REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1996 - 7:30 P.M.
COUNCIL CHAMBERS - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M..
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor ProTem Crawford (absent/excused), Council Members Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch, Schmid (absent/excused)
ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Edward Kriewall, Assistant City Manager Craig Klaver, Police Chief Doug Shaeffer, City Attorney David Fried, Finance Director/Treasurer Les Gibson, Deputy City Clerk Nancy Reutter
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Councilman Mitzel said Item 3 under Communications should be listed under Consent Agenda as Item 14.
CM-96-09-309: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-96-09-309: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
SWEARING IN OF POLICE OFFICER - Steve Balog
Novi Chief of Police Doug Shaeffer introduced the newest addition to the Novi Police Department. Chief Shaeffer reported that Officer Balog obtained his Bachelors Degree from Saginaw Valley in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. He added that Officer Balog obtained his police certification schooling through Delta College Police Academy. They rated Officer Balog as one of the ten top men in the state for policing work and he comes to Novi highly recommended.
Officer Steve Balog was sworn in by the Deputy City Clerk, Nancy Reutter.
1. Resolution of Appreciation to Police and Fire Needs Assessment Committee Members - John Chambers, John Connelly, Kevin Crain, (absent), Andrew Dempsey (deceased), Lori Harris, Gary Kelber and Debbie Meyers.
Mayor McLallen would like to extend Council’s appreciation to the members who worked on the Police and Fire Needs Assessment Committee. Mayor McLallen advised that this group worked for almost a year and are volunteers who stay out of the limelight to do the "grunt" work. Mayor McLallen reported that the committee’s assignment was to review the City’s police and fire needs and reminded everyone that they are also taxpayers so their recommendations affect themselves. Mayor McLallen added this critical program has also been placed into a bond program on November’s ballot. She then read the sentiment on the resolution.
1. Coopers, Lybrand Report, Re: Police Department Staffing Study
Mayor McLallen reported Council requested this report last year during budget discussions to discuss the staffing levels in the Police Department. At that time, Council authorized Coopers, Lybrand to perform the study.
Ed Kriewall said this study was commissioned by City Council to supplement the work that the Police and Fire Needs Assessment Committee had done. Mr. Kriewall said much of the information from their work has been incorporated into the report. Mr. Kriewall believes the purpose for the report was a result of such issues as financial, a search for a benchmark in terms of data so that they can continually evaluate policing needs, and to look at the in depth factors of staffing a police department in any community. Mr. Kriewall said in terms of statistics Novi is not that special, but he thinks Novi deserves this kind of approach to analyses.
Mr. Kriewall reported the Coopers and Lybrand findings found that Novi is rapidly developing. As a result, the work load is increasing because of the community expansion and more stringent requirements of the legal system and a focus on community oriented policing is required which creates a greater demand on the police department. Mr. Kriewall said they are implementing technology rapidly in the police department and Council has to address expending considerable funds to update the computer support for the police. The essence on the report based upon today’s analysis is that they need about three more officers. He added Coopers and Lybrand further reported they’re still adding officers because of vacancies and retirement. He added that they cannot realistically add officers any faster than they currently are.
Mr. Kriewall said based on the remainder of this fiscal year, it appears that the staffing bolstered by the COPS Fast Grant is going to meet the City’s general need in the future. He said they must add personnel and further stated Senator Bullard has drafted legislation for supplemental appropriation that will address their mid-decade census recently carried on by the community based upon the feedback he has received from other Michigan legislatures. Senator Bullard is confident that the legislature will pass which will mean that Novi could receive as much as $700,000 additionally annually for the General Fund based upon the population growth. Mr. Kriewall said this would equate to their ability to hire more police and fire personnel and address those particular community needs. Mr. Kriewall thinks that this proposed legislation could address many short-term problems about funding and the Council’s continuing concerns to not have to levy additional millage. If they pass the legislation, Novi will be the biggest benefactor in the State of Michigan based on the rapid population growth.
Mr. Kriewall said if they couple the legislation with the results and report from the Police and Fire Needs Committee and Cooper Lybrand, Novi should be in good shape over the next six to nine months.
Councilwoman Cassis thinks it would be helpful if Cooper Lybrand explained their Executive’s Summary for purposes of informing the public.
Mayor McLallen asked Cooper Lybrand to review their summary because it is Council’s one chance to transmit this information to the public at large.
A representative from Cooper Lybrand reported they were commissioned to prepare an independent examination of this process. She explained they have no ties to any particular part of the city government. She reported they began their interviews with the Chief of Police and worked down the ranks. They then joined this information with published sources by the FBI and the Michigan State Police. She reported they also gathered data from thirty two surrounding communities on their population, on their police and law enforcement activities, on their crime rates and other similar factors to bring them into one particular number. She explained they did not use a purely statistical method because it was too focused and they needed to bring in all of the different issues which Mr. Kriewall mentioned earlier when looking at the number. Cooper Lybrand came up with a formula that can be used in the future to give a rough estimate of the total law enforcement employees and a ratio that can be used to work with that number to determine how many of those employees are to be sworn officers and how many are to be non sworn. The number they came with was 2.1 law enforcement employees per 1,000 for the population. Of that number 72% are sworn and 28% are non sworn.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they could highlight some of their recommendations for using staff in efficient ways?
The representative from Cooper Lybrand replied that their recommendations resulted from their discussions and interviews with the police staff. One recommendation that they have is to modify the scheduling. That recommendation resulted from a police officer issue which they term "stacking of calls" that occur around shift changes. The representative said if they shift people so there is a "feathering in" of the new shift, they may not have a stacking problem because they can shift the calls to the people who will still be on duty for at least another half hour. She realizes that this and many of their other recommendations would have implications for the union and would result in negotiations. She added these are simply recommendations and things for Council to consider.
She also reported they looked at dispatcher issues. She advised the number of dispatchers on a shift has not been high enough to handle the calls and allow them time away from the dispatch center. Their recommendation was that three dispatchers be placed on a shift at one time. To alleviate the cost impact, they advised that they could use at least part of the dispatcher’s time in records. However at that time, they will not have three people sitting at dispatch terminals when they may not need them.
They also found that cadet programs could help in terms of the non sworn officer counts and perform tasks that are higher than the standard civilian employment.
Another issue is the housing of prisoners which began since they started to pick up prisoners from the court house. Other communities retain non sworn officers (potentially cadets) to handle some prisoners’ duties which sworn officers are currently handling. She said they are looking at possibly putting dedicated people that are non sworn or cadets in that area. She added it could possibly be a sworn officer if it gets to that point where they could dedicate that person to prisoner detail so that they’re not constantly calling someone in from the road.
She concluded by reporting that their final recommendation is reviewing the job design. She said this broad recommendation is beginning to be addressed through the technology implementation. She reported there are different ways to modify the approach to work so that they can turn them around more quickly. One example is using a laptop computer in the patrol cars which would allow officers to complete paperwork in their car rather than returning to the station which saves time and is more efficient.
2. Presentation by Mike Csapo, Re: RRRASOC Proposal to Operate Novi Drop-off Center
Mayor McLallen advised this involves the regional facility proposal to operate the Novi recycling center.
Mr. Kriewall reported Council expressed concern over Novi’s membership in RRRASOC and what they were getting for their membership dollars during the budget process. Mr. Kriewall said most of the communities that are partners in RRRASOC have participated directly in the construction and operation of a facility. He added they have contended all along that their membership was important in RRRASOC and that Oakland County has backed out of their county wide approach for the management of solid waste resources in the future. He said they saw RRRASOC playing a major role in future development of solid waste management in southeast Michigan and know they have made a difference in terms of the solid waste collection rates. With the challenge given to Mike Csapo and the RRRASOC Board about enhancing Novi’s benefits in terms of membership, Mike has developed a proposal for RRRASOC to take over the local recycling and drop off center facilities.
Mike Csapo, General Manager for RRRASOC reported the reason they are before Council is because they are constantly trying to improve their member services. He said they have seen that through the strategic planning process they have gone through in the past and recently in the cooperative purchasing agreement they are circulating among their members to save money.
This year they are paying special attention to Novi and this is due to the City Manager and Mayor’s activism within RRRASOC. One of their challenges has been to improve the manner in which they conduct recycling in RRRASOC nationwide. He said Council may be familiar with some recent recycling criticisms and he would say they are unfounded. He added that it is not to say that they can’t improve how they do business. Mr. Csapo said they have an opportunity for a win-win situation for all involved. He said they have economies of scale and resources that are available to RRRASOC that give them an opportunity to develop what they would like to call a "Regional Drop-0ff Facility." He said it would be nothing more than an expansion improving on the existing facility at the existing site. For the most part for Novi residents and staff it will be unchanged with the exception that there will be some improved services at the location. He added the concern that it will be increasing costs for the City is unfounded.
Mr. Csapo reported one reason they want to do this is to make membership in RRRASOC more tangible for Novi. He added they have some self interest reasons as well. Mr. Csapo advised that the existing location is ideally situated for a regional facility because it is in an industrial area, it is segregated from the residential neighborhoods, it is easily accessible from many major thoroughfares, and it would be centrally placed in the RRRASOC Region which extends from Southfield to South Lyon. Mr. Csapo thinks they have the opportunity to develop a regional recycling center at the existing site and make it available to all the residents of the RRRASOC member communities. RRRASOC would add some additional materials (magazines, cardboard, paper board, household batteries) that Novi residents currently do not have an opportunity to recycle on a widespread basis because of the economies of scale. He added the current Novi DPW staff would retain management responsibility for policing the area and making certain there is limited contamination. Novi staff would also continue to contact the designated haulers for pickup of items such as newspapers and the hours would remain as they are currently.
Mr. Csapo said in exchange for that, RRRASOC would pay Novi a host community management fee which they essentially design to offset the labor costs that would be incurred with regard to Novi DPW staff. RRRASOC would take responsibility for all equipment rental, hauling costs, processing costs, and residual disposal costs which can be considerable. Mr. Csapo said at this time it is not known how much future recycling revenue can offset those costs. RRRASOC is in a unique position because they represent many communities and they can spread the costs over eight communities as opposed to one. RRRASOC will also be responsible for monitoring the marketing of all the materials. They have the capabilities to monitor everything that comes in and out through their staffed computerized scale facilities.
In exchange for that, RRRASOC would be entitled to all of the revenue that would come in from the sale of these materials which would be placed into the RRRASOC General Fund for use by RRRASOC communities for the ongoing operation of RRRASOC. They ultimately hope that the value of the commodity market would improve such that they would develop a profit center to offset any necessary cost increases that may come in other areas. At this time, commodity prices are fairly low and they don’t anticipate a profit in the next several months or even a year to three years down the road. However, they can spread those costs over more communities and absorb that into their existing RRRASOC budget without any increase in cost to the member community contributions. Mr. Csapo said he is not going to come back next year and say they took on the recycling center and it will cost more to be a member. They anticipate no increase in cost during the next fiscal year.
Mr. Csapo concluded by stating they believe it is a win-win situation because it is an opportunity to continue to provide a service that is essential, saves costs to everyone involved, and is a great benefit to the community. Mr. Csapo said if Council agrees, they would like to develop a concrete letter of agreement to be reviewed by their respective attorney’s which would be brought back before Council and the RRRASOC Board of Directors for approval.
Councilman Clark said some of his questions are directed for the benefit of the residents so that they can get a better understanding about what is happening. He asked how many communities would be hauling to the Novi site? Mr. Csapo replied that nobody would be hauling to the Novi site because it would only be open to residents. He added they are going to be opening this up to eight member communities and therefore there will be more materials hauled out which will represent approximately 60,000 single family households plus multiple family units. He believes this will serve a population of approximately 275,000. However, he stated all of them will not be using this facility because there are existing facilities in Southfield which serves as the center of their population base. There are also centers in South Lyon, in Farmington, and in Farmington Hills. He noted that the Farmington Hills is currently closed for renovation and he is not certain whether the Farmington or Farmington Hills locations would stay open once Novi is open. Mr. Csapo said most of their population centers already have access to a drop off center or they have curb side service. Therefore, he does not anticipate a great deal of additional traffic. He sees the additional customers traveling from Walled Lake and Wixom because they do not currently have a drop off center.
Councilman Clark said given that Mr. Csapo has indicated that this is primarily individuals as opposed to a commercial hauling operation, he asked if they could give a projection in terms of volume of residual materials that may be determined non-recyclable and must be stored until they can haul them to the appropriate location? Mr. Csapo said it is fairly low and it is an occurrence which is common to all of the drop off centers. Novi is fortunate because they can remove such material. He said he can see that this is not a common occurrence because his office is situated so that he can observe the drop off center from his window. Mr. Csapo added Novi is also fortunate because they gate it and there is staff present to monitor the activity to also help prevent those kinds of occurrences.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the current operation has revenue? Mr. Csapo replied Novi is losing money because of where the current prices are. He said if the prices were as they were in June 1995, the City would be making money. In July 1995, RRRASOC received $30,000 for one month’s worth of newspaper processing and last month they received zero for the same volume. They project that under the current commodity prices, it will cost Novi $36,000 to run the facility this year. He reported about $21,000 is a labor cost and the rest is hauling costs that are partially offset by the sale of materials, but not entirely. He said RRRASOC is able to lower some hauling costs because they can get a better price. He said they have some opportunities with offsetting those through revenues and combining them with their operation that will make it easier for them to absorb those costs that are not offset by revenues.
Councilwoman Mutch said what Mr. Csapo is saying is that this will be an improvement financially for Novi. Mr. Csapo said RRRASOC eliminates the City’s risk with regard to the commodity markets while at the same time they’re compensating the City for their labor costs.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if any location in Novi would be suitable because there is a possibility of further development in the current location? Mr. Csapo said the Novi location is primarily attractive and the specific location at the DPW site is particularly attractive, but if it were to move, they would like to move with it.
Councilwoman Mutch said if Council decides to approve this proposal and information has to be provided to the public about how to find this location she asked if RRRASOC could direct a route that avoids residential areas and perhaps remind the public that they might also visit the Town Center?
Councilwoman Cassis said one thing that she noted is that it is a regional facility. She thinks they should be a good neighbor as they enter into this and that they not only look at how they can expedite it for the other communities, but also be sure that they are ensuring there will not be problematic impacts for Novi. Councilwoman Cassis said it is hard to project how many people may use the center at a certain point and she asked if they should approve the proposal in a two stage process. She suggested that one stage should be approved in concept, but then at the time they look at the concept they should get more information back about traffic impacts and road infrastructure. She added they should also seek the attorney’s input. Councilwoman Cassis said she is not certain whether $21,000 will cover the staffing and all of the management activities that would go into this and she would need further information.
Mr. Csapo said they did look at this and that is how they determined the $21,000. Councilwoman Cassis said they will be adding seven other communities. Mr. Csapo said she was correct but not all of them will access the site. He added although there will be an increase in residential visits, there is no good way to quantify that until they can actually see who will use the site. He does not expect to double the current amount of traffic and it would not surprise him if they increase it half again. He is not certain whether they can provide concrete information as to the amount of expected traffic, but they will sit with the City’s staff again to go over the details. He added it may be a situation where they make it subject to periodic review so if it doesn’t look like it is working in Novi’s best interest, they can modify it.
Councilwoman Cassis thinks this is acceptable for the host community and appreciates that Mr. Csapo takes that viewpoint. Although she still believes they need more information, she is ready to approve it in concept. She would also like to be certain that the money situation for the use of this facility would be available for the need so that Novi does not take on more of the burden. She also thinks it is a step in the right direction to provide for a way that they can use their facility, but also should the facility need to be converted to something else and not be as useful for this purpose she would ask what type of approach would they be taking. She also asked if they would expand the site for other RRRASOC uses?
Mayor McLallen stated Council should find a consensus for the RRRASOC proposal to direct Mr. Csapo to answer the questions raised by this discussion and bring back a formal proposal for action by perhaps an October meeting. Mr. Csapo said it is feasible depending upon their respective attorney’s review.
Councilman Clark recommended that any proposed agreement that they might suggest after consultation between the attorney’s should include an annual review clause and have the ability if circumstances warrant it to opt out of the arrangement later.
1. National Pollution Prevention Week
2. World Ostomy Day
Mayor McLallen reported National Pollution Prevention Week is September 16 through September 26 and the intent is to focus awareness on the prevention of all types of environmental pollution in the community and county.
Mayor McLallen further reported they would like to proclaim October 5 as World Ostomy Day. She advised it is a surgical procedure that affects many people and this is an educational opportunity for people to become more comfortable with it.
John Connelly - Member of the Police and Fire Needs Committee, stated although they have disbanded the committee he asked if Council would provide them with a copy of the Coopers Lybrand report? He reported they would like to review it and compare it with their report and have another opportunity to come back before Council.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-96-08-310: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Mitzel, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda Items 1-14 as follows:
1. Approval of Claims and Accounts - Warrant No. 472
2. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting of July 1, Special Meeting of July 22, and Regular Meeting of August 12, 1996
3. Approval of Agreement with Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout, Inc. for the Grand River Avenue Corridor Improvements Project.
4. Ordinance No. 96-22.03 - Amendment of Section 33-706 - Inoperable vehicles - II Reading
5. Appointment of Official Voting Delegate and Alternate - Mayor McLallen and Mayor ProTem Crawford - National League of Cities
6. Approval to purchase Laptop Computer for the DPW from Comtech Computer and Data Systems in the amount of $3,860.00
7. Award bid for Soft K Copper Water Tubing from Etna Supply in the amount of $23,220.00.
8. Approval of sale of used pumper tanker to Cox emergency in the amount of $6,619.77
9. Approval to purchase equipment to upgrade the police emergency console from Motorola Communications and Electronics, Inc. in the amount of $30,808.00
10. Approval of Taxi Cab License renewal for one cab - Community Cab Co./Mitchel & Linda Roberts
11. Approval of Budget Amendment 97-06 - COPS IN SHOPS Grant - $10,000.00
12. Approval of Budget Amendment 97-07 - (Roll-over) - $14,900.00
13. Acceptance of Documents:
Type of Document Executed By Compensation
East Lake & South Lake Drive Sidewalks - N-3701
Sidewalk Easement Delores Smith $670.00
Sidewalk Easement Walter Weliczko $200.00
Eleven Mile Road Improvements - N-2886-05
Drainage Easement Gregory & Jama Gallo Gift
Grading Permit Gregory & Jama Gallo Gift
Grading Permit Gladys Kaluzny Gift
14. Letter from Mark R. Christiansen resigning from the Economic Development Corporation
Vote on 96-08-310: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Mayor McLallen advised they have approved those fourteen items on the Consent Agenda.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART I
1. Request for Consent to Transfer of Employment - AVL North America, Inc.
Mayor McLallen reported AVL is a corporation that has done business in Novi for many years and this is a continuation of the process that Council had discussed at an earlier meeting. She further advised there was no place in the community that could accommodate this excellent company within the time frame they needed and a site that was deliverable. Mayor McLallen said this is a difficult issue for Novi, but Council agreed to wish them well.
Mr. Kriewall reported the City received a late call from AVL advising that they could not be present. If Council has any questions, they must postpone it or they can pass it without AVL representation.
Councilman Clark said this matter was before Council previously and the representatives of AVL were present. He said they addressed Council’s concerns and they received approval at that time. They are back before Council because of the need for resolution consenting to this transfer of employment for tax abatement for Plymouth Township where they are moving to. He does not see anything which would have changed the situation and he would move that they grant the proposed resolution that accompanies this request.
Mayor McLallen said before Councilman Clark does that she has just noticed that she has a faxed transmittal received from AVL today at 3:06 p.m. which advised that the purpose of the letter is to confirm that AVL has requested that its request for Novi’s consent to the transfer of employment be removed from tonight’s agenda. AVL is reviewing its options with regard to the proposed request for tax abatement in Plymouth Township. It further advised that they will be in contact with the City if AVL decides to proceed and on behalf of AVL he asked Council to accept their thanks for the City’s prior cooperation and assistance, and accept their apology for any inconvenience they may have caused. Mr. Michael Lewis, Attorney asked the City to contact him if there were any questions.
Councilman Clark said he would then remove his motion.
Councilwoman Cassis asked in terms of the process for tax abatements in a community,
is it necessary to get approval from the community they’re entering as well as the community they are leaving? Mr. Fried said that is correct. She further asked which community would have to make the first approval? Mr. Fried said AVL would apply through Plymouth Township to the State and then request Novi’s consent.
2. Discussion - Lot 9, J.W. Hawthorn’s Subdivision
Mayor McLallen reported Matthew Lester owns this property.
Joseph Bennett, Attorney reported he is representing Jeffrey Sobolewski who is the property owner at 1405 West Lake Road and is adjacent to the parcel in question. Mr. Bennett previously communicated with Mr. Kriewall and the City attorney’s office and he has attached copies of those communications to a letter he sent directly to Council.
Mr. Bennett said Mr. Sobolewski acquired an interest in the 1405 West Lake Road property in December and has essentially constructed a new home on the site. Subsequently in May of 1996, Mr. Sobolewski acquired an interest in Lot 9 of J.W. Hawthorn’s Subdivision. Mr. Bennett presented copies of site plans and surveys to Council to assist their review.
Mr. Bennett explained the first drawing is a copy of the Plat and the highlighted yellow larger section is the 1405 West Lake Road property which Mr. Sobolewski resides at. Mr. Bennett further explained that the parcel in the pink and yellow immediately to the south and west is the parcel in question. Mr. Bennett reported when reviewing this matter after Mr. Sobolewski acquired an interest in Lot 9, they learned that his predecessor and interest in 1914 conveyed Lot 9 subject only to a reservation of road dedication which is the portion identified in pink. He said further investigation did not determine whether the township predecessor to the City had accepted that dedication by any formal action. In addition, he was unable to find any confirmation that the City or Township ever placed a road in that thirty-eight foot wide strip by any informal action. Based on a recent Supreme Court case and his review of this matter, it appeared due to the fact that dedication was never formally or informally accepted for the City that Mr. Sobolewski’s acquisition made him the fee owner subject only to a revocation of the dedication which subsequently they recorded. Mr. Bennett said it is his legal opinion that Mr. Sobolewski by action of revocation has become the fee owner. He added because they recognize the potential for litigation and that this matter might be in dispute, they wanted to contact the City and investigate the potential for some resolution that would still preserve a portion of Lot 9 for public access to the lake.
He also requested a response from the City and its attorney about whether or not there had been any formal acceptance or anything in his investigation that he may have missed which would have shown that the City had somehow informally accepted the dedication at some point by placing a road in that area. He advised he has not yet received a response and he is interested in knowing the answer.
Mr. Bennett described the property from a property owner’s standpoint. He advised Parcel A which is depicted on his third drawing is undisputedly owned by Mr. Sobolewski and they can see that there is no access to the triangular portion. He said there are fences along the lines in question dividing Parcel A from B and essentially the Parcel B portion is a grassy shrub and tree lined area that some residents in the adjoining areas use to make access to the lake.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Bennett’s drawings represent a parcel of land in Section 3 fronting on West Lake Road. She asked if the owner has acquired the ownership and assemblage of a number of smaller parcels and actually has a home constructed on the property? Mr. Bennett replied she was correct and his existing property would abut Lot 9.
Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Sobolewski’s house sits on what is the road that was drawn on a map at some time but was never constructed? Mr. Bennett replied the house sits on the portion that is the larger portion identified in yellow which would be Lots 1, 2, 3, and part of 4. Mayor McLallen is trying to determine if the existing structure currently intrudes upon the roadway. Mr. Bennett replied it does not.
Mayor McLallen asked if he is proposing a swap? Mr. Bennett replied he does not think a swap of Parcel A for Parcel B would be practical due to the unique configurations of the properties. If Council is concerned about still permitting a venue for the adjoining residents to make way to the lake, a swap wouldn’t do it because the triangular portion does not permit lake access from West Lake Road. They propose that the City provide Mr. Sobolewski with a Quit Claim Deed to its interest in the entirety of Parcel 9. At the same time, Mr. Sobolewski will execute a deed which would convey a strip of a width running along the lake at the southwest side of Lot 9. Basically, the City would end up with a much larger configuration of contiguous property. However, if the City is willing to execute the Quit Claim Deed, they would also be happy with just that.
Councilman Mitzel said it sounds as though the proposal may be a reasonable one to explore. In regard to the width, he thinks they would probably want to see a possibility of maintaining either the equal width that would currently be on Parcel B or Lot 9, or equal type of land area. He added one consideration would be the topography in that area. Seeing that it is used for access by the local residents, it must be determined whether or not the area to be swapped would provide suitable or equal type of use.
CM-96-09-311: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City Manager and City Attorney to continue their discussions in a positive manner in an effort to gain a resolution that would shift the City’s interest in this property to the south edge of the parcels in question.
Vote on CM-96-09-311: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
3. Approval of Purchase of Police Computers and Approval to seek RFP’s for financing for the Public Safety Computer System
Police Chief Doug Shaeffer recalled from previous budget sessions and past years that it has been the desire of the department to obtain a current, state of the art computer system with the ultimate purpose of being able to provide greater efficiencies and effectiveness for police personnel. This system would free them of many of their duties associated with paperwork and keep them in the field where they can respond to calls. At the same time, it would also provide them with a full and accurate flow of information via the computers. Chief Shaeffer said this technology is available in the form of personal computers in the vehicles. Further, they now have modems which would also allow an officer to unplug from the car, stand in the middle of an intersection, and still convey information to the station which can include the full text of reports and mug shots.
Chief Shaeffer reported they have worked closely with the Computer Committee to make certain that they are utilizing current state of the art and proven technologies. Chief Shaeffer said they have also helped them sort through the response to proposals so they could understand what they are bidding and what dollar values are associated.
Chief Shaeffer recalled they had previously requested federal grant assistance and they have received $200,000 which is contingent upon the field reporting component. He added they must still build the in-house system to support the field reporting and that will be approximately $500,000. Chief Shaeffer further reported Council also appropriated $106,000 for a five year lease program in this year’s budget.
Councilman Clark asked if there will be an equipment compatibility problem if they purchase the balance from someone other than D.M. Data Corporation? Chief Shaeffer replied they have been working very closely with the proposed vendor and the Computer Committee to make certain that they do not have that type of problem. Chief Shaeffer said they are proposing it in this manner because D.M. Data Corporation’s principal business is software which is true with any of the firms they would be dealing with. He said they will sell them the IBM base hardware, but the peripherals have to be purchased on the open market. Chief Shaeffer said the City could pay D.M. Data to purchase them on the open market, but it would cost less for the City to purchase them directly.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the City was going to utilize D.M. Data’s in-house training for $20,000? Chief Shaeffer replied there are two components to the in-house training. One is to train trainers and the other is that they have to continue to do some training. The $20,000 in-house training fee is an estimated number and if it is not spent, it will go back to the General Fund.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they will need training resources to operate the system and the cost is in the budget, but is it separate from what they are requesting tonight? Chief Shaeffer said it will be necessary and the cost must be appropriated into their budget, but he is not prepared to ask for it right now. He explained it is incorporated in the total $670,000.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if he was asking for approval of $416,590 which is the base for the hardware and the software and then an additional $41,310 is for the p.c. with monitors? Chief Shaeffer said this will be the principal contract with D.M. Data and it will not be the end of the additional purchases. He advised they will come back before Council for the supporting computer related items at a later date.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they also have a grant approval to seek RFP’s for financing the public safety computer system which is separate yet still a part of the whole thing? Chief Shaeffer replied yes. Councilwoman Cassis asked if he knows what that cost will entail? Chief Shaeffer said the cost is part of D.M. Data’s bid. Chief Shaeffer explained that they cannot have field reporting without having the rest of the system. He added the part that Council is not seeing would be some line-lease items with the cellular telephone system which will actually service the radio transmitters for data between the cars and the station. It also does not include the costs pf the p.c.’s for the cars and their associated hardware. Chief Shaeffer said the $670,000 bid includes the $200,000 federal grant, it includes all of the federal reporting, and it includes all of the in-house items. Chief Shaeffer explained they wanted their proposal to be all inclusive so they did not have to come back before Council.
Councilwoman Cassis said Coopers and Lybrand suggested laptops in the patrol cars and she asked if Chief Shaeffer is suggesting that the personal computers in the police cars will substitute for laptops? Chief Shaeffer said they are using the terms synonymously. Councilwoman Cassis asked if they are looking for an approval to purchase the police computers and to seek the RFP for the financing of the public safety computer system? Chief Shaeffer said the better way to phrase it would that he is asking Council to direct the City Attorney to draft an agreement with D.M. Data to that extent. Once the City Attorney has drafted that agreement, it would then come back before Council for approval. Mr. Fried stated Chief Shaeffer was correct.
CM-96-09-312: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City Attorney to draft an agreement with D.M. Data Corporation for the purpose of meeting the specifications.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the $416,000 is the overall cost and if this year’s budget included $100,000 plus the $200,000 grant? Chief Shaeffer said they are asking for a commitment for a $670,000 computer project. He explained they have already obtained $200,000 in terms of a federal grant, Council had previously committed to $106,000 in the budget appropriations, and the remainder can be better explained by Les Gibson.
Councilman Mitzel said he was questioning where the values came from because the recommendation is a contract for $416,000. Mr. Gibson said the Chief has identified a total program of $670,000. A federal grant covers $200,000 and $106,000 is in the current budget. Mr. Gibson said there is then a remainder of almost $400,000. Mr. Gibson explained they would approach the banks and ask them to submit an RFP based upon their interest rate for more than a four year period to finance that amount.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they will not make the purchase until after they receive the financing RFP’s back for analyzing and then once they analyze them, they would then come back before Council for a decision about which financing mechanism will be used in addition to approving the contract that Mr. Fried will prepare for the entire program? Mr. Gibson said he was correct, but what they really need is an indication about whether Council is willing to make a commitment for a $670,000 program.
Councilman Mitzel asked if they are also looking for approval for the additional $41,000 for the purchase of the p.c.’s? Mr. Gibson said he believes they have to first go through the bid process on that. Chief Shaeffer said those are personal computers in support of the project and advised it was already on an existing City contract.
Councilman Mitzel said he asked his question because it did not come before Council in the typical manner that this type of budgetary approval and resolution would normally come. He explained Council normally receives something that would show what account it would be coming from. Councilman Mitzel said he has no problem in preparing a contract for D.M. Data and this project should continue forward. However, he thinks that they should not execute it until they get the RFP’s back and actually have a contract for the financing. He added they should bring them forward together. He hopes by authorizing the City Attorney to prepare a contract does not mean they are committing until they are certain the financing is feasible. He further added that he believes it is feasible, but it is just a matter to complete that. He said after they pass the motion, he asked if they could deal with the other twenty-one p.c.’s that they list under the recommendations.
Councilwoman Mutch said they already name the vendor for twenty-one p.c.’s in a City contract. Nevertheless, Mr. Gibson said they must get bids and she thought that is how they ended up with P.C. Tekner. Mr. Gibson said it is, but he is not certain that they bid that exact equipment. He explained they have a fresh bid for eleven p.c.’s, but in order for that bid to be used, they have to bid the same equipment. Mr. Gibson wants to be certain that the bids and specs are the same.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if the City already approved a bid for a set number of p.c.’s and certain specifications that have not been designated to any particular department? She further asked if they correspond to the type of equipment needed for the Police Department, can some of them be used to get the program started and will they purchase the rest in another contract? Mr. Gibson said she was not correct and explained they just went through the exercise of taking bids for eleven p.c.’s with certain specifications. They have just purchased and received eleven computers that have specific needs. If they are going to purchase some additional p.c.’s that meet those exact specifications, they can use that bid price. For example, there were not any laptops on that bid. If this includes purchasing laptops, they will have to rebid.
Councilwoman Mutch said there is $20,000 under Item III, Fiscal Considerations under A. Estimates of the Total Costs for In-House Training. She heard mentioned that this has to be extra. However, the Recommended Vendor page shows the training is $18,400. Chief Shaeffer explained the bulk of the $18,400 is for the installation component of the software onto the hardware and then they provide training on how they have installed it and how to maintain it. Much of it is internal operational software as opposed to user software. The $20,000 component is one that the Chief estimated and is included in the $670,000 estimate which they will utilize to do in-house training.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if any part of the $670,000 is eligible for funding in any other way? Chief Shaeffer said they have previously tried for additional funding through other grants and were rejected.
Mayor McLallen explained there is a motion in support of beginning the process to pursue this, but what they are talking about is a project for computerization within the Police Department which has a total price tag of $670,000. She further explained approximately $400,000 is for the basic system and approximately $200,000 is for the hardware. Of the $670,000, $200,000 is as a federal grant and $106,000 is the appropriation in this year’s budget. They will address the remainder separately in a proposal to seek bids for a four year financing mechanism which would have a total cost of providing that remaining $300,000 plus the projected cost of the financing for another $400,000 which calculates into the $700,000 range for the entire project. Mayor McLallen said the Police Department is seeking support from Council to proceed with the fine details of that system. Once that is in place, Council will then vote on that.
Vote on CM-96-09-312: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
CM-96-09-313: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize Administration to seek proposals for financing the project.
Vote on CM-96-09-313: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
CM-96-09-314: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize Administration to examine the issue of the twenty-one personal computers as listed under recommendation two of Chief Shaeffer’s September 5 letter to the City Manager and report back to Council whether additional requests for proposals would be needed or if they can be placed under the City contract. If they can be placed under the City’s contract, then have the request come back before Council in the standard budget format.
Councilwoman Mutch asked if they could also have additional information about the vendor because of the large expenditure?
Vote on CM-96-09-314: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
4. Request from Edward Lesniak to remove the Special Assessment District street lighting charges from 1512 Lebenta.
Ed Kriewall said the accessor has recommended against the removal of the subject parcel from the Special Assessment Roll. Mr. Lemmon’s position is that this is a situation created by the lot split and the property owner. Therefore, Mr. Lemmon does not feel that the burden should be placed on the rest of the people that have benefited from this special assessment district. Mr. Kriewall asked Council to review the extension of Ludlow Street as it winds down toward West Lake Drive on a plat mat of the area. He advised they have highlighted the lots that are in question and have drawn a border around those lots in a darker pen. Essentially, the special assessment is based upon a front footage assessment and the street lighting commences along Ludlow down to West Lake Drive. Based on the earlier configuration of the parcels, this singular parcel did front on Ludlow and/or West Lake Drive and by splitting the parcels into two, they have created two parcels with two separate houses. Mr. Kriewall believes it is Mr. Lesniak’s contention that they do not benefit half of Lot 31 any longer from the street lighting special assessment district. The assessor’s current position is that they have created this situation by splitting the lot and that he does not recommend any relief at this time. Mr. Kriewall said they might liken this to a street special assessment where the City would assess the entire parcel for a street improvement. Mr. Kriewall explained the City would probably not excuse an owner from the special assessment district if part of the lot is split and sold to someone else.
Edward J. Lesniak stated he resides at 1516 Lebenta and is the owner of homes on 1512 Lebenta and 1611 West Lake Drive. He reported the West Lake Drive residence is currently on the market. Mr. Lesniak stated he is not asking to remove the street lighting cost from 1611 West Lake Drive. He explained upon examination of his Summer taxes, there are charges for street lighting for 1512 Lebenta and 1516 Lebenta. These properties were three vacant lots as one parcel known as Sidwell 50-22-03-129-011 in Hawthorn Subdivision 2. When the last lots were vacant, the lighting on West Lake Drive did show some protective lighting and they changed the three lots to two lots which are lots 50-22-03-129-020 and 50-22-03-129-021. They made this change on December 14, 1993. Since then, they built two homes on those two lots and they are 1512 and 1516 Lebenta. Mr. Lesniak advised that Lebenta has no street lighting, but 1516 Lebenta does receive street lighting from West Lake Drive. The 1512 address does not receive any street lighting because it is further down the road and trees and garages have shielded it. Mr. Lemmon’s memo confirmed that the rest of the homes on Lebenta do not pay for street lighting.
Mr. Lesniak asked why should they charge 1512 Lebenta for street lighting? He said he visited the assessor’s office to place a complaint and they told him to contact Detroit Edison. Detroit Edison advised him that the assessor’s office determined the street lighting charges. Mr. Lemon then advised Mr. Lesniak to speak with the Clerk’s office and Nancy Reutter asked him to submit his complaint in a letter to the Mayor and City Council. Mr. Lesniak explained he and his wife are senior citizens on a fixed budget. He believes they should remove the charges for 1512 from Special Assessment District 81-2 and they should reimburse them for charges since December 14, 1993. Mr. Lesniak said they asked Detroit Edison to install one distribution pole and a sensor light on May 23, 1994 at a cost of $275.20 because of the darkness. In addition, they pay Detroit Edison $13.11 per month for the protective light. They also had motion detector lights installed on two garages at the front of the properties for additional security. Mr. Lesniak reiterated the only property they are asking to remove from SAD 81-2 is the 1512 Lebenta property. Mr. Lesniak advised a plan was submitted showing street lighting at the corner of West Lake Drive and Lebenta which showed darkness to the 1512 Lebenta property.
Mayor McLallen said Mr. Lesniak is requesting to be released from the SAD commitment for one lot. Mr. Lesniak said the other two are not in question and he pays the lighting to Detroit Edison for the pole and the light that is protecting the two properties. One is on the corner of West Lake Drive and Lebenta which does receive light from West Lake Drive. However, the other property is further down the road from that corner and it is dark there. He said they installed the pole, a light, and motion lights to help protect the properties.
Mayor McLallen asked if he currently pays the fee for three properties within the SAD and now wants to be released from one of them? Mr. Lesniak said the Mayor was correct.
Councilwoman Mutch said there seems to be two different lights. She said there is the street light for which they created the Special Assessment District and subsequent to that the resident arranged for a separate security light. When Mr. Lesniak talks about paying Detroit Edison, she asked if he is talking about the security light? Mr. Kriewall said he is paying for his personal security light.
Councilwoman Mutch asked someone to explain Special Assessment District for street lights. Mr. Kriewall said the history of this district is that the City was petitioned by the residents of that area ten to fifteen years ago because they were concerned about security and lights are a recognized deterrent. Mr. Kriewall explained this was one of the few areas that actually went all the way through the process and the City proceeded to agree to install street lighting based on a front footage basis.
Councilwoman Mutch said it sounds as though the street light is on his corner and he is the only one that is paying into it. Mr. Kriewall advised that all of the residents are paying for it. Mr. Kriewall explained the areas depicted in white do not have street lighting benefits and areas in orange do. Councilwoman Mutch said the idea of a street light isn’t just security for a particular property, but it is to designate the streets that come in and intersections. Mr. Kriewall said back then, the City Attorney ruled the only way they could assess special assessment for a street light was on a front footage basis because of the nature of the service and the nature of how street lighting is constructed along a street right of way. It came down to the City including the property that wanted street lighting and make some kind of assemblage in terms of a service area. Mr. Kriewall recalled it took some time to get agreement in the neighborhood. However, once they did they installed a system and they spread the funding over time in annual payments and assessments.
Councilwoman Mutch has some empathy for the cost involved and how they might perceive this as a hardship for this resident. However, she thinks there is value to the properties apart from or in addition to the actual lighting of the property. She said this is a difficult situation to say no to, but she does not think she would support this type of relief and asked if there is some other kind of relief that he could pursue in terms assessed value of the property?
Councilman Mitzel asked if the SAD was based on frontage along Ludlow and West Lake Drive? Mr. Kriewall replied it was. Councilman Mitzel asked if there is a law that requires that any special assessment be split equally among those parcels when the parcel was split? Mr. Fried said when a parcel is split, the assessor’s office reviews it and attaches a portion of that assessment to each of those parcels on the split.
Councilman Mitzel said if the basis was on the frontage, it seems like the lower lot would have taken the entire burden of that special assessment because it has all of the frontage. The parcel has a certain amount of frontage as a whole and therefore a certain assessment and between the two parcels, it would have to maintain that assessment. If the basis was frontage, the only other way they could have determined the assessment is to find the amount of frontage that each of the remaining parcels end up having. However, Councilman Mitzel doesn’t think that would provide what Mr. Lesniak is asking for because he is the owner of both of them and it would just be shifting it from one to the other. Mr. Fried said if they do not satisfy Mr. Lesniak with the way the assessor’s split it, he should return to the assessor and ask him to review it. Councilman Mitzel said that is the only other solution he could see would be for the assessor to base it on the frontage of the original criteria of the frontage and then proportion out the original parcel. However, it would still have to maintain the same overall assessment. Mr. Fried replied if that is what Mr. Lesniak wants to do he should return to the assessor for review.
Councilwoman Cassis asked when did the Special Assessment District commence? Mayor McLallen said it commenced in 1981. Councilwoman Cassis said the Special Assessment has been ongoing since then and the benefiting properties have been assessed a certain portion each year based on front footage to cover the cost of the SAD. She asked if there are any new costs to Mr. Lesniak over this period? Mr. Lesniak said the only additional cost would be the cost of the street lighting under SAD 81-2 that they get no benefit.
Mr. Lesniak read from Mr. Lemmon’s letter dated September 5, 1996; "There are three properties on Lebenta which neither front nor side on the previous streets. Those three properties are not in SAD 81-2." Mr. Lesniak explained that property 1512 Lebenta is next door to one of these three homes that are not paying a street lighting fee.
Councilwoman Cassis is trying to discover if there was a certain amount that Mr. Lesniak has been paying every year as a participant in the SAD and whether or not that has increased because of a lot split. She thinks that it probably has not. Mr. Lesniak said the three lots were one parcel and therefore, they assessed the SAD 81-2 to that one parcel. Now that it is split in two, Mr. Lesniak said they are getting lighting benefit on parcel 021, but they are not getting any benefit from the lighting on 020. Councilwoman Cassis understands that and she understands that he originally participated in the SAD. She said the money amount has not changed and now he is asking for a relief from the whole situation. She said the relief would be to release Mr. Lesniak from something that he entered into from 1981 when the benefit started at that point. Mr. Lesniak reported that he did not own the property in 1981. Councilwoman Cassis said the benefit stays with the property and Mr. Kriewall agreed. Councilwoman Cassis thinks there might be some discussion Mr. Lesniak may have with Mr. Lemmon pertinent to what the City Council has mentioned tonight, but she does not know in all fairness whether they can relieve the matter in the way Mr. Lesniak is asking since everyone in SAD 81-2 have become participants based on the front footage. Giving relief at this point from this would be problematic.
Mr. Lesniak said when the property was vacant, there was no recourse except to be a part of the SAD 81-2 because it was one parcel. Since then, they split the property into two lots so that they can sell the two homes separately. Mr. Lesniak said they are not questioning the one they are currently living in. However, he would like to relieve the one that his daughter lives in.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they might accomplish that through working with the assessor to have the whole amount passed onto one lot? Mr. Fried doubts whether the assessor would do that and suggested that he might apportion it differently. Councilwoman Cassis thinks that might be his remedy. Mr. Lesniak said he had a lengthy conversation with Mr. Lemmon and he asked that Council and the Mayor address this matter. Councilwoman Cassis would suggest that they take no action on this and give Mr. Lesniak the opportunity to go back to the assessor to discuss what Mr. Fried has advised tonight or talk to Mr. Fried again.
Before they do anything, Mr. Kriewall would like to visit the exact installation of the street light and he would also like to review which side of lots 30, 31, and 32 they actually assessed because he may find they only assessed it on one side. He added that typically on a corner lot they might not have assessed the property on two sides.
Councilwoman Cassis asked Mr. Kriewall if he would then meet with Mr. Lesniak? Mr. Kriewall replied that he would.
Councilman Mitzel agrees that they should take no action at this point especially since Mr. Kriewall is going to look into the matter. Councilman Mitzel thinks the only other option would be to discuss reproportioning the total amount among the two parcels based on either frontage or etc. He thinks the general discussion of the Council is that the total amount for the original master parcel which was 30, 31, and 32 would stay the same because that was what the Special Assessment District was based on. Councilman Mitzel added if they wanted to pursue splitting it differently between the two current parcels, that would be something that Mr. Kriewall and the assessor could determine.
Mayor McLallen said there appears to be a consensus of Council to take no action on this issue and to have the City Manger meet with the City Assessor and the petitioner to see if there are other alternatives.
Mr. Lesniak asked who is going to do this? Mayor McLallen said the City Manager and the City Assessor will meet with Mr. Lesniak to further review this issue and physically view the site.
5. Proposed Consent Judgment - Grand/Sakwa of Novi vs. City of Novi
Mayor McLallen said they have informed Council of this and it involves the sign at what they know as Chase Farms.
Mr. Fried reported since this was presented in the packet, Chase Farms has asked them to include the sign on Nine Mile Road in the Consent Judgment. He said they are the same type of sign, but they are two separate subdivisions. Mr. Fried said if Council agrees to the Eight Mile Road sign, they should also agree to the Nine Mile Road sign.
Mayor McLallen advised at this time the request is to agree that a maximum period for retention of the signs be five years or until they sell a certain number of the lots.
CM-96-09-315: Moved by Clark, Seconded by Cassis, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To authorize Mr. Fried and/or Mr. Watson to enter into the proposed Consent Judgment with the modification that has been suggested by Mr. Fried.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the names are acceptable as stated in the motion? Mr. Fried replied the motion is acceptable as stated.
Mayor McLallen said the motion is to authorize the City Attorney to enter into the Consent Agreement with the modification to apply all this to the signs at Eight and Nine Mile Roads.
Vote on CM-96-09-315: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Mary Drafta - 24599 Bashian, said she was watching the meeting at home and she was very concerned that they don’t have another "say no to Haggerty" that they had several years ago. She said the RRRASOC center with several adjoining cities sounds like more traffic for Novi as did the recycling proposal sounded back then. She said she took her recyclables to the Novi DPW yard about once a month and she has not seen any supervision. She added no one has come out of the DPW building at all when she has visited. Ms. Drafta said the small area in front of the bins do not allow for adequate parking and getting out safely. The area is not only muddy, but it is quite congested when more than three or four cars are there at one time. Ms. Drafta asked Council to consider all options before agreeing to this additional traffic. She has confidence that Council will do what was best for the City.
Mayor McLallen asked Administration to forward Ms. Drafta’s comments to Mr. Csapo.
Mayor McLallen advised Council will break.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION - PART II
6. Approval of Resolution - Implementation of Futuring Process - NOVI 20/20 FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
Mayor McLallen said Council received an introduction to this matter last week from Mr. Frey in the Planning Department and this is the actual Resolution that will begin the process.
Mayor McLallen said the Resolution states that this process will commence and the approved budget is $30,000. She further stated the Steering Committee has begun to be formed, Mr. Frey has requested that a Council Member join this committee, and the process will conclude in eighteen to twenty-four months hence.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the Steering Committee will be an official City Council empowered committee and does it need to be set up by a City Council Resolution outlining its membership? The current Resolution identifies Mr. Frey and a Council Member as members, but it doesn’t specify the rest of the composition of the committee. Councilman Mitzel explained they create committees by a Council Resolution establishing the charge of the Committee, the composition of the Committee, whether or not there are going to be terms, how they make appointments, and whether or not the Committee has a due date for their work. In this case, the Resolution generally speaks of the process. However, the Resolution says that a Steering Committee will guide the process, but there is no indication that documents the exact charge or composition of the committee.
Mr. Frey replied that the futuring process is one that changes throughout the process and basically all of the committees within it are ad-hoc committees made up as they go along because they fluctuate.
Councilman Mitzel asked if the Steering Committee is going to be ad hoc? Mr. Frey said it could grow or certain members could drop off once their tasks are completed. However, he sees it as growing to a much larger committee. Councilman Mitzel could see having spin off committees and sub committees with a lot of flexibility during the process. However, he thinks they should still have one cohesive group called the Steering Committee which would oversee the process and which would have a little more substance to its structure. He added if their function is to guide, he thinks they would be making decisions. He asked if there is a fluid membership, how would they know when they would have reached an official decision as such? He added he realizes it is not an action making body.
Mayor McLallen asked who is currently on the committee? Mr. Frey replied that he, Mr. Kriewall, Mr. Klaver, Mr. Wahl, Mr. Martin, and Rod Arroyo are currently on the committee.
Councilwoman Mutch agrees with Councilman Mitzel because she just went through the same process trying to figure out how to set up another committee in terms of having a number of different tasks and where there would be some fluid changes in membership as individual tasks are completed. She understands the dilemma of getting bogged down with a thirty-six member committee which could have people who are very involved in January, but out of the picture by April. She would feel more comfortable with having certain designated individuals who will be following this process from beginning to end. She explained while member involvement may peak from time to time, they will still be the people to whom Council can look to for more information and who will provide some continuity through the process. Councilwoman Mutch would like to see the addition of a Council Member and suggested that they should also have someone with a business background. She also thinks there should be more specific things listed in terms of a Steering Committee.
Mr. Frey replied that he understands Member Mutch’s concerns, but they are at beginning stages and he hasn’t approached the community yet. He said the Steering Committee was formed just to get the ball rolling and to put a Resolution before Council. He added that he will be asking community members to step forward because futuring is a volunteer program and process which will need committed citizens.
Councilwoman Mutch suggested as the process evolves that there be a core group. Councilwoman Mutch wants to be certain that there will be a good cross section represented in the process.
CM-96-09-316: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution authorizing the implementation of the futuring process entitled NOVI 20/20 FOCUS ON THE FUTURE.
Councilman Mitzel said the synopsis of the motion is different from what he took the motion to mean. He said Councilwoman Cassis said, "with those comments." Mayor McLallen said she believes the comments were from this end of the table. Councilman Mitzel asked if they are included in the Resolution as of now? He took it to mean that they are approving the Resolution subject to them defining the Steering Committee. Councilwoman Cassis said it would not be subject to defining it, but that would be part of the process and it would come back before Council. She thinks they have outlined the Steering Committee and it indicates that it is going to be made up of a Council Member, some members of Planning, Public Information, a representative from Administration, and possibly other individuals, but that will come back before Council. She said she is trying to facilitate starting the process at this point. Councilman Mitzel said he believes they have started it already and he is not trying to thwart it. However, the Resolution as written states they are resolving to follow the futuring guidelines, they are resolving that the Steering Committee will make decisions such that the most efficient, effective and productive environment will proceed through the process, and they resolve to establish a form by which the cross range of the City can participate. He still thinks that the Resolution is basically establishing a Steering Committee and that it needs to be better defined. He added that Council would ask for that type of information for any other type of venture of this magnitude.
Mr. Kriewall said they can bring back before Council the Steering Committee Delineation Resolution, but that shouldn’t stop the process. Councilman Mitzel said he does not want it to stop the process and will make a motion after this one to direct Administration to bring forward the Steering Committee Resolution.
Councilwoman Mutch appreciates Councilman Mitzel’s effort to do this the right way. It appears to her that when they say they have formed an initial Steering Committee to begin the process, that maybe it is the terminology that is holding them up. She said a group of people within Administration have begun the process and at some point, there will be a committee whose names they will know and a mechanism by which other people will find a way to participate in the overall process. Therefore, she doesn’t have a problem with moving ahead as long as they have a Resolution at some point which does exactly what they say can be done.
Vote on CM-96-09-316: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
CM-96-09-317: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct Administration to bring back a Resolution outline with a charge and composition of the Futuring Steering Committee for the City Council Meeting scheduled on September 23, 1996.
Vote on CM-96-09-317: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
7. Approval of Resolution - Fuerst Property Committee
Mayor McLallen said this is the approval of a Resolution for the Fuerst property. The Mayor reported that the City will acquire this property shortly from the School Board and this Committee will oversee the transition and the initial future development of the property.
Councilwoman Mutch would like Council support to make some changes. She said when they put together the Resolution, Mr. Klaver asked that specific names be provided and there were a couple of people whom they asked if they would be interested in participating because of their background, their familiarity with the program, and their willingness to serve. One individual did respond, but it was after they assembled packets and she would like to add that individual to the Committee. She reported that person is Jim Rose who currently serves on the Economic Development Corporation. She would also like to maintain an odd number committee and that Mr. Klaver serve as a non-voting administrative liaison. In addition, there is one other person who has not yet been able to make a commitment either way. She would also like to keep Council informed about other individuals who will be participating as this project moves forward.
Councilwoman Cassis thinks that adding certain membership is a step in the right direction. She said they are moving forward with a task force and her concern has been to move into the area of not just preservation, but into funding mechanisms. She would ask that they broaden it to bring in a member from the business community and perhaps a person from the schools or from the P.T.O’s. She believes those persons might have interest in supporting this financially or in other ways as well and would broaden the task force’s interest.
Councilwoman Mutch said all the various tasks that need to be done will attract volunteers. However, she has found there are people who have specific interests and they are only willing to be involved in terms of financial advice, funding sources, or etc. They are not necessarily interested in the repair to the building, dealing with contractors or developing a program schedule for the site. She said the structure that they came up with was to have a small committee of five people who are Jim Rose, herself, Jim Antosiak, Laura Lorenzo, and Bob Pheiffer. She added that she and Bob served on the School District Fuerst Committee. There is a variety of experience and they decided to have this group see the project through from beginning to end. However, for the various tasks that arise, they will take advantage of those individuals who are willing to give time to those specific tasks and form task teams.
Councilwoman Cassis thinks they will be well served to bring someone from the outside in. She said these individuals have worked hard within the City and are very familiar with the project acting as a Steering Committee. However, she thinks they should come back within the next twelve months before Council and ask to bring others in as well.
CM-96-09-318: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Mitzel. Reseconded by Clark, MOTION REMOVED: To support the Resolution establishing the Fuerst property task force with the indication that it may be expanded in the future.
Councilman Clark would support the comments by Councilwoman Cassis because he thinks that they do not want to get the Committee too large. However, by the same token they want to have a broad enough base that they can incorporate someone from the outside. He suggested that they change the Resolution to read that the task force shall consist of "not less than five" members and keep it open to expand if they feel it is appropriate.
Councilwoman Cassis would include that in the motion if it is acceptable to the seconder.
Councilman Mitzel said in effect if they expand the committees, they will come back with a revised Resolution. He said if they have the option to amend the Resolution to add another member, he doesn’t know what the intent of the amendment was. Councilman Clark replied the intent is so that it is not limited to five. He said the way that it reads now it is five, period.
Councilman Mitzel said he cannot support that amendment as a seconder of the motion. He believes it is a good framework to begin with and if there is an interest from someone else, they can amend the Resolution.
Mayor McLallen said the current motion supports the Resolution as presented with an understanding that they would seek other members and it was not made in a formal fashion. Councilman Clark’s friendly amendment added the verbiage "not less than five" which was accepted by the main maker, but rejected by the seconder. Therefore, the main motion is still the original motion.
Councilman Mitzel moved to amend the Resolution by striking Craig Klaver’s name, adding Jim Rose’s name and adding at the end of the last paragraph that Craig Klaver shall serve as an exofficio member of the committee.
CM-96-09-319: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To amend the Resolution by striking Craig Klaver’s name, adding Jim Rose’s name and adding at the end of the last paragraph that Crag Klaver shall serve as an exofficio member of the committee.
Vote on CM-96-09-319: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Councilwoman Cassis said it was acceptable to add "not less than five" to the motion and that it was not an amendment. She said the maker of that comment approved that as a second so she thought "not less than five" was included as part of the verbiage. She does not think this is a big matter and believes that they can find a compromise among Council.
Mayor McLallen said Councilwoman Cassis is saying that the motion does contain "not less than five" and the seconder withdrew his second, so there was no seconder for the motion. However, she added that Councilman Clark has reseconded the motion.
Councilman Mitzel said the proper motion should then be an amendment of the main motion that was on the floor at the time. He asked what motion did they just amend? Mayor McLallen said for the purposes of this based upon what the maker of the motion had understood and what she understood is that Councilman Mitzel withdrew the support of the motion. She thinks the intent is fine and he correctly pointed out the detail, but she thinks where this conversation is going is still intact.
Councilman Mitzel asked the Mayor to repeat what is currently on the floor? Mayor McLallen said the current motion made by Councilwoman Cassis and supported by Councilman Clark is the acceptance of the amended Resolution which inserted Mr. Rose’s name, deleted Mr. Klaver’s and added the exofficio position for Mr. Klaver.
Councilwoman Cassis said that was not her understanding. Mayor McLallen said the current motion on the floor made by Cassis and seconded by Clark is including the verbiage "not less than five members." Councilwoman Cassis said that is correct.
Councilman Clark said he realizes they can amend the Resolution, but they would just be adding another item on a future agenda. Obviously, this process is not just a task and the committee may grow from fifteen to thirty people. Councilman Clark said this action will permit them to add members without the necessity of coming back before Council if people are added.
Councilwoman Mutch appreciates the input. She said she understands some of the concerns and yet she wants to keep it simple. She thinks if names come back from the outside, it is part of the process that Councilman Mitzel is talking about. That is, they amend the Resolution because it names specific people and added that it was Mr. Klaver’s suggestion to be done that way. If they switch to "not less than five," it’s not a problem in terms of it not going below that number, but it does create another potential problem in that there is nothing that says who these people are and how they became a part of the committee. She thinks they can always offer an amended Resolution that names specific additional people. It will meet his concerns and get them out of the non-specifics that she thinks it will inadvertently lead them to.
Councilwoman Cassis would like to remove her motion for another one that will capture what they are trying to accommodate.
CM-96-09-320: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To support a Resolution establishing a Fuerst Property Task Force that will include the five members with those names already just identified. The Task Force is charged with preparing a comprehensive strategy for the preservation and the readaptation of the property. The Task Force can be expanded as appropriate to include specific community members to broaden the participation and this recommendation shall be submitted within twelve months.
Mayor McLallen said they have brought the Resolution forward intact with the insertion of the sentence that says, this Task Force can be expanded to include specific community members to broaden the participation as appropriate.
Councilman Mitzel asked if it still includes the change with Craig Klaver and Jim Rose? Mayor McLallen replied it includes those changes.
Vote on CM-96-09-320: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
8. Approval of Amended Employee Suggestion Program - Project N.O.V.I.
Mayor McLallen reported the budgeted amount for this project is $3,000.00.
Mr. Kriewall said they have had an employee suggestion program in place since 1993 and he believes the prior cap on receiving an award was a $250.00 Savings Bond. He advised they did have a few suggestions, but have had little activity lately. Craig Klaver has done quite a bit of research on this topic and based on that, he feels they are not giving out large enough awards in terms of participation. Mary Moultrup and Mr. Klaver are suggesting that they re-adopt this program with cash awards instead of savings bonds. On page three of the recommended outline an annual savings of $100-$499 would yield a $50.00 award; an annual savings of $500-$999 would yield $100.00 award; an annual savings of $1000-$4999 would yield a $250.00; and for savings of $5,000 and over would yield a $500.00 award. Mr. Klaver feels by increasing the amount and making it a cash award would encourage greater participation. Mr. Kriewall believes these are good investment dollars for the community and there is only a slight amount of money budgeted. He added if it takes further money to trigger suggestions, then he would recommend it and would ask Council to approve it.
Councilwoman Cassis suggested that the employee could come before Council for a ceremony to let residents know how City employees are serving the community in an efficient, economical fashion.
CM-96-09-321: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED: To approve the expanded Employee Suggestion Program - Project N.O.V.I.
Vote on CM-96-09-321: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mutch
Mayor McLallen said that the awards will be quarterly and asked if there are quarterly closure dates? Mr. Kriewall said they could submit a suggestion anytime.
9. Schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting, Re: Pending Litigation and Property Acquisition
CM-96-09-322: Moved by Cassis, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session to follow the meeting, Re: Pending Litigation and Property Acquisition.
Vote on CM-96-09-322: Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Councilman Mitzel said the Manager Review Committee met to complete their reports for the Clerk and City Manager which will be forthcoming. In addition, at the end of this month evaluation forms for the year end will be ready as outlined in their process.
Councilman Clark reported that Mr. Beckett appeared from Beckett & Raeder and brought forth some minor design changes on the streetscape. The Americans with Disabilities Act necessitated the changes so as persons with disabilities coming across at certain points on Main Street where they have the large planters designated with trees in them will require some minor reconfiguration about where the crossovers will be so that the planters which have already been put into place do not have to be moved or removed. There was also a proposal brought forth by the Linder & Company and representatives of Linens N’ Things who propose to take over the old F&M site and develop it for their store along with two adjoining vacant businesses. They are proposing some modification to the front of the building and some change in the signage which will then have to come before Planning.
Councilwoman Mutch said Ordinance Review met prior to the last Council meeting and there was only one Council Member that could attend. She reported there was a resident who had a woodland issue that she thinks they will have to take another look at because she believes it will be found in other areas of the City. The issue is about a property owner who has neighboring property with trees that are dead or dying and the first property owner feels that is a hazard, but according to the ordinance it is not necessarily a hazard. The issue is how to resolve this because it is not addressed in the ordinance.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if they could forward that concern to the City Attorney and wondered if it should be dealt within a subdivision’s association?
Councilwoman Mutch said in this instance, Dennis Watson was present and he said it is a situation that ordinarily would be a property owner dealing with another property owner on a neighborly basis or on a litigious basis if necessary. However, in this case it is part of the protected woodlands, so the City has an interest and a perceived responsibility on the part of the resident. She said they may not agree that they have responsibility, but it is something that needs a closer look.
Mayor McLallen asked if Dennis Watson is pursuing this? Councilwoman Mutch replied that he is. She added they resolved this situation, but it did raise other issues.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Budget Process
Councilman Mitzel said they talked about possibly looking at ways to make the budget process more efficient by revising it or changing the focus to discretionary spending as opposed to spending a lot of time on the locked in, fixed costs. He said time has passed and they have not decided what to do about it. Before budget comes up again, he wanted to raise it at the table about whether there is any Council interest in looking at the process and trying to refine it. He asked if a Committee or a study session should do it? He thinks that having a three person committee look at a few recommendations might be best and then bring it back for a study session of the Council.
Mayor McLallen asked Mr. Gibson if his staff is currently looking at some of these issues? Mr. Gibson replied they are.
Mayor McLallen said before they form another Council committee, she asked if the internal staff can make any recommendations to Council? Mr. Gibson replied they are three weeks away from that process, but they do have some plans. He reported they are going to recommend a shift to the overview rather than manager’s recommendation. They are also talking about a summary page for the departmental level with the hard number next to it. They have also submitted it to the Government Finance Office Association and expect input from them about how they can improve the process.
Mayor McLallen asked if he expects to have some type of information back to Council in late October? Mr. Gibson replied that was correct.
Councilman Mitzel believes it is a step in the right direction and believes they can wait to see what the presentation entails and whether Council could either adopt some of the reforms or choose among themselves someone to work with Administration to further the process.
Councilwoman Mutch thinks the Budget Analyst has requested from Council the kind of input that she can use in this reform.
2. Platting RA Lots within Wetlands
Councilman Mitzel said they have discussed making environmental issues and the zoning ordinance work better together to achieve more win-win situations. One issue that seems to come out is the fact that there is a desire to have one acre lots within the RA zoning. He said they amended the wetland’s ordinance about seven years ago to prohibit platting of residential lots within wetlands. That was done because it was happening in the smaller lot zoning (R-4 and R-3). Councilman Mitzel reported the building envelope for the house was being placed at the edge of the wetland and then the entire back yard would not be useable because it was wetland. To have a usable yard, they amended the wetland’s ordinance to prohibit platting in the wetlands. He said he felt that was still a good idea in the R-1 through R-4 zoning, but they should be more flexible with a true one acre lot and say as long as they provided one-half acre of upland, then the other half-acre of the lot could be within a wetland.
Councilman Mitzel asked that they amend the ordinance. He feels it would accomplish more one acre lots in the City and make RA more feasible. He also believes it will still accomplish the intent of that clause in the wetland’s ordinance in that there would be a usable yard around that home.
CM-96-09-322: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Mutch: MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To refer Section 12-174, Paragraph 10 of the wetland’s ordinance be referred to the Ordinance Review Committee for inserting an exception clause for RA lots and that they bring back the amendment to Council at the next possible meeting.
Mayor McLallen said Councilman Mitzel’s motion is timely because the issue has come up repeatedly and because Ordinance Review is this week, there may be a decent turn around.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if the Planning Department can provide information on such short notice as to some of the issues that might come up at Ordinance Review?
Nancy Reutter reported Ordinance Review is not this Thursday, it is the third Thursday of the month.
Mayor McLallen said that may give them more lead time.
Councilman Clark is concerned about the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the uplands. He explained because the rest can be a wetland and one function is that of a filtration process, he does not think it is a good idea to start a situation where people are allowed to develop homes, fertilize their lawns, and then the runoff ends up in the wetlands and creates other problems.
Councilman Mitzel said that is happening now whether the lawn abuts the wetland officially at the edge of the lot or within the lot, it is the same effect.
Mayor McLallen said the motion is to send this to Ordinance Review. The Mayor advised they will send the comments and concerns from this meeting to the Ordinance Review Meeting who will return their comments when possible.
Councilman Mitzel said the Ordinance Review Committee may look at it as only allowing this exception if the resident truly has a one acre lot as opposed to if they go through some preservation option or other option.
Vote on CM-96-09-322 Yeas: McLallen, Cassis, Clark, Mitzel, Mutch
Councilwoman Cassis asked if there is an update on the progress toward implementing an Orchard Hills Ad-Hoc Committee? Mr. Kriewall said there have been several meetings with the Planning Department who requested participation from the residents also.
Mr. Wahl reported they are currently concentrating on getting some of the technical information that Council has requested about road and drainage issues. He continued they are starting to have that information totally understood by all the people who would be working with the Committee. He said they have met with School District representatives and with the developer separately. However, he added they will be meeting with them together soon. He said he has had conversations with Orchard Hills representatives and they will be doing the same thing with Meadowbrook Lakes. They are also going to attempt to contact the residents in the adjacent apartment complex because they have not been aware of this project.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if it would be appropriate to ask that Council be updated on this? Mr. Wahl replied that he expected to include a report in the next Council packet.
Councilman Mitzel said he is concerned about Meadowbrook Road and the shutdown on Novi Road. He does not want to interfere with Administrative duties and functions of safety on the roadways, but he thinks this is an important issue for those who are trying to get home in the northend. He personally feels closing Meadowbrook Road is not viable for the traffic flow in that area. He is not certain how that can be worked out and thinks it needs to be open at all times to allow people access to their homes in the north end of the City. Their other alternative is to travel four miles out of their way and facing a lot more traffic.
Mr. Kriewall said as per his earlier discussion with Councilman Mitzel, they will have a staff meeting on site to look at the situation. Mr. Kriewall said when any detour goes into effect there is a certain amount of confusion, but they will either tighten things up or provide some alternative action up to making the road one way southbound in the morning and possibly one way northbound in the afternoon.
Mayor McLallen asked how signage indicating the appropriate alternate site would assist this issue? Currently, the only sign erected says that it is closed and motorists also know that the next road is also closed. She said they need some kind of sign indicating the alternates. They also need to know how long the project will continue. Mr. Kriewall said they are looking to add signage and will provide recommendations on that also.
Councilwoman Mutch said the residents know the improvement is necessary, but they did not anticipate the number of simultaneous closures nor did they realize that they cannot travel on the roads while the work is being done. Councilman Mutch said she is also concerned that the roads may also not be passable for emergency vehicles or police cars. She suggested that they explore whatever options are viable, even if it is a temporary one lane that would be parallel with the work that is being done because it is more than just a matter of inconvenience when there are so few roads that actually cross the expressway. Mr. Kriewall said they will look into it.
Councilwoman Cassis asked if Mr. Kriewall was aware of a letter sent to Council Members from a resident of the Walled Lake area with concerns about the removal of a stop sign? Mr. Kriewall said he is not aware of that. Councilman Clark said he would give his copy of the letter to Mr. Kriewall.
ATTORNEY’S REPORTS - None
1. Letter from Maureen R. Zack, Re: Proposed Bike Path on South Lake Drive.
2. Letter from Henry C. Larsen, Re: Ice Arena
3. Letter from City Attorneys, Re: Orchard Hills West Subdivision - Open Meetings Act
4. Letter from City Attorneys, Re: City of Novi Municipal Engineering Policy
5. Letter from Ruth Hamilton, Re: Meeting of 8/29/96 - Jim Korte and North End Issues
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 10:55 P.M..
Mayor Deputy City Clerk
Transcribed by Barbara Holmes
Date Approved: September 23, 1996