the landscaper.
Member Mutch said he would echo that also. He said he was not looking to delay an individual position. He said the spirit of Member Nagyís request was to bring the issue forward with all the information, and see how it falls out. He added that any discussion this Council would have about the broader policy issues would be in conjunction with the new City Manager, and that person would have a lot of input into that process. He thought having the information available would allow Council to make an informed decision, and would also assist that new person in evaluating our current structure in deciding whether they want to continue forward with that, or if there are some adjustments that could be made.
Member Nagy said her intent was not to stop the hiring process for a landscaper. She said her intent was to bring this issue up so they could look at it in a global sense. She agreed with Member Mutch and had thought about the fact that they would soon be interviewing people for the City Manager position. This is also information that if we did this globally, the direct and the long term costs of several of the departments, that previously had consultants, and we have someone in house that would oversee those consultants, are things that need to be looked at and have ready for the budget session and the City Manager. The more information we have the better the decision we can make. Her intent was not to stop the hiring process for the landscaper. Mayor Landry apologized for misstating her position. He believed that administration had the consensus of Council to bring something back to them, and to continue with the pursuit of a landscaper.
3. Parks Foundation Ė Member Nagy
Member Nagy removed this item.
4. Preparation for Economic Development Goals Discussion Ė Member Margolis
Member Margolis stated she Council has a session scheduled at the next Council meeting with Oakland County Economic Development to discuss economic development goals. There was some discussion of then doing some charging of the Economic Development Corporation. She had been researching economic development goals in terms of the direction that the City could go to encourage economic development that is positive for our tax revenue. She wanted to encourage Council to submit their thoughts to that packet. She had things she would submit so that they could be looked at in a global sense. She didnít think that discussion could take place at the goal setting meeting, but perhaps it would set us in a direction of where we want to go with that issue.
Mayor Landry said at the next meeting they would devote the first hour to a discussion of economic development. Mr. Pearson said that was the plan and that he had confirmed this discussion with Maureen Krause of the Oakland County Economic Development. Ms. Krause would attend and give a 10 to 15 minute overview with the balance of time for Council discussion. He said anything that can be submitted ahead of time would help to make the best use of that time. He also invited the Economic Development Corporation members to sit in the audience.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Their being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 9:23 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean Date approved: March 6, 2006