View Agenda for this meeting

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2004 – 7:30PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM with Commissioner Enright presiding.

ROLL CALL: Commissioner Burke (Present), Enright (Present)

Schwarzlose (Present), Staab (Tardy 8:15 PM), Staudt (Present), Wingfield (Absent).

ALSO PRESENT: Randy Auler, Director

Jack Lewis, Deputy Director


A motion was made and carried to approve the agenda with no additions or deletions.

(Staudt, Burke C-UN)


1. Resource Development Committee

Commissioner Staudt said there was not much to report from the last Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission meeting, the committee’s next meeting would be the following Tuesday. The Novi Parks Foundation is currently just waiting for the printed license, it has been approved by the State of Michigan and receiving the license will fulfill the final requirement. The Resource Development Committee meeting has not met as of late but he anticipates a meeting to discuss park-naming rights.

2. Park Development Committee

Director Auler noted that the committee has not met since the last Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission meeting but one will be scheduled before the December meeting. Some topics that will be discussed at that meeting include the Capital Improvement Program Budget, an update on the mountain bike trails and the Liberty Park Development at Lakeshore Park, and a recently submitted plan for Providence Park.


1. Deputy Director Report

Deputy Director Lewis updated the Commission on the Ringing in the Holiday Event taking place on December 2, 2004. Commissioner Burke said he read in the paper that the Department was looking for vehicles to pull floats. Deputy Director Lewis said that he was not aware of that; he would have to find out and get back to him.

2. Director Report

Director Auler noted that he would be hosting a meeting with the Novi Homeowners Association Board of Directors on December 1, 2004 to update them regarding the progress of the tree and stump removal of those affected by the Emerald Ash Borer and strategize street tree replacement policies. He will ask the group to take their residents a survey on the subject, due back December 10, 2004. This will be done in an effort to receive additional information to prepare a Tree Replacement Policy recommendation to City Council.

Also, on November 30, 2004 he will be hosting an Adult Softball focus group meeting to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the programs, in an effort to improve the program.

Director Auler invited the Commissioners to attend both meetings, which will be held at 7:00 at the Novi Civic Center.

Finally, Director Auler noted although there is not a recommendation for the Commission’s consideration yet, the State of Michigan has come out with a proposal for a contract for removal of hazardous ash trees within individual communities. The thought is that the proposal would save both the communities and private property owner’s money, in terms of removal of hazardous trees. So far not many communities are participating, he believes Fenton is the only participating municipality. The biggest challenge is that it is essentially providing a state list for private contractors to participate in. The State is asking the municipality to contact the homeowner, identify each tree, be responsible for taking the tree down, getting the payment form the homeowner; essentially making the municipality serve as the agent. There have been many meetings and a lot of input from municipalities, asking the State to reconsider how they will administer the program. After receiving a lot of negative feedback, they have come back with some changes but not enough that additional communities are willing to participate.

Commissioner Staudt said "I had dinner with the Clinton River Watershed Council and sat next to the fellow who developed this plan for Governor Granholm. It appears they are trying to get feedback from cities that have been seriously affected by this and have extended it to a lot more communities since I’ve spoken to him. I don’t sense this thing is moving at a high speed and I expressed our concerns about being too little, too late. He expressed that there was a good possibility there would be another round of funding in the $20,000 - $25,000 range for tree replacement for next year". Director Auler stated that they have not announced a second round of grants, the last round of funding was through grant applications.

Commissioner Staudt asked if we would have a better chance of grant money allocation if we had a Tree Replacement Program already in place.

Director Auler stated that it would depend on what the grant is for, the first round was strictly tree removal. There was a round for tree replacement, we were successful with our application, and received $20,000 for spring replacements.

If they come out with more tree replacement grant money, Director Auler stated that having a Tree Replacement Program in place would certainly help score priority points in the grant application process.




1. Approval of the October 14, 2004 regular meeting minutes.



1. Community Recreation Plan 2003-2008

Director Auler reported that since the last commission meeting the committee has worked on developing or revising the action strategies and providing a general scope of direction, as identified in the five year Community Recreation Plan. The committee added some objectives to each of the strategies and prioritized those through a consensus building process. The document was distributed in this month’s packets. The committee is seeking input from the Commission regarding the priority order, which will assist with the joint meeting with City Council and budget preparations.

Commissioner Staudt added that the big changes from the initial plan are that the committee has become a little more realistic about expectations of what can be done. Also, the committee has focused on the fact that none of the Community Recreation Plan’s objectives and strategies can be achieved without proper funding. The committee’s focus is now shifted to increase funding both by cooperation with City Council and miscellaneous other areas (including fees and the Park Foundation). Also, the committee focused on reestablishing strategies to make them much more general.

Commissioner Enright asked if any items were added and Director Auler replied that some items "were tweaked and merged if you will".

Commissioner Staudt noted that he felt a huge improvement is the use of objectives to better clarify what the strategy statement is about.

Director Auler noted that although the list is listed in terms of one through ten, number ten is no less important than number one and that the list should be revisited as opportunities present themselves.

This evening the committee wants feedback as to whether the action strategies and objectives list is a reflection of what the commission feels they have discussed. If so, the committee will move forward with the presentation for the joint meeting of Council.

Commissioner Burke stated that he felt it might be confusing that the list is numbered, that the public and Council may feel that the list is being prioritized. He asked if bullet points rather than numbers would simplify things.

Commissioner Staudt explained that these are accurately weighted priorities and are not related to the budget.

Commissioner Enright asked Director Auler if City Council would look at action strategies at budget time.

Director Auler replied that in the past, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission, the Capital Improvement Committee, the Administration and the Planning Commission prioritize the Capital Improvement Project Budget submitted to the City Council. The state looks at a similar process when reviewing grant applications, project number one should be the project that the grant money is being requested for.

Motion to accept the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Committee to realign the Community Recreation Plan action strategies.

(Staudt, Burke C-UN)

2. Preliminary discussion of 2005/2006 Capital Improvement Program Budget

Director Auler recapped the budget process and noted that usually that process has begun by now. Council is setting a work session for January, so staff has not received any direction on the budget process yet. He wanted to get a rough draft of all projects, equipment, and vehicles in the Commission’s hands and have some preliminary discussion this evening. All three committees will be working on this in the next 30-45 days, a common goal is to ultimately end up with a recommendation by January.

Director Auler said the purpose of bringing the rough draft to the Commission tonight is to talk about the strategies for the joint meeting with City Council. The purpose of the meeting is to update the Council regarding the progress on the Recreation Plan and the results achieved and to talk about the strategies that were discussed tonight. He suspects projects and vehicles will also be discussed. The Capital Budget Summary Sheet is broken up into categories:

  • vehicles
  • equipment
  • projects (by individual park)

Commissioner Enright added that as the Commission looks at these projects that they need some type of focus and to set goals. She feels that when money is allocated, it is spread so thin that the public perceives that nothing is ever done.

Commissioner Staudt asked how many vehicles are purchased per year.

Director Auler replied that last year three vehicles were purchased for the police and a snow plow. In the three years that he has been here, he doesn’t recall any vehicles purchased for the parks division.

A discussion ensued regarding how old and how many miles the parks vehicles have on them. Director Auler replied that during the budget process the Commission will receive an equipment sheet that identifies the mileage, length and condition of each vehicle.

Commissioner Enright asked if the roof at Lakeshore Park needs to be repaired or replaced. Director Auler replied that the roof needs to be completely removed, and it needs to be addressed as well as the fencing.

Commissioner Staudt asked what the agreement is with the Lion’s Club, he noted that they continue to have their name on the building but are not maintaining it.

Deputy Lewis said the Lion’s no longer have their events out there, so they’re probably unaware of the building’s condition. Director Auler said they are willing to assist with the building but do not have the funding available (estimated at $6,000-$7,000 in materials).

Commissioner Staudt made a motion to accept the report submitted by the City Forester and that the report be passed on to City Council for action.

(Staudt, Enright C-UN)

3. Agenda items for the joint meeting with City Council:

a. Community Recreation Plan 2003-2008:

One year progress report and revised action strategies

b. Emerald Ash Borer:

Tree and stump removal and tree replacement strategy

c. 2005/2006 Capital Improvement Program Budget

d. Naming Rights Policy

e. Novi Parks Foundation


Commissioner Burke: None.

Commissioner Enright: None.

Commissioner Schwarzlose: None.

Commissioner Staab: He appreciated the invitation to the Miracle Worker, he couldn’t make it because he was out of town and he had to watch his Spartans play Wisconsin. He noted that the Choralaires concert is the first weekend in December.

Commissioner Staudt: He did attend the Theatre reception and wanted to reinforce the considerable contribution that Jack Demmer Ford has made to the Novi Theatres. He thought the play was excellent.




The meeting was adjourned at 9:06.


Signed, Marie Enright, Chairperson


Signed, David Staudt, Vice Chairperson