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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 Gatt, Council Members Burke, Crawford, Margolis-absent/excused, Mutch, Staudt
ALSO PRESENT: Clay Pearson, City Manager
Pamela Antil, Assistant City Manager
Tom Schultz, City Attorney
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-09-10-130 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Agenda as presented.
INTERVIEWS FOR BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
1. Ernest Aruffo – Board of Review – Not Present
2. Gerald Bauer – Zoning Board of Appeals – Not Present
3. Regina Gibson – Beautification Commission – Not Present
4. Katrina Kelly – Zoning Board of Appeals; Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee; Board of Review – Not Present
5. Sherrie Konkus – Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee
Ms. Konkus said she had served on HCD for almost three years and was requesting reappointment to that position. She said during her time on the committee, they had outreached to the local churches, publicized the program and had come up with an unprecedented backlog. Ms. Konkus said they had worked very hard to come up with solutions for the backlog including accelerated repayment to the County and coming up with volunteer programs to address minor home repair in the City.
Member Staudt asked if they were faced with new challenges as things got more difficult with the economy, and what did they see coming forward in the next several years. Ms. Konkus responded that their backlog was now standing at about seventy qualified applicants that were in need of home repair and the Federal funds would not go that far. So, they were looking at how they could provide additional services to those in need in the City, including volunteer activities within the City.
Member Crawford thanked Ms. Konkus for all she had done and said she was very impressed with how the committee had come forward and was looking at creative solutions to this unique situation with the economy. She asked if there was anything that seemed to be the best solution so far. Ms. Konkus said they were getting more people off the wait list. She said if there was more Federal funding that would be the way to go; the work that the contractor did at OLHSA was very impressive. However, with limited dollars they had to look for other ways to be of service.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said instead of shrinking that list, how could they make it bigger and how could they get the program more publicity. He said there were probably more people in the City that could use that help. Ms. Konkus said she thought they had done a great job in expanding and finding more people. She said they were well established in the mobile home parks and thought the challenge over the next few years would be to expand beyond that to other households in the City. She thought they had a good plan this year because part of it was focused on their sub-contractor, OLHSA. She commented that OLHSA had more person power than they had over the past few years due to weatherization monies. Ms. Konkus said they had received quite a bit of money, which would mean more for Novi and the ability to outreach as well and promote the program. She thought it would come from HCD and what they did as a committee in continuing the outreach, and with OLHSA being able to get around a little more as well. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt thought they were doing a great job.
Member Burke asked Ms. Konkus to explain the pilot program they were working on with non-profit persons. Ms. Konkus said they knew they were not going to be able to accommodate the backlog and knew there were a number of national firms and some working in the County that were doing low income home repair. So, she investigated those by attending the CIA bus tour in Waterford and found what they did there very impressive and Rebuilding Together did similar work. She was surprised that their biggest problem was finding qualified leads and Novi had so many, so it just seemed like a real match. She said when getting all the parties together she was thrilled that OLHSA was willing to share leads with these groups. Now they had a big job ahead as these groups were not used to working together and they were not sure how the pilot would go. However, she thought with enough energy and support, they could come up with something unique in trying to support both these groups functioning within the City to reach as many homes as possible with volunteer labor. She said she knew the people in Novi were really behind helping each other out; she was looking forward to seeing what happened over the next few years.
Member Mutch said he had the opportunity to watch the work of the committee since she had joined the HCD Committee and the committee, as a whole, had really stepped up to take on the challenge that the community faced in this economy. He said the focus of the committee had been in the areas of home income repair and senior transit funding. The City provided to Novi Youth Assistance and the funding provided to H.A.V.E.N. He asked if there were other areas of concern that had come up, or areas where she had seen a need similar to what these groups were trying to address, but maybe were not able to address through their specific programs. Ms. Konkus said yes, and thought that there was a very limited scope in HCD as it was really those Federal dollars and making a recommendation to Council on how HCD might disburse those funds. She thought there were a lot of other areas that could be looked into and a lot of valid parties that come forward. However, their spending level had been consistent for many, many years and sort of boxed in what they could do from a formal, official standpoint. Member Mutch thought there were additional needs and the HCD Committee could be the venue to address some of those needs through the City without necessarily relying on Federal dollars, and looking at alternatives like they had proposed to Council.
Mayor Landry thanked Ms. Konkus for stepping forward and said her committee really did God’s work.
6. Sandra McCarthy – Historical Commission
Ms. McCarthy said she moved to Novi in 2000 and had two children in the Novi School District who played in local sports. She had been a librarian for 19 years and worked for Washtenaw Community College and had a Bachelor and Master degrees from Wayne State University and a second Masters degree from the University of Detroit Mercy. She said she had been involved in numerous State and National organizations, which mostly dealt with libraries. She commented she was interested in becoming involved in the community and felt her background was a good match for the Historical Commission.
Member Crawford said the Historical Commission really needed a lot of work and she loved the fact that Ms. McCarthy had a librarian background. She thought it would be where a lot of the future historical preservation went on Micro Fiche, digital, etc. She asked Ms. McCarthy what was the best way to preserve Novi’s history. Ms. McCarthy responded to digitize whatever they had and she noted they used the commission part of the library. She commented that most cities had it housed within the City or the library took over the historical part. She said it should definitely be digital because they would really want people to go on line and pull up whatever they were trying to look for as far as the past history of the City. Ms. McCarthy said the future was on line.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked Ms. McCarthy what she knew about Novi’s history. Ms. McCarthy said she knew that Novi was stop number six on the train station; it was 30 to 35 years old and was fairly new and still growing.
Member Burke asked if she had a specific goal in mind that she wanted to bring to the Historical Commission or a project she wanted to do. Ms. McCarthy said she couldn’t find what was going on now with the commission but knew it was collecting and preserving the past and making it accessible to everyone. She wanted to figure out where the commission was and make things available electronically and find it a house where it was accessible to people, as they’d still have somewhere they would keep the original print publications.
Member Mutch asked Ms. McCarthy to talk more about the role of the library and asked if she had specific examples of other communities or projects, and what that entailed. Ms. McCarthy replied many of the libraries had a separate location within the library, which was staffed by the library and had the historical part of the City kept there. She said she worked at a community college and the college archive was part of their division, it got moved out and was sitting on it’s own but was within the building. She said she would make it somewhere very visible and felt the Novi Library would be perfect.
Member Staudt asked what other ways she would envision the Historical Commission working with residents in the local area to promote the historical aspects of Novi. Ms. McCarthy responded they would have to first decide how big of a scope they were talking about. She said technically everything the City was doing, its businesses, schools and everything involved with the City was part of that history. She said they would have to decide if it would be just what the City government was doing, or a bigger scope. She said she would keep whatever could be added into the collection that dealt with the City. She said it could get very big and it would go back to cost, space and staffing.
7. Kathleen Mutch – Historical Commission
Ms. Mutch said the City had a wonderful web site that documented what the City was doing and had Boards, Commissions, etc. She said under Boards and Commissions they could link to the Historical Commission and it would tell them what the purpose of the Commission was and how to contact the members. Ms. Mutch said the City Manager made possible a liaison to the commission, which was Betty Lang arranged for by Julie Farkas, Library Director, to be the Administrative liaison. She said it had been an incredible change and very positive, which had enabled them to move in some directions they were not able to move in before. She said they now had an architect, Mr. Prentice who was involved with ongoing farming at Tollgate and someone with a background in engineering and surveying. Ms. Mutch said her own background was everything from archival administration, working with libraries and graduate students, who she placed in libraries and museums. She said other things, relevant to what she was doing, were her positions on national and State organizations. She said she had been on the board of everything from Oral History Associations at State and national levels and historic preservation in particular.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said he envisioned, when the new library opened, a lot of memorabilia and historical renderings. He asked what her vision was. Ms. Mutch said she could give Council the shared vision of the present commissioners. She said digitalization was the way to go primarily because of cost and space as there was just no place to put everything. She showed Council, as an example, a Civil War daily diary that was kept by Henry Larkcum who lived in what was then West Novi, which had its own post office and the location was where the Meijers was now at Grand River and Wixom Roads. Then, when the railroad came through, West Novi disappeared because it went up to Wixom. She said this was the sort of thing they would digitize and they were doing that now. Ms. Mutch said they worked through the library with the Oakland County Historical Resources group, which provided scanning equipment, etc. She said they had recently invested in scanning equipment as well but this entire set of diaries would then be on the library web site, which was another benefit of working with the library. She also showed Council the records of the Novi Literary Society from 1876, which would also be in the collection after scanning and digitizing.
Member Burke said her application had spoke about developing a travelling exhibit on Novi’s history and asked her what that would entail, what would be included, how it would be funded and where they would take it. Ms. Mutch said it came about out of necessity because there was no museum or permanent place for objects and exhibits. She said the commission bought a very large display board a few years ago, and it could have a number of configurations. It could be a kiosk or an expanded piece and they could take it out to other locations to set up for an evening program, school fair, in a commercial building or in schools. They would have it for a few hours or a day and that was the travelling part of it; they didn’t intend to send it off to other communities. She said it could have photos, maps and things that told the story of Novi. Ms. Mutch said the City of Novi dated back to 1969 but the community itself had a 184 years of history.
Member Mutch said one of the projects the Commission had been working on was a shift of venue for the historical event from what was the Fuerst Farm property to Tollgate Farm. He asked what the advantages were of having the event located to Tollgate. Ms. Mutch said Tollgate was owned by Michigan State University and the Americana Foundation and the focus at Tollgate was not on farming. They did a lot of educational things; so they had the educational resource of the University behind them, a wonderful mailing list and over 200 volunteers. She said when they have an event there some of the volunteers assisted to make the event even more special. She said they found that working with that site gave them more room for expansion, it was an appropriate setting, there were animals already on site, it had adequate parking with a good location and it was easy to find. Ms. Mutch said the manager was a member of the commission and they used it as a kick off for their summer event in June.
Member Staudt asked what she considered the single, most historical fact about Novi. Ms. Mutch thought it was probably the fact that from 1825, when the first settlements were taking place up until well into the 1950’s, there was a sense of community and of people belonging to a place. It was rural and not everyone was a farmer, but there was a sense of community, which sometimes stretched into Northville, Walled Lake or Farmington because that was the way schools were. She said despite the ups and downs, being on the outskirts and having an expressway run through, etc. Novi had been Novi for 184 years and nothing had taken away from those earlier settlers and what they tried to build. She said she marveled at some of the things they were able to survive.
Member Crawford thanked Ms. Mutch and she knew that historical preservation was her passion. She said Ms. Mutch had persevered in trying to collect things and information, and doing all the research for as long as she could remember. Member Crawford said she appreciated it so much. She thought they should all be grateful for anyone who was trying to preserve the history they had because it was important to preserve those things. Member Crawford said she felt they were finally getting somewhere, moving forward and it was gaining momentum. She said people were now coming forward who were also passionate and had a lot of skills to bring. She said she was happy with the partnerships Ms. Mutch was forming with Tollgate and the Library and the idea that Ms. Mutch would be pursuing a lecture series highlighting Novi history. Member Crawford asked what her number one thing would be right now. Ms. Mutch said for the last three or four years she had done an Excel spreadsheet of the projects they had discussed. She said some projects could not be done for some reason, at the time, but they were never dropped off the list; they were just reprioritized. She said there were several things coming on line before the end of the year. One such project was a large 1999 map that had red lines on it indicating things that were not there anymore. However, there were many more places still on the map including Cornelius Austin’s house at Wainwright and Old Novi Road, who was a veteran of the War of 1812 and was around Novi well into his nineties. She said they were working with the library and the GIS people to redo it so they could end up with a map that people could bike or drive around with to see all the historic sites, each with a brief description of the architectural or historical significance. She said the map could be downloaded from the web site and mentioned they were doing a bus tour on October 22nd at 3 P.M. Ms. Mutch said it was not just a collection of papers, photographs and objects but was a collection of people’s memories and recollections. She said they had done two interviews with Lee BeGole from a different perspective so people would not hear what he had already recorded. She said other people were lined up and if anyone else was interested in sitting down for a conversation, they would love to get that information and have it transcribed and digitized. Member Crawford said she was hoping that Council would look at how they could incorporate some increased attention during goal setting time in regard to the Historical Commission, and things they could do to help the Commission move forward.
PUBLIC HEARING - None
PRESENTATIONS - None
Mr. Pearson said the International City/County Management Association and the National Research Center, recognized the City of Novi with a Voice of the People Award for Excellence in Police Services. He said it was a tremendous tribute to Council and the men and women of the Police Department, Chief Molloy, the leadership and the whole organization. It was not just one department or individual because when there was a priority everyone muscled up behind it and the good work was paying off in many different ways. Mr. Pearson said it was nice to get this kind of feedback from the residents, as just short of 90% of the surveys came back saying the Novi Police Services were good or excellent.
AUDIENCE COMMENT – None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS AND APPROVALS (See items A-M)
Member Mutch removed Item L from the Consent Agenda.
CM-09-10-131 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the Agenda as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-09-10-131 Yeas: Gatt, Burke, Crawford, Mutch, Staudt, Landry
A. Approve Minutes of:
B. Enter Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting of October 12, 2009 in the Council Annex for the purpose of discussing privileged correspondence from legal counsel.
C. Adoption of resolution to rename Fonda Drive as Crescent Boulevard in anticipation of the future Northwest Quadrant Ring Road project.
D. Approval of Traffic Control Order 09-04 for No Parking signs on: 1) the north and west side of Faywood Drive between West Lake Drive and Ludlow and 2) for 350 feet along the east and south sides of Faywood from Ludlow.
E. Approval of Traffic Control Order 09-05 for the installation of a yield sign for eastbound Jacob Drive to yield at Danyas Way; and Traffic Control Order 09-06 for the installation of a stop sign for westbound Jacob Drive to stop at Taft Road.
F. Approval of Change Order No. 2 to Anglin Civil Constructors, Inc. in the amount of $33,544.45 for the Bishop and Taft Regional Storm Water Detention Basin Improvements project.
G. Approval to award request for proposal for lockbox collection services to Comerica Bank with an estimated annual cost of $33,500 for a three year period with two one-year renewal options.
H. Approval to purchase six (6) dump truck tailgate-mounted brine dispensing systems from Truck & Trailer Specialties, Inc, the low bidder, in the amount of $19,164.
I. Approval to set a Public Hearing on November 9, 2009 for the 2010 Community Development Block Grant.
J. Approval to award the remanufactured Steelcase brand and new CMW brand furniture contract to Metro Office Environments, the low qualified bidder through the RFP process, based on product percentage discounts, design fees, and installation fees.
K. Approval to award the optional third year of the Network Services contract to Visicom Services, Inc. in the amount of $64,000.
M. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 804
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Approval of Resolution regarding Temporary Holiday Promotional Signage allowing temporary relief from Sign Ordinance from November 27 through December 26, 2009.
Mr. Pearson said they had done this for the last few years around Ringing in the Holidays to give businesses an extra signage allowance. He said they also did it recently in conjunction with Fall for Novi. He said this was before Council earlier and they increased the allowable sign size. Mr. Pearson said this would give the Novi businesses a leg up during the very important Holiday shopping season.
CM-09-10-132 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Burke; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Resolution regarding Temporary Holiday Promotional Signage allowing temporary relief from Sign Ordinance from November 27 through December 26, 2009.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt stated he was 100% behind this and thought it was a great idea in these economic times to give the businesses any opportunity to increase business. He said when this was brought up for Fall for Novi, some of the businesses didn’t have the Internet and some were not a part of the Chamber. He asked how they got the word out to every business in Novi. Mr. Pearson said last time they did a direct mail and it worked out well; so they would do that again. They would also use all the other media outlets they had. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt asked how many businesses availed themselves to this opportunity and Mr. Pearson said a dozen or two. However, they needed to keep in mind that they had a short time to ramp up for Fall for Novi. Mr. Pearson thought participation would be higher with the coming Holidays.
Roll call vote on CM-09-10-132 Yeas: Burke, Crawford, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Crawford
2. Approval of the request of Novi Town Center Investors, LLC, for the Preliminary Site Plan, Section 9 façade waiver and landscaping waivers. The subject property is located east of Novi Road, north of Grand River Avenue, in the TC, Town Center District. The applicant is proposing to demolish a portion of Building G and construct a parking lot and associated landscaping in its place.
Matthew Quinn was present on behalf of Novi Town Center Investors. Mr. Quinn said Building G, which was Linens and Things, would be partially demolished and the part that faced the interior toward the expressway would remain. He said this was another one of the phases of the revitalization of the Town Center and with a portion of the building coming down; they would create parking spaces and a green area. The green area would be a nice pedestrian location to sit with plantings all around it; they proposed the rest of it to be grass and nothing more at this time. Mr. Quinn said the Town Center considered this to be a temporary situation and they would be coming back. He said they had a meeting with the Novi Administration later this month to bring this forward a little more, but this was temporary and there would be further demolition within the center. He noted a quarter of the center would be demolished and then rebuilt. He explained they would put tall plantings along the Mervyns wall to hide it and they would paint it. He said the wall was an interior wall and no one would see it other than possible tenants, however, by the time the space became available, it would be redeveloped again. Mr. Quinn said they believed that the variances they were asking for were 1) they didn’t have to put in bushes. 2) didn’t have to irrigate this area or 3) put in tall items on an interior wall where no one would see them anyway. He said after this was constructed Jim Clear, Manager of the Mall, would look out on it everyday because it was his in and out. He said the Town Center had gotten the Beautification Award year after year, they took care of their center and wanted everything to look nice and they had done a great job of that in the past.
Mr. Quinn said first of all they were asking for the Section 9 Façade Waiver. They were not going to use the copper colored standard scheme but would continue the blue and green, which had just been completed. He stated everything that was planned to be reconstructed with the blue and green and the new lighting was done. Mr. Quinn said the area that wasn’t refurbished was the area that wouldn’t be there in the future because they didn’t want to pay for something that was just going to be removed. He said they were asking for a landscape waiver for the lack of foundation. The landscaping along the remaining area of Building G, which was up against the front, they were asking to not have to put those plantings on the wall of the Mervyns building. Mr. Quinn said they had stated in the other compliance letters that they would meet the requirements of everyone else, the Fire Marshal, the Planning Department, etc. He said they were present for a preliminary site plan approval, which Council normally didn’t see. However, since this was part of the Novi Town Center, and the ordinance that governed it required everything that happened in the Town Center to come before Council. Matt Niles was present to answer any architectural landscaping questions and Jim Clear was present also.
Mr. Pearson said Mr. Quinn accurately described the improvements, etc. and they were looking forward to those improvements in addition to the facades they had already done. He said the only point they had disagreed on, in terms of staff recommendations, was the landscaping. Mr. Pearson said they had all seen projects where they thought something would be temporary and it ended up going on and on and in the minutes of the Planning Commission, they were unwilling to commit to a time frame. He said plant materials could be moved and in the scale of all the other improvements and for consistency, they were recommending that the landscape requirement be maintained as outlined.
Member Crawford said the Administration shared a book with her called City Comforts, which was about how to build an urban village. She said one of the things that had always struck her about the Town Center was that it was Novi’s village and it was critical to our existence and to keep the center vibrant. She commented that she liked the changes being made and was very appreciative, as an older adult, of the way parking was close to the various stores. Member Crawford felt that as they grew older as a community, it would become more and more important to have parking close to the stores. She hoped they were including lots of benches and seating in their design and was very happy that they had chosen to make their design a little different and to upgrade the way the buildings looked. She felt there was a lot of hope for the Town Center.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt stated he was in favor of everything they had proposed and thought the Town Center looked so much better today than it did a few years ago. He thanked Mr. Quinn and his clients for their work. He noted they heard the concerns of the City Manager and they were valid. He said the City would be fearful of approving this without a specific time frame of when the work would be done. Mr. Quinn said what they were concerned with was a blank wall and they would like some taller plantings to shield it. He said they would paint it and as far as shielding, he asked them to look at the pedestrian plaza that would be constructed there. He said anyone in the large parking area would have the pedestrian plaza as something to look through, which would act as the buffer toward the wall. The only people that would see the wall would be the people that parked right in front and those businesses that were there on a temporary basis. Mr. Quinn said they thought the pedestrian plaza gave enough buffer to the larger parking area for people not even to notice the wall. He said if the Council was looking for a time frame, he could discuss it with Jim Clear. Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said that was what he was looking for and it could be incorporated into a motion.
Member Burke echoed the previous speaker’s remarks relevant to the façade. He thought they were doing a great job with the façade. He noted he also appreciated the fact that they were doing whatever they could to keep the businesses open while they were working. Member Burke said he supported that and would support the façade waiver. He said they didn’t want to put in irrigation for the green space, so how would they irrigate that area. Mr. Quinn thought that the remedy would be as Mayor Pro Tem Gatt mentioned. As far as a time period, Mr. Clear was talking about 18 months for those items to be installed after somebody moved into the store fronts. So, that worked into what they believed was a good time table for the real demolition that would occur, and all of that would get removed again. He thought 18 months from completion of the renovation of the area; if they wanted to say from the date that the first tenant moved into that renovated area that would be fine.
Mayor Landry said if this item was approved tonight, when would the demolition process begin. Mr. Quinn said the variable was if the demolition of the Mervyns building got put out farther, it would occur sooner. If the demolition of the Mervyns building was going to occur soon, this wouldn’t occur. Mayor Landry said then the answer was they didn’t know and Mr. Quinn replied that’s correct. He said this was preliminary site plan and they still had to come back with final administratively, which Council wouldn’t see, so they had that discretion. He said they had to come back within a year for final site plan approval after obtaining preliminary site plan approval. Mayor Landry said then what they were suggesting, with respect to the time frame, was after they demolished part of Building G, divided the rest of the space up, put in the pedestrian plaza and the first tenant moved in, they would like 18 months after that to do this.
Member Mutch said assuming Council approved something tonight that gave them the OK to move forward, what was the time frame for having a clear decision on the Mervyns issue and whether it would come down or not. Mr. Quinn said that was up to people who were on the other side of the table. Member Mutch thought if the Mervyns plan went forward, none of this work would happen because something else would happen in this area. He said if they knew that within the next six months, that would give them some certainty to what the actual direction would be. He said if they proceeded with this plan, the issue of the landscaping and the wall wouldn’t be relevant because it would be winter and they wouldn’t be landscaping for the next six months anyway. He said if they had an opportunity to revisit this in six months, and they said they were proceeding and needed to address the landscaping or they were not, it wasn’t really an issue. Member Mutch said that would give them some comfort knowing they could come back and address it, if it looked like it was going to be a longer term kind of situation, where it would go forward and someone would be looking at that wall for an extended amount of time. He asked Mr. Schultz if Council could put a condition on the approval that said come back in six months to address the landscaping issue separately, as part of the approval. It would be based on whatever activities or decisions were made as far as the rest of the Town Center and construction in that area.
Mr. Schultz said yes; what they were doing now was trying to design what the condition was. He said they had a lot of flexibility, if that was the way they wanted to go, or they could give a straight number of months from the time of demolition. He said it was really what Council was comfortable with for the discretionary approval they were being asked for.
Member Mutch said he wasn’t sure he had enough information from the applicant to know realistically what kind of time frame they were looking at. He commented that was why he thought six months out would be a long enough time for a decision to be made. If in a month the applicant knew it was going to be the Mervyns plan, then it just went away. If in a month the applicant said it would be two years before the Mervyns plan happened, then they could revisit that one particular issue. Member Mutch said other than that he had no problems with what had been proposed and was just trying to find a midway point that would allow them to proceed but give Council an opportunity to revisit it, if necessary. Mr. Quinn said he was talking about just revisiting the landscaping portion in six months, and Member Mutch said yes, the rest of it was fine.
Mayor Landry said if they received the approval tonight and they decided to go with this plan, how long would it take to demolish and rebuild this. Mr. Quinn said five or six months. Mayor Landry said if Council gave them everything they wanted, they started November 1st, they would be up and running in June. Mayor Landry said they were striving to come up with a compromise to let them go forward and if they didn’t approve anything and just said come back in six months, they could build this and there would be no landscaping in the hope that they would come back earlier. He said he wouldn’t have a problem with having one summer season without landscaping and would be willing to do that, more than that he wouldn’t. The problem he had with the 18 months was if they opened in May, they would have that summer season and then the other summer season. He said he didn’t want to give them two summer seasons. Mayor Landry said if they were going with a time limit, he would go with one year rather than 18 months. He said some relief would be fine, if going down that path. He said if they were going with time, he would go one year to approve everything but the landscaping would have to be done within one year after the first tenant moved in.
Mr. Schultz asked if it was after the first tenant moved in or after the building was painted and the grass was installed. He said if Council approved this now, it would be awhile getting the rest of the plans approved and doing the construction. He said in terms of when Council would expect to see the other improvements, it would be at that same time that instead of doing the planting, he’s painting, etc. He said it might be the middle of next summer or a year from now.
Mr. Pearson said let’s keep it simple and say September 30, 2010 and then if they want an extension beyond that, they would have to come back to Council.
CM-09-10-133 Moved by Mutch, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the request of Novi Town Center Investors, LLC, for the Preliminary Site Plan, Section 9 façade waiver and landscaping waivers. The subject property is located east of Novi Road, north of Grand River Avenue, in the TC, Town Center District. The applicant is proposing to demolish a portion of Building G and construct a parking lot and associated landscaping in its place. This approval is subject to the conditions A through E and all the sub-headings as stated in the memo to the Council with a waiver for the additional landscape plantings as outlined in the staff letters, through September 30, 2010 with the other landscaping requirements to be met and to be built by that date or return to Council.
Roll call vote on CM-09-10-133 Yeas: Burke, Crawford, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt
Mr. Schultz assumed the maker of the motion meant conditions A through E and all the sub- headings. Member Mutch said he was correct.
3. Approval of resolution authorizing cost participation for the I-96 Area Transportation Study and local cost share agreement with MDOT in the amount of $100,000 as part of a $250,000 analysis.
CM-09-10-134 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Mutch; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve resolution authorizing cost participation for the I-96 Area Transportation Study and local cost share agreement with MDOT in the amount of $100,000 as part of a $250,000 analysis.
Member Staudt said he had not been a supporter of this in the past. However, with the added funds, the opportunity to work with MDOT and economic stimulus dollars potentially coming during the next two or three years, he thought this was an absolutely critical study to have in place. He felt they should move as many issues towards it as humanly possible including con-sideration of the Grand River corridor and the Beck corridor. He thought they needed to keep a very wide berth and take advantage of this, because they didn’t get many opportunities to use MDOT’s study dollars. He thought it was a critical opportunity and he was for staff taking as much advantage of it as possible.
Member Mutch echoed Member Staudt’s comments and thought the key point that would come out of the study from the City’s perspective was identifying those projects that could be funded through the SEMCOG Regional Transportation Program. He said they had seen this with Beck Road, and it was mentioned in the staff report that it was critical to get those projects identified and onto the list so they could get the Federal and State funding. He said without that they would not be in consideration. He said he had a concern that the plan would be entirely focused on the traditional way of doing things with transportation. He said this study would really focus on alternative ways of getting people around the City that didn’t necessarily involve widening a road. He said while there were areas, such as Grand River and Twelve Mile in particular, that needed improvements and widening, the fact that they would look at ways to reduce traffic congestion and provide alternative ways to get around town was another key element of the study. He stated he was glad it was being included with the MDOT work.
Roll call vote on CM-09-10-134 Yeas: Crawford, Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt, Burke
AUDIENCE COMMENT - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES - None
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
L. Approval of an additional one-year extension to Plante & Moran to provide auditing services to the City of Novi for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 in the not-to-exceed amount of $77,990 – Mutch
Member Mutch requested feedback from the Consultant Review Committee on how they discussed this and some understanding of how the City Administration planned to address this particular service in the future. He said they had a contract with Plante & Moran that had some extensions included in it; now they were being asked to approve this after the fact because the work had been completed. So, they would have to pay Plante & Moran for the work that they had done. Member Mutch said it included an inflationary increase, which other firms approved tonight on the Consent Agenda did not include, as they had kept their fees flat. He said he wanted to understand the increase and the fact that this came in after the fact and how they would address this in the future. He asked if the committee discussed this and what their thoughts were.
Mayor Pro Tem Gatt said the committee did talk about this issue. He said Plante & Moran was the City’s accounting firm of record right now and they were in the midst of some wrapping up work. He said the committee thought it would be silly to not approve them to finish what they were already doing. So they approved it to come back to Council with the full knowledge and understanding that the next contract would be competitive. He said the Administration would put bids out and would weed the firms down to two or three, and then the Consultant Review Committee would interview and make recommendations to Council. He said the approval on the Consent Agenda was approval to allow Plante & Moran to finish work they had already started. He felt it would be a detriment to the City and the citizens to stop them in mid stream and not let them finish. Mr. Pearson said when they solicited for these services four years ago there was a fourth year identified. However, that was not formally awarded. He said they did the three years and the terms including the 2 ½%. He said it was listed on the tracking list with that fourth year, but had not been formally adopted. He said that was why they had to approve it now after 90% of the work had been done. He said they were going out to the market and would be back after the first of the year with that. Member Mutch said he assumed that Administration would take whatever steps necessary to insure future contracts were addressed on a timely basis. He said there was an issue with Plante & Moran and there had been discussion about issues that came up through the audit process. However, he definitely didn’t want to get into that discussion tonight because they were not present for Council to address. Member Mutch asked when they would be presenting their audit so Council could ask some questions. Mr. Pearson said there would be a full Council again in November, so he assumed it would be the second meeting in November after the election.
CM-09-10-135 Moved by Gatt, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
Approval of an additional one-year extension to Plante & Moran to provide auditing services to the City of Novi for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 in the not-to-exceed amount of $77,990.
Roll call vote on CM-09-10-135 Yeas: Mutch, Staudt, Landry, Gatt, Burke, Crawford
AUDIENCE COMMENT - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:13 P.M.
David Landry, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
__________________________________ Date approved: October 26, 2009
Transcribed by Charlene McLean