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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, Council Members Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, Interim City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
Barbara Mc Beth, Director of Planning
Rob Hayes, City Engineer
Benny McCusker, Director of the Department of Public Works
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-06-03-048 Moved by Margolis, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
1. City Council Economic Development Goals
Maureen Krauss, Deputy Director for the Oakland County Economic Development and Community Affairs, said they were long time partners with the City of Novi, and wanted to continue serving in that role. She said she spoke to the Planning Commission several months ago to discuss what role the County plays in economic development, and what role the 63 local communities play as well.
Ms. Krauss noted she wanted to talk about the levels of economic development in the State of Michigan, and how we all work together. She thought the State system of economic development between the State, Counties in Michigan, and the local communities worked quite well. They work together as a team, which is the best way to do economic development.
Ms. Krauss noted she would begin with what the State rule is in economic development. However, she would first recognize Cynthia Grubbs and Larry Gormezano, who were present from the Michigan Economic Corporation, and were very supportive of the County and the City of Novi. Ms. Grubbs is assigned to and is a resident of Novi. She knows Novi companies, and talks with them on a daily basis helping to identify opportunities for their expansion. She also identifies concerns they have, and works with the City staff to resolve them.
Ms. Krauss said the State has a very aggressive business retention program, and Oakland County partners with the State and local communities on a daily basis. The State is also involved in business attraction. If a company is looking at Michigan from out of state or from a different country, they wouldnít know to call the City of Novi or Oakland County; but they would know to call the State. The State works with these companies to identify the best location and the projects filter down to us. She said the State is their partner in putting together incentive packages to encourage companies to stay in Oakland County, and in this case in Novi, as well as to attract new companies here. She said they could not put together a competitive incentive package without the State at the table with them.
Ms. Krauss said, regarding work force development, once again, the systems through the State the County and our local work force development offices. This helps to retrain employees who are displaced and find employees for companies that are looking at growing here. It is a very good system at helping to keep our work force trained and employed.
Ms. Krauss said the County has been very fortunate through the years; they have been able to piggyback on the States efforts on retention. They would organize more retention calls in Oakland County than their staff could keep up with, but that is changing a little. They are getting some additional staffing at the County to be more aggressive at getting out and meeting with companies. Ms. Krauss said they have 42,000 companies in Oakland County and it is tough to visit all of them. Sometimes, the ones that "squawk" the most get the most attention, and they get frustrated that they miss some of the really good opportunities out there. However, between all of them they cover as much ground as possible.
The County has embarked on a new business attraction program called their Emerging Sectors Program, and the Council had material in their packets about it. Oakland County has always had a very aggressive and well supported business attraction program. She said they are aggressive in their staffing, what they do, going to trade shows throughout the country, on call in programs throughout the country, and have a very aggressive international program. The County has the most aggressive international business attraction program in the State of Michigan, and some of their efforts rival that of other States for the County. She said it has paid off, and there are almost 700 foreign firms in Oakland County. They have been attracting, over the past ten years, an average of two new foreign firms every month.
She said County Executive L. Brooks Patterson had said that "we donít want to steal companies from Wayne County, Grand Rapids or other parts of the State. We really donít think we win doing that." However, we do want to look at companies who want to expand into the U.S. market or into the Midwest. She said they want to make sure that Oakland County gets a fair shot at that. Therefore, they have been very aggressive over the years in assigning people geographically around the world for business attraction purposes.
Ms. Krauss said regarding incentives, the communities are the ones that can grant tax abatements or fee waivers. Oakland County does not have a role in that, but do serve in a coordinating role to make sure that a companies needs are being met. They work with the State and local players to make sure they can put together a package that will allow the investment to occur in our area, and that the needs of the individual communities are met as well. Ms. Krauss said frequently they will have a company that is looking at four or five cities in Oakland County. She said they might work with the individual communities discussing the needs of the company, regarding permits, road issues, etc., so the company can look at all the different options and make the best decision. Ms. Krauss stated she always talks with Mr. Pearson if thereís a project that is remotely interested in Novi.
Ms. Krauss said from a financing perspective, as with the City, the County runs an Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as well as a Business Finance Corporation. They process Industrial Revenue Bonds as well as SBA-504 loans. These are a couple of common loan programs to work with companies that are looking at making new investment. In addition, helping to identify non-traditional sources of financing whether venture capital, angel investors or assist, in some cases, firms that just need to develop new banking relationships. She said they are a great resource at the County with regional players, such as the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership, many multipliers in the area who deal with companies, whether itís attorneys or accountants, we are networking to find resources for our companies as well as opportunities to get new leads for our companies. Finally, Automation Alley which started as an Oakland County initiative to coordinate with high tech business, and has now become a regional organization of which we are still a big player in. Ms. Krauss said, for their purposes, the focus is to attract and assist high tech businesses with the resources they need.
Ms. Krauss talked about what they would like to see or what they might recommend is a communityís role in economic development. She said she had been doing this for 21 years, and has worked at cities, counties and for the State of Arizona. Every community is unique and has their own priorities for economic development. It should never be the role of the County or the State to come in and tell you what to do. The first thing any community can do, whether small or large, is to have clear and consistent policies and procedures for your business community, because it helps make the process for that business smooth. If a company is coming in to do an expansion or a new location, chances are they donít do it everyday, and they need to have a consistent path to follow. Ms. Krauss said Novi has come a long way in her years of working with the community on their evolving policies and procedures. Also, she said Noviís use of the Internet and the web site has been great for companies.
Ms. Krauss said communications with local and State partners is critical. She said she might get a hint of a local company that is thinking of leaving or expanding. We are in the business of intelligence gathering too in order to help our business communities. When we work well with our partners and share information it is much easier to get things done. It is much easier to take care of a problem before it hits the paper or when it doesnít have to be solved in two days. She said more and more the Internet and your web site are really key pieces of information to have up to date and accurate for the business community to use.
Ms. Krauss said there is the issue of the role of incentives, and it is always a local issue to decide what to do about them. As local partners, they can present projects to the community, and let them decide if it is something they want to pursue. Whether liked or not incentives are around, and if they werenít it would make life easier. She said Arizona didnít have tax abatements, and what she learned is that if it impacts the companyís bottom line it should be considered an incentive by the company. Whether itís expediting the permit process, waiving permitting fees or providing abatement there are many things that could be considered incentives. Time is money for most of these companies, and sometimes a time saver benefit is a greater benefit than waiving a $5,000 fee. She urged Council to look broadly at the issue of incentives as they are not going to go away, and they would be available to provide information and answer questions.
Member Mutch asked what areas they should be focusing on in terms of business attraction and retention. Ms. Krauss said Novi has tried to participate when possible with State retention calls, and if the County has made a retention call. She said if you canít retain the businesses you have you are going to have a real hard time attracting new ones. So, it is critical to talk to your companies, and help them understand why City policies are done a certain way, way tax structure goes a certain way, etc. Also, any additional efforts to have one person designated as your EDC person or make sure that staff knows it is a priority, and has enough time to call on the business community, is probably the number one thing. She suggested setting up a phone number a business could call to get any business issue resolved. When talking about the bigger projects it would mean talking to the developers. She said when they go out they hear about trends and issues, and to have staff communicate that to Council is very important.
Member Mutch asked what she saw as obstacles for communities like Novi who have a lot of advantages over more developed urban areas in Oakland County. What are the things that we donít do right or run into problems with? Ms. Krauss said a couple issues come to mind that are issues of growing communities, and per se Novi. One is not having enough staff to keep up with the permitting process, building plans, etc., and it was frustrating for companies to have eight different consultants reviewing their plans. She said as Novi has been able to add City staff with growth the consistency has been getting better. All growing communities have to know how to make their process more mature.. Another challenge that growing communities face is communicating with residents. The reality is that residents donít always pay for all the services they demand. It is important in a community to have a mix of residents, businesses and industrial high tech businesses; it helps to balance the tax load a little better. Ms. Krauss said we have a tremendous quality of life in this County, and we wouldnít be able to afford it if we didnít attract good tax paying businesses. A well planned community with a good quality of life really does go hand in hand, but you have to have a strong business support to pay for that as well. She said communicating that to residents is a continual challenge and is a message that needs to continue. They need to understand why you have an Industrial Park, high tech area or why a road improvement is needed in one of those areas.
Member Nagy asked when she mentioned the processes are sometimes a hindrance to development, was she differentiating between the process and whether a city has in house staff or consultants. Is it the process and the length of time it takes? Ms. Krauss said it is much better now that you have in house staff, because they are able to have more consistency in how policy is implemented, or what is being required out of the business community. She said this is a positive thing that has happened in Novi. Member Nagy asked if Noviís permit process has been a problem for some of the developers. Ms. Krauss replied she believed it has, but reminded Member Nagy she was looking over a ten year time span in Novi. She said Council had to keep in mind that they always had to work on reputation too. She thought Novi projects are easier to do than they were ten years ago, but Council needed to continually reinforce that with the businesses and development communities. She said Novi is moving in the right direction. Member Nagy asked if the comments she made regarding problems and processes were something that happens all over Oakland County. Ms. Krauss said yes, it is a part of the growing process. In general, the older communities that donít have the volume and new types of projects handle them easier.
Member Margolis noted she appreciated the information and felt the staff and partners had done a great job in moving things along, and it was time for Council to set some very specific goals about where they want to go with economic development. She felt it was difficult for staff and every body to work towards things that Council hasnít really specified.
Member Margolis stated she has had conversations with Automation Alley and other partners to try and gather information. She sent the Mayor and Council a memo on the importance of the Council setting goals about economic development so that the staff understood what direction Council wanted them to go, and to track our progress in this area.
She said the goals in her memo would ensure the long term financial viability of the City. It is essential that people understand that businesses, especially high tech businesses, bring in a lot of revenue to the City, and donít use as many services. One goal is to improve the internal processes, reducing the time and variability in planning and building. She agreed the staff has worked hard on this, but Council needs to set a direction of where they want to go. She said time is money, and that is a huge incentive for someone to be able to do that. Another goal is to retain and encourage growth in the community by really talking with the business owners, improving the processes in the existing ordinances, and listening to them and looking at what processes, ordinances there are that come up over and over, and then examine those. The other is to attract quality new development, and what they needed to focus on was the OST District. The OST District is built out at 33% and that is tremendous growth. Also, make the process easier for businesses we want to attract to OST, which would make the process faster. However, that was not to say we slow anyone else down, because the process needed to be worked on for everyone. Finally, to work cooperatively with the partners, the EDC, Planning Commission, staff, MEDC, Oakland County, Automation Alley, Chamber of Commerce, etc. There are a lot of people who are interested in this. Member Margolis suggested giving this to City staff and EDC to look at, gather information, and come back with a plan and thoughts on these goals and direction.
Member Paul agreed with all the goals. After two years on Council, the most consistent comment she heard was that even though someone had been given a review with comments, they make changes and resubmit it, and they got the report back with the old comments. She said that can be improved on. Council needed to look at how the process went once something was submitted. If they have to resubmit the same materials, itís very expensive, they get frustrated, and Council gets the angry phone calls. Most people in the community donít think they are getting the services they want. If we have balance between OST and Light Industrial, and good businesses come in and stay, and new ones are attracted, that offsets the people using our schools and roads who do not live here, but come in, do their business and leave. They support our restaurants, etc. This should be our benchmark of how we can improve the process and get them through all of our departments.
Member Paul asked Mr. Pearson, with his new role, how he would be able to go on the business retention visits, and if he thought someone else needed to do that. Mr. Pearson stated, for the last year plus because of the work load, Barbara Mc Beth, Tim Schmitt, Sheryl Walsh, and himself had been making the visits. He said he tends to handle the higher profile visits, and ones that someone had worked on. He thought there was a lot of benefit to having several people do it as a team. Member Paul said she was looking at the packet submitted regarding tax abatement guidelines by Canton Township. She said it didnít mean she supported tax abatement, but was curious about, and impressed with their point system. They look at the cost of the project or improvement, and how many jobs will be brought into the area, and give point systems accordingly. She thought it was a nice way to look at it, and perhaps it would work for Novi. If they are bringing in a large amount of high paying jobs it would help decide whether to give more incentives. She said with the OST only being at 33% build out, she hoped they could improve on that, and it would be significant to gear up for the Light Industrial OST businesses. Member Paul said the health industry is the one industry that is growing in the State. Therefore, if we look at them, and what they need to surround them, it would be helpful. She cited some of the businesses on 12 Mile Road that are looking to attract people for the hospital. She suggested getting ideas from our health industry on what they need, and what we could do to attract those businesses. She thought this was an excellent discussion, as she didnít want to lose Noviís edge Novi on growth, and hoped Council could move forward with this.
Member Gatt stated excellent comments were made by Council members. He noted that most everything discussed was designed to make new businesses coming to the City more comfortable. He thought they should also look at making business easier to conduct by people already here by reviewing the sign ordinance, window dressings, etc. He said the comments he had heard was that Novi was a difficult place to do business once the business was here. He cited an example of an ordinance where a business was cited for parking a truck with their logo too far from the business. It was felt to be advertising, but was parked there to allow customers easier access to the business. He asked Administration to look at every ordinance, and make them more conducive to operate and do business in Novi. He said Oakland County is doing that .These are tough economic times and the rules need to be bent to make it easier to operate a business in Oakland County.
Member Nagy appreciated Member Margolis for placing her comments in writing. She said they had started working on the ordinances, such as the sign ordinance. Member Nagy mentioned Channel 13, and thought it would be a good idea to preview the new buildings and businesses already here. She felt the Council goal sessions should be about economics, and not just a wish list. She also thought the members of the EDC had a lot of knowledge, and she would like them to be like an ambassador, and speak to some of the businesses. She would also like to see them take on more of a role, and give Council and the Administration some ideas. She noted there was a book that had a specified review time for each project, and she would like to see it enforced. These are all good suggestions and she believed Council had the best interest of the City at heart. She would like to see research and development businesses. She complimented the Administration on the web site, as she has heard nothing but compliments about it.
Member Mutch thanked Member Margolis for the outline she provided. He thought focusing on some of these process issues had the potential to create an environment that encouraged the businesses to stay here and grow, as well as bring in new businesses. He would like to see EDC look at the big picture. Not only do we have to talk about the processes that do or donít work, we need to create that environment, and that means talking about infrastructure so that it focuses on the economics. He said Portage has a very aggressive Capital Improvements Program that is focused on economic development. Member Mutch said driving down I-94 thereís a billboard that says "$10 million of investment generated 1,000 jobs this year and $100 million in tax base". He felt Council should be having a conversation about Capital Improvements. We can put water and sewer in a lot of locations in the community, but where that pays off, whether a subdivision or new Industrial Park, or Husky business, it is a real range of pay off. The City should go beyond the traditional infrastructure of water, sewer and roads, and recognize that for many high tech businesses things like telecommunications networks, data networks, wireless access, etc. are just as important to them as it was to the manufacturing companies to be located on the railroad spur or to have access to the freeway. He said Council needed to recognize transportation beyond the traditional, to how do we get people to this community to work. There are 40,000-50,000 residents and many do not work here, and leave the City during the day. He thought the day time workforce population was probably 100,000 people from the CEO to the person working at the fast food restaurant. We need to get a whole range of people in this community in a way that doesnít harm our roads and overwhelm our infrastructure. Member Mutch said those are the things he would be looking for beyond process, and he saw that as environmental. He was glad to hear the information about the web site, and thought there was a lot of information in the City that could be leveraged through systems like GIS, which would be perfect connections for the business community. Member Mutch said to allow them to do a lot of the site selection work on their own, and then come to Council when they have identified the property they are ready to develop. He said there was also discussion on who was accountable for economic development, and he wanted to see that spelled out as a goal. We have some accountability; whoís the person to talk to if you want to expand or move to Novi, and who do we look to to make sure we are making progress. Several years ago there was an Economic Development Coordinator in this community, and they did an excellent job in bringing in some real big projects. We have done well since then so it is not the only way that works, but the benefit of that is having some direct accountability. In terms of economic development, he would be looking for suggestions along that line as well.
Mayor Landry thought this had been a wonderful discussion, and it behooves Council to task somebody to take the ball in this area. He would like to see the Economic Development Corporation do that, and thought it was the spirit of Member Margolisí memo. He suggested, if Council was in consensus, to ask the EDC to take Member Margolisí memo, all the comments made tonight, meet and come back to Council in 120 days with some suggestions.
CM-06-03-049 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To ask the Economic Development Corporation to use Member
Margolisí memo, all the comments made tonight, meet, and come
back to Council in 120 days with some suggestions.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello thought the first goal of Member Margolisí was something that was addressed at the joint meeting with the Planning Commission, and it should stay with Council to work on. He felt Member Margolisí 2nd, 3rd and 4th goals should be sent to the EDC. Mayor Landry agreed, and thought the vision was something that was ultimately up to the City Council, but wouldnít be opposed to any one giving their advice on what that vision was. Yes, it is ultimately Councilís decision but he would like to send the first goal to the EDC as well. He stated he was interested in the EDC benchmarking other municipalities for processes, permit time, etc., and if they have a recommendation of how to measure that in Novi, he wanted to hear it.
Member Margolis said her purpose for this was that she thought the Council needed to adopt a final set of goals, all of the goals. She agreed with Member Mutch about adding something about Capital Improvements and how to do that. She said the purpose of the accountability piece was how we work with partners. If they could take these goals, come back to Council; discuss how they looked at them, how they modified them, and if they think Council should adopt this structure for their goals and objectives. Then Council could move forward in terms of tasking staff to really work on these goals and the partnership. She said that was her purpose for the memo and not that Council takes some, and EDC takes some. Ultimately, these need to be Councilís goals and Council needed to push this, be on top of it, and measure it all the way through. She said they could be wonderful partners in implementing our goals.
Member Paul agreed with both speakers. She thought they could improve the processes by talking to the Planning and Building Departments, and work on that internally ourselves as well as get their feedback. She said while the EDC is working on this, Council could talk to these departments about what could be approved. She suggested that each month a different department report to Council about their process, how it works, what has and hasnít worked, and what ordinances are difficult for businesses. Council has tools here, and she felt that Council could focus on that also, and then gather all the information and work out these goals. She suggested, at the next meeting, one department could report on the above suggested items, and Council could give their thoughts on what they have seen that are or are not working.
Member Nagy thought it was important to give the EDC the authority to go out and talk to the businesses. One on one conversation are always the most valuable, and she thought businesses would feel more comfortable speaking to the EDC member rather than a Council or Administration member. She liked the idea, and agreed with Mayor Landry on the 120 days being sufficient time. Member Nagy noted she appreciated Member Paulís suggestion about the departments, but the Council has interviews for a City Manager coming up, the budget, and thought department reports could wait until after the budget. These departments are under pressure to do their budgets right now. She would look forward to the comments from the business owners through the EDC.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson who the staff liaison was to the EDC. Mr. Pearson said he was.
Member Paul asked if instead of having the EDC go out and talk to all the individual business owners could the City host a business meeting, perhaps a breakfast, with staff and the EDC members, here to hear their thoughts and suggestions. Also, Council could share the goals they have and what they are looking for. She thought it would be a very hard task to accomplish in four months. Mayor Landry thought it was a great suggestion. He said how they would do it should be left up to them. He supported this, and encouraged the Administration to be supportive any way they can.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-049 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,
2. Capacity, Management, Operations, and Maintenance Program (CMOM) Ė Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment, Inc.
Mr. Pearson said this is a report on sort of the unsung hero of our sanitary sewer system. This is a comprehensive report, over the last year plus, doing a lot of analysis and measurements at the sanitary sewer system. He said Council has had the report for the better part of a month, and now the presentation. The purpose is to present it to Council in an overview fashion and to answer any questions they might have. Mr. McCusker will begin and then Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment will present, and Mr. Hayes will close.
Mr. McCusker, Director of Department of Public Works, said in late 2004 Orchard, Hiltz, & McCliment were hired to begin the study of the sanitary sewer system. He thought the report had a lot of interesting facts that Council needed to know about the system. It would talk about getting to capacity through build out in the City, plugging some of the holes that might be in the system, and with new technologies bring Novi to the 21st Century with some of the tracking and reporting that has to be done for outside agencies. Mr. McCusker said present tonight are Vyto Kaunelis and Robert Czachorski from Orchard Hiltz & McClement who will do the presentation.
Mr. Czachorski, Project Management for the Development of the City Capacity, Management, Operations and Maintenance Study (CMOM) which he would give Council an overview of their findings this evening. Council has had the report, slides and executive summary from the report for their review.
Mr. Czachorski said CMOM was a tool developed by the EPA to help communities to better operate and maintain their sanitary collection systems. He said they are going through the same steps that the EPA outlined for their CMOM program. The City started the CMOM program about a year and a half ago, and they spent the better part of last year really working on the first phase of what the City envisioned being a three phase program to implement the CMOM. Tonight, he would present the findings from that first phase study.
Mr. Czachorski said these are some of the objectives of the Cityís CMOM program, and for reference, he had the Sanitary Collection System Map. The colored pipes on the map represent the sanitary sewer pipes and the black squares represent the pump stations. Most of the sanitary collection system comes out of the south east portion of the City, and there is also a section of sewers around Walled Lake. He said he wouldnít read the objectives, but pointed out that the second one, the capacity, is really the focus of this first phase of CMOM. The C part is the capacity, and that is what will be presented tonight. The last one, the operation and maintenance efficiencies are the M part, or the MOM, part of CMOM are a focus of the second and third phases, and would be coming in the future. The first and third bullets of those objectives are carried throughout the entire CMOM program.
Mr. Czachorski stated the six major accomplishments they had from CMOM. The first one is that they created a common base of information. They found that the City DPW, Engineering, Planning and GIS are all working with their own sets of information. He said they looked at the GIS database for the growth areas, existing, planned and future growth, and projections of flows, status of pump stations, and location with high wet weather flows, and created that common base of information that everyone is working from and agrees with.
The second major accomplishment is they implemented the transition of regular tasks from consultants to the City staff. For instance, the DPW is now performing flow monitoring and collecting rain data rather than hiring a flow monitoring consultant. He said that transition work occurred, and the training was performed, as part of this first phase. He said the City Engineering Department is now collecting that flow data, and doing the processing and analysis on it, and analyzing the rain data. They also do the sewer permit tracking in house.
The third major accomplishment is they identified areas with high wet weather flows, and identified areas where the City should be performing wet weather flow removal. He explained that during rain events there is some leakage, inflow and infiltration of rain water into the sanitary sewer, and the idea was to find it and remove it. They found it by doing flow monitoring in the spring. They also found that the system is not in terrible shape. There are no alarming wet weather flows in the system, and actually the flows are pretty good, but there is a wet weather flow increase. He said given some of the outlet capacities that exist in the treatment plants that the City discharges to, itís a good idea to find those wet weather flows and remove them. It is a good practice because every drop of wet flow taken out of the system creates capacity for growth. They identified two major areas generally located south of Ten Mile and east of Meadowbrook. They were the areas with the highest wet weather flows, and corresponded to the older part of the system. Mr. Czachorski said they are recommending that those areas are followed up with further investigation to find those wet flows and remove them.
He stated that after looking at wet flows the next step was to project base flows. This is the actual sewage flow generated by the users of the system, and the flow that is supposed to be in the pipe. They did the base flow projections for three separate districts. The City discharges to three different wastewater plants, with the largest being in the south part of the City, and probably two thirds of the City. He said that goes to Wayne County for ultimate disposal in Detroit. There is also the Walled Lake plant, and a small portion in the north east part of the City that goes to the Commerce plant. He said separate base flows were projected for each of those three areas. He explained that, on the map, there was a black line that shows those three districts, and then the white areas are customers currently served with sewer; the pink areas are currently in the planning and development process. There are site plans submitted and they are in the development process. Yellow are vacant areas that are expected to receive sewer service at build out. He said the existing flows for the whole City are 11.8 CFS, the southern part that goes to the Wayne County system are 9.6 CFS. The future projections are 18.5 for the whole City and 14.5 to Wayne County, or about a 50% increase in base flows.
Mr. Czachorski said next is their capacity assessment. They looked at the capacity of the major interceptors in the Cityís system. He said, on this map, the green pipes are sewers that are carrying during peak flows less than 30% of their capacity. The yellow pipes are sewers that are carrying between 30% and 60%. He said there are no red pipes that would indicate 90% or over, and that is good news. There are no major interceptor bottlenecks in the systems. The one exception is Lannyís Road, which is not shown on this map because it is in another study, and the City is currently in the process of designing and constructing an improvement for that interceptor.
He said there are a couple of pump stations that do not have adequate capacity, and they are Bellagio and Hudson. However, both of those stations are planned for upgrades. They have a bay for a third pump to be dropped in, and just need to be upgraded as they were planned to be. The last two bullets on the capacity assessment are the heart of the findings of the study. He said both the outlets to Commerce/Walled Lake and to Wayne County need additional capacity.
Mr. Czachorski said to address some of the capacity bottlenecks that exist at the outlet they initiated discussions with Wayne County and the Western Townships Utilities Authority to acquire additional capacity on behalf of the City in the Wayne County system. The Western Townships Utilities Authority is three townships, Plymouth, Northville and Canton that currently discharge to Wayne County, but later this year they will disconnect and send flows to the Ypsilanti plant in Washtenaw County. He said that will create about 14.4 CFS of capacity that they will be looking to sell. Plymouth Township and Northville Township are also looking to sell their capacities. He said there is an opportunity for the City to buy that capacity, and increase the amount of capacity that could be discharged to the Wayne County system. It would also give the City an opportunity to relieve some of the capacity in the Walled Lake and Commerce systems by diverting some of those flows to the north, down to the southern district and out to the Wayne County outlet. He referred to the graph he was showing and said the black line represents the Cityís current capacity at 24.48 CFS; the blue line is the flow response to a ten year one hour storm. The flat part of the blue line is base flows generated from regular use, the dry flows. He said during a ten year one hour rain event this is the response that they projected would be in the sewer system, and it goes up a little higher than the black line. The peak of the blue, ten year graph is 23.1 CFS and the Cityís contract capacity with Wayne County is 20.48. He said looking at the existing flows of 18.2 CFS they were projecting that Novi has 3 to 5 years of growth before they reach capacity. He said that amount of flow occurring in 3 to 5 years corresponds to the flows in the Cityís planning process. This is a pretty proactive position to be in for the City, many communities donít realize they have a capacity problem coming until it hits, and the MDEQ issues a moratorium on building permits. He said Novi has time to plan on how they will deal with it.
He said that is where this accomplishment comes in. There is 14 CFS available, possibly in the Wayne County system for purchase from WTUA, and they are looking at how much of that capacity might be available in the pipes, how much could be used by the City, and those studies are ongoing. He said the recommendation is going to be to buy that capacity from Wayne County and use it to handle these future flows.
Mr. Czachorski said their recommendation are:
1) Construct the Lannyís Road relief sewer (in process)
2) Acquire additional capacity in the Wayne County System
3) Perform sewer investigation and rehabilitation to remove wet weather flows in those wet districts (potential grants from the MDEQ and the State of Michigan)
4) Investigate physical condition of priority areas (potential grants from the MDEQ and the State of Michigan)
5) Implement advanced management tools
Mr. Hayes, City Engineer, said several tools could be implemented for use by both Engineering and Public Works Departments, and that meant the work could be done in house. Three of the tools that Mr. Czachorski identified in his report include ITrack, which is a software system that would allow the tracking of every sewer pipe in the City of Novi, and that would give us a good idea of how close we are to capacity in different districts. Another tool would be SCADA, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, which consists of computer hardware, software, and controls that allow Public Works to remotely operate and monitor key
parts of the collection system, such as lift stations, flow meters, etc. He said that would allow a kind of early warning system, and should a problem be about to occur it could be taken care of proactively. The final item in the report is a Computer Maintenance Management System, CMMS, (the SCADA and the CMMS would both be in this yearís CIP listed as individual items) and is linked to the GIS system as is the ITrack system, which is currently in place. The CMMS is a wireless network type system typically run off of lap tops that allow DPW personnel to go to a site, log in problems, repairs, track repairs and customer complaints, and generally manage the system, and put that data directly into a database. It is a one time entry for future reference. Those types of tools will be looked at during the next phase of the project in line with this recommendation.
Mr. Hayes said the next step in the CMOM process is to move onto the management, operations and maintenance phases. He said a real key task is to follow up on capacity issues. The Walled Lake Treatment Plant and the Commerce Plant capacity issues, as well as the capacity purchase from the North Huron Valley Rouge Valley system. They will kick off the MOM task as part of this phase, and investigate some of the advanced technology tools he mentioned, and then perform detailed investigations of the sewers to figure out in detail where the problem areas are.
Mr. Hayes said in phase three the level of involvement from the consultant will be up in the air. There might be a lot of these tasks that can be done in house with minimal help from our consultant. By that stage we should have a good handle on what needs to be implemented as far as operations and maintenance procedures. Mr. Hayes said they will do that implementation, acquire and put into place our advanced management tools, and do the actual construction to remove the wet weather from the system.
Mayor Landry asked if Mr. Hayes would be reporting back to Council on what the costs would be to purchase additional capacity. Mr. Hayes said Engineering in concert with Public Works would be reporting back.
Member Nagy said she was intrigued about the additional management tools and agreed with them. She asked if the CMMS would be an example to identify areas before it happened. Mr. McCusker said they are putting together a program that lists certain areas of town where there are specific problem areas. There will actually be a communication set up in those areas that can be logged into the computer on those sites, download those sites, and it will help manage what is going on in that piece of the system. He said most of the CIP this year will be from following most of the CMOM program. In the future it will identify projects, similar to the PASER; it will identify projects and give a priority so we will know where to be ahead of time. This community is far ahead of a lot of other communities that havenít even started this process yet. He thanked Council for having the foresight to allow them to do this. Member Nagy asked about buying capacity from Northville, and if she was correct that it would be about $16,000,000. Mr. McCusker said there is a number based on what we think the units are worth now, but we havenít really gotten into a negotiation process. Member Nagy asked when they sell capacity would there be surrounding communities that would compete to buy it. Mr. McCusker responded there might be additional capacities in the interceptor but Novi is a direct link to those communities, and for other communities to have a direct relationship they would have to build something to get to the interceptor. We are already on the interceptor. Member Nagy asked if she was correct in saying there is about $30,000,000 in the Water and Sewer Fund.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that is approximately what there is. Member Nagy said then Council would have to decide whether to take funds from there, or put it out for a bond issue. Ms. Smith-Roy said correct, but before they would recommend going out for a bond issue they would like to have time to prepare an analysis on the incoming tap fees, because tap fees are the capital charges intended to cover those costs. Member Nagy asked if that would be coming for budget time. Ms. Smith-Roy recommended that it come when they come forward with a proposal that WTUA is offering for the purchase. She said there is such a large range right now, and the computations that they have done for the cost of those units made her think they would be better served to address that issue when it comes forward.
Member Mutch commented that while on the Planning Commission and having dealt with a number of projects and several Master Plan updates, at numerous points along the way they would ask if there was water and sewer capacity for the projects. He said they were always told that there was or would be once the line was extended, and everything would be fine. He found it a little shocking to look at these numbers and see, for instance, the Commerce Township district, which was established about ten years ago, was not at capacity yet, but if we build out in the way projected we will exceed capacity. We have contract capacity of 3,800 units at Walled Lake, and now we are at 4,270 and going north heading up to 7,000. The Huron Valley System is the same; we are looking at exceeding our capacity. Member Mutch said we are projected to go way beyond capacity in every sewer district. It sounds like there are solutions to address that, but this goes back to what we talked about every time there was a rezoning changing the Master Plan, there are costs associated with those decisions, and those costs can be extremely expensive. Member Mutch said just to run down a couple of the solutions we talked about to address some of these, Lannyís Road relief sewer is $2 million, the North Huron Valley Rouge Valley system costs $6.3 million to $15.8 million assuming there is capacity, or an alternative regional project at $2 to $3 million. He said there is a pumping station at Bellagio serving sections 31 and 32, an area where there was nothing five years ago. Now, we have a statement in the report "if this district develops at a higher density than zoned the future growth will result in exceeding the capacity of the pump station." Member Mutch said we are already maxing out our utilities in a time span of less than ten years. He thought that Council needed to address the areas that could be addressed, but thought every future rezoning and Master Plan update that went before the Planning Commission, they needed to look at these documents, and recognize the dollars and cents involved with not thinking about the long term impact of these decisions. It is obvious we didnít track them the way we should have over the years, and now all of us using that water and sewer system are going to pay whether itís money out of the system, thatís money that could have gone for other improvements, higher rates or a bond issue. He said itís frightening that we would be in that situation but itís the reality we are facing. We have to take this to heart, and think about how our decisions are affecting our City long term.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said they only talked about buying capacity in Northville, and asked if there was any potential to increase the capacity in the Walled Lake or Commerce Township systems. Mr. McCusker responded there were a couple of short term fixes that they would see shortly. One is to be able to allow some of the CFS that is going to the Walled Lake system to be sent to the Detroit system rather than the Commerce system. He thought there was going to be a series of upgrades in the future in the Commerce system. He said part of that whole process is that we are sharing capacities in these systems, and the Walled Lake/Novi system is a very old system, and it goes around a lake so the potential for leaks into
the system has always been there. Shaking some of those excess water flows out of the system will give us more capacity in that system. The Commerce system is going through a process now because all of Commerce Township, a part of Walled Lake and Novi is in it. Itís a shared system. They have stopped things now, and we think we got a short term fix on that when we traded off taps. Mr. McCusker truly believed there was still capacity in the system, but they would have to shake out the numbers and prove that to the MDEQ. In the future, because of the amount of growth going on north of Novi, that system will probably have to be improved just based on whatís going on in the general Commerce area. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was not talking about the system that carries the flow; he was talking about the facility that treats the sewage itself. He asked if there was any opportunity to expand the capacity in either Walled Lake or Commerce Township. Mr. McCusker responded that some of the flows from the Walled Lake system can be diverted back to Detroit. Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if they could expand the facility handling the Walled Lake system, and not divert it. Mr. McCusker thought they were looking at expanding both systems, but they have to prove the need to the MDEQ, and they would have to prove other concerns that were in both the Commerce and Walled Lake systems. The expansion process is about a 3 year process on a plant, but the plant has the capacity to expand. He asked if it would be cheaper to buy capacity in either of those systems rather than the Northville system. Mr. McCusker said it is a lot cheaper to go to Detroit than it is to go to those two systems, because they have a by-product they have to dispose of at a smaller rate than the Detroit system.
Mr. Pearson noted the whole topic of plant capacities was one he identified in February as one of the things we wanted to keep close track of, so he has had a lot of conversations. His understanding is that the Commerce plant is permitted for expansion in terms of their effluent, how much more they can put into the water stream. They have run into a hiccup in past months with the State slowing down what everyone had assumed would be happening to the plant expansion, so they could expand the plant itself to handle more waste; that has to happen in order for our northeast quadrant to grow and develop. He said all that OST property, which he had shared correspondence with Council on; Commerce is on top of that and has more to lose than we do. There are other communities involved such as White lake. He said all the signals, signs, and communication are that it will work its way out, it just has to go through the process. He didnít know how they could buy any more capacity at that expanded; geographically it just doesnít work. He said the whole system is already designed to send a certain area to that plant, and it would be very hard to redo the whole system so it went that way. He hasnít heard that the Walled Lake Plant has the ability to be expanded itself, and with the time it takes to do that, he couldnít see it on the horizon. Mr. Pearson said the additional capacity down stream to the south, where most of the waste is already going, and getting that to a system is highly probable. It was described to him that these other communities have that capacity, and maybe there is someone who can buy some of that, but there is nobody else that needs as much as we will need. Mr. Pearson said he was very optimistic that we could work out a favorable arrangement to take care of all of our long range plans. He said we needed this study to define all of those things. He suggested that they would typically have a resolution adopting the report, so that codified it. He suggested that the Council charge staff to put together a team and start those discussions for buying the capacity. He said they would need a team of engineers, finance, etc. because it is not something that you write a check for $5 or $6 million, it can be structured. Again, they need to sell capacity to us so we can set up a deal, and in a lot of ways the $30,000,000 Member Nagy talked about is money that has been paid into by development, tap fees and the like. It is not quite accurate to say that current users would pay for all of this. There will be more users coming into this and paying tap fees to pay for their costs of addition. It is a very manageable, normal, growth management scenario and just needs to be worked out. It is very doable and we have options. On this agenda there is a fix for one of the sanitary sewer pump stations. He said theyíd be coming to Council faster than they thought. Theyíd talked about the CIP Committee, diversion line, and that will come before Council within the next six weeks, so they can increase our flexibility. Mr. Pearson said there are a lot of things that can be done, we are in a favorable position, we are out ahead of it, and he hoped that was the impression that was left out of the big picture.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if we have looked to see if Lyon Township would have capacity left after their growth. Mr. Hayes said no, they wonít. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said after hearing the $16,000,000 figure from Member Nagy, have we ever thought about developing our own plant. Mr. McCusker said they had not looked at that and thought $16,000,000 was probably what it would cost to build. He said the Wixom plant cost $20 million to service a community their size, which is a lot smaller than Novi. He thought $20 or $25 million would be closer plus long term heavy maintenance on a system. Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked Matt Quinn what the Lyon Township Plant cost, but he didnít know.
Member Margolis commended staff for this proactive and very systematic approach. She said if she was reading this correctly, the estimated cost on the high end was $15.8 million and the low end was $6 million. Mr. McCusker said they didnít think they needed to buy all the capacity available. He thought they could get by with less than they thought. They never got into negotiations because they wanted Council to look at it first, a long with the finance director and auditing people.
Member Margolis said she had talked about the wet weather flow, and she noticed the real point about the dry water infiltration, which is the same type of thing. In other words, there are leaks in the pipe that bring ground water into the pipes and take up capacity that should be for sewer. She asked if in phase II those issues would be looked at to repair those pipes so there might be extra capacity after that. Mr. McCusker said they would identify the areas of real concern and either by televising and/or smoke testing they would come up with an exact cost for repair, and then come back and repair them.
Member Paul said when a previous speaker was discussing this they were talking about the flow monitoring, rain data and the sewer permit tracking that you are now doing in house. She asked what the cost was of those types of things when they were farmed out. Mr. McCusker said he didnít know, but an outside engineering company did most of the work all the time, and it is a report that Mr. Coburn does on almost a weekly basis now to make sure that we are in line with what the MDEQ and Detroit says we need to be in line with. He said it was a service that was completely outsourced before. She said when the presentation came back with analysis of the cost she would like to see the savings he is already implementing, because that would be helpful. She said they talked about phase 1 of the CMOM, #5, it talked about pump stations that needed to increase capacity, and she asked what they were. He replied Bellagio and the Hudson District Station. She asked where the Hudson was and he replied the mid point of the district was at the freeway. He said that station was set up to have another pump in it, and was actually designed to pump north or south, but it needs an additional pump in it right now. Member Paul asked what capacity there was in those two areas and what the cost would be. Mr. McCusker said Mr. Coburn is putting together a design and inspection for all our pump stations now. They all kind of fit the same mode. There is one coming tonight, but the rest of the pump stations that are going to be upgraded will all look the same, and have the same components in them. Member Paul said she talked about diverting some capacity that we now use in both Walled Lake and Commerce to the Northville facility. If we do that, do we gain finances that were available to buy the capacity to those two areas? Would they buy back that capacity? Mr. McCusker said they would shift treatment that would have gone to the Walled Lake system down to the Northville or Rouge Valley system. It would be just one CFS additional to the system. There are other numbers we have to look at going to the south that is the major transmission line large enough to handle everything we need to send that way. There is some other engineering that needs to be done but there is no initial payback on that. We might have an initial savings from what we send to the Walled Lake plant, but it would be minimal. Member Paul asked if Mr. McCusker would come back with that analysis, and what grants were available. She said she would be looking for how much each sewer would be, and how many were needed, because it would save him a lot of man hours. She said she appreciated the foresight and pro-activity of the department, and said the engineering work was well done.
Member Nagy asked if one of the gentlemen from Orchard Hiltz could answer a question regarding Member Mutchís statement that at the present time we are over capacity. Mr. Czachorski answered that they were over capacity in the Walled Lake by the RU count; you are not over capacity in Commerce or the NHVRV district. He said in the Walled Lake district by RU count, because currently that plant is handling all the flows that come to it. So there may be a discrepancy between an RU and an actual flow rate. He said RU is a residential equivalent unit, in residential areas itís a house, and in commercial/industrial areas itís the number of homes that are equivalent in terms of the amount of flow they generate. He commented that the contracted capacity in the Walled Lake district is justified by the number of RUís. Every time a house gets connected or a commercial business the Ruís are tabulated, and those RUís add up to 4,200 Ruís and the capacity is 3,800. However, that doesnít mean that the flow being generated by those RUís are exceeding the plant capacity. It is very close but it is not exceeding capacity. He said there has been reference to the County and they are looking at the study, and at how much flow is being generated by the RUís, how much flow is available in the plant, and kind of correct that RU to a real flow. She asked if he would agree with Member Mutchís statement about when looking at site plans, rezoning or the Master Plan we should take these things into account. Mr. Czachorski absolutely agreed, and many of the improvements that Mr. Hayes talked about with the advanced tracking tools such as ITrack, CMMS and SCADA. They will give you the tools to really monitor the results of the decisions, and as each site plan is looked at it can be put into the permit tracking and compare all of the capacities of the pipes, pumping stations and really understand the ramifications of any rezoning or new developments. She asked if the point was that Mr. Pearson wanted a motion made so they could proceed. Mr. Pearson said, it is a big study, and he thought for historical record, and what they did with the water plan, was that they would come back at the next meeting, and it might be a Consent item, and have a formal resolution accepting the report. He said one of the directions from Council was to task Administration to a develop team, begin the conversation, and report back to Council about recommendations including additional capacity to the system.
1. Public Hearing on Brooktown Special Development Option (Gateway East Zoning District) for Woodland and Wetland permits associated with the submitted Preliminary Site Plan
There was no one present who wished to speak. Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk, advised Council that there were response forms at their table from Richard Antuna and Jean Grant.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE - None
2. CITY MANAGER Ė Setting 2006-2007 Budget Special Meetings Schedule
Mr. Pearson commented that Administration had distributed a memorandum on February 23rd suggesting that Council set their budget policy work sessions dates in April. He said with the holiday and various school breaks Saturday, April 8th at 9 A.M. and also Saturday, April 22nd at 9 A.M. was suggested.
Mayor Landry asked how those dates were for everyone. Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he would be gone from April 13th through the 23rd. Member Paul had a problem with the 8th but might be able to rearrange. She asked if they could meet April 1st. Mr. Pearson said the only problem would be that they are distributing the budget on March 31st, so Council wouldnít have time to look at it. Member Paul said she would be available on the 8th if the time could be changed to 10 A.M. Mayor Landry asked when the next available date would be and what the target date was to adopt the budget. Mr. Pearson said the next available date would be April 24th and the deadline, by Charter, is May 15th. He said they have scheduled to adopt the budget May 8th and have the public hearing that night.
Mayor Landry said if they were to meet on the 29th that would allow another Saturday if needed, as they could meet on the 6th of May, and still make the deadline. Member Paul said Monday the 24th is also available.
Mayor Landry asked Councilís pleasure. Member Nagy didnít want to meet at night because people would be fresher on a Saturday morning. She would like to stay with the dates suggested and save the 29th as a third. She said as long as there is a majority they can pass the budget on the 29th.
Member Margolis agreed Saturday would be the best day, but she would not be comfortable with setting a date with Council members absent. She suggested the 8th and the 29th.
Member Gatt concurred with the 8th and 29th and suggested setting aside Saturday, May 6th in case it was needed.
Mayor Landry said there is consensus of Council for 10 A.M., April 8th and 9:00 A.M. the 29th.
3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė Introduction of Building Department Satellite Office and Staffing Needs
Mr. Pearson said this has been put together with the theme of being ready for economic development and being the best host possible for new investments. He said one of the areas that Council has identified, and a genuine effort has been made to continually work on, is our processes. There is a significant amount of activity that is coming and is already here in Novi. Mr. Saven has put together a report that looks at just some of the major projects, such as Providence Hospital Park and related conference buildings. He noted that confirmation was received last week that there would also be another major development as part of that campus this year. Mr. Pearson said there would also be the Twelve Oaks expansion with Nordstroms, Macyís and the retail ring. Mr. Pearson said these are all significant projects, and you add that onto the residential development in the pipeline, with no reason to believe it will drop significantly, and the next three years are going to be even busier.
Mr. Pearson said the Building Departmentís report was distributed last week. It has projections for the revenue of those large projects, and when to start the conversation with Council in terms of how Council sees this fitting in with some of the other things. The Building Department is a self supporting area in terms of fees and expenditures and Administration has come to the conclusion that they are going to need some help soon if not now. He said full or part time staff could be hired or contracted work, and each has their pluses and minuses. Whatever staff added on would be physically located in former Fire Station #4 at Eleven Mile and Beck. This would be very advantageous because we already own it and it wouldnít take a lot to get it up and running as office space, and it is very close to Providence Hospital where a lot of the work is going on, and accessible to Twelve Oaks. Mr. Pearson said this report was to begin the discussion with Council, and they welcomed their critiques.
Mayor Landry commented that this was an excellent report. The need is laid out and all the statistics are in. He said the Administration will need Councilís direction, either now or set aside another time. It appeared to him that first, the Council needed to decide if Fire Station #4 would be refurbished. He said that would need to be done whether the work is done in house or by consultants. Fire Station #4 will need to house all the records as the central location. Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson if he wanted to discuss Fire Station #4 tonight, and leave the staffing for Council Action at the next meeting. Mr. Pearson said if there is agreement of Council that the space will be needed at any point that seems to be immediate, and will take more lead time. A design and contracts are needed, and it would need to be added on to our sanitary sewer system. He said this was something Council was comfortable with then more leg work would be needed, and they would bring it to Council as soon as it was available. Mr. Pearson said if they received some comments and questions from Council it would give them a chance to come back to Council with a more detailed recommendation.
Mayor Landry asked if any Council member was opposed to start getting estimates on what it would take to refurbish Fire Station #4.
Member Paul noted she was not opposed, but the space is now being used for equipment and asked where that would go. Mr. Pearson said there are two parts to the Fire Station. There are bays where the equipment is, and they would not infringe upon that. He said the balance of space is what they see as office space, which consists of the day room and the restrooms and that is what is in need of upgrading to make it usable office space. She asked
regarding the square footage, which Mr. Saven answered approximately 470 or 480 sq. ft. She also inquired about how many people would fit in that particular space, and Mr. Saven replied that there would be five people, four inspectors and a clerk. Mr. Saven also said that the space would be used for projects at both Providence Park and Twelve Oaks Mall. Since the new office would be located near these project it will be easier to have meetings at either location. It would be a win-win situation.
Member Nagy stated that she would support the Fire House being converted and hiring consultants to avoid long-term costs.
Member Mutch asked for clarification regarding the time-line for the space needed and Mr. Pearson said 2 Ĺ years at a minimum. Member Mutch asked if other alternatives were considered, such as the possibility of leased office space. Mr. Pearson added they investigated office space at or near the construction sites, which would be a possibility, however, the risks of co-habitation with the people you are trying to regulate would not be desirable, it was thought better to have more distance from the actual project. Since the Fire Station was available no other alternatives were investigated. Member Mutch asked Mayor Pro Tem Capello what he thought, and he replied by far, cash flow wise, it made more sense to use the Fire Station. Member Mutch noted he wanted to be sure that option would be explored.
Mayor Landry said there was consensus of Council to authorize the Administration to pursue the specifics and then bring back to Council specific costs for renovating the Fire Station. Mayor Landry asked if Administration wanted direction on the rest of the report. Mr. Pearson said that might be best put into questions of things Council wants to know more about. He said they talked about the number of people and work hours, and the different ways to go about that. So, if Council had questions they could come back with more information at a later date.
Member Paul said residential planning is very high, but she said there are over 500 homes in Novi on the market right now so she didnít know how long it would stay high. She said before hiring additional long term, full time employees she would like to see what will happen in the next six months to a year. She said part-time or hiring an agency would be something she would look at to compare the cost of what the long term analysis would be. She knew a lot of demands were put on the Building Department, and they have talked about their goals of decreasing the permit time frames, but she wanted to be realistic about what our legacy costs are, and not add to those. She would like to see a future memorandum in support of that.
Member Margolis commented that the Building Department had been talking about processes, and wondered what other cities were doing with comparable levels of development that Novi has. She wanted to see more comparables because we want to make sure that we are staffed to a level that can take care of the processes that need to take place. Member Margolis said she didnít see that information in this report. She also wanted to see a more comprehensive plan for the Building and Planning Department; which didnít mean she wanted it all immediately, but that there be a systematic process. She thought they were adding pieces and she wanted to look at it as a whole. She wanted to see a really outstanding plan because there are a lot of alternatives here in terms of part and full-time staff, how long would they be here, and how they would be used after the projects. She appreciated their being proactive and looking at this to make sure Council was ready.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello thought he would be in favor of contract staffing. It would give us the potential to go out there without creating a long term burden on the residents, and thought it a good idea to hire people who were specialized in these particular areas of construction.
Mr. Saven said he has the staff to take care of the hospital and the mall. These are people who are familiar with the community, and very involved in the development of the hospital, specifically with all the fire protection issues in regard to hazardous chemicals, oxygen, etc. He said those specialists are on staff, and have been involved with the hospital for a period of time. They are working on the starting permits for the foundations, and on the steel. To break this up would do nothing but cause a delay in the project, and Mr. Saven was very concerned about that. To infill with our backfill might be something to think about, bearing in mind that he didnít need anymore consultants. He apologized and said he fields the calls, and is the one involved in this, and it took him away from work and the professional people that can handle these particular issues, and that take care of the City. They have the interest of the City at heart, they know how he operates, and how the City operates to take care of the people. He knew it was Councilís call. However, every time we change a consultant or get a new one itís costing dollars, by the tons, to go through the changes that take place. Mr. Savenís opinion was that we canít be doing this in such a high volume type of operation. Mr. Saven said he listened to a lady from Oakland County speak about issues that went back 10 to 15 years when changes took place in the City. Mr. Saven said in the building process we have become so proactive, agreeable, and willing to bring projects forward, that we allow starting permits.
Mr. Saven said when a set of plans come in to the plan reviewer all we have that is constant is "this is what we are looking at for the building"; from a planning process we are looking at the building for size and height, etc. to meet the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. He said for the Building Department its type of construction, will there be a fire suppression system, will there be an alarm system, and can they build as big, tall, long, and wide as they can. These are the things we get. We get nothing on the interior of the building. Secondly, "I want to do steel but I donít have all my plans done, but the steel comes and then the masonry. We review those plans probably four or five times without having anything final or a set of drawings, because itís called fast track and design build. He said this is the method used today. Unfortunately, we have to deal with this situation. He thought if they talked to other communities they would find that they are running into the same problems. The design build is taboo to us because it costs us so much time.
Mr. Saven asked Council to imagine a plan examiner sitting at his desk; itís almost like building a car. We will give you the shell of the car, weíll put the color on for you, but there will be no engine and no interior. How can our building people review that set of documents the first time around, it is impossible, we canít do it. So that set of plans goes to a starting permit for foundations, and the next thing you know another set comes in, but mean while we are reviewing other plans. So that has to be stopped, to go back to that set of plans, and finish that review, but now it is inconsistent with what they did to begin with, and that is where they run into problems. The amount of times we look at the plans and the plan review is a horrendous problem for us and the industry. We have tried first time reviews at the counter, and it is very difficult to get them to come in. Mr. Saven said the bottom line is itís always going to be a problem unless we turn the industry around, and ask for a whole set of plans to review. He said thatís not going to happen because Council would get so much flack it would be unbelievable, because this City is growing so fast. He said that is where he is at, that is where the issue is, and he would really like to have people who are in the code requirements, that he has control over, and who would represent the City, even if itís part time. Mr. Saven said he would take a part-time person before he would take a contractual person. He said he hates to say it like this, but itís what he would be looking at.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he was not talking about a contractual person, and wasnít talking about somebody working outside of our offices. He was talking about someone who is working within our office, but would be paid on a contract basis as opposed to a part-time employee who would have benefits, taxes, etc. He said they would be under Mr. Savenís direct control and supervision on a daily basis. He thought perhaps, Mr. Saven misunderstood because he knew what Mr. Saven liked, what he wanted, and was not suggesting some one outside to track down when they were needed. He said this person would be someone he could get his hands on every day.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Schultz if it was possible to follow up on Mayor Pro Tem Capelloís suggestion to hire someone that would be in house. He said it was his understanding that Mr. Saven suggested taking his seasoned people and applying them to these two big projects, infill so to speak, with other people to take care of the other myriad of projects around the City. He asked if an advertisement could be put out that the Building Department in Novi was looking for someone for a year to year contract, a 1099, and no benefits.
Mr. Schultz said, in reference to the Charter in terms of if we mean "we" as through the managerís office who hires actual individual employees, as opposed to Council, then the answer would be yes, weíve done that on a couple of other occasions. He asked Mr. Pearson whether he has thoughts on the actual process of doing that kind of appointment.
Mayor Landry said it concerned him, and he was confident it concerned Council, the notion of adding two or three more full-time employees with legacy costs. He thought the reaction was how hard itís going to be to get rid of them in two and a half years. It is not going to be easy, just from a human factor stand point; it is not easy to tell some one sorry, sayonara. Mayor Landry wanted them to know coming through the door that this is a special project, and they might not be needed in two or two and a half years, and they should not be surprised if they are told their contract has not been extended,
Mr. Pearson said they have had preliminary conversations for a labor trim on exactly that, because we share that and it is good to get confirmation that Council shares that also. He asked Council for time to come back with recommendations on how to accomplish that. He said they do have certain provisions of our labor contract we need to live up to. He said they would dive into that deeper having heard all of this, and come back to Council.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said that she has met with the labor attorney and talked about the constraints of the contract, what can be done and what canít. She would be happy to bring something back to Council in writing.
Member Mutch asked which of these positions are currently union positions or potentially union positions. Ms. Gronlund-Fox said the positions that Mr. Saven has outlined are all currently full-time union positions. He said so thatís going to be a trick.
Member Nagy said she understood what Mr. Saven was saying and agreed with him. The reason she said consultants was because of the legacy costs. She asked if they couldnít be hired like people hired by the Ford Motor Company that worked under contract for an X amount of time. She wanted to look at it like that, and avoid the union stuff.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Pearson if he had sufficient direction from Council. Mr. Pearson said he did.
4. ATTORNEY - None
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Ė None
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-06-03-050 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-050 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy,
* Member Paul Ė absent from Council Chambers
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. February 21, 2006 Ė Regular meeting
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of March 6, 2006 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing pending litigation, privileged correspondence from legal counsel and labor negotiations.
C. Acceptance of Clark Technology Centre site (located at 29050 Cabot Drive) water main as a public utility, and approval of the Clark Technology Centre site storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement.
D. Acceptance of Carrier Real Estate site (located at 46820 Magellan Drive) water main as a public utility, approval of the Carrier Real Estate site storm drainage facility maintenance easement agreement, and waiver of the requirement for posting a maintenance bond for water main construction.
E. Approval to take the renewal option on the Water Service Connection Contract with
D & D Water & Sewer, Inc. and extend the contract period through April 19, 2007 under the same terms, conditions, and pricing as the original bid of March 18, 2004.
F. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 716
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part I
1. Consideration of Ordinance No. 06-82.05 of the City of Novi Code of Ordinances revising Chapter 29, "Soil", to insure that all revisions and updates within the
Michigan Department of Environmental Qualityís Part 91 and Rules are
incorporated. First Reading
CM-06-03-051 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 06-82.05 of the City of Novi Code of
Ordinances revising Chapter 29, "Soil", to insure that all revisions
and updates within the Michigan Department of Environmental
Qualityís Part 91 and Rules are incorporated. First Reading
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-051 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Landry,
2. Approval to award a contract for design and construction engineering services for Country Place and Stonehenge sanitary sewage pump station reconstruction to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber for a not-to-exceed design fee of $21,968 and a construction engineering fee equal to a fixed 9.99% of estimated construction cost (estimated to be $18,982) for a total of $40,950.
CM-06-03-052 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To award a contract for design and construction engineering
services for Country Place and Stonehenge sanitary sewage pump
station reconstruction to Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber for a
not-to-exceed design fee of $21,968 and a construction engineering
fee equal to a fixed 9.99% of estimated construction cost (estimated
to be $18,982) for a total of $40,950.
Member Mutch commented there was a note in the memo provided to Council indicating that we were going to investigate the possibility of installing permanent generators, and he stated he would strongly support seeing that in the final project that comes forward or as an add on in future projects. He agreed with Member Paul that there is nothing worse than dealing with sanitary sewer failure. He said after the black out we dealt with, thatís a given for future projects.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-052 Yeas: Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Landry, Capello,
3. Consideration of the request of ADCO Group, LLC for the proposed Brooktown Preliminary Site Plan, Woodland Permit, Wetland Permit and Stormwater Management Plan. The subject property is located in Section 23, south of Grand River Avenue and west of Meadowbrook Road in the GE (Gateway East) District
with a Special Development Option. The subject property is approximately 26.54
acres. The applicant is proposing a 225 unit multiple-family residential development with some retail/office, restaurant and live/work buildings, as
depicted on the previously approved Concept Plan.
Matthew Quinn, representing the ADCO Group, reminded Council that this is a project where Council had already approved the SDO for this Gateway East Zoning District, and it is recorded. Next the ordinance requires the preliminary site plan to go to Council to determine that itís in agreement with the conceptual plan that was attached to the SDO. He said there have been many meetings with staff over the preliminary site plan, review letters, corrections made, more meetings, and more review letters. In response to the last set of review letters of inside staff and consultants, a response letter was sent saying they would meet all the expressed concerns. One of the letters Council received from a neighbor on Cherry Hill, Mrs. Grant, has been met with and she is more than happy, as he understood it now. He said they promised they would cooperate, and meet with the City landscape people to insure they would meet the 80-90 landscape opacity requirements within the two year period and probably before that. He was happy to say that has been agreed to. As far as wetland mitigation either being on site or some other place, they think it can all be mitigated, but would partially be subject to the MDEQ review. If they have comments that do not allow full mitigation on site, then we have committed as part of the SDO to make payment to the City for the drainage program into Bishop Creek.
The major changes made to the review are that they have lined up the major driveway to the driveway across the street, and they have complied with the latest tree request requirements. He said there was an issue of whether all the trees had been counted, and that issue has been satisfied. Mr. Quinn said they are ready to go and would answer any questions Council had.
Ms. McBeth said the plan had basically not changed since the concept plan was first reviewed by the Council in September, and approved again in October of 2005. They still have the 225 dwelling units and a mixture of retail/office and restaurant uses within the building. She said they did provide a preliminary site plan January 12th and staff and consultants reviewed those plans, and had the reviews ready in about a month. She said, as Mr. Quinn indicated, they
had a meeting following that round of review letters, because there were a number of issues that still needed to be addressed. One of the main issues was that the woodland survey was not complete at that time, the buffer along the south property line and residents along Cherry Hill, had not been address adequately, and Council would not have been satisfied with that earlier proposal. Also, the wetlands mitigation had not been fully resolved. She noted that they asked the applicant to come in, and they had a meeting with City staff and consultants, and they talked about a number of issues. They chose, instead of revising the plans and submitting for another round of reviews, to come in with a letter, and there is an extensive set of response letters to all of the review letters that were provided.
Ms. McBeth said they are agreeing to all of the items that were included in the review letters with the exception of the six items highlighted on the second page of the motion sheet. As Mr. Quinn indicated there is 0.572 acres of City regulated wetland that is proposed to be filled. The applicant agreed in the SDO agreement that there would be a two to one mitigation on site, if possible, if not there would be a payment into the fund to improve the watershed in that area. She said there were other items, but they could be addressed at the time of final site plan if Council is so inclined to approve the preliminary site plan. There is a list on the third page of the motion sheet that has a number of bolded items as well.
Ms. McBeth said if Council was inclined to approve the preliminary site plan, they would recommend that these items be included and conditions of that. She said there are a number of consultants present, as well as staff. They are woodland consultant and acting landscape architect, Doris Hill, wetlands consultant Dr. John Freeland, traffic consultant Stephan Dearing, project manager and planner, Mark Spencer.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello noted this is not new to Council; they have been working on it for two years. He said Council, the Mayor and Mr. Piccinini had signed the SDO, and he found that the plans before Council tonight for preliminary site plan approval are substantially consistent to the plans that are attached to the SDO. There was one concern of Jean Grant that has been satisfied, and she sent a letter saying that she approves of the project.
CM-06-03-053 Moved by Capello, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the preliminary site subject to the
conditions cited by Ms. McBeth, the consultants and staff bulleted
on page 3 of the motion sheet, and to grant the woodland permit,
wetland permit, storm water management plan, and Design and
Construction Standards waivers. More detail should be provided
such as special paving, something to bring the frontage up to a
standard that sets an example to the Gateway district, rather than
showing something more common. A brick wall or show tiers, would be fine, but for this particular application it would need to be raised a little above that. That with regard to the wetland mitigation, that the provision in the SDO Agreement requiring on site mitigation at 2 to 1 is not going to be applied to the site plan, and that $75,000 per acre for whatever cannot be mitigated, and is being filled is $75,000 per acre.
Mayor Landry asked if those conditions had to be articulated, or can Council refer back to page three of the Administrationís submission of this item.
Mr. Schultz said if the references are the bulleted items on page 3, he thought that would be fine.
Member Paul commented she appreciated the evergreens that were put behind Mrs. Grantís property since she is 30 feet from the property. She said there is a question about the minimum width of a driveway for a single dwelling unit being 18 feet. Her understanding was
that there was a discrepancy by not increasing the driveway width to 22 feet. She asked for clarification.
Stephan Dearing, traffic consultant, asked if she was referring to the alleys. Member Paul said it is referred to as both alleys and driveways. Mr. Dearing said, regarding the alleys, City requirements are currently no less than 22 feet for a roadway that is going to function as an alley. His understanding was that the developers asked that to be brought down to an 18 foot dimension. In their experience, the Cityís requirement of 22 feet is well founded. Mr. Dearing said they had worked with a number of older communities that have extensive alley systems, and where they have 22 foot alleys they work well. For example, in Oak Park they have a number of alley systems that are only 20 feet wide, and have such chronic problems that they have to post them as one way. They do not function well as two way movements with anything less than 22 feet. Member Paul said the alleyways they would like 22 feet, but the single set width residential driveways are 18 feet wide, and asked if that was OK. Mr. Dearing
said yes. Member Paul also asked about #4 on page 2 of the motion sheet, which says "not aligning the west entrance drive with the drive on the opposite side of Grand River Avenue", and she wanted to hear his recommendation of what he thought was best.
Mr. Dearing noted that when this developer came into the City for pre-application discussions, they specifically identified that driveway as needing to directly align with the existing drive on the north side. He said they have been consistently ignoring that comment for almost a year now. Mr. Dearing said he discussed this with the Road Commission of Oakland County (RCOC) this morning, because they generated review comments on this plan. They basically said they were focusing on the main entrance because it is a boulevard location, and because the traffic study seemed to indicate that it might be signalized. He said they missed even commenting on the west driveway. However, when the applicant goes back to the RCOC they will be supporting our position that there needs to be a direct alignment between the two drives. Member Paul said as the motion stands does that need to be clarified. Mr. Dearing replied he thought it could be worked out in the next step.
Member Paul said looking at the front entrance there was a comment by staff that they would like it more enhanced. Are you OK with this plan now?
Ms. Doris Hill, the Cityís consulting landscape architect, noted the last review was completed by Mr. Shipman. She had talked with him and Council has approved the concept as it is so certain criterion has been met. She said, while reviewing the plan and speaking with Mr. Shipman about what his intentions were regarding the frontage, it seemed that just a little more detail should be provided, such as special paving, something to bring the frontage up to a standard that sets an example to the Gateway district, rather than showing something that might be more common. She said to have a brick wall or show tiers, is fine, but for this particular application she said we would want to raise it a little above that. She thought that could be worked out at final site plan.
Member Paul asked Ms. McBeth if she was comfortable with the current motion or does that have to be included. Ms. McBeth said she believed that an additional item, addressing that specifically, should be made because it is not exactly addressed in the comments.
Member Paul said while reading that comment to the maker of the motion, she realized that Ms. McBeth had spent a long time working on the Gateway District. This is a great project and would be one of the very first, and she would like to see it be the star itís intended to be.
Mr. Quinn said it appeared that this was a matter of definition that is going to go on forever. He said they believed it was a beautiful entranceway. It is going to be the key to focalizing people coming in through the entrance. He stated they believed they had met the intent of the SDO by the landscape diagram submitted. He said they didnít think there was anything more to do.
Mayor Landry asked what, specifically, did they want to recommend. Ms. Hill replied they would like more information on the detail of the materials, such as paver treatments in the pocket parks along Grand River. They also show two benches, and maybe there is room to put more in the front for pedestrian attraction. Mayor Landry asked if there was anything else. Ms. Hill said no, there were trash receptacles but she didnít know if they had proposed those.
Mayor Landry asked Mr. Quinn if they could live with those three items. Mr. Quinn said yes.
Member Paul commented that she appreciated the comment about the actual wetlands trying to be 2 to 1 ratio mitigation. Member Paul said when initially talking about this project they were all trying to meet the requirements of the two to one ratio of mitigation. She asked if when looking at the site plan they were confident that could be reached on this site.
John Freeland, wetlands consultant, responded that under the current plan he didnít believe they could get 2 to 1 mitigation on site; they can get no net loss compensation on site. He stated they could fill about what they were proposing to fill in the way of regulated wetlands. Member Paul asked if he was comfortable with the plan of the ratio or $75,000 per acre to the off site area. Mr. Freeland said he was. She thanked the applicant for improving the area and water flow down stream.
Member Nagy said when looking through the list of trees she noticed that it said ash exempt, and she asked why. Ms. Hill noted the Ash is exempt on the project when they document that the emerald ash borer has been located on site, and it was. There are significant stands of dead Ash trees along the back side of the property. In order to maintain the opacity that we want for the people on Cherry Hill, we might want to ask the applicant to take some of those Ash trees down, and put some of the replacement trees in those areas. Ms. Hill replied that they donít usually ask them to take them down in areas where theyíre not targeting a human or property. Member Nagy said if they have Ash Borer disease we donít want them in Novi, and Ms. Hill said they are dead by now, and will not create any further hazard. Member Nagy thought the project was really nice. She asked if there would be some money coming forward. Mr. Quinn said thatís correct.
Mayor Landry asked if the applicant took care of the question about increasing the sidewalk to 5 feet to accommodate the handicapped. Ms. McBeth said that was addressed, and they are at least 5 feet wide adjacent to the live/work area.
Member Mutch noted he and Member Margolis were coming at this a bit late, since most of this process took place before becoming Council members. He asked for a change to the proposed wetland mitigation area, as he had a number of concerns with that proposal. He realized that the intent was no net loss on the site, which was a good goal, and if they were accomplishing it in a positive way he would support it.
Member Mutch said the location concerned him because it is directly between buildings 10 and 11, and there are four or five lots along Cherry Hill that are going to bump up to that wetland mitigation area. He said it is pretty much cleared, and is not a wooded area so we are not losing woodlands there per se, but we are losing the opportunity to have a buffer area. He said his preference, considering the lack of buffering there now, the future use of the pool
area, and the noise and traffic associated with that, to not have the wetland mitigation occur at that location. He would like to see instead, some of the supplemental plantings placed there. Member Mutch said another concern, because of the lack of space in that location, was the wetland consultant indicated there was no 25 foot wetland buffer to protect the quality of the wetland. He was concerned about the flow from that wetland to wherever it will outlet. He thought it was too small to be quality, and whatever wetlands were lost on site, this would not be a quality replacement area. He would much rather see the wetland removed, the area planted with supplemental plantings, and then use the formula for off site replacement, and address it elsewhere in the watershed. The wetland didnít make sense in that location.
Member Mutch referred to the comment in the review letters about the boulevard entrance and the type of tree plantings. They did indicate in their response they would stagger those trees, but there were also concerns about the species and the lack of diversity? He said the species had been changed, and asked if there was still a question about diversity.
Ms. Hill responded she didnít have a problem with diversity since it is an isolated area, and as long as the applicant maintained the intent and spirit of what was proposed in the boulevard. She thought from a design standpoint it was quite nice. She would support what they were doing; however, she thought the density was a little too much on the plans that are before Council. Member Mutch said one of the requirements of SDO was to meet the opacity requirement of 80% to 90% adjacent to the residential areas. It is a little tricky because of existing trees and dead Ash trees, and we are trying to bring in woodland replacement trees, correct? Ms. Hill agreed, and Member Mutch said also evergreen trees to meet the opacity requirements in that area. She said right, in the woodland ordinance evergreen trees can be used on a two to one credit basis. So instead of putting in one replacement tree two would be required. Ms. Hill said along the north edge of the woodland, where the retaining walls are, they suggested at least a double row of evergreens along there. She thought the total number of credits for this project, at this point, was around 300. Ms. Hill said if you take half of them and doubled it about 300 evergreens could be placed along there. She said if she were on Cherry Hill, her concern would be the loss of the view, but if an evergreen buffer was there, which could be done with replacement credits, a lot of the view would be preserved most of the year around. Then the balance of the credits could be used in the areas where the Ash trees have died.
Member Mutch asked if there would be issues with bringing replacement trees into areas that are already regulated understory, and if there would be problems infilling. She said she didnít think so, because the areas they would choose would be areas where it is pretty much a dominant Ash location, and once those trees are cut down there would be an opening for the replacement trees. She said they want to take them down for safety and so they wouldnít fall on the trees being planted. He said that approach made sense. Member Mutch said the landscaping areas he had looked at and the plans he had seen mainly addressed the more eastern part of the site. He didnít have a good feel for whether what they proposed in terms of replacement trees, evergreens, and landscaping would address opacity and buffer along that area. He asked if she was comfortable with the plans she had seen. Ms. Hill said the most recent plans show that buffer planting, and she was comfortable with that, with the idea there are a few places she would like to add a few more trees. She thought they were willing to work with her on that. She planned to go out in the area once the trees were budded out, and thought that would be the wisest approach to take.
Member Mutch said the issue of the mitigated wetland, the southern location, if additional plantings were put there would that help address some of the noise and lights coming from the pool area. She said it would to a point, and she believed they could also put the plants in there if it is a mitigation area. She thought they had talked about putting in some Black Spruce, Cedar and Hemlock to fulfill both needs. She said the evergreens were all wetland friendly. Member Mutch said he would like to see both happen. However, he looked at the wetland with its 25 foot buffer, and the small size of it; and thought they could have a better affect elsewhere in the City.
Member Mutch said he thought, in terms of accessibility, that the less than 5 foot walks werenít required by code. Ms. McBeth stated he was correct, and that they had looked into it this afternoon after he asked the question. They found the building code required at least a minimum of 3 foot wide walkways to individual home doors was sufficient. Member Mutch asked Mr. Quinn about the varying sidewalk list.
Mr. Quinn said he would assume it is all design and open space.
Member Mutch asked Council what their opinion was on the issue of removing the wetland mitigation and having it carted off site, and if their preference was to stay with this proposal or go back to the original proposal that didnít have the wetland located there.
Mr. Quinn said that might not be up to any of us. It would be up to the MDEQ, and they were anticipating this particular area would be an MDEQ requirement. If itís not, then there is probably no reason to have it there.
Mayor Landry stated Member Mutch would like the moving of the wetland off site. Mr. Quinn responded that would be up to the MDEQ, it is part of their review, and not up to him or to Council. If they require that it be placed on site then it will go there. If they donít require it then they would pay for the money to go off site. Mayor Landry said he heard a one to one, and asked what it meant. Mr. Quinn said, in other words, right now that wetland is being replaced on that site for the MDEQ standards. Therefore itís on a one to one basis, and if it isnít there, and would have cost us $75,000, then we will pay the $75,000 to the Bishop Creek Improvement Fund.
Member Margolis appreciated the applicant working with the City so well on this plan. She said she would go for whatever the applicant wanted regarding the wetlands, because she
was looking at the minutes of the Council meeting from when this was brought forward. She said it was the Council who asked for this to be mitigated on site, and felt that Council needed to work in good faith with the applicant. She said the applicant had been working very hard to comply with our requirements.
Member Gatt agreed with Member Margolis, and supported whatever the applicant wanted to do. He thought this was a very exciting project. This Council sat and talked for an hour about economic development, and now we want to change the direction Council set this developer months and months ago. Member Gatt said whatever is best and good for their company will get his support. This is a $65 million project, and he thought other cities would give their right arm to be in our position. It will be a wonderful addition in Novi, and he commended them for coming forth.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello amended his motion to add that if MDEQ doesnít want them to mitigate on site, they would contribute whatever the equivalent amount of cash to Bishop Creek fund.
Member Mutch said he would vote for the project. However, we are creating a situation where it would be in the Cityís best interest, if we are trying to maximize the amount of wetlands preserved and get money for Bishop Creek, to leave it as it originally was. He wasnít sure how this would work to the Cityís benefit, and now we are looking at a third option. He wasnít sure where Council was going on this issue, but didnít feel it was a make or break
issue on this proposal. He thought Council needed to be willing to look at the alternatives the developer brought forward. The original plan did not include the mitigation, and it came forward with some understanding of what Council wanted. He understood that they tried to put the wetland mitigation on site, and thought anyone looking at that realized it really isnít going to be an attractive area for either their project or for the adjacent subdivision. But if that is Councilís pleasure then thatís Councilís pleasure.
Member Nagy said she thought, last time, they were going to try to do whatever they could on site, and contribute to Bishop Creek. If they couldnít they were going to pay. She thought that was the motion the last time.
Mr. Schultz stated the SDO Agreement basically says they are to provide the 2 to 1 mitigation on site if they can, then whatever they canít they mitigate it at $75,000 per acre. He said in terms of where he heard the discussion going, it would probably be helpful if the motion actually said that with regard to the wetland mitigation, that the provision in the SDO Agreement requiring on site mitigation at 2 to 1 is not going to be applied to the site plan, and that $75,000 per acre for whatever cannot be mitigated, and is being filled is $75,000 per acre. Assuming that the MDEQ permit is passed, and thatís an assumption at this point.
Mr. Freeland said they are proposing to build 0.572 acres. At 2 to 1 they are responsible for mitigating a little over 1 acre of compensation. Mayor Landry asked how many acres does this plan show for on site mitigation. Mr. Freeland believed it was .59 acres. Mayor Landry said OK that is the 2 to 1, therefore right now with this plan itís mitigating with a half acre on site and a $75,000 contribution. Mr. Freeland said it would be about half the $75,000,
Mayor Landry asked if there is no mitigation how much money goes into Bishop Creek. Mr. Freeland said they would be responsible for approximately 1.2 acres so it would be 1.2 times $75,000.
Mayor Landry said he heard that the applicant has no problems with that, assuming that the MDEQ would allow them to not mitigate on the site.
Woody Hill, from King McGregor Environmental, said the Novi regulated impacts are .572 acres. The agreement with the Council is that there would be a 2 to 1 mitigation for all wetland impacts, including non essential wetlands. So, the total wetland area on the site being impacted is .77 acres. So the 2 Ė 1 ratio is approximately 1-1/2 acres. MDEQ regulated wetland impacts are approximately .04ths of an acre. He said they had designed this so that we are at a 1.5 to 1 ratio replacement for the MDEQ wetland impacts, presuming they would require at least that. They would like the option to do this on site if the MDEQ required it. If the MDEQ does not require it on site, then they would prefer to pay into the fund. Mayor Landry asked how much they would pay, and Ms. Hill said the mitigation required for all wetland impacts by the City is about 1.5 acres.
Mr. Schultz stated under the agreement he thought it would be .77 acres essential and non-essential that is being impacted. So, as he read the agreement the calculation would be based on .77% of the $75,000 per acre, based on the 1 to 1. Mayor Landry said .77 times $75,000, which would be more than the $37,500. Mr. Schultz thought what they were suggesting was that if Council wanted them to skip the mitigation and pay into the fund they are willing to do that at a 1 to1. Mayor Landry said that was his understanding too. Member Nagy said the motion was a 2 to 1 ratio the last time. Mayor Landry said that was if they were going to mitigate on site.
Member Mutch suggested looking at the language, but believed the mitigation would be performed at a 2 to 1 ratio, accomplished on site to the extent feasible as determined by Council, and if the required mitigation cannot be completed on site it shall be accomplished through a contribution to the City. He said he would defer to Mr. Schultz and the language of the agreement.
Mr. Schultz said Council is, already, not following the agreement, and there is nothing wrong with that. It is entirely appropriate. However, the question before Council is going to be are they willing to do this at 1 to 1 to get the contribution, or would they prefer the 2 to 1 ratio, and they may be able to point at the MDEQ.
Member Capello withdrew his amendment.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-053 Yeas: Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Mr. Quinn said Council talked about bringing businesses forward and showing them they are welcome in Novi. He said everyone present tonight are local people, we are Novi residents, including the developers. He said picture if we were an out of State company present tonight for a relatively simple site plan. Mr. Quinn said the way the agenda is set up, Council made a business that wants to come to their community, almost the last thing they wanted to consider. Council is also making it more expensive, and he assumed this developer was paying for all the Cityís consultants, and it is the only reason they are present tonight. He said
Council was talking about adding costs on to cost on to cost. Mr. Quinn said not too many Administrations ago everything done earlier tonight would have been done at the end of the
meeting; thatís Council business. He said just the placement on the agenda, why take an ordinance amendment before a $55 million project or some other foreign company coming in. Why deal with those little matters when Council has these large matters to deal with. He said he was throwing that out because itís right in tune with what Council was talking about at the beginning of the meeting. Mr. Quinn thought Council needed to rethink their agendas. He said the Planning Commission does a good job because everything is right there up top. However, he has seen the Council, over the years, put the business community at the end of everything. He was just pointing it out for Council consideration. Member Nagy agreed.
Council recessed at 9:58 P.M.
Council reconvened at 10:13 P.M.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė Part II
4. Appointments of Board and Commission Members
Mayor Landry said there are two commissions that require Mayoral appointments. The first is the Economic Development Corporation and Mayor Landry nominated Eleanor Rzepecki for Councilís consideration.
CM-06-03-054 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Mayoral appointment of Eleanor Rzepecki to the
Economic Development Corporation.
Mayor Landry said the next appointment is the Library Board with three vacancies. Mayor Landryís first nomination was Larry Czekaj.
CM-06-03-055 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Mayoral appointment of Larry Czekaj to the Library
Mayor Landryís second nomination was Larry Kilgore.
CM-06-03-056 Moved by Paul, seconded by Gatt; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve Mayoral appointment of Larry Kilgore to the Library
Mayor Landryís third nomination was Palma Fouratt.
CM-06-03-057 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Margolis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Mayoral appointment of Palma Fouratt to the Library
5. Consideration of resolution to conduct a special census.
Mr. Pearson advised that this was follow up information on an item that came up during their special work session on Saturday, February 11th. The City conducted a special census in the
1980ís, and over the course of the effective period, led to approximately $3.1 million additional State Shared Revenue forward the City. It is a different decade, but there is always an opportunity, if there is an allocation from the State, for improving our position as far as a State Shared Revenue. Mr. Pearson said he also confirmed the status of liquor licenses. By our count, it looks like the City would stand to gain five additional quota liquor licenses through this process. He said the way it would work is that Council would adopt the Mid-Decade
Census Resolution. He suggested the census be conducted during the summer. If they were to proceed, and they have a budget amendment, that would be up for consideration to pay the Chief Enumerator who then hires the counters who go out into the community and conduct the actual census.
CM-06-03-058 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the resolution to conduct a Special Census, and to
allocate the $85,000 or what ever it may cost..
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-058 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt,
6. Approval to submit Grant Application to update City of Noviís Lower One and
Middle One Rouge Subwatershed Management Plan as required by Michigan
Department of Environmental Qualityís Water Bureau for the City of Noviís
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit-By-Rule.
(Source of Funds Ė Stormwater Fund)
CM-06-03-059 Move by Nagy, seconded by Paul;
To submit Grant Application to update City of Noviís Lower One and
Middle One Rouge Subwatershed Management Plan as required by
Michigan Department of Environmental Qualityís Water Bureau for
the City of Noviís Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4)
General Permit-By-Rule. (Source of Funds Ė Stormwater Fund)
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if funds would have to be allocated now, and was advised that they did not have to be allocated now.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-060 Yeas: Paul, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis,
7. Approval to submit Grant Application for specific drainage improvements for City of Novi property located within the Middle One Rouge north of 10 Mile Road and east of the CSX tracks. (Source of Funds Ė In-kind Services and/or Stormwater Fund)
CM-06-03-061 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
Approval to submit Grant Application for specific drainage
improvements for City of Novi property located within the Middle
One Rouge north of 10 Mile Road and east of the CSX tracks.
(Source of Funds Ė In-kind Services and/or Stormwater Fund)
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-061 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt, Margolis, Mutch,
8. Consideration of a request from Bryn Hartshorne to post a $1,635 financial
guarantee in lieu of approving a variance from Section 11-276(b) of the Design
and Construction Standards requiring pathways along the arterial roadway
network in accordance with the City Bicycle and Pedestrian master plan for the
single family home under construction at 46450 Eleven Mile Road.
CM-06-03-062 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve request from Bryn Hartshorne to post a $1,635 financial
guarantee in lieu of approving a variance from Section 11-276(b) of
the Design and Construction Standards requiring pathways along
the arterial roadway network in accordance with the City Bicycle
and Pedestrian master plan for the single family home under
construction at 46450 Eleven Mile Road.
Member Margolis said the last time Council discussed this, she questioned having easements for the sidewalk on the property and whether there would be any difficulty if it changed hands. She asked if she was correct. Mr. Pearson said the sidewalk could be constructed in an existing 33 foot right of way. It would not be exactly where you see it, like in Asbury Park, it would be closer to the road, but that is still consistent with how itís been done in several other places. He said right of way wouldnít be a problem.
Mr. Hartshorne said he had thought about the proposal to pay the money up front, and thought he could offer another option that would suit everyone. Some Council members were not fond of his paying the money now, because the cost could go up. He proposed setting up something similar to what is done for water and sewer hook ups. When a water line is put in the cost was put up front, and then anyone wanting to hook up started to pay into it and paid interest as time went on, so the City could recover their money. He suggested something similar with the sidewalk, because when you put the sidewalks in piece meal, like Asbury, it runs into a fence. So it will either have to be torn out to reroute it, or an easement will be needed to go through their yard or through their fence. He said putting it ahead doesnít make sense. He thought there wasnít enough consideration when these sidewalks were put in to get a good looking sidewalk. In other cities sidewalks are planned ahead, their straight, and they donít go around fire hydrants, telephone poles or trees. Mr. Hartshorne said if Council set this up not to put the sidewalk in now, and that he wouldnít pay the money now but would sign a paper or pay a fee for the paperwork, an assessment could be set up so that when the City puts the sidewalk in from Taft to Beck Road, whoever signed the paper would be assessed for that amount of money. A lien could be put on the property to get the money
back if he decided he didnít want to pay. The City would get the money based on the property value 10, 15 or 20 years from now. If it costs $10,000 it would be divided among the property owners, and that would be what it costs today, and interest would be charged from this point on until it was paid off. This way everyone gets what they want. If the sidewalk goes in in five years, and heís still there, he would pay for his piece, and the City would have to cover the other 5,000 sq. ft., because nobody else would be involved, as there wouldnít be that many houses built in that time. However, if it happens 25 years from now, which the Master Plan supports, then you donít have to worry about the cost, and you might get 75% of those people, and make a nice continuous good looking sidewalk.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Pearson if the money put away would go into escrow and bear interest. Mr. Pearson said yes.
Mayor Landry said he would not support the motion. He understood that it was patch work and looked like some of them went into telephone poles. However, the only way to get it done without the City paying money was for everyone to put in their portion, and eventually it becomes a continual pathway. Otherwise the City is going to end up paying the money. He also had a problem requiring one developer to do it, and not requiring another property owner to do it, as he felt it was unfair.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-062 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy
Nays: Capello, Paul, Landry
9. Approval of resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2006-10.
CM-06-03-063 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve resolution to authorize Budget Amendment #2006-10.
Member Mutch said since he had been on Council there had been at least three budget amendments, and possibly four. He said this predated his time on Council, but wanted to remind Council that those who were here before November did approve a policy that dealt with budget amendments, Fiscal Responsibility Policy. Member Mutch said, obviously the Alliance of Rouge membership had to be paid, and the other costs that came up, and the mid-decade census. Obviously, those arenít things they could have budgeted for. Member Mutch reminded Council to keep that policy in mind, because it did have various reasons why they would or would not move forward with budget amendments. He said he had discussed all of these with Administration, and none of them jumped out as not being appropriate, but they are not consistent with the policy. Member Mutch said he had not brought this up before, but as these keep coming forward, he thought Council had to decide whether they would follow that policy, or just keep approving these without discussion.
Roll call vote on CM-06-03-063 Yeas: Gatt, Margolis, Mutch, Nagy, Paul, Landry,
Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk, announced the results of Council ballots, and the appointments are:
Beautification Committee: Connie Garbacik, Rolland Heaton, Moira Robinson
Building Authority: Mark Sturing
Construction Board of Appeals: Jeffrey Bowdell and John Enkemann
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Mayor Exchange Day with the City of Portage during the third week of May Ė Mayor Landry
Mayor Landry said this isnít really Mayorís exchange day, but elected officials exchange day. Mr. Pearson agreed. Mayor Landry said his understanding was that it is an invitation for the entire Council to go to Portage on Tuesday, and then they would come back here Thursday. Mr. Pearson thought that was their starting suggestion.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello asked if they come here was there something that the Council needed to do. Mayor Landry said this hasnít been done in the last couple of years, and thought Mayor Clark did it last. He said his understanding was that if their elected officials come to Novi, Council would show them around the City and have a reception. Mr. Pearson said it is basically a show and tell day. The staff will coordinate for as many Council members that can make it during the day. Mr. Pearson said they would take them to some developments of residential and non-residential properties, some of the things that Council is particularly proud of, a tour of the Civic Center, etc. Typically, as many members of Council that can, join them do for lunch and a closing dinner, which is very nice.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said then Council should try to block something out, at least if they come here, if we canít make it there. Mr. Pearson said yes.
Member Nagy said if going to the City of Portage, would they drive themselves or would there be a bus. Mr. Pearson thought one of the senior vans could be made available for the group, because they are nicely appointed. He said they could take the staff and Council members over there.
Mayor Landry asked if there was consensus to pursue this with the City of Portage, and there was.
2. Grant Application to Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Ė Member Mutch
Member Mutch said he brought this forward at a previous agenda, and pulled it back after staff and Administration expressed some concerns about the timing of the proposals, specifically with budget cycle coming up. There was a feeling that there wasnít enough time to get a grant application together by the April 1st deadline. He brought it forward to get Councilís support for the concept of seeking a grant for the 16.2 acres, which is south of City owned property and east of a parcel that is going to be donated by Singh, including the Singh
Trail. Member Mutch said this was specifically to give property ownerís an indication of whether Council wanted to pursue this or whether they wanted to look at other options. At this time, he was looking for Councilís support for the concept. The property ownerís are looking to fully cover our local share of the match for the grant, so there wouldnít be any cost. He said they were not looking for any action in terms of the City Administration working on this. Member Mutch said they wanted to give Council time to get through the City budget. Member Mutch noted he would like to revisit this in May, with it going through the Parks Commission and then returning to Council.
Member Margolis said while she was not against it, her concern was that she liked to look at things on a broader basis, in terms of what the overall plan and goal was. She suggested they send it to the Parks Commission to look at in the context of our overall community plan, and come back with a prioritizing of this property, other properties, and where to go with it in general.
Member Gatt stated he also would like to see this come before Council through the Parks and Recreation Commission or Mr. Aulerís office before any commitments were made.
Member Paul said these properties are already Master Planned as parkland. So, we already had the Planning Commission look at this, and she thought Council was just moving the process to finalization and clarification. She said this has already been done and we are just looking to regroup and finalize it accordingly. Also, when going forward with grant proposals, the more land you have that is parkland the more money can be received with these grants. She said as we have more parkland being put on our parkland roll, per se, it helps us because of the land lost through the lawsuit for Sandstone. So, she would like to look at this from a financial perspective, as this is not going to cost us anything but will help enhance our ability to receive money in the future. She said thatís why itís a very smart practice to look at the Master Plan and the lands designated as parkland, and commit it as such. She said she would support this moving forward.
Member Nagy thanked Member Mutch for doing all the preliminary work, talking to the property owners, and that this would not cost the City any money. It would basically be the time and effort of our staff at the appropriate time to apply for the grant. This is also already designated and ties into the wildlife habitat reserve. We lost parkland and now we are gaining it. She said she talked to people in the area, and they would like to see it left natural. She said she was in support of this and thought the Parks and Recreation Commission would be also. She wanted to see it move forward, and if the Parks and Recreation Commission has a meeting on March 9th it could be brought up. They are an advisory group and she thought they would be favorable. She appreciated the work done by Member Mutch. The fact that the property owners were willing to cover any cost we have made it foolish to turn down.
Mayor Landry asked Ms. McBeth if this was currently zoned residential, and she responded yes. Mayor Landry asked if it was Master Planned for parkland. Ms. McBeth said it was not currently shown on the Master Plan for parkland. It is adjacent to Master Planned parkland on the north and west side. Mayor Landry said if it is rezoned residential, he couldnít imagine it being master planned parkland. Ms. McBeth said sometimes on the zoning map the zoning is actually residential for areas that are master planned for parkland. Mayor Landry said right now it is not master planned parkland, and Ms. McBeth said no, itís not.
Mayor Pro Tem Capello said he didnít know if 20 acres out in the middle of no where was something he would pursue. However, he did think that this being attached to all the existing parkland made sense to pursue it, especially since it would be at no cost to the City. He didnít care if it went to Parks and Recreation or comes back to Council; we have time according to Member Mutchís memo. He would be happy as long as they were moving forward.
Member Mutch said he was not stuck on the process and had no problem with this going to the Parks and Recreation Commission. However, he thought Council would want to be aware of the time line, and give some indication to the property owners whether Council wanted to
pursue it or not. He asked if it went to Parks and Recreation, could Council give them a time line to get it back to Council. Member Mutch thought they could discuss it by their April meeting.
Mayor Landry thought Member Mutch had indicated that June would be the next time the matter would need to be addressed. Member Mutch said June would be when Council would have to formally address it. He thought Council needed to be sure they had enough time, in case of a public hearing.
Mayor Landry commented that Member Mutch was suggesting that Council allow Parks and Recreation to weigh in on this matter, and then report back to Council by when. Member
Mutch said their March meeting would be his preference. If they canít the April meeting would be OK as well. Mr. Pearson said the March meeting is this week. He said it was an action required by the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission themselves to amend the Master Plan, and they had a hearing themselves. Maybe that can all be rolled into one in April if they so chose, and they would have to come back to Council and give their recommendation and then go back to them for their hearings. They are getting the material from the packet tonight, so they know something is coming. Member Mutch said an April meeting is fine. Mayor Landry asked if he was just talking about comments from them, and not a public hearing. Member Mutch said yes.
Mayor Landry didnít have a problem moving this forward, in concept, but did think that these sorts of things should originate at the Parks and Recreation Commission. Mayor Landry said that is the process, and not just piece meal. He appreciated that this might have just come up, and didnít have a problem approving this in concept as long as itís understood he is not committing which way he will ultimately go. He would like to see the process move forward, and would like to hear what Parks and Recreation had to say about this.
Member Margolis said she would like Parks and Recreation to weigh in on this, but would also like to get a concept from them on how this fit in with their overall plan for how we are moving forward in the community for parkland in general.
Mayor Landry told Mr. Pearson there was Council consensus to move this forward, and were ready to ask the Parks and Recreation Commission to address this matter at their April meeting and report back to Council.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:40 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
______________________________ Date approved: March 20, 2006
Transcribed by Charlene Mc Lean