SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 1995 AT 7:30 PM EST
COUNCIL CHAMBER - NOVI CIVIC CENTER
45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Council pledged allegiance to the flag.
ROLL CALL: Council Members Crawford (present), Mason (present), Mitzel (present), Pope (present), Schmid (present),
Toth (present), Mayor McLallen (present)
Present (7) Absent (0)
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
Mayor McLallen said the purpose of this meeting was a Public Hearing on the proposed Taft Road Extension.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor McLallen asked if there were any additions to the agenda.
Councilman Pope asked to add comments on SMART, regional transportation system as Item #5 after the break.
Mr. Kriewall said he would like to add Item #6, after the break, a good faith offer for the Doice Ward property with regard to the 11 Mile Road paving project.
Mr. Kriewall also added Item #7, a discussion regarding the Amoco site at Grand River and Novi Road.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford
Seconded by Councilman Mitzel
That the agenda be approved as amended.
Councilman Pope said he would like to clarify that the audience participation in a Public Hearing was under the same rules as the other. He said audience participation would also be appropriate regarding 11 Mile. He said it was a general audience participation and not just on the other two items.
Mayor McLallen said she would rather not put audience participation in the special hearing. She suggested it be put at the break before 11 Mile and not mix the two road issues.
Councilman Pope said then there would be another audience participation before the break.
Mayor McLallen said the agenda included the addition of an audience participation for other items at the break and the addition of Item #5, discussion of the SMART situation, Item #6 a good faith offer of land on 11 Mile and Item #7 a discussion of the Amoco site at Novi Road and Grand River.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried
PRESENTATION OF DESIGN ALTERNATIVES
Mayor McLallen stated Mr. Kriewall would present the alternatives which number 15.
Mr. Kriewall said Administration had informed City Council that some things had taken place over the last week or two that impact the information they had disseminated prior to this hearing and he would touch on that this evening.
Mr. Kriewall said they did hold a meeting at L.A.R.A.'s request Wednesday, March 22nd to review concerns about South Lake Drive and what might be done with some of the expected traffic increases that that area would be feeling over the next few years. He said they did come away from that meeting with some things they would attempt in terms of signage to help alleviate the problem and educate the motoring public. He said the residents in that area did explain that they felt the police department had been doing a good job in patrolling that area and trying to keep the speed limits down. However, it was still a continuing problem. He said upon further discussion it was generally realized that there had to be something done in terms of additional road improvements to alleviate the increasing traffic on South Lake Drive.
Mr. Kriewall said there were several alternatives that had been presented to City Council and he would run through them quickly because most of the residents in northern Novi are familiar with the alternatives. He said he felt everybody knew that it would require further study because some of the proposed routes do go through the recently assembled park land. He said there could be some fairly significant impacts on that property if we entertain some of the routings east of the CSX tracks. Mr. Kriewall said there was one more alternative, making 16, that was put forth by a developer last week and would be added to the format this evening.
1. A sweeping route from West Road down to 12 Mile Road at a cost of between $4 Million to $11 Million. Impact is that it traverses a significant amount of woodlands and wetlands.
2. Primarily a direct connection between West Road and 12 Mile in a fairly north and south direction. Estimated cost: $2.1 to $2.3 Million.
Mr. Kriewall said the alternates to the west are within the current budget of the 1990 Road Program. There are funds on hand to pave this particular project at this time.
3. Very similar alignment with several options within the same general area. Estimated cost: $3.1 to $3.3 Million
4. Very similar to prior two or three alternates except that it jogs near the southern terminus back to the east and makes a connection with 12 Mile Road further to the east. He said in the earlier public hearing there were a number of comments criticizing the proximity of the route further to the west as getting to close to the Beck Road intersection. This particular route would be an attempt to move the touchdown point further to the east. Estimated cost: $3.3 to $3.6 Million
5. Similar route that moves to the east a little further north in its routing and comes down through some existing industrial property and again the attempt is to move the touchdown point a little further to the east. Estimated cost: (not on tape)
6. Furthest to the west comes down through the driving range property. Estimated cost: $3.1 to $3.3 Million
7. Similar to #6 with a slight deviation. Estimated cost: $3.1 to $3.3 Million
8. Developed after the first public hearing and it picked up on many of the audience comments that said that we should try to stay east of the CSX railroad tracks. He said recognizing
some of the concerns from West Road residents they endeavored
to make a connection further to the north near the inter-
section of South Lake Drive and West Road. He said this made sure that the traffic would be intersected near South Lake Dr. further encouraging people to take this particular route.
Mr. Kriewall said the City owned property which was bought for mitigation purposes and this route would be to the easterly edge of that mitigation property. The City is confident they could negotiate the extension north to South Lake Drive very easily with the developer in that area. South of the mitigation property it crosses the treatment plant road and just west of the treatment plant it comes down to make a 90 degree intersection with the CSX tracks. He said from there the route follows the east side of the tracks and touches down at 12 Mile Road somewhere east of the Taft Road extended in that location. He said the reason is two fold: The Parks and Recreation Department had tentatively identified this particular site as the potential site for an ice rink. He said they looked at this from the standpoint of carving off a portion for the ice rink and also had to stay a considerable distance each side of the tracks at this crossing providing for a future bridge crossing of the CSX tracks.
Estimated cost: $2.7 to $20 Million
9. The difference on this one is the connection is made at the base of West Road extended this route was not taken up to South Lake Dr. Estimated cost: $2.4 to $18 Million
10. Stays west of the tracks and provides for a connection to West Road and comes at a 90 degree angle across the tracks and goes south through some of the earlier routes and then moves back to the east to provide a touchdown point further east of Beck Road. Estimated cost: $3 to $3.3 Million
11. Makes a connection near South Lake Drive and West Road, comes southerly and heads down through the easterly edge of the mitigation property. Then southerly to a point south of the treatment plant and makes a turn to the west and crosses the CSX tracks at a 90 degree angle. Then comes down through some of the existing industrial properties in the area and touches down at 12 Mile Road, considered to be east of Beck Road. He said the reduction in cost is significant compared to some of the designs that parallel the tracks in that it is going back across the tracks to the west and we avoid the expensive construction cost along the CSX tracks. Estimated cost: $4 to $7.5 Million
12. Put forth by a developer that owns property west of West Road. It makes a connection on West Road near South Lake Drive, it goes westerly and follows through the property comes down to the south makes a crossing at West Road and drops down south of the CSX tracks again and southeast to a particular point and makes a perpendicular route down towards 12 Mile Road. The developer indicated they would fund a substantial portion of this. Estimated cost: $3.8 to $4.1 Million
13. Route that picks up along West Road south of South Lake Drive and comes down to a point just north of the treatment plant and heads directly back to the east south of the residential area of South Lake Drive. It picks the best route in terms of avoiding wetlands near the Shawood Lake area and comes down and picks up Dixon Road and heads straight down 12 Mile Road. There are concerns because it led straight through some of the prime park land areas. However there might be some positives that it would provide an improved road, Dixon Road, so that community access could be provided to the Park land system. Estimated cost: $3.5 to $6.5 Million
14. The only difference in this road and the prior ones is that it intercepts South Lake Drive and West Road at a point further north. Other than that, it is essentially the same road. Estimated cost: $3.9 to $6.8 Million
15. Very similar to prior alternative, it picks up at South Lake Drive and West Road and comes down and goes back east through the wetland area and dives through the Shawood Lake Area. The only difference is that it comes down off of Dixon Road to the west several hundred feet and that allows us to avoid dealing with the existing homeowners along Dixon Road. This road would be built on farm land owned by the City of Novi. Estimated cost. $4.5 to $7.11 Million
16. Difference between this and the prior road is it comes back to the west slightly and touches down at 12 Mile Road. There was no cost estimate on it.
17. Also put forth by a developer and is a real traffic mover. It parallels the CSX tracks on the east side from the treatment plant down to I-96. It makes a connection and extensions to West Oaks Drive and the service road behind the Sheraton Hotel. He said this particular area would be funded by a developer and possibly an extension up to l2 Mile. They are proposing to develop, widen and provide weave lanes along I-96 to Taft Road and there would be the options of exiting from I-96 and taking the road all the way to the intersection of West Road and South Lake Drive. He said southbound you could get on the roadway that goes along the CSX tracks and comes all the way down from West Road and South Lake Drive and crosses a fly over bridge and south to eastbound I-96. It is an ambitious alternative but from a traffic movement standpoint it would certainly work quite well. Mr. Kriewall said that they did indicate that they would expect possibly, M.D.O.T. paying for the weave lanes along the expressway and the fly over bridge. They may also consider funding for other areas. Estimated cost: $15 to $20 Million
Mr. Kriewall said they had developed many alternatives that do a lot of different things. He thought we were at this juncture this evening because we have received the input of the public in terms of some of the earlier routes which were less expensive and in conformance with what we could fund out of the road bonding program. He said there were significant concerns raised as to whether the connection to 12 Mile Road should be moved further to the east than originally shown. He said this could be accomplished with several of the alternatives as presented this evening. He said there are many different ways of making a connection near South Lake Drive and West Road. He said that could give additional options of culdesacing West Road or making it unaccessible.
2. RECOMMENDATION FROM CITY ADMINISTRATION
Mr. Kriewall said what he recommended to City Council was that they not make a decision on any particular route as they all need additional study. He said this was especially true as they pass the woodland, wetlands and the park lands that the City Council had assembled. These are very sensitive areas that need expanded deliberation in terms of what the Parks and Recreation Commission is doing. He said there had also been added the developer recommended alternatives and they needed additional study.
Mr. Kriewall said what we need to do is to establish a Committee comprised of City Staff members, Tony Nowicki, the Parks and Recreation Director, representatives from organizations such as L.A.R.A. and himself to sit down and study the alternatives in conjunction with Parks and Recreation Commission, other road agencies, Oakland County Road Commission and the DNR. He said then come back to City Council within 6 months to recommend what they felt was the best route from an environmental and economic standpoint. He pointed out that the City had approximately $2.9 Million available to construct the Taft Road extension and that we are within budget.
Councilman Mitzel asked if Mr. Kriewall would briefly show some of the environmental maps.
Mr. Foyt of JCK showed the maps and pointed out the more critical environmental features to the audience.
Mr. Rogers explained the habitat map. He said on their rankings of land use impact, the alignments that had the highest impact were alignments #2, #6, #7. The woodlands alignment impacts were #2 and #7.
Mr. Rogers said the alignment that had the overall least impact was the alignment that came off of West Road across the railroad and straight down to 12 Mile. He said all of the alignments that were east of the railroad had less favorable ranks.
Mr. Foyt said they also looked at a similar ranking scenario for the wetlands. He said the composite map of woodlands, wetlands and habitat reflected the alignments and also where the wetlands are. He said the wetlands are primarily east of the CSX railroad. There is a little over 450 acre wetland that exists east of the CSX. He said any alignment that goes on the east side would have to cross that wetland somewhere if you want to get from 12 Mile to West Road at the north. There is no way to get around that wetland. Mr. Foyt said when they did the wetland evaluations the two alignments that looked most favorable were #6 and #7 which are on the western edge. When they looked at those alignments they didn't take anything else into consideration except that environ-mental issue.
3. AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Brooks Decker, West Road, thanked Mr. Kriewall and his staff for the fine presentation of the options that had been presented. He said a couple of the options particularly the developer option, giving entrance and exits with the Taft Road extension, he didn't feel addressed the safety issue of the traffic bottleneck that would be created at West Road and Pontiac Trail. He said the traffic had to come from somewhere and go to somewhere and that issue certainly had not been addressed.
Mr. Decker said as far as the environmental issues obviously there are some concerns regarding the environment and it was rather convenient that that issue would prevail and dictate what decision would be made as far as cost and the impact on the wildlife in the area. He said it certainly was a pleasure to have the wildlife in the area although because of lack of money, pressure and wildlife management he knew through experience considerable amount of damage to landscaping, and garbage and etc. He said he was not as concerned as some may be regarding those issues. He said he liked some of the options that utilized access to our acquired park land in the area. He didn't think access off Novi Road or Dixon Road was adequate to fully utilize the number of acres that have been acquired there or to develop it in the fashion that would benefit the community. He was pleased to see the options and with everyone's input he was sure a sound decision would be found.
James Korte, Shawood Lake, said the main problem everyone had with the Taft Road Connector or extension was east or west of the railroad tracks. He said the railroad track was the key to what is going on here and the railroad track was not visually shown as a track. He said therefore, what's east and west when you can't see the line of demarcation.
Mr. Korte said he was at the Wednesday meeting Mr. Kriewall spoke of and realized that City Management was not about to do anything in a positive direction for the Taft Road Connector. He went back into a situation of remembering what he had to do to fight for Taft Road after they were promised it and all the fights on East Lake. He said that even Neil Sossen realized that the road was not going to become Sossen Drive. He said now that it is not going to become Sossen Drive, in his opinion which was reinforced at the Wednesday meeting, City Management was going to do nothing in the way of really getting a solution to South Lake. He said we need a Taft Road extension, a West Road to Taft and we need it now. He said it was needed east of the railroad tracks. He said when this road bond issue went in Ernie Arrufo came to many at the north end and said "please sign this we need some notable names because you are going to get more out of this road bond issue than anyone else in the City." He said it had not yet happened. He said granted Decker Road was on its way and it is a timing situation and they understood that, but they needed relief. He said he found it interesting that the last alternative shown to Council which was a developers concept, was possibly the best beginning and it came from someone else not this City.
Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, said that Council could not logically separate the Taft Road extension public hearing from South Lake Drive existing. She said she was pleased to announce to Council the formation of the South Lake/Shawood Homeowners Association. She said as their appointed speaker she respectfully requested 5 minutes this evening.
Mrs. Gray said they are specifically concentrating on the South Lake Drive and the Shawood Lake area. She said it differed from L.A.R.A. in that they cover the entire area of the City north of Grand River. She said many of them were also L.A.R.A. members but felt the need to establish an area specific association to focus on the needs and concerns of their immediate area. The first general meeting would be held on Monday, April 10th at 7:00 PM at Lakeshore Park. She said all South Lake and Shawood homeowners are invited to attend.
Mrs. Gray said the Steering Committee of the South Lake/ Shawood Homeowners Association recognized the necessity of traffic relief. It was the opinion of the Steering Committee that this could only be accomplished with a Taft Road extension or connector. She said they were promised this road by the City Council via the Resolution of Intent on the road bond issue. She said recognizing this and the fact that this is specifically and primarily South Lake and the Shawood/Novi Road area that is, has been and will be affected they respectfully request that the Council and Administration delay any decision on proposed routing for at least 2 months. She said within that 2 month period they would have their first meeting, they do plan to do a door to door survey on and off South Lake, including the Shawood Lake area. She said they would do a survey and those results with this additional information that most people in that area are not aware of, will be shared with the City Council.
Mrs. Gray said they respectfully request that the South Lake/ Shawood Homeowners Association be given equal representation on the Study Committee with the City and with L.A.R.A. She said they further requested that all 17 options at the next meeting have an overlay of woodlands and wetlands. She said transparencies preferably. She said this did not give an adequate view.
Mrs. Gray said they recognize the environmental sensitivity of this area and trust the solution would address everything. She said they recognized the need to gain access from the south and the west to the future expansion of park land facilities at the tree farm and adjoining properties. She said the total picture must be addressed for proper planning.
Mrs. Gray said that Alternative #17 was the best she had seen yet and to push for it. She said they have been aware for several years that JCK was working on engineering a northern Novi detention basin by putting a dam at 12 Mile Road which was going to increase the depth of that wetland by 5 feet. She said it was very interesting because there was a 3 foot elevation difference between South Lake and 12 Mile. She said that was 2 foot that had to be accounted for. She asked if all the plans take into account additional wetland that would be forced up there by the dam at 12 Mile Road.
Martha Hoyer, 203 Bernstadt, said she couldn't believe that since 1990 we have gone from a $2.2 Million connector road to a $20 Million road of the future. She asked Council to bear in mind that there are 7,500 cars a day on a residential collector street probably best compared to Willowbrook Drive. She said not long ago Willowbrook Drive was complaining about traffic and they didn't have anywhere near 7,500 cars a day. Her question to Council, because of their traffic and because they don't see immediate relief with the road, they are going to have a construction area at Beck Road with this quick fix and was there a plan so that South Lake Drive didn't have 12,000 cars a day instead of 7,500. She said if there was construction in that area those cars are going to come to South Lake Drive. She said they need traffic relief, yesterday. She said there are children crossing that road to get to the beach. She said she was not a believer in traffic signs but one request she would make was a traffic sign at the corner of Owenton. She said there was no house on the corner so there wouldn't be the objection to the noise that there was on East Lake Drive. She said if Council needed justification for the traffic sign paint a crosswalk and call it a pedestrian walkway.
Dorothy Duscheano, 1191 South Lake, said the park land was purchased to be used. She said they needed a north/south route and she saw no reason why both objectives couldn't be accomplished with the same road. She said she was happy to see the additional alternatives and thought #13, #14 or #15 would accomplish that if there was a way to make it reasonable as far as the cost. Mrs. Duscheano said the road needed to be east of the tracks. She said it wouldn't work and people wouldn't take the new route if they had to wait on a train. She asked what the width of the road was going to be. She thought since the City owned the property there was a way of making it work.
Gary Zach, L.A.R.A. Chairman, was present speaking for himself and not for L.A.R.A. He said he was happy to see at the Wednesday meeting there were additional alternatives. He agreed with Mrs. Gray that #17 had a lot of potential. He thought they all believed that one of the keys was easy access to I-96 and not having to go on one road for several miles to have an ingress point to I-96. He said some of the other things that came up that night actually ease the construction of the Beck Road interchange because it didn't have to be totally torn up, it could be done in stages. Mr. Zach said he was also a little concerned that night. He said he understood the constraints involved but it sounded like because of the additional cost that would be incurred there would be further delays possibly until to 1997. He said he also agreed with these people tonight that there is a major problem. He said the statement was we need something yesterday and that is true. He said the rates are climbing fast and he didn't know how much worse it was going to get. He asked if there was someway to expedite this process and pull ahead some money from somewhere else. This is almost a crisis situation on South Lake. He said if we did get these additional cars it would be a real mess and asked if there was any way to get additional funds because we went to the "super road", which is what he thought was needed east of the tracks. Mr. Zach said if it was going to cost more then so be it but we didn't plan for that money and we are talking road bonds, etc. He asked if there was any money be it through the state, developer or whatever. He said at least do part of this as soon as possible.
Dick Stopinski, 233 Bernstadt, said he didn't want to see the City, County or State waste any money on a temporary eastbound ramp, $700,000 on Beck Road. He said take the money, save it and do something worthwhile, don't make a temporary ramp. He said to relieve their problem first because the same traffic goes the same way and we don't need a temporary route.
Mike Conlin, 1321 South Lake Dr., said he was not able to make the meeting last week but thanked Council for looking at all the various alternatives. He said in looking at them quickly tonight he felt Alternative #13 or #8 seemed to make the most sense. He said either way it had to stay east of the railroad tracks otherwise it would not work. He said in addition to that if a committee is formed he would like to volunteer for that and serve as a member to bring the information to L.A.R.A. meetings.
Ruth Hamilton, East Lake Drive, said she wanted to make a statement that when they had the exact same major problems that South Lake had the South Lake residents stood behind the East Lake residents and helped fight for improvements. She said the East Lake residents would stand behind South Lake and fight all the way. She said they need relief and they need it now and it was a shame that it had taken this long. She said she was at the meeting with Mr. Kriewall on Wednesday night and was told that 1998 was the soonest that Taft could possibly be done. She said that would not solve South Lake and that somebody would get hurt and possibly killed. She asked Council to seriously take into consideration that they have a problem.
Brad Bach, 46120 West Road, said there were not many people to speak from West Road because there are not that many people there. He said they are a group of individual residents who have established themselves as residents in the City. He said they have put a good deal of investment into the City and thought that everyone here had their own particular investments and interests. He said he agreed something had to be done for the people on South Lake and their traffic concerns. He said he appreciated the fact the City Management had responded to the last meeting by coming up with so many options because that told him that they were truly interested in finding out the best alternatives possible for all concerned. Mr. Bach thanked them for considering the alternatives for bringing the road up to the intersection of South Lake and West Road. He said this would alleviate the problem they would be facing of becoming frontage on a very main road. He said when they built their homes they didn't realize that this would be an option that the City would be looking at, that their road frontage would be turned into a main thoroughfare. He said folks on South Lake can appreciate the fact that they don't want all that traffic on their front door step and neither would West Road residents. He said they would like to leave it like it is but that would not help the residents of South Lake. He said he would like to request of them and all involved that they be considered as individuals. He said they were individuals who have homestead interests on West Road just as they are individuals on South Lake Drive. He said he thought it should be addressed this way and not by who had the most head count.
Mr. Bach said you could take anyone on South Lake Drive and he would venture to guess that he, if we are talking about dollars and cents, had more invested than any one else. He said, therefore, he paid more in taxes to the City. He said he had an interest in preserving the desirability of his homestead as well. He said the last concept drawing of #17 which had been spoken in favor of, he
would be opposed to that option more than any of the others. He said he was opposed because it would collect the traffic from everywhere in the north area, Commerce, Walled Lake, etc., and funnel it down West Road making it a very major road in order for all that traffic to be gaining access to the freeway.
Pat Hoffmeyer, 707 South Lake Drive, said he would like to see the problem resolved because of all the children on South Lake. He said there were no shoulders on the road and the more traffic there was the more problems they have. He said they love the lake fronts and spend a lot of time there and they have to cross the road to get there. He said they had two cars land on the beach front in the sandbox where the kids play. He felt it was terrible that they had to deal with this everyday. He said when his kids cross to go to the mailbox they are inches from the white line and he would like to see it resolved and hoped Council found a good solution.
Gary Zack, said he wanted to address Mr. Bach's issue because he was sensitive to their plight. He said when he spoke of #17 he had not been able to see exactly how it connected up near West Road. He said he didn't see why #17 couldn't be combined with some of the other ones that bypass the area where the residential is on West Road up near the top end. He said his favorable response to #17 was primarily due to the fact that it gives access to the expressway and also because it doesn't chop through the middle of the park land and wetland. He said it seemed to have a minimal environmental impact because it went next to the tracks. He said he was not disregarding what Mr. Bach had said and felt it should be considered and it should be close to South Lake Drive to make it functional.
Mr. Kriewall said he would like to add a change in the resolution that was sent to City Council. Resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS, the voters of the City of Novi have approved a Road Bonding Issue that has included the extension of Taft Road somewhere between 12 Mile Road and West Road, and
WHEREAS, after considerable engineering investigation and
citizen input, there still remains a common interest in developing a route that is acceptable to the residents of
northern Novi, environmentally sensitive to woodlands, wetlands, and recently purchased park lands, and
WHEREAS, a final route determination would hopefully satisfy the need for traffic relief in northern Novi, while at the same time being fiscally responsible and in concert with
community wide traffic planning.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Novi City Council
hereby recognizes and charges a six-month committee, said
committee to report to Council in sixty days, to be titled
as the Taft road Extension Route Determination Committee, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Committee be comprised of three residents to be appointed by the City Council, including one member of LARA, one member of the South Lake/Shawood Lake Association, the Assistant City Manager, Director of Public Services and a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this committee shall work with residents, property owners, developers, City of Wixom, Road Commission for Oakland County and MDOT to develop plans for the most desirable extension to Taft Road.
4. COUNCIL ACTION
Mayor McLallen stated to members of Council that the City Manager had amended the Resolution that was put on the table this evening to include the newly organized neighborhood association.
Mayor McLallen said this matter is before Council and they had heard very positive input. She said for the second time a lot of members from the north end of our City had come down to let Council know what they felt, thought and what kind of progress Council was making. She said the issues that were most spoken to by the members of the public this evening were:
1. There was a lot of support for east of the tracks.
2. There were concerns about funding.
3. Always the overriding concern about a solution now to the South Lake traffic and the safety concerns particularly with summer coming upon them again.
4. The, as yet to be determined, impacts of construction
traffic as we go into the Beck Road improvements.
Mayor McLallen said the issue before the Council was to either to make a determination on one of the routes, to accept the City Manager's recommendation that Council empower a Committee to study this for 6 months. She said this would bring it up to late September and this Committee would go over the information with a fine tooth comb that had been presented tonight as well as any other information. She said the Committee would be comprised of 4 members of the north end, open ended any four members, the City Manager, Director of Public Works and the Director of Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Director.
Councilman Schmid said he knew that many in the audience knew that Taft Road would have been built 3 or 4 years ago had Council not held it up trying to get a better route on the far western side of this project. He said even though it had been delayed he felt in the long run it would be beneficial to all the members of the audience. He cautioned, regarding #17, that developers give nothing for nothing. He said they are looking for major zoning changes if they get the road. He said they are looking for zoning changes west of Novi Road all the way down to Beck Road or in that general area. He said to be cautious if a committee is formed. He said it would be his recommendation that Council look seriously at #8, which is really #17, also from 12 Mile Road on up to the intersection of South Lake Dr. and West Road. He said Mr. Kriewall said that could range anywhere from $2.9 Million to $20 Million. He thought and had all the confidence in the world guessing from experience, that we could build this road. He said it would certainly be expensive going through the wetlands but he didn't think there would be a major problem with the DNR. Councilman Schmid thought that the DNR recognized that we have to go through there somewhere and the DNR would allow it or they would have a lot of upset residents. He said in addition, there was a lot of motion in the Federal Government area that some of these things would not be quite as important as they are today. He wanted to explore #8 closer, look at the actual cost not the guesstimates. He said if the railroad was followed, obviously they filled it and got through there. He said he knew it was a major wetland problem but not any worse than any place else. He said if it could be built with $2.9 or $3.1 Million or somewhere in that area then we should go ahead and build the road. He said that would line up with #17 and another point which was brought up if you put another expressway exit there you are looking at mega cars on a daily basis that would filter through the whole northern part of the county. This would bring a lot of traffic on West Road and all the area in the north. He said he was not convinced MDOT would go along with building two major exits next to the Novi exit and almost next to the Beck Road exit. Councilman Schmid said to Mayor McLallen that he would recommend that Council give serious consideration to proceed with #8 and see if it was cost ineffective. He said if it was not build the road and solve the problems as soon possible.
Councilman Mitzel said Mr. Kriewall was proposing a six month Committee which would be another delay. He asked how Mr. Kriewall would respond to getting a better cost estimate. He said Councilman Schmid had a good point if it did come down to $3 Million we may have almost enough money now to start building.
Mr. Kriewall said that was a possibility but he still believed that the Committee approach made sense. He said rather than keep bringing people back here there should be continuing dialogue regarding whatever we are doing in terms of developing these additional cost alternatives. He thought it was good to have input along the way and utilize the Committee approach. He said we could still expedite Alternative #8 and take a look at that.
Councilman Mitzel asked why a 6 month Committee.
Mr. Kriewall said it could be quicker than that and that was an outside projection.
Councilman Toth said Mr. Kriewall proposed 3 members of L.A.R.A. on the original proposal, City Manager, Director of Public Services and the Parks and Recreation Director. He said he was more in favor of a 3 month Committee. He said he had no problem reserving 1 seat for a L.A.R.A. member and 1 seat for the new South Lake/Shawood Lake Association. He felt that 3 of the seats should be for the residents at large. He felt there may be someone that lived in the area that didn't belong to either one of the associations and perhaps would like some input. Councilman Toth said he favored having 3 residents at large plus reservation for one L.A.R.A. member and one South Lake/Shawood Lake Homeowners Association members. He said that did not exclude having more than 1 member from either association. He said this would allow someone who didn't belong to either association an opportunity to put in for this committee.
Councilman Toth was opposed to having the City Manager and the Parks and Recreation Director on the Committee. He felt the Assistant City Manager and the Director of Public Services should be involved. He said it was far to much staff with 3 members on there. He said the Parks and Recreation Director had all the park land that he was responsible for developing and he did not want to tie him up with another Committee.
Councilman Toth felt that 90 Days should be the charge if Council did go with the Committee and that it be a 7 member committee. He said Council could extend it if necessary but they have a lot of data that they could look at right now to make a determination. He said 6 months would put this into the fall of this year and the earliest anything could be done would be early 1996. He said contracts couldn't be let out until 1997 and possibly the road wouldn't be completed until 1999. He also felt that 5 residents and 2 staff members on the Committee would be sufficient.
Councilman Pope asked Mr. Kriewall to help him put the entire road picture together. He said we have three projects which have yet to go out which are Wixom Road, 11 Mile Road and Taft Road. He asked if we could do all three of these roads now.
Mr. Kriewall said we could do all three if the construction cost for the Taft Road extension were in the neighborhood of $2.5 to $3 Million.
Councilman Pope asked if that was Councilman Mitzel's comment regarding #8.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said we would have the dollars to do that without going to the voters again.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said counted in the right-of-way costs on #8 there was $150,000 recommended and asked if that counted in reimbursing the Parks Fund for the dollars that had been purchased out of the Parks Fund.
Mr. Foyt said it did not count. He said it would be any lands that the City already owned would not be purchased.
Councilman Pope said while it was a policy question for the Council on how they would handle that, it was a calculation that Mr. Foyt could provide to Council to let them know what dollars we had to use to purchase that, that went to supplement the Road Fund.
Mr. Foyt said there was one other clarification. He said Taft Road needed to be built, the last half of Wixom, last half of 11 Mile and also 13 Mile.
Councilman Pope asked if 13 Mile had gone out to bid.
Mr. Foyt said not yet but it was at MDOT and the plans were there and they are talking about going out later this year.
Councilman Pope said for the Wixom Extension we have acquired or are acquiring through condemnation all of the right-of-way.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope asked if it was the same for 11 Mile.
Mr. Foyt said there was one parcel that needed to be acquired and he thought there was a resolution tonight that addressed that.
Councilman Pope asked if all pieces would have been acquired then.
Mr. Foyt said except for the one piece that we need tonight.
Mr. Kriewall said that was one small piece at an intersection.
Councilman Pope said Council had originally set a goal or it was part of our policy that they wanted to have all the right-of-ways in before it went out to bid.
Mr. Kriewall said as a practical matter this was their recommendation.
Councilman Pope asked Mr. Kriewall for more information about the new proposal for the land by West Oaks coming down to the highway. He said the land was zoned Office and was behind K-Mart and Builders Square and would continue through West Oaks Drive. He said that land to his knowledge was Master Planned Office.
Mr. Rogers said it was PD-2, Office.
Councilman Pope said we have a lot of office in this town and that is quite an investment for someone to put in an office building. He asked if that was what they were proposing.
Mr. Kriewall said he didn't know what was proposed because they had not shared anything with the City other than they have some interest in the property in terms of assemblage and they are working up some conceptual developments.
Councilman Pope said as City Manager you have no knowledge and they have not shared with you what they would be proposing in that location.
Mr. Kriewall said they had not.
Councilman Pope asked why there was optimism that MDOT would fund the bridges and the exit and entrance ramps when the City had been unsuccessful in the Wixom/Beck Interchanges which are existing safety hazards at this time.
Mr. Kriewall said there was apparently enough flexibility in the expanded weaving lanes along I-96 that it just gives so much more capacity to the entire area. He said they foresee in the future no matter what develops in that area we might have the need for additional capacity. He was talking about Vistas, property west of West Oaks, property on the northwest corner of Novi Road and 12 Mile. He said that whole area is largely undeveloped at this time.
Councilman Pope asked why would MDOT be interested in building new ramps when they don't have the dollars to fund the safety hazards that we have both for the City of Novi and the City of Wixom.
Mr. Kriewall said down the road they might be expected to do the Novi Road Interchange again, maybe 15 or 20 years from now. He said this might take the pressure off of that eventuality.
Councilman Pope asked if the City independently verified in any way MDOT's interest in that location.
Mr. Kriewall said no.
Councilman Pope said then developers have approached the City and have said that they had contacted MDOT or they believe they could be successful with MDOT.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct and that it was another alternative that had been presented and it needed a lot of exploration.
Councilman Pope asked what a weaving lane was.
Mr. Kriewall said it would be another lane that would allow traffic to either exit at Novi Road or pass on through and make an additional exit further down the line. He said in this case it would be a Taft Road exit northbound.
Councilman Pope said it would allow someone to go another half mile in anticipation of their exit.
Mr. Kriewall said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said if it was stacked at that point it would be easier to stack in a weaving lane than in non-weaving.
Councilman Pope said Councilman Schmid made a crucial point that if it wasn't for people like Nancy Cassis and others in the Council two years ago this road would be built. He said this road had been discussed more than any road he had ever been involved in on Council. He thought that the development of the residents continuing to come to Council was helpful to Council to move this in a different direction. He said his impression was that this road was a developer driven road that was going to go through industrial land for the purpose of road improvements for the north end. He said there was no question that the developers who owned the landlocked land of I-1 made a strategic decision that they were going to bid very hard with this Council on the right-of-way. He said if they would review this in the future they made a very interesting business decision because hopefully now Council would move away from providing a developer a gift when they could have received, in his opinion, in the location of this road. He said there were still a lot of issues pertaining to a lot existing there that may not be in compliance with ordinances. He said he would caution the residents to be very careful of #17. He said we have at the corner of that intersection a major mall, power center with West Oaks, Expo Center and the Town Center. He said if this is going to the voters in 1996 he could see that this road may not get approved the way it is presented. He wished that the developer would come forward and let them know what their interest is as we are planning this. He felt it was important for Council to recognize just as he didn't want to build a road for the individuals in the I-1 sector he didn't want to build a road for another developer in the other location.
Councilman Pope said those were his comments and he would wait to see the resolution. He said Mayor McDonald from Wixom was there and he felt that Council should add to the resolution working with the City of Wixom. He said they had been helpful on this project and they should continue to be included in the resolution because it is important for their residents who use South Lake Drive that they be included in discussions.
Councilwoman Mason said she agreed with Councilman Pope in the fact that Council should not give more property away since the majority of this Council gave $1 Million worth of City property away already this year. She agreed with Councilman Toth regarding the committee members being three residents, L.A.R.A., South Lake/Shawood Lake Homeowners Association, Assistant City Manager and DPW she would certainly vote for that.
Councilwoman Mason said she had a memo that she didn't understand. She said in regard to Wixom Road and 11 Mile Road the last line in the first paragraph said "according to the financial reports sufficient funds remain in the 1990 Roadway Bond Program if Taft Road is not constructed at this time". She asked how there could be a memo for Wixom Road and 11 Mile, talk about building the Taft Road extension and then have a comment saying that if Taft Road isn't constructed we can continue on with some road improvements on 11 Mile.
Mr. Kriewall asked if it was his memo.
Councilwoman Mason said it was not but it was addressed to him. She said it was from the Director of Public Service.
Mr. Kriewall asked Mr. Nowicki to comment on that.
Mr. Nowicki said the comment was based on the alignment going east of the railroad tracks. He said from the previous Council meetings, comments and the general direction that Council was taking everything had moved away from the particular alignment on the west side of the tracks. He said if it was built on one of the alignments on the west side of the tracks they could do it for the money that was in the program. However, if we wanted to address all of the concerns and build the road in the method that Council had been leaning towards then it couldn't be built.
Councilman Mason said if we stay east of the railroad tracks, which would be totally our own participation and any funds that we could get, then we would really run short if we stayed east of the tracks. She said with our Committee and most of the people saying it should be east to alleviate the problem that we have then we really don't have the money to do it unless Wixom Road or 11 Mile or 13 Mile isn't done.
Mr. Nowicki said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said he thought there was a misunder-standing. He said it was his understanding that we have money to build all the road bonding roads including Taft Road assuming it came in around $2.5 to $3 Million.
Mr. Nowicki said there was $3.5 Million accounted for.
Councilman Schmid asked do we have enough money to build the roads that were on the Road Bonding Issue if Taft Road came in at $2.5 or $3 Million.
Mr. Nowicki said if it comes in below $3.1 Million we do.
Mayor McLallen asked if the bond issue had $3.1 Million left in it.
Mr. Nowicki said according to the latest financial report it did.
Mayor McLallen said if the road either east or west of Taft is to be built it must be built at that price tag. She said some of the designs east of the railroad track as presented tonight are considerably higher than that. She said if as the general consensus of the citizenry was that it be built east of the railroad tracks there was not sufficient money as designed tonight.
Mr. Nowicki said that was correct.
Mayor McLallen said if the design could be brought down to a cost level of $3.1 Million it could be built.
Mr. Nowicki said that was correct.
Councilman Schmid said that the engineers said that Taft Road, #8, which is east of the railroad track could come in at $2.9 up to $20 Million. He said on those roads west of the tracks a statement was made that the developer was going to contribute. He said if that was true that was the very first time in 3 years that he had heard that a developer was going to contribute to building the roads west of the railroad track.
Mr. Nowicki said he had not been privy to all of Council's executive session conversations but it was his understanding that there were certain right-of-ways given.
Councilman Schmid said so you may be talking a $150,000 difference.
Mr. Nowicki said he didn't have the numbers in front of him but that was his understanding.
Councilwoman Mason said everything that is east of the railroad tracks it is going to affect. She said it is not going to be $3.1 Million and she wanted to point that out because you can't say you are going to do this project when you are looking at $2.4 to $18 Million, $2.7 to $20 Million. She said now we have to ask what is going to happen, are we going to vote on the Wixom Road Improvement and 11 Mile improvement and spend that money before we know what it would cost to be east of the railroad tracks when this appears to be more important than any of these projects. She said the two are interlocked. She asked why have a resolution to have a citizens committee or committee at all if we don't have the funding to do this. She felt there were more major things happening with these three projects than what we felt when we first came here.
Mayor McLallen said it appeared that the remaining funding available according to staff was $3.1 Million. She said the challenge was can the environmental assets of that particular area be overcome with a road for that price. She said that question apparently cannot be answered at this table this evening.
Councilwoman Mason asked Mr. Nowicki if $3.1 Million was left for Taft Road.
Mr. Nowicki said that would be total project cost dollars allocated.
Councilwoman Mason said the only way to think about this was to look at all the money and see if Taft Road had the higher priority than Wixom Road and 11 Mile Road. She said this was done before when we started this a couple of years ago. She said we have changed our priority, correct.
Mr. Nowicki said the priorities were not really changed they were established.
Councilwoman Mason said she thought they were changed from when that bonding went through. She said are our priorities to do Wixom Road, 11 Mile and then the Taft Road connector. She said we have to look at these priorities again and see if one of these other projects was left with $3.1 Million instead of the Taft Road connector.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel
Seconded by Councilman Pope
That the City Administration be directed to come back with a finalized cost estimate of Alternative #8 within 60 days.
Councilman Mitzel said he made the motion because this route was on the east side of the tracks, it did not go through the middle of the head waters of the Rouge, it didn't go through the middle of the wetlands. He said it skirts it and had the possibility that it might be within or close to the budget that had been allocated. He felt it was important to get that answer as soon as possible and keep moving this along.
Councilman Schmid said he would support the motion. He wanted to ask the engineers a question. He asked Mr. Foyt if he had done soil borings in this area, literally dozens of them or at least you have come back to Council and said how difficult it was to go through this area.
Mr. Foyt said they had taken soil borings east of that alignment roughly where alignment #1 was located. He said they had not done anything along the railroad track and that was one of the reasons they had the broad range on their cost estimates. He said right in that area of the railroad track they had no soil borings. He said the area of the wetlands, the soil borings that they do have, go from 30 feet to in some areas, where they couldn't find the bottom.
Councilman Schmid asked how many borings would have to be taken along the railroad tracks.
Mr. Foyt said probably about 10.
Councilman Schmid asked if that could be done in 60 days.
Mr. Foyt said if they can get the contractor he thought so.
Councilman Schmid said he would support the motion and hoped the engineers would pursue this in the light that that is where they want to put the road, that's where they want to build it and that is where they want to build it for $3 Million or less, if possible.
Councilman Crawford asked where that left the committee to study the situation. He asked what purpose that committee would serve if we are waiting on this for 60 days. He said if this was the direction we have indicated we want to go in, he was not opposed to that direction because he thought whether we have a committee or not it was important to have consensus now east of the railroad track and north of the residents on West Road and #8 does address that. He said the question was what function would the committee have over the next few months if Council proceeded in this direction.
Mayor McLallen said the committee was a recommendation of the Administration. She said the Administration apparently did not think that the Council would make a straight decision tonight.
Councilman Crawford said his problem with being so specific on Route #8 was it took the committee out of the process. He thought if we charged the committee with some of those criteria that he mentioned and that Route #8 does address that it is north of the West Road residents, east of the railroad track, not on Dixon Road. He didn't think not being on Dixon Road was an acceptable alternative. He said take into mind that its not destroying the park land but providing some access to it. He said there may be a few alternate routes that the committee could address in 2 to 3 months and come back with a recommendation and then we might be better informed on where to pursue some soil borings.
Councilman Toth said he would support the motion because he felt the Committee had validity to it and to do some study because he was not sure what figures might come back. He said there may be some alternates that the committee might have to look at.
Yes (6-Pope, Toth, No (1-Crawford) Motion carried
Councilman Schmid said he would propose, even though Council had made a rather finalized decision, that Council still form a Committee with a charge that they consider the alternatives. He said the Committee would have to be mindful that if this road came in at an agreeable price that this was where the road would go. He said if in 45 or 60 days they come back and say that this is an $18 Million road then at least the Committee has had preliminary discussions, they have guidelines and possibly direction of where they want to go.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Schmid
Seconded by Councilman Crawford,
That the Council empower a Taft Road Extension Determination Committee composed of 5 members including the Assistant City Manager, the Director of Public Services, and 3 at large members, one to be a L.A.R.A. member and one to be a South Lake Drive/Shawood Lake Homeowners Association Member for a 60 day term.
Councilwoman Mason offered an amendment of the Assistant City Manager, Director of Public Works, 3 residents at large, 1 L.A.R.A. member and 1 South Lake Dr./Shawood Lake Homeowners Association member.
Councilman Schmid accepted the friendly amendment.
Councilman Crawford withdrew his second. He thought the main motion was fine with the exception of the additional residents at the north end. He said he thought it was a good idea and that the City Manager and the Parks and Recreation Director were fine on that committee particularly the Parks and Recreation Director since it is the proposed route that would be going through City Park land. He felt it was important he was on the Committee and if that was the motion he would withdraw his second to the amendment and vote against the motion because of what he had stated.
Councilwoman Mason seconded the main motion.
Councilwoman Mason questioned the length of term.
Councilman Schmid said 60 days.
Councilman Mitzel said he would not support the motion because he felt that it was important that the Parks and Recreation Director be on the Committee. He said the Committee would provide useful input, however in light of the other direction that the Council had taken it would have to be viewed that if that comes back favorably that would probably be the route that would be taken because it would be within our cost. He said it seemed to meet the criteria. He said this Council traditionally debated the Committee's recommendations quite heavily so even if they do bring back a recommendation Council would probably still have a debate.
Councilman Toth said he welcomed any input from the citizens. He felt that 5 citizens would really have their job cut out for them. He said they would have to convince him of the route that they pick. He felt that this had the greatest impact on the residents who live in the area and he thought they had a real concern about it and should be given the opportunity to come back to Council. He said the citizens did deserve the opportunity, they do deserve to come back with the ideas on what route they felt was best and the Council would have to sit down and decide financially what the City could afford.
Councilman Pope said he thought that the main motion had been altered and that Councilwoman Mason's was not an amendment it was the main motion, is that correct.
Mayor McLallen said that was correct.
Councilman Pope said he would like to add something in the form of an amendment.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilwoman Mason
That the motion be amended to add to the Resolution in the first NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Novi City Council hereby recognizes and charges a six month committee which must report to Council in 60 days.
Councilman Schmid wanted to clarify his first motion. He said the purpose of offering that the Committee be formed was the Council had made a decision to find out what it would cost to look into Alternative #8, and this is costly. He said assuming that comes in within the $3 Million or less this Council with all probability, would go with that alignment. He said the intent of the Committee was to get it rolling in the event that the alignment came in and cost several millions more and the Committee then would go into full fledged motion and make a decision on whether it should go to the electorates, continue the project or come up with other alternatives.
Vote on the amendment.
Yes (7) No (0) Motion carried
Councilman Pope asked the maker of the motion to add the City of Wixom in with the property owners, developers, Road Commission and M.D.O.T. and allow the Committee to communicate with the City of Wixom.
Councilman Schmid agreed.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Mitzel
Seconded by Councilman Pope
That the Committee should also add a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Councilman Toth said he would not support this because the Parks and Recreation Commissioner on the Committee had other functions to do besides working with a particular road program. He said if this program goes in, it would be built to City standards and he did not believe that the Parks and Recreation Commissioner was going to add anything to this unless it impacts park lands. If so, at that point Council could call them in.
Councilman Mitzel said he made the motion based on Councilman Schmid's clarification of the intent of the Committee. He understood where the Committee was going and thought he could support it as long as Council could get Parks and Recreation representation on it because Council was talking about impacting the largest City park in the City. He said this park was actively going through Master Planning now and Council gave the Parks and Recreation Commission the charge of Master Planning the site by October. He said the road alignment would have a great impact on the Master Plan if alignment #8 didn't work. He said there is an important liason position and also representation that needed to be added to the Committee and brought to the Parks and Recreation Committee so these things could be considered within the park plan and the road plan.
Vote on Mitzel amendment.
Yes (6-Pope, Schmid, No (1-Toth) Motion carried
Mayor McLallen restated the main motion: To empower a Taft Road Extension Route Determination Committee comprised of 5 citizens, 1 from L.A.R.A. membership, 1 from South Lake Drive/Shawood Lake Homeowners Association, 3 north end residents at large, plus 1 Parks and Recreation Commissioner, the Director of Public Services and the Assistant City Manager. The Committee will be empowered for 6 months but a report is expected in 60 days. Also included in the working relationship will be the City of Wixom.
Yes (5-Schmid, No (2-Crawford, Pope) Motion carried
Commissioner Kay Schmid stated she wanted to talk about a very volatile issue and that was the SMART Bus System and how to proceed with doing it. She said there were two Acts, Act 204 which SMART was organized under and Act 196 which was the authority that buses could run under. She came to report to Council that on Thursday, March 23rd at the Board meeting, they voted down putting on the ballot Act 204 SMART System.
Commissioner Schmid said today at her General Government Committee Meeting they passed a Resolution to go under Act 196 giving local communities the opportunity to opt out of the system. She said this would not go on the ballot at the same time, it would go on the ballot possibly May 31st but it could be as late as June 2nd. She said from the General Government Committee it would go to the Finance Committee at 8:00 am on March 30th. She said then they would hold a Board meeting at 9:00 am to address it there. She said they should have the votes to do that. Commissioner Schmid said 16 to 9 was the vote that turned down going without an Act 196. She said what had happened was they didn't get the information from SMART. She said Wayne County got the information from SMART, she didn't know how, but they gave them the option of bailing out because they had to bail out Detroit. She said Detroit had their own system and they knew they had to give them the opportunity to opt out. She said they didn't want the rest of the communities to opt out, they obviously didn't want Macomb or Oakland County to be given that opportunity. She said there was a 45 day time limit under Act 204 and under Act 196 there was a 60 day time limit. Commissioner Schmid said that did not give them time to go on an Act 196 and meet the March 23rd deadline. She said if we do it it would be in that time frame between the 30th and the 2nd of June. She said they are now running around going back to Wayne County and Macomb County to get them to change their date to coincide with our date because they want to do it all on the same day.
Commissioner Schmid said she would be happy to answer any questions Council had. She offered any information that she had to help them make the decision, the community could make the decision of whether they wanted to put it on the ballot or opt out. She said also under Act 196 there was an opt in provision also in the Articles of Incorporation that they had designed. She said if this passed and 6 months down the road Council decided that they would like to be part of this then at that time they could take it to the community, put it on the ballot and pass it. She said at this point Council had been opted out for the first one. She felt that was very necessary in Oakland County because we have a series of Townships across the top and down the west side that have never seen a SMART bus. She said the senior credits are preserved and they are passed through credits and they would pass through to the Act 196 and be given to Council and would not be changed. She said if anything else passed any where else Council would also have para-transit too. She said the only thing that would be lost would be the line haul, all those big empty buses that go up and down and around the County. She said she rode the buses two weeks ago and left Twelve Oaks Mall with one other person on the bus. She said they took three buses and that one went down to 7 Mile and Grand River where they got on a D.D.O.T. bus and took it over to Woodward through Northland and back down to 8 Mile and over to Woodward and then back. She said it took 2 1/2 hours. She felt it was not working because it was not a well run organization and that was the biggest problem with it.
Commissioner Schmid said she would come back to Council after the Thursday meeting when it was all formalized and Council would have 30 days to make the decision to opt out. She said communities in Wayne, besides Detroit, have opted out. She was told by her counterpart in Wayne County that shares the City of Northville with her that Northville Township was going to opt out.
Mayor McLallen thanked Commissioner Schmid for bringing this to the Council's attention and Council would look forward to the report after Thursday.
Councilman Pope stated Commissioner Schmid said the senior credits would be preserved under Act 196 and asked if Council opted out from the 196 could the 196 be still used as a pass through authority.
Commissioner Schmid said absolutely that was the authority that gave them the chance to do that.
Jerry LeBlanc, 48801 11 Mile Road, said the residents did not want the paving on 11 Mile Road between Beck and Wixom Roads. He said this was tacked on at the time the people didn't want that. He said the bonding issue went through and there was nothing the people and the residents in this area could do about it. He said they had been carrying on the fight now since 1991. He said they didn't want it and that they have watched 11 Mile raped these last two years with all the trees cut down and it looked like Livonia now between Beck and Taft Road. He said most of the people and his supporters, Doice Ward, the Chapels, Smiths, Burtons, and the LeBlancs moved out here to preserve their way of life. He said they have people who do like to ride their horses up and down 11 Mile Road. He said they had about 68 cars a day on 11 Mile Road and didn't need more traffic. He thought the cost was originally $756,000 to pave it and the new cost would probably be around the $920,000 range to pave that road for 68 cars. He said the money could be better spent in other areas in the City. He said Walled Lake needs that money so why should this money be wasted on a road that goes to nowhere, it deadends at Wixom Road. He said there was no traffic on 11 Mile but yet Council wanted to spend $920,000 on 11 Mile Road and there are far more important things to do in this City with that money.
Mr. LeBlanc said he thought it was Councilman Pope who said before it could go out to bid the City needed easements, there had not been any easements sold. He said he had not sold his, Mr. Ward, Mr. Burton etc. had not sold their easements. He said as far as he knew no easements had been sold.
Mr. LeBlanc said there were three solutions. He said if Council decided to go through with this the people had the power of referendum. He said they would get the names on a petition and this would be defeated. He said Council should take these funds that are allotted to 11 Mile and delete them. He said to ask Mr. Fried to find some way to transfer the funds to some other paving project in our City and the Council would not have any complaints from anyone on 11 Mile. He said the people from Walled Lake would not complain and if it goes to a ballot it would be beaten about 10,000 to 1.
1. Request to seek bids for the paving of 11 Mile Road between Beck and Wixom Road
Mr. Tony Nowicki, Director of Department of Public Services, said he had talked to Les Gibson, Financial Director, and it seemed time was running out to spend the bond money. He said he wasn't sure of the dates but they had this complete construction season and maybe part of the next. If they don't spend it at that time, they could be into an arbitrage situation. He said irrespective of that, before Council tonight are the requests to seek bids for two paving projects, Wixom Road from 10 Mile to 11 Mile Road and 11 Mile Road from Beck to Wixom Road. He said both of these roads are remaining portions of the 1990 Roadway Bond Program that was voted on and approved by the residents of the City of Novi. Mr. Nowicki said both of the projects are scheduled to be approximately 24 feet wide of pavement plus the 2 foot curb and gutter sections on each side. He said with respect to the easements there are several that are outstanding. He said one was the Dinser Property and the other was the Ward property. Mr. Nowicki said both these properties have been turned over to Mr. Fried and he was pursuing them. He said he was bringing this before Council because to wait until they go through the proceedings could jeopardize this complete construction season and we would be faced with increased construction costs. He said the later the bid in the season the higher the costs go. He said it would also jeopardize completion during this construction season, and if delayed it could run into the winter months and further complicate the construction process.
Mr. Nowicki said all the permits are secured except for the Road Commission for Oakland County permit which would include 10 Mile Road at Wixom and a woodlands permit that is on going now. He said they are very close to getting ready to go, the plans are in review now, the construction coordinator had been reviewing them and had comments to JCK. He said by the time it was ready to go out to bid those issues will have been addressed. Mr. Nowicki said they would also propose Taft Public Hearings informational meetings to appraise the residents as to what to expect, what the design looked like and how they would be impacted. He said it would be very much like what was done a number of years ago with the other phases of 11 Mile Road and Wixom Road.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. LeBlanc, during audience participation, said the people along 11 Mile had not been approached for easements and asked Mr. Nowicki to clarify if easements were needed in that area.
Mr. Nowicki said they were not needed. He said a number of years ago Council actually narrowed the road and the right-of-way requirements. He said what they were using was the statutory limits of the road so easements would not have to be secured. He said the easements that are needed are the Ward parcel on 11 Mile Road at Beck Road on the northwest quadrant. This is primarily needed for sight distance and clearing and maybe a small part of the radius. He said also needed was the Dinser property because Wixom Road would be straightened out through some of their property.
Councilwoman Mason said there are two properties necessary for construction that need to be acquired and asked if that was condemnation and if so how long.
Mr. Fried said it was condemnation and the City would proceed under the quick take statute and it would probably be about 90 days after the offer to buy is made to the owners.
Councilwoman Mason asked when the offer to buy would be.
Mr. Fried said as soon as the Resolution before Council was adopted.
Councilwoman Mason said then it would be within the next 30 days and then another 90 to be able to acquire. She asked what happened if the owners decided to fight the condemnation.
Mr. Fried said under the quick take statute the issue of necessity must be tried immediately so that would be a quick trial if they challenge necessity.
Councilwoman Mason said then we could look at about six months.
Mr. Fried said in all probability it would be 90 to 120 days total.
Councilwoman Mason said it could be up to four months and Mr. Fried agreed. She asked Mr. Nowicki how long on the woodlands permit. He said it could be issued relatively quickly. Councilwoman Mason then asked about the Road Commission for Oakland County permit. Mr. Nowicki said it would not take long and that all the information had been submitted to the Oakland County Road Commission.
It was then,
Moved by Councilwoman Mason
Seconded by Councilman Crawford
That Council hold in abeyance the two requests to seek bids for the paving of 11 Mile and Wixom Roads until the report on cost estimates for the solution to Taft Road are brought forward.
Councilman Toth said the bonding issue was sold on the idea that a number of roads would be done. He said there were some that he disagreed with but ended up supporting all of them because Council supported it. He personally thought that 11 Mile and Wixom Roads should be completed. He said there were people living in that area that needed those roads to be improved, it was very costly to maintain them in the present state. He said he did not think that Council should make this type of an effort to put all the money into one particular road. He said there was allocated $3.1 Million for Taft Road and felt that it should come in at that. Councilman Toth said he felt the completion of 11 Mile and Wixom Road was important for the rest of the City and he could not support the motion.
Mr. Kriewall urged the City Council to bid both of the projects. He said this was the optimum time of the year to bid roadway projects because contractors could plan their work for the rest of the year. He said as Mr. Nowicki pointed out both roads are being bid at the same time with the ability to award just one of the bids if we deem necessary. He said he thought there was enough flexibility in the way the bid package was structured to offer the greatest advantage to the community. He said if Council is talking about saving dollars then they ought to bid both projects at this time of the year and they ought to be bid together. Mr. Kriewall said at that time, the City Council still could choose not to award the bid, for example, for 11 Mile Road. He said in the meantime the right-of-way quick take and minor problems that are outstanding could be resolved by the City Attorney. He said the easement problems are so insignificant on 11 Mile Road that the project could actually be started if the contractor agreed pending the resolution of the outstanding easement at the corner of 11 Mile and Beck Road.
Mr. Kriewall said in the interest of the community we need to bid both projects and Council could still reserve the right not to award the bids once the prices are back on either one of the projects. He said he believed the timing was proper and the outstanding issues were so minor they could all be resolved within the next 90 days as the attorney had indicated. He said it would not be wise in terms of cost effectiveness of the entire road program to delay bidding these project. He urged Council to bid both projects.
Councilman Mitzel asked Mr. Nowicki what time frame the bids would come back to Council for action.
Mr. Nowicki said 30 to 60 days. He said the reviews would have to be finished, the bid specifications would have to be put out, all the documents prepared and have the attorney finalize the documents. He said he would like to hold public informational meetings before a lot of the work was done.
Councilman Mitzel said then about the same time that the finalized cost for Wixom and 11 Mile Roads would come in the information for a better estimate of Route #8 on Taft Road would come forward. He said Council would have all the final costs about the same time to make an educated decision at that point.
Mr. Nowicki said he thought all the costs would be hitting very close to the same time.
Councilman Mitzel said that he would not support the motion. He said as Mr. Kriewall stated Council could always opt out of awarding the bid. He said in the meantime, if Council goes forward in seeking the bids Council would have a better idea of the total cost of the entire bond project.
Councilwoman Mason said she didn't think Mr. Kriewall, City Manager, should be lobbying this way for any particular project when there are citizens here who have said they don't want Wixom Road and 11 Mile paved. She said Mr. Kriewall didn't say anything when those South Lake people said this was terrible. She said she didn't hear him get up and lobby to get bids in for Taft Road.
Councilman Crawford said he disagreed with Mr. Kriewall but respected his right to lobby anything he had to lobby. He felt in this case if Council started the ball rolling with the bids it would be rather difficult to stop it. He thought of utmost importance was the Taft Road Extension. Councilman Crawford said several months ago Council put the 11 Mile Road project on the back burner, it was the least priority of all. He said looking at these three projects the only conclusion to be reached was that the Taft Road Extension had to be of the utmost priority. He said he would support that but could not support these bids because once the process starts it would be very difficult to stop. He said someday these roads may be a priority but right now we have to concentrate on Taft Road and not allocate any funds to these other projects until Council finds out what it would take at a bare minimum to do Taft Road.
Councilman Schmid said it was probably one of the more difficult decisions that Council has had to make. He said he respected the people on 11 Mile and particularly the speaker this evening. He said on the other hand there was a City wide election to pave roads. He agreed with Councilman Crawford that Taft Road was a priority and would not want anyone to mistake his support of the motion. He said he would not support the motion but he would support the motion to go out for bids when and if one was made. He said at that time Council would have a better idea of what Taft Road would cost because they would all come in at about the same time, 60 days. He said then the hard decision had to be made as to whether Council would go with Taft Road. He felt that it should go out for bids. He said he would not support the motion.
Yes (1-Mason, Crawford) No (5-Toth, Pope, Motion defeated
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Toth
That bids be requested for paving of 11 Mile Road between Beck and Wixom Roads.
Councilman Pope basically agreed with Councilman Schmid. He said there had been a City election on this and he thought this information was essential to putting all the pieces together. He said it may mean that these roads don't get paved but this can't be put together without this information. He said it was possible that we could do the three roads and fulfill the commitment to the voters within the budget that the voters provided.
Councilwoman Mason pointed out to Councilman Pope that according to the financial records sufficient funds remained in the 1990 Roadway Bond Program if Taft Road was not constructed at this time. She said there was a problem because the people did vote to do 13 Mile and there was no priority list. She said the priority seemed to be with the Taft Road connector. She said they had a statement that said, which was clarified, anything east of the railroad tracks there probably would not be money for. She said there was never a priority list and we have the citizens coming in saying the priority is Taft Road because of South Lake. She said she was not suggesting that things do not get paved. She said if out of the road bond something doesn't get paved she doesn't write the checks, hire contractors or get the bids and it was not her fault if the money didn't go around. She said Taft Road was more important to the general public than either one of the other roads. She agreed with Councilman Crawford.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the bids would also include sidewalks and bike paths.
Mr. Nowicki said just the basic roadway and tree mitigation as needed.
Councilman Mitzel asked if it was possible to have an alternative to the bid package to provide a cost estimate for a sidewalk or bike path along these roads. He said there would be a major City park at 11 Mile and Wixom Roads which would be a draw for many young people in the area. He said Council could decide then if there were alternative funds or the possibility of doing them. He said they wouldn't have be to done if the money wasn't there but at least Council would be considering the possibility of that.
Mr. Nowicki said it was a good suggestion and one that the Administration made a number of years ago. He said the City didn't have the easements in order to construct bike paths or sidewalks adjacent to the roadway. He thought Council had passed a Resolution indicating that it was just the basic roads that the people had voted on.
Councilman Mitzel said if Council had the cost estimates possibly there would be a grant or something we could apply for similar to what was done for the 12 Mile Road sidewalk.
Mr. Nowicki said it could be done with estimates instead of bidding it. He said if it goes out for bids there was something implied to the contractor even though Council could delete it. He said he could come up with cost estimates that would be very close without doing it through the contractual provisions.
Councilman Mitzel said it was something he thought should be moved forward because of the City park and also the possibility of a school site in that area. He said it was difficult to ride a bike with curb and gutter.
Mr. Nowicki said he would come up with some cost estimates for that roadway.
Councilman Toth said Council was not awarding this they were only collecting the information and this might strengthen the Taft Road project. He said if this process was delayed it would delay the information coming in and that should be information Council should consider at the same time Taft Road was being considered. He felt that this should be supported to make sure that Council had all the information before any decision was made.
Yes (5-Pope, Toth, No (2-Mason, Crawford) Motion carried
2. Request to seek bids for paving of Wixom Road between Ten Mile and Eleven Mile
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Toth
That the request to seek bids for paving of Wixom Road between Ten Mile and Eleven Mile be approved.
Yes (5) No (2-Mason, Crawford) Motion carried
3. Warrant No. 435
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Crawford
Seconded by Councilman Pope
That Warrant No. 435 be approved.
Yes (6-Pope, Mason, No (1-Toth) Motion carried
4. Presentation of 1995-96 Budget
Mayor McLallen said this would be under discussion by the Council until it was voted on in May. She said the Council would be meeting roughly twice a week for discussion on the budget, they are public meetings and there would be a public hearing at that time. Mayor McLallen thanked the Mr. Kriewall for his efforts in bringing this forward and also thanked the Administration for a job really well done on Taft Road.
Councilman Toth said these meetings would not be cablecast.
Mr. Kriewall said they really picked up on the auditors presentation and attempted to balance the budget with the four percent increments from 1993-94 to 1994-95 to the proposed budget of 1995-96. He said they had found that it was much more difficult than the auditors believed it would be. He said they accepted the departmental requests as they normally did and sent them back to the drawing board. Other than obvious changes that had to be made in terms of new personnel, etc., they were asked to recalculate their budgets and bring them back at the 4% increment for 1995-96. Mr. Kriewall said they had difficulty doing that and administration had to help them along with some dramatic cuts in their recommendations for additional personnel and capital equipment. He said they thought they would present the budget at the Truth in Taxation level even though it was not a pretty sight.
Mr. Kriewall said that was not a recommendation and when the budget message was read Council would find that they are recommending something beyond that to allow some of the things to be done that Council really wanted to do. Mr. Kriewall stated examples such as the re-computerization of the City of Novi, GIS systems and Kiosk in City Hall that Council had been talking about for years. He said these things are attainable as a recommended element of the budget that would require us to go about Truth and Taxation for the General Fund. He said they thought they would get the agony out of the way and present Council with an actual budget at the Truth and Taxation Level. He said it was very stripped back in terms of community needs and he thought that it would be self evident that they had to remove many items that should not be removed for a growth community such as ours. Mr. Kriewall said they were looking forward to working with Council trying to work towards some common goals. He said Council would find that the elements for some of the things they are looking for are in there. He said Council might have to struggle with Administration in finding how to fund some of the items. He felt that they would be able to do that if they worked towards some common goals.
Mr. Kriewall said some key positions had been added to the budget, a Data Management Specialist within the Department of Public Services, to address some of the ongoing Council concerns in addition to the implementation of a GIS system and a Kiosk for the City Hall atrium. Mr. Kriewall said the position would be funded primarily by the Enterprise Funds, water, sewer, drains and roads.
Mr. Kriewall said they had added the two police officers to be funded as part of the Cops Fast Grant. He said a proposed worker had been added to the Water and Sewer Department to handle the many more water and sewer accounts that have been added over time. He said every year many additional miles of water and sewer are installed as Novi continued to be one of the highest paced and fastest growing communities in the State of Michigan.
Mr. Kriewall said also listed within the budget message are items that were not addressed as part of the budget that they believed a good case could be made for. He said one was a budget analyst in the Finance Department. He said they felt fairly strong about this position and it had been talked about in prior budget years and it was not included in the budget. He pointed out several other positions that they had not funded because of their attempt to bring it in at the Truth and Taxation level.
Mr. Kriewall said they are maintaining 10% of the Fund Balance as they indicated on Page 8 of the budget message. He said one other factor was that the whole operation of the police and fire milage exceeded what was originally envisioned in terms of funding. He said with our compliment of police and fire personnel that were added with the police and fire milage we are now having to go back to the General Fund to fund that. He said we have out stripped our total capability of the police and fire milage and are having to subsidize that operation from the General Fund.
Mr. Kriewall said it tended to be a bare bones budget but thought they recognized within the budget some of the Council concerns and showed some options on how to obtain Council's goals. He said he hoped to find the next 30 days very productive and was looking forward to it.
Councilman Schmid asked if it was possible to get some figures that would show per capita cost by other cities.
Mr. Kriewall said he thought Novi would compare very well in that comparison and he would get that information.
Councilman Toth said he would prefer to have Councilman Schmid recommend the cities to pick. He said he would like to see some of the surrounding communities like Farmington Hills, Rochester, Troy, Auburn Hills, etc.
Mr. Kriewall said he would bring back 6 city comparisons.
Councilman Mitzel asked if he could have the budget on disk so that he could load up his lap top for the budget sessions.
Mr. Kriewall said yes.
Mayor McLallen said they were looking forward to the first initial meetings which would be Thursday, April 6th.
5. SMART ISSUE
Councilman Pope said he was really glad that Commissioner Schmid came and gave Council an unexpected update. He said it appeared that this issue was going to be pushed to the Council table. He felt the Administration would want to hear from Council what information they felt was necessary to allow Council to make a decision. He felt that a decision would be needed quickly and he thought Council should make a conscious decision to be either in or out and that decision should come to the table. He said he would like some information of the general service area for Novi of SMART and would also like Mr. Kriewall, rather than seven members, to contact Commissioner Schmid to confirm the information that our senior programs would still be passed through.
Councilman Pope said he had one other point. He said he was not sure if people read the Oakland Press or viewed Oakland County government and knew what kind of impact Commissioner Schmid has had on this issue. Councilman Pope said he had watched her at SEMCOG and at the County level and she is, in all sincerity, doing a great job on this issue. He said that was one of the reasons he wanted to put it on as a point because it was kind of an obscure issue but he thought she had done a great job. He said that information would be helpful because Council would have to operate quickly and there wouldn't be time for Council to table or to ask for more information.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Kriewall for ridership figures and what particular employers know that their employees are using the SMART system.
Councilman Pope said he had spoke to Mr. Kriewall regarding a manufacturing company that provided an alternative for their employees and he asked Mr. Kriewall to ask if that employer might be interested in providing us with a comment on how he did that.
Mr. Kriewall said he would take care of it.
6. Resolution for Good Faith offer for Doice Ward property.
It was then,
Moved by Councilman Pope
Seconded by Councilman Toth
That the Resolution for the good faith offer to purchase property on 11 Mile from Mr. & Mrs. Doice Ward be approved.
WHEREAS, present conditions in the City of Novi, Oakland County, Michigan, necessitate improvement of Eleven Mile Road near Beck Road in the City of Novi; and
WHEREAS, proposed plans showing said road improvement have been prepared; and
WHEREAS, it has been determined that said road improvement is necessary for the use and benefit of the public; and
WHEREAS, in order to construct said improvement, it is
necessary that the City acquire an easement for public highway and utility purposes and a temporary construction easement
described as attached to the original minutes,
WHEREAS, it has been determined to be in best interest of the
City of Novi to offer to purchase the above described easements from the owners of the subject property.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor of the City is
hereby authorized to execute, on behalf of the City, a good
faith offer to purchase, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "B", calling for the payment of $1,250.00 for the above described easement for public highway and utility purposes and temporary construction easement from the owners
of the subject property. The above amount has been established as just compensation for the acquisition of the
above described easements based upon an appraisal of the
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that after the execution of the good
faith offer to purchase by the Mayor, the good faith offer to
purchase shall be submitted to the owners of the property.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all resolutions and parts of
resolutions insofar as they conflict with the provisions of this Resolution be and the same hereby are rescinded.
Yes (5-Pope, Toth, No (2-Mason, Crawford) Motion carried
7. Discussion of the Amoco Site at Grand River and Novi Road
Councilwoman Mason asked if the City owned this property outright or was there an option on it. She said if it was an option how could Council talk to other people about purchasing the property when it was only optioned.
Mr. Fried said the City has an option to buy the property and could sell the option and the property.
Mayor McLallen said the Council agreed to put this item on the agenda. She said the Administration would be given the courtesy to present the information and then the Council may question the Administration on the information presented.
Mr. Kriewall said they checked with the City Attorney and it could not be discussed in executive session because there is an option on the property. He said the City was approached by the representatives of Aetna, who owns the Trammell-Crow shopping center on the north east corner of Grand River and Novi Road. He said Aetna had expressed some prior interest in acquiring this particular piece of property where the Amoco Station used to be from us.
Mr. Kriewall said in a meeting last week with Aetna they gave him some maps and proposals which were strictly conceptual to take to the City Council. Mr. Kriewall said these were just conceptual ideas of what they could do with that site.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Fried if he would give Council the parameters under which the Council was correctly discussing this in this forum.
Mr. Fried said this could only be discussed in an open meeting because we own the property we are not purchasing the property. He said if we are selling the property it cannot be discussed in executive session it must be discussed in an open meeting.
Mr. Kriewall said Amoco hired their own architect to make some development plans. He said they wanted to sit down with the City and work through some kind of a plan that would comport with the City's intentions for the area, or we could sell them the option on the property or we could keep the property.
Mr. Kriewall told Council that the City optioned the property for $250,000 and the option was good for up to two years after the site was cleaned up or five years which ever was the later. He said we still have additional time, at least a year or so to do something on this corner. He said at an earlier time they discussed with the Council the possibility of expending park land monies to acquire and finalize that option, wherein the City would actually purchase the Amoco Site for the option price of $250,000 or less. Mr. Kriewall said the Aetna proposal would be to purchase the option from the City at an undisclosed price to develop some retail on the corner and/or build a public plaza or amenity on the corner. He said that had not been defined; it is shown as a public plaza and that could be anything from a fountain, to a clock to an open area, to a community events sign or something of that nature.
Mr. Kriewall said there had been no discussion around the details of what might happen in this area. He said what might be to our advantage was the Council might be able to accomplish some of the open vista concerns on the corner yet release some of the property for potential sale. He said what was at stake in this whole situation in addition to the Amoco Site, was the park that Trammel-Crow was required to build adjacent to the Amoco Site area. He said they were proposing in this particular sketch to develop within that park area. Mr. Kriewall said Council controlled that site through the process of site plan approvals. He said they are locked in to leaving what they have today should the City of Novi chose to acquire the Amoco Site.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they were required to leave the park whether or not the City acquired the Amoco Site.
Mr. Fried said yes.
Mr. Kriewall presented the second sketch which showed a reorientation of the buildings. He said instead of the buildings facing inward to the shopping center they have more an L shape look surrounding the corner. He said for the most part the entirety of the Amoco Site would be left as a public plaza of sorts which would again provide the vista or clear vision area through the intersection. Mr. Kriewall said he was pointing all this out because they may be able to negotiate something as a finished product on that corner for little or no cost to the community if we consider doing anything else.
Mr. Kriewall presented the third concept that sets the retail further back near the car wash property. He said there was parking in the area with a feature in the area. He said most of the sketches also show roadway entrance and exit from Grand River and Novi Road at this location. He said they indicated that they understood that City Council would probably restrict these entrances right turn in only and right turn out so that there would be no conflicting traffic.
Mr. Kriewall presented that fourth concept which was a theme restaurant near the corner with a public plaza theme, community clock, fountain, etc. In this concept they envisioned outside dining. He said he was looking for some kind of a reaction should we negotiate and pursue this further with the Aetna Company, or does the Council want to sit on the option now and think about it for a while.
Councilman Schmid said he thought we should sit on the property and utilize it for other reasons down the road. He said he always envisioned this piece once the deal was made with Amoco some time ago, that perhaps it could be used as a central point for the City of Novi particularly with Main Street. He said it could be a park area with a band box or something of that nature. Councilman Schmid asked how many acres there were and would they use the park area that was presently there as part of the development.
Mr. Kriewall said he would say it was about an acre and they would use the park area.
Councilman Schmid asked how much land would they use for this clock or whatever.
Mr. Kriewall said he thought it was negotiable and that the City could get a plaza that was very nicely done.
Councilman Schmid asked what uses had they presented to Mr. Kriewall. He asked if a Big Boy or McDonald's was included.
Mr. Kriewall said they did not mention any names nor did they indicate that they had talked to anyone so far. Mr. Kriewall told them that if they were talking about a Hard Rock Cafe or something like that may be we would be interested. He said to accomplish the goals of the community we might be able to get something very nice on the corner and still have a very open feeling to that area.
Councilman Schmid said he would be interested in looking at their concept assuming the use would not be overwhelming to the corner. He also wanted sufficient corner left to create an atmosphere of openness and park or gathering type facility for the citizens. He said the cost of that if we opt for $250,000 he thought, we could buy for less than that and could sell that at the going rate.
Mr. Kriewall said we may increase the price.
Councilman Schmid said he certainly would be willing to look at some unique different theme project but he would hope that they are thinking of paying for it.
Mr. Kriewall said he wasn't too excited about two plans but the one with the retail set way back and maybe make it a little larger in terms of them finishing the corner, or even a theme restaurant done nicely right on the corner might be kind of nice.
Councilman Toth said he would support talking with them and would be interested in some architectural treatment of that corner such as a fountain, plaza, etc. He said he also liked the idea that they presented 4 different concepts, evidently they are flexible enough. Councilman Toth said an upscale jewelry store or restaurant something on that order he would consider. He said the idea of outside dining may or may not work. He thought there was a lot of possibilities and he thought it should be pursued. He said he did not want to see a high intensity type use on that corner. He did have doubts about curb cuts being that close to the corner. He would much more prefer an interior type road system.
Councilman Pope said he voted against the City acquiring this option. He said the City sold its integrity when it made this deal, in his opinion. He said one of the reasons it was purchased was because it was going to facilitate the argument of traffic planning in that area, it was going to remove two curb cuts. He said now we are being proposed two curb cuts there. Councilman Pope said he was assuming the right of way was being retained for possible expansion. He said he will not under any circumstances support any site plan in that area that puts curb cuts on that corner.
Councilman Crawford concurred with Councilman Schmid.
Councilman Mitzel said that this all happened before he was on Council. He said in the discussion he kept hearing we had this $250,000 option on the site. He said he had never heard from the Administration where they propose to get the funds to purchase it if we decided to keep it. He said it had been mentioned that possibly the money would come from the parks but in reality Council knew that the funds were not there in the Park Land Bond.
Mr. Kriewall didn't think there ever was a proposal. He said that was the price they wanted to let the City tie it up. He said we could have just let them clean up the site and agree to have them close down the station and they could of remarketed it. He said the City wanted to have some control as to the disposition of the site once it was cleaned up. He said they gave the City the option and it didn't cost anything. Mr. Kriewall said it would cost something if we let it run out and we decide to exercise it.
Councilman Mitzel said he was impressed when he was at National League of Cities in Washington D.C. with the public squares and that people were actually using the public areas. He said this area had potential if designed properly for a public area. He said it couldn't be done in the manner that Grand River and Novi Road had been done with just the benches thrown along the sidewalk next to 5 lanes of traffic.
Mayor McLallen said that it seemed to be the consensus of Council to continue with the dialogue with the Aetna Corporation on the possibilities of this corner.
Councilman Pope asked if the option was defined under the Charter as property. He asked if it would require competitive bid.
Mr. Fried said it was a property interest and would require 5 votes and he believed it would not require competitive bid if the Finance Director said it was not in the best interest of the City. Mr. Fried said if the property was sold the City did have architectural control over it.
Jerry LeBlanc said there was no big rush on the 11 Mile paving. He said there were some City Council Members who thought there was a big rush and wanted to put it out for bids. He felt it was not necessary. He said a couple of members said that it was written in stone, this bonding issue, and could not be changed. Mr. LeBlanc said the people don't like that. He said other members said this was for the good of the City. Mr. LeBlanc said the residents don't care what Council wants, "it's for the good of the City", we don't like that either. He said Council knew where the vote was so let the war begin.
There being no other business to come before Council the meeting was adjourned at 10:55 PM.