JOINT MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI

AND THE NOVI PARKS AND RECREATION COMMISSION

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 1997 - 7:30 P.M.

MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

Mayor McLallen called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M.

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

CITY COUNCIL Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Clark,

 

ROLL CALL: Kramer, Mitzel (arrived 7:40 p.m.), Mutch (absent/excused), Schmid

 

 

PARKS AND RECREATION Chairman Shaw, Commission Members Atiyeh, Colligan,

 

COMMISSION ROLL CALL: Koneda, Pheiffer, Staab, Wingfield

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Attorney David Fried, Parks & Recreation Director Dan Davis, Parks & Recreation Principal Clerk Shannon Janes

 

Mayor McLallen explained each party has three minutes to speak. However, those speakers representing larger groups will be given five minutes and a raise of hands in the audience will show support.

 

Mayor McLallen reported the purpose of the joint meeting is to review the Master Plan and Land Use for parks and recreation throughout the City. She emphasized this meeting is not dedicated to a single issue.

 

Chuck Young asked for a point of order to either move Audience Participation to the end of the meeting or add another one.

 

Mayor McLallen replied because the audience is small and there are children in the audience and unless Council and the Commission would like to make that change, she believes the agenda should remain as it is.

 

Mr. Young asked if they could then have two Audience Participations. The Mayor replied Council consensus is that they would add another Audience Participation to the end of the agenda.

 

Mayor McLallen explained Councilís policy for Audience Participation to the audience.

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

Gwen Markham - 45540 Violet Lane, stated she is speaking as a resident and as a member of the most recent Aquatic Facilities Study Committee. Ms. Markham reported residents who attended their many meetings confirmed there is a desire within the community for a family oriented, recreational swimming facility. The conclusions drawn by the committee were: (1) A public facility within a Novi park is feasible and expected to generate enough revenue to cover its operating expenses., (2) There were two sites that they believed could accommodate the facility. They are: Powers Park and Eleven Mile/Wixom Roads near the new middle school. Further, the committee recommended in March 1995 to put the question of a public facility before the voters to see if residents are willing to fund the construction of a pool facility through the sale of bonds. It never happened because the issue was caught up in the flurry of activities surrounding the potential sports club development at Eight Mile and Beck Roads. Ms. Markham advised that the sports club organization will be proposing to build a similar facility on a different parcel of land that is centrally located and in Ms. Markhamís opinion, it is a more appropriate site for such a development. However, she also believes this facility will not alleviate the need or desire for a public, outdoor swimming facility and that the two can co-exist. Ms. Markham asked Council again to put the question of a public swimming pool facility before the voters to let the majority decide whether this is the kind of family oriented recreation for which they are willing to pay.

 

 

Alin Steele - 21848 Meridian, spoke about the golf course issue. She believes the need for open accessible space is basic to being human and in the past, communities have met this need with town squares, village greens and common areas that today are known as parks. She stated the role of government is to provide for those human needs. Ms. Steele reported the critical shortage of open public space in Novi can be seen as the roads have become a common area for the children. Ms. Steele said Novi citizens recognized the need for open space by approving money for parks in 1993 and to date, they have acquired some very impressive property. However, for reasons Ms. Steele cannot comprehend, the City continues to pursue the construction of a golf course to fill the parkís mandate. Ms. Steele believes a golf course is not equivalent to a park because it is not accessible to the public. Ms. Steele believes a moderate development at the tree farm would better serve the community and that the remainder of the money should be spent on smaller accessible neighborhood parks throughout the City.

 

 

Jennifer Kramer - would like to see the tree farm developed as a park. Ms. Kramer said the property is vast and described its many diverse attributes. Ms. Kramer believes because Novi is developing so rapidly, that this land is a gem and it is imperative that they save it.

 

 

Jim Korte - Shawood Lake, reported he has lived in the tree farm area for twenty-six years and for the last eighteen years he has complained about the condition of the lake. Mr. Korte believes the proposed golf course will cause more damage to the environment. Further, Mr. Korte believes the City is blind to what the property could be and what they think it should be. He also thinks the residents are evidently not in favor of a golf course and asked why the City is still pushing for it. As a final comment, Mr. Korte said they should have held this meeting in the Council Chambers because the acoustics are better and they could televise the meeting.

 

Mayor McLallen advised they typically hold joint meetings in the activities room and that they televise only City Council Meetings.

 

 

Elizabeth Garcia - 28250 Dixon, reported she has lived at her address for forty-two years and in all that time she never had to worry about where her seven children played. Further, they never had to drive them any place other than to the lake for their recreational activities. Mrs. Garcia said they do not mind living without sewers and water and paved roads, but they would like to see a passive park at the tree farm. Ms. Garcia is thankful for the beauty of the area and would like to see it remain that way.

 

 

Unidentified Speaker - is adamantly opposed to a golf course on the tree farm park and believes the recent evidence proves that there are many other residents who oppose it. She reported there have been more than eight hundred signatures on petitions and the newspaper survey showed that 88% of the people who responded were against a golf course and in favor of passive use of the land. The speaker asked Council to seriously listen to the residents and wants to know what Council requires to listen. Further, she asked if Council would put the issue before the public in a Public Hearing. The speaker noted that she read in an article about the highlights of Novi that this was the fifth consecutive year that Novi received the national status of "Tree City USA" and the first year they won the "Tree City Road Award."

 

 

Jeff Jones - 220 Shamrock Hill, reported he has not read anything about a golf course on the tree farm until the survey appeared in the Novi News and he is concerned about from where the money came. Further, Mr. Jones believes it would be a lot less money if they asked the citizens about what they want to do with the park. Mr. Jones believes a vote is necessary and he agrees with the earlier comments made.

 

 

Jay Jylkka - 42747 Brookstone Dr., has been a Novi resident for less than one year and is impressed with Novi. However, Mr. Jylkka believes a golf course on the tree farm is not a good idea because of the limited space left in Novi. Further, there is plenty of space west of this area where they are currently building other golf courses, many of which are still borderline in profitability. Mr. Jylkka would also like to see an Oakland County park established in this area.

 

Commission Member Koneda advised Oakland County has purchased park land in Lyon Township near I-96 and Kensington Road.

 

 

Millie Cummings - 21080 Cambridge Dr., stated unfortunately the Novi News promoted a negative response to Novi having its own golf course. She said just because a handful of residents responded to the paperís poll against the golf course does not mean the majority is saying no. Ms. Cummings further added it would only require 120 acres to create a golf course and that would leave 380 acres available for other things. Further, the golf course will bring in revenue for the City in a way other than by tax dollars. Ms. Cummings also stated that Novi is one the fastest growing innovative cities in the state and believes a golf course would be a positive revenue generating necessity to add to the Cityís list of desirable amenities.

 

 

Gail Esker - 41770 Webster Ct., repeated the comments made earlier about the golf course issue and asked Council to bring it before the public for a vote.

 

 

Sarah Gray - 133 Maudlin, asked Council to consider putting those issues (the aquatic facility and golf course) that bring residents to Council meetings first on the agenda. Ms. Gray further asked that the clean up of the landing site project not violate of the Michigan Subdivision Control Act. She reminded Council that they cannot vacate roads within "x" amount of feet of waterways without court action. In addition, she asked Council to consider the cost involved in an environmental impact study before they go any further with the landing site project. Ms. Gray was surprised to read in the Novi News that the City is purchasing more property when they cannot develop what they already have. She further asked where is the money coming from for the ice rink. In response to Ms. Cummings remark about the golf course, Ms. Gray reported that of the 500 acres at the tree farm, only one third of it is usable. Finally, as President of the SES, Ms. Gray would like to know what progress they have made on the environmental impact statement for the golf course that she demanded in October 1996. She further believes this issue should go before the public.

 

 

Mark Adams - does not believe there is a real need for a golf course. In terms of public opinion, Mr. Adams believes the newspaper survey speaks for itself and that the public is looking for open spaces, not restaurants. Mr. Adams said a third issue would be about the funding of the parkís program. Because Mr. Adams is hearing parks and recreation is starving for cash, they could look to the golf course and banquet facility for funding their programs. Mr. Adams concluded by stating he would rather see the tax money go to funding the parks.

 

 

Angie Bruder - agrees with those who have spoken out against the golf course and wants to know when the public will get a response from Council.

 

 

Debbie Koder - East Lake Drive, gets the feeling that Novi sometimes has an aversion to trees and she finds it hard to believe that Novi has won awards for its trees. Ms. Koder is vehemently opposed to the golf course and is extremely concerned about the impact fertilizer for the golf course will have on the environment. She believes Council does not care about the negative impact a golf course could have on the environment.

 

 

Andrea - stated she likes hiking in the tree farm and does not want to see it turned into a golf course.

 

 

Ruth Hamilton - asked Council to consider having all of their meetings televised to include special and joint meetings. Ms. Hamilton repeated she opposes the golf course and asked Council not to spend any further money on studies for this until it is put to a vote. She asked Council to listen to the thousand people who are against a golf course and reminded Council that of the forty thousand population, only four thousand voters put them into office. Further, Ms. Hamilton appreciates that an aquatic facility is important and asked Council to spend the $6.2 on that. Ms. Hamilton does not feel she should continuously have to appear before Council to tell them what she thinks because she voted for those whom she felt could speak for her. She believes she may have been wrong.

 

 

Unidentified Speaker - believes everyone should have the right to recreational activities and not have to travel great distances to enjoy them.

 

 

Robbie Kramer - stated if they put in a golf course at the tree farm, he will not be able to hike there.

 

 

Donna Bavarskas - 45391 Yorkshire Dr., supports the earlier comments made about the golf course and urged Council to do what they were elected and appointed to do. In regard to the aquatic facility, Ms. Bavarskas reported she had the opportunity to serve on the most recent Aquatic Committee as well as one that they formed as early as 1992. Further, Ms. Bavarskas is aware of a variety of communications presented to both City Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission. They are: (1) a petition with more than 125 signatures that supported a private, outdoor, family-oriented pool facility, (2) a questionnaire, compiled by the Parks and Recreation Department, which showed a 99.5% support for an aquatic facility, (3) many phone calls to the Parks and Recreation Director in support of an aquatic facility., and (4) many residents who came out in support of a pool over the past four years at various public Aquatic Facility Committee meetings. Ms. Bavarskas is concerned about the fact that although they have brought all these communications before both bodies, they have made no significant progress. She urged them to recognize what the residents have said and move forward with an outdoor, family-oriented pool facility for Novi.

 

 

Tony Ascenzo - stated he lives near the tree farm and he does not believe they should have a golf course because kids like to play baseball and soccer, ride their bikes and hike, not play golf. He believes it should be for families and asked Council to vote "no" for a golf course.

 

 

Kent Poll - 613 South Lake Drive, agrees with the comments of the residents who are not in favor of a golf course. Further, Mr. Poll also believes that a thousand signatures represent a great percentage of those who vote in Novi elections. Mr. Poll does not see any support for the golf course and urged those who are in support to please step forward.

 

Unidentified Speaker - stated he is against a golf course and would like to see the issue go to a vote.

 

 

Chuck Young - 50910 W. Nine Mile Road, said Council must to listen to what the public has to say in a public forum.

 

 

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford moved to approve the agenda with the addition of an Audience participation after Item 6.

 

 

Councilman Clark asked if the maker would amend the motion by moving Items 5 and 6 to Items 1 and 2. The maker of the motion agreed to amendment.

 

 

CM-97-01-004: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Kramer, MOTION FAILED: To approve agenda with the addition of an Audience Participation after Item 6 and move Items 5 and 6 to Items 1 and 2

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Kramer reported he will not support this motion because he believes Items 5 and 6 are important and deserve Councilís best attention. Further, they need to be viewed in the context of understanding the items before them. He also believes that understanding the Parks and Recreation Master Plan in the context of the items that come before it is important, but added that he does not want to minimize the importance of the items that appear later on the agenda.

 

Commission Member Atiyeh agrees with Councilman Kramer.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-004: Yeas: Crawford, Clark

Nay: McLallen, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid, Shaw, Atiyeh, Colligan, Koneda, Pheiffer, Staab, Wingfield

 

 

 

CM-97-01-005: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Shaw, MOTION CARRIED: To approve agenda as presented with the addition of an Audience Participation after Item 6

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-005: Yeas: McLallen, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid, Shaw, Atiyeh, Colligan, Koneda, Pheiffer, Staab, Wingfield

Nay: Crawford

 

Mayor McLallen turned the meeting over to Chairman Shaw.

 

 

ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION AND/OR ACTION

 

 

1. Parks and Recreation Master Plan

 

Chairman Shaw said the packet includes a rough draft of the Master Plan for Noviís Parks and Recreation Department. Chairman Shaw reported Dan Davis has revised the plan, but it has not been thoroughly reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission, nor has it been adopted in its revised form by the Parks and Recreation Commission. Chairman Shaw advised it is on their February agenda and will come before Council at their February 2, 1997 meeting for adoption. Chairman Shaw opened the floor for discussion.

 

Mayor McLallen described the document. The Mayor reported that the Lakeshore property is not parkland, but it is City controlled open space. For general information, Mayor McLallen explained there was a proposal for developing that property that did not move forward. The current proposal is to improve the presentation of that property by increasing mowing and removing old road beds. The Mayor also reported there is no current development initiative for that property.

 

Chairman Shaw said a large part of the Master Plan serves as substantiating documentation to existing facilities and believes the "Recommendation and Action Plan" is the most important part of the document. Chairman Shaw reported this portion identifies what they think the needs of Novi are. The five greatest needs are: the public golf course, the public ice arena, the public swimming pool, the gymnasium field house, and the Novi safety path system. Chairman Shaw suggested that they not discuss the aquatic facility or the golf course until they get to them on the agenda.

 

Councilman Kramer said contrary to that, he would like to note that as a Master Plan, Items 2 and 3 should be updated first.

 

Chairman Shaw said the Master Plan document not only gives them guidance, but they also submit it to the State and Federal government annually for grant applications. Therefore, Chairman Shaw believes they need a good up to date action plan.

 

Councilman Schmid asked whether there are any thoughts or plans to pursue a field house? Mr. Davis replied this need was in the document prior to the Novi School District passing their bond issue that sought a $60M renovation for the improvement of the high school field house. Further, when that facility came on line, Mr. Davis explained it took part of the burden off the Cityís demand for that type of facility. Mr. Davis said because the document indicates this is a long term, visionary type of document, they believed the field house is handling the short term need. However, what they are seeing and what he feels they will experience in the future will be a continuous need for more indoor gymnasium type of uses as the population continues to grow. Further, the reason they kept it in the Master Plan was because it is something the City is going to need to look at as the schoolís interscholastic program expands and encroaches on the Cityís time in the schoolís facilities.

 

Chairman Shaw added the proposal for a new middle school will also help alleviate the problem.

 

Councilman Mitzel said the section listing national standards for facilities lists how many facilities are needed per population. Councilman Mitzel asked for an explanation about the "existing" and "needed" columns on Page 40. Mr. Davis replied "needed" is based on the standards with the existing population.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked how closely does Novi follow the national standards? Mr. Davis replied standards are guidelines and individual communities needs have to be looked at based on their particular demographics.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the plan contained the number they feel is needed for Novi, could the standards then serve as a comparison? Mr. Davis replied that is addressed in the action plan itself.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the golf course listing includes the total golf courses within the community or does it only mean publicly owned golf courses? Mr. Davis replied the national standard does not separate them. Councilman Mitzel said then the number would mean golf courses available for public use.

 

Councilman Mitzel said he heard over the years that parks and recreation is under a mandate to generate revenue to support parkland. Councilman Mitzel stated he does not recall ever giving a voted direction or resolution on that and believes it is only a perception that they have made. He believes they should make it clear that the programs should be self-sufficient although the parkland may not. He said that is what the parks and recreation millage is for and that it is similar to the maintenance of the roads. He suggested that the Master Plan may be a good place to make that point.

 

Mayor McLallen said the citizens voted for a park millage at a half mil. However, under Headlee, the City is only collecting about a quarter mil. Mayor McLallen stated they must address the fact that they may want to go back and override Headlee at sometime.

 

Mr. Davis advised that although the programs do not make money, they try to make enough revenue to support them and they rely on the General Fund to support it further.

Commission Member Koneda stated they detail the method of financing in the Master Plan on Pages 13-15 and basically, most of their funds come from two sources. They are from the half mil dedicated millage that generates $600,000 annually and they generate an additional $600,000 through user fees. The other $500,000 came from block grant money, but $182,000 came from the General Fund to help balance their books.

 

Councilman Kramer believes the Parks and Recreation Department is the hallmark of the City and he agrees with Councilman Mitzelís comments that they need to provide funding guidelines. He agrees they spell the elements that they consist of out in the document, but they need to set up targets to help direct them at budget time.

 

Chairman Shaw summarized their budget process.

 

Councilman Mitzel repeated his earlier remarks.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the programs are based on demand and the challenge is with how to maintain and develop the seven hundred acres of land. Mayor McLallen asked where is the funding mechanism or are they trying to bleed programs to fund them. The fact is that there is not adequate funding to deliver recreational services to this community and maintain and properly develop all of the assets they have in parks and recreation. Mayor McLallen said they need to address how they are going to deal with that issue. She asked if they need to develop more public/private partnerships, are they going to raise fees, or are they going to override Headlee? She added they seem to skirt these issues at budget time, but they are now becoming critical.

 

Councilman Schmid said all they need to do is override Headlee at budget time.

 

Councilman Mitzel is concerned about the perception that Council has given the Parks and Recreation Commission the direction to find ways to generate money. He agrees that those types of discussions have occurred, but he does not believe Council has ever made it official. Councilman Mitzel believes they should give them that official direction and if not, they should tell them they will pay for them through bonds, through mileages, or through user fees.

 

Councilman Schmid suggested that they discuss this at budget time.

 

Chairman Shaw discussed "City-wide Parks" on Page 51 of the Master Plan draft.

 

Councilman Schmid said since the state acquired approximately one hundred acres in the southwest it was suggested that they could return it to the City if they wanted it. Councilman Schmid said it would make an excellent passive park and asked if anyone has pursued that.

 

Mr. Davis agreed Councilman Schmid made a good point and they should include that acreage within their open space calculations because it is a park plan owned by the DNR. They should follow-up with Mr. Friedís assistance to determine the legal standpoint.

 

Mayor McLallen noted they did not mention a number of sports in the use category. Further, there should be accommodations made for those extreme sports that children are currently doing in the streets and parking lots. Mayor McLallen said they appear to be needed more in the local neighborhood park rather than the large regional parks.

 

Mr. Davis replied they are looking at that issue and are including the Oakland County Parks Commission from a county-wide standpoint for facilities that they could possibly provide.

 

Mr. Davis asked that Council Members or Commission Members revise the rough draft with any changes they would like to make and they will bring it back before Council in time for the budget sessions.

 

 

2. Parks Project Priority List - Status Report

 

Chairman Shaw summarized the status of the Community Sports Park.

 

Councilman Kramer asked when they can expect the Community Sports Park to be open for public use. Chairman Shaw replied it will be open for baseball in the spring and for soccer in the fall.

 

Chairman Shaw reported they had a consultant prepare a master plan for the tree farm. When the options were brought before Council, they recommended the golf course plan. Chairman Shaw explained they first need a public hearing for a final solution.

 

Chairman Shaw briefly described the Ten Mile and Taft Road project.

Chairman Shaw reported they are developing the Eleven Mile and Wixom Road project with the school and the school is preparing the master plan as a part of their development.

Chairman Shaw advised Rotary Park has been master planned and designed, and they have awarded the contract. However, because of zoning issues, construction did not proceed this fall. They are looking to resolve this issue and begin construction by the spring. Chairman Shaw reported the contract amount was $145,000; the Rotary donated $75,000 and the Department of Natural Resources provided the balance.

 

Chairman Shaw stated the Pope Memorial Play Structure has been master planned and construction should begin in June.

 

Commission Member Staab reported they had a design presentation at the Civic Center on December 4, 1996 and they approved the draft of the plan for the structure at their January 8 committee meeting. Further, the date for construction is the week of June 11-15, 1997. He also reported that they expect to receive approximately $2,000 from the gift wrapping fundraiser at Twelve Oaks Mall. Commission Member Staab advised they are still in need of workers to help see that the project comes to fruition. They are also looking at ways to fund the maintenance of the structure continually once the construction is completed. Commission Member Staab added they have raised $10,000 to date.

 

Mayor McLallen asked Commission Member Staab to explain what the playstructure is. Commission Member Staab replied it is an outgrowth of a committee formed in early 1996 to study the feasibility for a suitable memorial for past City Council member Tim Pope. The committee then made a recommendation in August for a play structure and they selected Community Sports Park for the location of the structure.

 

Mr. Davis added they will be soliciting donations from companies.

 

Chairman Shaw reported they completely funded the addition of two ballfields to Power Park through the Fuerst grant.

 

Chairman Shaw stated they will discuss the Aquatic Facility more thoroughly later in the meeting.

 

Chairman Shaw advised the plan to rebuild some facilities at Lakeshore Park will be funded through the Community Development Block Grant Funds. However, fall construction cannot begin due to funding problems.

 

Mr. Davis explained the City is currently following the normal process for this funding and they should receive authorization to expend funds for 1997 sometime in mid-May.

Chairman Shaw advised that the Spirit of 76 Park is school district owned property that the City has installed some equipment on. Chairman Shaw stated the equipment needs to be upgraded and advised there are no parking facilities to use it.

 

Chairman Shaw reported they are currently proceeding with the architectural site plan for the Ice Arena and they have to address many issues before construction can begin. Chairman Shaw explained it is under the Community Clubs control, working with the City and is not under the Parks and Recreation direct jurisdiction.

 

Chairman Shaw stated the school district still owns the Fuerst Barns and they have not been designated as a Parks and Recreation facility.

 

Chairman Shaw reported that the Landing has not yet been designated as a Parks and Recreation facility.

 

Councilman Schmid asked how they are funding the ice arena. Chairman Shaw replied they will fund the ice arena with a limited tax obligation bond from the EDC to build the structure and they will pay the bonds back with the revenues and profits generated by the facility. The feasibility studies prepared by Plante & Moran indicate there are adequate funds to pay off these bonds with some reserve. There is also a $50,000 per year lease payment made to the City to help pay off the land. Once they meet the debt service, the Charter states the profits are put back into the community for some form of recreational activities as determined by Community Clubs of Novi.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if those revenues should not meet the applications could they could sell the ice arena to meet those taxes? Councilman Schmid is concerned that this debt could fall back on the community. Chairman Shaw replied he does not want to speak on behalf of an attorney, but it is his understanding that they could sell it.

 

Chairman Shaw stated the purpose of this listing is not only to bring the status up to date, but they were also trying to see if Council agrees with the priorities they assigned. Further, if Council does not agree, they would like to get some feedback.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the funding is in place for Lakeshore Park? Chairman Shaw replied it is not in place until they get the approval.

 

 

BREAK

 

3. Unfunded Development Needs

 

Chairman Shaw reported Community Sports Park is their number one priority in terms of completion. Chairman Shaw further reported $1.3M in Phase I was funded by the bond issue for construction, but it was not enough to complete the park and they only awarded a contract to do what they could afford to award. Chairman Shaw advised that because the memorial play structure is also part of the Community Sports Park, they could withdraw $60,000 for play equipment from their proposal. However, Chairman Shaw reported they still need to fund the following items for Phase II: two restroom concession buildings, landscaping, a maintenance building, ballfield fencing, sidewalks, parking lot lighting for security, and irrigation pumps to provide water for the existing sprinkler system. Chairman Shaw stated the total amounts to $500,000.

 

Chairman Shaw reported Phase III is also unfunded. He advised that the white rock parking lot was permitted with a ZBA variance and the Planning Commission would like it to remain that way because of the negative impact a paved lot would have on the nearby wetlands. Chairman Shaw reported if they lost the variance, they would need $200,000 to pay for parking lots.

 

Mayor McLallen reminded the Commission that the City will receive approximately $500,000 from the recounting of assessments within the City and the reapportionment of the State revenue sharing. Further, because the City has not yet received the money, Council has not yet formally made any disbursements from it.

 

Councilman Kramer asked the Parks and Recreation Commission to prioritize this with Administration. Councilman Mitzel concurred with Councilman Kramer and requested a list of possible uses for the money.

 

Speaking for the Community Sports Park, Commission Member Colligan believes it has been an exciting project and will be a signature park for the City once it is completed. Further, if everything happens as it appears on the projection sheet, the City will finally have three parks completed this summer.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if the funding becomes available, what are the priorities for the Community Sports Park? Mr. Davis replied they are: (1) The restroom/concession buildings., (2) The irrigation pump., (3) The maintenance building., and (4) The parking lot security lighting. Mr. Davis advised they could combine the last three items. Further, they could probably do as much landscaping in-house as possible using nursery stock material on the tree farm. Mr. Davis also stated they would treat the sidewalks as a low priority given there are no open issues for the west end and that the need for ballfield fencing will not prohibit them from playing on the fields.

 

Councilman Schmid believes the highest priority is the pumps.

 

Commission Member Atiyeh is concerned that they may need more money for the Pope Memorial Play Structure.

 

Mr. Davis said the maintenance obligation appears to be approximately $2,000 - $3,000 per year. He added they are currently looking to keep the fundraising money as a perpetual fund earning interest, and plan to keep replenishing it into the fund to be used as necessary.

 

Chairman Shaw asked if Council would like the Commission to seek revenue for the fences from companies in exchange for advertisement? A Council consensus was to study the idea.

 

Mayor McLallen reported the situation with the Eleven Mile and Wixom Roads site is that it is a combined purchase of more than 100 acres with the City and the School Board that will be split equally. The Mayor noted they have not yet executed the purchase agreement and the latest development is that the school is projecting a date of January 1998. Mr. Davis interjected the use of the building will not occur until 1999.

 

Mayor McLallen stated that having this item before them as a funding priority is terrific, but the rationale in spending this money in the next two years is slim to none.

 

Chairman Shaw stated it would make some sense to have some Cityís facilities constructed when they construct the school facilities because it would decrease the cost. Further, he believes their demands are such that they need to develop the facilities as soon as they can.

 

Mayor McLallen reported it is not in the 1997-98 Budget, but would be in the 1998-99 Budget.

 

Mr. Davis said they could begin to bid things as alternates and let the prices come in under their contractual bid process, and then review those numbers. If they have the resources available and if the numbers are economically reasonable, then Council could decide at that time.

 

Mayor McLallen reported that the parkís acquisition bond issue is now 99.9% spent. Further, the largest portion of that land was just completed at the end of 1996 and there is no further money available for anything. The current challenge is to find the funding mechanism to make something happen on that land.

 

 

 

 

4. Landing Site Project

 

Mayor McLallen reported the Landing Site Project is 13 acres of City owned land adjoining the lake at Thirteen Mile and Novi Roads. Further, the City with Councilmen Mitzel and Crawfordís initiative, have presented a plan to clean up and maintain the property in a passive open space situation. Mayor McLallen advised that it would not be from Parks and Recreation, but would be allocated from the Cityís General Fund. In addition, the clean up would not encourage any active recreational opportunities on the site. The goal of the current Council initiative is only to improve the presentation of one of the largest pieces of open space in the City. For the record, the Mayor is aware that the City could sell this parcel and gain quite a bit of revenue in the open market for residential development. The Mayor strongly believes this is one of the most developed quadrants in the City and they need the open space. Therefore, she is opposed to selling it to a private interest.

 

Chairman Shaw stated the Commission was originally in opposition of spending money on this project because they were more interested in fulfilling the need to finish a park that needs a half million dollars. Personally, Chairman Shaw can see the reasoning behind cleaning up the site. However, he does not see the reasoning behind the lack of parking that would inhibit residents who cannot walk there from viewing the vista if they are already going to spend $50,000 to improve the site. Therefore, he cannot agree with saying they are just creating open space. He believes if they are going to do this, they should go further. He suggested that Parks and Recreation should possibly take it over and make it a park facility for all of Novi. He added the entire Commission does not share this view and it is only his opinion.

 

Councilman Mitzel said based on the Parks and Recreation discussion on the priorities for their funding, he believes Council must discuss the priorities. He added the same argument that Chairman Shaw used could be used for the purchase of a police car. He believes there are many needs and Council must evaluate all of them.

 

Chairman Shaw agrees there are multiple demands, but questions spending $50,000 to generate a "quasi-park" when other park needs are in demand.

 

 

5. Aquatic Facility Status

 

Mayor McLallen reported the aquatic facility is a citizen initiative. The final committee made a number of recommendations for a seasonal neighborhood community swimming facility and preferably on city-owned land. Consequently, discussion about where city-owned land was and what the site would be used for began. While that discussion was taking place, the West Bloomfield Sports Club simultaneously approached the City and approximately six months was spent investigating the possibility of that organization and the ice arena being on what is known as the Berry Farm. Because the process took a long time and the City was also in an election cycle, they missed the opportunity to put it on the ballot. Mayor McLallen said there is still major community support for an aquatic facility and although the committee has funding proposals, the major issue before Council, the Commission, and the community is the physical location for the facility. The Mayor realizes this is a Council decision, but they would appreciate any input from Parks and Recreation. Further, if it is to go on the ballot, they need to know the price, the design, and the location. However, based on the comments, the critical issue is the location. At that point, the funding would be by revenue bonds, GO Bonds, or from the private sector.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if Novi were to develop a private development that has a pool facility, how would that affect the need for this facility? Mr. Davis replied because he has not seen the proposed layout, he is unable to make a fair comparison. Further, he believes the critical question is, what will the West Bloomfield Sports Club provide.

 

Councilman Mitzel suggested that they begin to move forward on the information that they need so if they have to go to an election in November, it is ready. To Councilman Mitzel it sounds as though they cannot go through the same funding route as the ice arena due to the revenues that they will generate from the facility. Further, they need to investigate whether this would duplicate or would supplement any private development that is coming forward. Finally, the last page of the report had some conclusions and recommendations, and the first one was that the City conduct a traffic study for the Power Park site and the Eleven/Mile Wixom area. Councilman Mitzel believes if they gave the information to Council, a site could be selected in time for preparing a financial cost, and bonding and ballot language. Councilman Mitzel suggested that Council give Mr. Davis this as the basis

for the next step of information that will allow Council to vote. He reminded Council that they have seven months before they have to vote on language for the November election.

 

Mayor McLallen reported everything on the ballot has to be in place and approved by the second Council meeting in August. This gives a clear time frame if there is a consensus that this issue is valid and is ready to be taken to the voters.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if they should reactivate the working committee? Mayor McLallen replied there is an active committee and they have anticipated that process will move forward.

 

Councilman Schmid is not satisfied that they have enough information as to the feasibility of this facility being self-supporting. He believes pools in many communities are not profitable and need substantial subsidizing. Further, he believes they need a clearer picture of the financial feasibility study so when it goes to vote, they can tell the voters whether it will be self-supporting or not.

Mayor McLallen asked if Councilman Schmid would be supportive of the process Councilman Mitzel has outlined? Councilman Schmid replied he would.

 

Councilman Clark shares Councilman Schmidís concerns. Further, he remembers commenting that several facilities they looked at were barely breaking even. He also believes it is a red flag when the private sector does not want to get involved and explained they do not get involved because there is no profitability. He said he would like to provide the citizens with everything that they can, but the problem is there is a limited pool of funds and they can only go to the pockets of the residents so often. He believes the worst situation they could get into would be to build a facility regardless of the funding mechanism and later find they must close it because it is causing a financial drain on the city. He added this is especially sensitive in light of other needs in terms of completing the other parks in the community. One example is Rotary Park that has been around a long time and is not yet completed. He suggested that they should not put too much on the plate at once. Further, he believes they should set priorities and finish some things that are already underway because they cannot afford to do everything at once.

 

Councilman Mitzel said it sounds that the questions that they have raised are more of a technical nature and they should hire professionals for advice instead of expecting the committee to provide this type of information. Councilman Mitzel stated the next phase involves some questions involving technical traffic and soil site condition analysis, and a financial feasibility study. Further, Administration will have to oversee these types of issues and they will require funding. He suggested that the committeeís purpose be to review the information and help to present it to Council in a Phase II report.

 

 

CM-97-01-006: Moved by Mitzel, Seconded by Kramer, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct Administration (Dan Davis) to initiate the collection of technical and professional information needed for site selection, a financial feasibility study and funding alternatives, and reactive the citizenís committee to review the information to be presented to Council by midsummer

 

Councilman Mitzel asked that before they initiate the studies that they get cost estimates and ways to fund the study come forward first. He reminded Council they do not want to make the same mistake they made when they asked for a report that monitored ground water wells and were billed $30,000.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if Councilman Mitzel would like to amend his motion to have Administration bring back a preliminary cost before Council first. Councilman Mitzel agreed.

 

 

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Commission Member Atiyeh reported the Troy program that was not making money only charged an annual fee of $200 for a family of four for ninety days membership. He believes Novi can support a higher fee structure.

 

Councilman Clark asked how many hundreds of dollars would the fee be? Commission Member Atiyeh replied Troy would see a profit if they raised their fee by only $50.

 

Councilman Clark stated once the community ages, families will not be willing to pay $500 and plus to use the facility.

 

Mayor McLallen said these are questions that Mr. Davisí office will bring back before they make any expenditures from the City.

 

 

Vote on CM-97-01-006: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

FURTHER COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Chairman Shaw said as a point of information for the second proposed site at Eleven Mile and Wixom Roads, the site plan shows there are a lot of wetlands left or high ground around the oil well and there is not much suitable land left there for an aquatic facility. Consequently, he believes they might not be in a position to consider that as a potential site. Chairman Shaw added the sports site is now much smaller than it was at the Berry Farm and they have indicated to him that they do not have the acreage to produce the type of larger aquatic facility that the City was looking for them to do at the Berry Farm site. As a third point, Chairman Shaw stated studies showed that aquatic facilities will break even in their operation, but they are not going to cover debt service. So they are spending $4 - $5M to build a facility, but they cannot pay off their debt and that does not make sense on a private basis. Chairman Shaw advised that is what government is for; to provide those facilities by using taxpayerís dollars. After that, they would not anticipate having to subsidize the operation annually, but that is the taxpayerís decision.

 

 

6. Golf Course Feasibility Study

 

For the record, Mayor McLallen reported much information has gone out concerning the golf course. At the last Council and Parks and Recreation meeting, Council approved the pursual of a master plan for 441 acres in north Novi and a component of that plan was to have been a golf course. The Mayor advised the City has spent less than $17,000 to date from the Community Development Block Grant Funds out of the 1995 funding cycle. She advised the money was strictly for the entire master plan and was not fully directed at a golf course. Further, Council stated at the fall joint meeting that for master planning purposes they should include a golf course. Mayor McLallen reported that is the extent of what has happened to date. The Mayor also added that there is no money to develop the master plan for any of the components on the 400 acres, much less the specific components. She explained as everyone has just heard about the aquatic facility, they could take this matter to the voters. However, City Council and the Commission have to work together and make that decision so that when it comes before the voters they will have specifics as to the cost and feasibility of the project. This is a deliberate process that is asking, where does this potential component fit. Right now it is part of a master plan that requires 120 acres of 400 acres. They further understand that of the 400 acres, approximately 200 acres are a part of the Shawood wetland area. Mayor McLallen stated much ground has to be covered if there is ever to be a golf course. The process Council and the Commission have to go through to fulfill their responsibilities as elected officials is to gather pertinent information before they approach the voters and ask them to spend their money. However, the Mayor explained they are not yet at that point. They are at the point of asking if there is a potential golf course in the Cityís future and if there is, what are the pros and cons of doing it. The Mayor clarified that no money has been spent on a golf course and that the money spent to date was only for the preparation of a master plan. Part of the information before them this evening was a request to seek environmental, market, and financial studies and of the golf course. Further, if the golf course question is to go to the voters, all the questions would have to be ready by the second meeting in August so that they can submit the ballot language to the Secretary of State.

 

Councilman Schmid believes a golf course is appropriate for a city whether it is at this site or another site. He believes that having a golf course is just as important as having appropriate zoning and a lot of other things in a community. Virtually every community Councilman Schmid knows of and of any size, has at least one municipal golf course for recreational purposes and they are not necessarily constructed only for business reasons. Councilman Schmid stated he heard there may be as many as 7,000-8,000 golfers in Novi and that there are only 700 little league players. Councilman Schmid believes a golf course would be dramatic usage of a parcel of land that the citizens of Novi purchased for recreational activity. Further, although Councilman Schmid believes they should construct a golf course, he also agrees that feasibility studies need to be conducted and that the financing issue would have to be made clear. Councilman Schmid believes the bigger issue is about protecting the lake and reminded Council that the current golf course technology is environmentally sensitive. Councilman Schmid suspects if they insure them that they will not harm the environment and it is financially feasible, he believes most of Noviís citizens will vote for a golf course. Councilman Schmid also believes a municipal golf course can support the development of the rest of the park. Therefore, Councilman Schmid recommends that they proceed. Councilman Schmid believes a golf course will enhance the northern part of Novi because it is a well-known fact that people will pay a premium for homes built near them. Further, a banquet facility would also help absorb some expense and further enhance the golf course. After speaking with dozens of communities with golf courses, Councilman Schmid reported a golf course supplements their parks and recreation department tremendously. Councilman Schmid described several different ways to build a golf course. He added the high school golf team has to play at Pebble Creek because they are having a difficult time getting play time at the Links of Novi and Tanglewood.

 

Councilman Kramer believes it is important that Council understand where they are on this matter and he can also understand the emotional concerns of the citizens. He said the City is only in a fact finding phase and they need to develop the material to make an intelligent assessment about what is proposed. He added they cannot make an intelligent decision without spending money to find the facts and they have not been able to respond to the community because they have not done anything yet. Further, he believes a golf course is not a high intensity use of the land, especially compared with other potential uses. Councilman Kramer said it is unlikely that they will choose to preserve the property because it is not in the Cityís general benefit and they are in the process of trying to decide what is the best use for this parkland property. He also stated although it is consistent with Parks and Recreationís Charter, it must come before the voters. Councilman Kramer supports a study that will set the foundation for the information they need to make an intelligent decision.

 

Councilman Clark believes they have made many good comments and no matter what way they proceed, he stated a number of things must be made clear. The first is no matter how they ultimately proceed, given the level of concern and that they purchased the tree farm site with public funds with the understanding that it would be open space or parkland for their use, that they proceed cautiously before Council talks about constructing a golf course. Councilman Clark believes they should first ask if the City of Novi needs a public golf course. Councilman Clark referred to the national standards for a golf course and reported that a community of 40,000 should have at least one 18-hole golf course. He stated Novi now has two, but he recognizes they are private facilities and understands the arguments for a public facility. Secondly, he said if the City needs a golf course, does that automatically mean that the golf course should be constructed at the tree farm. He said there may be limited sites, but he also knows they have industrial land that they have not been able to develop. Councilman Clark reported he is making these comments because he understands that BASF tore down half of the highly contaminated old Wyandotte Chemical site for development. However, the EPA advised the developer that they had to remove the contaminated soil and that would cost them millions of dollars. The developer approached the government to capsulate that site and in turn, they would construct a municipal golf course. Consequently, the city got an 18-hole golf course on top of what was an unusable and highly polluted industrial site. Councilman Clark is not saying Noviís undeveloped industrial sites are highly polluted, but his point is that they should be looking at alternative sites if they are serious about constructing a golf course. Further, Councilman Clark is not hearing people say they hate golf and do not want golf courses. Instead, he is hearing people say they believe the site is inappropriate. Finally, he believes the ultimate decision has to be left to the voters and Council must give them complete information so they can make an intelligent choice. Further, if the City is going to gather this information, he would want them to look at alternative sites even if it means they must purchase additional land. Councilman Clark is concerned if the tree farm is selected, they may only have 170 acres left for passive recreation.

 

Even though Councilman Mitzel is neutral about a golf course, he is willing to look at whether a golf course could fit on the tree farm site or if another use might be suited. He further advised he walked the site with Councilman Schmid and one of his main concerns is about the mature hardwood forest at the center of the site. Consequently, he cannot see constructing a golf course that would destroy that section. Councilman Mitzel reported he has discussed shorter course alternatives with Mr. Davis and they informed him that there was concern about the feasibility that shorter courses would not go through that area. Councilman Mitzel believes at this point, the environmental impact should be extremely important in their decision. Further, Councilman Mitzel stated he liked Councilman Clarkís idea about looking at alternate sites and the general issue of a municipal golf course. Councilman Mitzel stated it would actually be a two-part study. One study would be the feasibility of a municipal golf course at a site unknown and what the site requirements would be, which may already be known. The other study would be the feasibility at the proposed site. From what Councilman Mitzel understands about an 18-hole golf course, he does not understand how they can fit it on the site without destroying the hardwoods. Further, he reminded Council that because the golf course is a long range plan, they should approach the feasibility of a golf course in the same manner as the ice arena and aquatic facility. Councilman Mitzel repeated that he believes addressing the environmental impact is more important than a financial feasibility study.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford concurs with Councilman Schmidís earlier comments and favors proceeding to the next step.

 

Mr. Davis stated there is a two-step process at which they may want to look. One would be investigating alternate sites; the other would be to determine the impact on the tree farm site. Mr. Davis stated they could work with Planning and Community Development to identify locations, determine the criteria of a golf course and address zoning issues. Once they determine what those options are, they could come back to this stage of the process that they could expand to include not only the feasibility study, market analysis, financial analysis and environmental analysis, but also include an alternative site if there is one.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if there is a consensus to direct Administration within the next thirty to sixty days to find the information that Mr. Davis outlined.

 

Councilman Schmid said Councilman Clark made some excellent statements. However, it is not correct to subtract wetlands from golf course plans and say that is how much land there is left because they can construct golf courses in, around, through and over wetlands. Councilman Schmid said if they cannot put a golf course at the tree farm site, he suggested they look for an alternative site and provide a feasibility study at that point. Councilman Schmid stated one advantage of the tree farm is that they can make it into a beautiful golf course.

 

Commission Member Koneda stated the age group of those less than 20 years old in 1980 was approximately 9,100 and it grew to 11,000 according to the 1980-1990 census. He reported it only grew by 2,000 and yet the population has increased by an additional 8,000 people for the age group between 25 to 44. Commission Member Koneda stated this is the age group that plays golf and indicates that there is a need to find affordable golf. Further, municipal golf courses are friendly to youth groups and seniors, which has also grown within the last few years.

 

Councilman Mitzel is looking at the decision process. He reiterated his earlier concerns and that they should use the same process as the ice arena. Councilman Mitzel suggested that Mr. Davis first give Council size requirements, topography requirements, and the general financial feasibility of a golf course so they could discuss if this is something they wish to acquire and then look at sites. He believes they should not limit it to one site.

 

Commission Member Atiyeh said one appeal a golf course has is that it attracts seniors and youths. Further, he cannot see the purpose of spending additional money on another piece of prime land.

 

Chairman Shaw shares Councilman Mitzelís environmental concerns. However, he believes some of the information they have asked Administration to come back with has already been provided. For instance, they can expect to make an average of $150,000 per year without debt service. Chairman Shaw reported this is a general, historic number and is only four years old. Further, they also had a plan prepared that indicates that a golf course will fit on the site. Chairman Shaw does not think that they should stop the process at this point and ask Administration to repeat where they were a year ago. He thinks they are ready for the next phase, which is professional help. Further, he believes that including an environmental feasibility study is essential because he personally hopes that the environmental study will say the course should not go into the hardwoods or wetlands.

 

Councilman Schmid would like to move that they proceed with the environmental and feasibility study on this particular site. He also asks that Administration come back with other potential sites, cost estimates, where they are and the purchase amount if they are available. Further, he would like to include things like the cost of removing industrial property from probable development. Councilman Schmid understands it will take some time to gather this information.

 

Mayor McLallen said this is just to get the RFP.

 

Mr. Davis said their directive is to get proposals back from professional firms. He believes they will need approximately six weeks to get it out and back, evaluate them, and make a recommendation.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the motion could include the paragraph that includes "Scope of Work" where it says; market study, feasibility study, financial analysis, and environmental impact study.

 

Councilman Schmid agreed.

 

 

CM-97-01-007: Moved by Schmid, Seconded by Crawford, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct Administration (Dan Davis) to obtain an RFP for environmental feasibility, a market study, financial feasibility and an overall feasibility study on the north Novi site, seek alternative sites and determine the impact of those sites

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the request for the impact study is solely for the long course? Mr. Davis replied a standard course is included as part of the final master plan, and the shorter 18-hole and 9-hole plans are not included.

 

Councilman Mitzel thinks they all know that the long course will affect the hardwoods and several of them have said it is not acceptable. He suggested that the feasibility also include a shorter 18-hole and 9-hole that did not include the hardwoods. Mr. Davis replied they could expand the scope of the work to include that if the impact of the environmental aspects of the study prove that they are impacted and what the alternatives would be. In order to make a decision either way, Councilman Mitzel believes they need to look at if it is their desire is to construct a golf course and then based on that, look at other sites.

 

Vote on CM-97-01-007: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mitzel, Schmid

Nay: None

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

 

 

Ruth Hamilton - stated she appreciates Councilman Clarkís comments. Ms. Hamilton urged Council to send the golf course issue to vote before they spend any money on studies. She asked them to borrow the Lyons Oaks feasibility study, because it will not only save the City approximately $25,000, it will also speed up the process of gathering information for a November ballot. She further stated that she does not believe that the public should wait to speak until after they have spent thousands of dollars on studies. Ms. Hamilton said Council does not need the citizenís permission to sell revenue bonds for this project as proposed at the October 7 joint meeting. Ms. Hamilton appreciates Councilman Mitzelís comments, but she believes the City strategically purchased the land with a golf course in mind and that there were maneuvers in placing the new Taft Road outside the golf course.

 

 

Jim Korte - said it is known that the citizens do not trust Council or the Cityís consultants and cited Briarwood as an example. If Council can convince him that everything is fine with Briarwood and it is a plus for Novi, then he will agree to the construction of a golf course. He said none of the Council members will have to live with the mess that is left as he will. Further, Mr. Korte advised that he did not vote for the bond issue because he knew a golf course was going in. Mr. Korte stated Mark Adams saw major drawings of a golf course eight years ago and therefore, a golf course is no surprise to them.

 

 

Unidentified speaker - stated she thinks Councilman Schmid should be grateful for the citizens input. She argued that it is Councilís responsibility to supply the public with facts and not for them to supply Council with facts. She also has read enough environmental publications to know that golf courses can harm the environment. She agrees there are some that do not, but her perception is that this City is not overly concerned with the environment. Further, tonight is the first time she has heard that this issue would even go before the voters.

 

 

Unidentified speaker - stated she believes tonightís meeting has been informative and she appreciates those Council members who stated they would consider alternative sites. She asked if there is a mechanism to inform her about these meetings?

 

Mayor McLallen replied that the speaker can subscribe to the agendas or they are available at the Clerkís office.

 

 

 

Jim Utley - stated he would like to see a municipal golf course constructed because it would create revenue for other things that the citizens would like to see done in the community. Further, he reported he was an aquatic committee member and he was disturbed about the comment Chairman Shaw made about sites. He reported when the committee selected the two sites they reported both sites as being very viable. However, tonight he understands that only one site is viable and the committee was not advised about this.

 

Mayor McLallen interjected that unfortunately, they did not inform a lot of people about the extent of the wetlands on the Eleven Mile Road site. When the DEQ finally determined the extent, it forced the school system to redesign their entire plan and that did not happen until much later in the process.

 

Mr. Utley stated when Chairman Shaw mentioned that site, he asked if he was only including the two soccer fields. Chairman Shaw replied there are small fields in a very small corner away from the ballfields and he does not believe this site would be large enough for an aquatic facility.

 

 

Gwen Markham - thanked Council for taking the next step on the aquatic facility. Further, she agrees with Councilman Mitzel that the committee is not equipped to gather the kind of information they need to make the right kind of decision. Further, she noticed in the master plan for kinds of swimming facilities states for Noviís size, the community should have two facilities and as they build out, they should have three. It also states in terms of a beach, that the City has one and it should have six. Although she recognizes these are guidelines, she believes they should continue to look at a public facility. She believes there are certain amenities they should be providing to the citizens and they should not expect to make a profit. She also commented on the population statistics by saying the reason they did not see a growth in the number of children during the period Commission Member Koneda cited was because at that point, the City was building a lot of multifamily and apartment housing. In the future, she believes they will be seeing a lot of single family development and consequently, a growth in children. In regard to the play structure, Ms. Markham reminded the Commission and Council that there is an elementary school in Novi that has more than 550 students in the Northville School District who were not made a part of this. She believes those students would have liked to have been involved and because she lives in that area, she is sensitive to and does not appreciate the Novi, Northville, Noville attitude. She also asked, in terms of funding, if they could consider a benefactor in some sort of matching by approaching some large commercial or industrial developers who are Novi citizens. Finally, she posed a challenge to everyone by stating that the neighborhood park facilities throughout the community are a failure of how the City has developed. She reported some communities make it a requirement in their zoning ordinance for a developer to include a swimming pool, tennis courts, a recreational center, or bike paths as part of their development. She believes if Novi had more of that in their ordinances, there would be less of a problem to try to generate publicly funded swimming pools.

 

 

Donna Bavarskas - thanked Council for moving forward with the feasibility study for the pool, but she is concerned that there was no time frame established and she hopes it is done in a timely fashion. Further, she stated there is a large difference between the golf course and aquatic facility in terms of handling the golf course in the same manner. She explained the difference is that the golf course is something that the community has not supported and the people have supported the aquatic facility. Further, she has heard Council comment that there is a severe shortage of dollars, yet they continue to pursue the golf course although it is an unpopular project. She then asked if she understood Chairman Shaw to say that a municipal golf course in another city could not pay for its debt service.

 

Chairman Shaw explained he stated that the $150,000 average profit was before debt service, so he is not certain.

 

Ms. Bavarskas said the reason the aquatic facility has been moving so slowly is because of the concern that it will not be profitable.

 

 

Mark Adams - stated there has been broken fences and concrete on the landing site since 1965 and he thinks it is time to clean it up. Further, he is not opposed to a golf course, but he does not believe the tree farm is an appropriate site because of the negative environmental impact.

 

 

Chuck Young - is not opposed to a golf course, but believes citizen involvement and balance is important in a community

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:15 A.M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

Date Approved: January 27, 1997